We all heard this word before and it’s not a good word to be associated with. But for so long many of us never knew how to identify one, let alone how to deal with it. We try our best to avoid such a thing, and by doing so. We develop paranoia or for the lack of better term ‘trust issues.’
I can bet my next paycheck that many people have been warned about a toxic friend and we ignored the signs. Like everyone ignored Noah about the great flood that was coming. The only difference between us and Noah is that he had a plan to avoid the flood. People who warn us about toxic people don’t seem to have a plan to, well, avoid them.
For example, many years ago I had a few cousins telling me about a friend of mine that was toxic. They would tell me everything he has done to people and said about me. But never did any of them try to help me get away from him. When I was stuck at home with nothing to do and no one, specifically my cousin, to invite me anywhere. I got depressed and felt alone in the world until that toxic person calls and invites me to go somewhere with them. So, it would make sense to go back to the person that you were warned about, right?
The answer should be no, but it’s not. Why? Well, it’s kind of simple. If we look at an abusive relationship and we ask ourselves every time. Why does she always go back to him? What does she even ‘see’ in him? We never stop to think that we answer our own question. It’s what we see in the toxic person that no one else sees. They don’t see the good things they have done for them. How they had their backs for so long, that they feel an obligation to be their friends. Some will consider this as sad, but it’s not. Especially when that person has a hard time making friends.
What makes things worse about the situation is that the toxic person doesn’t even know it until it’s too late. Soon, they’ll abuse their power over you, they’ll remind you of the things they have done for you. Just to hold it over your head. It took me a long time to understand that a real friend wouldn’t do that, but by the time I did. It was also too late for me.
All the friends that I once had vanished into thin air. Some won’t talk to me, some will avoid me, the rest is in the air. I haven’t tried to reach out to that group, and I don’t plan on doing it. But it’s okay though, I believe everything happens for a reason, and maybe those people were there to teach me a valuable lesson about having a toxic person in your life.
Those lessons among many others are ones that I carry with me every day in life. And it’s those lessons that I hope to pass down to my children one day. If not, then I’ll give them to my niece and nephew and pray that they’ll learn the lessons, without having to learn them.