The Solution to Toxic Relationships is Ending Them
Nobody and nothing is perfect.
Adulthood beckons when idealism succumbs to realism, fantasy and disappointment are replaced by acceptance and compromise.
Relationships are often tricky, though, because opposites attract, boundaries are fluid, and the fine line between passing annoyance and damaging toxicity get crossed.
Some friendships truly last forever, most have a clock. Endings can be as spontaneous as beginnings, they tend to just happen. How do you know when it’s finally, definitively over? The decision is like profanity: you’ll know it when you see it.
Long friendships can end in a second, triggered by an off-hand text, an under-handed comment. They insult someone you love; they criticize you; they do what they’ve always done, but this time you’ve turned into Popeye the Sailor Man: you’ve had all that you can stands, and you can’t stands no more.
The spinach you gobble down is your reclaimed self-respect and self-worth. Your insta-Hulk body is muscle-memory roaring to your self-defense. All relationships are power relationships, and if you’re the one walking then it’s no doubt their abuse that’s been talking. Enough is enough, time to move on.
Magic spells are popular in folklore and literature, a great metaphor for unseen influence people can have over you. Without knowing the mechanism or source, powerful forces nonetheless conspire to fuck your shit up. Despite your best efforts things get in the way, what was once easy is now difficult, you aren’t yourself anymore.
Spells can be broken, the goal of many an adventure. Usually it takes discovering the magic word, which when uttered releases the victim from the debilitating embrace. For instances like this, when bad relationships slowly suck the life out of you, the magic words become “we’re done, goodbye forever, and this time I mean it.”
Only after the spell is finally broken for good do you realize its full impact. Then, like when a bag is removed from covering your head, you breathe fresh air again, see the world and yourself clearly as if for the first time. Utterly relieved, you wonder why it took so long. The answer is that friendships play themselves out, run their own course. They had their purpose, now superceded by your own.