But at least it proved that there was a connection between us. From then we would meet up and talk whenever our paths crossed. Each interaction reinforced the idea that he would leave his pregnant girlfriend for me.
He had to. We were perfect for each other. Not in the frilly romantic way; it was something deeper. An instinct.
However, the months slipped by and with the birth of his child, our conversations slipped into nothing. I let go of my feelings and accepted that he had a family to take care of. I was upset, but I got it.
I wasn’t going to push something that wasn’t explicitly said. Nor was I going to be a home-wrecker — my maturity and empathy had been late to blossom but, at 20, it was finally there.
We talked on and off every few months but it wasn’t like before. I was hurt and wanted to erase all that had happened.
Soon, three years had passed. It was New Year’s Day 2018 and he texted me asking for a drink. And I thought it was finally happening.
It did for a time. We got back to our routine as if no time had elapsed. He needed a few months to get over his breakup before we eventually went for the drink. But when we did, it was great.
We hung out, I met his friends, even his best friend’s parents. I thought that I was done with dating. Life had confirmed that the problem was timing. It felt as if our time had come. But it hadn’t.
I have tried to think back to when things started going bad, looking for a point of time I could point to, to tell myself, “This is when you should have walked away and never turned back.”
I was struggling with the pressure of school and work. He started to become inconsistent, distant. And I become erratic and more depressed.
In many ways, he was the only thing I had to look forward to.
Then, one day at a party, I drank and did a little too many drugs and told him that I loved him.
I know I must have been bad because I can’t remember that night. But he said it was fine and we talked for a little. Which calmed me. Until he stopped replying completely.
Listen to Mamamia’s podcast, Overshare. Where in this episode, Lem, Flex and Kelly discuss whether it is ever OK to cheat. Post continues below.
The rest, such as my suicide attempt and borderline personality disorder diagnosis I’ve written about extensively so I won’t repeat here. But I think it is pertinent to explain that it is characterised by unstable relationships with other people, unstable emotions and an unstable sense of self.
It mostly affects women, and around 10 per cent of patients take their own life. Some 60–70 per cent of BPD patients attempt it in their lifetimes.
It is a difficult disorder. I believe without it I wouldn’t have reacted so badly to him exiting my life — a big part of it is a chronic fear of abandonment, real or imagined. I would try to describe how it felt but the letters are running through my fingers like sand.
All I can say is as the realisation hit that I was being ghosted, I swear I have never felt so much pain. I could feel it physically. An ache in my whole left arm. Emptiness.