Facets of Faith: eliminating toxicity


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Faith Brocke expresses her emotions and experiences in her column, Facets of Faith.

Faith Brocke, Staff Reporter

I like to describe myself as painfully self aware, and just as equally gullible, which is what makes being an empath who tries to see the best in everyone real fun. I mean, really, I could probably rationalize with a personified tiger that tells me it’s completely harmless, befriend it, and then get sad when said tiger starts gnawing at my left leg.

That being said, it makes it very hard for me to extricate myself from a situation in which I am either:

A: in legitimate danger

B: being played like a very fragile fiddle, and in the worst way possible. 

It is vital to take care of yourself and your needs. Not that caring about everyone around you is a problem, but ignoring red flags can drain you mentally. 

As someone who has been manipulated repeatedly, I can attest to the fact that recognizing it is not always easy and it might be far worse than you’d thought by the time it’s brought to your attention. Toxicity isn’t exactly easy to spot if you’re not actively looking for it, and the idea of being treated like garbage was not at the forefront of my mind at the time.

But please take into consideration that if someone seems like they cause you more grief than they’re worth, you may want to tread lightly.

It didn’t really click for me that I was in such a bad position until every serious concern or topic I brought was either turned into a joke, used against me, or dismissed entirely, while I was constantly lied to and forced to be this person’s support system.

And on top of being naive and gullible, I am far too forgiving.

I was wronged a plethora of times before I had to take a few steps back before I acknowledged that ‘Wow. This might be  a serious problem!”

And then there was the guilt. I felt like I was abandoning someone that I’d cared for, and I always felt the need to run back.

Never run back.

Here’s the thing with habitual gullibility: I am inclined to believe most things that are said to me at any time, because, why would you lie?

Which isn’t the greatest line of reasoning, since there are hundreds of thousands of reasons to lie, but I digress.

But hey, if you’re anything like me, I’ll cut you some slack. Recognizing and taking action when something like this suddenly becomes clear to you is not an easy thing to do. You may have to build up your courage, but it’ll ultimately be the right decision in the end. 

As someone who would much rather jump off Mount Everest with a torn air mattress for a parachute than talk about my problems (mostly because of the aforementioned toxic friends), it’d be plain deceitful if I told you that I was able to do this in one go and openly admit just how mentally unstable I’d become trying to hold the weight of my own world and someone else’s without so much as a thank you.

No matter how much you may second guess yourself, remember what it was like to live without someone who hurts you constantly. You lived before, and you can live again. You’ll be okay, no matter what.

Take care of yourself- don’t let the warning signs pass you by. Pressure doesn’t always turn coal into diamond, and a toxic friend can grind you to dust.