Making Meaning Out of Toxic Abuse

Toxic Abuse refers to persistent harmful behaviour that causes emotional, physical, or psychological harm to another person. I started on my journey when I had Tenants in the rental property I was working in from 2016-2018 get upset over how I did my job. They were evicted for breaking the rules and turned around and started a Smear Campaign on the internet in my name, naming and shaming me, with false allegations of racism and discrimination on many websites they created for that purpose since Nov 2017. Currently, the sites are still registered for use, but the content disappeared about a month ago.

Making meaning of toxic abuse involves understanding its impact, patterns, and contributing factors in order to heal and prevent further harm. I had to find a way out of the nightmare…

Recognizing the impact: Toxic abuse had severe consequences on my mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being. It was essential to acknowledge and validate the emotions and experiences I had, as I endured gaslighting, manipulation, isolation, or other abusive tactics. There were websites online about me that were filled with very negative content about my character! I was being publicly named and shamed by these Tenants! It was hard on my relationships too, as I became fearful of everyone turning on me.

I was a mess for just over 2 years! As I already had PTSD from my past, this situation made my symptoms worse and I ended up in severe depression with psychotic episodes. I quit my job during my first episode of psychosis in Jul;y 2018 but don’t remember doing that. I became a hermit, afraid to leave my apartment out of fear of being attacked, verbally or physically due to the nasty content about me on these websites while all the Legal issues were ongoing. My picture, address, and phone number were shared, which terrified me as I had to deal with the public in my job. I had to find a way out of the nightmare…

Understanding patterns: Toxic abuse often follows specific patterns, such as cycles of tension, explosion, and reconciliation. Recognizing these patterns can help survivors like me identify the abusive behaviour and take necessary steps to protect themselves.

Whenever anyone asked them direct questions about any of their allegations, they flipped the conversation around to you and what they said you did instead of answering. If I said anything about their behaviour, they ignored it to accuse me of things they claimed I said and did.

If I was quiet, like I was when I first moved to NL from Sept 2020 to March 2021, they would send me emails or create a new post, trying to get me to “react” again and give them more content for their sites. Once they found out where I was living? They created a new site sharing my new Facebook Profile, trying to turn members of my Community here in Newfoundland against me just as they tried in Ontario with their false allegations!

I noticed there was no accountability, not even admitting they denied access to the apartment which caused their eviction, even when it was in black and white. They prefer to claim I “targetted” them because of their family dynamics instead, of making it all about me and my actions, pretending to be innocent and doing nothing wrong during their tenancy. It was all about me and what they claim I did rather than admit they broke the rules deliberately, in writing at that! I noticed this pattern and went looking for what it meant.

Identifying contributing factors: Understanding the underlying causes or contributing factors to toxic abuse can help victims like me and society prevent its recurrence. Factors like my unresolved trauma, power imbalances, poor communication, or learned behaviour may contribute to the cycle of abuse. By addressing these factors, individuals can break free from the cycle and prevent its continuation.

I was beaten, and pressured by so many others to “stay quiet” and not defend myself against their aggression. There was a major power imbalance there with the property owners and some other Tenants and I was left alone with no support. Everyone was so afraid of being a target on websites where they are named and shamed like I was that I was constantly pressured to not give these Tenants anything else they could use in the content of their sites. So, not only were these Tenants shaming me in their sites, but the property owners and some other Tenants living there, were also shaming me to remain quiet so they don’t become a target!

Seeking support: I had to seek professional help and support from a psychologist and support groups. It is here I learned my PTSD symptoms were getting worse due to the abuse I was receiving. Therapy provided a safe space to process the trauma, build resilience, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. I learned a lot about myself and toxic traits. It is from my Doctor that I learned about narcissism as he said he noticed the traits in the writings he read!

Healing and self-care: The healing process requires self-compassion and self-care. This includes prioritizing one’s physical and mental well-being, setting boundaries, practicing self-reflection, and engaging in activities that bring joy and promote healing.

I had no choice but to leave Ontario and the life we built there for about 22 years due to the lack of safety I felt living there with the sites online as they were and I was terrified of the Adult Bullies attacking me! I knew I wouldn’t feel safe living there anymore and that was my first step in my self-care. I knew that living in Newfoundland among the friendly people and beautiful scenery, would help me heal and get rid of my fears. I put myself and my safety first for the first time in a very long time!

Ever since Sept 2020, I have been healing from the Abuse I experienced. I know it will be a lifelong process…

Raising awareness and prevention: Education and public awareness play an essential role in preventing toxic abuse. Sharing my personal stories, providing resources, and promoting conversations about healthy relationships can help society recognize and address abusive behaviours early on.

When I started this site in April 2021 I intended to share my story so it would be found with their many websites if anyone searched my name as they claimed people were. I was sick of seeing my name on the internet put there by someone else so I decided that if my name was going to be on the internet, I was going to put it there!

I also hoped to drown out their words about me with my own and show how they don’t know me as well as they think! I thought, who will people believe, the actual person or an anonymous person? My life is my story to tell, not some past Toxic Tenants who were determined to invalidate me in their posts and put me down out of revenge for doing my job!

Over time, it became about showing the education I received and how it helped me in my mental health. I share articles I have found, other Bloggers I read who helped me, and so many posters I have read that contain all I have learned! I even share music that speaks to me and helps me heal.

Advocate for change: Advocating for policy changes, improved support systems, and education around healthy relationships can contribute to preventing and addressing toxic abuse on a societal level.

I want the Government of Canada to ensure the protection of Adults just as they do for everyone under 18 with acts of Cyberbullying. There has to be another way of protecting Adults than the long and arduous process of the Civil Court to find help.

I want Hosting companies to ensure that their customers can’t name and shame anyone else in the content of the sites they own. They know the names of their customers, it is required, so it is easy enough to tell the content doesn’t contain their names.

    Remember, making meaning of toxic abuse is a deeply personal and complex process that may vary for each individual. It is important to prioritize self-care and seek professional help to navigate the healing journey. It was my only way out.

    Ever since I made this site, and have been able to keep it online no matter their attempts to gaslight and manipulate me to take it down, I have felt empowered. This is my story to tell, not the Toxic Tenants.

    If they want to write about themselves, go for it, just don’t show my name. No more naming and shaming, it is Abuse. I learned my mistake, will they?

    Things change as we learn and I have learned a lot over the past few years. I have made meaning of this mess…

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    3 Replies to “Making Meaning Out of Toxic Abuse”

    1. Excellent post 💚💯

      Have a blessed Saturday.

      Together we grow if we interact on our blogs.

      GREETINGS from Spain 🇪🇸

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