I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me

Illustration by Sabina Kencana @sabinaka

Illustration by Sabina Kencana @sabinaka

There is this old saying “In the middle of the trees, it’s hard to see the forest.” Sometimes, life events can only be put into the right perspective when looking at them from a distance. Being in a relationship with someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder can seem like an impossible task. I tried – but in the end, I had to walk away, for my own sake.

I met my ex-boyfriend through mutual friends. He had a cute face and a bright smile and even though I wasn’t interested in him at all at the beginning, he quickly changed my mind. When he looked at me, he made me feel like I was an angel; he scribbled little notes and poems for me on a piece of paper; he spontaneously “kidnapped” me to go on short road trips; he listened to the same music and read the same books I did, so we always had something to talk about.

But only a few weeks into our relationship, the sky became cloudy. Of course, I’m not naïve enough to believe that those first blissful weeks of falling in love will last forever. Disagreements, arguments and fights are a normal and healthy part of every relationship. But this was something else.

I learned that he had extreme mood swings – he went from being over the moon to the depths of despair in a matter of seconds, triggered by something seemingly trivial. He showed impulsive and sometimes dangerous behavior, and his anger – oh, there was so much anger! – became so intense it scared me.

When he was happy, he treated me like I was the Juliet to his Romeo. But more often than not, he’d be in a bad mood – and he let me know it. He hurt me – never physically, but through actions and words. Our fights became more intense, and after a while I was emotionally drained.

Every time we argued, I felt like I was lying on the ground, bleeding, and he’d stand above me and kick me in the gut one last time before putting all his energy and effort into getting me up again and helping me to heal. If I was not willing to listen to him, he’d use emotional blackmailing and threats – “if you’re not picking up the phone, I’m going to kill myself” was one of the sentences he’d use more and more. He loved me one minute and hated me the next; he had a constant fear of losing me, but at the same time pushed me away.

Despite realizing that I was in an abusive relationship, it was hard for me to walk away. I was always hoping for him to change for the better and for the boy who I fell in love with in the first place to overcome his demons. Maybe I was suffering from the savior complex, where I felt that I could help him and sacrificed my own needs in the process.

After a one-year rollercoaster ride, I found out one that he was cheating on me. I don’t think I ever felt so embarrassed and humiliated in my whole life. Here I was, a shadow of my former self, letting him mistreat me most of the time, thinking that he needed me to get better, while he was off sleeping with his ex-girlfriend.

For me, this was the last straw. I simply couldn’t do it anymore, so I broke up with him immediately. I went for a holiday with my friends, visited family, trying to put myself back together. But when I came back home, the nightmare continued.

He began to stalk me, constantly sending me messages and calling me on my mobile phone, showing up at my workplace in tears, asking me to take him back. When I refused, he made a spectacle in front of my colleagues: he yelled at me and called me names, and I wished for the ground to open up and swallow me whole.

One night, I was about ready to go to sleep when I heard a noise in our living room. I constantly panicked, but then reassured myself that he couldn’t get inside my house since he didn’t have a key. But only moments later, the door to my bedroom opened, and he was standing in front of me, a strange look on his face, uttering the words “I am here to kill you”.

I froze, unable to jump up and lock myself in the bathroom, but his threat only lasted for a moment before he broke down and cried, once again pledging his eternal love and begging me to forgive him.

During that time, I drank a lot of alcohol. It helped me to fall asleep at night. I told our security guard to never ever let this guy inside our house again. I changed my phone number but because we had mutual friends, it wasn’t useful – he’d still find out my new number and called me, telling me “to never ever feel safe” because he was still watching me. I have never picked up a call from an unknown number since.

After a couple of months he grew tired of terrorizing me. He eventually vanished from my life, but the wounds only healed slowly, and my scars are visible to this day.

Still, I am not frightened or angry anymore. It took a long time for me to understand what happened, but now I know that he’s not to blame. He’s suffering from a psychiatric illness, and I sincerely hope he will someday seek treatment in order to get better, to be healthy and happy. I also realized that I am not to blame.

There’s a song by American singer MoZella that I truly love, and its lyrics perfectly describe how I feel about him today: “I think I cried for days/ But now that seems like light years away/ And I’m never going back to who I was/ I don’t blame you anymore/ That’s too much pain to store/ It left me half dead inside my head/ And boy, looking back I see I’m not the girl I used to be/ When I lost my mind, it saved my life.”

This article was first published on This is Sati on August 12, 2018.