A Letter to the Woman Trapped in a Toxic Relationship

By Chyna Snell

It’s a time of solemnity.

We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of your dearly beloved vision. The one of a better tomorrow that never seems to come. That persistent mirage, ever present on the horizon of this dry desert land that you have walked for far too long in search of even a drop of water. It is my sincere hope that these are the last words you need to hear in order to lay to rest that heavy old bag you’ve been carrying for some time now.

I know how badly you don’t want to “fail” as you’ve seen others do before you. Leaving a situation that does more harm than good is not a failure. You want to see the change you deserve. There is a strength in you that refuses to say “I give up.” Still, you have to know that you are better than going to bed another night without that simple little kiss–the one that would give you hope in seeing a stronger effort being made when you wake. I know that you’ve been waiting for a sign, anything to make you feel like all of the bad has been building up to something good. Girl, it ain’t ever coming.


Relax your shoulders and emancipate yourself from the guilt of throwing in the towel. You are strong enough to say goodbye today and mean it.

Goodbye to “someday” after the tension lingering in the air from last week’s argument finally decides to pass. Goodbye to days that begin without a “good morning” or the slightest attempt of a smile. Goodbye to holidays with no spirit. Goodbye to the awkward dance around one another as you somehow manage to get through an entire day of the silent treatment, again.

I’m impressed with the way that you’ve been handling things, but I need you to understand that being strong and holding on don’t always go together. There may be a child between you that you don’t want to disappoint. Stop worrying about the way you think things “should” be, or the way life “should”look. Give yourself the gift of other possibilities.

You put a lot into this. I can look into your dry eyes and see that you’re tired. Today we lay this vision, this bag, to rest. Know that you never needed it to be happy and whole. Erykah Badu has truly captured the essence of what I am saying to you today:

“Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you.”

You, darling, are no bag lady. Feel the winds of change blowing strong and let them carry you off into flight. Trust that every ending is a new beginning. Within you is a phoenix that will rise from the ashes of a love withheld out of spite and resentment.

If you’re reading this, I hope you drop that heavy bag you’ve been dragging. It’s full of all the things you don’t need to bring along with you as a new chapter of your life begins.

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