You shouldn’t feel like you’re weak because you’re having so much trouble walking away from someone who hurt you. Saying goodbye to someone you love is never easy, even if that person is toxic. Even if that person clearly has no room in your world anymore. Even if you know the best thing for yourself is to leave them in the past.
The reason you kept them in your world for such a long time is because they meant something to you. They weren’t always so cruel and manipulative. You have plenty of good memories with them, which is what makes walking away so hard. You feel like you owe them something after everything they’ve done for you. You feel like, since they treated you so well in the past, this could be a rough patch they’re going to get through sometime soon. You feel like, if you stick around and endure the pain for a little bit longer, then maybe you’ll be rewarded for your sacrifice. But none of that is true.
You have to stop convincing yourself to stay because they aren’t all bad or because you have such a long, complicated history with them or because you aren’t sure whether they are going to survive without you (or whether you’re going to survive without them). You have to stop lying to yourself about how fighting for your relationship is the right thing to do when you know, deep down, that it’s time to leave. It’s time to put yourself first for a change. It’s time to prioritize your sanity over your heart.
Sometimes, the last thing you want to do is the right thing to do. Sometimes, the person who claims they love you more than anyone is the person who is hurting you worse than anyone. Sometimes, you have to walk away from someone even though you wish things could’ve ended some other way, any other way.
It’s sad to say goodbye, even to someone toxic, so don’t let your hesitation trick you into believing you’re making the wrong decision. Even though you’re better off without them in your world, it’s going to be tough living without them at first. You’re going to miss them. You’re going to be tempted to reach out to them and fall back into the same old patterns. You’re going to need weeks, months, years to heal from what they put your heart through.
Leaving is hard. Staying away is even harder. But you cannot allow your heartache or your guilt or your loneliness to convince you to lower your standards. You cannot allow yourself to walk back into the arms of someone who has hurt you, even if they’re begging for a second chance, even if they’re swearing they aren’t going to repeat the same mistakes again. You have to stay strong. You have to stay stubborn. You have to stay away from them.
Walking away from someone you love, even someone toxic, is never easy. But it is worth it.