Dana Arcuri was right when she said:
“We don’t get to choose our family, but we can choose our friends. With courage, we can weed out narcissistic people. We can focus on those who do appreciate us, love us, and treat us with respect.”
Previously, I shared an article focused on recognizing toxic relationships. Isn’t it a topic many relate with?
Just to be clear, airing people’s dirty laundry on social media isn’t the goal. In fact, let’s drive this home, talking about the things you’ve been through, and helping others is not “talking shit,” it’s growth.
Undoubtedly, middle school was the hot spot for finding shitty friends. And my school was no different.
First came my ex-friend, let’s call her “Groda.”
Truthfully, most people called this person “Golem,” because of her personality and behavior.
Staying friends with toxic personalities will only drag you into the mud, so, when someone you love warns you about who you hang out with, listen.
With that in mind, it’s true, keeping her out of my life would have been the better choice.
Being sucked dry emotionally, mentally, and even physically, as I was always protecting her from others, causing a lot of fights and school suspensions.
Not only that, her constant destructive behavior led to me skipping class for the first time.
In turn, the skipping class turned into lying. The lying turned into fighting and eventually, life kicked me in the ass.
My parents kicked me out because I was taking off the people who walked into my life during middle school.
When someone makes you feel sorry for them, and you love endlessly, you tend to put on shades and cover for them as much as possible, even if it’s unhealthy.
And how could she lie about being blood family? It’s one of the main reasons I stayed in her life, I wanted another sibling.
Why did I believe it?
It wasn’t because I turned a blind eye but she had a compelling case.
That’s some extreme toxic behavior don’t you think?
Who lies about being related just so you don’t walk out of their life when you begin to see and feel the toxic.
Toxic people cause a lot of emotional pain, and I was showing all symptoms of having toxic friends.
After she lied about being my sister, I gave her my 100% undivided attention.
Holding her when boys hurt her feelings, sharing my lunch with her, letting her fall asleep in my arms because we all need someone to care.
I gave that friendship my all, this child always found ways to make people walk out of my life because if they were gone, she’d get more attention.
Honestly, I didn’t realize she was toxic until it was actually time to grow up. And I thought she grew up too but I was gravely wrong.
Later in life, I decided “why not give this child another chance.” She was now living in another state with her ex-partner.
It was the place I decided to move to since leaving home (which I’ll get into another time).
Despite the toxic behavior in middle school and high school, As mentioned, I thought she changed because we were no longer living in a teenagers world.
But, I ended up constantly drunk because she would bring me drinks every day. She would lie to her partner about the alcohol disappearing. I eventually let them know what was actually going on with the alcohol.
The endless selfish behavior only became worse with Grogda becoming an adult. And it was never my job to try and “fix her.”
As usual, she ended up lying to my now fiance about my personality, who I was and all the reasons why my love should find someone else to date.
When I met my fiance, it was supposed to be us two getting to know one another but Grogda begged me to let her stay with us because she didn’t want to go back home.
Yet again, I put my own wants to the side and let her stay after speaking to my fiance.
Instead of getting to know one another, we both spent time stuck taking pictures of Grogda for her BDSM themed sex life. On top of it, she was cheating and threatened to get me kicked out if I told her partner.
Everything that happened in middle school and as a young adult made one thing clear.
Had I not hung out with her in middle school, in high school I wouldn’t have had fights with my family, I wouldn’t have been suspended, the choice to hang out with toxic, well, it only made my life toxic.
Don’t you agree? It’s not our job to fix a person who wants to be destructive. Further, a toxic person wants you to fail. And that word shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary.
Toxic people don’t want you to succeed, and most times, the moment you start doing really well in life, toxic people will try to bring you back down to their level. And that’s not something that helps us grow.
So regardless of who comes into your life, just know you don’t have to stick around for toxic people.
You are your own person and you can become the best version of yourself with positive people in your life.
Symptoms Of A Toxic Friendship
A toxic friendship is often one-sided because one person offers more support and compassion, the other minimizes your problems.
These personalities want you to focus on them as they continue to gaslight you, damage your self-esteem, and mantipulate you, in order to take control of your life.
“Fake friends; those who only drill holes under your boat to get it leaking; those who discredit your ambitions and those who pretend they love you, but behind their backs they know they are in to destroy your legacies.”
- You suddenly start feeling more anxiety around these friends.
- You apologize endlessly.
