Empowering Yourself Out of a Toxic Relationship
Don’t Let Toxic Relationships Take Your Power
Recently while working instore, I had a simultaneously heartbreaking and empowering interaction with a beautiful soul. This person (who I’m keeping deliberately vague for their safety) had come into The Empress & Wolf for an unplanned browse. But as so often happens in the shop, it came to light they had been drawn in for deeper reasons. We got to chatting about crystals, jewellery and general life stuff. I like to give people time to themselves to explore and soak up the atmosphere when they come in, so after we chatted, I left them to their own devices. I busied myself with the things I needed to do that day, but in the back of my mind I had an unshakable feeling that there was something else that needed to be spoken. But you can’t force these things, there is a natural flow to them, and you learn to leave the conversation open for when it needs to continue, and it did. As I listened to their story, I felt an overwhelming empathy towards them. The story they shared sparked long dormant memories of mine, it sparked a fierce urge to protect and it made me reflect on how unique our individual journeys of healing are. So beautiful soul, this blog post is for you. I saw a strength in you that day that maybe you don’t yet see in yourself, but I promise you it’s there. Thank you for inspiring me and re-igniting this fire within me. Please know you are not alone, and you deserve better. So much better. You are worthy, you are brave, and you deserve respect. A day will come when you break free, this I can say for certain.
Narcissism, toxic and gaslighting seem to be the current buzzwords. Unfortunately, the pattern of buzzword trends coming and going quickly can often sweep over the gravity of serious societal issues. And once the trend is over, it can leave many of us feeling stuck and left behind in very real, very lonely situations. Toxic relationships are soul crushing, all consuming, frightening and dangerous. They will empty you and leave you a shell of who you were. I speak from experience. I survived, so many others don’t. It took me many years to heal, to recognize my self-worth, to regain my inner strength and to figure out my personal boundaries. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m a fierce, empowered and strong work in progress now. And I will never lose that again.
There are certain behaviours in toxic relationships, also known as red flags, that can be subtle or obvious. The one thing all these behaviours have in common is that they are absolutely not ok, not healthy and you do not need to accept them. None of these behaviours are your fault, all responsibility lies with anyone who is perpetrating them, and anyone who acts this way towards another person is an unstable, unwell individual who has a choice and plenty of opportunity to change these toxic behaviours. Toxic relationships do consume you, and it's hard to see a way out or a different way to live when you are in the middle of it, but there is. The first step is acknowledging that you are not to blame and that you want and deserve better. One of the harder steps is reaching out for help, and if you’ve been isolated from your family, friends or support network it can feel impossible. I’m including a list below of organisations that can offer support to anyone experiencing this journey. Speaking to a mental health professional, domestic violence advocate or the police can be especially helpful if safety is a concern. Sharing your truth with loved ones you’ve been isolated from is tough but worthwhile. A strong support network is one of the most important foundations we can have in life, and the people that truly love us will always want to help if they can.
Most importantly of all, your self-belief might be shattered but the pieces are still there. Part of empowering yourself is knowing that your truth is valid and that there is a path forward. It’s about remembering that part of you that is still deep inside. The part that knows that you deserve a life free of torment and abuse, and that healthy relationships don’t leave you scared of everything you might do wrong. The inner strength we all carry never leaves us, it might get stamped down and suppressed but all it takes is one spark to reignite that fire within us all. Don’t let anyone dull your shine, don’t give up, know you deserve so much more and you are strong enough to break free.
Some important resources:
Safe Steps (www.safesteps.org.au) 1800 015 188
Rainbow Door (www.rainbowdoor.org.au) 1800 729 367
The Orange Door (www.orangedoor.vic.gov.au) (Different phone numbers for different areas)
1800 Respect (www.1800respect.org.au) 1800 737 732
Rose Quartz for self-compassion and release
Black Obsidian for shadow work and strengthening your energy field
Rhodonite for self-worth
Amazonite to communicate clearly and strengthen your boundaries
Aquamarine to clear old patterns
Bloodstone for the courage to act
Larimar to soothe, heal and nurture