There’s a lot of conversation about toxicity, be it in the office, in our relationships or online, but it really got me thinking, what if the toxicity comes from you? What if the decision you made or the actions you took in your past life, were indicative of negative behaviours? It’s not often you hear people openly discuss their own behaviours, this week on the blog, I discuss my own behaviours- it’s a heavy one, but it’s also a shedding.
Some people play victims to crimes they commited.
Call it time elapsed, or bite the bullet and call it maturity. But, I realize- in many ways I was the toxic personality in my last relationship and maybe I was to blame for its ultimate downfall. I was most definitely the one who chose to walk away, but it doesn’t mean that I escape responsibility. And I know, I know it takes 2 to tango as the saying goes, but what I know for sure is that I was never the most patient person. Whether it’s the fiery Sagittarius in me, but I most definitely didn’t make life easy. I have a few anecdotes of times when I knew I should be finding ways to diffuse situations, but somehow I was unable or unwilling to back down. Unwilling to admit I was wrong or simply incapable. It’s not that I liked having things my own way, but it definitely made me a much more unpleasant person, so you tell me what that means.
People will notice the change in your attitude towards them but won’t notice their behaviour that made you change.
One of the main things I’ve come to realize is the fact that towards the end of our relationship, I never respected my partner; not his feelings, nor his word(s) didn’t hold any power for me, and I think that was the beginning of the end. There needs to be some sort of balance within relationships- everything won’t be 50/50 all the time and I’m sure I am not the 1st to say this, but once you begin the slippery slope of speaking disrespectfully, or not having any concern over the impact of your words, I think you have lost a battle. I’ll be frank, I didn’t have a hands on partner, I did the brunt of the work and often times was simply left to do it all even if I was struggling. Internally that made me feel a cocktail of emotions, I felt alone, I felt rejected, I didn’t feel supported and in turn, after many, many, many years of attempting to express my feelings and them falling on deaf ears- I began to stop caring. Be it within yourself, but also as a couple. Words matter, they affect people, no matter how much they choose to show its repercussions or not. I have left enough ground behind me to know that my constant nagging, my never being able to find positive reinforcement, my inability to feel happy about anything was a reflection of how I was feeling on the inside and unfortunately I chose to take it out on the people closest to me. Maybe in some ways, I was a bully; I see this now. It’s a very very hard thing to admit because in my daily life, I choose to be very cautious with my words and the impact they have on others. I wasn’t gentle with my words and I wasn’t patient in high pressure situations. I know this was my coping mechanism because I like things to run smoothly, but I also know I cannot and will never be able to control everything. Maturity and distance has made me realize that I probably didn’t make it easy to live with me. Especially when I didn’t see the value of what he offered me. Now, I’m not saying he was perfect, hell- I wasn’t but instead of finding all his faults, maybe I should have been focusing on his positives. Being honest, who wants to be with someone who is never happy? Why would you bother doing anything if you knew they were going to complain anyways? I know we’re both adults and I shouldn’t have to be praising someone like they’re a toddler. But that being said, we accept just how positive and reassuring it can be for little humans, what changes for big ones? The reality is, I wasn’t a happy person because I wasn’t happy with my circumstance at the time. Once I realized that I was in control of my own destiny and if I wasn’t happy- it was up to me to change/fix it- it genuinely felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. But I had to do the work internally for myself.
Oh a positive note, things began to align for me when I began to see a therapist, which really allowed me to sit with myself and think about my thought process, my decision-making and my coping mechanisms. It also allowed me with steps and tools on how I can cut some of my negative behaviours out and helped me reaffirm the buck stops with me- no matter the circumstances, it is always up to me the way I react to situations. What I wished someone would have told me is that sometimes in unhealthy situations rub off on you and you become the toxic one, but it also doesn’t mean you can’t fix that.