My boyfriend and I started dating well over a year ago. He was a friend of mine, and we had a lot in common. When he first mentioned dating I was against it. He was such a good friend and I didn’t want to lose a friendship to a failed relationship. We did music together, we met at church, we had the same circle of friends, and most of the same interests. So naturally, its a friendship I would not want to lose. He tried and tried for so long(maybe a month) and I gave in. He’s very good looking and VERY charming, and I already loved him.
Everything was great, blissful even. I’ll never forget the first time he held my hand at a local Olive Garden. Or the first kiss, in the chilly park, where we breathed in the frosty air from the each other’s mouth. Wrapped up in our fall coats, scarves, and gloves. The first time that he told me he loved me on October 16th 2013, the red and blue flashing lights of a cop car just up the street. He was so nervous, we had danced around the words for months with texts that read “I miss you, love”. If he would have just waited one more day… he would have read it in his birthday card.
As the year rolled on we had great memories, memories that I cherish and are near and dear to my heart. Photographs that are neatly placed as memorials around my desk. He was my first new years eve kiss. The first gig we played together, the first hug, the time we broke an old pay phone in a movie theater, watching our MLB team (The Royals) play in the World Series, Christmas, Valentines Day(my birthday). Memories I relive, almost everyday. Memories he cannot feel.
At first he was sick. He took a trip to Texas around thanksgiving 2013, he had a cold sore(that he accumulated from me having years of them). As he was coming home he became violently sick. I remember the phone call from him on the road, when he thought he might fall asleep, explaining that he had to stop and slept with a bucket of ice cold water to calm the fever, with no avail. Even after the sickness had left he was just, off. The last picture I have of him with a glimmer of light in his eyes is New Years Eve. We had no clue of what was about to rock our worlds.
We didn’t know that Depersonalization existed. Or what it was even. All we knew was when it hit. Chances are, if you are reading this, that you already know what depersonalization is. If you don’t, I would suggest that you read up on it. The more information you know, the more stories you can read, the better off you will be at understanding and participating in the healing process. Basically, from my research online(I don’t have it, so I don’t FULLY understand it) he suffers from being disconnected with himself, and with the world around him. He doesn’t feel like he’s in his body, he doesn’t necessarily feel the world around him or his feelings for that matter. So things that I feel, the butterflies, the memories, the kisses, the happiness he brings me everyday; he doesn’t feel it. For musicians that’s a really hard reality to cope with, since most of our life’s are feeling oriented. As a woman, it’s hard for me to accept the fact that this wonderful man of mine, cannot explain the feelings he is not having, while in this journey of our relationship.
For a while it was really hard for me to accept this. That he couldn’t feel my love. I would wake up believing that he was leaving me, that he was tired of me, that I wasn’t all that he wanted or needed. Those thoughts quickly turned into me not being enough, not being exciting, not being helpful, and eventually being the cause itself. I became the problem, in my own eyes. This man that I had fantasized about creating a life with(a loft in the city, a dog and a cat, a music room filled with instruments, recording equipment, a studio, traveling and worshiping together, seeing people healed, a closeness with God and each other) he wasn’t present like he was in the first 4 months of our relationship. I was the problem.
As we began exploring what might possibly be the issue, a lot of things came up. Maybe it was his testosterone levels, maybe it was his past hurts and frailties, his upbringing, his drug and alcohol use(recovering alcoholic), maybe it was years of suppressed memories. A bunch of maybes. To be honest, there are still so many maybes. But one thing is certain… I am not the problem. I have not caused it, and me staying, praying, and pushing him on might be the very thing he needs. Not a lot of people will stay with you in the dark hours, not a lot of people will continue to feel when you cannot. I made a decision to love this man, and fight for our future. No matter what anyone though about it, they had no clue of the fight we were in.
Every small victory is another huge win on our very real battlefield. We are living with depersonalization disorder. We are fighting for his life, and our future. But we are here.
This is our story.
This is our love.
I invite you in. Our battle isn’t over, but fighting is what I know to do. I love this man to the end of the Earth. I’m not an expert, I don’t have expert advice. This is just what I’ve done that sometimes, every once in a while, seem to help. He told me this today, he said “Thanks for putting effort into helping me and understanding. It means a lot to me. Just knowing there’s hope is half the help!” There is hope.
One day I’ll tell him about this blog. I’ll tell him that this is how I coped. I decided to try to help other significant others along, even while we were fighting to win. I’ve searched a hundred times “Dating someone with DPD”, “Loving someone with DPD” I’ve not found a success story. Let’s change that.
I will change that.
I love you my dear. You are strong, you are wonderful, you are blessed, you are alive. I love you.