I wrote this as a submission for a guest post, sadly it was not the material they were looking for, but that was sort of to be expected. It was a bit of a long shot for me. However, it may pop up at a later time elsewhere. If this should happen, I’d be very thankful. For now I just really want to share this, peel another little layer away about me, giving more of me out in the open. It is not in chronological order, but that does not take away from the gist of it. This is also very scary at the same time, but I think it would be best to put this out there rather than keep trying to shove it away in the dark corners of my mind and heart, where it will fester and twist.
Meeting her was a whirlwind, it was a dark soul meeting another darkness that seemed to be able to be lit up a little by giving what love I had to her, I fell in love with the idea of not having to be alone, when we wrote, talked, interacted… it just seemed to fit, she saw darkness like I saw it and together we could have a go at it. The fact that most of the initial love was redirected from my previous relationship did not seem to matter. She was, however, holding on to something that I had not anticipated, could not see. She had bi-polar disorder, so on the night we first met in London we smiled, we hugged, we kissed… All seemed to go so well and then she switched, snapped into self-loathing mode, I got caught in the current and was swept away, curling up into a ball and cried at her feet in the hostel we stayed at, thinking I was the reason for all this grief.
The next morning she was a bit hung over and this dulled most of what had occurred for her the previous night and we had a lovely weekend, I did never forget that first night though, especially when those events would keep on happening from time to time. She would just snap at times, push me away, giving her space or trying to help in listening all resulted in the same. Slowly but surely it began to eat away at me, where it affected the way we felt for each other. I truly love her, but I wanted more, I wanted to feel as if I mattered as if I was important. I fell into a hole when we moved to England, I was cut off from family and friends by sheer distance and while I have made some new friends there, it was different without my family being close. When I lost my job I really started to slip, I began diving deeper into games and food and alcohol, trying to dull my senses. Passion had left the relationship, she would not smile or laugh with me any more, she would not even utter a word for the first half hour she came home after work. I was her slave, in domestic and sexual ways. And even then it never seemed to be good enough, she even at some point told me she resented me. She did not even bat an eyelid, she did, however, cry about it later and I was the one trying to comfort her. Not being able to find work was also eating away at me and our relationship, her parents were also not very helpful and I could not tell my family about it either, friends saw the mask I was hiding behind, so I dove in deeper into denial, telling myself it was just the disorder that sometimes came up, but then I started to realise it was more than that.
She was distant, reclusive and started to live more and more in her own room, her own space and I had to knock before entering. The relationship splintered beyond repair and she kept lashing out at my inability to find work even suggesting I lie about my name on my resume, to make it sound more English, which I profusely refused to do as it was the only thing I had that was still mine. I have been sleeping on the couch for far too long, cuddling a pillow soaked in tears and smiling every morning as if nothing was wrong. I have never felt so alone in my life as I have then. I did feel like I was the only one feeling love in the relationship. It awakened dark feelings I had been hiding, the dark that we shared when we met, the loneliness of trying to battle it for the both of us, it just gotten to a point where I knew something had to give. So when I was at our mutual friends house near London I talked a bit about what was going on, and even said that if she were to send me back to Holland I would end the engagement. I was still ready to fight though and I hope this has not upset our friend, but it was very difficult to actually talk about it, mainly because they were her friends first… When we were house sitting to fill a few months gap to not have to pay rent I at least had a cat I could talk to, I could play with and just feel at ease. I probably spoiled the cat for life with attention, but I needed it. I did not really talk to her anymore, nor she with me. I managed to save up something by trying to be a bit more careful with spending, and I actually managed to get enough to start learning to drive, which would improve my chances to get a job, still trying to make things work. I had saved enough for the whole thing and started lessons, we even discussed this at length, that it was important for us, for me. But the first time she was out alone and looked at the bank account, she spent all of it on clothes and even managed to get really upset at the fact that I was not happy about her spending the money that we saved for my driving licence.
This is when I told at least my parents what was going on, but not into great detail. I had been working for the two of us in Holland, made her able to go study and paying for the apartment all by myself, making 14 hour days and doing all the shopping and cooking and cleaning. I made her life possible, gave her the best I could offer, but in the end, she just turned the cold shoulder, she ignored my presence and I was left wondering where it all went wrong. I must have made mistakes, it was my fault, somehow… I was the one who could have done more, been better. She did at one point though, in tears, yell at me that we needed to talk, that things were going wrong, that I was being rude and distant. This just really made me wall up, self preservation kicked in there and then. It was clear to me that she and I did not see the same thing when looking at each other, she was not going to admit faults, she was not going to tell me things I needed to hear to keep going. Making me feel like I deserved the way I was feeling, like I was indeed worthless and for her to be with me was her sacrifice, not her joy.
Eventually she told me to go ‘home’ and I held word. She wanted to come over and in tears was trying everything in her power to keep me, offering herself in sexual favours and I had a very hard time refusing her, she was still trying to cling to what seemed so safe for her and I still very much loved her. But I knew this was not healthy for either of us so I tried my best to stand firm. I have cried at my inability to make this work and I think no one really understood what it had done to me. All these years of being pushed around, being neglected and only having to hear the excuse that it might have been her disorder. This is not a complaint to her or her way of living with bi-polar disorder, more a window into the events from my perspective. I cannot manage to hate the person for what she did, or failed to do, I just feel the pain and fear facing the neglect and disheartening comments about me, my way of doing things and what I instil in others.