I haven’t shared this journey on this blog, mostly because until now I didn’t think it was my story to tell. I posted Grieving For My Red Balloon about a year ago, but that is as far as I went. It was a very carefully constructed attempt to say “help, I’m hurting” while strangely enough trying to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes. Was I kidding? Avoiding trampled toes? It was far too late for that. But then I was still being manipulated… into silence. That was all part of the game.
I’m healing now and part of that includes claiming this as my story. It doesn’t belong to anyone else because I’m the one who lived it. I’m the one who was played with like a toy. I was a game. Manipulated, abused, lied to and cheated on. It’s my story and I’m choosing finally to share it with you because I can.
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
― Anne Lamott,Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
I’ve been kissed by a…
Person With A Mental Illness
Take your pick. You could say that I have been kissed by all three. I could go with the words of the song. If a man can be a rose (and why not?), then that is exactly how he seemed. He was a beautiful person with a very loving heart. Caring, understanding of me and my world, he promised he would never play games with my heart. He challenged my thinking and he supported my growth as a person. He wasn’t perfect, like any of us but he was a person right for me.
But later I’d know that I’d met a ‘monster‘. His term, not mine. Personally I don’t like calling human beings monsters, regardless of what they might or might not have done. But I’m using the term here simply because he used the term of himself. I regularly told him that to me he was no monster. Actually he still isn’t (in my mind).
Eventually, what I only knew is that I had kissed a person with a mental illness. For that matter, so had he. No harm in that. Is there?
Here’s the story,
Back in 2012 Blogger (boy) meets Blogger (girl) in comments section of a Third Blogger’s Post.
(BTW Third Blogger has no responsibility for anything here, except for yet another very thought-provoking post or two.)
Each blogger liked the other’s comments and so a friendship developed, followed quickly by a romance. I should add here that we were many miles apart, me in New Zealand and him on the other side of the world. Neither of us were looking for any kind of relationship, let alone one on the internet. Surprise!
We lived happily ever after…
Hang on a minute. That’s how it seemed. We were both very happy and eventually we spent some time together ( I went to visit him) and after that we were planning on a life together. And this wasn’t an impulsive thing, it was all carefully considered.
It was what we both wanted. I was his ‘soulmate‘. That’s what he said, regularly. I’ve never been too sure on the whole ‘soulmate‘ terminology but if there was such a thing, then this was him. He was the ‘one‘ for me. I was never more sure of anything. My gut instinct told me that this was right.
Then one day he announced to me via the internet waves that we treasured so greatly, that he was “too sick to be in a relationship“. Time out was what he wanted. My compassionate heart sprung into action and understood completely. I thought it was a break (that’s what he said) and that we still had a very bright future ahead of us (together!). Yes, it would hurt but it seemed like the best thing for a apparently very depressed man.
Just days later though, he announced to his Facebook friends (including me at that point) that he had a new ‘soulmate‘. He was in love with another woman (any mention of me was completely gone). And they were very happy together. To add to it, she was married. That didn’t seem to be an issue though. Two relationships gone with one hit.
The short version of the rest of the nightmare is that as well as cheating on me, he had lied. Actually he had lied the whole way through the year long relationship. Everything was a lie. He had manipulated me for his own deceitful purposes. He had abused me in more ways than I care to count.
I discovered that his diagnosed mental illness was not Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as he had always said, but was Antisocial Personality Disorder (that’s right… sociopath/psychopath).
It all hurt like hell. I felt deranged and paranoid. I no longer knew what the truth was. I didn’t know what to believe. Just how he wanted it. Perhaps worst at that time was that I couldn’t go bang on his door to find out what the heck was happening. I eventually learnt many things. Others I simply pieced together. And yet others, I will simply never know. One of those big revelations was the reason why he would never have visited me in New Zealand. It boiled down simply to the fact that he is a convicted criminal and wouldn’t have been allowed into my country. He had never admitted that.
So that’s the very brief story of the last two years of my life. I fell in love with a man who simply didn’t exist. Oh sure, there was a man, complete with body, but aside from the body, everything was fake. Everything he said to me was simply a story, all part of the game he was playing. The extent his lies would go to was simply limited by his acting abilities. And even before anything went wrong, I knew he would make an excellent actor.
Of course all this hurt. I cried and screamed and yelled and felt so empty, used and abused. Now days I’m moving on, but it hasn’t been easy. It was far from easy and very traumatic. I’m still working on recovering, but I refuse to be held back by this anymore. When I think about all that I have been through the fact of loving someone who really didn’t exist is perhaps the hardest. I had no desire for the true person revealed. That person I felt angry towards and then sad for. Incapable of a real relationship. But I still loved the person I thought I knew. How do you grieve for someone who wasn’t ever there?
Yeah, I guess I was kissed by a monster (his words, not mine).
Does it seem a little strange that I’m sharing this now, particularly when I’ve said so little in the last year? I have realised that by staying silent, I am allowing myself to be manipulated further. I need to speak up to claim back control on my life. I have only shared the barest detail. There has been so much more, but that detail is not important. I am simply saying this is my story to tell to whom I chose. It’s not done in malice but rather in claiming back my voice and with it some peace for myself.
“Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.”
― Jennifer Brown, Hate List