When you're suffocating a relationship, you take in all the negativity and it slowly erases bits of the person you are.
In the initial stages of a relationship that seems promising, you would never expect it to turn sour and chip away at your sense of self-worth. And you would hardly ever expect it to suffocate you or change the person you are. But when we're blinded by love and the future this person promises, red flags are often ignored and so is the gut feeling that says something is not right. It is only after you've been in the relationship for a long time, that one day you wake up and realize you no longer feel like your older self, the person you were before this relationship became a part of your life.
Slowly and yet surely, the longer you are with the wrong partner, the more damage it causes. You realize the relationship no longer helps you grow because it's either stuck in a rut or caught in a state of constant chaos. And more often than not, the more sensitive of the two in the relationship is the one who absorbs all the pain that comes out of it.
Taking in all that toxicity is turning you into someone else because here's how the wrong relationship changes you.
From being the one who loved to hang out with her friends and family, you've become someone who makes excuses to avoid meeting them. When you do finally meet them, you don't feel comfortable anymore. You force a smile and pretend like everything is okay even when you're around your loved ones. It is also possible that you've lost interest in the things that you once enjoyed. And though life doesn't feel the same anymore, you're still trudging through, hoping for it to get better.
When you're with someone who constantly drags you into an argument, puts you down, manipulates you into questioning yourself, you start developing your own defense mechanisms to protect yourself. It can either be lashing out in anger, completely shutting people off, engaging in self-blame or other forms of behavioral issues that can severely harm your self-esteem. You have tried to make things work but somewhere along the way you gave up and started fighting toxic with toxic because that was the only thing left for you to do.
For so long in the relationship, you have felt like you had to take the blame for everything that went wrong in the relationship. That's made you second-guess yourself and slowly you have been losing all the confidence you had. Earlier, you were the first to say "yes" to a new adventure and you always liked to try something new. But you're no longer the spontaneous, carefree person that you used to be. You overthink everything that happens and you hold yourself back from things that truly make you happy.
Trying to keep up with your partner's expectations and unrealistic demands that keep changing has drained you of all your energy. Because your partner's behavior is so unpredictable, you do everything you can to keep them calm to try and work things out, but sooner or later you find yourself back at square one. Having spent so long with someone who takes advantage of you has completely changed you physically and emotionally. You've lost weight and even the blush in your cheeks; you can no longer recognize the pale woman staring back at you in the mirror. You used to take pride in the fire and passion you had inside, but all that has dimmed in the relationship.
The last thing you thought you would have to deal with is trust issues. But now, you've turned into this person who is either doubtful of new relationships and partnerships, or simply pulls away before you can get hurt again. And that emotional baggage is following you into all the other relationships you have. You stop yourself from trusting people. You were the kind of person who would be ready to give everyone you meet a chance, but now you're afraid that your trust will be broken again.
Remember that the changes that take over you in a relationship need not be permanent. Once you've identified the problem, you can still find a way to work things out and build back your self-esteem. The more important thing to consider is if your partner and the future they promise is worth the effort. However, if you feel trapped in a relationship where you're manipulated and no valued, the first step is to leave. And that will be the beginning of bringing back the happier and healthier you.