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Am I toxic or is it just a trauma response?

Community Member

hi, as the title suggests, I am quite conflicted. In a brief summary, I am now 24 and my childhood has included 6 deaths, 1 suicide, a family member with an eating disorder and a very traumatic past relationship. This all beginning from the age of 13. I'm not sure if I ever got over the death of the loved one as the next death happened so quickly after the last one happened, the first being extremely sudden. The relationship I was in was so toxic, I lost all my confidence, was depressed, did not love myself and I am now against affection due to various forms of toxic behaviours and abuse. On top of all this, I also have some anger issues where I just yell and basically have a tantrum which I have done since I was a child. It isn't all the time but when I wake up in a mood it is very very hard for me to get out of it and if I get pushed it results in the tantrum of me just yelling my lungs out as I honestly cannot communicate properly in that heightened state. Which now I think is because of the trauma I have been through.


I am now in a very very healthy relationship with the person of my dreams and I feel as though I am ruining the relationship. At first I didn't want to hold his hand but now I do and I am okay with the physical affection most of the time. However, I feel myself pulling back from him even though he has done nothing wrong. I also react to silly little things that I definitely don't need to be upset by. I have stopped organising dates and asking him how he is without even realising I was doing that. I cling to little things like the one time two years ago he didn't want to see a sunrise and use it against him and say he doesn't want to do things I want to do. 


I know I have normal expectations and that I am a 'normal' person but at the same time how much of my reactions are trauma related and unhealed grief related? Why do I need to yell at him when I am upset? I just want to be loved but now that I am being loved by the right person, why do I feel the need to push him away and tear him down in the process? How do I manage my emotions in a healthy way?

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Elise04~

I'd like to welcome you here to the forum, a good place to come to as others have been in similar places and understand.


I'd have to answer your question with a yes. We are the people we are now becuse, at least in part, of the things that have happened to us before. You have had many deaths, someone taking their life, a toxic relationship and all since you were 13.


As a result it must have affected your behavior. Please remember I'm not a doctor so can only guess, and my guess is that life has been so uncertain for you, and your relationship was a very bad one, so now you protect yourself from hurt.  You shy away from affection and commitment, even at times seeming to sabotage the lovely relationship you have now.


I found with other serious reactions (not the same cause as yours I must admit) that  anger and wanting to be a one were not things I could make better by myself. This almost ruined  my relationship wiht my partner and it was only when I started to get professional help, with therapy and medications that my life started to improve.


Now I'm a different person


So my I suggest, if you have not done so already that you seek professional help. Do you think this is possible?


Again I do not know if you have done this but a real explanation and conversation with  your partner may help both of you. At least your partner will not be blaming themselves which they may do now.