I suffer from Depression and Anxiety. I was hospitalised for these illnesses at the end of May 2009, for a month.
In September 2009, my 16 year old cousin died by his own hand, hanging from a tree by a rope belonging to his father (my Dad’s brother). I was supposed to be visiting that family when it happened, but didn’t go, as I wanted to go away on a camping trip with my friends instead.
My boyfriend didn’t want me on the camping trip, and did not speak a nice or civil word to me the whole weekend. Mid week I left for the funeral. During this time away, he decided this was a great time to not listen to anything I tried to talk to him about.
Including not bothering to ask how the funeral went, or even looking up from his game of Sim City, when I showed him the order of service, upon my return.
I went back down south to stay with my grieving Aunty and Uncle, to be there for them, to try and help them forget, to cheer them up.
The trip was an EPIC FAIL.
Abovementioned boyfriend didn’t answer any of my SMSes or phone calls, because he “needed time to think about the relationship”. We’d been together for 9 months at this stage, and I was in obvious need of some emotional support.
I was getting more and more upset and distressed by this. I was teary and incredibly anxious for the rest of the trip, not helping my family at all.
I returned home on a Friday afternoon- boyfriend was not able to see me until the Sunday.
I broke it off with him on the Sunday as I was not happy with being treated that way.
The “break up” conversations lasted weeks. We agreed we had to be friends and civil to each other for the sake of mutual friends.
I told him I still was upset and not ready to forgive him for acting like a giant douche to me, during possibly the most difficult time of my life. This upset him, as he seems to think he is the most likeable person in the world and no one should have a reason to hate him, even though he had indicated to me in the past that he is indifferent towards most people.
Also, at mutual friend’s parties, he would continue to ignore me, even going to the point of physically turning his back on me whilst I would join in a conversation he was having with others.
I called him up on this saying it wasn’t fair and he was being nasty and manipulative. I was told I was delusional and should go back to hospital.
Some of these mutual friends of ours had stopped talking to me. Stopped responding to my SMSes, emails and phone calls, which he also did, because he knew it was what annoys me the most.
He ruined my New Years Eve plans by deciding do go to a party I was going to. Although really wanting to attend the party still, I decided that avoiding conflict was the way to go and had my own fun at home with 3 bottles of sparkling white, the Shaun Micallef NYE show and one of my housemates.
The next day, photos appear on Facebook, of my ex, my former flatmate, my best friend, her close friend who I was friends with also, my twin friends and another girl who was in my “group” all frollicking on a boat in the river, having a BBQ and drinks and a lovely time all round.
They never invited me, even though 3 of them knew I wanted to visit them and spend time with them on their holiday.
I was furious and sarcastically thanked them for leaving me out, then setup my privacy settings so all the betrayers could view basically nothing of my FB profile. Since they all had seemed so chummy with my ex, I didn’t want them passing on any of my information to him (he’d been blocked by myself weeks before).
And I burst into tears at this betrayal and phoned up my ex Ed, and he and his wife welcomed me over and gave me dinner and wine and we watched a movie. I was so grateful for their company as had I been by myself that night, I do have an idea what could have happened, and I am glad that it didn’t.
I visited another great friend Max and her partner Ronan the next day, hoping to spend the whole afternoon with them, but they’re a very lovey-dovey couple, and I couldn’t handle that. ALthough they very kindly allowed me to use their computer to deactivate my FB account.
I was still so upset at this betrayal business, that I escaped to Mum and Dad’s for mum hugs, sympathy, homecooked food and possibly benzos.
Only to find out on my way home via Ed’s place, that I’d been a target of bullying on one of the twin’s facebook pages. There was a status update directed at me, telling me to grow up, get a job and blah blah blah. I don’t remember the rest, as I was fuming.
What was most noteworthy, was who did and didn’t participate in the bullying. Of course the ex did.
What really riled me up, was that I AM trying when it comes to the lack of employment thing. There are two major things which trigger my anxiety attacks and make them go out of control. One is the thought of entering a large office environment type workplace again, and the second is being ignored and ridiculed by people, and losing friends from it.
Also, I’ve been volunteering at an organisation I’ve had a bit to do with in the past, to try and familiarise myself with a workplace again. I hadn’t mastered the whole “Getting there on time” principle, which to me shows that I am not quite ready to work and succeed at it.
Anyways, to be here, and functioning more than half a month later, I am damn proud of myself.
I’ve spoken to one of them (who did not participate in the bullying). We’ve sorted our things out, and she’s been very understanding, said how a few of them have felt, and I’ve listened to that.
But I still feel I am owed a huge apology by a lot of people. They deliberately bullied someone who suffers from a mental illness. Most probably because they don’t believe it is an illness in the first place.
And I guess that is the message I want to drive home. Depression and Anxiety are crippling illnesses. They affect people’s behaviour, and to ignore them or tell them to “just get over it” will NEVER work.
If you have a friend who has this, please do some research yourself on the condition. The Beyond Blue website is a great place to start.
But do you want to know the sickest thing in all of this mess? The now ex-boyfriend suffers from a mental illness too, and for him to publicly attack me, and provoke my attacks as he knows exactly what starts them, makes me believe he is a tad sociopathic by nature.
I don’t trust my own abilities in picking partners now, so I intend to disappear overseas as soon as I can afford it, and just see all the places in Europe that I’ve wanted to, and meet the people and experience as many different cultures as I can.
And I am doing it by myself and not depending on anyone, as that has been my downfall in the past.
PS: A dear friend of mine has passed on this link, a first hand account from someone in the spotlight, who suffered the worst depths of Depression. A read which left me in tears because I knew her story all too well.