I remember waking up in the hospital that November morning, my boyfriend sitting on the side of the bed waiting for me. “Good morning,” he said with a smile. I didn’t understand why he was there. I’d put him through what may have been the scariest night of his life and yet he waited for me. He called the ambulance, he brought me in and held my hand, he kissed me goodnight before going home to take care of our dog, and he came back as early as he could so he could say good morning.
“Why are you here?” I asked. No one had ever come back. This would have been the perfect time to leave. He could have told me he couldn’t handle it, that I needed to be alone, that he didn’t trust me or simply that I was “crazy.” “I love you,” he replied and kissed me on the forehead.
There are special people out there, strong people who are willing to learn and fight. I heard countless stories of young adults with borderline personality disorder like me, whose partners left them. Maybe we were “obsessive” or “needy.” But that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to love. There’s no limit to the love we can give, but love isn’t enough on its own. We must care, consider, reflect and appreciate.
That morning, I realized there was nothing to fear. Only someone who truly and completely loved me could be strong enough to be there with me, and yet that fear lingered. I wake up every morning next to him and worry this will be the day it all ends. Every panic attack offers the perfect opportunity for him to bow out. I criticize every little thing, I micromanage and expect him to follow the script I’ve prepared in my head with no room for improvisation.
He is human. He is not a fictional character I’ve created in my mind. He is neither the perfect Hallmark leading man nor is he the evil villain of my nightmares. He is human, and I love him for that. I love his imperfections and mistakes as much as I love his courage and commitment. He takes care of himself, I must take care of myself, and in that balance we take care of each other. Every day I am afraid, but every day I must tell myself I am worth being loved. He loves me, and that’s all I need to know.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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