Chapter 1

“It’s better to be alone, than with someone who puts out your fire, and makes you forget who you are.” – K. Azizian

Suffering with BPD brings so many issues to my life everyday but nothing compares to the end of a relationship. I always fear abandonment but it’s made me stronger as I’ve learnt how to detach from people but how do you detach from the person you love? I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that but because of my disorder I’ve stuck around for much longer than I should’ve. But now? Now my relationship is over and in its place a friendship remains.

K and I met 6 years ago on a park. It was just a chance encounter, he was a friend of a friends and we didn’t see each other again for over a year. When I moved back to the area a year later he became one of my best friends as I navigated a pretty rubbish relationship. That friendship blossomed into much more but unfortunately he was still in love with his ex, and me being naive I allowed it to happen until I moved away again. We remained on and off for a number of years, each time he failed me and treated me badly but I fell for the empty promises every single time. Finally, September 2017 I moved back to the area once more, this time would be permanent and so I really wanted to revisit our relationship now he was a ‘reformed’ character. In hindsight I was more than naive and I’m somewhat embarrassed but we’re all human and we all have to learn somehow, right?

Our relationship has never been perfect but the issues we faced in the beginning of our most recent run were more consistent with us learning how to “adult”. Well, him learning to adult. He was loving, caring and affectionate but he was yet to work out how to communicate appropriately, and prioritise just about anything. I couldn’t fault his love for me though. Things were great and were only going to get better as we grew together – or so I thought.
The cracks started to show about 3 months in when he started being deceiving and dishonest. He lied about going on a night out for Christmas, but it wasn’t just one lie. He lied all night as he text me telling me he kept falling asleep. Then his cousin posted a photo of them together on the night out, but he told me it was an old photo. The next day it was Christmas Eve so I asked if I could go round with his Christmas present but he told me he’d already left the house to go see his cousin for the day. He kept these lies up for days until the truth finally came out, I can’t remember how or why but he told me the truth on Boxing Day. To this day I don’t understand why he lied about going and it was the first dark cloud that loomed over our relationship as I wondered if he had company he wanted to hide from me? Nevertheless I forgave him, again I don’t understand why. I suppose I just though that one little mistake was forgivable. He made me believe it was my fault because I had always told him I didn’t want to be with someone who drank too often as my Mum was an alcoholic…
Shortly after I found out he’d still been meeting up with a girl he’d slept with before we got back together. This broke my heart, until he told me they were just friends; in fact they’d never slept together. It was something he’d said in a juvenile attempt to hurt me because of the way our relationship had ended previously. He’d still lied about it though and hidden it from me for 3 months, but did I forgive him? Yes, I did. Why? I made excuses for him: we weren’t official yet he had no loyalty to me yet did he? The answer is yes he really should’ve but we’ll come back to that. He hammered home it was all my fault because I should’ve made us official if I wanted loyalty…
Next came the lying about smoking weed, another thing that needn’t have been lied about. It’s not something I have done for a very long time as I outgrew it but if he wanted to do it then that was his prerogative. He had no reason to tell me he had quit if he hadn’t and I knew that but I wasn’t going to let common sense brainwash me, no of course there was an implausible excuse for this and I was going to believe it. He claimed addiction and that being surrounded by it caused him to give in. Later I found out he’d bought some to take with him so yet more lies. He told me that he couldn’t tell me because I’d have had a go at him, despite the fact I grew up around addiction and I fully empathise with the struggles it brings…
By this point my mental health had deteriorated so much, I had a dishonest partner and my PIP had just been stopped so I started trying to control every aspect of our lives to protect myself. I am utterly ashamed of myself for doing it, I didn’t see how  bad things got, I don’t think I was entirely in touch with reality. This strained our relationship but K didn’t communicate how suffocated he felt, instead he cheated on me. Do I blame him? Yes and no. I left him in a position where he felt he couldn’t leave because of the effect it would have on my mental health but do I think that excuses what he did? No. He lay in my bed, in my flat, after we’d just ‘done the deed’ and messaged her. When I attempted to cuddle with him he deleted her and claimed that he was sick of her sending him “general snaps” (when someone sends snaps to everyone on their friend list instead of adding them to their story, for those of you who don’t know). I fell for it and nothing hurts more than looking back and seeing the disrespect he had for me, my body and my home. But you guessed it, I forgave him. He made me blame myself, he made me believe that because I suffer with mental illness and had been having a hard time he felt he couldn’t leave…
During this time he’d started staying at my home, but that came with its own issues. First he would tell me he was coming round at a certain time, but instead he’d leave his phone at home and get stoned at his friend. When he eventually turned up he’d claim to have been helping his Mum and of course, he’d “quit” weed again. Finally he’d turn up at my flat but he’d either sit on the phone to the very same friend he’d just seen, or he’d make upset me until I was inconsolable over issues that didn’t exist within the relationship. He’d blame me for his life being a mess and claim I was making him unhappy, but as soon as I told him to leave me he’d say he said it in anger and didn’t mean it. I forgave him every single day for 10 months.
Which brings us to the last 3 months. In December I asked him to stop staying over because it was draining being upset all the time. He said he respected this and invited me to spend Christmas with his family but just before I went to bed on Christmas Eve he changed all our plans. He wanted to drink and take drugs with all his friends on Christmas Day, and if I didn’t want to go with him then I had to spend Christmas on my own… The man I loved did that to me. Christmas Day came and I sat at home as he refused to talk to me all day. I ended up self-harming really badly before going to see his friends because I was scared to be alone anymore. He cried and apologised and said he would never do the same again, and I believed this tactical manipulation.
Since then its just been a constant battle to get him to care about anything other than his motorbike and smoking weed with his friends. He’s not seen me for longer than 20-30 minutes a piece since new year despite my efforts. He kept suggesting we do things and then letting me down using nonsensical excuses. Better still, he neglected our only line of contact, texting, in favour of spending his every waking hour with these friends. I might add he’s constantly claimed not to like these friends and when I’ve asked him why he does this to me he tells me that what he’s doing is completely normal. Yes, in fact me challenging his behaviour is the problem and as a result I’ve put him off relationships for life. Now I would be more forgiving if I was being needy but I’ve not seen him in weeks and I offered to see him with his friends so it wasn’t a matter of making him choose but he declined this option too.
The final part of the picture is the complete lack of support he has continued to show me for 17 months. Whilst I’ve consistently supported him with all his problems and ambitions he has let me down monumentally. If he needed me I was there, offering support and being the only person in his life he felt he could open up to about his mental health (by his own admission). However, when I needed his he’d fashion an argument out of nowhere about something that happened when we first got together as teenagers. I’d plead with him to just support me, I have no family to turn to, I just wanted him to be my shoulder to cry on but there was no way to reason with him. He’d keep going for hours telling me I’m controlling because I wanted 5 minutes of his time, telling me I’ve ruined relationships for him, and our relationship was pathetic. He’d exacerbate my BPD beyond belief but I wasn’t allowed to display any of my symptoms because that would be expecting “too much” from him and he’d leave me; even though this temper was supposedly a symptom of his own undiagnosed mental health. The same could be said if I tried to challenge any of his behaviours or talk about anything which I was unhappy about, he’d view it as an attack no matter how I approached it. I’d be blamed for making him do it of course, or expecting too much of him…

