Jekyll & Hyde - Uncover Ostomy
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Jekyll & Hyde

I’m finding out more and more each day that I am a very bad judge of character.

I have always been one to look for the good in people and assume it is those traits that shape their character. Unfortunately, what I’m realizing now is that I miss, or more accurately, choose to ignore the negative signs these people give; the signs that scream a person really doesn’t care about me in the slightest and that I’m wasting my time caring about them. It’s happened with quite a few people I’ve considered friends and it’s, once again, happened to me with someone I loved.

Yeah, I loved someone more than anything in the world and it was that love that helped him trick me into thinking he was the person I was meant to be with.

As many of you know, I was dating and had moved in with a guy that I loved. This was a guy that I could literally picture every moment of the rest of my life with because he was the person that was perfect for me in every way that could possibly be. It just turns out that he was very good at listening to what I wanted in a partner, and pretending to be those things. Eventually, the smoke and mirrors disappeared.

…I’m probably going to regret writing this but the only way I know how to heal is to write. So, I’ve written.

When I started dating my ex, I was the happiest I had ever been in my entire life; and I’m not just saying that. I had friend after friend tell me they could see the happiness in my eyes. Someone even said they could see that I was glowing.

I felt like I was glowing.

He was perfect for me. Perfect in the sense that we had a million things in common; we had similar interests to talk about, we loved doing the same type of activities together, and we just had so much fun. Everything clicked right into place. The relationship was so unbelievable that we both agreed it was worth it to work hard to maintain it long distance because we couldn’t be without the other. So we worked. Well, he did. He did so much of the work. He did amazing things like pick me up from the airport with flowers or bring flowers to my mom for the holidays. He would often take me out for nice dinners or  fun movie dates. He sent me a Valentines gift in the mail while I was in New York. He would come to family events with me and he would invite me to go to his and brought me along on his family vacation. He even once bought my mom a toaster oven because he noticed hers was old. He just did nice things for me and for those I cared about. When we weren’t in person, we spoke every day all day, from the moment we woke up the moment we fell asleep about things that interested us and how we missed one another. He was able to make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world every day just in the way he spoke to me. When he asked me to move in with him, I knew it was right because this man was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

It was the day we moved in together that the man I knew disappeared.

Somehow, I ended up moving in with someone I had never met before, and frankly, someone I detested. This man, from the day we walked through our front door, was someone else. This man yelled at me, called me names (some pretty horrible ones too), ignored me as a person, and acted as if I owed him everything in the world and that all of my effort was worthless.  This man decided that he didn’t have to be involved in my life in anyway, which he showed by refusing every dinner invitation that my family extended him, did not want to meet some very important friends of mine (ostomy friends, for some) and refused to accompany me at either of the two charity events I was volunteering with (charity is clearly a huge part of who I am.) He didn’t want anything to do with me unless it involved watching movies or going to bed.

At first, I chalked it up to stress because he was writing a really important certification exam. I let it all slide because I knew how important it was to him. I worked at being the best girlfriend I could be by making him food, doing his laundry, and lending my support through constant encouragement. I cared so much about this exam for him that I was literally shaking as I picked him up from the exam center. I wanted him to succeed.

Despite the exam being over, things didn’t get better.

Again, I chalked it all up to stress because he now had to wait for the results of this exam, which is usually just as stressful as writing it. I continued to be there for him, taking care of him, and even turning into this ridiculous housewife who made lunches for him before he went to work. I had no idea who I had become but I liked it. I liked doing little things to show him I cared. I took our one-year anniversary to really prove it and went all out. The present was full of individual gifts that represented something important in our relationship thus far, which I topped off with a jar of 100 separate pieces of paper, each with handwritten reason of why I loved him. 100 of them. I thought maybe, just maybe each individual reason would remind him of how happy we were together. I hoped it would be the start to making things better. Maybe it made it better for him. I don’t really know. All I know is that he didn’t do anything for me for our one year anniversary. I blogged about how happy I was to be with him, and I still was! …but I was pretty upset about the fact that he didn’t do anything for me. Not even a card. I had opened up to him before about how important cards are to me because they contain feelings that can be saved and reread over and over. But he didn’t even do that for me… I decided, however, to just brush this off as well.

