Turning Away From Toxic

via dictionary.com

My mother has always spewed venom at me. Barbed words that wither my soul, sharp insults that dampen my spirit, and putdowns that have perforated my self-esteem. Of course she has supplied me with many opportunities which I am grateful for, but overall, I cannot say that she has served as a shining example of the type of person, or parent, I strive to be.

She and I have a toxic relationship. When we’re together, the air is thick with tension, as I wait for her to send some stinging comment my way. I’m always on edge, my mind a mix of worry and fear and panic. I don’t dare speak, as anything I say could be used against me. I manipulate my posture perfectly so she doesn’t accuse me of standing up too straight or slouching. I think of the future, of what life will be like when I am free from the confines of this curse.

Usually, when she instigates her invective and begins to break me down, I am too weak to resist. Even though I haven’t been hit in years, her words wash away any remaining remnants of my resolve. I am destroyed.

But, a few weeks ago, when she has started screaming and yelling at me, I’ve recognized things I haven’t before. I’ve realized how her insults lack logic, how what she says does not actually affect me or pertain to my qualities as a person. I’ve realized that she is a snake, throwing toxic at me in the form of terrible words.

There are many things that are toxic. Thoughts can be toxic. If a person mentally and continuously replays negative thoughts about themselves, they are poisoning themselves and trapping themselves in a cycle of hurtfulness and depression. As I’ve touched upon, relationships can be toxic. When you can’t get along with a person because they are always mean, or because they cannot communicate in a productive way, or because they are simply spiteful and hateful for no real reason, the bond is not beneficial and in fact venomous.

Once you’ve recognized that something is toxic, you need to move away from it. Things that are toxic usually cannot be fixed or ameliorated – once you know that they are irreparable, escape as soon as possible. That way, once you are free, you will be able to recover and reinvigorate yourself. You will heal.

“Call Me Maybe” could be considered toxic… well, not really, it’s just addictive. Annoying to some, and extremely addictive to all.

This summer, that’s what I’m doing. From June 17 to June 23 I studied government at a college in southern Virginia, and from June 24 to the last week of July I’ll be participating in an elite program for Virginia’s brightest students at another university. Even though I’ve only been here for two days, I’ve already learned so much – my professors are lively and intelligent, and all of my peers are intrinsically motivated and intellectual. The ability to go study at the university’s library whenever I want to or to go out for a walk whenever I feel like it is just so splendid. It feels like freedom, in its purest form.

I’ve always talked about the future, about getting away and living my life as I please. About being able to make a positive difference in the world while expanding my own mind and increasing my own intelligence. Now, and for the next few weeks, I’m experiencing a preview of what will come in a little more than a year.

Finally, I’m turning away from toxic.

Here’s a picture of my desk in my dorm room. Is it not pulchritudinous?

Thoughts? This is just an update on what I’ve been doing this summer and why I haven’t been posting as frequently as I would like to. The internet here is a little wacky, but I’ll try my best to post as much as possible. I’m learning so much, and, to put it bluntly, I’m really loving it here. I hope everyone else is having a marvelous summer as well, and I also hope to hear from you guys soon!

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Turning Away From Toxic

  1. Cara

    I am so glad to hear that you are doing well Thomas! I bet it is the best;) Post us when you can and keep enjoying your summer.

  2. This looks like an amazing opportunity, Thomas. Enjoy!

  3. I’m sorry your relationship with your mother sucks 😦
    You know it already, but I just wanted to say again: Don’t give her the power over you! Stay strong, and stay busy. Enjoy your time at the university summer program – it sounds like it’s perking you up!

    • Thank you for your support Eugine, and that’s exactly what I’m doing – preserving my power as an individual and keeping my hands full. I’m learning a lot here and meeting great new people, so I am more than content. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      • Aw Thomas 🙂 I think it’s great that you are so open and are able to share your fears with us!

        • Yeah… well, I love expressing my opinions and thoughts here, and I’m grateful that people like you even take the time to read the stuff I post. As cliche as this sounds it has allowed me to grow as a person and improve myself overall. (:

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that you don’t get along well with your mum. I hope things get better between you two. When I was your age, I didn’t get along well with my mother too. Don’t worry. Things will get better. (^-^)

    Your summer sounds exciting and rewarding. I hope you enjoy it to the max!

    x
    Rosie

  5. Maggie

    I’m so sorry that your relationship with your mother is toxic. I know how it feels (my parents are also quite venomous, unfortunately), and it’s wonderful that you’re learning and surrounded by such lively, intelligent professors and professors. It sounds exhilarating. -wistful sigh-

    This post actually really helped me. I had an explosive argument with my father really early in the morning over my choice of University, well, more screaming and whatnot on his part, and silence and the struggle of maintaining an indifferent facade on my part, but I digress. So, after ranting about it in One Giant Post on Tumblr, I find myself stalking your blog and coming upon this. After reading it, I just felt a sense of hope and motivation. I can work hard, and soon enough, freedom will be at my fingertips. Now, to kill that pesky thing called laziness, and it’s irritating cousin, procrastination..

    But all jokes aside, thank you so, so much. Keep being awesome. 🙂

    • Maggie, I relate to your struggle over choosing which university you want to attend – my mom is all over that, too. In the end, it really is your choice though, and no matter where you go if you work hard and put in your best effort you’ll learn a lot. I’m glad that my blog posts have helped you!

      Also, don’t feel silly, I make embarrassing typos all the time. -_- Have a great day and week!

  6. Maggie

    professors and peers.* Blah, my mistake. *FeelsSortaSilly* ^^;

    • Andreas

      Dang it! U know what? That, my friend, your post, the first four paragraphs, is what i feel most of the time, something that I have always kept inside my heart and not wanting anyone to know about it. Thanks a lot for writing it, I feel like something heavy has been lifted off my shoulder. Me and my mom has always quite a toxic relationship. And it was just hard. I tried to endure for many years, and I guess I just have to live with it till I earn my freedom. Anyway, enjoy your summer program. 🙂

      • No, thank you for taking the time to read this post and for using it to free yourself! I’m sure that because you’re aware of the toxic relationship you will take the proper steps to ensure your extraction from it. My summer program went very well, and thank you again for reading and commenting!

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