Monday, December 7, 2009

Toxic People

This post has been inspired by a couple of very special people.  People who deserve much better in life ... in their relationships.

We've all encountered toxic people.  They're the people that tear you down, make you feel like crap about yourself.  People who, in reality, have no place in your life.  Even if they're your parents.

I loved my mom very much.  Unfortunately we had a somewhat rough relationship.  Most of the time we were ok.  But man, when it came to my weight ... she was difficult to say the least.  She harrassed me for years about my weight ... but I just kept getting fatter.  Until she died.  And now I'm in the best shape I've been in for a very long time.  There were other issues, but I think that was the worst.  There's nothing quite like having the person who gave birth to you, who's supposed to love you unconditionally, tell you you're fat and you need to lose weight.  Of course it was under the guise of my health.  Yeah, right.

Then there's my girlfriend J.  She and I have been friends for almost 4 years now.  She's changed a lot.  Matured a lot.  She had a friend who drove her crazy.  None of her other friends liked this woman.  She was so demanding.  Stalkerish.  She stressed J out.  J has been a much happier person since she fianlly told this woman to leave.  I'm so proud of her.

Then there's the issue of men and women.  I had a man in my life for about 14 or 15 years.  I met him when I was 14.  He was almost 20.  I know, by today's standards it's creepy.  30 years ago (OMG am I REALLY that OLD!), not so much.  Mom had a bird, Dad was cool.  But that's a whole other story.  Vince and I just kept each other around like a really comfortable pair of slippers.  That give you splinters!  Last time I heard from him was about 13 years ago ... when I told him I was getting married.  Far as I know he's still alive and living somewhere in the States.  My life is much better without him.  We really weren't good for each other.

We have a couple of friends who were involved in almost 10 year relationships with controlling women.  Thankfully they both saw the light, left their respective shrews and are in fabulous relationships with amazing women.  I love them both so much!

So whether they are "friends", other halves or family members ... anyone can be toxic.  Sometimes we can get rid of the offender like our friends did ... other times you can't.  They're a sibling or a parent.  The best you can do is try to ignore them.  They are, after all, only human.  And people only have as much power over us as we let them.  So if a parent is being cruel, either tell them to go to hell, or just walk away.  You don't have to listen to them if they're upsetting you that much.  They don't have the right to belittle you.  If you're an adult especially, they need to learn to treat you with respect.  That they can't treat you like garbage and be cruel and belittling.  And sometimes we have to push back and say "enough".

So here's to ridding ourselves of the toxic people ... or at least learning to deal with them if we can't get rid of them.  Life is too short, too precious ... we ALL deserve to be happy and loved and respected.


  1. Amen, that was one of the things I said to S and B, how did we end up getting so lucky?

  2. This is a great post, Sandy. And so true to all of us in so many different ways. It seems SO easy to just get rid of the toxic person in our lives. It seems like a no brainer. But it's hard.
    I haven't told you that much about my dad, but he is (most of the time) unbearable. I lived at home while going to college (so he would pay for school) and it was a huge mistake. I was not allowed to stay out past 10:30 p.m. I was not allowed to date. I was not allowed to hang out with friends he didn't approve of. As a result, I started living a secret life. I pretended to have night classes and suddenly I pretended like I was spending every waking minute at the school newspaper. But it only brought me so much freedom. And then I got my job at the newspaper. I lived at home because my dad convinced me I could not afford to live on my own. Guess what? I had the same 10:30 p.m. curfew and all. My life was miserable. I cover city council meetings that go on until midnight and it got to the point where once 10:30 p.m. hit, my dad was calling my cell phone over and over again. Once, he called it 82 times and left 21 voicemails just screaming at me because I wasn't home by my curfew. It got to the point where he was coming into my office to scream at me for being late the night before. It was embarrassing and almost cost me my job.
    In the spring of 2008, I was getting seriously ill. For a six month period I had 12 to 13 consecutive illnesses where I was having 102 degree fever and throwing up. After seeing a cardiologist, allergy specialist, and neurologist, they all came up with the same conclusion. It was stress.
    So, in September 2008, I decided to take the financial risk and moved out and guess what: I haven't been sick since! It was like magic.
    Moving out was my way of getting rid of the toxic force. Literally.
    I still see my dad once every weekend, but it's much better. There are still random moments of cruelty (calling me fat in the meanest ways possible) but it's not as bad as it used to be...although they hurt like hell. Sigh.
    So this post really means a lot to me. I know this subject well. And I'm still dealing with it!!

    It sounds like you went through something similar with your mother. Her constant negativity really brought you down it seems. No one can lose weight in a situation like that. Sheesh! It's a shame that it took her absence for your self-esteem to flourish and for you to find the motivation and fire you truly needed to get back on track. But at least you have it now!

    Oh my gosh I am so sorry for like writing a whole other post here in response to yours. LOL!

  3. Ohhh do I know toxic people. People that just have literally made me pull my hair out. I actually realized I only knew about 2 people that were not toxic. It was sad. You need respect and people that help you in your life not people who bring you down. I'm slowly learning this. I'm glad to hear you've helped yourself and moved on!! It's very motivating. =)

  4. I have, within the last 2 days, gone through this type of crap with my sister. Hopefully next time I visit we can talk about this. It's really hard when it's a family member. A lot of it has to do with my sister and her unresolved issues with Mom and Dad. I don't know why I bother with her. She lives about 15 min away, and I swear I have seen more of you guys in the past few months than I have seen her in 2 years. Grrrrr....

  5. I ridded myself of a frenemy almost a year ago. I'm so thankful I did. Life is too short right?