A few days after our anniversary, my ex was scheduled to get his wisdom teeth out. Instead of going back to his parents house to have his mother take care of him, he stayed in our apartment so that I could. I was actually thrilled to take care of him because taking care of people I love is something I pride myself on and I was so happy that he trusted me to be his caregiver. However, as it turned out, he actually didn’t trust me at all. He yelled at me much like he had been doing for the weeks prior, however this time it was because I, apparently, had no idea what I was doing in terms of his care. I reassured him that I had been through this myself and that the oral surgeon had given me detailed instructions, but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t until I went to speak to another dentist who confirmed everything that I had been saying, that I was trusted to take care of him. All the jello, soup, pudding, and being handed an antibiotic pill every 8 and 12 hours wasn’t enough to prove I could take care of him, nor prove that I was doing enough for him.

I guess I was blinded by love.. or whatever, but I just kept telling myself that this was all just because it was a big life change for both of us that we had to get used to. Well, I thought the whole yelling, calling me names,  not being involved in my life, and not appreciating me thing was just a phase until it became very apparent that he was not acting like my boyfriend in the simplest of ways; for support.

As you all know from the blog post I had written, my 16 year old friend Alison passed away. On the day she passed, I came home to our apartment in the evening after a full day of Uncover Ostomy work and had not had a second to actually think about the event that had just unfolded. I was still numb. That night, my ex and I were supposed to go out with a friend of his and I had agreed to go because it was a good distraction. An hour before we were supposed to go, however, the plan then changed to us going up to his cottage, to which I agreed because it would be a better distraction. My ex then went to take a nap. As he was napping, I quickly realized that with his entire family there and his friend coming up to hang out with him,  that I wouldn’t be able to properly grieve. I’m not the type of person to be upset in public, and I certainly did not want to be a Debbie Downer around his family, so I decided it was not a good idea for me to go. I honestly just wanted a quiet weekend to reflect on the situation and to have my boyfriend by my side.

It was as he awoke after letting me relax in the quite of our apartment that the whole situation hit me and I began to bawl. I couldn’t stop it. It was the first time that I had stopped moving all day and the gravity of the situation washed over my body. Alison and I had literally been texting the day before it happened and I began to feel such guilt and shame for not being there for her.  There was no way I could go up to a cottage with a whole crowd of people. As I was bawling, however, my ex continued to make plans with his friend to go to the cottage without me. And within 20 minutes, he left. He left me alone in our apartment for 2 days. He didn’t even call or text me to see how I was doing the day after he left. The next day, I had friends offering to hang out with me, but I chose to spend time with my mom. I also received an email of support from his mom. I felt so loved, just not from the person I needed it from most.

I deserved more and this was when I realized it.

The story continues with my ex continuing to act as if we are just roommates who happened to share a bed. It looked like nothing was going to change. I even opened up to him a few times about it and said that I wished he could be there for me more. His responses? “You’re not my wife, I don’t have to care about you” and “I moved in with you, what more do you want?”

I didn’t want to give up on the relationship because I kept hoping that the man I fell in love with was somewhere inside just waiting to come out. I love this man more than anything in the world. He was sweet, kind, caring, and fun. For some reason, my ex was still yelling at me and ignoring me as his girlfriend. I was drained. No matter what I did for him, nothing made a difference. I felt lost.

By this time,  my thesis due date was coming up quickly. I knew I had to focus on it first, and that once it was done, we could both put our full focus on the relationship. To my luck, my ex decided to drunkenly break up with me the weekend before it was due. I decided to stay at my mother’s house that week to finish it. I couldn’t let him or this relationship stand in my way of the degree I was working so hard for….The degree I was actually working to finish in one calendar year instead of two school years so that I could come back to Toronto and be with him sooner. Yeah, that degree.

