It's been about 10 weeks now since my DXBF laid things to rest between us. I have to be honest with you, there are so many things I have wanted to say to him since then and since he initially broke things off between us back in December. But I don't do the whole ‘talking' thing particularly well... I guess it's because I always worry that I will say something that I will later regret. I find it much easier to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper, at least then I can get it all out yet still have the option to cling to them should I feel the need.
This entire situation has left me (and a lot of other people for that matter) rather baffled, bemused and bewildered. So I wanted to share my side of things and get EVERYTHING off my chest.
Us getting together in the first place was a feat in itself. On my part, there had been a long standing attraction to him, pretty much from the first time we met a couple of years ago. I instantly felt chemistry with him and was, for want of a better word, awed by him in some respects. However, all that time ago things between me and my EXBF and I were OK and therefore it meant that I was more able to ‘can' these feelings and carry on as normal and see it as nothing more than a bit of a thrilling crush. I thought he were great... a talkative, intelligent, funny and hideously talented person.
Over time (two years in fact) mine and EXBF's relationship had dwindled to the point of no return. I had been consumed with resentment and frustration and there was far too much water under the bridge to make amends. I knew for a long while what had to happen but there were certain material, rather than emotional, factors that prevented the inevitable from happening for some time.
It was during this time that I became closer friends with XDBF and started hanging out independently of ‘the group' and getting to know one another better. I really had fun doing that as well, we had some good giggles. It didn't take long for either of us to realise that there was something else brewing under the surface, some kind of attraction that was more than ‘just good friends'. I guess this sort of preludes one of the nicest ‘first' kisses I have experienced to date! Now, I was still in a relationship at the time and I'm fully aware that his moral constitution was a great deal sturdier than mine at the time and I know that it took a lot of deliberation from him to actually do that in the first place, to go against what he knew was right. Neither of us were drunk, neither of us was ‘seduced' and both of us knew exactly what was going on.
It was that moment with him that lead me to believe that it would be unfair of me to stay with EXBF any longer, it would absolutely make me the bad guy and although the end of our relationship was inevitable, I didn't want it to be a horrible spiteful break up where he finds out that I kissed another man and it all ends in tears. So I did the right thing and finished with him.
After finishing with EXBF, things between EXDBF and I started moving forward. We were talking on the phone often, seeing each other once or twice a week, but at the same time keeping things as under wraps as possible until we both figured out what was going on. As much as he was trying to fathom what I was wanting out of it, I was also doing the same. While he was making sure that I wasn't just rebounding, I was making sure that he wasn't just interested in me because I was the first woman who had batted an eyelid at him for a while.
During this time I think we both maybe made a few mistakes as to how quickly we moved things forward. But, we were both figuring out what this ‘new thing' was, what we each wanted and what the other person wanted. he even told me that himself. Perhaps we should have tried the whole dating thing for a while, but some things happen at a certain pace for a good reason. The reason for him and I was that we both clearly felt a mutual attraction towards one another (which is where most relationships start, correct me if I'm wrong!) and we both felt a connection that we wanted to explore more.
Whilst we were both in this transition of figuring out exactly what was going on in each others minds, I was trying to find reassurance from other people (mutual friends) that he actually was interested in me and weren't just being ‘friendly', this is largely due to my own paranoia and I suppose my lack of familiarity with the courting process after such a long time. I guess I thought I didn't have it in me. I think what was also going through my mind, very much rooted in dwindling self esteem, was how on earth someone like him would be interested in me. I think I thought a lot more of him than I did of myself. But then I suppose all paranoia stems from lack of faith in one's self. But he eventually convinced me that I perhaps was, "talking out of my arse"! I know that he also had his own apprehensions about getting something started with me, such as the fact that I was essentially fresh out of a relationship (regardless of the ins and outs of that situation), concern for our friends opinions and whether or not they thought it was a good idea. But despite being met with some reservations from a mutual friend, he still went with his feelings.
