“When you are in a toxic relationship you don’t realize how much the emotional abuse impacts you. Not while you’re in it at least. When you’re in a toxic relationship, everything about it is kind of addicting. It’s the knowing and not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s the hope that’ll it’ll change but there’s also comfort in things that are the same. There’s a comfort in someone knowing you so deeply.
And it takes everything in you to not walk away. And even when you walk away, you find yourself going back so many times because you miss him. You miss the adrenaline rush of high intense emotions. From love to screaming to making up.
But then you meet a good guy. And when that happens that’s when you realize how negatively this past relationship has affected you. And sometimes you even push people away because of it.
You aren’t used to being treated so well, you almost reject it.
1. At first, you expect the worst.
After a toxic relationship, you don’t trust anyone. Even yourself. You wonder how you tolerated such a relationship for so long. And you enter every relationship expecting the worst of someone. For a while, you don’t believe good guys do exist. Because for so long you looked for the wrong qualities and you accepted a lot of these people who didn’t deserve you.
2. And overthink everything.
You think everyone has motives or doesn’t mean what they say. When you’ve caught someone in lies so often it makes you paranoid as fuck. You don’t believe people can be honest or mean what they say. You make crazy assumptions and doubt really good people just because of one person.
Next thing you know you’re explaining to this guy how you got to this conclusion in your head and he’s baffled. Not because you’ve questioned him but that someone has made you this way and all he wants to do is reverse this.
3. You’ll think he’s too good to be true.
Someone treating you this well has got to be too good to be true. You’re expecting the other shoe to drop. You’re expecting him to lose it one day. You’re expecting some abrupt ending without closure. But every day he just proves to you he’s the same person he’s been from the start. He’s given you no reason to question him but it isn’t him you don’t trust it’s everyone in the past.
4. After you push him away.
Someone in the past has led you to believe you don’t deserve the best. So when you get it you reject it. You fear something good because you don’t want to lose it. You don’t want to get hurt again so you try and ruin it first. But what you’ll realize that’s different about this guy is when you run he’ll chase you. When you push him he’ll grab you close and not let you leave.
5. You’re going to expect fights.
You keep waiting for a fight. But instead, everything gets talked out and explained. And there’s this wave of comfort afterward and you realize normal people don’t leave the second something goes wrong.
6. Then you’ll apologize too often.
He’s going to wonder why you apologize so often or what it is you’re saying sorry for. He’ll see the pain in your eyes from someone in the past whose made you question yourself. He’ll see the pain in your heart trying so hard to love again when you’ve only known heartbreak. And he’s going to constantly reassure you everything is okay.
When a good guy loves someone who is broken who has only known toxic relationships, what he does is teach her she didn’t deserve anything she got. He redefines these horrible standards she has and he chooses to be the exception.
7. And question if they are better off without you.
You think they are better off without you but the truth is just as they have made your life better it goes both ways. And I know you’re scared to love again. I know you’re afraid to let anyone that close. But your sensitivity. Your compassion. Your strength and understanding and lack of judgment in everyone is what makes you beautiful.
In the past, you were able to love someone who was completely unlovable and intolerable. You found the good in them. You took a chance on them. You never gave up on them. And it’s your turn to have that reciprocated.
This new relationship isn’t what you are used to but it’s exactly what you deserve.
8. You overcompensate.
And when you finally get comfortable and accept this relationship you are going to love this person with everything you have in you. But don’t try too hard. Don’t think you have to. In the past, you were taught your best isn’t good enough. So you had to try too hard. You had to compete. You had to prove yourself.
What you should have learned was your best was good enough and it was him that didn’t deserve it.
9. Then you trust him.
There’s going to be a moment where you tell this guy everything that’s happened. A moment you trust him to let him that close. And when you tell him about the past and the people who have hurt you what you’ll find isn’t that’s he’s going to take off. It’s just given him a reason to stay.
I know someone in your past taught you about tough love. They taught you vulnerability is a weakness. You’ve had to be strong for so long and you’ve had to endure a lot of things you didn’t deserve. But all of it has made you more beautiful than you know. And all of it will make the right person appreciate you for overcoming all of it.
And with tears in your eyes even you will be grateful for a toxic relationship that didn’t destroy you but rather made you the strong person you are today.
10. Finally you learn what love really is.
You begin to realize that relationship that used to define your standard of love was so far from the real thing. You learn that love isn’t supposed to hurt you or be demeaning. Love isn’t supposed to break your heart just to build you back up. Love is not anything that comes in the form of jealousy. Whether it’s making you jealous or being jealous of you. The right type of love does not play games with your heart or want to see you in pain.
You realize all of that wasn’t love but control.
You build yourself back up and fearlessly love again, only this time you do it right.
The right type of love heals you and that’s exactly what this guy has done.”
Alec looked down at his hands and saw them start to tremble. They hadn’t done this since the almost-wedding with Lydia. Where he first truly felt Magnus under his touch as he let himself to kiss him. To hold him in a way he never allowed himself to do with anybody, in a way that felt like his heart was going to give out. How his hands felt around Magnus hips like they were made specifically to just hold him there, hold him close.
He’s gone now though, like the last note of a song that can still be heard a few seconds after but you can hear that its ended. A beautiful melody that has reached an end without the ability to restart, he’s gone. Walked out without so much of a glance until the doors closed behind him.
And Alec’s hands start to tremble. Of course, they’d begun once the uttered “can’t have both” had reached his ears. Just like clockwork his hands started shaking slightly, unnoticeable. However the shakiness had exhilarated and he started to see blurry. His breath hitches as if his lungs forgot to inhale air, and they did. He moves around trying to make something out of his space, what’s surrounding him.
