After about 9 months of going out, my boyfriend broke up with me . He felt that taking care of me especially when I suffered from major depression and anxiety– especially after my family kicked me out of the house and moved me into his and his family’s home–was too much for him. When he said that, my heart sunk. What??? Too much? What happened? Where was the guy who said he’d be there to support me? Where was the guy who made me feel I didn’t have to be “Wonder-Woman” all the time? Especially after my family kicked me out of my house?! On top of that he’s scrutinizing me to see if I’d make a good wife for him in the future. I mean really? He’s trying to evaluate me especially when I’m trying to adjust to the fact I’m no longer in my family’s household and move from the hurt on what they did to me and moving into his family home and on top of that trying to get financially stable??? Really??? Now???
Last year after he asked me out, I told him I lived with clinical anxiety and depression. Now you’re wondering, why didn’t I just come forth and call my clinical anxiety and depression by their true names: Major Depressive Disorder and General Anxiety Disorder if I really wanted to know if my boyfriend or anyone I was dating would stand by me? Two reasons:
- One thing at a time. Baby steps. Besides he’s the first guy I have ever revealed my illness. Mostly because I don’t date around a lot and since I found out about my illness not too long ago, I wanted to find out more about my newfound diagnoses. So as I dated him more and more, I felt I could trust him. And I finally felt comfortable to tell him.
- When people think about the word “disorder” this what they think:
When he said he’d accept me anyway (although I don’t think he knew what I meant by I had clinical depression and anxiety. I mean when people hear that, they’re all, “We all can get depressed and anxious sometimes.” *rolls eyes*), I felt so elated! But upon feeling this…I had to face the possibility of him leaving me, because would eventually see my disorders in person. He looked like he actually liked me. Me! But then the fear would set that how could I have to audacity to date when I am dealing with my mental illness? But deep inside I felt that I deserved to give love to a man as much I deserved a man who wants to love me. I mean…I felt that I had finally found someone who would accept me for me! For once, I didn’t have feel like I had to put on a show or try to become “Wonder-Woman” all the time, especially when I became depressed, anxious and I need a hug. I could be vulnerable. For once, I thought I could be able to love and have that love be returned to me. I would be a dork or say puns and not be so judged. And I had someone who could be my lover and be my best friend. Then on top of that he liked superhero films and shows and video games as much as I did. Boom! I felt so lucky, like I had finally won the lottery.
Unfortunately things didn’t last very long as I mentioned earlier. So let me take you back to couple days ago this week. He broke up with me and I was devastated. I wanna make this as short and to the point as I can, because even writing this is painful. He told me while he did understand my people skills weren’t the best, he didn’t wanna feel like he had to teach me everything on how to interact with others.
Robert felt in while helping with that and helping me with my depression and anxiety, I’d “get better” in the past two months I have living with his family. However, he said since then the flame that he had for me was gone and he had with me. He hoped that him being with me would help me “change” my mental health disorders for the better, but he felt I was always going to be this way. That…that I wouldn’t change.
“But I’m trying. Why do you think, I’ve been saying I need to continue seeing therapist???” I explained. “Why else do you think I’ve been taking my pills for? It’s so I can be there for you and those I care about.”
Robert* (not his real name; changed it) just shook his head, “Sorry Ezi, I know you’re not going to like this, but I can’t keep going on like this.”
Frantic upon hearing that, I said, ” But Robert, I treated you well! I was there for your when it came to your personal issues, support you in your endeavors at school and your future career… I buy you food, give you messages when your body aches, I buy and take you out places.”
Nothing but silence came from him.
“Why focus on my mental illness only? I have so much more to me than that! And you know I’m a pretty awesome person already. But all you’ve been doing lately is focusing on my mental illness and magnifying it 100xs greater than it really is. I mean, Robert, despite my mental illness, I’m still able to help others. In fact helping others helps me to be my best self and not on my weaknesses.” I struggled to hold back tears. I mean, it’s not enough he’s judging me on my weaknesses, but do I need him really criticizing for crying about the end of our relationship? Not a chance. I continued on, “You always tell me all the time about all the girls who have done you wrong and mistreated you, but I who have mental illness has done nothing but to love and treat you well. But instead you decide to focus on the mentally ill side of me.”
“It’s just,” Robert goes on to say, “I expected you to be so much more, but I guess I was only fooling myself.”
Wait what? What the hell did he want me to be in the first place? Whatever that is, I already think I am awesome the way I am. Yeah, I got some rough edges, I can be depressed and/or anxious at times, but I think at the end, my everlasting awesomeness is not to be missed. Besides, when he mentioned how he felt I was never gonna “change”, he made me seem like I was a crappy person—like I’m some sort of jerk, who was never going to change her ways (like the exes he constantly talks about that treated him like crap.*rolls eyes :P* Does he miss them or something???). Next he tells me the most oldest cliche (at times insensitive) and unflattering phrase of all time…
“Can we just be friends?”
The Urban Dictionary * website defines “Let’s Just Be Friends” as this (this definition I found the best way to define what JLBF feels like, especially when the break up is not mutual):
When [the person you dated] says to you, let’s just be friends, that’s like your mom telling you, “the dog died, but you can still keep the dog if you want.“
*It’s not a dictionary-dictionary per se, but it kinda gives an idea of the various definitions on numerous street/lingo said here in the U.S.
“Let’s just be friends???” I answered. “You couldn’t even treat me right as your girlfriend. You stopped being my boyfriend when I needed you the most. And, ohhhh…you don’t wanna accept the mentally ill side of me, but wanna like the fun side of me, because I enjoy the same stuff as you do (rare to find girls who like superhero movies, tv shows & video games) and because I’m easier to deal with when I’m that way (but don’t get me wrong. I wish I could be this side of me all the time. It makes me feel “normal”. But gotta face reality sometime). No, Robert you have to either accept all of me or not of me at all. And seems you can’t do the first.”
“Look, I want a real, authentic man/friendship in my life, because I am a real authentic person. As much as I love all of that stuff (e.g. comic books, video games), I love making and having a connection with others more. I don’t want a “friendship” that is built on superficiality and is “on the surface”, because if that’s the case we might as well be acquaintances. I’ll be cool and friendly with you and all but don’t expect we’ll be friends.”
You know what…out of all the guys I’ve ever encountered, Robert is the first one who has been honest with me. I guess he has some sort of respect for me…more or less. Regardless, I’m not gonna lie, it’s sucks be rejected. And I’m definitely not use his “chivalry” as an excuse for him to turn in the towel, when I needed him the most.
The point is, despite the fact I’m socially awkward and I live with mental illness, I do believe, I am worthwhile and I don’t deserve to be disrespected and treated like a burden especially at time in need. We all have burdens of some sort. So if you’re looking for someone without any burdens *pfft* good luck. You know…maybe Robert isn’t the right one for me after all. The right man would have loved me unconditionally—warts and all—would celebrate whenever I got out of depression or anxiety, wouldn’t treat me like a burden and basket case when all I needed ,like anyone needs in this world…today…is guidance. And on top of that we’d be able to laugh, have fun and unconditionally love one another. Though I do gotta admit, I do have fears on what man could top Robert. I felt that he was the one for me. And especially in a time of age everyone one wants to keep things “causal” (when it seems to me most of the time keeping things “causal” is just away to avoid being hurt or not feeling to commit yourself to anyone or not to feel alone), I do get scared and worried if I’d ever find any man who wants a long-term, loving, committed and caring relationship with me. But till then, I should keep being my best self, focus on my endeavors, move past this break up and continue to believe that I can and still be able to love and that love will be returned to me one day.
*Name was changed