Signs in the Rearview Mirror: Leaving A Toxic Relationship Behind

What kind of person ends up in a toxic relationship? And why does she stay? This searingly honest novel answers both those questions head-on. Coming out of a failing marriage, Kelly turns to Gabe out of fear of being alone. Her gradual slide into danger is at once terrifying and inevitable, and the steps she takes to get out of it will both inspire and offer hope.

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What is recovery after a toxic relationship? How can you recover from a relationship? How do you know if recovery is something you need?

Well if you were in a relationship with anyone who was toxic and your life has dramatically changed since entering a relationship like this, you probably need to recover from it. People can recover in different ways. You can seek a therapist. Take time away from dating. Enter into a recovery program. For me, I chose to seek a therapist and enter into a recovery program after my toxic relationship began to end.

I had no idea I myself had been toxic in my marriage and I didn't realize my own mother was toxic until I started to peel back the layers of my toxic abusive relationship. In my weekly recovery meeting, I was able to see myself from someone else's point of view. Each week I sat with a group of women who were recovering from all sorts of things. I originally thought I was recovering from anger, but as the weeks turned into months and eventually years, I realized I was controlling, narcissistic, a people pleaser and of course I had anger issues. But where did all of this come from? As I began to write my weekly series turned book, Signs in the rearview Mirror Leaving a Toxic Relationship Behind, I discovered I learned a lot of my behaviors from my mother. My mother is extremely toxic and when my therapist pointed this out, I was in denial until I began unraveling my upbringing and things started to make sense. I had to take accountability for my actions. I had to admit I abused my husband and when I unknowingly got into a toxic relationship after my marriage ended, I stayed in that relationship long after the expiration date, because I thought I deserved the abuse.

When I finally was able to get out of that relationship, I knew I needed help. I knew I could not figure out what was going on with me alone. That's when I found my recovery program and began attending meetings on a weekly basis. I met with my therapist. I found a sponsor. I cried. I screamed. I faced who I actually was underneath all the hurt and control I had exposed on the outside. I tried to date, but quickly discovered I could not give of myself until I loved myself. That was a long road. I had to let go of my abusive ex and I had to build trust with my ex husband. I did both.

Today I am free. I am always a work in progress, but I had to let go of toxic people, and I have a happy healthy working co parenting relationship with my ex husband. I am now dipping my toes in the water of dating. It can be fun, but right now it's a bit scary. I have become so comfortable in my independent life, that I am afraid of losing who I am. But with the help and guidance of my sponsor, my therapist and my friends I am getting there. I am not rushing. So if any of this sounds familiar to you or someone you love, they may need to think about getting out of a toxic relationship and get some help recovering from what they have been through!

Always Be Brave!


Author Bio – Boston born and raised, Kelly now makes her home in Austin with her three sons and one amazing Giant Schnauzer Bullseye. Kelly has written for Huffington Post, blogs at Thoughts Becoming Words, and hosts a podcast, Lets Get Wicked Deep.