I'm 28 and I feel like i keep hitting a brick wall when trying to cope with my mental health. I have depression and anxiety and been struggling with it on and off through adolescence. It has never been as bad as it has been in the last 4 years. I met a man in 2014 twice my age, we had great chemistry and at the very beginning, a great relationship. After 6 months, warning signs appeared but i ignored them. He quickly revealed himself to be controlling and manipulative. I think i somehow ignored how unhealthy it was and instead was flattered. Anytime he thought id leave or we would break up, he'd apologise and try to rationalise what he was doing - trust issues, my behaviour was inappropriate, bad childhood, abusive mother etc. I would then rationalise it and so it became a regular thing. Every two or three days (max) he would find something new to kick off about. He would humiliate me on nights out with our mutual friends (mostly mine), start arguments, get drunk, break up with me leave. Once he left a friends leaving party and then text me as he was walking home saying it was over cos he saw the way i was looking at an ex.
I slowly drifted away from friends and even some family so that my life was regular, boring, unsociable and every day was the same. I hoped that this would take the stress off the relationship. I thought if i did this then he would surely have nothing to make smug passive aggressive comments about. Or just direct comments about! I was wrong. As soon as environmental factors were out of the way, he would turn to analysing everything i said and done in the flat. With the absence of friends to be jealous about, or work colleagues and customers (i did bar and restaurant work in nice places....) he would pickup on my moods. Why are you so low all the time? Why haven't we been having sex as much? am i not attractive to you? do you fancy someone else? Is he younger? am i too old? have you been cheating on me? why aren't you going to open that text Is it because its another man? Why were you laughing on the phone? why cant you take the phone call in the room? why is your phone in the bath with you? why did you choose to get a intimate wax today, are you going out? Why are you wearing a dress like that to go out with friends when you're in a relationship? Why cant you answer your phone at uni? why are you staying on late at the library? why aren't you hungry tonight, did you have food somewhere else with someone else i should know about? why are your ripped tights in the bin, did you have sex? ....... he even asked me on holiday one year, why he missed me at breakfast (we kept just missing one another in the hotel) and accused me of 'swinging' with a retired couple down the hall who i was friendly with one day.
Suffice it to say, we broke up, got back together and broke up again.... this went on for 3.5 years. I loved him and was in love with him for all the other characteristics aside from the insecurities. In spite of them, i wanted to be with him. I begged and begged for him to realise what he was doing. How wrong he was about me. How he made me feel. How i was struggling more and more and I didn't want to be alive anymore. He sometimes would 'wake up and realise' only to return to his normal behaviour soon after. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether i was coming or going. If i was doing enough to make him happy.
When i met him, he never wanted to get remarried or have kids. It was a clear NO. Then within a year of getting together, he changed his mind. He told me how besotted he was. That he was only acting crazy because he had never been so in love with someone and it intimidates him. He told me how frightened he was of being made a fool of and me leaving him for someone younger. Or just someone!
I used literally every ounce of my energy in those years to convince him and reassure him. I felt i was always trying to prove myself and my love for him. I tried to show him how much i love him by telling him i wanted to get engaged. His reluctance made me wary of him. I thought this was what he wanted? commitment?... eventually he proposed '(but at the end of the relationship claimed he felt i was pressuring him and it was forced)
we set a date for the wedding. Just paid the deposit and nothing more was arranged. We never booked anything more because there was never time. We were either arguing or recovering from an argument. Neither of us trusted one another by this point. We eventually split for good in september 2017. Throughout the break ups, I moved out and back in more than 5 times. I have lived everywhere and never been anywhere for long. Eventually one day, he went to the shops with out dog and i went in the other direction back to my flat. I said id see him soon but privately at the back of mind, i knew if i didnt escape now, i never would.I got back to my flat and began to work out what direction i was going to go in. what plans did i want to make. etc. i received a text the night from him trying to push me to break up with him because he didnt want to just sit down and talk to me like an adult. He was trying to provoke me. I eventually text back saying it was over for good. If this was what he wanted, i dont know why he got angry. Maybe cos i wasnt being upset and causing drama back? He referred to my personal hygiene saying i was dirty and smelled bad and asked what ive been up to in order to smell bad down there. I was mortified because i knew i had had a bacterial infection not long before. He was making out it was an STI. I hadnt slept with someone the whole time i knew him. He had slept with people when we had broken up and admitted it. Maybe he was even sleeping with people when we were together. I will never know. He called me a 6 out of 10 (referencing what an ex of his called me once which cause months of upset), kept calling me 'smelly 6' and demanded his ring back. I told him i threw it away and how shocked i was at his real nastiness. I said if he contacted me again id phone the police.
