People Who Have Known Toxic People Share How Confronting Them Turned Out

Remember that life is too precious to allow toxic people ruin your life

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Toxicity is the type of aura or feeling that does affect a lot of people not just at that moment but even after. And you’ll really feel a lot of emotions at the same time when an argument with toxic people starts. Let’s take a look at these Redditors’ experiences on how confronting turned out and their initial reaction. Can you relate to some of these scenarios?


#1 Being accidents

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When I and my little brother were less than 12, we’d misbehaved. We were running through the house and broke something.

Mum took us into the bedroom and told us that I and my younger brother were accidents; the first two kids (the twins) had been planned but we were just accidents. (All our lives the twins got special treatment. New clothes, new toys, etc. We would get 2nd hand stuff)

I told her “You shouldn’t talk like that to children. When I grow up I’m going to remember this” and she shut up. (literally went silent and stared at me.)

30 years later the topic came up and she denied she ever said it. Only thing is, my brother still remembers it too….word for word. —TheDevilsAdvokaat

 #2 Trying to glue it up

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Don’t forget the DARVO – deny, attack, reverse victim and offender. I assumed that after 10 years of a superficial but civil relationship it was finally time to just, you know, talk about all the bad stuff that happened when I was a kid. I approached it with love and told her I understood and I just wanted it acknowledged. My mum comes back with the whole ‘I wasn’t abusive, it was you that was abusive and I just couldn’t cope with it anymore. Also, I suspected you were sleeping with your sister which is why I kicked you out (not true, obviously, like, wtf)’

It was just such a shock, because everything was fine between us and actually fairly pleasant, and I thought there’d be tears on both sides and she’d admit that it was a terrible and dark time of her life and she’d done some things that she wasn’t proud of and she’d say she was sorry…

That was obviously naive. We don’t talk anymore, and for a long time, I just wished that I hadn’t poked the bear. But then a friend told me that the only thing you can do in your life is ‘keep your own back clean’. By confronting her with love and honesty I did what I could to fix the relationship. I was honest and upfront and kind. She responded with lies, denials, and insults. I can rest a little easier now knowing that I did the best that I could, and that she’s just not ready to face up to things. That leaves me able to pursue more rewarding relationships with better people. At least I tried. —Skalette

 #3 Am I a pet?

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My father had, over the years, developed an “I call, you come to where I am.” set of mind. I was at my parent’s house for the weekend from college. I was a senior and was close to graduating. I had worked hard. My parents weren’t able to contribute to higher education.

I was in the house talking with my mother, and I hear him whistling for me to come to him. I continued my conversation with my mother. He whistled again. My mother advised me to go see what he wanted. I told her it wasn’t going to hurt him to wait or come in here if he really wants me, and we continued our previous conversation. He came stomping into the house and demanding to know if I heard him. I told him I did. He asked why didn’t I come then. I asked him if he expected me to come to him like a dog whenever whistled. From the look on his face, I don’t think it had ever crossed his mind that he was treating me that way. It was something he never did again. —spamgolem

 #4 Punching bag

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She hit me pretty regularly, so I talked with my therapist about it to plan a way out. We came to the conclusion that saying “you need to stop that or I’m leaving” would be the best thing. So, I did. She said “I could ease up” and I said “no, it needs to stop entirely. It’s not playful. You punch me in the ribs forcefully and have said that you hope it bruises. That needs to stop entirely, or I will leave.” She didn’t budge past her previous point, so I left. I regret none of it —TheMerk10

 #5 Not to be like him

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I have always had a difficult relationship with my father. He was not overtly toxic, but he was an absent father and not interested in me as a person. He isn’t a bad guy, just not a good father.

He left my Mom when I was 8, and moved in with his secretary. Prior to that he never really took interest in me. Didn’t play with me, didn’t teach me anything, etc. 

One example of my younger years was when I was building a model plane. The kit was missing a part, so he made the part out of scratch for me (he builds master models for a manufacturer). I was so touched that he did it, as I couldn’t believe that he would take time away from his hobbies for me.

He was never abusive at all, he was just never interested in me or what I was doing. I played sports in high school and college and came to one game in 7 years. One. We have never been close, and I always resented him for leaving my Mom, brother, and me. But mostly I resented him for not being interested in me. All I ever wanted was his attention and approval.

Fast forward many years, to where I’m married, with sons of my own. My wife encouraged me to speak to him about how I felt, as it was bothering me quite a bit. I didn’t want my kids to have a poor relationship with their grandfather because of me. So I sucked it up and did what I thought was the best for my family.

We talked on the phone (we live 500 miles away from each other) and I told him how I felt. Now, I didn’t expect him to take all of the blame and that it would make everything all better. I just needed to get it off my chest.

He agreed with me about resenting him and blamed it all on me. It was my fault that he wasn’t interested in me, as I didn’t make good conversations. Also, when we spoke, I didn’t ask about his wife and her family (admittedly so). He blamed everything on me. It took all of the strength and courage I had just to bring it up to him, so it absolutely crushed me. All I wanted was his approval.

