The title “walking away from abuse “ makes it sound so easy, but I promise you, it’s not. Ask anyone who has been in an abusive situation, and I bet you 9.5/10 will agree that they stayed way longer than they should have.
Why? Because it’s fucking hard to walk away, that’s why. And because when you are IN a cycle of abuse, choosing yourself seems soooo foreign, it may not even present itself as an option.
Fortunately or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, I have had to walk away from abuse more than once. And they were all devastating and difficult decisions to make.
According to personal beliefs and experiences, there are three “levels” (if you will) of walking away from abuse or toxicity in one’s life.
The first. Escaping from a straight up evil person.
The first abusive and toxic relationship I said goodbye to, was between me and my father. After seventeen years of being (unknowingly) emotionally abused, I walked away from the only man in my life… as well as most of the family members that raised me.
Uprooting from a toxic family is something no one can prepare for. It’s fundamentally shattering and can send you into a whirlwind of confusion, anger and a whole lot of other emotions. BUT, once those natural feelings pass, the sheer bliss of freedom is euphoric. Even writing this my whole body tingles with the memory of that feeling.
The second “level” of “walking away”, I believe, is when you have to walk away from a good person, that has toxic tendencies.
This can be a bit harder than the previous level, because the person actually shows some sort of goodness in their heart. You’ve seen it, felt it and KNOW there is genuine and pure intentions in there… somewhere.
But that’s the thing, you shouldn’t have to search for the goodness. It should be right in front of you. Opening the door for you, giving you compliments, and making you feel like the most incredible human that you are.
So what is a toxic tendency? It’s habitually ingrained characteristics that are typically formed in childhood. AKA SOMETHING YOU CANT CHANGE but they totally can, if they are committed to (personally) doing so.
Like I said, this is a hard one. The human brain can rationalize alllllmost anything.. especially when love is at stake and pain is so inevitable. Many people are “stuck” in toxic relationships because, “they aren’t always like that” But I promise you, they are. And once you notice it & you do something about it, you’ll remember who you used to be before you forgot.
The last, most important “level” of “walking away” from abuse and toxicity is when you acknowledge the toxic tendencies YOU, yes you, embody. I know it’s uncomfortable, but self reflection is suuuuuper important. Especially if you want to have loving and healthy relationships.
I personally had that talk with myself not toooo long ago.. you can read more about my journey with CoDA here.
Now there’s no “how to” guide on leaving an abusive and toxic environment. Each situation is different. Every human involved has a different story and no one outcome will always be the answer for the other. BUT THERE ARE A FEW STEPS & RESOURCES, when you’re ready.
they are listed below.
STEPS: recognize, call someone (911 or the hotline if it’s dangerous OR a friend or family member you feel comfortable with), make plan of action, self- reflect and act accordingly. only rule… TAKE NO SHIT.
the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
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