Beware of the Toxic Trap
Have you ever been in or witnessed a toxic relationship. Perhaps you attracted a love triangle where you or one of the parties were conflicted about an ex. Toxic relationships are high drama. You must beware of the toxic trap. One minute the couple is all sweet and in love and the next there’s a high drama argument with someone claiming they “can’t take it anymore.” They end up getting back together and they believe it’s because their love is so strong. No. It’s because they individually are weak. These people are dangerous and they will spread their toxins to anyone who will listen and enable their pity party. They’ll come off charming and will use you to soothe their own emotional mess. It will waste your time and break your heart. Beware of the toxic trap.
Here’s what to look for.
1. Look at your point of attraction. Get honest with yourself and do not date anyone if you are hurting and healing over an ex. You need time to process a relationship. Failure to allow time between relationships speaks volumes about your emotional state. Conversely ask them when was their last relationship. If there is still post breakup debris lingering make them clean it up before even thinking of pursuing a relationship with you. The last thing you want is someone who isn’t over their ex projecting their love for them onto you. Want to dodge a toxic relationship? Pay attention to how you feel. Is it steady or is it rushes of excitement met with sinking lows. Your gut doesn’t lie.
2. Are you being used as a therapist? Do they constantly vilify their ex and put you on a pedestal? This of course lifts you up. You’re the person who saved them. Before you their life was dark. You put on the light or better yet, you showed them that the light is within them and that they are fully worthy of joy and kindness. Every time your together it’s replays of their past.
You’re helping them sort it out so they can refocus a future. The future they say they want with you. Do they tell you about specific arguments, gripe about how terrible their ex was and then in the next breath tell you they are so happy God has blessed them with you (their angel). You’re giving so much of yourself and you’re not even aware of the toll this is taking on your own psyche. You are in it. You fall in love. It feels rushed. Something isn’t right.The toxic trap is taking hold.
3. Do they pick fights for no reason and out of nowhere? You can be enjoying a meal totally chill and then all of a sudden out of nowhere will come an antagonizing question or an accusation. You remain calm despite your stomach spinning. You feel the blood pressure rising. You physically feel hot. It’s sabotage and you’re not having it. It’s as if they cannot just be happy. It’s because they are conflicted. These people have a warped view of relationships.
They don’t think love isn’t real unless there’s some drama or issue to overcome. They think they constantly have to “fight for love.” They spend more time in a swirl of their own dysfunction than enjoying one another in their relationship. They live in their pasts and afraid of their futures. Truth is they are insecure people at the core and don’t feel worthy of love. So they reject what they say they want the most. Sad. Toxic and sad.
4. Is it a rollercoaster? You get along amazingly well 95% of the time but behind your back there’s this whole other toxic thing going on. When it’s good it’s on top of the world. You’ll spend days together at a time. All is well. You kiss each other goodbye. Usually your’e in touch via text. All of a sudden nothing. Communication drops off. You get that sinking feeling that something is up. You start to become too afraid to check in because you know the rollercoaster is going downward.
You wonder. How can we be so connected then so disconnected? You’ll later come to learn that It’s because he’s not over his ex and you are the fool believing the lies they for whatever reason are telling themselves and you. You have no idea what is going on. You think you are both loyal to each other. It’s a lie. They’ll even say that they are “tormented” by their ex. That they know this person is not good for them that they want to be with you. You’ll believe. Why wouldn’t you?
They ask you to “love them through the highs and lows.” Problem is if you don’t love yourself enough to walk away. You’re looking to their love to fill you up, a huge mistake and the basis for your transformation once this mess blows over. Until then you’ll think you can actually love someone enough to heal them. You can’t and you’ll only hurt yourself. This is a lesson I learned from experience.
5. The toxic ex takes them back! Are you kidding me? Who are these people? You get sucked into their toxic swirl of dysfunction. Two insecure sociopaths who deserve each other. Self preservation means IT IS OVER! Strength is walking away from a damaged person and continue to walk never to return. Toxic people take each other back every single time. These fools use people then discard them only to resume their toxic dance. They unite thinking they are so much stronger but in the back of their minds they are wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. They get off on the egg shell walking and the wonder if the house of cards will fall. Their relationship is based on betrayal. When toxic people meet it often involves cheating. These people are damaged and damage others.
They’ll say “true love isn’t a sprint it’s a marathon.” It justifies their pathetic, weak decision to resume the toxic coupling thinking this time it will be different and it might, thanks to you and your positive influence. You gave someone hope and they took that hope and went back to to their ex. You feel used. You were! Plain and simple. You look at all you learned and try to make sense of the time you gave to a lie.