After that, I once again buried my feelings and emotions and vowed to never speak to him about it again. A few years later, on our Christmas Day phone call, he proceeded to complain about my gift. I created a book of photos of the wife and kids and I from the year prior and sent it to the grandparents and aunts and uncles. I had done this for years and everyone loved it. He complained that there were photos of my Mom and my in-laws with the kids, but not with him. I told him that’s because the other grandparents spent time with me and the kids, and maybe if he did, we could take some photos. He ruined it by Christmas and again, crushed me. I was tempted to cut him out of my life but didn’t for several reasons.

The bright side is I have focused all of my attention on being a good Dad for my kids. I stayed home with them for years, and have been a part of their lives every day, as much as possible. The kids’ teachers, coaches, and even bosses at work, all comment on how well-behaved and polite, and hard working they are. I have tried to channel my own personal demons into improving the lives of my kids. So far, so good. —Throwaway7219017

 #6 How much do I owe?

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I think it was two-fold. One was that he started threatening my roommate and not only me. I was in it so long and he had broken me down so much over the years I was too tired to fight for myself, I was unemployed at the time and didn’t want to burden my family, and honestly believed that I was just messing everything up and that I owed it to him to stick it out cus he “dealt with me” when my mental health was worse (I already had PTSD from prior incidents).

But when it was my roommate and my friend and someone, not myself who I feared for. That felt like a more pressing threat. I didn’t entirely care what happened to me but I did care what happened to my friend.

And the other part was seeing how other people might treat me. I had finally against odds made a new group of friends and they treated me well and were respectful and just… Everything my ex was not. It opened my eyes to how toxic things had really gotten how insane his reasoning was and showed me that there was something better on the other side.

long way to go to healing but I’m engaged now to a wonderful person and my life is so much richer than it had been for many years. Sometimes its hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel when you are deep in it. I’m very fortunate I found someone with a flashlight along the way. —my_little_mutation

 #7 Mom

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The first last straw was when my mom told me that she invited my childhood abuser’s family to my wedding… the night before my wedding. I cried, I yelled at her, I told her and several family members every piece of messed up dirty laundry that woman had piled upon me over the years. It turns out she didn’t invite those people, after all, she was only trying to get a rise out of me, and it worked. So I grinned through the wedding and then a week later told her that I wanted to take a break and reevaluate our relationship. It was the most blissful 3 months ever.

But I let her back into my life – mostly because I was vulnerable; my spouse and I were poor, with a child and a lease we suddenly couldn’t afford. So we started depending on my mom again, and she sunk her teeth right in.

Cut to two years later. I’m 8 months pregnant and finally financially stable. My dog had terminal cancer, but was not yet in the end stage and as far as we could tell not in any pain; our lease was up, but the new place we were looking to move to could not accept a dog. So we made the decision to have my best friend put down – I scheduled the appointment a month in advance. I just needed to get through the birth stress-free and deal with the loss afterward. In the meantime, my dog would live with my parents.

Well, one weekend I was home completely alone (my husband was 2 hours away, my mother knew this) and my mother calls saying that the dog is imminently dying and bleeding out internally. She got me all kinds of worked up. It was 5:30 when I got to see my girl, and the vet’s office was closing soon. I barely got a chance to see my puppy before she was put down. My mom put a lot of stress and pressure into the situation and, while gentle, the process was hasty. I nearly went into labor because I cried so hard holding my dead dog.

On the ride home my mom kept alternating between OBSESSING over my labor symptoms and offering to pay me money for my dog (wtf). I got home and left a voicemail with the vet, arranging for a necropsy to be done before she was cremated.

A few days later the vet called me and informed me that there was no internal bleeding. Other than the cancer, the dog was fine – and in fact the vet techs who were present for the euthanasia were confused, as my mother called out of the blue to have the appointment done early.

That witch killed my dog just to see if I’d go into labor. Deprived me of a proper goodbye with the one who was there for me through all of her abuse. I’ve never forgiven her for it.

So I broke contact with her a few months later. It was rough – my sister had to help out with babysitting so I could finish my school semester, as my mother was sitting for me before. I’m thankful for that.

It’s been almost 5 years and my mother still stalks me. Shows up with unsolicited gifts on holidays (leaving them at the doorstep), calls to harass me, sends my drug addict older brother to my door. None of this qualifies for a restraining order in my state. Hurray. —AuntieAv

 #8 My family

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Not well. I was already on my way out of their lives but I felt I needed to do it. Basically, it went like this.

  • Acting like they didn’t know what happened.
  • Acting like I was straight-up lying.
  • Multiple ad hominem attacks about how I was a “broken person” because I had anxiety, used to be promiscuous, am bisexual, etc.
  • Bargaining in terms of “if you fix yourself (go to conversion therapy) we’ll forget this ever happened”
  • Me leaving.
  • Slandering my name to every mutual contact.
  • Annual Facebook posts of “we don’t know why she never contacts us anymore”

I feel bad because I miss my dad and I know that the reason he wasn’t in my corner is that my mom’s abusive to him too, but telling them what was up before I left felt good and gave me some peace. —MadameBurner

 #9 Deserving better

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After my girlfriend smashed her BlackBerry into my face it was over. She did it because I knew the size of lake Travis. So she Googled it and bam. I still got a small scar above my eye.

