I am pleased to present this guest post by the Mental Health Advocate Charlotte Underwood (@CUnderwoodUK).
When we talk about something that is toxic, we talk about a poison. We can say that the air is toxic when polluted and that alcohol is in fact toxic etc. but have you considered that people can also be toxic?
It’s a strange thought, that a person can become a toxic fume in your life, that they can poison you and make you ill, just by simply knowing you.
I never understood the term of a toxic relationship until I found myself entering them, one after another. My kind nature and ability to look past flaws seem to draw these sorts of people to me like magnets.
I used to spend such a long time making excuses for people’s actions. Persuading myself and others that the person was not bad, which may be true, but I did not consider that a relationship could be harming me. I was ignorant because I had been almost hypnotised by toxic people.
Toxic relationships happen all the time, some are domestic. Like a parent who may constantly put you down, crush your dreams and expect you to live the life they dictate. Or maybe a partner who tries to control you like some sort of doll. It could be your sibling, your cousin or anyone in your family.
The truth is that sometimes our own families can be the most toxic because you believe that the blood connection allows exceptions, which it does not. Something I like to preach now is that ‘Blood is not an excuse for abuse’. We do not owe our family members anything and we certainly should not allow them to do us so much harm.
Sometimes Toxic people can be found in the form of bullies at your school or workplace. They could be your peer, colleague, boss or even teacher. Authority can reflect badly on some, as they believe that this power allows them to do as they please. It’s especially hard when you are trying to learn or earn a living when the person sitting next to you is draining you of your motivation. In these situations, it’s made clear as to who is a leader and who is a boss.
The one thing that toxic people all have in common, is that they all live in a world according to them. Toxic people are not empathic although they seem to circle around empaths. They always have excuses and a way to make things seem like they are your fault, to turn the blame and play on your moral. They are cunning and sly, rather masters of manipulation, or conmen.
Much like a poison, these toxic relationships can make you feel out of sorts. You can feel drained emotionally and physically. You can be pushed to abuse substances or act recklessly. You may find it hard to follow your own path and live your own life because they always have a way of catching you.
It took me two decades to remove myself from every toxic relationship I had, I was drowning in them. I found it so hard because I felt guilt for cutting them out of my life, as I had been warped into seeing them as the victim. I was also scared of being lonely and having to live in a world away from them, different to what I had always known. However, since I now only allow people in my life who want to life me up, I feel so much more empowered and healthy. I am achieving my goals and dreams.
It feels much like I have had a bus worth of weight taken off my chest and I am now floating on the clouds. I feel so good emotionally and physically and I am better for it. I have gained back my impedance and motivation – I am free to be the person I always was.
The rule I now live by, is that I am the most important person in my life, if a person does not want to lift me up, then they are not worth my time. Life is too short to be living as a person’s punching bag, slave or diplomat, you deserve only the best from those around you.
Charlotte Underwood is a 22-year-old from Norfolk UK. She is a growing mental health advocate on Twitter (@CUnderwoodUK) and her blog (charlotteunderwoodauthor.com). She is passionate about using her words to support and inform.