When you’re the toxic one, you find yourself making excuses. You’re so jealous because your ex cheated on you. You’re so controlling because your parents were strict with you. You’re so moody because the world has been unkind to you.
You don’t want to take responsibility for your actions because you know who you are. You know you didn’t start out this way. You used to be an optimist. You used to be sweet and starry-eyed. You weren’t always this cynical. You weren’t always this short-tempered. The world made you this way. The people in your past made you this way. That’s what you keep telling yourself.
But you have to realize there is a difference between recognizing the way other people have shaped you and throwing all of the blame onto them. Yes, your ex might be the reason why you have trust issues, but it’s up to you to work on those issues. If you snoop through your new partner’s phone or get into a screaming match with them over texting someone attractive, you can’t blame your ex even though your ex is the one who put doubt in your head. You have to be mature enough, self-reflective enough, to own your mistakes.
When you’re the toxic one, part of you is still living in the past. You’re in a new relationship but the bad things that happened to you growing up are running on a loop in your head. You’re worried your partner will leave you like your father left you. You’re worried your partner will lie to you like your ex lied to you. You’re worried your partner will reject you like your first love rejected you.
Even though it’s hard to forget about your worst memories, you have to stop living in the past. You have to accept what happened to you and move forward. You have to look ahead, not behind.
When you’re the toxic one, it’s easy for you to give up on love and give up on yourself. It’s easy for you to throw up your hands and say, “I’m dangerous. I hurt everyone who loves me. I have to isolate myself to protect them. I have to push them away to protect them.”
But that is not true. You have to remember you’re in charge of your own actions. You can’t change what you’ve done in the past or what’s happened to you in the past, but you can control your future. You can work on yourself. Better yourself. Become the kind of person you would be excited to date. Become the kind of person the love of your life deserves.
When you’re the toxic one, you might feel like everything you do is wrong, but the person you are today does not have to be the person you are tomorrow. You can slowly shift into a different, healthier version of yourself. You might not be able to make it up to the people you’ve hurt in the past, but you can promise to treat the people in your future better.