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How to say goodbye to toxic relationships

Sometimes in life it is necessary to rid yourself of toxic people, be it in a platonic, romantic or professional relationship, unfortunately family can prove a little tougher to deal with.

If a relationship is no longer bringing you joy then what are you truly benefiting from it? Holding onto toxic people and toxic relationships only prolongs your own pain and at times you truly need to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself first.

I have cared (and some I remain to care for) for many people during my childhood and adolescence. Entering adulthood, I have come to realise that sometimes you just cannot make things work and if your friends are not supportive then are they really your friends?

Life can be difficult enough without having to worry about those who are meant to care for you dragging you down.

There are many different types of toxic relationship, someone can be mentally damaging towards you, emotionally and on the worst end of the scale physically. At the end of the day, abuse is still abuse no matter what form it takes and it is not acceptable.

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The benefits of saying goodbye to toxic relationships

If you have someone in your life that undermines you, tries to compete with you, is unnecessarily jealous or envious of your successes, clouds you with their negativity (every day seems to bring with it a new tragedy), gossips incessantly about those around you (take this as a general rule, if they gossip to you, then they most likely gossip about you), are not supportive of your goals, act possessive or are incessantly needy of your  and everyone elses attention (all friends are there to offer mutual emotional support but relationships should not leave you feeling burdened or be one-sided), are inconsiderate, critical, prove to be a bad influence (we inevitably become influenced by our environment) or are at times are just downright manipulative, then get rid. Immediately.

Bonds can deteriorate, and once someone begins to grate at your patience and sanity they are not worth hanging on to. With friends you should never feel wary, you should be able to be open-minded without feeling conflicted or irritated. If you find yourself dreading to see a friend, making excuses to avoid doing so and feeling drained if you do eventually meet, then it all becomes pretty self-explanatory.

All relationships are complex and require a bit of give and take at times, but if your relationships are starting to drain you and stop bringing you emotional reward and joy, then it is a drastic warning sign to let that person go. Do so without speaking badly of them, as negativity never breeds happiness. Friends should make you happier and help you to escape or solve your problems, not cause them.

Healthy relationships are the only relationships you need, surround yourself with those who value you and you will soon start to feel a lot better in yourself. Your relationships should bring out the best in you and they reflect upon your own character. So remember, “you are only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with so be brave enough to let go of those who are weighing you down.”

Have you ever experienced a toxic relationship? How did you let that person go? 

Stephanie xox

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With Mother’s Day looming it’s that time of the year where we all start reflecting. Thoughts of childhood memories, times of laughter and everything our mothers have done for us and helped us to achieve.

We often take it for granted, but on that one Sunday a year in March we stop to think a little and appreciate all that we have.

Just how far will a mothers love go?

 

Diane Blood sits nervously, fidgeting with her head low in front of a large group of students. “This is the first time I’ve been in front of so many people since 1999”, she says.

Twenty years ago she was used to this kind of attention, the press intrigued by her erratic life.

Diane is an ordinary but unconventional mother-of-two adolescent boys, Liam aged fifteen and Joel at the delicate age of eleven.

Their father is Stephen Blood whom she met at sixteen while at school, marrying him eight years later in 1991.

It sounds like the perfect nuclear family. It isn’t. In fact, you are to be told that Stephen died of meningitis at just thirty, before his children were even born.

The couple had been trying for a child for some time before his unexpected and immediate death.

Diane comments that he would have been thrilled to have children, although he would have liked to have been around to raise them.

She took the decision to take her husband’s sperm while he was comatose in hospital, placing it in a fertility clinic for later use.

After three months of grievance for her husband, Diane asked and was denied the usage of his sperm – there was an issue of whether Stephen had given consent and the sperm was to be destroyed.

Horrified, Diane sought the legal help of Michael Fordham, now a close family friend and godfather to her first born, resulting in a monumental legal battle.

“I played everything by the book all my life”, she says.

Although supportive, her and Stephen’s family had their concerns. Concerns for her mentality and the fear of bankruptcy, which could result in her losing both her home and life savings, everything her and Stephen had worked so hard to achieve.

“I couldn’t have walked away and spent the rest of my life not knowing, to me it just wasn’t an option”, she says.

However, pressure loomed as she lost her first legal battle. The choice was to call it a day without a financial penalty of up to £30,000 or to appeal. Determined, Diane chose the latter.

With the choice to lift her anonymity after the first case came the intrusion of the press. A choice she made in order to raise public awareness and to gain their support.

Diane reflects on her instability during this time, listening out for the persistent ringing of her phone as she sat upon the floor in her lounge rocking backwards and forwards.

“I’m less emotional now”, she says.

Diane won on appeal due to European law and admirably her case set precedent with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Deceased Fathers) Act.

On reflection, Diane states it was an entirely selfish battle, she wanted children and did not think of the impact her determination would have on society, or the inspiration that she would become.

Defensively, she says: “I wanted the baby in spite of the fact he had died, not because he had”.

Her persistent and brave actions have encouraged other women to fight. Beth Warren followed in her footsteps as she got into her own and rather similar legal battle.

Diane cried at the declaration of Beth’s successful judgement. Due to her Article 8 rights (Right to respect for private and family life) in the European Convention on Human Rights Act she was now legally allowed to attempt her own family.

“We are massively privileged, there is an awful lot of people who don’t succeed”, she says.

Diane believes that her own and others cases have lessened the societal prejudice when it comes to IVF treatment. That the publicity from her case has raised awareness and changed ethical opinions.

“It’s not damaging to society”, she says.

Since the ordeal, Diane has focused wholeheartedly on her own family, raising her ambitious and vibrant sons who have desires to work in computing and science – something neither her or Stephen were particularly interested in.

The boys know everything about their father she says, told as soon as they began questioning. They still visit his grave on special occasions and the home is surrounded in pictures, his memory far from forgotten.

Diane has also continue to work extensively to raise awareness of meningitis, participating in charity events and giving public talks, her campaigns continue.

As Mother’s Day looms, the family prepare for a quiet meal this Sunday to celebrate all that they have achieved together.

As Stephen’s mother looks into her grandson Liam’s eyes and their long lashes, she sees her own boys peering back at her.

Never underestimate a mothers love or determination when it comes to her children.