Once it was handed in and I was officially done school, it was time to figure out what was going on in this relationship that I hadn’t signed up for. Where was this amazing guy I had grown to love?

We talked it out and my ex assured me he knew exactly what he was doing wrong and would work to fix it. If I can give him any credit at all, he did stop yelling at me and calling me names and I sincerely appreciated it. Unfortunately, he continued to treat me like a roommate and still refused to be a part of my life, and  ignored my feelings. He was actually quite a hypocrite about it. I wont go into anymore details, but in one night, he had successfully done two things that he had, a few weeks earlier yelled at me for doing.

It was that night, while he was out for his birthday with his friends, that I left.

I finally had it. I knew I deserved more and he wasn’t going to give it to me. I had no choice. I couldn’t live with him any longer. I broke it off.

[…Ok, so it may have been mean of me to leave him on the night of his birthday. I still bought him a very nice present…]

Per my usual fashion, though, we talked a lot after I called it quits. I’m a sucker for love, and something inside of me kept telling me that amazing guy I fell in love with was still there somewhere. I was hopeful because I really wanted to do anything to have that guy back. Unfortunately, even after asking, my ex failed to show me that great side of him. Instead, I was told I didn’t put any effort into our relationship, that I’m a mean and selfish person, and he didn’t even get me birthday card… knowing how important they are to me. I’ve sadly realized the amazing person I loved wasn’t come back.

Actually, I realized he never existed.

I feel tricked.

I hate it.

I don’t know if I’ve done this story justice because I know I’ve left out a lot of details. Details of things he did, and well, yes, some of the things he’s told me I did. According to him I was stubborn with a number of things and. honestly, I won’t argue that. I insisted that some things had to be way my because they made sense and he sometimes didn’t agree. I also could have been more open about my feelings early on, I was told. I’m sure there was more that I did wrong. What I do know, though, is that none of my faults were an excuse for him to treat me the way he did.

I was once sitting with my dad and a friend of his who was talking about his young daughter. My dad’s friend said he was concerned that his daughter would grow up to date terrible guys and that he wouldn’t be able to help her. My dad told his friend that if he raised his daughter right, there was no reason to worry. He continued to tell his friend that he didn’t worry about me, because he knew that I had self-respect and self-worth and that I would never let someone to treat me poorly. I didn’t know my dad thought of me that way at the time, but I will always strive to live up to those words. I think in this situation, I did.

No matter how much I loved the guy I fell in love with, I couldn’t stay.

A lot of people told me that he and I were moving in together too soon and that I should be sure I was doing the right thing. I told them that I was sure and I wasn’t worried. Do I now regret moving in with him?  Am I embarrassed about it? Absolutely not.  I’m glad that I could see the real person that he is before I was tricked into loving him anymore. If that’s even possible.

Besides, I didn’t move in with the guy I loved. I moved in with a stranger.

I’ve come to find that the most awful feeling in the world is caring about someone more than caring about yourself and realizing that the feelings aren’t returned.

I’ve felt that feeling a lot.

I’ll never forget the guy that made me the happiest I have ever been. Fairy tales are easy to remember.

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Jessica Grossman
info@uncoverostomy.org
9 Comments
  • Mark Le Gros
    Posted at 05:17h, 10 September Reply

    Ouch. I’ve had a similar thing happen to me in recent times (bit different but still just as unfortunate) and it hit hard where I couldn’t function for up to a month, I’m only just starting to function normally again. Be strong and the negative feelings will pass in time.