He knows he’s in the Institute, outside of Max’s medical room. He hadn’t left his spot, he knows that much but everything looks like it closing in and even if he tried, the place looks like spots of colors that he can’t make out of as shapes. He knows this place like the back of his hand, but with his senses lost he feels useless. So trying to use his instinct he goes to the left where he’s fairly sure the door to Max’s room is.
As he walks, his legs wobble and he knows he’s walking on solid floor but somehow it feels like the ground is going to shatter and he’s going to drown. His legs feel heavy, he notices. They are difficult to move, they feel as if they were asleep, but don’t hurt to walk in as if they were though.
When he reaches the door that lead him into the room, he fumbles with the doorknob. Not as if it were lock but more as if he couldn’t quite grasp it. His hands feel weak and his hands slides around the doorknob returning back to the side of his body. He gives it several tries but with each following attempt he can feel himself being drained of energy, so he stops trying.
He starts to feel raindrops on his cheeks and his vision is heavily impacted because he starts seeing black dots form where the color once was turning his stream of colors into undistinguished blobs. He can’t see, not anymore, not to be able to distinguish something and he can feel his chest is about to explode. It feels tight and uncomfortable and he’s fairly sure he’s not breathing.
He can feel himself becoming dizzy and when his feet are about to give out, he reaches out to a nearby table to steady himself but his arms are weaker than his hands so he falls, rather easily and harshly to the floor. He’s not sure if anybody noticed or even if they might’ve heard him since his ears are ringing.
He think he hears a door opening but he’s not quite sure until someone raises his head to their lap. His eyelids are half close, but even if they had been open he’d still see a nothing. He feels a hand on his neck and another one by his wrist, both pressing against his skin at the same time or in a short period of time, he’s not quite sure.
The hands feel warm against his skin and he tries to focus on the feeling of warmth that the hands are providing, but the hands move away before he succeeds. His breathing hasn’t improved but it hadn’t worsen, so Alec considers that as a good sign. The hands are back now, one is going through his hair but the other one is firmly placed on his chest, slightly to the left.
“Alec, breathe” a voice faintly says. He does as he’s told but has trouble complying to the command.
“You’re okay, Alec. You’re completely safe” the voice says softly, near his ear so it seem so faint and so far away. The hand on his chest hasn’t moved but the person’s thumb is rubbing circles around his heart.
“Focus on my thumb, okay? See if that makes it easier for you to breathe” the voice says in a calm and soothing voice and Alec complies. “I know you need to focus on something for anything to work” the voice says in a fondly teasing way that sounds so familiar.
“I-Izzy?” he croaks out, which causes a burn to pass down his throat entering his chest which makes him feel uneasy.
“It’s okay, big brother. It’s alright, I’m here and this isn’t going to last forever. You think you can handle this a while longer?” Alec unwillingly to speak again, simply nodded.
After a while of hearing Izzy’s soothing voice and focusing on feeling on his chest, he could feel himself breathe a little easier, raindrops were still falling on his face but he let them be unable to do anything about them.
When he could breathe normally, his eyesight was better. Some parts were still blurry but he could make stuff out, like the outline of Izzy’s rune, this continued until he was able to look at her straight in the face and saw her eyes filled with concern.
In an attempt to understand what was going on around him, he asked her if raindrops had been falling on her cheeks too. When she told him as she cleaned one of his cheeks that he had been crying.
She explained to him, he had experienced a panic attack. She said it meant he was feeling some sort of intense fear or worry about something. She also said that while some could happen spontaneously, some could’ve also been provoked.
When she asked him what happened, he didn’t know how to explain to her that he wasn’t sure what exactly happened. He remember blurs and feeling utterly broken and devastated. He remembers sorrow and heartache but most importantly he remembers Magnus.
He looked at her general direction, unable to meet her eyes, because his own felt heavy with sadness as exhaustion filled his entire body. He told her, in a whisper.
I’ve been thinking about the things we aren’t permitted to see.
What we learned in The Final Problem is that there is another Sherlock his harsh exterior has been protecting. Sherlock is most definitely not a high-functioning sociopath. He’s a deeply emotional, loving man who needs companionship and affection.
We see the secret Sherlock a couple of times in series 4: at the end of The Lying Detective when he holds John and tells him what he needs to hear (”Even you”), and, fleetingly, with John and Rosie in a snippet of a scene that can only be described as their happiest moment on record. Sherlock is so happy he looks out of character. We have never seen John grin like that before.
But we don’t really get to see Sherlock and John behind closed doors again. And I’ve been thinking that.
Sherlock has a secret self that is different than the persona he has been cultivating. How weird would it be to drop a mask like that? He can’t drop it entirely, can he? Certainly not while he’s solving crimes. That is who Sherlock is now. he can be gentler and kinder, but he’s still Sherlock. He’s still got to be that person.
The hat goes on and he becomes Sherlock Holmes for the world, the logic machine, the famous consulting detective, but at home, when the door is shut, does the secret Sherlock emerge? In The Final Problem,John says they are “soldiers today”. John is aware that they both put on a guise in public; Sherlock is the calculating genius, John is the hero. But there is a time when they stop being soldiers.
Maybe no one gets to see the secret part of Sherlock. Not the clients, not the police, not even us. But John has seen it. John knows that secret Sherlock well. Maybe only he ever will.
There has always been a Sherlock for the outside world, but finally Sherlock has an inside world in which he is not alone.