When I Loved A Man Who Didn't Love Themselves: UPDATE
A year ago I wrote my most open blog about my past relationship with a man that suffers from depression. I can tell you for free that I do not like being vulnerable. For why? Thanks to my upbringing of being bullied by my older male cousins, alongside me being a typical Pisces and my short temper, I don't have time to be sensitive. Don't judge me.
But I felt compelled to write the blog as it was during a time where the stigma towards mental health especially within the Afro-Caribbean community was somewhat shunned.
I remember when I wrote "When I Loved A Man Who Didn't Love Themselves" blog I wanted to delete it several times, I sat there feeling sick to my stomach that I was purposely opening up myself not only to you #Renegades but the entire damn world and I was shitting bricks. I was really surprised by the amount of love and support that I received from you guys (as always) and even my mother read it, which is rare because she usually tries to avoid reading the filth that I write on my blog.
But there was one person that I was dreading critique from, and that was the very person that the blog was about. I've always practised anonymity on my blog unless its for an interview or I honestly don't give a damn and want to purposely embarrass your rass, But as I had revealed the most darkest times of our relationship, our emotions and then some on this particular blog. I was expecting him to read the blog and call me saying
"What the fuck was you thinking? Just blazing our entire relationship on your blog just like that!"
And to be honest he would have had every right to say that to me especially as I actually didn't even give him a heads up that it was coming out. But before you start biting my head off let me explain. I tried to call him, several times in fact to let him know. But unfortunately he turned his phone off and disappeared from the whole world. This was something that he used to do whenever things got bad, it was his defence mechanism to shut everyone out, not talk to anyone and wallow into his depression even more as he had a tendency to over think. I knew that it was never a good sign when his phone was off. Days turned into weeks. I called a few times..got air so I then tried to email him a few times (I had all forms of communication for this boy I swear) but still got air pie so a betch had to take several deep breaths and remain calm.
I wish I could say that things had got better for him...but they hadn't. There was a point where I became so worried I was going to reach out to his brother-in-law just to get confirmation that he was alright. I previously told you guys in my blog that sometimes I felt responsible for his life...literally. It's not a nice feeling to have at all. But when someone is suffering with depression its easier for them to push people away as they have an uncontrollable feeling of being a burden to those around them especially the people that love them.
One thing that gets on my nipple...is being ignored. I can't frigging stand it. He knew this too. Not to say that he should even be considerate of my feelings when he's got his own battles but still...don't turn your phone off innit. At least if it's on and you air my calls, I would be alright because it meant that you were contactable you were just being rude and not answering my phone calls. If it was anyone else I would have probably sent them an essay text message spewing all my emotions, rage and finish with a goodbye and not speak to them again, but as I knew that he wasn't doing it to on purpose and his situation I had to be considerate.
Months went by and I was sitting at my desk at work just about to go on my lunch break and phone rang. I had to rub my eyes and look at my screen several times because IT WAS HIM. I remember my heart beating hard, a betch was so happy that I almost missed the call. To hear his voice was such a relief. He sounded like himself..but different. He confirmed indeed what I expected which was things had got worse for him for a period of time. But the amazing thing was he had taken the initiative to seek professional help, had begun using strategies when he was feeling low and had taken up writing again which was something he is extremely passionate about. We immediately made up for lost time to the point I was on the phone to him for over 2 hours (yes whilst I was still at work, a heaux was able to multitask and luckily my boss didn't come into my office that day #KissMyAssSoWhat).
As great as it was that he was working on himself because of our intense dependable relationship from before, I had to be extremely careful that I didn't fall into bad habits and allow myself to develop feelings for him again. Was it easy? Hell to the no. He has always been open with how he felt about me, and we had a tendency to bring up more throwbacks than a Thursday which could easily open the door to a whole heap of emotions.
I had to remember that I'm not his woman...I'm his friend. That changed things especially the dynamic in our relationship. I had to establish boundaries and remember that I am no longer solely responsible for his happiness and pulling him out of his bad days. That's not to say that I no longer cared or was not someone that he could talk to, of course I am but as his friend I had to be honest with myself and him when I saw him saying certain things that would either end with him feeling even more depressed or us developing feelings for each other it would get our friendship misconstrued. I couldn't afford to let them happen, especially now. At one point our relationship had become so toxic because we only spoke to each other about our problems and that wasn't a good thing. It's important to have your own friendships and life outside of a relationship. That's not to say that being in a relationship was either of our intentions...but once you've loved someone it's not always black and white to shut off your feelings for them completely.
Since our relationship I had worked extremely hard on myself, retrospect does that you. You have to be honest with the mistakes that you made, beware aware of bad habits and work that you need to do on yourself in order to not make the same mistakes again. That's not to say that you do a complete 360 and change into a different man/woman because we have fundamentals that will not change about ourselves, however to have to be aware that you will continue to be a working progress.
I am fully aware of the things that I need to work on, guys when I tell you I have a vivid imagination its a problem. When a man introduces himself to me and shows me interest, this creative mind of mine goes into overtime. I could easily write a whole TV series off one conversation/interaction with one person, that's not to say I get gassed or I'm delusional but you get what I mean right? So especially with my ex-boyfriend the first man I had ever seen myself marrying and willingly going through labour with even though labour scares the living shit out of me, I had to protect myself when we began speaking again.
Fast forward to today, there are days when I hear from him and days that I don't. I still make a conscious effort to check on him because I truly value his friendship irrespective of us no longer being together. I pray for him as often as I can but I am aware of putting myself first before anyone else. I'm so grateful to see that the conversations and stigma towards mental health is something that is happening on a regular basis. Especially within the African/Caribbean community where some believe that Jesus and prayer is the only solution for anything to do your mental health. I can't say that he's beginning to love himself just yet, but he LIKES himself and that's something right?
I hope you all love yourself as much as I love you #Renégades because you are ALL DOPE!
Kisses & Bumflicks
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