She called me Mr Know It All. Complained if I was reading.

She would always assume I was cheating if I looked in a direction a female was in.

The first year was good, but that second year was the hellscape.

She became really insecure for whatever reason. But then realized she was cheating while I was at work. Cheaters accuse their partners so they don’t feel bad.

I needed the police at our place so I could take my clothes. The police told her to shut her mouth and that she was lucky I wasn’t pressing charges. Because she had a passed felony drug charge, (Pills) I didn’t know till they told me.

I was crashing at my parents and a week later she calls me. Trying to apologize etc. Asked what I was doing. I was at the gym because she forbade me to work out because she didn’t want girls looking at me and she lost it.

“You MF better not get all hot so you can get those women try and come on to you.” I blocked her and never saw her again. That was 2009. —corvumcorrespond

 #10 Strong enough

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 I told my mom I was inviting my dad’s girlfriend to graduation and she was NOT happy. She threatened to not go and you know what? I was already getting fed up with her and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I told her that if she doesn’t go because of his girlfriend, then it shows how much she actually cares about me and I would cut her out of my life for good. I told her something like, “When I get married, she is going to be there and when I have children, she’s gonna be at the hospital and if you won’t even show up to my graduation, you might as well never see me again.” I made it very clear that it would be her doing, not mine. We left it on that note because she had to go to work. I sat in my room sobbing alone until she left. When she did, I called my dad because I needed someone to let me know whether or not I did the right thing. I was so scared that not only would I lose my mom, I would lose my sister and grandparents once she told them what happened.

My dad reassured me that I did the right thing because I needed to show her that I’m not going to let her manipulate me. Not long after we hung up, my mom texted me an apology and we hugged it out when she got home. My graduation is in two weeks and she promised me that she would be there, so I guess everything worked out in the end. —sleepyturtle81202

#11 Finally

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He never hit me but he would never really encourage me in anything behind closed doors while in public always telling others how much of an amazing person I was. I was handling all the bills by making sure they got paid, did most of the housework, was going to culinary school full time, and working full time. I couldn’t ask him for help without being called lazy while simultaneously listening to him tell me that I have to ask for help sometimes because I can’t do it all by myself all the time. About five years in, I realized I was miserable and realized he would never support me in a positive way and would never want to do things I enjoyed doing. I couldn’t even watch the shows I enjoyed on tv or listen to music I liked without getting crapped on. I decided I wanted to be happy and myself again and leave. This all culminated because I also realized I didn’t want to marry him if he ever asked me. So I called up my mom who lived 5 hours away and said I wanted to leave. I remember she said “FINALLY!” and then she called up my dad and they worked together to get me out despite having been divorced for almost 10 years. My future stepparents even were involved in helping. The day after my finals were finished and my ex was at work, my dad and stepmom rocked up from 4 hours away, helped me load up, and drive the 5 hours to my mom’s. By the time my ex got home, I was already at my mom’s where my two siblings, parents, and stepparents had all helped me unload and get settled. The reason it was so quick and done the way it was is because my ex has guns and even though he had never threatened me with a gun or bodily harm, it wouldn’t have been overly shocking if he suddenly decided to do so the day I left. I know that it was an abusive situation but it’s hard for me to call it “abuse” given the subtlety it had —innocentbunnies

#12 Nobody

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One job I had, my boss nearly drove me nuts. I was in all kinds of terrible situations, abusive home life, health problems, etc. One day while they were chewing me out I broke down and told them I was feeling really suicidal that day because everything was getting worse not better. For them to please just give me a break and that I’m doing my best, that I’m trying and fighting and if they could just give me a break I could do my job better.

They replied with, and I kid you not, “Why are you even trying? You should just give up. I mean you said it yourself that nothings getting better. There always something wrong with you, think of the company. You’re not doing what’s good for the company, you need to put what’s best for the company first. You’re costing us too much money. Besides it doesn’t seem like anyone would miss you.”

I staggered out of work that day in a daze. Also yes I reported this to HR and nothing happened. I honestly don’t remember anything else from that day. I just… It just messed me up so badly. I still hear those words haunting me, telling me to kill myself. The worst part is the company is super big and its advertisement is everywhere so it triggers me every time I see it. I never thought a job could be this traumatic, especially not an office job like mine. —JustTheFactsWJJJ

 #13 My own version of family

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Well, after 18 years of being abused and treated like hot turd, I finally moved in with a friend (now my wife), and confronted my mom about everything she did and let happen (and I don’t mean “oh she was alive when it happened so it’s her fault”- I mean “oh I was 16 and told her about how my stepdad, her husband, was flirting with me to ask what I should do and I got grounded”).

She denied everything that happened (even though my siblings went through the same things!), and I cut contact with her, as keeping in touch isn’t worth it. There’s family, and there’s people you’re related to by blood, and she’s in the latter category.

Apparently to this day she insists that I love her and that I want to move back in with her. Grow up lady, I’m states away and publicly disowned you, the only way I’m going back is if I’m in a small jar (and that’s just to be a ghost and haunt her). —Vulpine-Poltergeist

#14 Are you waiting for thank you

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My brother and I sat down with our dad with our grandfather as a mediator to explain the effects of his verbal and emotional abuse through the years. I cried the whole time as I explained that I had almost killed myself earlier that week by driving off a bridge because I couldn’t take it.

