You Were Toxic But I Loved You Anyway

Unsplash / Bruce Dixon

It might seem like I don’t give a shit about you because of how I have been acting lately. Because I have abandoned you. Because I have left you alone to rot.

But you aren’t looking at the big picture. You are forgetting everything we have been through together. You are focusing on the last few weeks and ignoring the last few years.

I spent so much time giving you chances, watching you make the same exact mistakes again, and then giving you even more chances. I stayed by your side for such a long time. I gave you the benefit of the doubt long after you deserved it.

I let you lie to me. I let you manipulate me. I let you hurt me.

You were toxic but I loved you anyway. I covered for you when stories would make you look bad. I made excuses for you to justify your bad behavior. I gave you a million free passes.

I loved you and I believed you when you said you loved me too, even though you never acted like it. You acted like you were annoyed by me, like spending time with me was a chore to cross off your list.

You never went out of your way to do anything special for me unless you wanted something. Brownie points. Forgiveness. Yet another chance.

You were toxic, but I loved you anyway, because of my insecurities. You worsened my fears. You made me feel small. I did not dream of leaving you because I did not think anybody else would want me.

I thought you were a saint for putting up with me. You were only putting in the minimum amount of effort but I still thought you were giving me more than I deserved.

You were toxic, but I loved you anyway, because I could not see the real you. I could not believe that someone so close to me could be so cruel, so I painted a different portrait of you in my mind. I was in denial.

After a while, your behavior became normal. It felt natural. I did not realize there was anything wrong with the way you were acting because it was what I was used to seeing. I didn’t know any better.

You were toxic, but I loved you anyway, because you changed over time. You became someone unrecognizable but instead of running away from that new person, I held onto the memory of the old you, of the person who treated me well, who loved me back. I wanted to believe that if you could change once, you could change back again.

You were toxic, but I loved you anyway, because it felt like the right thing to do. The idea of leaving never crossed my mind in the beginning because our history bound us together. I thought we meant it when we said forever.

You were toxic and I loved you anyway — but now it’s time to love myself. To respect myself. To choose myself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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