I don’t know where to start, or if I should even tell. But there is so much sorrow and confusion in my body I feel that if I spill everything out I will get fewer questions in return. Also because writing my thoughts down might make it easier for myself to understand what has happened, to create some sort of peace in this chaos I am trapped in.
I met Joe at a party in December 2013. I slept in his bed that first night and the day after he asked me out on a date. For a long time I was not sure weather I should let him in or not. I could clearly see our differences from day 1 and how they were already problems, before ‘we’ had even begun. Although it did not feel like falling in love, that’s what I did. It took us 6 months of dating before we became a couple, another 3 months before I properly fell in love. When I did on the other hand, I became obsessed. He filled up every inch of my body and mind. Here was this wonderful little person who was a bit different, he was never the manly, tough, loud type of person but very gentle, so polite and serious. Whenever I looked at him I saw nothing but pure love and I have never felt more at ease then just him and I next to each other in bed.
We loved each other, we made each other happy and I felt like I had come home. It was never easy, but in-between all the doubt I knew. I decided he was the one. But the more of him I got to know the more I discovered about other darker sides. Problems you can never tell until you go deep deep down into the soul of the other person, and spend 99 % of your time close together. Not even then can you be sure to honestly know someone. It’s such a fucking scary thought.
And this is where I am doubting. What is his story and what is mine? Is there is even such a thing as ‘his’ and ‘mine. As I’ve written this I have decided it is all mine.
Joe was ill. Not visible, nothing you would be tested for at the doctors. Mental illness and addictive disorders are horrible they control you and they turn you into vicious liars, no matter how much love is involved. Drugs are everywhere in London so if someone has a problem it easily slips past your attention. But I realised early on he did not have the same relationship to it as other people I knew. At first I got angry at him, thinking he did not care about changing his habits, constantly thinking and telling him that if he really loved me like he said he did, then he would stop. Period. He said he wanted too, and he tried, but he always fell straight back into it. We talked about therapy. I have gone to therapy for many years and know it can be helpful. He wanted to. But it just did not happen.
As time went on he opened up to me more and more. I realised the depth and reason for some of his behaviours. I became more understanding, stopped blaming him as soon as something bad would happened and tried harder to make him se the great things he had in his life, the great thing that WE had together.
I don’t want to talk about this to much. It does not matter.
About one month ago things got out of control. This was a cry for help. Me and Joe’s parents spent nights and days calling ambulances, police, staying overnights in ER, desperately wanting help BUT THERE IS NO FUCKING HELP TO GET. A system that says “he is not that bad, there are people who are worse”. Something that could be prevented turns into a conical disease and lives who could be saved is just left to faith to decide. It is the same story as years ago when my sister was so thin the wind would break her bones. She had no life left in her body, it was just a shell. But we got told the same thing – “she is not that bad, there are people who are worse”. Things went so far her heart actually stopped.
But that weekend changed everything. Joe told us everything and he cried, I cried, his mum cried. At night I would hold him in my arms, tell him that everything will be fine. It will take time and it will be everything but easy but we will be ok. TOGETHER. “I will always be here, you can always count on me, you are my everything, I will never ever give up on you”.
So a new life started. Therapy meetings, counselling, new hobbies and everything that could be a distraction from the old ways. We went on holiday, went running through vineyards, read hundreds of books by the pool and at night we would hold each other closer than ever, laugh more than we ever had, talk about the plans for the future that we had been to scared of before. Before, back when everything was bad and it all seemed hopeless. Now it was different. We were happy, we had hope, we saw the light at the end of a very long and very dark and very painful tunnel.
This month was the happiest in our relationship, probably the happiest time of my life.
And one day it changed. He saw one of his old friends. I wrote his name down here first. In big capitals so that everyone would see his name, remember it and know that he is POISONOUS. Joe was worried about seeing him beforehand. All his other friends were supportive and encouraged him, but even Joe himself realised that with this particular friend, things might not be that easy. This so-called friend who has recommended his own councillors to us so that we could get help for Joe, but behind our backs imported pills and coached Joe how to trick the medical system.
So Joe saw this friend on the Saturday. On the Sunday when he came to mine he had changed. He did not pick up any calls, barely answered my text, never came when he said he was supposed to. I understood straight away but it was not like I thought this would not be without any setbacks. I told him come home, it does not matter, when we wake up tomorrow this won’t matter. Everything will be ok.
I saw Joe for the last time on Thursday. He came here late. He had panic attacks, he was manic, he was sad. He had let himself down. He eventually let me hold him again, repeating that he had not realised until now how much he wanted to get better, how truly great this last month had been.
I kept waking up in the night. Joe twisted and turned. He would sometimes put his hands around my waist and press his belly agains my back and only then would he be still. In the morning he ran out the door to work, he did not have the time to kiss me goodbye. I saw in his eyes he was in a horrible place. That is the image I will carry with me. Not the loving eyes I could look into for hours, but how he disappeared into himself and could not find the way out.
