The term ‘Toxic Relationship” can be applied to a number of relationships we may have. What makes the relationship toxic? Well there can be a number of reason to label a relationship toxic. The word ‘Toxic’ implies that it is poisonous, harmful and even deadly. A relationship is obviously toxic when you can see the outward signs of abuse. Bruises, black eyes, and broken bones, are signs you can see. What about the unseen? The emotional and mental damaged being done that the eyes do not always detect. What ever the excuse or reason that we may have to stay in these relationships, there comes a time when we need to realize that we are doing more harm than good to ourselves and to the other person. We may have the need to stay to help them, but how can you save someone from drowning when you are drowning yourself?
We need to remove ourselves from harmful relationships. This does not mean you do not care or that you have to hate them to leave. Sometimes the saying, ‘If you love someone, you set them free’, is very exactly what we need to do. Staying in a harmful relationship does neither of you any good. You could be standing in the way of God reaching that person, or they may be standing in the way of God in your life. Proverbs tells us that it is better for a man to be on top of the roof with a dry morsel of bread than in a house with a quarrelsome wife. If you are a woman or a man this is telling you to distance yourself from the one who is trying to do you harm. This could be physical, emotional or verbal, no matter what it is that is causing you harm, the only way to stop it,is to remove yourself from the picture. You would not put your hand in the fire and keep it there. If you did, more than your hand would catch on fire.
Some relationships will be restored and others will come to an end. either way you will grieve the loss, whether it is temporary or permanent. It will hurt more than ripping off a band-aide, but it is a pain you will heal. Healing is the goal in letting go of a harmful relationship. It takes courage to walk away, especially when you love the other person, and they may actually love you but sometimes the only way for the both of you to find healing is to let go.
(A personal thought – bleach is a cleaner and ammonia is another cleaning product, but you don’t put the two together. Why? If combined they produces a toxic gas that will kill you.)
When I was 5 years old, my parents divorced. My father got custody of me and my brother. I grew up thinking that my mother had left me behind. It was an abusive marriage, and I was left with her abuser to be abused myself. I felt abandoned. I was lied to for most of my life about my mother and how my father got custody. I was made to believe that she left me by her own choice. That she was selfish and only cared about partying and sex. She was in my life, and I saw her often but I still felt abandoned. As I got older and started living a very self destructive life. I loved and hated her. I loved her because she was my mother. I hated her because I thought she had abandoned me to be raised by her abuser. It was not until the year before she died that I learned the truth. She had not abandoned me, but had to make a choice that no mother should ever had to make. I have shared my testimony on my arrest and trials, so I will not go into all those details. Yet that was what it took for her to share what had been done to her. It was one of the most painful conversations that I have had. Yet it brought us both healing, and understanding. I learned that she had not abandoned me, but had done what she had to, so that she could be in my life, even though she knew what kind of man my father was.
I have had a problem with relationships, for many reasons. Growing up thinking that I had been abandoned, had also caused me to feel rejected. I still struggle with feeling unwanted. I don’t feel like I fit in. So how can I feel close to an unseen God? My Heavenly Father. Being lied to and feeling abandoned and rejected, how can I trust Him?
First I have to realize that He is not a man. He is God. In other religions the god requires sacrifice from their subjects. With God, my Heavenly Father, He sacrificed His own Son, to forgive us, and to adopt us, making us His children and not just mere worshippers. Yet even being called His child, with my history with my own parents is still having an affect on how I am able to relate to others. Including my Heavenly Father. How can I trust that He wants me and that He has chosen me. I know I don’t deserve His love, that I have committed many sins. Yet in spite of all that I have done wrong, His love is perfect and He loves me perfectly. He will never leave or forsake me or you.
Read Deuteronomy 31:6&8
Psalm 27:10, 38:21, 71:9
Gary Roe, an author and grief counselor has a web page to help those who are battling with suicidal thoughts, and for their loved ones. His goal is to reach as many people as he can to help prevent this tragedy. For someone who has battled with depression and suicide attempts, I am grateful for the support I have received through his counsel and his books.
His latest book ‘Living on the Edge’ Teen addition is one I recommend to anyone. We all have teenagers in our lives and this is a useful tool to help you recognize and hopefully prevent a loss of life. You can find it on Amazon. There are 3 more books that will be released over the summer which I am looking forward to reading myself. With so many dealing with depression, anxiety, and grief, we are losing loved ones to suicide. We have to do everything that we can to fight this. We need to not only be there but we need to be informed in how we can best help.
I survived my suicide attempts, which I have shared in my testimony, “I gave up on life and survived’, but many who are on this path don’t make it because they are fighting a battle they can’t win on their own. Be the one who can make a difference, because you may be the only one to reach that person who is at the end of their rope.
Check out Gary’s website and get a copy of his book.