His response? “Well, my father beat me. So really, you’re getting the better end of it. It could be soooo much worse. This is just how it goes. You guys are going to do the same thing to your kids too, and they might be the ones to break the cycle, but there’s nothing you can do about it.”

My brother and I said forget that and immediately jumped into counseling and dismissed him as a father figure and sought new men we could trust.

Edit: thank you all for the kind words! —otterchan

 #15 Lucky break

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 I didn’t get the chance to confront her. She started seeing the guy she was cheating on me with, and I got forced out. She didn’t formally break up with me, just basically let me know she had been cheating on me, again, and that she was seeing him now.

She threatened to leave me a couple of times before then, but I begged her to stay because she had engrained in my mind that I couldn’t live without her, rather than using it as an out. She left me no choice in the end —AsMyTimbersShiver

#16 Playing the victim game

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My parents divorced when I was 17 years old. I’m 21 now. After the divorce, my mom kept the house, and that means she got the dog, too. My parents agreed that if Dad helped with the financial commitment to the dog, he could still see her from time to time. At the end of each calendar year, Dad was supposed to send Mom $200, half of the dog’s annual food expenses. Any veterinary bills were also to be split 50/50, and would be discussed as they arose.

At the end of last year, Dad only sent Mom $100, half of what they agreed to. One day in mid-April, Dad picked me up at the house before we went to get lunch together or something. When he dropped me off at the house a few hours later, he asked me to bring the dog out so he could see her. I was uncomfortable with it, because I knew he didn’t hold up his end of the deal last year, but I’m a terribly passive person, and my father is very aggressive, so I rarely stand up to him. I went inside, and told my older brother what was going on. He gave me the strength to go out and confront Dad about it, and it did not go well. I explained to him that because he didn’t hold up his end of the deal last year, we were no longer going to allow him to see the dog. If he wanted to see her, he needed to send Mom the other $100. Dad got really angry, and the argument quickly devolved from being about the dog to all the ways Mom supposedly abused him and his victimhood complex stemming from a disability he has. Eventually I just got up and walked out in the middle of one of his rants.

Over the next week or so, he proceeded to blow up my phone with big walls of texts that I didn’t read for a week or two after they stopped coming in, and it turned out most of it was about something he thought I said (but I definitely didn’t) about his disability, but there were also a couple comments about the dog, and about how unfair it is that my brother and I don’t pay for some of her food and vet visits. I finally read those texts one evening, and the morning of they very day, I had woken up to find the dog laying in a big puddle of her own pee on the living room floor, even though my brother let her out back just two hours before I got up. So I started my day off by giving the dog a bath (which she made very difficult) and cleaning pee off the floor. And then I see a text from my dad about how unfair it is that my brother and I don’t pay for her food. So I told Dad what happened that morning, and gott taking care of a pet is way more than just a financial commitment. We take her for walks every day. She wakes us up at 1:00 in the morning to go out to pee, and then she wakes us again at 5:00 for her breakfast. And that’s just the beginning of what goes into caring for a pet. And by the way, just because my brother and I don’t buy her food, that doesn’t mean we don’t also help with the financial commitment to her. My brother and I buy most of her treats and toys, and now that she’s getting older, we get medications for her. All of that easily adds up to $200 a year.

Dad responded by saying it wasn’t really about the money, it’s about me putting him in a position where he’s forced to pay off his abusers (my mom and brother), and then he went on and on about all the ways my brother was responsible for the divorce, and called my mom an idiot too. I called him out on a few things, but eventually I decided to just cut my losses. I sent him one last text, explaining that I needed to block his number for a while so I could hear my mom and brother’s sides of many of the things he told me, and that I was going to start seeing a therapist. I mentioned that I wouldn’t reach back out to him until I really learned how to process the years of damage the divorce did to me, and that I hoped he would take this time of no contact with me for some similar self-reflection of his own, which was basically my way of saying eff you. That was April 16. I haven’t spoken to him, in person or by text, since then. He sent me a message on Facebook once, which I never read, and an email, which I only read the subject line of. Turns out, he was sharing a job posting with me, since I’d been looking for a job shortly before I went no contact (I found a job before he sent me that email, but I haven’t even told him that). Otherwise though, he’s been respecting my needs.

I’ve been in therapy for a little over a month now, and I feel like I’ve made good progress. I think within another month or so, I’ll be ready to try talking things out with Dad again. I’m definitely not expecting him to have this Eureka moment during our first conversation. In fact, I’m expecting our first meeting to go rather poorly, but I’m willing to give him a few chances. I figure maybe, just maybe, once I walk out of our first meeting of he doesn’t respect my boundaries, he’ll take a second meeting a bit more seriously, and slowly, I might be able to get through to him. But if I don’t see any progress after a few weeks, I’m absolutely willing to just go no contact for good with him. I’ve had to do this before, where I stop speaking to him for a few weeks, but usually I give in and go back to pretending everything’s ok eventually. And I always regret it, so I’m not making that mistake this time. This is his final chance before I just accept that my life might be better off without him in it. —MasteringTheFlames

#17 Spiritually healthy but mentally not

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Well, first I got scolded for using the word toxic because “it’s a very strong word with negative connotations”. (yeah why do you think I used it then? smh)

Then I got told “everyone makes mistakes” and “parenting is a journey for us too” and “it was never our intention to make you feel that way” and “we just want the best for you”. Okay, fair enough, I understand parenting isn’t easy. But that still doesn’t negate the fact that it did damage to my mental health. Just because you accidentally killed a man without intending to actually kill him doesn’t mean he isn’t dead.

