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Relationships 101: Getting Out of A Toxic Relationship

Let’s face it. This is no easy task. There is no other way to sugar coat it, no “get rich quick scheme”, and absolutely no easy way out at all. People coming out of an abusive relationship almost always come out a little broken inside.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however. Think of the phoenix – it has to die to rebirth itself. Personally, I felt like that’s what my experience was after getting out of a 3 year abusive relationship. It wasn’t always hurricanes, but it wasn’t always rainbows either. I felt like the ending of that chapter served as a catalyst for a new, less apologetic me. I had learned to be so subservient in that relationship just for the sake of not arguing, that the parts of me I muted for [him] were now raging to get out and play. When I let out those parts of me – I was dramatic. It was like letting my hair down for the first time. For the first time, in a long time, I was unafraid to be my true self.

I tell my experience because I’ve been there – abusive fuckhead telling me what I can and can’t do with my life, telling me who I should be, getting mad at the things I did in the past, putting me down for who I was, literally dragging me on the floor, pulling my hair, telling who I can’t and can be friends with. This fuckhead controlled almost every part of my life. When I wanted to overthrow his authority, he would threaten my family. Seventeen year old me was scared. Seventeen year old me thought she was doing her family a favor by giving this twenty year old what he wanted.

I left this boy so many times, only to find him back in my life. I either let him back him, or he forced his way in. When I moved 700 miles away from him, I was finally able to cut the cord, but not everyone has that luxury of moving far away from the people that abuse them, so I put together this list of things one can do to get away from the abusive relationship.

  • Tell yourself every day (or multiple times a day) that you do not deserve abuse and that you are worthy of a healthy and non-toxic love.
  • Label the abuse when it is being done. Often, people who perpetrate violence are in denial that they are abusing others. By labeling the behaviors (calling them out), you put the responsibility on your partner to change. Let them know that you are not attacking them, only that you care enough to help them unlearn their unhealthy behavior.
  • Talk to a counselor, or a trusted & mature adult about your relationship. Let the people who are around you the most know about what is going on in your relationship. They can help you when you need it most.
  • Set up a code word or phrase between you and your close friends/relatives. If anytime you feel unsafe and the person who is perpetrating violence is [insert nice word for holding you hostage], you can casually call, text, or talk to this person and this person can come and intervene.
  • Do not detach yourself from anyone – this is the time you need the most support. Make friends, keep in close touch with your family. Do not let yourself stay in isolation.
  • Create a plan for breaking off the relationship. Break ups are never easy and your partner may not let you leave the relationship easily. It helps to involve other people in your plan to leave, so that they can help keep you accountable for following through, and to help keep you in safe in case any violence occurs.
  • Detach yourself from the relationship little by little. Start hanging out with your partner less and less. Say no more often. Try not to text/message/call them so often. Stay off social media. It might help to go “M.I.A.” for a bit until you feel safe.

Don’t be ashamed; it’s not your fault.


Here are some stats:

  • Intimate Partner Violence, or abuse, can be perpetrated by anyone at any time in their life and affects everyone in your community.
  • Between 85-95% of intimate partner violence survivors are women.
  • On average, a person who is in an abusive relationship will go back to their abuser 7 or 8 times.
  • Reportedly, 51% of LGBTQ intimate partner violence survivors are women, 42% are men and 7% are transgender.
  • Intimate Partner Violence isn’t just between men and women, and men aren’t the only ones who are committing the violence.
  • An average of 14% of women and 18% of men reported being emotionally abused by an intimate partner at some point in the last year.
  • Without help, children and adolescence who witness intimate partner violence in their homes are more likely to be abusive towards, or be abused by, their intimate partner.

NO MORE VIOLENCE.

BREAK THE SILENCE.

BREAK THE CYCLE.

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When you do leave the relationship, you might be broken. Make it a priority to put yourself back together. If there was anything that relationships should have taught you – it should be to be there for yourself, show up for yourself, put yourself first, say no, defend yourself, own your power, learn about your power and to be unapologetically you.

Thank you.

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