Toxic Love

Toxic Love

Clarissa Siah recounts her two-year long toxic relationship

written by clemens chua | photos by clarissa siah

When a relationship comes to an end, it may not always be a bad thing. Relationships have become more fragmented, what with divorces and people having very casual attitudes towards another’s feelings.

Clarissa Siah is an example of a 19-year-old student studying in Nanyang Polytechnic who was once in a toxic relationship for two years before even realizing that she was in one. She describes a toxic relationship as either partner constantly saying things to bring the other down but denying it when confronted and constantly making excuses to justify what he or she said. 

A toxic relationship to her is when one partner denies the other’s freedom to decide or feel good about themselves. Sometimes, both parties may acknowledge and know that they are in a toxic relationship, but do not choose to end it for personal reasons. “During the relationship, a partner would feel as though they couldn’t live without the other, therefore wouldn’t dare to leave the relationship and would instead try harder to make things work,” said Clarissa.

Clarissa describes her relationship with her ex-boyfriend as constant work for the both of them, as they were trying very hard to accommodate their differences. Just like any other relationship, they had their ups and downs.

“I felt so under-appreciated and maligned.”

Before breaking up, her partner would tell her that she was not pretty, thin or fit enough. He would scold her for laughing too loudly, talking too much and even criticised her for her style of dressing. He did not like it when she wore jeans or oversized shirts when they were out together. He would also compare her to other girls and insult her because they would always be better than her.

“I remember this one time I tried to wake him for school with 80 missed calls. At the last resort, I called his mother. Whilst he managed to wake up, he did not give me any sense of gratitude. Rather, he scolded me for involving his mother and letting her know that he was late for school. I felt so under-appreciated and maligned, all I wanted was for him to wake up and yet all I got was a scolding,” said Clarissa, recounting an unpleasant incident with her partner then.

“We broke up because I felt that our differences were too hard for him to handle and I didn’t want both of us to change too much for each other. Each individual in a relationship should adapt to their partner but should not change the essence of their personality and self,” said Clarissa.

Clarissa was initially very hesitant to initiate the breakup because she was afraid and wary of the backlash of her bringing up the topic to her partner. However, after thinking about the state of their relationship, she decided to follow through because it was for the best.

Her partner did not take it too well but eventually understood why she wanted to leave and agreed to break up. However, he soon came back to her and wanted to restart their relationship. Clarissa said: “I knew that history would repeat itself with him, so I told him that we were through and had no chance of getting back together again.”

After the breakup, Clarissa has been taking the time off from the relationship to spend more time with her friends and family as well as giving herself more personal time. Moving forward, she feels that she would not get into another relationship anytime soon, as she wants to focus on herself and her career path. Clarissa is an aspiring florist who is venturing into the media industry, and hopes to land a full-time job in a media firm.  

Clarissa offers some advice for those who find themselves in toxic relationships. She says to make a clean break, with no bad blood and regrets. Look ahead individually towards your future and move on before deciding to get back into a new relationship. Make more friends, expand your circle and surround yourself with happiness and positivity always.

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