Toxic Relationships Damage Your Soul.

Dear Woo Woo Girl:
I have a problem with my girlfriend. She is very critical of me, and creates drama. At first she was charming and sweet, but 6 months into our relationship, she changed. She can’t just be. We used to like to take walks together or go camping. Now she says she hates camping.  I noticed she falls out with her friends, talks behind their back, and has been let go twice. It’s like she is a different person. She only does what she likes to do, unless she wants something (money or an expensive trip) then, she will pretend to be sweet. She needs a lot of attention, and is a bit of an actor. I am embarrassed to admit it, but she lies. The irony of it is she can be fun too. I guess that’s why I’m still with her. Signed Confused

Dear Confused:
Toxic Relationships.
Being in one is like walking around with one large bruise. The relationships hurts to the touch but fills something in you. It’s not just boyfriend/grilfriend. Mother/daughter; Co-worker/Boss; Girlfriend/Girlfriend. Any relationship has the potential to be toxic.
If you grew up with it like I did, toxic partnerships are familiar, fun, ego driven, nasty pieces of emotional turmoil that shred your soul and energy.

Relationships are a two way street. Or, at least they should be.

Some years, someone may be needier than others, but it should balance itself out. Toxic relationships are not like that. You get reeled in by a person who can read you, and play into your weaknesses. Once they have you, the drama begins. Manipulation is part of their game.
Conscious or unconsciously they are actors, and it’s all about them because they know no other way to get their needs met.
Your needs are secondary.
If the balance isn’t there, if the pattern never changes, well it might be time to redefine it or let it go.
Express yourself and see what happens. Toxic people focus on themselves. They pretend to be congenial, even helpful, but if you really look hard, it always comes back to them.
Here are a few things you can do right now.
1. Walk away temporarily and see how you FEEL. If you feel less stress; a little more happy; less burdened; then you know more distance might be the answer.

2. Practice Anahata. A Meditation to open up the the heart chakra responds to the heart, lungs, immune system, and muscles of the upper body. On a spiritual level, opening the heart chakra fills you with love, forgiveness, and compassion.
3. Put up personal boundaries. For instance, let your girlfriend know what YOU want to do, and be consistent. Interrupt her when she complains.
4. Don’t give your girlfriend money. Instead, offer to help her make a budget. If she balks, and she will, stand your ground. As for the lying, call her out. Toxic people need to know that you know their game.
 5. Do your own thing to take the power away from her criticism. Don’t let it in. Your girlfriend has a pattern here – with you and her friends- it’s about her and not you.

Truth be told?

It can be hard to walk away because toxic relationships are full of drama which is addictive and stimulating. If you are used to a lot of highs and lows in your life, like me, you thrive and want toxic people. Life is dull without them. The truth is you and I, live through them to amuse ourselves – to have the highs and lows of life. It takes away our responsibility to live consciously. Being engaged in something that brings us joy, may not bring the roller coaster of emotional excitement, but it feeds our soul. Eventually, we bring excitement and passion to ourselves, without wallowing in other peoples cesspool.
A little sidebar.
For years, I didn’t know that too much giving, laid the foundation for toxic friends. Friends who played the victim role or had too much drama in their life. I was a collector of the downtrodden. One girl friend who I no longer talk to, loved being  victimized and could cry at the drop of a hat. It took a long time (8 years) to realize this was her modus operandi. There were other things she did too. She was a manipulator. Oh soo subtle, and sometimes so obvious. Half truths filled her life. She would look for guidance under the disguise of being helpless. I fell for it. She changed jobs five times. There was always something wrong with her supervisor. Could I help her pick furniture, or colors for her wall? What about this dress? Should she wear it? What she was really doing was trying to copy my lifestyle. The irony of it all was she wasn’t a victim at all. She was a control freak, a perfectionist, and a constant criticizer.

It seems like a compliment to have someone want to be like you, but it feeds your ego and not your soul.

I have made this mistake more than once. I guess I am a slow learner. I need definitive proof before I sluff off anyone, which makes me a great friend, and a target. It has caused me a tremendous amount of pain, undermined my self-esteem, broke my heart, devalued who I was, and corrupted my soul.

Save yourself the angst and LEARN from my experience.

Put up boundaries, and be explicit in who you invite into your emotional circle. It’s prescious.