Falling from the Cliff- Confessions of a Bipolar Ex-Husband

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 08, 2018

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Submitted: August 08, 2018

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Writing this involves confessing to some of the things I did wrong in our time together and I'll gladly do so. I drank a lot in the first year or so, and my instabilities sometimes made me hard to love. But, as I sit here writing this, I realize that there is still so much I have to say.

Let me preface this by saying that, no, I was not snooping or attempting to hack into your facebook in any way. I know I'm going to get some eyerolls but it's the truth. My tablet, which had been dead for about three weeks, was logged into your messenger. It was the one and only time I ever overstepped my boundaries and I made sure to delete your profile on the device so I couldn't do it again.

I saw the exchange between you and our friend. About how abusive I was and how unloved you felt around me. You talked about your new man, and how he made up for all the loneliness you felt with me.

I found this as a shock because you never once told me how you felt.

Very rarely was I ever informed of an issue between us. You went to your parents, your sister, your friends, you told them all the issues you were having. And yet, I never heard.

You were the one I bragged about. I showed your picture to people and talked about how lucky I was to have you. I talked about how lucky I was to have someone who loved me for me.

I was never abusive. I know I apologized when you aimed your accusations at me at first, but I've had time to think and, no, I wasn't. I live with a mental condition that makes every day of my life a gamble. I'm sorry if there were days that you felt you were 'walking on eggshells' but I, once again, had no idea you felt this way. 

Every issue you had with our marriage you kept quiet. Very rarely did you ever tell me you were lonely, unhappy, feeling unloved. Very rarely did you ever say you were uncomfortable around me.

I know, if you're reading this, you're going to object and say “I told you about this time and this time”. But think about this: of the times you did say something, what happened?

I went out of my way to fix the issue.

I started having mental problems: I went and got help.

I was drinking too much: I cut back.

We started having money issues: I got a job despite my condition making said jobs a stressful experience.

You even made it a point to tell me how well I was doing and how stable I was shortly before we fell apart.

You've since told me that, for the last two years of our marriage, you were a shadow of you former self.

You weren't attracted to me despite lying and telling me how I was “enough of a man for you” and I was “sexy”. When I asked you if you had feelings for someone else, you denied it each and every time.

I went crazy after you left, and I said some things I regret. I'm deeply sorry for losing my mind and I hope you can forgive me. But at the same time, what were you expecting? Were you expecting me to simply lay down and watch you love another man? Were you expecting me to feel good when you sent me messages about how you were flourishing without me and how you were “happier than you've been in years?”

Let me try and explain this as best as my mind will allow. It isn't easy for me to love. Our marriage was a constant discomfort because I regularly pushed myself out of my comfort zone to show you I loved you. I know you tried to understand what was going on in my head but you never truly did. Imagine very common actions, hugging someone, kissing someone, showing affection. Imagine those being so terrifying and uncomfortable. Imagine waking up every day and stressing, wondering if you're doing things right, wondering if you're going to lose the first person you ever fell in love with because of a condition you have no control over.

When I saw your conversation with our friend, telling her how abusive I was, I couldn't help but wonder: Why didn't you tell her that the supposed 'abuse' was just a mental disorder I acquired after years of childhood trauma? Why didn't you tell her of all the times you aired our dirty laundry and damaged my reputation with your coworkers and friends? Why didn't you tell her how you lied about ever finding me attractive? Or about how you spent months convincing me you didn't have feelings for another person when, in all truth, you were eyeing him the entire time?

I bent over backwards for you. I was always doting on you, telling you how perfect you were, how much I loved you, how you were my sanity and made me whole. I bought you presents, made sure to kiss you and tell you how much I cared every day. I DID EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO SHOW YOU HOW MUCH I LOVED YOU, AND IT WASN'T ENOUGH. I went to therapy for you, I went on medication for you, I got a job and improved every aspect of my life because I wanted us to work.

I know you felt bad that you waited so long to tell me, and this divorce has weighed heavily upon you as well. I still care for you and I wish you happiness. I understand that a part of our breakup came not from any real issue, but from us loving differently.

You needed someone more tentative.

We want different things in a lover and we couldn't find that in each other.

Does that mean the complaints are invalid? No.

We both have things to work on. I acknowledge my faults and I hope you acknowledge yours.

I hope that we can still enjoy a lasting friendship and that, maybe someday, my wounds will heal enough that I can find love again.

I'm terrified to face our friends because I don't know what they think of me. I wonder if you told them what you told the last girl. I fear that they see me as an abusive monster. I fear their judgment.

Just know that, through all of this, I'm just a guy who lost something he desperately wanted to keep.

The last time I wrote an article similar to this, I asked my lover to please stay by my side until I found my way out of this labyrinth.

Now, I ask myself to stay strong.

My strength sometimes wanes. But it's all I have left.


© Copyright 2018 Richard Mapes. All rights reserved.

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