I left my boyfriend two weeks ago. We were only together 6 months. But i feel like ive been run over by a bus. He didnt want me to put a picture of myself in a bikini on facebook. This would have been among 200 other pictures of my mexico holiday. Probably also only the 2nd or 3rd picture of me in a swimsuit that exists. If this had been the only thing, maybe i would have thought oh i understand, it makes him a bit uncomfortable. But it wasn't. He has ptsd, ocd, impulse control issues, and what i can only describe as relationship anxiety. Within 4 days of meeting him he was asking me things like "if someone asked for your number at your gym for example, would you give it to him?" Or "if in 30 years, say we're married, and some young attractive guy comes to flirt with you. Would you act on it or come to talk to me?" My gut said hey, red flags here. But i was wrapped up very fast. He was very kind, loving, generous, successful, ambitious, manly. We fell in 'love' immediately and couldnt get enough of eachother. He made me feel like a queen. But once a week, he would have an irrational outburst, always linked with a fear of me abandoning or rejecting him. He would start to shake and shout. Once because i said i wanted to spend time with my flatmate. Once because i said i needed a day to myself to do laundry and call family. Once because i said i loved to travel and he thought i would go travel without him. Once because i didnt feel like having sex. That was the worst one. He really lost it. Turned his living room upside down, shouting "you keep rejecting me do you want me to kill myself" and hit himself in the face. At this point i said he needed proper help and maybe medication. He sees a psychologist already. And like each time, he turned it to me, because i would respond to all these episodes by saying things like "what are you talking about, thats not true, that doesnt make sense, you shouldnt think such things". He said i was psychologically invalidating him, that his psychologist said that my behavior and reactions to his "feelings" were toxic, that i had issues and was abusing and controlling him by telling him he needed help and by 'forcing' him to talk to me. During these 6 months i left him 4 times and came each time. I wanted to help him. I wanted him to feel secure and happy with me. He made me feel like we had equal share in the blame for our troubles. I couldnt handle the fact that i was making this happen and he kept saying if you change your ways maybe this could work.
It all got very confusing. When i ended it the last time, i then woke up to 300 messages : "you're poison. Youll make men kill themselves. I thought chosing a far less attractive woman would mean better values and i was wrong. Youre a little girl in an old womans body. We didnt have intimacy it was just fucking. Men will love that and leave you" and so on.
Even after that, i couldnt let go. Everyone around said thats enough, block him and stay away, he's not safe. But i couldnt. His love was so extreme, i knew he didnt mean it. I needed him to say im sorry. I wanted to know he still loved me. He did eventually apologize last week. By then i had told all friends and family about everything. Had i not done this i may have gone back to him. But instead i told him i cant ever come back from this. His words were abusive. He admitted it, but not without making a point of saying i was abusive too, in how i never made him feel loved and accepted for his flaws and was unsupportive and defensive, and in leaving him and coming back so many times. Sent me about 10 psychological relationship articles about control, abuse, couples fighting properly, respecting boundaries, gaslighting, invalidating, bullying, being responsible for one's own feelings. Making me feel like i was this monster who didnt support him, and saying he's happier without me and will find a mature partner who loves him properly. My therapist said it seems like all those articles he sent, are things he does. Yet youre believing that it's you.
I still have pangs in my gut where i feel i want to run back and say im sorry i can do this lets try again. It makes no sense. Its the high. The extreme love and passion. But its not real. I have erased him number. I can still email him. I didnt erase that yet. I am slowly erasing parts of him bit by bit. Slowly getting better and having less and less urges.
My mother's best friend said to me last week: i didnt understand how you continued this long. Just his questions after 4 days of knowing you would have been enough for me to run for the hills. But then i thought well, your mum is bipolar. You grew up with her being up and down, with her extremes of sadness, joy, and anger. You know the irrational, you know the outbursts. You love and forgive her. It has been your norm, growing up. So while it makes sense to me that his behavior was not ok, it wasnt like that for you. You saw someone with an illness, that you could withstand and hopefully change.
I think she is right. He is also very clever and manipulative. I dont know if consciously or not. I feel lost and empty. I need to be alone now. I feel traumatised a little. I dont want to experience this again. His words really cut deep. Im worried about ending up alone. Im 36 in two months and i need to fight the urge to find a partner fast. And when or if i do find a nice one, i need to fight the monkey on my back telling me hey, this guy isnt upset or accusatory or anything, must mean he doesnt actually care, this cant be love.
So i have my therapist, im writing here, ive started writing down everything i can think of, as the book says to do, im filling my diary with friend time, tomorrow im starting a mindfulness class. I hope i feel normal soon.