It was at this stage also when I started getting to know his dad better along with his sister, housemate and everything seemed to be going really nicely, despite it all still being largely on the QT. Of course, I still had EXBF living with me at the time so it probably wasn't the best idea to be public knowledge. But, eventually, EXBF moved out and that gave us the opportunity to actually get the ball rolling a bit. Halloween I believe it was. That was possibly one of the best nights of my life, partly because I got to dress up like a vampire, partly because I was finally ‘free', partly because I met 2 new friends, but largely because it was the first night when EXDBF and I could interact like people who were seeing each other. I felt so happy that night. He seemed over the moon as well - it was absolutely lovely. I felt so proud to have him next to me, it was brilliant! Then the morning after a truly awesome night out, he asked me if I wanted to make ‘us' official. Once again, he truly brightened up my day. It finally lay to rest any doubts in my mind that I had regarding his intentions with me and it made me see that he actually was interested in me, for who I was, not for what I potentially represented.
The following weekend was my birthday. He came and stayed at mine on the Friday night, we watchedtv, drank a bit of wine and then, you know... we did that thing that he had put off doing until he knew it was the right thing to do. It just worked. Everything just worked so well between us.
The day after was the day of my party. Once again he was utterly fantastic to me, he actually gave me everything. If it hadn't have been for him then that party would not have happened, at least not in the way that it did. he was utterly phenomenal.
I once had a heart to heart with his housemate I told him about how paranoid I had been etc. HOUSEMATE reassured me that EXDBF really did like me and would not have pursued me to the point of a relationship if he didn't.
I think that it was around this time when EXDBF unfortunately had to deal with the angry messages from EXBF. He could have just ignored it all and carried on, but he didn't. He dealt with it when he really didn't need to. He fought his corner and mine and was such a gentleman about the whole thing. He managed to simmer the fire and gave us a slightly more open plane on which to continue our relationship.
He let me get close with his friend's; they welcomed me with open arms. But soon he mentioned to me that he had started to feel his depression creeping back in. I remember he told me not to worry and that if he still felt the same in a week then he would seek help. he told me that it's triggered by change, positive or negative change. The last time he was bad was when his niece was born a couple of years ago. So, despite feeling slightly responsible for what he was feeling (being quite a significant recent change), I trusted that he was in some sort of control and would do whatever he could to catch it before it took hold.
So, from then we had some nights in with friends, he met my parents and we both developed new bonds with each others friends. Things really seemed to be progressing nicely for each of us, moving forward in a good way and at a nice manageable pace.
Soon after I went on a shopping trip with his sister. I think that up until then, she was the one person whom I had not really spent any significant amount of time with (of the people who he regarded as close to him). I was apprehensive as she is quite a formidable lady, about as close to meeting his mother as I was going to get for a while! But my worries were soon quelled and we had a really fun day filled with clothes, girly chats, laughs and lunch (and wine)! That was also the day I had the pleasure of meeting his adorable little niece whom he dotes on so much.
I think that day was possibly the day when I felt I had been ‘accepted' and that I had a place in his life. Later that day he had a small gathering at his house and I had a really nice time. However I could absolutely tell that there was something not quite right with him, he seemed a bit distant, a little ‘not quite in the room with the rest of us' so I asked him was ok. To which he replied that he were still feeling that his depression was taking hold of him again. Still, even so,he told me not to worry and that he would sort it out. That night was seemingly the last night I spent with him.
A week later we went to the cinema with MUTUAL FRIEND. I think this was possibly the first time anyone from that particular friendship group had actually seen him and I together and apparently, the last as well. This is where the confusion starts. I don't know what the hell happened. I know that earlier in the night, before I arrived, that he was talking to MUTUAL FRIEND about how he was worried that he was getting depressed again and also talking to him about what to do with me, also about how we had future plans such as you thinking about moving in with me at some point, possibly going away sometime soon etc. One minute everything is OK, the next he is crying his eyes out to me and splitting up with me, crying because he said he didn't want to do that.. Where did it go wrong? What snapped? I know he had been thinking about what was happening to he, ergo what would happen with me, for sometime before that night, but it still seemed like he wanted to carry on seeing me during that time.
