I lived with a habitual liar, and it nearly ruined me.

When I was fourteen, my father married a habitual liar, and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. When I first met her, she seemed extremely normal and almost everything I’ve ever hoped for in a step-mom. Fast forward six months, and she completely changed into an emotionally abusive, harsh person with a tendency to spin a tale about anything under the sun.

Living with her is like constantly walking on eggshells. You never truly know when her mood will change or how she will react to the smallest thing. One time, I made dinner, and she threw it away and screamed for an hour about how I was irresponsible, lazy, and essentially a screw-up that didn’t know how to do anything.

I moved out right before I turned seventeen.

Over the years, she’s told a few whoppers.

When I got accepted into college, she tried to tell everyone that it wasn’t a big deal because it was only a technical college. (It wasn’t a technical college.) Recently, she decided to tell my other family members that I flunked out of college and have a thirty-eight-year-old boyfriend that I’m living off of while my poor grandmother supports me financially.

And these are just the lies against me, personally. She’s also lied about her entire background and cheated on my father, lied about her father’s death to her previous employer (He’s still very much alive.), and told multiple tales about my siblings to the point where one of my sisters was institutionalized four times within one summer.

She is the definition of a toxic person.

After I moved out, I was still extremely anxious about simple things for a fear of messing up. I developed a perfectionist attitude when things fell out of place or didn’t go according to plan. I found myself writing detailed notes about plans, and it was extremely difficult for me to make friends.

I felt like everything I’d known since middle school was a lie, and that I didn’t truly know who I was or the people around me. It made me very uneasy.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I am now. I had to overcome a lot of my social fears and try to see the good in people, even when I’d been taught to be skeptical.

I let her get under my skin for years. I would stress myself out so much that I would get sick. It was awful.

The pain and anger I've felt over the years comes in waves. It's been a rough struggle to move forward.

I recently read a social media post that declared that self-care is sometimes cutting people off, and I highly relate to that. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is let someone go. It’s not easy to start over, but life is certainly harder if you don’t.

That’s the conclusion I’ve come to over the New Year: 2018 is the year that I start over.

I shouldn’t let someone control the way I live and make me feel awful every time I come home. I should be focusing on self-care, self-love, and progressing towards my goals.

What happened in the past, happened in the past. I have to move forward and start focusing on the negative people that were once in my life.

It's the human condition to care about other people's opinions, but most of the time, it just hurts us in the process. If we focused more on ourselves and the good things in life, things would go a lot smoother.

When it comes to New Year's Resolutions, self-care is always the best way to go.

A toxic person tried to ruin me, but I survived.