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
it’s not stress that kills us ~ it is our reaction to it
having your car broken into is a legitimate cause of distress
Today I’m at home in the garret after a week in hospital. While there I saw, among others, an oncologist and a nutritionist ~ after they talked together I was given detailed dietary instructions to help heal my kidneys, liver, and pancreas. Strangely, at the top of the healthy eating / life style instructions, right above where its says No Alcohol, it reads No Stress. Now, I know what my oncologist and nutritionist are getting at and it isn’t no stress whatsoever, because without some good stress we would die ~ that’s sensory deprivation. What they are getting at is no bad stress extreme enough to cause me Distress, because distress is a killer.
Fear and anxiety, distress and confusion, frustration and insecurity; these are the causes of more illness than all the bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the world. ~ Dr. Vernon Coleman.
Our bodies are hard-wired to react to stress in ways that were meant to protect us from predators and other dangers ~ today the threats are different but the physical responses are the same. The first thing that happens in the face of a perceived threat, like a serious problem in your relationship, is that your hypothalamus tells your adrenal glands to surge a release of fight-or-flight hormones including adrenaline and cortisol.
These hormones cause huge changes in the way your body works ~ increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, increased blood sugars, enhances your brain’s ability to use blood sugars, and increases your body’s ability to repair wounds. On the downside ~ your digestive system shuts down, your reproductive system shuts down, your growth processes shut down, and your immune system mostly shuts down.
It’s actually much, much worse than that, all these fight-or-flight hormones also attack something called Telomeres, which are protective casings at the ends of each and every strand of your DNA, in each and every cell of your body. It’s a bit complicated, so if you really want to know about this you will need to do your own research. But, the practical upshot of damage to the telomeres at the ends of your DNA is very bad indeed; cancers, all kinds of other nasty diseases, ill health, early death.
The thing is, for some people, the distress never goes away, so their body is in fight-or-flight mode all the fucking time, and this will make you very ill, (I was), and then it will kill you. You will suffer from;
- Digestive problems like ulcers
- Severe headaches
- Severe nosebleeds
- Heart and circulatory diseases
- Cognitive impairment and dysfunction
- Liver, kidney, and pancreatic diseases
- Mental illness
The medical profession are not good at diagnosing and treating stress, mostly because they’re not interested. They will be good at treating your heart problems, (for example), but not good at helping you with the real issue, which is your constant Distress.
Some say that they never worry about what could happen. And that they’ve never done anything wrong so why should they ever get stressed? All I know is that some people are so used to being distressed, that they think it’s normal.
an extreme reaction to stress