What he said to me that night was pretty hard to take on board. It was also extremely painful to see you like that and feeling, albeit, a tad responsible. His depression had taken hold and he only knew how to deal with it whilst single, so he needed me to step back and give him the space that he needed to get better. He said he couldn't feel beholden to me while he was going through this truly selfish problem. I completely understood that and realised that the added pressure of having to worry about what someone else was feeling was perhaps not giving the clear path he needed to help himself. He also thanked me for understanding and said that he knew he would have chosen the wrong woman if I didn't. But one thing that he did say to me that still rings in my head is "it's not the end; please don't see it as the end."
So I did possibly the single most emotionally challenging thing I have ever had to do and I stepped off the radar for you and kept as much out of his life as I possibly could, at risk of damaging him further. I didn't do it for me; I did it for him because it's what he needed. And so began the downward spiral.
I found solace and counsel in talking to people about what had happened, as opposed to his coping mechanism of holing up and disappearing. Everybody was extremely understanding, to be honest I don't know what I would have done without them. My mind was in utter turmoil. It was as if speaking to other people was not only a cathartic act, but is also prevented me from targeting my feelings at him, which would have been detrimental in so many other ways. HOUSEMATE was one of the first people to get in touch with me, saying that EXDBF had told him what had happened and that it's really sad as EXDBF really liked me and that I should see it as a break or taking things slowly for a while.
MUTUAL FRIEND was one of the first people I told and since then he has been an absolute rock, he has been there for me at the drop of a hat when I have needed him and leant me the best ear I could possibly wish for. He helped EXDBF a lot in the past when he suffered depression previously. His mantra was that he was going to do the best he could to help EXDBF get better and also the best he could to help me be ok throughout it all. One thing that strikes me as unusual and has baffled me and MUTUAL alike is EXDBF said to him that when he was better, he definitely wanted to carry on seeing me and that he was, in fact, using that as a target to get better for. When MUTUAL FRIEND told me what EXDBF said, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and it seemed to be a case of not ‘if' he and I get things off the ground again, but ‘when'. It was this glimmer of hope on the horizon that helped me through the following few weeks.
Everyone was so kind to me and really gave a +*!+ (and still do!) about how I am getting on and if I'm ok. I think they are all rather disappointed by what has happened as they saw something in me that was good for him and I think they genuinely feel saddened by how things have turned out. This kind of outpouring of support from people I haven't known all that long is truly touching indeed. I have every intention of maintaining contact with everybody, despite what has happened between us.
I did everything by the book for him and completely put him first above all else. He came before me and what I needed. It took so much of my strength to walk away and leave him, but that was what he needed. I was so drained of everything throughout the whole ordeal, I wasn't myself by a long shot, but I knew I had to stay strong for him, because that's what he needed. I know that his coping mechanism is to disappear and only really see his family, which is fair enough. But I gave him the patience of a saint. If I wasn't as strong as I was then his situation would have been made so much worse. There are not a lot of women who would do what I did for him and wait for him to have the time that he needed to get better and to deal with whatever it was that he had to deal with. Most people would not have given him the benefit of the doubt. But I cared about him enough to let him do what he did. I could have handled it a completely different way, I could have been as selfish as he was. But that's not me. He never even gave me the chance to show how strong I could have been for him. Our relationship was still far too young for me to be able to help him in the ways I wanted to or felt I could, or to be there for him in the way I wanted to. The only way I could do right by him was to step away. I became consumed by the whole situation. It was like a constant banging in my mind, relentless and unforgiving. No matter how much I tried to distract myself, my thoughts constantly fell back to him. I don't know why. Usually I am particularly good at proverbially closing one door and opening the next one, but with him...it wasn't so easy. It still isn't.
I think it was early on in January when I finally had to get in touch with him or I would have gone insane, so I sent him a message asking how he was doing and the conversation flowed from there really. He said he was planning to call me the day after and I was really looking forward to that. He called, we spoke, had a really nice conversation actually and hence he asked me to the cinema. Now naturally after this I was absolutely over the moon to a) have heard from him and b) to have actually made arrangements to see him. It showed me that he was finally starting to feel better and wanted to start getting out there and doing stuff again and seeing people. I was really pleased for him as I had been worried sick about him in the weeks leading up to that. So, we met up and watched a film followed by a drink in the pub.
