How about everyone steps aside and stop by the confessionary before we go any further? Are you toxic or not? Whether your answer is yes or no -- especially if your answer is no: get in here.
The priest will see you now...
Can I just be frank with you? Hell, it is my blog so imma be frank if that's what I wanna be. So, here goes nothing.
Everyone has a toxic trait. And the earlier we all ditch the be-my-peace mask and quit making it everyone's issue but ours, the sooner we'll attain said peace. No one, of course, was born toxic. Like many other things in and about life, toxicity is acquired.
That your guy with the truckload of trust issues has been stabbed too many times while he'd been napping so you're going to have to do more than tell to show him. That your perpetually insecure girl done got left for "better and more acceptable" too many times to count; and has probably just as many times been made to look the fool when she was at her most relaxed -- maybe by you, too, no less. That your emotionally-distant child who just won't warm up to that new person you're bringing in has maybe watched too many of 'em come, trusted 'em to stay, only to end up leaving, to care anymore now: it's his/her self-protection mode. And that parent/guardian who never gives their approval when you most need it has most probably been disregarded on many other occasions that counted, and now you are how they re-exact their authority; don't matter that it wasn't you who made them question their power in the first place. It's just always something that makes someone someway: it's always some wires somewhere that got messed with; and now you got sparks everywhere and nobody knows where shit got cut. And it don't get fixed just 'cause you said "stop", cos it didn't all happen in one go.
Point is: I'm not saying there aren't natural bitches;
There are people who are naturally...toxic that being with them could contaminate your very soul and suck the juice right out your bones: like, there's no relaxing with them, just pins and needles on their eggshell chairs. But then again, in the plot twist that is this sucker we call life, there is someone for whom that person is just the right fit too, and it is just what it is. You ever seen two people and be like, how are they even friends/together? Yes, those. Because at the end of the day, that's what it's about: fitting. And then you realize that what came off as too much to one turns out just enough for another; what, to one, is bitchy, another deems passionate; what one irritatedly regards as needy, another understands as vulnerable; what you puts you off as domineering might just be the assertiveness that draws another close; and what one calls cold, another finds cutely detached (lmao! fuck my Counselling diploma right now, there's nothing cute about being detached in a relationship: you either in or out; so I'm just gonna hush it with that, you fukking Ice queen/king).
But you get the drift: even the devil has a soul mate, is all I'm saying.
But this is not about devils, it's about everyday people like you and me with our varying devil-traits. It's about us who have shortcomings and excesses that (I hope to God) we conciously try to make up for with other good traits that (hopefully) make it so that our weaknesses (cos that's what it is, at the end of the day) do not outweigh our strenghts. But the road to that is to, first, admit that we are not as perfect as we like to think; that we too have weaknesses: that we possess traits that somebody somewhere would rather not deal with. And then only ever pair up with people who take the pain to understand us enough to not keep defining us by these weaknesses or repeatedly using them against us. Or us them.
The key is the self-awareness that this is where I am short and that is where you need work and I understand how this about me could bring out that in you and maybe if I reduced how often I am like this, it could help us work on how often you are like that... and then proceed to try as much as we can to not consistently be using our own to uproot the other person's own (that's a literal translation of a Yoruba saying: k'a ma fi ti tiwa hu t'elomii sile; good luck with an interpreter).
Stop reading now, Posi.
For example, I am the kind of girl who weeps because my boyfriend neglected to get me a birthday present or an anniversary gift; and said boyfriend, now defunct, is the kind of man who thinks the only purpose of tears (unless you got punched in the throat or fell off a bike on your way to court and landed in an aboki's soakaway--with your white dress) is emotional blackmail. And yeah, no matter how much you weep, he's an unapologetic I-did-what-I-did-and-said-what-I-said kind of guy who in real life says stuff like if you like cry till you drop, that's your headache. And I am the girl who in real life just folds up in a corner and weeps even more and goes, why do you keep treating me like this? Meaning I am literally as visibly emotional as he is visibly unemotional: you see how that can make me appear (to him) like a manipulative brat who's always "playing the victim" and he (to me) like a cold-hearted unfeeling insensitive fish-head?
Hey, don't get lost in the details now: I'm talking about mix here; it's how one thing that's either just normal with you or how you 'cope' is the same thing that your significant other finds to be the noose choking the actual life out of your relationship?
I'm just trying to say that there is always going to be something about the other person that triggers the something in you and it is how you handle it that determines what face that something wears. The way you manage it is what decides whether it becomes the 'toxic' that does your relationship in or gets transformed to make it better, for you and your love; because everyone you see who's happy with someone today has had something they've had to work through: perfection is a lifelong journey, you see: and only the dead ever arrive at it.
None of us is perfect, sis; we're only ever perfect for someone. But as far as toxic traits go, we all have it: in that we either do/feel something or are someway too much or too little; or what to us is no big deal is all the deal to the other person; and the more you continue to maintain and carry on like it's no big deal, the more they are on your neck because it's literally triggering their dormant demons. And vice versa. And Lord help you if your angels don't know the word 'Compromise', because at the end of the day, it's how we actively care for one another's souls: knowing what about us flicks the other person's switch the wrong way, and doing our damnedest to not flick said switch every other hour of every other day. Sounds like work, yeah?
But then what works without work?
Someone once lovingly told me it's only a chore if you don't care about the person enough. And this is one thing that being a parent has particularly taught me: imagine if we replaced our kids just 'cause they're being "difficult"?
But then I guess that's where it all lays: finding that one for whom our heart never stops beating, the one for whom we care deeper than what's outside; someone whose good days don't become pale in our eyes on their bad days; someone for whom we're willing and able to bear the other because of the one. That one person with whom it has to work: when we find that person, nothing will be "too difficult."
And I hope, as you keep identifying and working on your 'draining' traits, that you find them: your perfect fit; that one person who's happy to take the journey with you...because if anyone deserves that, it's you.
I wish you true happiness. And your heart, a home.