It’s so hard when I witness someone who keeps throwing themselves in the front line of pain by repeatedly returning to a toxic relationship or not leaving it. It’s not just because I’ve done it myself and it felt like a gradual exorcism of the past I’d veered between burying and blaming me for; it’s because of what it means when you’re in this situation:
That you just don’t love or like yourself that much.
The amount that you don’t like and love you is directly proportionate to how much you claim to like and love the other party.
Everything is riding on this person and it’s a vicious cycle of, “Yes, treat me this badly because I’m worthless and deserve it [because of everything I believed about myself even before you came along]”, and “No, treat me better. Change for me so that I stop being in pain from what you’re doing to me and from what I’m doing to myself by being with you. You can’t just up and leave and be with someone else after everything I’ve sacrificed and after everything you’ve put me through”, and so the pain continues.
The thing is, this just isn’t what a relationship or love for that matter, is all about. Pain, sure, but definitely not love.
You need to part ways.
It is painful, horrific actually in some ways, and downright ‘inconvenient’ when you consider everything you’ve done, everything you’ve suffered through, and the ‘dream’ you have for this person, this relationship, and you, but you need to part ways.
It doesn’t matter who does it but please, whoever does, grab the exit. No, you don’t know what’s in front of you (us humans never do anyway) but better to be experiencing the clean pain of grieving the loss and recalibrating so that you heal and become more of who you are, than the ‘dirty’ pain of remaining in the toxic relationship.
You each represent something to the other that neither of you can really be around. It reflects what remains unresolved from your pasts.
The mistake is assuming that what someone is doing to you is because of you (something about you or something you said or did), and while there’s no doubt that not liking and loving you and the consequences of that (lack of boundaries) provides a fertile ground for this type of relationship, it’s not the cause of the effect (their behaviour and the totality of the relationship).
Sure, you have little or no boundaries but even if you had The Best Boundaries Ever TM, they would be who they are, just not with you.