There were many promises of change over the years but I never saw any real action until very recently – and I’m talking several weeks ago. The rest were just empty promises over the years but the toxic behaviour got increasingly worse.

Then when I said I’d need therapy just to heal from that, I was told “you don’t need therapy, because Jesus is the only counsellor you’ll ever need”. If you don’t want therapy for yourself because that’s the way you think, fine. It’s your choice. Just let me have my choice. It’s when you say things like these that make religion look bad. smh —denatured_enzyme_

#18 Like an action movie

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She almost infected me.

I’ve always been passionate, which occasionally manifests in some anger issues. And I wouldn’t say I’m quick to throw a punch, but I’m not afraid to when I need to.

She was much the same. And, honestly, when we turned our passion outward, it was amazing. When we were together, it felt like we could rule the world.

But when we together alone, we would turn on each other. And she would get emotionally manipulative and physically violent. I broke up with her numerous times after she hit me during arguments, but we always ended up back together.

One time, she was beating the ever-loving life out of me. Just wailing on me. And I finally snapped. I had her up against a wall and my fist was raised.

I didn’t swing. I walked away. She chased me down (this was at a party, we had been in the bathroom) and she just full-on smashed my face in. She was kicked out, drove to my place, trashed it, and then went home. Talked to her the next day, and she told me she believed this behavior would continue until she was sure we had a future – that she wanted marriage, and she was just lashing out because she was scared it would never happen.

She asked me to propose. But I couldn’t help but think that the next time I raised my fist, I wouldn’t stop. So I walked away. I had to.

I guess I found the courage in the necessity. —N_Who

#19 He is MY dog

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I had my tipping point very recently. The point where I said to myself: if I don’t get out, my life won’t be mine anymore. I put up with a lot of things from him, I mean a LOT of things because I was terrified of how he would retaliate if I left.

Last month, I was supposed to take my dog to get neutered. (I call him MY dog because despite my ex getting the dog from a breeder himself, I was the one who ended up taking care of him, feeding him, nursing him when he was sick, walking him, cleaning up after him, and paying for all his medical bills. My ex didn’t do anything for him except intimidate and scream at him. He even told me he wanted nothing to do with the dog and it was MY job to take care of him.). A week before his surgery was set, my ex comes home drunk with a bunch of his friends, they hang out, bring my dog down to look at him, and after a while he comes up and tells me “My friend has a female Pittie, we about to have them mate!”. I just looked at him dumbfounded because I had written the neutering appointment on the calendar almost two months. I knew he saw it. So I said “He’s getting neutered next week so you might want to have them mate soon.”

He paused, stared at me, went back downstairs to his boys then came up a half hour later. I immediately pulled out my phone to record him because I was having an anxiety attack (I know him by now, I know his tells when he’s about to put me through hell on Earth). He saw the camera, left the room, and once I put the phone away he comes back, stares at me and says very calmly: “If you cut off his balls…I’m having his ears cut off.” then left the room. A bit of history on the ear thing: He’s been wanting to ‘crop’ our pitt’s ears since we got him but I have been begging him not to do it. So he threatened me with that, then I get a text ten minutes later from my mother saying to call her but to make sure my (then) boyfriend wasn’t in the room and he was nowhere that he could hear our conversation. I went outside, called her, and my mom told me that he had texted her saying that if she didn’t ‘get her daughter right’, I would be DEAD to him. I didn’t ask her to elaborate on it. The next day while he was at work I packed my things, got my dog, and left. He has been sending me harassing texts and having his friends harass me for ‘stealing his dog’ ever since. Someone came and popped my moms car tires. —DontBuyTheThing

#20 Get out!

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash

I never did find the courage to confront or leave him, just anger.

Over time the feelings of fear, sadness, and that desperate desire to just make everything okay and happy turned into resentment, contempt, disgust, and anger. I found him repulsive. Just the thought of him touching me made my skin crawl.

One day he started in on his BS and I guess the scales finally tipped. I didn’t plan it, it just happened. The love was long gone, but now there wasn’t even an ounce of affection or caring left. All I felt was hate and rage. I remember telling him we were done and to get out, I remember the look of surprise on his face, and I remember the hate that I felt, but that’s about it. Mostly I remember the hate.

