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June 16th, 2018. The day I made one of the hardest and best decisions of my life so far. The day I let go of him, so I could finally be happy for myself. This is a journal about my journey through my first year after dropping the most toxic person in my life. This may teach you and help you, too.
Hindsight is 20/20. We all say that and yeah, it's true. Six years of my young life were spent giving and giving and giving everything to someone who did nothing but take and take and take and take more. But I loved him. I thought he loved me. I think he did at some point, and probably for the majority of our relationship, but I don't know what happened, what changed. Or when it changed. Throughout everything though, even when we were good, it was still all give to him while he took. I dealt with a lot of things. I processed his emotions for him while I also tried to process my own. I shouldered his hardships while shouldering my own. I held him when he was sad and I celebrated when he was happy.
But he never did any of that for me. Not really. He avoided me when I was sad, and when I was happy, his mood often soured it. Not always, I'll make that clear, did he act like that, because there were some very good times, but he would tune me out and never really cared about what I said. Especially towards the end.
We were in two different paths in life after graduating high school, but we made it work. I studied in university and he decided school was not for him, so he continued to work at his high school job while working on his art. I supported him, and he supported me. For the most part. I found out later that there may have been some resentment there that I went to school and he didn't. That I did so well, while he fell into a depression. And trust me, I tried my hardest to help him through that.
December 2017, he got a new job. This one was an "actual" job, a post-high school one, if you will. He would be paid a living wage, not minimum, and he would have a usual schedule. He worked at a gay night club, but as part of the day crew. They build the stages, put up the decorations, etc. He almost didn't take it when it was offered to him. He's always had a self-sabotaging fear of change. I encouraged him that it would be a good thing, that this was the offer he needed to really get out of his rut.
Boy, did it blow up in my face. It took about a week for him to decide he was hot stuff and that I was nothing. He idolized these people, his new coworkers. And trust me, these are not the people to idolize. Casual alcoholics who got violent and thought it was a good idea to drink and drive. I had a bad feeling from the start about how he talked about these coworkers, but I let it go. This was his first real chance to do something outside of his little depressed world, so I listened to his stories and supported him. I was happy he was enjoying something new and exciting. But he became a liar, and this just started a terrible cycle. A terrible cycle of lying, gaslighting, and blame.
He'd do something that would hurt me, gaslight me, make me apologize, give me some terrible apology that included why it was my fault, then it would start all over again.
This went on for six months. I became the unhappiest I had ever been in my life, and I had some dark times in my life. He was destroying me from the inside out. I felt broken, worthless, sad, and like I was going to die from it all. Sometimes I still find it hard to believe how quickly our relationship fell apart.
I remember when I had figured out what was happening. When I realized I hated him. When I realized it was time to end our relationship.
We were in his car. He'd been lying to me about a lot of things, and the one that I really hated the most? He and his coworkers were drinking and driving. He was "always a passenger," but he actively engaged in this terrible act that could kill others or himself. I found out through a mutual friend that he'd been lying to me about how he got home from crazy parties and club nights. I confronted him. I asked him what the hell was really going on. I told him I knew. And he got so mad and upset. We'd had our pretty bad fights, we've yelled at each other, but I'd never seen him like this. He told me he hated himself, and he told me that he knew I hated him too (and he knew before I did). I poked, prodded, and scolded as he drove down the highway. He yelled, defended, and ground out words through his teeth. This was our ugliest moment. The moment I knew we were done.
We sat in the car in silence, another fifteen minutes left on our drive. He pulled up to my driveway. I looked at him, thanked him for the ride, and then we talked a little more. It was calmer, but it was too late. We hugged. I felt it in my bones that this was the last time. I held it together, until I got into the shower. And then I cried. I cried and I cried and I cried some more. I still don't know what he may have experienced that night, if he experienced anything at all. About a month later, I cut him off completely.
Emotional abuse leaves scars people can't see. Sometimes people find it harder to believe and respect. But the emotional abuse I endured because of him had left me broken.
But the year without him? Probably the best I've ever had. And I'm the happiest I've ever been. I not only put myself back together, I built myself up too.
Yes, I've had some terrible moments in the year. There's no avoiding them, but the difference is that he wasn't there. Which just made it all better. I'm still healing from him, that's for sure, but I am happy.
I figured out who I was without him, and I was so much better. I moved into my first apartment and I got a new car. Two things he's never touched that are mine. I've created and solidified relationships that truly mean something to me. Relationships that are healthy for me and really make me happy.
So while my decision to stop speaking him was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, it was one of the best. When it comes to toxic relationships like ours was, it usually goes this way.
So if you have someone in your life who you think you love, but they're hurting you and you're unhappy, then you need to let them go. We need to let them go so we can be the best people we can be.
Healing is hard, and I have my good days and my bad days, but healing is worth it. I learned so much about myself. I learned about what I actually enjoyed. I learned how to be happy with myself. I learned that people like him aren't worth it.
So baby steps, right? Let's keep going, let's heal, and let's live.