Can’t Quit You

April 16, 2010

I tend to take a lot of terminology from my mama bear. That’s not to say she makes all this shit up, its just that she’s the one who passes these little nuggets of wisdom along to me. One term I find myself using more frequently than I would probably like to is “toxic relationships.”

A toxic relationship is baking soda and vinegar. Explosive chemical reaction.

A toxic relationship is everything, all at once. It’s drugs. It’s sex. It’s skydiving. It’s exciting and alluring.

Humans are addicted to our emotions. We want to feel. Something. Anything. When we find a person who stokes that fire and inspires our creative minds, we want more. Particularly when we find that we have the same effect, in return. Power over the emotional state of another being. And this doesn’t necessarily have to be a dangerous or bad thing. When a healthy dynamic is formed, partners are capable of bringing immense joy to each other’s lives.

Generally, a toxic relationship doesn’t start out at the bottom of the roller coaster. When people are matched in this way, it is usually while riding the high of the initial spark. When things are hot, they are hot. Passionate. Feelings so overwhelmingly intense, we framework them as love– often for lack of better terminology.

But the ups here are par for the downs. In a toxic relationship, we begin see parts of ourselves we hate. A toxic lover or friend will bring out the most deep-seated emotions of a person; dredging up heavy feeling from opposite end of the spectrum. We grow angry who we become, and finger the other person as a catalyst for our downward spiral. In a relationship like this, we are closest to our id selves. Animalistic. Passionate. Impulsive. Desirous.

Out of control.

When we forfeit responsibility for our own emotions, we begin victimizing ourselves. In our minds, we become martyrs; suffering for the sins of another. Victim self carries on hoping someone appreciates the elaborate cavalry march, the crown of thorns, and the heavy wood you have nailed yourself to. You may be wasting away, but have convinced yourself it’s for the greater good– it’s for someone who loves you.

But love should not hurt.

In modern America, too many of us were raised in environments where love did hurt. Where passion was elicited through anger or violence. Where mommy or daddy could drink the love away, but there was always the hate. That fiery red burning coal of emotion.

Hate, to me, has always symbolized the most passionate form of love. It takes a true love of something to invest the time and energy for hate into it. And that is where addiction to toxic relationships forms it’s roots. So far down in the human psyche, it’s where love and hate diverge. It’s where pain and pleasure weave in and out. It’s bottom-of-the-ocean dark, and rational mind can only fantasize about the creatures who inhabit these recesses.

It is not hard to see why the addiction to passion is formed; it makes us feel alive and empowered. But in a toxic relationship, we don’t just want a fix. We want more. And more. Till there is nothing left. And then we dig. More and more. At one another. While entrenched in each other’s psychological base camps, we wage guerilla warfare. This is when relationships become dangerous, scary, and very very unhealthy.

So how do we get off the junk? When do we say enough is enough and walk away? Bruised, battered and burned, but still alive. When do we take the lesson and leave the rest? I suppose that’s the hard part. For some, love seems to always hurt. The martyrs, sacrificing everything for nothing, all under the pretense that they are providing a service that nobody else could. These people are gluttonous for punishment because they don’t know anything else. They ignore the pleas from concerned friends and family to just put it down. These people are preyed upon by the weak and power-hungry for their need to feel needed. They couple with others so terrified of emptiness and desperate for the ups that they take the corresponding downs.

No matter how far down they go.

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2 Responses to “Can’t Quit You”

  1. EVula Says:

    I’m kinda pissed at how relevant this post is for me right now. Grr, arg.


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