Updated: Jan 29
In her book Toxic People, Dr Lillian Glass defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.”
When I found out my cognitive ability was impaired, I started to pay more attention to myself. I started to listen to the things I would say in my head and out loud about myself. What I found was terrifying. I was shaming myself but also blaming everyone else when something went wrong.
I would fill in narratives of what people were saying behind my back with absurd criticism. My paranoia of what others were feeling and saying about me was rooted in my decayed self-esteem. I thought myself as worthless and I imagined everyone did too
If you realise that you are part of a toxic relationship, what would you do? Probably leave, right? Unfortunately, till death do us part is non-negotiable when it comes to ourselves. So, we tend and fix what needs to be.
I like to separate myself into parts to digest the state of mind of each one. Think of yourself as body and soul. Would your body have nice things to say about how you treat it? What would your soul say about how you make it feel?
I came across a few signs that pointed me to how toxic my relationship with self had grown to be. See if you can recognise a some in your own life;
Controlling behaviour. You manipulate yourself into feeling better. When you feel unwell or sad, do you allow yourself time to grief and nurture back? Do you use outside stimuli like alcohol, drugs, people or even food to get those endorphins right back up? You do so without understanding where the feelings are arising from. Or even making plans to tackle them. You just shut them up.