The Truth About Toxic Relationships

Let's Talk about Toxic Relationships Kristen Shane

Hey, friend. How are you today? No, really. How are you? I so wish we could sit down over coffee or ice cream (or both), and genuinely talk about how you are doing. That vibe is exactly what I try to create through my blog and across my platforms. I hope you can see me as a friend who’s here to be real, care about you, and talk about what matters.

I’ll be honest, I’m an introverted person. I’m not one to be confrontational and I shy away from facing hard problems or difficult topics. Somehow, this blog has given me the confidence to speak up and talk about the things I wish more people would address.

That’s why today, we’re talking about toxic relationships.

The Truth About Toxic Relationships

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Maybe this isn’t a post you felt inclined to click on. Trust me, in the ideal world, I wouldn’t have to share this. But our world is broken, and something in me knows parts of you might be, too. We’ve all been hurt, but we’re all healing.

As you may or may not know, I was a member of a sorority for my first two years of college. This summer, I decided to withdraw my membership, even as an executive board member. I created a blog post and video addressing why I left my sorority, so you can read or watch those for the full story.

I won’t get into the full details of ‘why I left’ or what happened, or what happened after I shared that post. But what I will say is this:

I posted my story because I had to. Not enough people do. And I posted it because I knew that somewhere out there, women were hurting from this, too.

The main message I hoped to spread through that post, and this one, is that I hope you can be bold and brave enough to realize when you’re in a toxic/negative situation, and when it’s okay to let yourself out.

I’m not here to talk about my personal sorority experience anymore, because this isn’t just about me. I will always share my story, and I will always be honest about my struggles. I want to create a place where you can relate to what I’ve been through and feel comfortable and confident in your story, too.

When I knew I had to write this post: 

On the back-end of my blogging platform, I can see stats about what posts have been viewed. Sometimes, I can see what people have searched to find my blog (but not ‘who’, don’t worry! All stats are completely anonymous and shown only in aggregate, no one is singled out!). When I saw the following search on my blog this week, my heart sunk.

Toxic Relationships kristen shane blog stats

“My sorority is threatening me.”

Someone searched this and found their way to my blog. Of course, I don’t know the specific situation, but I do know women are hurting. Women are hurting enough to search for answers about these painful, toxic situations.

I took a break from studying to post about this on my Instagram story, and I’ll re-share what I said about this search result:

“Someone searched this on Google and found my blog… I just want to say if you are in a situation like this, you do not have to stay. I’m not saying I was threatened, I’m just saying you do not have to put up with this. This is not okay & your sorority experience should not lead to being threatened in any way.

There is SUCH a negative stigma surrounding ‘dropping’ from sororities, & as someone who’s gone through this, it’s something I’m not afraid to talk about. You do not have to stay in a situation, club, or relationship that is so negative or threatening. And I hope you’ll be brave enough to realize that & let yourself free.

If you want to hear my full story, you can search for my ‘why I left my sorority’ post on my blog or YouTube. All I’m saying is, I hate that there are people who are experiencing this to the point of searching in online.

Let’s break the negative cycle. Or at least try.

It feels like posting on Instagram, or even posting here, still isn’t enough. I wish I could heal these toxic situations for you, and make the pain go away. But I’ll do what I can.
RELATED: Read ‘Am I Enough?’ by Grace Valentine (read my review here)

From posting on my story, I received messages from women telling me their stories, and I’m so glad they did. It’s comforting to know we aren’t alone in these struggles. And that’s exactly what I hope to do through posting this. And I know there are so many others who won’t speak their story, and that’s perfectly fine, but I hope this can still touch your heart, my friend.

I also wanted to share an Instagram post from Beth, who was inspired by my stories on this topic: see her post here.

Beth’s post made my day, that I could be enough inspiration for someone else to speak up on the topic of ‘toxic relationships’, which is what re-inspired me to create this blog post. Talk about a creating a positive cycle, y’all!

What do I mean by ‘toxic’? According to the real definition, ‘toxic’ means:

  • containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing serious debilitation
  • extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful
  • poisoned, poisonous

A plant can’t grow in toxic soil, and you can’t grow or bloom in a toxic environment.

I was hesitant to write this post. I didn’t want it to be ‘all about sororities’ or make it look like I’m trying to gain attention from this situation. That’s not it at all. But like staying in a toxic relationship for fear of what others will think, I won’t let fear stop me anymore. I’m here to tell my story and create a platform that shows it’s okay to talk about these things. It’s okay to let yourself out of a toxic relationship or situation of any kind.

The truth about toxic situations: 

  • Your sorority should not threaten you. Ever.
  • Your friends/significant other/boss/coach/teacher should not threaten you.
  • Your club/sorority/activity/team should not create a wholly negative environment for you.
  • And if they are, and if it is, it does not have to stay that way.
  • It doesn’t. You don’t.
  • You are brave, worthy, and capable of incredible things.

Again, I wish I could be there to greet you with your favorite drink or snack, hug you, and tell you ‘it’ll be okay’. It will be okay, and I highly encourage you to seek out your favorite snack, ASAP.

It will be okay. You can get out of this negative situation. You don’t have to let it  hurt you or have this power over you anymore.

It might seem hard, impossible, or just really really scary to think about the steps it’ll take to get yourself out. But I promise you, it is possible and You. Can. Do it.

I did it. I was terrified of the back-lash from leaving my sorority. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. I lost friends I didn’t think I’d lose. But I did it, and it was so so worth it. And it took someone telling me I was ‘allowed’ to make this change for the better.

God doesn’t want you to be miserable. He doesn’t want you to be or stay in these toxic relationships and situations. You are worthy of so much more. You’re worthy of healing. You’re worthy of freedom.

When I realized the capability I had to free myself from what was weighing me down, I realized exactly how much I’m worthy of. And I promise you, friend, it’s much more than any toxic or broken situation you’ve found yourself in.

This isn’t your fault, and you can fix this. It’ll take work and it’ll take help, but I know there are resources, steps, and people you can help you get where you need to go.

Let this be your reminder and sign: it’s time to set yourself free. Free from the fear of ‘what they’ll think’, and free from the situation you know is wrong.

The Truth About Toxic Relationships

Like I said in my own ‘why I left’ post, I wish you nothing but the absolute best. And I hope you’ll choose the same for yourself. You got this. God’s got you. And I’m cheering for you.

Blessings always.

 


college faith & lifestyle blogger | pursuing grace, honesty, & ice cream

2 Comments

  1. Sockwun
    October 21, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this, Kristen! The most important thing for women to realize when they’re in a toxic relationship is that they’re not alone, and I think you did a great job of getting that message across. Thank you especially for sharing even though you didn’t want this post to be “all about sororities.” People need to realize that “toxic relationships” don’t always mean romantic relationships, and this post really shone a light on that.

    Sockwun | ExtraExtravagant.com

    Reply
  2. Hannah
    October 21, 2018

    Yes this is so true! Thank you for being brave and sharing this. I think we can all take something away from this, even if it’s just the reminder to be aware of what kind of relationships we are in.

    Reply

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