I had an interesting day today. As you may have read already (discussed it in a previous blog post here) I had an almost two year relationship with a woman, Jean, which had some elements involving her husband, Tom (named changed). Since the big fallout, Tom and I have exchanged the occasional text, but recently have started meeting up for the occasional cup of coffee and catch up too. There is nothing in it – just two people trying to work out why what happened did – there is no secret agenda or new relationship in the pipeline.
Today he came to take one of my dogs for a walk with me, and we chatted for at least an hour and a half. It was the first time I really started to see things from his side of view, and to realise really how wrong the situation became. He is now undergoing CBT and is trying to move on with his life, but isn’t very hopeful after spending 21 years of it being manipulated by Jean.
I have many feelings that are ongoing from the situation that have only intensified over time, ranging from guilt, anger, self hatred, hatred for Jean and anyone associated with her, feeling sorry for myself – the list goes on. At the time, my BPD was undiagnosed so I just assumed I was a bad person, sick. To re-cap incase you didn’t read the original post, I became friends with Jean, a relationship which soon turned sexual. This then led to the involvement of her husband, and an 18 month relationship ‘menage-a-trois’ style with the three of us sleeping in the same bed, and their two children downstairs. So many times I should have left, but jealousy and paranoia kept me there. I didn’t want to leave them alone together to home home and wonder what they were doing, what they were saying. I have never been a jealous person, but after being with Jean I was the most jealous person you could imagine. I assume watching the woman you love be fucked by someone else did that to me (!)
When I talked to Tom today, I told him how bad I felt about the situation, that for a long time I blamed myself, and punished myself by cutting. At worse, I saw the situation like this; I became friends with Jean, I moved myself in and seduced Jean, seduced Tom, split Jean and Tom up, kicked Tom out so I could live there myself as a ‘happy family’ and then dumped Jean and left her in financial ruin. Thankfully, Tom set me straight. It was actually his idea to ask me to move in as a lodger as they were short of money and I was looking for somewhere to live (I can’t remember this but I must have blocked it out as it would not fit with my self-hating mindset). Similarly, I did not seduce Jean, his words were – it takes two to tango – and before me, Jean had had several ‘similar’ experiences with other female friends, whereas I was a relative ‘gay virgin’ only having been with one girl in a hot tub at the age of 16, and completely plastered.
He went on to admit that he knew the times we slept together I wasn’t really into it, and apologised for just carrying on anyway. He thought at the time it was wrong, but wasn’t quite sure why, so just carried on. I didn’t need his apology, I am a big girl and wasnt’t forced into anything, I did it because I loved Jean, and perhaps a part of me enjoyed playing with fire – it was fun to have a dirty little secret – to be sleeping with a married couple at the age of 21. All the same, it was touching that he was man enough to apologise. He went on to say that although he had been involved in a previous threesome situation with one of Jeans friends, this was different. He truly believed that he had two ‘wives’, that we were a threesome and loved each other equally. Of course, this was what Jean and I had agreed to portray, in actual fact I couldn’t stand him and Jean only loved him out of familiarity. All the same, the way Jean acted so downtrodden and wimpy around him made me hate him, and for that, I apologised. I now see how I was manipulated into feeling like that. Yes, he can be a bastard, but Jean loves to play a victim, and plays it well, as I learnt much later on when I was on the recieving end of the ‘I’m being victimised’ act.
Tom is now a lot happier after moving on. He is proceeding with a divorce, and Jean has moved on to another woman. I am glad that we spoke about how things happened today, hopefully now I know he understands a little more I can move towards stopping the constant self blame. The thing I feel most awful about, is her two children. I can say to myself, well, she is their mother, and she is the one that will have damaged them, but in reality, I was the one that their mother fell in love with. I was the one who she left their Dad for. So regardless of whether she did it on her own accord, or whether she was seduced or manipulated into it, should she still be to blame?
The situation is a lot easier to understand now that I have my diagnosis. The intensity of our relationship and then the sudden realisation that I didn’t feel anything (unfortunately the worst timing as it came just after she had ‘left her husband for me’) is what I have come to learn is characteristic of BPD. Also, the very fact that she was a woman, when now the thought of being with a woman turns my stomach, is also characteristic of the lack of sexual identity of a BPD sufferer. So if blame is to be apportioned, do I blame myself? Do I blame my disorder? And how can I heal myself knowing I did such a terrible thing as taking a mother and wife away from her family, even though it may not have been entirely my fault?
Our matching tattoos;
Like I said, talking to Tom today helped. He is happier, and I can see that although I do blame myself, Jean is a very manipulative person and so I no longer need to bear the sole responsibility for the situation, a role which I believed I needed to cover ever since it happened. I just desperately hope that her two children get through this, that are not too badly affected mentally, and that my BPD never EVER hurts another person like it has done them.
During our relationship, it was so intense that I truly began to believe I could not live without her. Unfortunately, as time went on, I began to struggle to live with her too. I tried cutting, medication, therapy, but nothing removed the problem, that after her husband left, I wanted to leave too. So many things crossed my mind; had my feeling vanished because of the bad way I thought I had been treated? Was it just a game to me and now I had won I didn’t want her? I tried to tell myself that it would be fine, I could stay there and we could live like sisters as opposed to lovers. But Jean kept pushing me for intimacy, for sex, and I just couldn’t bring myself to touch her, which is suprising given my track record of being able to shut my mind off and allow my body to be used. I felt terrible. I knew I had told her I would love her forever, that we would be together forever. And every time I said it, she questioned me. Surely I didn’t mean it? Why would someone my age be interested in her? She’d had two children and it had taken it’s toll on her body. How could I find her attractive? Every time she doubted what I said, I reassured her. I told her I loved her just the way she was, and always would. And when I said it, I really meant it. So why did I change my mind? I felt terrible and felt I owed her my loyalty even though I couldn’t bear to touch her. So I stayed as long as I could, but it drove me crazy. I was cutting, the doctor put me on a high dose of Mirtazipine and turned me into a walking Zombie. It was the only way I could deal with the situation.
Take Care. x