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I was close to suicide

Before I start, I would like to share an observation, which has a profound effect on my life. As a man, I am not allowed to be seen as being depressed; I am not allowed to share problems, and I am not normal if I don't have a girlfriend. I have just come back from a family meal, and everybody wants to know why I don't have a partner. Social Pressure.

I mulled and mulled in my heads the various emotions swirling around; and now I have to turn to someone... I suppose a complete stranger is better, as I should get an independent perspective.

Let me go back to the summer of 98 first. In August I was sharing a home with my long term girlfriend. I was greatly in love, but as per usual, not always able to show my affections. I always felt a social pressure to do things right, which sometimes affects spontinuity. (If it makes sense). In the 3 years we had been together, we both believed in keeping some type of independence. We would go out with our own friends as well as together and never tell each other how we expected the other person to behave. (I.e what clothes to wear and such).

I was pretty much happy. I knew there were small kinks in the Armour of our relationship, but we both knew this was down to miss-guided anger and outside stress. Then a devastating blow hit my Family. When I was 10, my sister was abused by my mothers partner. Unfortunately this was the mid eighties and when we approached the authorities, we were dis-believed and made to stay in the 'family' home. Both my sister & I put the entire drama in a box in our heads marked DO NOT OPEN...EVER..!!!

We both grew up to have good professions and continued to get on with our lives in normality. Not wanting my mother to feel punished my sister still allowed her to see her daughter (mum's gran-daughter).

Back to August. I received a phone call from my sister. She told me that my niece (aged 8) had made an allegation against our mothers partner of abuse. This had come totally out of the blue and my niece had said these things off her own back. (no leading at all). I was devastated. My sister and I knew this man was dangerous, and we allowed someone so innocent to be at risk. We thought after such a long period of time (13-14 years), there was no possibility of a reoccurrence. Matters were not helped by the fact my sister lived in Cambridge & I and Mum in London.

I had to tell my Mum, and then I had to go around to her partners and tell him that she would not be coming home and why. It's was very difficult to control my emotions at the time. but I had to stay calm as I felt someone had to work to keep the blood family together and there will be plenty of ranting and raving in the near future from other parties. There was. My sister refused to speak with my mother. My father blamed me (He's a teacher in Peterboro', we haven't spoke since this incident). It took a lot of work, but now my Mum & sister are now talking and rebuilding their relationship. The stress it placed on me was immense by all parties.

I came home and cried. However, I knew my partner couldn't even comprehend what was and had been happening, so I briefed her, but refused to go into to much detail because I didn't want to open the emotional can of worms again. In the meantime, my Mum stayed at our flat. (Quite pleasant really as she would do our washing and meals).

I tried to carry on as normal; as they say 'life goes on', but I found it harder and harder to focus. A week after the revelations, I had a big row with my girlfriend; it was over something silly; over the phone; and I was drunk. Oh yea, by this time, my Mum was back at her home sleeping in separate rooms. I spent that night alone.

When I came home the following evening, my girlfriend was waiting for me. She told me she was leaving there and then, because she didn't love me anymore. (I decision I believe was greatly influenced by her friends and family). I never knew I had so much water in my body. The tears that fell from my eyes were continuous. I couldn't face work, and as a result I was fired a week later. I was stuck alone in a home I couldn't afford and in a life with no hope. This was probably the lowest point in my life.

My ex and I tried to see each other again, but every time we met, she would be really horrible to me in the things she said and the actions she took. We even went to my sisters wedding (The proudest day of my life), but she hurt me even more by taking me in private and kissing me; then telling me she was just out for fun. She did not endear herself to my family.......

After this point we didn't see each other. I coundn't afford to keep the flat, so I had to stay at my mums in the box room in the same house as the abuser. This was October last year. I told myself, I must be out by the end of January.

I spent Christmas entirely alone. My friends didn't want to see or speak with me because they didn't know how to handle my grief and my mum had to keep on the social graces with her partners family as they did not know what had been happening. At Christmas I was close to suicide, only stopping myself by thinking of the grief and guilt my family would suffer.

