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You hear so many different stories about the different types of 'toxic' relationships that are out there and you never think that you could be in one yourself—me included.
I thought, there's no way my relationship is toxic, we both have career aspirations, both want a family, both care what else is there?
I have just gotten myself out of a year long relationship with someone that I did truly used to love, still care about but am relieved to be separated from him now.
I was in a relationship where, all the little things that alone wouldn't be any cause for concern, but when you put them all together start causing alarm bells to go off. Which was only evidenced by his reaction to my breaking up with him.
The small, insignificant things in my relationship:
- In a year, he met my family for one night. Because he was working or couldn't afford the train. But I lived with his family for months all together.
- He hated my friends. Now not everyone is lucky enough for their friends and significant other to get along, but he would refuse to see me if they were close by.
- Long distance, he would ignore me for days and sometimes weeks on end with no explanation as to why.
- Would get angry, that's fine but, if I was to get angry then he'd play the victim and turn it around "Here we go again, always my fault and this is why I don't talk to you."
- Any male friends were not to be trusted.
- Made me feel guilty for going on any form of social media for any reason (even going on Facebook to let my family know I was okay whilst on the other side of the world).
- Always put me down for my choice to go to university.
- Did not know the meaning of the word sympathy.
- Made me feel like I was walking on eggshells when I talked to him in case I said the wrong thing.
- Got angry if I didn't reply within minutes after ignoring me for days. As if his attention was a privilege I had to earn.
- Made me tell him wherever I was going, got angry if I didn't (normal for safety reasons).
- Going out with friends was a big no no—there was obviously no trust from his side.
I never let anything that was going on show in front of my family or friends, yet I was always getting messages and phone calls and conversations from them telling me how concerned they were for me and that someone that truly cares about me wouldn't act in such a way.
Things from about four months in were starting to get to me, and I was noticing things that were not completely right but I was smitten and putting it down to the fact that long distance relationships are very different to normal ones.
Three months before the break up, I seemed to have an unofficial break up, where I was heartbroken at being ignored for so long and him being so upset and angry with me. I didn't eat for a week really, I barely talked to anyone, had a mini breakdown over my laptop and didn't go to lectures. My best friends got me out of my funk and I think that was the final realisation that my relationship was not healthy.
Then, a couple days after this week happened, a course mate of mine (one that entered our year only at the beginning of this school year) asked me how I was, took an interest in me, bantered with me, was a cocky thing and that's just how I like them.
Fast forward a couple of months and I find myself waiting for him to message not my boyfriend, I started daydreaming and half way through realised it was him not my boyfriend, watched the door of the lecture theatre just willing him to walk through the door....
I had to get out of a relationship what wasn't even a relationship anymore. It was a twisted convenience.
For during the break up itself, the only reaction I got was that I messed him up for his sisters upcoming wedding. 110 percent proving my point that I was not cared about the right way, the relationship ended up being convenient and that my choice to end it was the absolute right one.
Don't put your whole heart into something that someone else is only giving a fraction of their attention to.
Don't make someone your priority if you are only their convenience.
Put yourself first. And know when it's not healthy.
Be your own superhero and have the most amazing side kicks to make sure you're okay when you do your heroic act!
All my love, always!