Sharing Dustin’s Story

Hello lovely’s,

How are we?

This week on the blog I’m sharing with you a story that i never thought id be sharing with you

EVER

Shortly after posting my social media image explaining to you guys the next topic on my blog i received a message.
When i saw the name pop up my head instantly went ‘HERE HE IS’ and expected a joke, maybe asking me if id heard some bands new album or just simply catching up. Never did i imagine the words to read

“Hey Jessie, Im glad you’re talking about this topic on your blog. I had such a rough time with my ex that was abusive to me and i struggled so much healing because of the stigma.”

Hold your horses Dustin, sorry.. what?

Yep, Dustin told me about his battle with abuse, the difficulties after and how he struggled battling against the terrible stigma attached to a male being abused and a male going through mental health difficulties.

Not only did this brave human survive all this and want to share it with me but today Dustin will be sharing his story with you guys too.

Im so incredibly honoured that this brave story features on my blog and i hope it helps other men to reach out.

Take it away you wonderful bean;

I suppose my story started when I was 15 and was first introduced to the girl who would become my fiancée.

We met as friends, and would talk frequently, but were always dating other people in spite of having admitted to always liking each other. Once we were both single, we gave it a shot, and my world immediately was turned on it’s head.
I was 19, she was 18, and everything was perfect for quite a long time. Everything i touched was covered in a new loves aroma. Everything o saw was seen through rose tinted glasses. I knew I was going to marry this girl.

Eventually, I asked for her fathers permission to ask her to be my wife. He gave me his blessing, and almost immediately things started going sour. She was initially diagnosed at 20, but we had suspected that something may have been amiss a few years earlier, as thyroid issues and depression both ran in her family.She was diagnosed with manic depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

At first it started slow. A lack of interest in partaking in anything social, a want to stay in bed all day. Zero motivation to go to work.

Initially when I approached her about it she had just said she was tired a lot and that she “just isn’t up to it”. Having suffered from depression at the hands of medication in my own past, I recognized these symptoms as being a part of something larger than just fatigue. After a few talks I had her convinced to get checked out.

I was initially unsure of how to handle it. Unsure of how to comfort her. I was determined, but needed to educate myself. I would’ve moved mountains for her, so I learned that some days, no matter how hard I tried, it was going to be a bad day. I had to learn that it wasn’t my fault if I couldn’t cheer her up or comfort her.

I had to learn how to cope with her lack of interest in everything around her, and some days, even a lack of interest in me. It broke my heart, but I hid it well. It wasn’t about how I was feeling, to me at least. It was about making life as comfortable and tolerable for her as possible.

Eventually, nothing was enough. There were three suicide attempts, and she was admitted to a mental health facility by her family. This family also blamed me as being the cause of her depression. After this, she stopped taking her medication against her doctors wishes, and got violent. On more than one occasion I fell victim to physical abuse at her hands, and after one particularly bad night, I ended it.

After the abuse started, I kept my mouth shut. I wasn’t sure how people would react, and I was afraid to tell anyone for fear of how it would reflect on our relationship. I felt like people wouldn’t take me seriously, or wouldn’t think that it was a big deal since she was just a tiny little girl, and I’m a guy who stands over 6’. On more than one occasion, this was true. People told me to “man up” or told me I “must have done something to deserve it” as if it wasn’t a big deal. It turned into something I was just forced to live with. If the roles had been reversed, I’d probably have been arrested.

I realized that no matter what I did, I couldn’t be her saviour. I realized I had to put myself first for a change. Making her “better” wasn’t in my control, and she wasn’t in control of herself. I called off our wedding, and ended our relationship. That’s, for the most part, the last time I talked to her aside from a brief stint where she was in the mental health facility again and reached out to me to talk to her because she felt I was the only one who could ever get through to her.

Its hard to move on, its even harder to trust and there are things that happened that il never be able to forget. But its also hard for me to blame her. A part of me realizes that what happened to me at her hands was partially due to mental illness.

Now, I’m happy she’s happy. She got married to someone who isn’t me. I know she’s gotten better and she’s doing better, which I’m happy about. But it hurts. It always will, I imagine.

It took me a long time, too long in fact, to simply realize that sometimes, you need to put yourself first.

Thank you from the bottom of heart to Dustin for sharing his story and what an amazing story it is. Its so important to put yourself first and recognise whats going on and look after yourself. Its sad Dustin had the horrible weight of the stigma attached to males going through abuse but hopefully we will one day demolish that stigma wall.

Nobody deserves nor should put up with abuse no matter the gender.

littlestlady

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