The past few months have been difficult for me. After noticing some unusual pain and period irregularity back in late January/February, I made the responsible decision to get checked out, just in case.
In the back of my head, my family’s history of female-specific cancers rang alarm bells through my ears, not to mention my lacking ability to have children due to a previous event, I simply could not ignore the signs my body was giving me.
I booked a doctors appointment and he scheduled me in for some further examination/tests. The initial tests came back as irregular and suddenly it felt like my life was given a death sentence. Logically my age and general fitness meant that the chance of cancer was very low, however, this didn’t prevent many sleepless nights and panic attacks that worked their way into my life. I did the stupid thing of Googling every possibility that could give me an ‘irregular’ result. A tumour? Hormonal imbalance? My inability to have kids?
Though most searches gave me honest answers that weren’t too alarming, I found myself focusing on all of the ‘worse case scenarios’ and began planning my next steps.
As my stress levels hit the roof so did my depression and anxiety. No matter how much I tried to keep this issue to myself before I had a definitive result, it began eating away at me, seeping through into my day to day life. I stopped eating normally, barely slept and avoided any reason to go outside.
Having had therapy before I knew that there were ways I could ease the pressure on myself, so I told 4 people. My boss, who gave me reassuring advice and booked off my medical appointments. My best friend, who told me to wait and be calm. My longest-known friend, who said he would support me through anything and my partner at the time. Each of these people had a reason to know what was happening and were integral sources of comfort in my life. But apart from my boss, all were male.
Having only been in a relationship with my partner for a few months I held back some information and instead skirted around the issue. Looking back that was a stupid thing to do, I should have just been plain, but I wasn’t aware of how he would take it. This was an entirely female issue and I know that some men simply don’t know how to respond.
Unfortunately for him, he got the brunt of my depression and anxiety. I tried to be a loving and a ‘good girlfriend’ but I couldn’t get rid of the stress eating away at me. I began snapping at him and looking for constant reassurance. Why was he late for our video calls? Do I need to dress nicer? How can I show that I want to spend time with him?
I should note here that I’m not a very physically loving person. I like my personal space and enjoy being independent, so instead of being physically more affectionate, I decided to focus more on spending quality time with him. I took up gaming (badly), digitally met his family and joined in on his Friday gaming session with his mates.
In the beginning, it was great and he quickly became someone I truly trusted and loved. But this was short-lived. I had to be booked in for more examinations which felt endless and began fading into a full-blown depressive episode.
I should also mention that he was very good at calming me down when I became overwhelmed. He talked me through breathing techniques and how to mentally create a happy place, which I’m not going to bash him for. He had a ‘knight in shining armour’ complex which meant he wanted to constantly fix everything that was happening, but this was something he couldn’t fix and it showed.
With my next examination at the hospital, I decided to request a break from the relationship. I still cared and loved him but I couldn’t drag him into my ever decreasing mental state.
It didn’t go well.
In about 30 seconds he changed very quickly from someone I knew to someone who I didn’t recognise. He became distant and cold. As he picked up his stuff on Monday morning, I broke down and told him about my medical appointment and he simply looked through me with apathy. How could someone I loved so much change like that? I wanted a break, not a cut-off.
It was clear in my head he had talked to his friends who had told him to just leave and never look back, which mildly irritated me but I also understood. It felt like they were talking through him and I hated every second.
A few weeks later my examinations had concluded that the irregularity was due to a cyst (thank god). A cyst, that’s all. Something I could manage!
This revelation lined up with his monthly visit to my office and I apologised for my outburst and hugged him as we parted ways.
Then came the aftermath.
“We want to check what is in the cyst and possibly remove it. You will need to be in hospital for a small operation”. Okay, I can deal with that. Given the location of it, I opted for general anaesthetic and had it first looked at through keyhole surgery which was greatly uncomfortable. I have never had any operation or anyone cutting into me before and I did not like the idea of it at all. I remember thinking that all I wanted was my previous partner with me.
“You’re results came back as clear. Now, all we need to do is remove it” Again fantastic news. Sure I had to have another mini op but this was manageable. I was delighted. I wanted to tell someone, just anyone. I opted to call my ex. It went straight to voicemail. I had noticed he had been blocking me on everything so this wasn’t a big surprise but, I hadn’t been that manic ex who was stalking him 24/7, this was the first time I tried to call him. How odd. Oh well, I was ecstatic and he would be too right? I mean even if he doesn’t like me, he is human and would understand right?
Then came his next monthly visit two days after my removal op and it’s safe to say I was in a mildly vulnerable state. As he sat down to help me with some work stuff I looked at him in the eyes and again I was met with apathy. What the fuck.
This was something that I didn’t understand. Sure I have ex’s and people I dislike but I’ve never turned my back on anyone. I didn’t understand it.
He left to go downstairs to pack up his stuff and I distracted myself with something else at work. As much as I tried to ignore him, the issue ate away at me and I felt myself becoming stressed. The physical impact of the operation and light-headed state made me shaky on my feet.
As I spoke to one of our managers, I lost my footing as the world turned upside down automatically I put my hands out to catch myself. PAIN. So much pain hit me. By stopping myself from falling, I had twisted my body too much and a sharp stabbing pain shot through me. The dressings that covered my scar began filling with blood and I ran towards the office’s first aid kit.
Taking it into another room and manically searched for something to help. Anaesthetic wipes? A plaster? All were too small and the pain was getting worse. Then the adrenaline hit. I ran into the nearest bathroom, tore off the soaked dressings and looked at the cut. By then it had bled through my dress (thank god I always wear black), I was sweating greatly and my mouth had dried. I need to go to hospital.
It was 5:10 pm. Traffic would be awful. My sister lives closest but it will take her a while to get to me. I need to get out here now.
I’ll ask my ex. Makes sense right? He’s already on his way out and will be going that way anyways.
I ran towards him, waited in his office for him to get back, clutching my now blood-soaked dress and tried to calm down. He entered.
“Help please” I begged.
“No” he responded and walked away. What the actual fuck. Mixed with shock, adrenaline and pain, I ran away from the office and towards my sister’s house.
What the fuck is wrong with him? I mean who would do that?
It took me about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the hospital where they put me back together and I made the decision to call a meeting between him and I at work. Whatever had happened between us was now impacting everything. Personal had become professional.
This is where the lying begins. My boss was on my side and discussed the issue with his boss, where we discovered he had been lying to his team. He told them he had to change his number and it was him who ended it. Again, WHAT THE FUCK.
Now I had become the overly emotional ex who was a mental case. This stupid fucking stereotype that women are unhinged bitches had finally impacted my life and I was livid.
A few days have passed and in complete honesty, I feel heartbroken. I’m upset that someone I trusted would turn on me like this, I feel like I’ve let people down and I’m exhausted both physically and mentally. All I want is to forget what happened over these last few months and move on, but one question keeps circling my head — Were my actions wrong? What do you think?