Honestly I hope I never feel that way again, because I scared myself way more than he ever did. I was just barely in control and I think if there’d been any indication that he was about to get physical (and I’m surprised it didn’t go that way) I would’ve ended up in a blind rage and either gotten myself hurt/killed or done something awful. Took me years of therapy to sort myself out after that one. —questionable_post

#21 Behind neutrality

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Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

My group of friends (friends since kids) fell into a toxic dynamic after 25 years of knowing each other and going out together, we were 12 people. We accepted it because of someone’s mental health. We accepted to accommodate them in every possible way, and the rest of us gave up on things we liked because we didn’t have time to do everything. So, no more hike, no more beach trips, no laser gun nights, no escape rooms…we went to the cinema or stayed at home. And we accept it because a girl was having a rough moment and we didn’t want to exclude her. Every time someone tried to organize something she didn’t like, the rest of the group refused and guilt tripped until we gave up. Everyone became her caregiver. Everything was a drama.

We were “holding a grudge” because when a girl in the group spread lies on me, I called her out, my boyfriend immediately cut her out and my two best friends called everyone else out for not taking a stand on what happened.

Btw, the problematic girl fell into fat acceptance movement and told my boyfriend she knew I was cheating on him. It wasn’t true, she said it because I am thin and she hates my body (in the last months, she made a lot of nasty remarks on me starving and throwing up, and her evidence of cheating was “thin girls do it all the time”). He told her to buzz off. The rest of the group, except for my two best friends, said that they didn’t want to take sides and express an opinion. I said that, when you see something unfair and you hide behind neutrality, you’re taking the offender’s side. My best friends called all of them out. The four of us stayed friends while the rest of them can eff themselves. We accepted their toxic behaviour for too long and we didn’t figure out what was happening.

We are in our early 30’s, and we don’t have time or energy for this teenager drama. —Liscetta

 #22 Black and White

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Photo by cuncon from Pixabay

My mother wasn’t really toxic but emotionally distant. When I had a heart to heart with her, she hugged me and we cried together. Our relationship has greatly improved.

My dad is super toxic. When I tried to have a serious talk with him about the damage he’s done he was adamant that he did nothing wrong. He even laughed when I told him that I was suicidal in the past because of him. —SomeVelvetSundown

#23 Moooooo

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

Parents were due to go to New York for my sister’s birthday and I had to stay home as I when they flew out was my first day at my new job. They said I could have the boyfriend over for the week they were away (we were long distance). I had said to him before that I didn’t really feel the same so this week would be a test.

It’s worth noting he was extremely emotionally abusive, gave me anxiety issues, and made me completely lack any confidence to the point I couldn’t make any form of eye contact.

He arrived by train and I picked him up (he couldn’t drive), I was immediately uncomfortable, didn’t want to kiss him see him etc. We did a food shop and I ignored him the whole time. He disappeared and bought me flowers which I shrugged off and shoved in the boot. On the drive to my house I just broke down crying realising I couldn’t do it anymore, I pulled over, said that it was the end, and dropped him back at the station the same day.

Previously throughout the relationship he would tell me to buzz off when he was mad and stop replying to texts (over losing a video game), call me a cow, call me naive, every name under the sun, tell me to lose weight (I was and am by no means overweight, just have thick thighs), and just blame me for everything that went wrong. He also hated me seeing my friends (most of whom are male because I work and studied IT so very male dominated). He’d constantly believe I was cheating on him while with them (never did).

In one argument (most likely over me telling him to calm down as he was mad about losing a video game again), he started calling me a cow. I was so detached from why was going on I thought “may as well act like one” so just began replying with “moo”. Hilarious to me, but royally pissed him off more. Guess one day I just realised I couldn’t take it anymore, especially with a new job on the line.

About a month later he posted revenge adult photos of me and I had some 40+ year old men message my Facebook (he sent them my profile, telling them I was a open and available for it). When I initially asked him about it, he gas lit and denied it was him. I knew 100% it was him as he was the only person I had sent those photos to (I even told him to delete them from his phone when we broke up). I contacted his mum with photographic evidence, telling her I could take him to court as what he did was illegal. She replied back a day later saying she was sorry and he was just badly hurt about the break up. She made him block me on everything, made sure he deleted the photos and I haven’t heard from him since. Good riddance, and good luck to whatever poor girl he lures in next. —Nerdy01

#24 Who lied to who

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Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

I’m 14 but I confronted my mom when I was 12-13. She didn’t let me talk much, I cried most of the time and she kept saying, “I’ve changed a lot, things will be better now.” (Even though she clearly didnt try to change and was still the same) It sucked and I still felt like it was my fault after. Nothing really changed.

About half a year after we were texting and she was talking about coming over again, I told her I wanted her to actually fix herself before I let her back in my life. She kept saying that she’s never lied to me and she kept every promise she made. Even though she told me she stopped drinking but my dad showed me all the times when she post on Facebook about drinking with friends and getting drunk out of her mind and starting her “pretty fires” (an excessive amount of times), she then told me that she only goes to bars to listen to music and she told me I was lying about her because I hated her.

I’m so tired of seeing my family get hurt by her and it sucks that my siblings don’t get a good mother to look up to. Everytime I try to talk to her it just gets worse. I hate that I had to spend the first half of my life seeing her hurt everyone (she was very physically and emotionally abusive and most of my self-confidence issues are from things she’s said to me and how we were treated). And my dad got the worse of it because he just wanted to keep his kids safe and she took everything he had and openly cheated all the time.