The weeks passed and i am ashamed to admit i wanted him back. I phoned, texted, emailed and even went to see him. He was having none of it. He told me he didnt love me and if i went near him hed phone the police. That month he was in a new relationship and i believe its the same girl hes with now. I had a nervous breakdown. I sent lots of emails over the next year begging him for some sort of explanation as to what this whole thing had been about. I told him i was suffering so much i couldnt cope. All emails were ignored. My last one was sent just before new year 2019. I told him that I had moved past it at last and apologised for my part in what happened. I said many things about how we were never compatible and that i needed someone in my life who understood me and respected me. The idea behind this 'mature and final' email was so that he didnt have the satisfaction of knowing that im still suffering the same. I have a good feeling that he gets satisfaction and empowerment from the notion that he rejected me at the end. I wanted his last communication from me to seem like ive woken up and saw the light.
The truth is, i cant cope. I dont know how much of it is to do with my break up or other things that are happening. Im in a job i hate with no progression, im studying to be a counsellor but doubting my abilities, i have no contact with my dad and my other relationships are strained due to my depression. I recently learned how disappointed my mum is because i havent held down a job longer than a month, im in a bit of debt, living with her again and hesitating about doing my postgrad in counselling because of ALL OF THIS. I took my big sister out for a surprise meal one night and she sat and told me how she doesnt recognise what im doing with my life, that im making bad decisions all the time and that my priorities are wrong. She told me she doesnt think i can be a counsellor because im still struggling over my break up and that if i wanted to go travelling i should have done that when i was younger instead of wasting time with him. (can i add here she has an 8 year toxic relationship with a man much older too.. so make of that what you will)
Its hard to talk about how you feel without people saying youre self centred, self pitying, or as my dad called me 'drama queen' ... i have a good few friends who are there for me. They dont get it much but they are there. Then theres a heap of others who lost respect during the going back to my ex period which was on repeat. My best friend lives in Athens so i dont see or speak to her as much as id like.
I cant see a way out of all of this. I know people who have had problems with depression but a HUGE support network and it makes me feel so alone. I feel i wish i hadnt been born. Nothing gives me pleasure. I feel emotional and cry all the time when im either on my own or in public! i am so exhausted. physically and emotionally that i cant see or think straight. I am overwhelmed. Every area of my life is suffering from not having the energy to get up and shower to feeling i need constant validation from everyone around me and when i dont get it, i crawl back into myself. I hate how i look, what i wear, how i sound... literally every aspect about myself i despise. I make myself sick. I spend such a long time daydreaming about not being here anymore and how i dont want to live. Then i beat myself up and call myself selfish. I also call myself a coward because i know im scared of the pain suicide would bring. what if it didnt work.
Here are the questions im asking myself:
1. why i am so weak.
2. why i kept going back to someone who make me unhappy and how can i really and truly move past what happened.
3. how do i untangle all the decisions i need to make, work, study, finances, where i live, where i volunteer, etc
4.can i really be a counsellor? will this all follow me through my life and hinder my passion for helping
5. how can i hate myself less?
sorry for such a long message. i have never done this before and its been years of built up stuff, alot of which i cant even touch on. I'd like to know if anyone can relate to anything