When we were in the pub afterwards I really think the atmosphere between us could have only been cut with a diamond tipped drill, it was that awkward. Well, it was from my perspective anyway, I wanted to leave. Still, we chatted small chatter, never really getting to the important stuff. Then he said "By the way I do want to talk about you and me, just not tonight." He said that he was going to contact me within the next few days, but when the weekend passed without so much as a text, I think I knew what was coming.
Then I guess that brings me up to when he called me to cut things off completely. He text me earlier in the day to say that he had let this go on far too long already and I knew then exactly what was coming. There was no nice way to do it, he went right on ahead and broke my heart. He told me that it was all a mistake and that he jumped into a relationship with me because he was needy. He told me that he was seduced by the idea that ‘such an attractive girl' was interested in him and he found it a novelty. He said that he absolutely believed it was the right thing to do at the time because we had so much in common and we really got along... so, what the hell changed?
Naturally I have dissected this entire situation and tried to piece it back together, but it just doesn't fit together again. There is something about the whole thing that just makes no sense whatsoever. Honestly when I look back on the way he and I got together, how we met, how we got along, how everything just seemed to fit so well, I really don't believe he jumped in. If either of us did, it was me. I mean, I had just come out of a relationship, but he had been single for a long time... he was ready for this. He didn't trip, fall and land in a relationship. It took weeks of getting to know one another better, figuring each other out and eventually it became something more than a friendship. It was planned, it was thought through and it was good! There were times when he just couldn't wipe the smile off his face. He finally had something that he had been wanting for such a long time... and look what he did.
I honestly cannot quite get my head around what he said to me about not having feelings for me. It sounds almost ludicrous for him to actually believe that. I mean, I didn't expect him to be head over heels in love with me as we had only been together a short time, but the point is that these types of things need time to develop and peoples' feeling need time to grow. It seems that he never even gave us a chance to grow as a couple and his breakdown happened at the most crucial time for any relationship, the ‘honeymoon' period. There had to have been some sort of feelings or attraction there on his part or quite simply, things would not have happened between us. He wouldn't have asked me to be his girlfriend if he didn't genuinely feel that there was something there worth having. Also the fact that he apparently wanted to continue things whilst you were down also suggests that he must have had some form of ‘feelings' there for me.
Thinking back to when we were in the process of getting together and for those few weeks when we actually were a couple, it all seems so bizarre that this has been the eventual outcome. We spoke on the phone everyday, we exchanged a lot of texts and some of the things that he put in your messages really suggest that he thought about me a lot and held me in high regard. He seemed like he wanted to see me whenever he had free time and wasn't doing music stuff, family stuff or seeing other friends. In fact, most of the time he made an effort to include me in as much of that as possible. He wasn't ashamed of me or of showing the world that he was with me. If anything he was proud of it and he wasn't afraid to show it.
I fully understand that his depression isn't his fault and that it's something that he really has no control over and to be honest, since all this happened I have been doing so much reading about how debilitating it can be. Not just scientific reading, but I also went to a lot of forums and read about peoples experiences, mainly focussing my reading on relationships and how people with depression handle relationships and also how other people deal with it too. On the whole, it seems that people who suffer from depression don't seem to do relationships all that well. People talk about losing their ‘love' for a spouse or partner, not being able to feel what they should be feeling for someone. But the worrying thing is that it is not only their depression that causes this but also the medication. It has a numbing effect on the dopamine in the brain, the chemical responsible for sex drive and also many of the feelings associated with romantic love. it seems a little bit strange that he had been feeling this way about me for a couple of weeks, roughly the same amount of time that he had been feeling like ‘himself'?
I suppose what I am trying to convey is that although he may genuinely be feeling (or not feeling, as the case may be) a certain way towards me, I think he has to realise or at least consider the fact that what he is currently feeling could possibly be a result of the depression/ medication? I have spoken to so many people who have been through similar emotional patterns whilst dealing with depression and it seems to all add up to perfectly tangible reasoning. When he initially broke things off between us back in December he said that you had never had to deal with depression whilst in a relationship and he only knew how to get better whilst single. So, how would he even know whether or not these feelings are or aren't a result of his illness? I know that regardless of the reasons, it's still how he feels at the time and I know that he was only being honest with me.
