how-a-toxic-relationship-affected-my-mental-health
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I met James when he had nothing but hopes and dreams for the future. He was a struggling screenwriter, you see. He had a script that he could turn into a movie, but production companies already turned him down. Despite my family’s disapproval, I fell for his charms and agreed to move to New York with him and leave my life in Indiana behind so that James could pursue his dreams. I believed in his talent, and I loved him, so I could not see what’s wrong with my decision.

In the Big Apple, we had to get the smallest apartment in a shady side of the town so that we could afford living there for six months – that’s only how long our combined savings would let us. Although it was honestly the size of my bedroom back home, James didn’t hear me complain at all. In fairness to him, he knew that I was not super comfortable in the cramped space, so he said, “Give me six months to find producers for my script, and then we will move to a much nicer apartment.”

how-a-toxic-relationship-affected-my-mental-health
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I naturally hung on to James’ every word and tried looking for jobs, which I never needed because my parents provided everything for me back home. I got accepted as a waitress at a local diner and sometimes subbed as a delivery girl. On the other hand, James focused on looking for movie producers, so he could not chip in for all additional expenses. Still, I told myself that I was making an incredible investment by putting my faith in him and supporting him in more ways than one.

It didn’t take more than four months before the producers contacted James, asking if his script was still available. They saw it in the no-no pile of another producer, but they thought it was great after reading it, so they went on to find my man.

When I came back to our tiny apartment that evening, I was slightly confused when I saw all our belongings already packed. Then, I found James sitting in the corner and worried if the landlord kicked us out. As soon as I dropped on the floor next to him, though, he hugged me tight and told me the good news. We screamed and cried together; I was so happy that he was finally achieving his dreams, and I got to be a part of it. As for our stuff, the production company gave him a bonus that day, so he got a new – bigger – apartment near Broadway.

how-a-toxic-relationship-affected-my-mental-health
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The Start Of A Toxic Relationship

It was fun to be the life partner of a rising screenwriter. James got invited to all these fancy parties, and I was always his plus one. While he was getting interviewed, I was waiting for him in the sidelines, smiling from ear to ear. I was proud of James; there was no denying it.

But the more he rose to fame, the less we got to be together. Gone were those nights when we used to side by the window and talk about our dreams of growing old as a couple. Whenever he came home, James was drunk, or I was already fast asleep. He then agreed to attend other parties, regardless of whether it landed on my birthday or our anniversary. Slowly but surely, we turned more into roommates than lovers.

Then, some common friends said that they saw James going into a strip club several times a week. My instinct was to yell, “Liar!” That was my James they were talking about, after all – the sweet boy I fell in love with in Indiana. However, when I recounted the story to James one night, I saw the shock and guilt on his face. What’s more, there was a stripper that he slept with a couple of times, but he insisted that I was still the only one in his heart.

how-a-toxic-relationship-affected-my-mental-health
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Ending The Toxic Relationship

That was the last straw for me. I could bear it if he was often drunk or bent over work, but I could never forgive a cheater. I packed the suitcase that I went to New York with, purposely leaving everything James gave me throughout the years. It must have been the right decision because I went to the airport as a chance passenger, and I managed to board the plane two hours later. Before it took off, I called my sister to tell her what happened briefly and that I was on the way back home.

When I landed, I cried hard after seeing that my parents came to pick me up. We hugged each other tightly, not bothering if others found us weird. I kept saying, “I’m sorry,” while my family rubbed my back and said, “It’s okay; you’re home now.”

how-a-toxic-relationship-affected-my-mental-health
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It took a few days to readjust to my old life without James, but I soon realized how toxic our relationship had been. I spent the last few years trying to help him fulfill his dreams, and he paid me back by neglecting and cheating on me. 

Well, that will never happen again.