a calm sea never made a skilful sailor
if you survive a toxic relationship you will be stronger for it
Most relationships are deals, they arise out necessity, they arise out of wants, needs, and desires. In these relationships, be they business related, friendships, sexual, or romantic, each person has needs, demands, requests, and expectations. They want what they want and they want to give just enough in return to keep the relationship alive ~ if not always healthy. These relationships are usually one-sided with one person giving much more than they receive in return. They are about what you can get, and not at all about what you can give. Some call these transactional relationships ~ and that’s buying and selling.
Most self-help and self-development books, podcasts, and seminars are all about how to win in a one-sided transactional relationship.
In a relationship, no amount of extra effort on your part can make up for the lack of effort on theirs. ~ John Mark Green.
No wonder so many ‘romantic’ relationships and marriages end on the rocks.
In the average transactional relationship there are conditions around everything ~ it’s all an ‘I’ll do this if you do that…..’ And the weight of each thing that each party brings to the relationship is carefully weighed and measured.
The very sad thing is that many people don’t know any better, because they themselves are the result of this kind of dysfunctional deal making relationship. The chances are that their parents did exactly the same kind of things that they are doing now.
Each of us has a set of hard-wired programs in our subconscious mind, and these programs dictate how we think, feel, react, and act in any given situation. Mostly these programs are created within us before we are seven years of age, and guess who inculcates most of this stuff into our innocent subconsciousness ~ our parents.
People who come from dysfunctional families are destined for a dysfunctional life. ~ Bo Bennet.
The tendency towards living in a dysfunctional / transactional / toxic relationship is a family illness, in the same way that a tendency towards alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, promiscuity, and violence are family illnesses. And you know what? All of the above go together and can be often be found in one or both parties in most toxic relationships.
The other side of the coin to a dysfunctional / transactional / toxic relationship can only come about through both parties giving unconditional affection, acceptance, friendship, support, respect, understanding and love to themselves and each other. And, my friends, that is very rare indeed. Some call this a transformational relationship, and if you are lucky enough to be in that kind of situation then you have indeed found your soul-mate.
Some say that they wouldn’t trust their lying partner out of their sight for an instant. And that their husband / wife is a controlling asshole. All I know is that a healthy relationship is based on unconditional trust.
happiness comes in waves
the company you keep dictates the choices that you make
perhaps this man is not a true friend to her
Most of us have all sorts of friends, and in our past we have had all other sorts of friends, depending on how you define a friend. There are twitter and facebook ‘friends,’ those who regularly follow our blog, and some of them may become long distance friends we email, chat with, phone….. Then there are members of our church, neighbours, coworkers, golf / tennis / walking / sports buddies, other members of whatever groups we have joined, drinking buddies, fuck-buddies, and lovers. There are also people we, (more or less), have to closely relate with; parents, other family members, husbands / wives, partners, and children ~ we may or not count any of these as our friend.
And then there are false friends, fake friends, enemies disguised as friends. Just because someone hangs out with you, drinks with you, laughs with you, and has sex with you doesn’t mean they are your friend. People pretend well, everybody lies by omission, people use you for their own ends, and some people will be nice to your face and talk shit about you behind your back. Some people are very good at being fake.
Real friends will bring out the best in you, fake friends will take your very best and use it for their own ends. An evil fake friend will take everything you have and use it to satisfy their own perverted desires.
I firmly believe that everyone we meet, we meet for a reason, but some of these reasons are to teach us a hard lesson, and if we don’t learn and live by those lessons, then we will go on becoming ‘friends’ with toxic people who will teach us those hard lessons over and over again. When you fail a test, life will make you retake it, as many times as you need to learn, accept, and understand those hard lessons.
Be ready and willing to lose, reject, and walk away from toxic friends and dysfunctional relationships. Watch out for people who are;
- mean, unkind, and abusive to you
- belittle you, are jealous of you, will not accept the real you
- are selfish, narcissistic, uncaring of your needs
- have values, opinions, habits and behaviours that make you feel uncomfortable.
- get drunk, use drugs, abuse prescription medication, gamble, cheat, steal, engage in promiscuity with people they pick up in bars
Walk away from those people and all of their friends. Don’t ever try to explain or justify anything, just run far, run fast, and never once look back.
Most of all, remain true to yourself.
Some say that your friends can make or break you. And that some of the most poisonous people come disguised as friends and family. All I know is that when you have a true and genuine friend, you don’t deal with the fakes anymore.
nobody you meet in a bar will ever be a true friend to you
a healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice yourself
everyone in this picture is part of a toxic relationship
Extreme stress will kill you, but before that it will make you ill, take away your dignity and self-respect, take away your friends, maybe your career, maybe your children, and everything else you care for. One of the principal causes of stress, especially among women, is to be in a dysfunctional relationship. I say especially among women because thick-skinned, insensitive men have an uncanny ability to be utterly oblivious to things that are going badly wrong in a relationship, ignore how stressed and distressed their partner is, and if they were aware something isn’t right couldn’t care less about trying to make things better. Add to that, in many cases it is the guy, and the way he acts, that makes any relationship utterly dysfunctional in the first place.