I’m not writing this to slate him. Not at all. Despite what you may read he had the capability to be one of the sweetest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. However, just because he can be nice doesn’t mean I should stay and that’s why I wrote this. In the midst of things I excused his actions for him, people would tell me I was being silly but I didn’t want to listen. I always told me that the sweet man I occasionally saw could be present constantly if I just helped him get help for his mental health. If I helped him conquer all of his demons and encouraged his ambitions, surely he wouldn’t treat me this way? I know I’m not at all alone in thinking like this, its so easy to be pulled in and put under a spell but I hope by reading this someone out there will recognise the toxicity in their relationship. That nice person is often a facade in relationships that end up like this and I should’ve been able to recognise that. This is in fact emotional abuse. I cannot say for sure whether K behaved this way because of his mental health or not but what I can say is regardless, this sort of abuse is never O.K. We would never have lasted anyway, we’re not compatible. He’s immature, constantly needs to be busy, unorganised, impatient, untidy. Qualities I once found endearing but as someone who displays OCD tendencies, enjoys relaxed settings, needs patience to calm my mental health and is mentally much older than 21, I really struggled with these qualities toward the end. I’ve no doubt for someone he will be the perfect match but not for me. I had just be dreaming of a picture he painted but never truly existed.
But now…
Now I get to be me again. I lost myself after working so hard to stabilise my mental health and love myself again. I’d had a love for life I hadn’t had since being a young child but I had that stolen by the events of the last year. I don’t blame K, he didn’t make me stay. Just like I don’t blame myself because I didn’t ask him to treat me this way. It’s just a lesson learnt and a brand new chapter…

“Just then the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.”


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