January this year arrived. I had no job, no home and no life. I got myself a crap job and by Feb 1st, I shared a house with new found friends. I had rediscovered all of the above. I was still having trouble dealing with the past issues and like now I had difficulty in containing my love for my ex.

At this point, in retrospect, I went a bit do lally. I decided I would become a volunteer Samaritan. I thought because of the gravity of my problems I could handle other peoples woes. I completed the training with flying colours (always been a good listener) but when the final crunch came to start I cracked up and realised that I hadn't dealt with my own issues.

This August, almost to the day, I was asked to leave the house I was sharing, so one of my flat mates could make a go of a decent relationship in his home with his girlfriend. I had to go back to my Mum's.

Now I sleep on my mum's lounge floor, or on friends floor. I have no permanence. I still really miss my ex-girlfriend and I still love her greatly. I do occasionally see her, but we don't speak (I normally go weak at the knees and no words will leave my mouth). I want to send her a letter to tell her how I feel, in the vain hope of retrieving at least a friendship. Friends think

I am daft, as she left my when I needed her most; but can I blame her. Who wants to be stuck with an emotional wreck.

My heart aches on a daily basis.....

What should I do......?? About everything ? Why am I so confused about life. I 've lost faith in my peers and I've lost faith in humanity. How can my friends just dump me when I have known them so long ? Where do I start to rebuild my life? How to I get stability ? Am I wrong to still love Nicola ?

Dazed & Confused...


Aged 27


Dear Chris,

Don't feel that you shouldn't still love your ex, its normal, you had a relationship with her and he couldn't handle the support she should have given you, that's not your fault its her lack of understanding. she should have been there for you warts and all that goes for your 'friends' too. let it be.

As for your friends, they obviously lack the maturity to deal with your feelings and traumas etc., and anyway I was once told that your best friend is your underwear its with you everyday and never lets you down (daft but true!!)

The only way to deal with your emotional state is to face your demons its the only way believe me. get an appointment booked to see tour GP and explain to him/her about your depression, ask them to arrange a n appointment for a group therapy session with a counselor at the either the hospital or a clinic, you don't have to pay private its done on the NHS. All it involves is you going down and airing your problems in front of 4-6 other people who are all there to to talk about their problems and discuss how and what would can help them recover.

You shouldn't feel embarrassed as you will find that a lot of people share your very same problem. You will benefit from one of these I'm sure of it. You may even find that you in time may want to become a counselor yourself and counsel others who have and are suffering as you have done. Find out about evening classes and get qualified you could even make a career out of it. This could be what you've been waiting for, the right job, the right qualifications, the right time..... it makes sense, doesn't it?

You sound very intelligent and well educated (despite the traumas you've gone through, donut lose that. Learn to like yourself again, Write down a few things that make you smile, happy, and try to think positive, get a hobby keep your mind occupied, forget about relationships for a while get to know who you are and what you want to be, or what you want to do, you've been through various things, learn from that, grow stronger, better and wiser from it all. Time is a great Healer, no matter how hard it sounds things do get better.

If I could just refer to the Abuser you talk about, its up to you to do what's right, you have two options, the first is you tell the police and have a full scale scandal on your hands, newspapers, or you do the thing you don't want to do, and keep away from him, and avoid hurting your family and their friends etc....... It sounds like the easy way out, but remember its him with the problem not you, you have nothing to hide, or your family, he will get his just dessert soon enough they always do.

Let it go and go for counseling get t out of your system by talking openly about it and don't shed any more tears PLEASE. Its him your crying about and don't waste. your goodness on him.

Sometimes I read a little psalm to myself when "the going gets tough" in life and I find it a real comfort. Its a psalm from the Bible. Psalm 18: v 32-36.

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. he makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.
You broaden my path beneath me,
so that my ankle do not turn over.

I wish you lots of luck,