I’m still glad I tried to talk to her, I just wish she would get her life together for both herself and everyone around her.  —Doodle_Duh

 #25 Respect can sometimes be demanded

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Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

You demand the respect. My last employer was for a huge bread company. I was a driver. The owner would talk sideways to other drivers because he felt like it. He came at me (tried) one night. I calmly put my hand forward like a hold on! “I’m gonna stop you right there, because these other men in here may allow you to treat them like a child. I, on the other hand will definitely not let you. (Now with more aggressive and stern voice) We are your life line. Without us happy, your products do not get sent out. Unless we you want to test me for real. In which case, you can see me outside and F this job.” His reply, “No. No … I’m sorry I get lil hot headed.” “So do I”.. It was a lot but the point was made. No job is worth misery, there are 1000 more out there —FrontYak1

 #26 Oh! We’re on it again.

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I’m very close to this point with my current SO. When we’re happy, it’s the best relationship I’ve ever had. But she starts arguments seemingly out of nowhere that basically deteriorate into her calling me names and accusing me of cheating (even if that wasn’t the start of the argument) until it’s done. Today was the first time she’s threatened to leave, even though I’ve been considering it for a couple of months. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been keeping track of what days she starts an argument, they all tend to fall in the latter half of the month but she outright refuses to admit that she could be overthinking/overreacting. I keep hoping “this time will be our last argument” and I’m at the point where the good times no longer outweigh the bad. —gdub695

#27 Happily Never After

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Photo by Jasmine Carter from Pexels

The courage comes from within. I was in a relationship with a guy who had a serious drug problem. I myself am bipolar and on meds to control said issue. While I was with him, he convinced me to get off my meds completely. He took me to Arizona, forced me to do meth with him and I ended up in the hospital damn near in a coma. Later on down the line, we came back home and he convinced me it would be a good idea to steal my mom’s jewelry and try to leave the state again. Long story short, got busted at a Greyhound station and ended up being arrested because I didn’t have the ability to leave the toxic situation. 6 years later, I am happily married to the man of my dreams (4 years and forever to go) and back on my meds. My hubby literally treats me like a queen and I could never imagine myself with anyone else. Do yourself a favor, don’t be me, get out while you can before something insane happens to you. You are valued, loved and worth more than someone’s toxic behavior! I promise you! Please don’t be me! —RiverFlash    

#28 Positive vibes

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Photo by Helena Lopes from Unsplash

I found the courage to leave my toxic ex because of the soul-sucking loneliness I felt. He’d isolated me from my family, made friendships impossible to cultivate and maintain, and I had only a handful of friends who stood by me, waiting for me to gather the courage to go.

Those friends are with me to this day. My (healthy) relationships with family members are flourishing and my son joked with me today that “the best thing about the marriage was the divorce.”

That’s when you know without a doubt that it was the right thing to do. —newwriter365

#29 So whats the truth

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Photo by Bench Accounting from Unsplash

I had this chat with my mother years ago (single parent household) shortly after some of the lies about the other parent had started to unravel as well as many of the “I had to give up my career when you were a child” lies”. Everything I said was met with either:

Screaming: “well I was a terrible parent, it was your father than wanted children anyway, what was I supposed to do”


(Also screaming) about how that’d happened to her as if that meant she didn’t have to care about it happening to me.

Last big thing we had was about a pile of sexual abuse I’d had as a child and was met with “well I was raped at 15” and boom, that was genuinely the end of that topic, as if I had just been out-trauma’d like ooohh snap.

Talking to a grandparent one day and mentioned something about my mother giving up work to look after me and they exploded (because it was entirely not true), we had a long hard discussion that day and I learned that most of the things I’d been told growing up were lies.

That one conversation made me a) dig into many things and find out the truth, vastly reshaping my mental picture and b) made me much more sane. —renegadepanda

 #30 Mr. Perfect

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Photo by Peter Forster from Unsplash

My ex was one of those guys that seemed like Mr.Perfect. He swept me off my feet and within a year of dating he asked me to move in with him. He was so unbelievably attentive, kind and charming at first but then became so controlling and cruel. It was a gradual change, not a day/night personality thing. He bought me a new phone and made sure I was sharing location with him and that my “read receipts” were turned on, if I didn’t answer when he called or respond to a message right away he would get upset. His dad had suffered a heart attack and he told me he was being needy because he was stressed/depressed, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and felt sorry for him figuring his paranoia would go away once his dad was back on his feet.

We lived an hours drive from my family (with whom I am very close) and if my ex was away on business I would go visit with them because I didn’t know anyone in this new city. At first he loved my family, but as time passed he began to say horrible things about them and would always say that my family didn’t love me, that the only person who truly loved me was him.

My car keys kept disappearing before he left for business trips. So I would be stranded at home alone in this new city. They would magically reappear when he was home.

I confronted him once to ask him if he was hiding my car keys and he told me I was being crazy & paranoid.

Once I started questioning him, is when he began the abuse. He was emotionally, verbally and psychologically abuse and towards the end of our relationship he became physically abusive.