  • Jennifer Harper
    Posted at 05:37h, 10 September Reply

    🙁 I am so sorry! I know that it is hard enough to fall in love, but to fall in love with an ostomy. My ostomy has been reversed, but I fell in love with a guy while I still had it. His whole family turned their back on me and turned him on me too, because they thought I’d always be sick. :/ I do know one thing though, you can always just grow from failed relationships. As Stephen Chbosky says, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” You deserve so much more than what this guy had to offer and I am glad you have realized this. Keep your head up and stay strong. You’re such an inspiration to those around you. 🙂

  • Sam
    Posted at 09:22h, 10 September Reply

    I’m so sorry that you had to move in with that guy to realise what he was truly like. But time will heal and you will be so much stronger now.
    xo

  • Francesco Oppedisano
    Posted at 09:47h, 10 September Reply

    You loved the guy and treated him with respect, and he did the opposite. You were there for him for his exam and for his wisdom operation, He wasn’t there for you when you needed him. Sounds like a selfish mamma’s boy, You don’t hurt the people you Love, Ask yourself do you think he would have been by your side when you were going through your worst with your crohn’s, hospital stays operations? You deserve better and to be happy. and I am sorry for the pain you are going through, been there too often myself. Take care.

  • katie c.
    Posted at 11:28h, 10 September Reply

    Though we don’t have as many literal *guts* as most, letting go of him because you knew it was the right thing took a whole lot of figurative GUTS. And you should be proud of that, cuz you’ve got more than a lot of us. This was certainly not an easy thing at all. I’m sorry you were put in that situation, but in the end you learn, grow, and tell the story so that others can learn from it too. cheers to one strong, gutsy lady who knows and deserves to get all the best!

  • jo
    Posted at 13:11h, 10 September Reply

    I think we all have to pay our dues with a guy like this..if we are lucky,either he will start picking up that we have noticed the mask is cracking and let us go, or we just leave. My similar experience has helped me to look at things more objectiively before falling for charming behaviour…if you do some reading on NPD in relationships, I believe you may find that Rob had quite a few traits…if so, educating yourself will play a huge role in the healing process and be a major preventative measure for it ever happening again..to be honest, when I read your earlier posts about how perfect he seemed, it triggered memories of a “perfect” guy I once knew, and I hoped cautiously that he was who he was letting you think he was. The reality is, nobody will be that perfect for you, ever. If he’s a real human, that is.

  • Liesl
    Posted at 15:23h, 10 September Reply

    I am so sorry! I always feel like this happens in my relationships too. I know I am younger but the feelings are the same. I’ve had a few boyfriends but I’ve only been in love once. I was 15 and he was 18. I fell in love with a guy that was very sweet and caring and as I got closer to him, I learned he drank and smoked weed and was a pathological liar. I knew his family was rough but he seemed determined to live his life differently. I helped him to graduate high school as he was the first in his family. I even helped him register for college in the fall. It was when I went on vacation and pictures were posted online of him drinking with 14 year old girls while I was gone… Then I knew that this guy wasn’t who I thought he was. When we broke up, he dropped out of school and got another girl my age pregnant. I thank God every day that that’s not me. Sometimes these people are in our lives to teach us – even if it sucks.

    Good luck with everything. You are an inspiration to do many people!

  • sukhwant
    Posted at 23:07h, 10 September Reply

    Jess, I’m so sorry that you had to live with that. That’s terrible. I will say, if it were my daughter, I would want her to do exactly what you did and put self worth and respect over any other feelings. Relationships like this only get worse, these people never change. Once they show their true colours you must leave. That you were strong enough to do so is a testament not only to you but your parents. I’m sure your father would have been so proud and that your mother is. As parents who have loved and taught you to be caring of others, kind and selfless, they also cherished you beyond anything and would want that you take the best care of yourself. Honestly, as much as this sucks very badly, you are very young and in the end you will find the right person. It takes a few wrong turns to find the path you were meant to be on. You will find that. BTW, I moved in with my husband within a week of meeting him! When its right, there will be no ‘too soon’ – you will know when you meet the person who loves and respects you that it’s right.

  • Maryann Murphy
    Posted at 22:50h, 22 September Reply

    you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

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