I spoke about this very briefly in my blog post about my cheating ex-boyfriends (How Being Cheated on Affected My Life) but I thought it was something I needed to speak about the toxic side more because I know it's not just me who has gone through something like this, but I never see anyone speaking about it.

I never realised how much toxic relationships clouded my own self-worth until I attempted to start dating again, it took me 2 and a half years after my last relationship ended to even think about dating and when I did, I realised how much my own self-worth was affecting the choice of boys I was choosing to talk too. But alas, I did realise this and took some time to really figure out what I truly wanted and I wasn't going to settle for anything less, but that doesn't mean that I will magically be healed from the past.

I'll never know if my exes (especially my last ex) were aware of what they were saying and doing to me, but either way things they said and did will be with me forever and not in a good way. I've been called fat more than once, I can't recall either of my exes calling me beautiful or pretty and honestly, I never really felt like I was good enough. My first ex kept me a secret and wouldn't let me post pictures of us or even have him as a friend on Facebook (but, 7 years later then he adds me and wants to reconnect?) the other I was honestly quite scared sometimes of what he'd do when he'd lash out throwing things when he lost a game or something minor went wrong. I cannot tell you the amount of nights I cried myself to sleep and looking back, I just want to hug past me and tell her it'll be okay someday.

I'd struggled making friends and the ones I had, dumped me when I got in a relationship (don't worry, I have the absolute best, most incredible friends now), so I was alone. What did my ex do? He'd make sure that when I was staying at his house, he'd make plans with his friends and lie about the fact that there was more people in the car so there wasn't any room for me to come. I stayed good friends with his friend (because his friend didn't actually like him in the end) and he told me that he said I was more than welcome to join them on their road trips but he said he didn't want me to come and wanted to get away from me.

On the anniversary of my dad's death, I was so emotionally stressed that it hit me harder than it usually would and guess what my ex did? Went on a night out with the "boys" which I later found out, wasn't the boys - he ended up at his exes house, shouting at her window to take him back.. While I was at his house, emotional, playing minecraft to keep my mind off things and he was begging for his to ex to take him back, we'd been together over a year at that point.

I remember laying in bed with an ex a long time ago and he'd never called me beautiful before, but he kept going on and on about how beautiful the girl on tv was and my heart broke. I'd constantly wonder if I was good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough for him to love me. So what happened when we broke up? I ate my feelings, because if I wasn't good enough for someone then, I sure as hell never will be.

Oh and shall we just remember the fact that my last ex and I we rarely ever was intimate (if I were to count, it would probably be 10-15 times in the nearly 2 year relationship), and when I asked if we could be, he said yes... if it's a threesome. I cannot tell you how much I cried that night, that the only way he'd want to be intimate with me, was if there was another girl that he could focus on. Can you tell why I was insecure after?

I wondered for a long time if I would ever find someone who would treat me with basic human respect, it didn't really help when I started dating I realised most guys really were just focused on sex - first thing they'd ask is if I'm kinky, or play truth or dare so they can ask sexual questions or dare me to send pictures I wasn't comfortable with. It really did make me think for a while, am I destined to be treated like shit by anyone I end up with? To feel like an object instead of loved? Don't get me wrong, sex is important in a relationship, but I'd actually like to get to know someone and fall for them before having that conversation.

It took a long time for me to understand that with my past trauma and as people like to call it 'daddy issues' I went for guys who had the traits that weren't good for me, instead of finding someone who'll bring out the best in me, I went for what I knew - which is not a good idea, ever.

When it comes to dating, it takes me a while to let my guard down now, because I feel like a deer in headlights in case there's any red flags I need to be aware of. It's a very weird feeling knowing that at some point I will let my guard down and let someone in enough to have the power to hurt me if they wanted, but hoping so much that they won't. Is it really that hard to find your Prince Charming?

It wasn't until this year that I really found my confidence again and started to feel like myself again, I don't look in the mirror and see a fat person anymore, I see a curvy girl. After a long time hating myself from depression and then toxic exes, I feel like me. I've realised what I want and what I deserve (after a few friends constantly confirming toxic behaviour and red flags for me).

I have to say, I don't have any hard feelings towards my exes - if anything, I'm grateful for the lessons they taught me and I believe that when I do find that right guy, I'll appreciate him a million times more than I probably would have before. I am very hopeful being the romantic I am that he will come along one day and then I'll be able to share happy moments with you rather than posts like this.

Sending you my love,

Daisy x