Nobody heard from him after that. He never came home on Friday night. I got a text in the morning. “I am in a safe place. I can’t tell you where I am or what I am doing I just want you to know that I love you”. He never came in to work. Me and his mum discussed, maybe he has taken in to a hotel, maybe he is hiding in this friends flat, maybe he has gone to Berlin. I alerted every single one of Joe’s friends. I tried and see if he had written to anyone on Facebook, we tried to track his phone on iCloud. I called the helplines he sometimes talked to, they had no ideas either.
I was panicing. Where is my baby? Is he safe? I need to help him? I need to find him WHY CANT I FIND HIM WHY DOES HE NOT LET ME KNOW WHERE HE IS IF YOU LOVE SOMEONE YOU DONT JUST DISAPPEAR. I texted him “there is nothing I won’t forgive, I am worried, your family is worried, we are here for you, we love you, we will help”.
Nothing ever came back. It had been more than 30 hours now. Then I see it. A booking confirmation on his email. A one way ticket to Bankok booked 4 hours before take off on the Friday.
My world stopped.
I could not stop screaming. It felt like someone had ripped my heart out in one second and I could not breath. It still does. He has left me. Joe has his family, all of his friends and his job. He left me.
HE HAS FUCKING LEFT ME AND EVERYTHING WE HAD AND FLOWN TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD AND JUST LEFT ME. HE HAS LEFT ME AND ALL I HAVE DONE FOR HIM ALL THE HOURS I’VE SPENT TRYING TO UNDERSTAND, ALL OF MY FRIENDSHIPS THAT HAVE SUFFERED BECAUSE HOW MUCH OF MYSELF I GAVE TO JOE. He left me behind. He left me.
He left me.
I don’t understand. In three days everything changed. My world has been turned upside down and I can’t find anything to hold on too. I feel like I am drowning. I dream it was all a dream. His mum tells me “he can’t love like a normal person, he does not understand how his actions hurt the ones around him”. His best friend told me “fuck him, he has done this now, just fuck him”. My mother and my friends all say “you did all you could, all that is humanly possible, more than anyone else probably would have”.
“He does not mean to hurt the ones who loves him, he is just very ill”.
But what about me. What about me? Do I not matter anymore to you now? What about our love. What about our plans to move in together, to move somewhere after I finish University, away from everything we knew and start over. What about that? All the times we held each other, me whispering I love you in your ear, you (trying to) say Jag älskar dig with your face in my hair. Have you already forgotten about it. Do you think I will forgive this like I forgive everything else? I know I am strong, I have been through hell already earlier in my life. But did you think I would survive this Joe?
Am I single now? You have not broken up with me but you clearly don’t thought I was worth staying for. The last thing you said to me was “..I just want you to know that I love you”.
Apparently not enough. Not as much as I love you. Loved? As much as I loved you? I don’t even know anymore.
YOU DON’T DO THIS TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE. YOU DON’T RUIN SOMEONES LIFE LIKE THIS. Where does the illness start and where does it stop? What has he done intentionally and what is controlled by something bigger than himself. I know it was not all a lie. I know he loved me, still does probably. Or did he ever?
He is just ill.
But you don’t do this to another person. You don’t ruin someones life.
I know now I have to let go. There is nothing I can do. Even if (when) he comes back I can’t get involved, I can’t help him anymore. I have done what I could. And still it was not enough. I need to move on. The least I can do is try.
He left me.
He is out there, last thing we heard he was trying to get to “the islands”. I don’t even know what that means. I have never been to Aisa.
For 17 months he gav me life. And now here I am, apathetic not being able to stand up on my own. And where is he? In his intoxicated state he thinks he living like Keroac, on the road, bound to nothing. To no one.
I am held captive by my own mind. I am being thrown between storms of emotions. One second I hate him, I scream and rip down the photos of him and of us from my wall. I through his expensive shoes in the bin and I erase his birthday from my diary.
The next second I want my baby back in my arms. He is still my baby. He is still my baby and he is out there and it is dangerous and he is ill, really really ill and he needs help. I love him I have never loved like this we were going to spend years and years together this is all a bad dream and I need him back. What if he gets hurt what if he needs me and I am not there? I will never ever give up on you.
I can’t. He left me. REMEMBER THAT HE LEFT YOU. You have to forget him and you have move on. You have to try and live. For yourself. For the ones who are still by your side, always picking up the pieces. There was nothing you could have done differently. You did everything you could. This is nothing you could fix. No one can. No love can.
But it was still never not worth it. It might not feel like it right now but it was.
As I try to erase him I’m dying. I was his. I was him.
And now he is gone.