So I know this girl. She has a lot going on in her life, good and bad. I know a lot about it, but I would not call us friends. I am not sure if we are enemies, or if I could qualify us as acquaintances. But I know her. And for all intents and purposes, I am just going to refer to her as the girl because I want to keep her anonymous. She knows who she is.
I have known this girl for a long time, about a decade, I think. She has come and gone throughout parts of my life, and you can say I know her pretty well. But like I said, we are not friends. So why would someone who has been in my life for so long not be a friend? Well, because she is toxic.
She is just overall not a nice person. She sucks you into her poisonous world and feeds on the good things in your life. She convinces me that I am good for nothing, and that I really should just go away. Every time she comes around, all I want to do is lock myself away and never come back out. This girl sits there with me and sucks out all the life in me. She tells me all the awful things in her life and drags me down to her level of despair. I stay down there for what feels like forever. I let her feed off me like a vampire because for some reason, I think it will make things better. She makes me believe shutting everyone else out is the best thing for me.
She says mean things about me. About the people in my life, the way I look, that I will never amount to anything. She says things like, “Are you really eating that whole donut?” and “You really wrote that crap?” and “That was a stupid joke, no wonder your friends don’t want to hang out with you.”
I tell myself that I don’t believe her. She is always in a bad mood and just wants to bring everyone around her down. I don’t know why I let her do that to me. She has no right to enslave me to her Bad Thoughts, to make them my own. But every time I am around her, I need to step away from everyone. I need to close myself away and wait for her influence to wear off–it’s like waiting to be sober again. There’s nothing I can really do about it, I just have to wait it out. And she is like a drug that I cannot give up. I take her in doses and the effects take too long to dwindle away. It’s not a high–it is an extreme low.
For some reason, I cannot get rid of her. Once I think she has finally gone away, gotten better, she comes back. She begs for my forgiveness. She tells me everything will be okay, she just needs to explain. So I listen, and gradually, I sink back into the puddle of numbness she puts me in. I lash out, and I cry. And I dig my fingernails into my skin. And I squeeze my skull. And I pull on my hair. And I make a mess of my room so that it mirrors my life. And somehow I think that this is what my life is supposed to be.
And she makes me mean. Because of her, I say hurtful things, and I am just not nice to the people I love. It goes further than passive aggressive–I just become a bitch. This girl lowers me to levels that push me back from everything I am working for. Every time she makes an appearance in my life, it is like hitting the Bankruptcy panel in the Wheel of Fortune. On repeat. Until she leaves me so low and lifeless and dried out that there is nothing left to feed on. But I slowly build myself back up again. And I have to apologize for my awful behavior. “She made me do it” is not a good excuse, though. So I go into rehab for this disease she inflicts on me. Almost like damage control.
You are probably wondering why I don’t just kick this girl straight to the curb. Tell her once and for all to stay out of my life and find someone else to torture. To be honest, I have tried.
But she is me.
As much as I wish I could eliminate her from my life, my personality, my behavior, I simply can’t. I try, though. I try so very hard. And sometimes, when I can sense her coming back, I can push her back. I can at least postpone her visit. That feels so good. It is a victory, and it is a battle I deserve to win. But it is still just a battle in the internal war in my mind. Sometimes when she does returns after I push her away, she comes back at me with a vengeance. Sometimes not. I try not to get close to people because I know she can shut them out for me forever–viciously. Like I said, it is a war.
After ten years, though, I think I am winning. I lose battles, and it takes time to heal the wounds. But I feel like my victories are beginning to outnumber hers.
She is toxic, but I am better than she thinks I am. I am stronger.