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What I Learned After Being In A Toxic Relationship

Before I met my ex-girlfriend, I can remember a time when I was this overly forgiving person. I gave out second, third, and fourth chances to people who have royally screwed me over. I didn’t know the meaning of setting boundaries, let alone how to stand my ground or speak up for myself. Being a pushover was a complete understatement.

One night, on my birthday, my friends and I were out at a club, celebrating. We had our drinks in hand and there was nothing else in the world that mattered.

This was the first encounter I would have with my ex. She was charming in every sense of the word, and she seemed to really be interested in me — to the point of being pushy, to be honest. There I was on my 25th birthday and excited to have found someone being so interested in me. Happy birthday to me, right?


Being in that relationship was one of the most soul-sucking and energy-draining experiences I have ever had. Even though I have days when I wish I wouldn’t have gone through it, there are definitely times when I am grateful to have learned the things I did from this.

For one, I know the signs of toxicity from a million miles away. I can sniff it out like a bloodhound.

I have learned to use my voice, speak up for myself, and use it to defend the soft-spoken.

Actions speak louder than words. Believe what people do and not what they say.

If someone brings more stress than happiness, I know it’s time to let them go.

This goes for anyone, not just romantic partners. Friends, family, strangers — you get the picture.

Now when I look in the mirror, looking back at me is a woman who is outspoken, strong, and knows her worth — and it sure as hell feels good.

Establishing my boundaries and expectations is no longer a problem for me. If someone doesn’t like it, wants to take advantage of me, or wants to call me difficult for doing so — there’s the door. I no longer have time for unnecessary bullshit draining my spirit.

“Like arsenic, toxic people will slowly kill you. They kill your positive spirit and play with your mind and emotions. The only cure is to let them go.”

— Denisse Lisseth

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Memoir, Personal Narrative, True Story