Students feel trapped in disastrous relationships


Shylah Gibson, Editor-in-Chief

After losing her best friend, failing classes and pushing her family away, she finally started to see that her relationship might not be right for her. That relationship is only one of the many faces of toxic relationships. These relationships can come from significant others, friends and even family members.

Toxic relationships are easy to deny, but these relationships can be seen through the eyes of many people outside of them.

For some, it comes in the form of a controlling significant other.

“It all started out kind of slow,” junior Alyssa Ketron said. “[My friend] wasn’t allowed to wear make up, straighten or curl her hair, or even wear certain shirts because if she did, then she was doing it to impress another guy. We didn’t really hang out while they were dating. If we did, he always texted her and he always had to know what we were talking about.”

People may also notice these relationships occur within their family.

“My brother was in a really toxic relationship with his girlfriend and they were both kind of crazy whenever it came to each other,” Sarah* said. “They were both really bad for each other because they were always arguing and getting mad over things.”

These toxic relationships can be a challenge in many ways. People may feel as if they are unable to leave the situation in some cases.

“Every time I tried to leave him he tried to tell me he was going to commit suicide,” junior Ashley Gregory said. “Whenever I finally left him, he came over to my house and I told him I just couldn’t do it anymore and if he [commited suicide], it wouldn’t be my fault.”

Other students have had experiences where their former partners have spread rumors about them.

“The first time I tried to leave him I just told him I didn’t want to be with him because he was really clingy and up my butt,” Allison* said. “After we broke up he went and told his friends that I cheated on him and I got STD’s from it. He told people that I was sleeping with [guys] from different schools.”

These relationships can really happen to anyone, both boys and girls.

“She [an ex girlfriend] encouraged me to lie and sneak around,” junior Brice Brown said. “She caused me to lose a massive amount of trust from my parents. She deleted every girl’s phone number off of my phone. She caused me to lose countless friends. And she would basically just come up with a lie and push me to use it.”

These relationships can affect someone’s life substantially in many different ways.

“I was in a relationship for a year almost with the father of my child and we got together and by the third month he was going on to tell me that if I didn’t have sex with him, there were going to be consequences which put fear into me,” Kayla* said. “I didn’t know what route to go, everything I did was wrong. I finally had sex with him and I got pregnant. We ended up losing the baby at four months and after that he was even more controlling.”

These toxic people commonly use personal things against the victim in order to blackmail or threaten them.

“She eventually ended up pregnant and now they have a kid together which made it even worse,” Sarah* said. “It was always a cycle of them arguing and her trying to take the kid away, which wasn’t good for either of them. This affected my family because it is my niece and whenever she would get mad she would take her and we would sometimes go days without seeing her. There was so much different stuff she would do just to get at my brother.”

Some people may even use personal situations in order to bring someone else down.

“We would argue and he would tell me how I wouldn’t have been a good mom anyways,” Kayla said. “He said I wouldn’t have been able to take care of the baby and he said that I wouldn’t have been worth it and that being a teen mom would make me look bad.”

Toxic relationships can affect not only emotions, but also their social lives.

“During spring break that year I spent the whole week at her house because my parents were out of town and he said he didn’t want her to sleep in the same bed as me because it’s weird,” Ketron said. “He would always make her stay up late, usually until I fell asleep. That’s when I realized what was going on. He made her so upset that night I wish she would’ve broken up with him then. He basically ruined my friendship with her. No matter what I said to her she never saw it as I did, she just didn’t realize what was going on. I didn’t really talk to her during the summer and if I did he had to know what was being said. I would always see pictures that her boyfriend’s sister would post. It was so hot outside and she would be wearing pants and a long sleeved shirt. I hated seeing those pictures because I felt so bad that she was going through something so horrible but couldn’t even realize it. It honestly broke my heart to have my best friend be taken away from me by a boy.”

Other students are pressured into situations they are not comfortable with by their significant other.

“We eventually got back together and he wanted to start having sex all the time,” Kayla* said. “After I would tell him no he started freaking out and things got worse again. I couldn’t have other boys that were friends, I couldn’t be around boys or anything. I had to move houses because of him because he would show up to my house.”

A toxic relationship could also come from a family member.

“I had a bad relationship with my dad, he abused me physically and mentally,” Anna* said. “He sexually abused me whenever I was six and seven. He stopped doing that and I kept it to myself until last year. I had to go to JACY House and explain to them what had happened.”

These people may even tend to make someone feel low about themselves in some way.

“One day he told me to clean up the house but I told him no because I had homework and everything,” Anna said. “He came up to me and grabbed my head and jerked me back. He used to hit me all the time, he would call me names like ‘fat’ and ‘lazy’. He constantly would tell me I wasn’t good enough.”

These relationships can take a major toll on the victim from emotionally hurting them to many other things. Though these may be hard for people, there is always a way out.

“If you know that you’re in a toxic relationship and you know that it is bad or unhealthy you just need to get out,” Sarah* said. “You need to know your worth and know what you deserve. Don’t put yourself in the same situation over and over.”

“If anyone else goes through this, they need to tell someone as soon as it happens,” Anna* said. “I went through depression and I once tried to commit suicide. They need to get some kind of counseling because it helps to open up about it.”