Updated: Dec 21, 2021
I watch a LOT of women try to heal from a toxic relationship through hatred.
They demonize their previous partners, calling them names, diagnosing them with narcissism, and referring to them as if they are monsters and the scum of the earth.
It’s a very natural part of the process. There is a reckoning that happens. There are moments of clarity when we realize the depth of the mistreatment and abuse that has taken place. There are moments of deep grief and betrayal. It is natural to get ANGRY. It is natural to turn to HATE for the person who wounded us so deeply.
This is dangerous territory. We have the choice to feed the anger and hatred, or transmute it into something useful. There are PLENTY of friends, coaches, professionals, and books that will feed the anger. They will focus on the blame. They will focus on how you were victimized. If we choose to linger in this territory, we keep ourselves from truly healing.
It is possible to BOTH see clearly the abuse and mistreatment as well as the responsibility we have to heal our own codependent patterns. It is possible to see their woundedness AND our own. It is possible to see THEIR responsibility and OUR OWN. It is possible to see their GOODNESS and their DANGEROUSNESS.
I watch many women who lean into the hatred after a toxic relationship and then get blindsided by that same “monster’s” kindness or positive traits. Because his HUMANNESS isn’t consistent with the “monster” they have created in their head, they become confused and vulnerable.
We’ve often justified the ending of a relationship only because the other person was so “bad”, instead of seeing a good person can still be bad for us.
Until we fully GRIEVE the ending of a relationship - grieve losing the GOOD person, the KIND person, the LOVE - we will never fully heal. We will stay vulnerable to many other people who are GOOD but also DANGEROUS. If we only guard against “monsters”, we will fail to recognize the red flags in the kind church man, who has drug charges that “he can explain” and a dv that “was just a misunderstanding”.
I do not believe true healing comes from solely focusing on the toxicity of the other person. I don’t believe it comes from anger and hatred. I don’t believe this is how we break our own cycle of toxic relationships. I think this is the popular and easy way. But it allows us to gloss over our own part and our own responsibility to govern our own lives. It puts us at the mercy of finding “the perfect guy” yet again.
If you are seeking another way because anger and hatred just isn’t resonating, there is another path and it’s no accident you are reading this message today.