Before reading, it should be noted that this may contain “triggering” language and reference to drug use.
#5 Get a part-time job
#109 Don’t date for three months
It’s exactly thee months and one day since it was my Grandads funeral. It’s also three months and one day since ex last said he loved me. Coincidentally it’s three months and one day since the last time myself and him spoke. Which means it’s three months and one day since his Step-Dad turned up at my door unannounced and dumped me on behalf of ex before proceeding to throw all my belongings across the street. As you can imagine, that was quite a day.
I thought yesterday would be harder than it was but in truth, I didn’t really think about it. I know three months isn’t a standard marker in terms of time really but it coincided with my “Don’t date for three months” goal which is why it stood out in my mind in the build up to the date. I can’t quite believe how much has changed in my life since then. Three months ago I had a long term relationship, we were looking at buying a house with
, I had a job and thought I was happy. Now I’m employed part-time (!!!!), going to college in September and feel refreshed, sprightly and also a little bit wiser.
When I was dumped in, what I’d personally describe, as a cowardly manner I thought my world had ended. Like someone (read his Step-Dad) had pulled the carpet from under my feet.
I knew I wasn’t 100% happy with him. He didn’t drink enough for my liking/I drank too much for his liking. He didn’t like to dance, not evening at weddings?!?! Seriously, who doesn’t dance at weddings? Even my eighty year old Grandma was side stepping to Sex on Fire. He didn’t agree that dogs should be allowed on sofas and beds. He gambled a lot (although I must admit he won a lot as well). He liked bingo too much. He was highly critical of my family and would happily slag them off; even though a party at his house was like wheeling the best of Jeremy Kyle cast out and plonking them in-front of a karaoke machine. It a nutshell, their parties were awful; one ended in a full scale street row. His Mum hated me. He didn’t have an amazing personality and faded into the background, which was a shock as prior to him my other ex was the lead singer of a band and spent his whole time trying to get people to pay him attention.
On the flip-side he knew all about my ridiculous mental health past. He would look at the 8″ scars on my legs and get visibly upset that I could do that to myself, even though I did them long before he came on the scene. He’d stand up for me on holiday when people would take one look at my gnarled thighs and judge me. He took me to therapy when required and would drive me all over the show just so I wouldn’t hurt myself again. He came to my hospital bed side and sat with me on the occasions when I’d swallowed 100’s of tablets on little more than a whim. He made everything alright after I tried to hang myself on my first day on the psych ward. He even sat in my house with my parents, whilst the police ransacked it because I’d run off and hidden myself in the big outside world. He answered their probing questions and waited whilst the police were looking for me, when the police helicopter was on standby. I wasn’t hurt or lying in a ditch somewhere (although I did sleep on a bench one night). I was in a dingy bedsit snorting coke with my ex boyfriend, trying to escape my own mind. He put up with an absolute, excuse the French, fuck load.
I was too capricious for him. My inability to save and my ability to spend money on anything and everything drove him mad. I was too unruly. He was the grown up even though he was two years younger. He was born middle aged really, an old head on a young heart. Meanwhile, I was still desperately trying to cling onto my youth. The times when I did what I wanted, when I wanted and had so much fun and danced the night away. Before all the depression and crap got in the way. Although we were so perfect at times, 20% of the time we were polar opposites and both too stubborn to back down.
Before I met him, as ridiculous as it sounds, my mental health issues were my identity. I spent a full 365 days concentrating on my issues. Whether I was locked up on a psychiatric ward or having intensive day therapy or being indulged whilst people wrote ten page reports on me. Everything was me, me, me. If I were sad, I’d hurt myself because it made me feel better. My family hurt with me but became numb to it, angry and furious at times for what I was doing. When I met him, on our first date, I told him everything. I had too really. I’d had to put off our first date because I’d been in hospital for five days being operated on and stitched up since my encounter with a sharp object. I gave him the choice to run before we’d even shared our first kiss. He didn’t. In my head, that meant that not only was he accepting me, he was accepting this extra bit of me. This crazy bit which was like a backpack that I carried around. On a normal day, it didn’t even come into the equation but on other days all this stuff would come flooding out of it like Mary Poppins bag, bringing a load of pain and heartache with it.
In truth, although he did the dumping (in a roundabout manner), I destroyed us. I resented him for not being able to move on the way I did once I’d been discharged from hospital. It annoyed me that he’d constantly be on egg shells wondering if I was going to do anything, despite the fact I told him I was fine. Forgetting in the past I had said I was fine and next thing I was slashing at myself. The fact is, I couldn’t let go of my self-harming ways. If I stopped and let go of that part of me and then he hurt me, what would I have to fall back on? I’d have to sit and cry and grieve in the normal way. I couldn’t do that. Letting myself cry and grieve and be normal, to me, made me think I was going to sink into a deep depression and I’d do anything not to go back there. It all got too much for him that I couldn’t just be sad “normally”, I couldn’t stop destroying me, destroying him, my family and ultimately us.
Ironically, since he dumped me, I refused to self-harm and I haven’t. I’ve wanted too. I’ve not. If I did, I’d feel like he’d won (yeah, even I don’t understand my thoughts at times). I’ve drank a bit too much at times and self-medicated with a cocktail of drugs but to me that’s not proper self-harm (although I have neglected to tell me psych about those evenings). I’ve come off my anti-depressant after ten years, not through choice but due to medical recommendation and I’ve refused the alternative they’ve offered me. In truth, I’ve done everything that he ever wanted me to do, everything he wished for but he’s not here to see it.
Now I’m trying to make something of my life. I’ve thought for too long that making something of me, was as simple as “getting better” (debatable whether you ever truly “get better” from BPD but that’s another discussion). The breakup has taught me that I can get “as better” as I want but what do I have at the end of it? My life, yes, which has hung in the balance more than once but what else? Now I might be single and away from a boy that I truly did love (but not as much as I loved myself, evidently) but I have plans, dreams and aspirations … I’ve never had that in my life. The biggest plan I used to make was to work out how much money I had, how many cranberry and vodkas it would buy me, what takeaway I could get at the end of the night and how many people would I need to convince to get in my taxi to make sure I could afford to get home.
On paper, the past three months have been a disaster. I lost him. My Grandad died. My Nana had a fall which has knocked her confidence. My Great Auntie has terminal cancer. I got sacked. I’ve not worked since May. I had to come off anti-depressants in the space of two weeks. I’ve been living on £70/week. But you know what, the past three months has taught me more about myself, made me grow up and made me more optimistic than I’ve ever been before and now I am going to make something of myself, as opposed to just “getting better”. I guess for that, I have to thank him.
N.B. Although, I will let it be noted that I’ll never forgive him for the way he dumped me, and I’ll never let him know that he was right. I mean, I am a girl after all ….