I was in a toxic relationship

>> Friday, June 12, 2009

Several years ago, I was friends with a woman who lived in my building. She was young and seemed so innocent, that being her first place of her own. I was drawn to her youthfulness.

We chatted and drank some beers. We seemed to get really close, really fast. We gave each other "lock out" keys. I even had her let my mom in once when I was running late.

We went through some hard times: breaking up with boyfriends, and having both our apartments burglarized. I even covered for her when she was hungover and her boss called.

After about 10 months, my mom of all people made me wonder about my friend. She called me to say her friend from the pharmacy knew my friend and knew her to be a "druggie".

This led me to rethink the burglary and the numerous hangovers. I began observing things in a whole new way. Unfortunately, my mom's friend turned out to be right. My friend was an addict.

It had been she who stole my things, faking a similar break in at her place to throw off suspicion. She was also indirectly responsible for my boyfriend breaking up with me. In reality, I was in a toxic relationship.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and I can now tell you the warning signs I did not see:

1) She was always trying to get me to be like her. She was very into predrinking and thought I should be, too.

2) She got really over personal with me. Even that first night I met her, she told me such personal things about her childhood that I almost felt obligated to her, if that makes sense.

3) She got jealous. She didn't like all the time I spent with my other friends and my boyfriend. She would call me really drunk and crying many of the nights I was out without her.

4) I just didn't feel GOOD with her. It was always dramatic and usually in a very dragging way.

5) I actually realize now I never liked her. I always felt obligated and guilty.

6) She actually stole from me. And lied. A lot, apparently.

7) I don't know why she picked me or really wanted to have any kind of relationship with me, but it wasn't based on respect, for sure. I think I was just there, in the apartment building, at the right time.

Does any of this ring a bell? Most people I have talked to admit to having been involved in some kind of toxic relationship in their life.

I know I should have known better, but honestly the drama was so loud, I couldn't hear my own gut screaming.