The Toxic Factor

I have no pictures that can represent this subject so chose one of my favorite pictures. Aya as a kitten in my knitting basket, looking full of mischief.
I wrote about anger as a shield against hurt the other day, and I got lots of mail. Lots and lots of emails, there are lots of folks out there that are hurting from strained relationships. All so tied up with heartstrings. Honestly I was a bit concerned about writing such a deeply personal subject but I guess it was the right thing to do. I am no expert on relationships, but I am older and in my soon to be 53 years, (6 days and counting til my birthday) I have learned a few things.
Now, there are also relationships that cause hurt that become toxic and those are the very ones you walk away from. Some folks are not playing with a full emotional deck, and no matter what you say or do they are watching like hawks for something to pick at, like a scab, never letting anything heal, appearing to lay awake at night thinking of things that make them angry. In this instance I am not talking about MY family but am referring to, oh its best I just say that even great marriages bring in family that may not be of the same caliber. Long and very difficult story.
When dysfunction rules, its often (not always) best to just cut ties. No one needs to subject themselves to years of harassment. No anger involved, just wisdom in knowing when to cut ties. Toxicity is just that, poison and can eat you alive, hoping for change, looking for any tiny glimmer of hope that things might get better. Or that always looking for a bit of connection, but instead you come out feeling like you have just been through some mental torture. No reason to subject yourself to that, the hope you have in finding something good, may be the very thing that binds you to something unhealthy. Hope is not always productive, it can act as a hamster wheel that forces you to run over broken glass time and time again and after a while you feel too wounded to ever get off the wheel. You can't have a healthy relationship with unhealthy people. It just ends up being a bit lopsided and you end up letting the craziness take up your life, trying to make it fit somehow, when it never will.
So, be wise, know when to walk away and value the health and spiritual well being you find apart from, toxic relationships.


Unknown said…
I agree. And sometimes, the distance really clears out the person's mind, and they realize the wrong that theyve done, and theyll try to right it. Not always, but if a relationship was meaningful enough, then it could happen.
Carrie J said…
Some of the most toxic relationships I deal with are with much, much older people. I was always taught to be especially respectful toware the elderly and I have a difficult time dealing with these relationships. In one case I absolutlely cannot walk away. I agree removing yourself if possible is the best thing to do in most cases. I keep praying for grace to handle the ones I can't leave.
Patty said…
Carrie, Toxic come at many ages, except in the majority of healthy young children. Respect is earned at any age. When we can't leave the toxic ones, we just have to see them as the ultimate teachers of patience and compassion for us
Jenn said…
One familial relationship comes to mind when reading this post. WE have been out of touch for 2.5 years. Who knows, maybe someday,fences can be mended, but for now it's best to keep our distance, it's not worth the wear and tear on my health for sure. That's another thing to consider when dealing with toxic relationships.

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