I played the victim of toxic relationships for a really long time, till one day I realized that I wasn’t fully a victim, but I was more like a partner in this toxic relationship. I realized that I could’ve stopped it or said something, but I didn’t. I could’ve defended myself and built stronger boundaries or even walked away. I could’ve protected my own self and not let someone do that to me, but I failed to do all that for myself. I kept playing the victim; I made myself feel helpless when I wasn’t. I felt like there was no other choice when there was always one.
Sometimes defending yourself and standing up against a toxic person can be harder than accepting being the victim. This thought is not as challenging as the other one because some of us would prefer to be the victim of certain things rather than rebel and claim our rights and put ourselves in a situation where we could be called the “bad guys.”
Sometimes we even question our right to stand against this toxicity because we don’t know our rights or because we aren’t sure that we deserve to stand up for ourselves. We could also be doing this because we might feel guilty for opposing someone since we’ve always been taught to be accommodating and accepting and make a million excuses for the person in front of us. We might think, What if it’s all in our heads? But here’s the thing: Your feelings are very real and valid, and you’re not delusional. At the very least you owe it to yourself to talk about them and communicate with the person in front of you. It’s your right to not accept that someone treats you or makes you feel a certain way, and if they can’t accept you opening up about this, then what more do you need as proof that this is not a healthy relationship?
It’s always easy to blame others for what happens to us. It removes from us the responsibility to act and do something about what’s going on. Maybe they are wrong and have done awful things to us, but they are not the only ones responsible here because we let them do this to us. And we can’t shy away or deny our part and responsibility in this as well.
I hope you realize that things don’t just happen to you, but it’s mostly about how you react to these things. You’re not some helpless victim in all your stories the way you sometimes portray yourself to be. You have the power to shape things and make people change their behaviors based on your response, but you’re the one who’s not using this power, and that’s entirely on you and no one else.