Meanwhile, you did nothing wrong. You didn’t cheat. You didn’t lie. You didn’t speak unkindly or disrespectfully to them. They disrespected you! You showed them love and somehow you’re left hurt nursing deep wounds recovering from mental and emotional hurts while the toxic avengers skip off into the sunset claiming what they have is true love. Yeah, well I assure you, it’s true bullshit. SCREW THEM BOTH! Wait then it gets better THEY put it all on you saying it’s your perspective of what went on in the relationship that has you so hurt.
Understand that these toxic emotional terrorists accept zero responsibility for what they do to people. They’re monsters. They’re in their toxic world which they justify by blaming their childhoods, past traumas, past relationships past whatever. They live stuck in their pasts hurting people in the present. They’re dark at the core and toxic people feed off one another.
The key is to spot these people and steer clear. The fact they keep taking each other back is proof you’re dealing with people who insecure, want better for themselves but their lack of self worth keeps them stuck with each other. They aren’t equals and will never be. They have this warped view of love. I promise you a day will come where you will see this all so clearly from a clear healthy place and think what the hell was I sucked into?
You will move on I promise you. It won’t be easy but the more you care for yourself the stronger you become. Once you’re freed from it you will be forever changed. You will have trust issues so you’ll have to re-learn to trust yourself. You’ll have commitment issues so you must commit fully to yourself. Master your ability to spot red flags, listen to your gut and stick to your decisions. Love yourself and take kind actions. The second there is mention of an ex in a way that shows unfinished business you’ll swiftly walk away.
As the saying goes, hurt people hurt people. You will pour your energy and care into them because remember; when it’s good it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It’s like love on steroids. The brain chemicals are flowing — dopamine check, oxytocin oh yeah, serotonin yes please, and endorphins ahhhh.
You feel like a superhero and it keeps you hanging on in a codependent mess. When you’re apart and alone that voice inside you speaks. Now I listen to that voice first and always. Now I decide. Now I take action. I promise you, you’ll do the same. Focus on yourself and heal. Then emerge a total badass. You’ll be open to love but forever closed to bullshit. No one and I mean no one will ever mess with you ever again.
You feel like you’re two separate people when you’re in it. There’s the you who loves this person and then there’s the deeper you, the fight or flight side to you, the divine you, the you who hovers over this mess as it’s happening with that deep little voice telling you beware of the toxic trap. As more and more drama unfolds you become less and less patient and more and more protective of yourself. You may even remind them that you love them true, but you love yourself more. You may even warn them. Handle your drama or I’m out.
When it is over you’re left with your head spinning. They’ll say they were crazy or broken to justify their hurtful actions without a real apology (that you’ll have to go get yourself, later, when you’re stronger). It ends, abruptly like you didn’t matter because they swiftly turn their attention back to their ex. All you shared, all you gave, gone. You start getting really angry and beat yourself up for being weak and for going against your inner voice. This is when you have to be loving and kind to yourself the most.
All that patience, understanding and love you so generously gave to them without any reservation to this toxic monster must be turned inward onto you. You’ll need to heal. It will take time. You’ll think you’re fine and a trigger will come. You won’t be the same you’ll be smarter, wiser, cautious on high alert even. However, the most important thing you must NOT ever do is allow a toxic relationship to make you toxic. Never allow anyone to sour you on love. If they do, the terrorists win. After my experience I committed to making myself responsible for my happiness, no one else. I heal myself so I can give the love I know I have to give to someone worthy of it.
Go all in on yourself. Get therapy if you need to. I did. I took 90 days to heal and then took another 30 and now I am incredibly present evaluating myself and how I feel on a daily basis. I transformed. I feel like nothing or no one can hurt me now. I don’t put my happiness in anyone else’s hands and won’t. At the time of this blog I’m a little over 4 months since my toxic mess ended. I don’t walk around with this I hate men, men are the enemy vibe. I refuse to. What’s good for me will stick what isn’t won’t. It’s divine!
I still am friendly and warm and open but, there’s a self awareness to me now. If my ex or his ex who is now his girlfriend (again for about the 10th time in 3 years), reads this article they will probably take credit for their hand in my learning this lesson. “She’s better for the experience.” Screw you both! You deserve each other and I did NOT deserve the pain of your toxic bullshit relationship. Do the world a favor and stay together.
Give yourself credit. Pump yourself up. You survived a toxic war. They call it being a “casualty” of love but I’m not dead. I’m very much alive and I’m not taking crap from anyone. See.. this is what these insecure, toxic fools do. They break you down but then leave you to build yourself back up. You’re strong so you will.
Lisa Concepcion is the founder of LoveQuest Marketing, a personal development firm that applies marketing principles to help people how to find, give and keep love starting with love of self. Lisa, through blogging and vlogging shares valuable lessons she learns on her own LoveQuest journey. Based in Miami, Lisa offers group workshops, one-on-one sessions and writes and speaks on the topic of dating, relationships and self-love. Connect with Lisa via LoveQuestMarketing.com and via twitter @lisatakesmiami and her YouTube channel.