Dysfunctional and toxic relationships range in severity from; two people just not being in love anymore, and not really getting along, maybe mostly ignoring one another, leading separate lives….. through mental abuse, verbal abuse….. and finally severe physical abuse, beatings, rape, and in the end murder. All of that is incredibly stressful and distressing.
Dysfunctional Relationships do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication between them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare to fortify them for life in the larger world. ~ Tina B. Tessina Ph.D.
There are 7 key signs of a toxic and dysfunctional relationship;
- Tedium. The partners are bored sick with each other, do nothing together, have the same argument over and over again, never have sex…..
- Blaming. Everything is his / her / your fault, no matter what.
- Guilt. You’re constantly apologising for everything, even things that aren’t your fault at all. You do it mostly to keep the peace.
- Tension. You are always waiting for the explosion, dreading what he’s going to scream at you about next.
- Uncertainty. Where is he / she, what are they doing, when are they going to get home? One minute your partner is sweet and kind, the next you can do no right.
- Frustration. Doing even the simplest of things is hugely complicated and time-consuming. If you try to lead and take charge yo will be attacked, if you are passive you will be attacked for that instead.
- Hopelessness. The dark cloud hanging over your life will never go away, there’s nothing you can do, you are doomed and trapped forever.
I would add to that, a relationship is completely toxic if either or both of the partners indulges in; alcoholism, casual sex, drug abuse, gambling, promiscuity, extreme pornography, on-line dating, prostitutes / prostitution….. Just how stressful do you want me to get? If you’re in that kind of a relationship you are slowly dying.
The very sad thing is that toxic and dysfunctional relationships are a multi-generational sickness ~ if your parents were in a toxic relationship, then in all likelihood so are you.
Some say that their relationship is their sanctuary, no matter how toxic it is. And that he may be an alcoholic but we love each other, really, honestly….. All I know is that if you are suffering from severe distress all you can do is walk away, and never once look back.
Mental abuse is incredibly stressful
Mental abuse is torture
let today be the day I stop being haunted by the ghosts of the past
black lonely desolate
There are some thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and people that I no longer want to be part of my life ~ especially not this different life I am living today, the different and better life I have known since The Full Wolf Moon. I look in the mirror and the eyes that look back at me are far to hard and brittle, too guarded, too untrusting for the man I wish to become. Some of that is the product of my whole life, and some of it comes from what was a dysfunctional relationship, where I felt that I was giving far more than I received in return.
Truth be told, relationships are not supposed to be like that, if it’s going to work well a relationship between a man and a woman should have balance and harmony, what we are pleased to call ‘give and take’. And, truth be told my bitterness and resentments are my own, they don’t belong to anyone else, and nobody else could have created them in me. Like each and every single thing that happens to us, my negative feelings are things that I did to myself. Nothing happens to us unless we allow it, up to and including being the victim of a natural disaster. Nobody forced you to live in an earthquake zone, or where there are wildfires, and nobody forced the passengers to get on the Titanic.
Specifically my bitterness and resentments were created by some relationships I chose to enter into, and then I stayed in those relationships long past the time I should have just walked away without looking back. Some people are toxic, and while people may change, the memory of that toxicity will live on…..
I do not want any of that in my life, so how do I change it? And I have no fucking idea about how to turn that around, to lose the bitterness and resentments, to lose the memories of toxic and dysfunctional relationships, to begin to innocently trust again. I’m trying to find a way, and there’s nothing there.
All I can do is tell my conscious mind that I want a lighter and more innocent set of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. I want to only ever remember the good things about relationships past and present, I want to regain my sense of trust, my feeling of fun, my joy in the people I know. I want to be in a place where I truly accept, understand, nurture, and cherish those I profess to care for. I want my unconscious mind to pay attention and change my own hard-wired feelings and beliefs for something far better.
Some say, once bitten twice shy. And fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. All I know is that I would rather be an innocent fool than a guy with very hard eyes.
a new dawn
a new hope
it takes strength and courage to admit the whole truth
You may be aware that in the last few days I have undergone something of a transformation, and it seems the man I have become has a dedication to truth, honesty, and openness. That is not necessarily a completely good thing. Already I have found that there are innumerable situations where complete honesty wouldn’t be appropriate. If someone is promulgating a web of lies about who and what they really are, it seems to me that it’s better if I ignore all that, keep quiet, and allow them to live their life of sad, dishonest, illusions, and delusions.
Hell, for all of my life I lived as versions of me that were only mostly true. That was not my fault, maternal neglect can have a negative effect on your whole life.
If someone wants to hide what they did in their past, and never mention the reprehensible things they have done to give the impression that they are someone and something that they are not and never have been, then maybe it’s better that I ignore that too. After all, if someone is mostly hiding their past, then it means they don’t want others to know about it, including me.
