BY: YASMIN CORTEZ
“I think this is for the best.”
I could not believe this was happening to me. Sure, you always have those thoughts in the back of your mind, but was this happening to me? I couldn’t breathe. I ran out of the car. The world seemed so small and I was devastated. What did I do wrong? How could I have fixed this? Was he really breaking up with me?
As he brought me back to the car, he said, “You deserve better. I’m depressed and I bring you down. I just want to be alone.” Could I not save the person I loved the most from depression? How do you convince the person you love that they’re enough?
I realized I did not know anything about depression. I couldn’t be angry. It wasn’t his fault, right? It was a chemical imbalance. I couldn’t even grieve properly. So, I accepted it. I knew I had lost. With a smile, I had to tell him, “It’s OK. I’ll be here for you. You do what you gotta do and when you overcome, maybe we can try again.”
I immediately started to research what depression was. Maybe this was my fault because I didn’t see the signs. I was uneducated in that field. Maybe I was selfish, but I was determined to learn, and I bought him and myself books, contacted professionals and talked to a lot of people who had gone through depression to understand. I needed answers.
I was going to save him. But I didn’t realize by trying to save him, I was going to lose myself. Who was going to save me?
I started to feel borderline depressed. I lost interest in things I was so passionate about. I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to go to work, I didn’t want to see friends and I cut a majority of my hair off. I just stayed home researching depression. I could feel my family and friends growing tired of me.
Eventually I found out that everything out of my ghost boyfriend’s mouth was a lie. He wasn’t depressed. He was actually leaving me for one of our mutual friends, and he had slept with a couple of my friends over the course of our year-and-a-half relationship.
I felt free. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t have to go my whole life thinking I lost my boyfriend to depression.
I wasn’t angry, but I was disappointed in him. It didn’t matter what names he listed to me to try and convince me it was also their fault. Ultimately, it was him who was at fault and couldn’t control himself.
I told him the moral of this was to not cheat, be honest and just communicate. He said, “No. The moral of this is never to truly confide in someone.” He then went on a rant about how naïve I was to think people could be good and was shocked at me for “not seeing this coming” because, according to him, this is how “the real world works.” He didn’t even say sorry. “The only thing I'm guilty of is skewing the truth.”
I felt so disgusting. I couldn’t believe I was so foolish and had let a boy do this to me. I didn’t miss him, not one bit. I missed myself. I wanted to get back up on my feet, but the amount of times I hung out with people did not feel like I was improving.
He had wasted my time. He had dragged me through hell and was going to leave me with the guilt and blame.
I was emotionally drained.
But, worst of all, now that he had ripped my heart out, he was trying to mentally psych me out to believe all people were bad.
“This is a learning experience. The people you think are your friends aren’t actually your friends. They don’t care.”
Almost as if he wanted me to thank him for giving me this life lesson.
I wanted this to be over with. I didn't deserve this. It felt like my heart had jumped into an ocean of ice-cold water and there was nothing to grasp onto.
I was drowning.
Months later, I feel better overall, but there is still this empty feeling of embarrassment and disappointment in myself. Did I do that to myself? Could I have saved myself? But, that’s what he would have wanted--to isolate me and have a hold on me for the rest of my life.
Break-ups are one thing. Cheating is another. But, that kind of manipulation is the worst, especially from someone you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with. He is so utterly horrifying to have been hiding that side of him all that time.
It’s like those horror movies where you realize your child is the spawn of Satan.
With the help of my parents, friends and journalism to keep me going forward day by day, I’m still learning to save myself. Talking about what happened made me feel less crazy, and I am proud of how I handled my first brutal break-up.
It wasn’t my fault. As long as I did my best there was nothing to feel bad about.
I want to live. I want to love. I want to be myself.
It feels as if i was in quicksand and i’m trying to escape it. The faster I run the faster I sink in. I have to take it one step at a time If i want to make it out alive.
My heart may still be tainted, but it has been about four months and, now that the grieving is over, the growth can begin.