It’s an emotional rollercoaster — but you’ll eventually grow from it.

All relationships have their challenges.

Some relationships fall into the difficult camp. And others are just plain toxic.

Here’s a guide to the emotional rollercoaster you’ll go through when you’re in a relationship with someone who has toxic or personality disordered thinking and behaviours.

Read it, knowing you can — and will — be okay on the other side. And, if you are on the other side, read it to validate all that you’ve been through.

1. Fascinating.

In the beginning they’ll be so, so interested in you. They’ll hang on to every word that drops from your lips, they’ll want ALL of your time, they’ll make you feel like the most fascinating person on earth. It’s incredibly seductive; don’t beat up on yourself for falling for it. You’re not alone: Many smart, secure people have been suckered by a toxic partner.

2. Surprised.

Toxic people can’t hold the mask up forever — actually, not even for very long. The first time you see a glimpse of their true self (usually a flash of anger or a dark moodiness), you’ll raise an eyebrow in surprise. But you’ll let it go because, well, love. Or lust. Gradually, as you get to know them, you’ll realise it wasn’t out of character at all.

3. Anxious.

You’ll come to know their emotions are highly unpredictable. You’ll never be sure what mood you’re going to find them in so — even if you weren’t prone to anxiety — you’ll find yourself feeling tense and nervous more and more often; your own mental state will start to be dictated by theirs.

4. Exhausted.

Because being with someone so unpredictable, so emotionally demanding, and makes you feel like you’re standing on scorching sand, is mentally and physically draining.

5. Responsible.

For their finances, addictions, behaviour, problems, moods, fight with their boss, poor treatment of others: Take your pick. You’re holding the show together — and, after a while you start asking, for what?

6. Unwell.

The mental trauma takes its toll. Your energy will wain and you may begin to suffer from unexplained aches, pains, colds and flus and other physical problems. When the mind is exhausted, stress often finds a way to show up in the body.

7. Confused.

When your partner’s good, they’re amazing. When they’re bad, it’s a nightmare. But those good periods begin to dwindle. You feel like you’re always waiting for the next jab. Or criticism. Or complaint. Or explosion. Or (insincere) apology. Is this what love is supposed to be?

8. Adored.

Fleetingly. When they feel like it. Just to add to the confusion.

9. Trapped.

You want to leave, but then you don’t. You pack your bags, then you unpack them. Maybe things can be okay? But then they’re not. You feel controlled by your partner’s moods and behaviours. You stay, hoping it’ll get better but, deep inside, you know they’ve got you in a cage.

10. Hopeful.

On a good day. When THEY’VE had a good day.

11. Jealous.

Because they’re always on their phone. Or disappearing. Or behaving weirdly. Or being secretive. Or just making you wonder.

12. Diminished.

All those jabs, mean comments, all that dismissiveness of your looks, your personality, Who You Are. Your confidence has taken a hike. You’ve become less of the person you were and you don’t know how to get yourself back.

13. Changed.

Not in a good way. They’ve brought out the worst in you. They’ve pushed you to your limits. They’ve made you lash out. You’ve become angrier, resentful, negative, more anxious and at times depressed, and you worry it’s seeping into your personality.

14. Manipulated.

After a while you know you’re being manipulated but you don’t know to stop it. You’re doing, saying or believing things that serve their needs — not yours. Their tactics are aimed at convincing you that they know what’s best for you, even when what’s best for you is the last thing on their minds.

15. Foolish.

You’re forced to accept you’ve been conned. And you don’t want people — even those who love you — to know.

16. Angry.

Because you know how wrong and unfair it is. Because you know you’re being treated badly. Because you went into the relationship hopeful and with an open heart — and this what you got.

17. Worthless.

That’s the cruelty of the game, to make you feel you’re worth nothing. That you’re not a good person. That no-one else would want you. Which is hurtful but, luckily, utterly wrong.

18. Unloved.

Even if they wanted to love you, they couldn’t. The damage was done long before they met you. The day you fully understand this, is the day you will have the strength to leave and, even if you feel tempted to return to them, you won’t.

19. Relieved.

When you’re out of the relationship. When you have blocked them from your phone, social media accounts — and life. When you can begin to heal.

20. Free.

It will happen. You will recover. When you’ve processed the trauma, banked the lessons and are happily single or in a new, healthy relationship, you’ll know for sure it wasn’t your fault. And you’ll — finally, FINALLY — feel free.

Source : Medium