I ordered a second key & fob for my car and the next time he went away on business, my first set of keys vanished again and I used my spare to get to my parents. I drove there on a Friday and Saturday morning he called me and asked me why I wasn’t home. I had turned off location services on my phone so I couldn’t figure out how he knew I wasn’t home. I told him I was at my parents and he asked how I got there and I told him in my car. He was VERY surprised at this answer (because he had taken my keys). He started getting really upset, accused me of cheating and being at another guys house. He wouldn’t stop texting/calling until I sent him A photo of my parents & I inside their house and until I turned location services back on. After that he settled down and was so emotional, crying & apologizing and saying he was so scared of losing me, that he loved me so much, was so sorry about how mean he had been lately and that things were going to get better from that point onwards.

I returned home on the Sunday and his truck was already in the driveway, I was surprised because he didn’t usually get home from business trips until late Sunday nights. I was happy that he was home though and hopeful things would be better now. I did love him very much and was sure this “Jeckell & Hyde” thing was because of his dad’s poor health.

When I got in the house I couldn’t find him, but I did notice all the phone handsets were gone from their cradles. I went downstairs to our media room which was in the basement level of the house and he was sitting on the sofa with all the house phones. He started grilling me about where I had “really” been, accusing me of cheating and my parents being in on it and helping to deceive him. Nothing I could say would calm him down so I pulled out my phone to call his mum and he grabbed my phone and broke it in half. Literally snapped it. I went to walk away snd he grabbed my car keys from my hand. I tried to get up the stairs to get out of the house but he pulled me back down the stairs and beat me up pretty bad.

When he was finished hitting me he punched himself in the face a couple of times and made his nose bleed and he said I could call the police if I wanted to, but that he would say I hit him first and press charges against me.

That was when I decided I had to leave. That he was a psychopath and that I was in serious danger. I put a plan in action that I would leave for good the next time he went away on business.

The next day he was so remorseful and emotional and apologetic for hitting me. He said he just couldn’t stand the thought of losing me or me being with anyone else (even though I wasn’t!) and that he wouldn’t want to be alive if I wasn’t in his life. That night, after work, he came home with a puppy! A beautiful Doberman Pinscher puppy. He said he had called a counselling service and was going to take anger management classes and begin psychiatric counselling.

So, like an idiot, I stayed.

Things were great for a couple of months until things went sideways between him and his ex wife. They shared custody of their daughter and he lost custody and he pretty much snapped. He went out drinking with friends and came home drunk and started picking a fight with me, I knew he would turn violent because he had taken all the phones again (including my cellphone) so I locked myself in my bathroom. He told me to open the door and said he would kill my puppy if I didn’t. He was yelling so loud that the neighbours called the police. The police showed up and as soon as he saw the flashing lights he picked up this heavy statue we had and hit himself in the face and broke his nose. When the police came in I was locked in the bathroom (now with my puppy) and my ex was sitting down covered in blood. He told them that I had assaulted him when he got home from being out with his friends! Thank goodness the responding officers were smart and kind. They asked why the phones were all missing and why I was locked in the bathroom, they noticed the old bruises on my arms and legs and shoulders. I told them my ex had hit himself and I had no marks on my hands and the police said they believed me. I didn’t know this, but my ex had a restraining order against him from his ex wife and from another woman who had alleged a few years back that he had assaulted her. The cops asked if I wanted to press charges and I said no, but that I wanted him to leave so I could pack all my stuff and go to my parents.

The police said they had told him not to return to the house for 4 hrs so I could pack and leave. My ex left and then the police left and I started packing and my parents were on their way in to help me move out. About 30 mins later my ex showed up again, he was furious and said he was going to kill me. He grabbed my puppy and held it up by its collar to strangle it. Then a cop came bursting through the door, he had been watching my house because he had a feeling my ex would return. He caught my ex in the act and he was arrested right there.

I didn’t press any charges, the “crown attorney” did. My ex was charged with physical assault, rape, animal abuse and “watching a dwelling place”. He tried to harm himself in his jail cell the night he was arrested and the police realized then how unstable he was. The crown filed a no-contact order against him so he couldn’t come within 1000 feet of me, my sister or my parents. He did 2 years in jail. He is now out and made an attempt to contact me and got in trouble for breaching probation and the no-contact order.

So…I didn’t really leave on my own accord. It was the neighbour who called the police and the police who pressed charges against him. The last time I saw him was when I read my victim impact statement in court. He was behind plexiglass and in hand cuffs and mouthed the words “I’m going to kill you” to me.

It’s 12 years later now and nothing has happened so I’m thankful he moved on but I worry so much that he is doing the same thing to another woman.

To anyone reading this who is in a toxic or abusive relationship, PLEASE believe me when I say it will NOT get better and they will NOT change. Get out while you can and make a CLEAN break. Block them on social media, change your number if you have to. If you show any sign of tenderness they will grab onto this and worm their way back in and make you pay for standing up to them or trying to leave.

Psychopaths & Sociopaths will never change because they TRULY believe that they are the victims and that you deserve to suffer. You are not a psychiatrist, it is not your job to save them.

Stay safe everyone. —Ingrid_Ylva_Irving


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