I hope I'm posting this in the right place...
I've known that i wasn't exactly "normal" in sexual orientation since i was about 14 and finally started identifying as bisexual to my friends aged 15. I've only outrightly stated my identity when asked for about a year due to attending an all girls school and having encountered very negative/immature attitutes and some bullying in that environment when i was younger
When i was 15 i was introduced to the most stunning, strong-minded, beautiful lesbian girl and i immediately fell head over heels for her even though we lived a good few hours away from each other, for this reason i tried to keep it as a casual thing. She was more experienced than me and was my first lesbian sexual experience so i guess you could say that i was using the relationship to get to know myself better with someone that i trusted and cared for.
Sadly, as we got to know each other better it became apparent that the person i had fallen in love with was merely a front for someone who severly self-harmed (cutting wrists, legs, stomach, burning), was on many different medications for deppression and anxiety, and had a rather alarming habit of sleeping with anyone she bumped into (for this reason, as our relationship progressed, i assumed she wanted just a casual thing) but i was faithful and tried to support her in as many ways as i could. like finding out as much as i could about self-harm and depression, being mindful of her feelings and what triggered her anxiety attacks. Our relationship continued for 2 years with us seeing each other every month or so and being essentially happy despite her infidelities that i excepted as being part of her having a huge sex drive (although i was occasionally hurt when she told me in detail), and with me looking into going to a university closer to her.
The good thing with it being a long distance relationship was that i didn't have to deal with the daily consequences of her self-harm and as she had managed to not self-harm around me, i only had to cope with seeing older wounds and scars, which for some reason, was easier. This one occasion i was staying with her and watching tv with her family, she left the room and didn't return for about 20 minutes so i went to see where she was. I walked in on her self-harming and my reaction was to immediatly go very practical, stop bleeding, clean wound, dress wound, clean up blood (i had another friend who self-harmed to a lesser extent and did this for him with his thanks). She reacted by being ashamed and saying that i was just gonna see her as another pathetic loser and i found this reaction really difficult to deal with as i absolutely worshipped the ground she walked on. I couldn't understand why she couldn't trust me with this even though she did with everything else. But i did my best to reassure her and i thought we had moved on.
We had always enjoyed a rather rough sex-life with her in the dominent position, nothing to heavy, scratching, biting and light bondage, blood had was drawn, but nothing serious, and we both enjoyed it. The next few times we had sex she asked me to cut her. My reaction to this was outright horror, i could just about tolerate her hurting herself, but i loved her and could never bring myself to hurt her in any way and i told her this. She got angry and said, basically, that if i wouldn't, she'd do it herself. I got very emotional at this and tried to talk her out of it and we both got very emotional and it ended with me holding her while she cried saying that she wanted to die and i cried silently because i didn't want to to tell her that she was hurting me incase it made her blame herself.
The last time i saw her things were really strained...she seemed to resent me and spent a lot of time making very hurtful comments, we had sex and she burst into tears saying that i was imagining that it was a man i was with and not her. My sexuality had become a big deal to her, with her beginning to think i was only with her to use her/because no man would have me/because i was unsure of my sexuality/because i was too afraid to properly lose my virginity (i had never had actual penetrative sex with a man). Needless to say, this really hurt me, absolutely broke my heart as nothing could have been further from the truth. she then proposed to me, saying she wanted to be with me forever, i couldn't say yes! even though i'd seriously considered it a few months ago. Plus, i'd always assumed she just wanted a casual relationship...i'd indulged my thoughts of being with her forever thinking that it would never happen. and here she was confessing that she had always wanted me, and only me, and all those girls she'd taunted me with details never meant anything.
That night we went to bed and she said she needed to cut, by this point, i was so tired, emotionally drained, and angry at her that i just couldn't fight her anymore. I told her to go then, if she needed to that badly, i'd be here for her when she was done. so she went, but didn't come back, and i fell asleep. The next morning i found her curled up in the bathroom, covered in blood, clutching her razorblade. It was all i could do to not burst into tears, but we made it through the day and she went home. I cried non-stop for pretty much the next two days and went into a very dark place, wanting to hurt myself so i could understand her, so she'd accept me, to prove my love to her, to distract myself from the pain and conflicted feelings i was having.
By the time i began to come out of it i was painfully realising that i couldn't be with her anymore, not while she was this depressed, not while she was making me suffer for it. I couldn't take anymore, and if i tried, i was going to break. So i broke contact and we've only spoken once since, and this was over a year ago. I went through another 6 months of just being totally lost...i lost my virginity to a very unsuitable man who just used me, slept around a bit, drunk too much, dropped a load of grades at school, and just generally made some very bad decisions.
I'm now in a really healthy relationship with a man who loves me and respects my feelings who i can tell anything. well, almost anything. Since getting into such a stable relationship the feelings of guilt i have have got stronger...i feel like i abandoned her, rejected her when she needed me most, that ultimately, i was not strong enough, not a good enough person to support her. She was two very intense years of my life and then she was gone...so suddenly...and we'd been close and i can't deal with the fact that i still care about her welfare, immensly. even though i know it was unhealthy for me i should have still been there for her...i don't know...i guess i just need some confirmation that i did the right thing...
Posts: 3 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2009
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Everyone gets to have limits, and everyone gets to have their own wants and needs. As well, it's important that any of us make decisions with intimate relationships in terms of if we or the other person are in a healthy space to even have an intimate relationship.
In other words, I do think you did the right thing, for both of you. Don;t forget that part of healthy relationships involve caring for ourselves, too.
I don't think you abandoned her. We cannot be the therapists of our partners, and to care for someone, we also cannot enable them in things they are doing to harm themselves. Mind, you could have -- if you felt it was okay and healthy for you -- shifted to a friendship, or offered to help her find actual help, and you can still do that if you want to. But the fact that you did not then, and that you exited the relationship does not mean you were "not a good enough person,"
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