- You feel depressed.
- Your grades start to slip.
- Your real friends tell you “you’ve changed.”
- New and unhealthy habits
- Extreme guilt.
In fact, a tool that’s common by those who abuse and groom others, is gaining access into a victims life.
Further, they embed themselves into every decision, slowly tearing you down in order to build you back up the way they please.
The first relationship I had outside of my home town was with a female I met on TikTok.
This relationship was complicated because some don’t have a clue how toxic a relationship is until it’s too late.
I had met Greta through a mutual friend and we hit it off.
We started talking everyday and she made everything feel like it was gonna be okay because she would say it was gonna make it okay.
I wasn’t in the best living conditions at the time. I lived in a car, a trailer and a tent in the woods.
At the time, I was spending time with a guy who I dated in high school (part of a different story). And my parents knew he was a bad influence but I didn’t listen to my parents because I was stubborn.
Then, they kicked me out and then life became real.
Back to the point, I met Greta on TikTok and she knew everything going on in my life. And it didn’t matter what time of day I text or called, she was there for me, and I felt happier.
Because I felt loved, I decided it was time to leave North Carolina, and head West.
Dolly Parton (the guy I stayed with) and I went to California, and it was seemingly perfect.
She bought my love, made me feel safe, and then came the grooming, and sexual abuse.
Not only did they leave me broken mentally, and scarred physically, they got away with it, leaving me with salt in my wounds.
“Perpetrators work to get the trust of an individual, and it lowers the susicion. Then they gather information, get their needs met, and fill them in order to make a person feel ‘stuck.'”
She made me feel like her giving me this attention and this flirting and this money (because no one else was helping me that much at that time) was her way of showing me she was interested…
It became more apparent when she finally sent money for me and another to move out to where she was. I would have breakdowns about leaving my family and she would comfort me and what I didn’t know was that it was a mask.
Now she had told me that she was married but things weren’t working out.
She wasn’t straight as she would keep telling me. So she would flirt and I would flirt back. She would tell me all the time that she was gonna get a divorce.
It was like she had gotten her hooks in my soul.
She made me feel like I was crazy for wondering if we were exclusive. And then later, tell me I’m the most important aspect in her life.
She kept up the back and forth behavior for at least 2 of the 3 months I stayed with her.
The plan to me had been changed about when her husband was to come home.
I was asked to pack up my stuff and to find somewhere on my own to stay.
I didn’t have much……a suitcase and a backpack.
She expected to be okay on my own in California where everything is very expensive. I was able to stay at two hotels before she got me a plane ticket to Golem because my mind became very unstable without her around.
I wasn’t aware then that she made me rely so much on her….for love, comfort,money(sometimes because I did get a job), a roof over my head.
I didn’t know many people and they were only work friends, not people you room with.
She intentionally or unintentionally gave me separation anxiety because I always had her there. Greta had been my best friend and my confidant.
She became a partner and would tell certain people that we were together so I was always questioning if I was crazy because she would say “we are just friends to me.
Even after I ended up living with Golem, Greta had a hold on me.
My fiancé could see it and could see it was damaging. I had to come to terms on my own that Greta was just using me as an experiment because no one could convince me that she was…
The way she would say she wanted me to be in her life made me really think that everyone was just lying to me. I figured it out though.
We ended up talking about what we were before me and my fiancé ended up finally getting together and Greta told me that I was nothing more than a friend to her.
That broke me more than anything could have but, it was a reality check and I needed it.
You shouldn’t rely so much on someone.
Especially one that makes you feel as though you’re crazy and then tells you that they love you.
Some people are out there just to take advantage of people when they are at their lowest because they know it’s easy.
I’ve come to realize I was a victim in that situation. She did not stop after me.
I was let know that she got another girl to move out with her with fake promises.
Greta has been out of my life since I moved in with my fiancé and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have pseudo seizures (which are seizures brought on by extreme emotional distress), and Greta caused me to have more than one while living with her and one more while I lived with Golem.
Since cutting both of them out of my life I haven’t had a single pseudo seizure and I have a much healthier outlook on life. I’m a better me. I took that pain and that trauma and turned it into inspiration for these articles.
So, honestly, everybody has been through some very toxic relationships with people. But as long as you realize there’s always a way out, you’re going to be okay. Life does throw some crazy curve balls but, it’s not going to rain everyday, the sun is gonna shine through all the dust.
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