Saving my ex-boyfriends life was my biggest regret

Warning: This story contains graphic depictions of suicide and the opinions are that of the writer.

I’ve had a rage in me for a long time. Fuelled in large part to a situation that happened a long time ago. However I’ve learnt to this with rage, and discover self acceptance and anger can live side by side. When I was 20 I started seeing someone much older than myself. We met under normal circumstances at the time; Tinder. We started quickly and our relationship went from 0-100 in a matter of days. We drank, fucked and talked about our future like at that age you even have a clue. I knew he had bipolar and depression. It was something he had warned me about in the very early stages. Yet at that point I hadn’t had a lot of experience with mental men. And at 20 years old you think you can handle anything.

We started well enough. We got along. I listened to him talk bullshit about how he was a feminist and so broken inside. And because at this point I was desperate for his approval I listened. I reacted as I was meant to. And I let him ballgag and handcuff me when he wanted to fuck me without complaint. I would sit there and comfort him when he spiralled. I would soothe his worries when he was under a cloud. I would assure him this wasn’t too much for me. That I was here for him. Looking back now, almost 10 years later, the person he was pretending to be was constructed for me. For the image he was trying to portray. And I fell for it head over heels. Our relationship lasted eight weeks.

In that eight weeks he cheated on me twice, and he tried to kill himself twice. The first time he tried to kill himself, we were out with friends. We were having a good night. Dancing and partying. Before we left for the party everything was fine. He had spent the day telling me how much he liked me, how he saw us starting a future together. Not often the people who plan a future plan on killing themselves four hours later. Regardless, the whole thing was extremely dramatic, and I’ll swing past this one because it wasn’t the most exciting attempt. In his brightest hour he climbed to the top of a parking building, and sent me photos of his feet over the edge. Saying through text how this was my fault, because of how I behaved. This was a common emotional ploy of his. If something had upset him, it was my fault.

This was untiluntil he tried to kill himself again. This time he succeeded.

Luckily thanks to the police they were able to track him down and take him into custody. In the two hours they took to find him was the first time I had prayed in years. I haven’t prayed since that night. After this attempt I lived on eggshells around him. Always cautious of what I said and did. I started guarding how I was seen. How I acted. And eventually instead of being my own person I became a guardian of a 30 year old manic depressive cunt. This was until he tried to kill himself again. This time he succeeded.

It started like it did last time. We were out drinking, this time with different groups. Most of the evening he had been texting me, hurling abuse about how I was a shit person and deserved nothing. He used to tell me how ugly, stupid and unloveable I was. At this point I had started to believe it. When you start to think no one will love you, you often lock in to the one person who says they do. Even through the abuse. I went and found him shortly after 6pm. He was drunk, high, and pissed at me for existing. I decided to take him back to his house, and at that point I decided this was the last I was going to see him. Little did I know how on the ball I would be. The Uber on the way back was like a funeral. The silence was piercing. Even today I feel really bad for that Uber driver.

Upon arrival, he went into his room and locked the door behind him. I spent only about 2-5 minutes banging on the door, demanding to be let in. Demanding some sort of explanation as to why I deserved to be treated like this. Eventually he opened the door. Storming in the first thing I saw on the bed was the empty pill bottle. He had been taking sleeping pills for a few months. The second thing I saw was the bottle of rum that was full when we left, and half empty now. He looked at me in the eyes and told me I was the reason he had decided to end it. That he was sick of being a disappointment to me. The thing you should know about men like this, is that they always find a way to make it your fault. What he did next left me really confused even today. He got undressed. Like dying would be easier without pants on. Lying there naked I couldn’t help but feel nothing. Complete nothingness. Just confusion. They often mention fight or flight. I think freeze is more common when you just have no fucking clue whats going on. At this point I was a 20 year old girl, staring at the lifeless body of a man who, up until that point, had completely altered my perception of the world. A man who called me useless, pointless, an example of a tragedy gone wrong. I always wondered how his roommates knew to come into his room at that point. I thought I was just standing there, staring at him in silence. His roommates would later tell me I was screaming.

After being announced dead for one whole minute and resuscitated, he spent three days in the hospital. His flatmates and I had called the paramedics, and together we dragged his lifeless body down two flights of stairs. 

Travelling with him was the first time I had been in an ambulance. I watched as they shoved a tube down his throat, filing his body with a saline solution to pump the pills out. As I watched I wondered if it was too late to tell them to stop, to tell them how much of a horrible person he was. That he was better off dead. But I wasn’t him, and I couldn’t condone another person to death because of how I felt. 

Just to top things off, in the three days he was in hospital I discovered he was cheating on me. At this point I didn’t care. I was so emotionally dead inside nothing mattered. The only thing I could think of was how I could make this man someone else’s problem. 

I had done my babysitting duty, I wasn’t cut out for this. He needed help far beyond what I thought I could provide. So I did the only thing I knew how to do at 20 years old. 

I called his mum.

The day she arrived was my day to leave. I collected what little I had from his house and told him this was the end of us. His last ditch attempt to get me to stay was to weakly tell me he loved me. I replied that I knew he didn’t. That I hoped he didn’t if this was what love was to him.

The thing about him is that is he’d will tell you anything to keep you under control.

Our relationship lasted eight weeks. The anger I carried with me lasted years.

I had always been a happy go lucky person. Always half glass full, mentally sound, solid and reliable. After him, all I had was anger. 

The saying these days is going 0-100, whereas I was idling at 90 most days. Filled with a rage that would be set off at a moment’s notice. I either felt anger, or nothing. There was nothing left in me that could be turned into hope, into seeing the other side to all this. 

I started on Lorazepam shortly after this. Self destructive behaviour across drinking, drugs and dick had left me hollowed out. Unable to move forward. 

For the longest time my biggest regret was saving his life. I often wished I had left him there. Naked on the bed in a pool of his own vomit. Unable to hurt anyone ever again. 

The rage that sits within us is always there. Just as we can be set off laughing in a moment’s notice, we can be thrown into a fit of rage. What is triggered easily is what is already there. Because anger is easier to feel, it can distract you from experiencing and healing the pain you feel inside. 

However I don’t think you have to move past anger. You can use anger to motivate you to do better, to act better. To be better than what has effected you.

When you’re unable to process your emotions you can never really move on. And maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll be angry about it forever. Maybe I’ll always mourn the person I would have become without the rage and self destructive behaviour that controlled me for years following. 

The only solace I have is in the fact that out of the two of us. I did the right thing. I didn’t matter to him, I probably never did. But he has to live his life knowing that the woman he abused, he owes his life to.