I know that depression causes an insane amount of negativity and negative thinking and it's only natural that he would start thinking negatively toward me as well, but there was absolutely nothing about me to feel negatively about. We enjoyed each others company, we were comfortable around each other and neither of us had any reservations about letting the other person into our lives, we each encouraged that.
To say that it was all a novelty to him was nothing short of cruel. People are not novelties. I asked what had changed and why he didn't think it was recoupable, he answered "because you're too much like me." Quite possibly the lamest reason anyone could give to excuse them from anything.
I recall when we spoke on the phone that he said he wanted to forget all about December and lock it away. It seems as though he managed to lock away a lot more than just December. I can completely understand him wanting to forget the time when he was at his lowest, but what he has to remember through all of this is that I was not the one to blame for what happened to him. I may have been a trigger, but I'm not responsible for his problems. But it seems that I was the person who, in the long run, was the most scarred by what happened. I was never a bad influence in his life, I was something that made him happy. It just seems to me that when he decided that it was best he go through it alone, that he gave up on everything we had started between us and effectively ran away from having to face up to what he had started with me. In asking me to be his girlfriend, he made some sort of commitment to me that he shirked at the first hurdle when things started to get nasty. I had absolutely no choice in what was happening.
I know, from what he has told me, that he hasn't exactly had the best past experiences with girlfriends and women in general. Maybe that's a reason why he was so quick to run as soon as things between us began evolving. I could be absolutely wrong, I know that, but it makes some sense. I know that a lot of things we go through in our lives can have many deep rooted affects on us later in life and cause the mind to think in way that we struggle to fathom. It can't be helped, I understand that
I guess the thought behind all of this is that no matter what people have done to him in the past, be it directly or indirectly, he really has to face it and deal with it head on or he will never truly be happy and be able to have all the things that he really wants. Bad experiences from the past have their own wicked way on catching up with us and dragging us back into that dark place that we would much rather be without. But if we recognise them and make steps to fixing them, rather than perpetuate things by effectively torturing ourselves because we have no self worth, we will never rise above it. We will never feel that we are worthy of certain things in life, always feel as if we don't deserve to be happy. But I realised that I DO deserve to be happy and that nobody is going to stand in the way of that.
I think at the moment he is doing a very good job of burying his head in the sand and pretending that I don't actually exist. In fact I doubt very much that he even feels any genuine remorse for what's happened, because, as I said before, it's all about him and as long as me gets things his way then that's fine!
I think that over the few weeks that we didn't talk to or see each other, he disassociated hi,self from me and from any feelings he may have had for me, not deliberately of course, but effectively nonetheless. He also justified this to himself, snubbing any chance of reconciling anything between us.
I never expected, when he was feeling better, that he would turn round to me and say that he wanted to pick up where we left off and that things would be all lovely. It was always going to be a difficult rebuilding process for us both. It would have been slow and arduous and probably a tad unpredictable at the best of times. But I was willing to do that, I was willing to start from scratch. But the fact that he is so unwilling to even give things a chance, it just astounds me.
This entire situation could have really damaged me, it has to a degree, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse. I suppose that I am stronger than even I gave myself credit for. I've tried my best to turn all the negativity into something positive which will ultimately benefit me. On the whole, I am doing a pretty good job of it. I'm writing a lot, doing some pretty interesting artwork, reading LOADS etc. But then I have these horrible down times when it seems that my thoughts and emotions take hold and grind me down again. I don't know what will change the way I feel about everything and about him, I suppose only time can do that, after all, he has pretty much said everything he could possibly say that should make me hate him. But I don't. As much as I wish I could, I just can't shake it off.
Thank you so much if you have read through all of this. I really feel like I need to start making steps now toward getting some sort of relationship off the ground with him again... but I really don't know how to start the ball rolling.
He is still on medication and last I heard his Doc was changing his meds about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I have never had to deal with a DSO before. Please help! Part of me says to let him go... part of me feels that we are meant for each other and that I should help him.
Please, if anyone has any advice that may help me... I'm ALL ears.