Some people are just beautifully wrapped and packaged boxes full of fucking shit.
In general, if someone is hiding their past it either means they are ashamed of it, or scared of your reaction if they tell you about it. Hiding or denying your past doesn’t work, because sometime, somewhere, someday, somehow you will come up against someone who knows all about you. And the chances are they will tell your new and innocent friend just exactly who and what you used to be ~ either by accident or on purpose.
There are lots of reasons people hide or deny their past, or even who they really are right now; alcoholism, criminality, unpaid debts, drug taking, promiscuity, prostitution, sexual deviance, marriage, children….. But, all of these things are matters of public record, and you can hide none of the above for very long.
I will throw out one piece of advice, don’t lie to me unless you’re absolutely certain I will never find the truth. And even in the days of my crazy alter-egos of myself, I always found the truth.
Mean and toxic people don’t bother me. Mean and toxic people who disguise themselves as nice and honest people bother me a lot. ~ Cindy Cummings Johnson
Some say that everybody lies. And that if someone is hiding their past, then they must have a damn good reason. All I know is that liars need a very good memory, and most people have very poor memories.
every time you tell another lie you handcuff yourself just a little tighter
Poisonous people are like rattlesnakes hiding in the shadows.
Some people are naturally duplicitous and treacherous, charming and dangerous, destructive and toxic. They are snakes who lie hissing in the grass, ready to strike at their victims without warning. And yet, these snakes fool us all the time because they are also beautiful, fascinating, interesting, and seductive.
No matter how much kindness, love, and trust we offer the snake, it’s never going to repay our cherishing support with anything but venom. Snake people are naturally toxic, and the wiser man will keep his distance, limiting his contact, trying to avoid the snake’s poison as much as possible.
If you are unlucky enough to be friends with a snake, and maybe stupid and innocent enough to fall for one, be aware that they will bite the hand that feeds them, and their bite may just about destroy you. Toxic people can ruin a beautiful day, disrupt your life, torture your emotions, do a number on your self-esteem, and take every penny you have. If you know that snake then physically, mentally, and emotionally brace yourself for the ruin to come.
Snakes have an insatiable need for attention, to have the world just the way they want it, to have you behave exactly as they wish ~ while giving you little or nothing in return. They will complain, bitch, be self-righteous and demanding. Snakes never pay for much, but expect your wallet to be open all the time. And these toxic people see nothing wrong in their own bad behaviours.
Toxic snakes will usually have innumerable skeletons in their closet, have some serious personality problems, and be prone to drinking too much, gambling, smoking, occasionally taking drugs, picking up casual sexual partners in bars, being abusive….. Generally being the kind of a person it’s unwise to get close to. And yet we do, all the time.
In dealing with a toxic snake you need to be disciplined, controlled, guarded, positive ~ and preferably somewhere else at the time.
If you recognise the snake in someone you know, or are close to, then walk away. Walk far away, and never look back.
Some say that snakes are cool and fascinating. And that toxic people are just misunderstood and not at all dangerous. All I know is a snake is always nothing but a snake.
dangerous toxic snakes can be beautiful and seductive
Know when to walk away ~ Know when to run
Governments, Politicians, Generals, Admirals, Businessmen, Gamblers, Alcoholics, Husbands, Wives, Lovers, Mistresses, Children, Employees, all have something in common. Time and time again they will go on pouring lives, money, love, health, sanity, and self-respect into deals, situations, and dysfunctional relationships they should have just turned their backs on and walked away.
It’s as though somewhere deep in the human psyche there is a pathological need to keep doing the same old thing, over and over again, no matter how many times it has failed before. Well we’ve probably all had this proverb hammered into our brains as children.
If at first you don’t succeed ~ try, try, try again. ~ Robert the Bruce.
Actually, it’s much, much worse than you would ever believe. Relatively respectable psychologists believe that the misinformation effect makes some people completely forget their failures, and just how bad they were. This is glaringly obvious in gamblers, who never talk about how much they’ve lost, only how much they’ve won. It’s even worse in abusive relationships, where victims totally block out the memories of the abuse, even to extent of selective amnesia and dissociative disorders.
Smarter, more self-aware, more self-confident people eventually realise that throwing good money after bad, or loving the wrong person at the wrong time, or trying the same thing over end over again, is fundamentally stupid.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. ~ W.C. Fields.
In the past I have been as guilty as anyone of raising the stakes on a losing card, and then when I inevitably lost, raising the stakes once again.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. ~ Ablert Einstein.
Eventually, smarter people learn that no matter how hard you try, if they don’t love you for yourself alone, they will never love you for the things you try to do for them. Women and girls especially stay in abusive relationships far longer than they should ~ gaslighting is so insidious.
There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it. ~ Shannon L. Adler.
Today I will go a long way before I ever again try harder to win when winning was always impossible. I know how to recognise and when to get out of a dysfunctional relationship. I have a new Rule #1 in my book.
Rule #1 Always know when and how to get out of Dodge.