It took me blowing up and verbally abusive towards my daughter to realize that I was taking out my physical and emotional pain on her. When I heard the words coming out of my mouth, I realized that I had become my abusers all rolled up in one. Even though it was verbal, the damage was done. My relationship’s with those who had abused m, had affected how I was relating to my daughter. Thankfully I realized that I needed to stop and get help. The words that had come out of my mouth still haunt me. I had to acknowledge that I had allowed pain and anger fill me with hate. Filled with hatred how could I love? Anger and resentment towards others effected how I treated my daughter. I love her, but what she got was an unstable mother who loved her but did not know how to love. I am thankful that through counseling and going through ‘Life ‘s Healing Choices’ a small group my church had offered helped me to make the changes that I had to, so I could heal from the abuse O had suffered. That what was done to me did not justify my behavior. I had to acknowledge the wrongs that I have done without blaming my actions on another. I am grateful that God forgave me and that I am not who I used to be. Now I pray that my daughter can forgive me and know that she never deserved how she was treated.
Last year I began a project on relationships, and I called it ‘Right Relations/How our relationship with people effects our relationship with God’. Well I have been distracted and derailed more times than I can count. Lately my health has been in a major issue. I am not writing consistently and it has been months since I have put any effort it into ‘Right Relations’. I have not wandered away from God, and my faith is still intact, but my focus is off. There was a reason that I wanted to write about our relationships. As God had shown me how each of my relationships in my life has had an effect on my relationship with Him. Though I had not forgotten about this project or how important is is on a personal level, I have allowed myself to get busy with other things and I have neglected this work. My back has been locked up for over 2 months now and I have had migraines, ear infections, blood vessel in my eye burst and a long list of other issues. I have barely been able to work and that has been the most I have been able to do. When I do work I come home and collapse unable to do much else. I pray and listen to my audio Bible, but I am frustrated and my focus has been on what I am unable to do. Instead my focus should be on what I can do and what God is doing for me in the midst of this valley. This project was not only to help others get closer to God but it is to help me better understand my relationship with Him.
Who of us has not been hurt, felt rejected or neglected, and even abandoned by the people in our lives? One way or another in our relationships we have been let down and have lost our trust in others and at times even with ourselves. So how can we have a good relationship with an unseen God, who we call our Heavenly Father? First we need to learn how our relationships have shaped our way of thinking. Jesus told us to even look with lust in our eyes is to have already committed the sin of adultery, and we are told to take every thought captive. Why? How we think dictates how we act or react. If I think someone is going to hurt me, I can push them away and build a wall around me to keep them from hurting me. I could run away and hide, or I could even try to hurt them before they can hurt me. The list goes on what I could do. So why do I think I might get hurt? Is it because I have been hurt in the past? The more you have been hurt the less you tend to trust. Yes there are those who seem to trust blindly who constantly get taken advantage of because they keep hoping that there is someone who they can trust who truly loves them, this is not healthy either.
One thing I have learned since I began this journey is that God is not man(this includes women too) No matter what any person has ever done to me, and no matter what pains I have suffered He has been the ONLY ONE, who has never let me down, but I have my focus on those who I feel I have to protect myself from more than I have kept my eyes on Him. So here is my ‘Do over’, starting back to work on ‘Right Relations’ but taking it from a new perspective. I my only have one post a week to share my progress, but this is my minimum goal. As I share my progress I hope my journey helps you with your relation with God too.
Not sure why the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11 ) keeps coming to me and the various insights I get each time. My thought today is on what the guest had to say about the wine. That normally wine at other weddings at this point in the celebrations would have not have been the best. Meaning it would either be of lesser quality or you could say watered down. Today as I look upon this passage, I am thinking that how many of us have watered down our faith. We are called Christians, read our Bibles, and go to church. We even serve and take part of various ministries. We believe in the name of Jesus and that He is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, but have our hearts grown weak? Are we merely going through the motions, watering down the Word of God. We dismiss one part or another saying that it is not for today. Yet I can’t stop thinking about the fact that Jesus is the Word of God, and that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. So why is it so easy to fall into believing we can dismiss any part of His Word, because we don’t like or agree with it? We compromise, or turn a blind eye because we hide behind not wanting to judge. I understand this because there is much written about judgment. Like in the same way you judge, you will be judged ( Matthew 7:2). Jesus also said ‘How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye?’ (Matthew 7:5) We cannot ignore His instruction about our behaviors just because of fear of judging others or being judged. Jesus made it clear that if we love Him we will keep His commands Adding one, that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus did not do away with God’s commands. Which are found in Exodus and Deuteronomy. The fact they are written in two books of the Bible tells me their importance. Jesus even told us to look with lust in our eye is equal to adultery, and that hatred is equal to murder. Yet, many of us our guilty of one or more of these things, and instead of receiving God’s correction we make excuses, and claim His grace while continuing doing the things we know we need to stop. Read His commandments and we can find in one are or another we have compromised. Yes I have been called a legalist, yet I know that I am guilty of what I am talking about and that if I continue doing the things I know are wrong are agree with others saying it is okay to overlook a sin then I am not being faithful to Him. We live in this world but we are not to conform to it, but be transformed by His Word. Submit to God and resist the devil. To me this means turn from my own ways of doing things or what others say that I am to do and do as His Word tells me. If I don’t understand something He says then dig deeper into His Word and pray for understanding, He will give it to me. His ways are not ours and His thoughts are not ours. So if I want the full strength of His promises and provisions I cannot water down and compromise His Word in my life, even if others disagree with me.