How Do I Tell Him?

Overall people would describe me as a confident happy go lucky young woman. This is precisely what I want people to think of me, I've got a skill of being candid to the point that people really feel they've got to know me without necessarily having told them anything. Even when I am open with people about my mental health history I'm very very mechanic, I'm brush it off and it is just an element of who I am. I refuse to let myself be defined by something like that, when I have positive qualities too. This is where my problem starts.

I suffer from depression, part of my depression is that I feel lonely. I feel trapped in my own head, this is at its absolute worst when I'm with people and not on good form. I will partake in the conversations and joke and make other people laugh and ensure they are having fun while all the time feeling totally disconnected, separate. When I've been severly depressed in the past I've felt like I'm a burden, that people can't stand me being in the same room because I just sap all of the engergy out of it. I know this muct be true. I also feel incredibly guilty that I'm worrying other people, because I hate worrying myself. The thought of putting that onto another person makes me feel awful. I'm medicated and it helps, it helps me read bad days as precisely that, just bad days - not the rest of my life. Internally I feel like I'm constatly strugggling, I struggle to meet my own expectations that I set myself which are often impossible and ever heightening if I get to them. I feel like this has some excellent effects though, I feel like without thinking in the way I do I will never achieve anything. You need to be hard on yourself if you want to achieve something great, I rarely achieve great but it helps me achieve good with this outlook. THe idea of looking back on my life and not having done anything scares me, but also the idea of looking back on my life and not having done anything for myself scares me. I'm constantly feeling guilty that I'm not helping other people, or not doing what they would like me to. This isn't because I desire their validation, rather that I'm letting them down or worst still being selfish. I hate the selfish and I honestly think that is the worst thing anyone could ever call me.

Further as a method of defence as well as not always letting people see where I am vunerable I have also mentally made note of absolutely everything that is wrong with me. I know my flaws, to the point that sometimes everything becomes a flaw. This all started when I was in high school and I was totally invisible to most and I assumed my friends didn't like me. I also assume people wont like me and I genuinely don't mind when they don't, so that its just a nice surprise when they do like me. When I've been honest about this sort of stuff with friends and boyfriends in the past I've always felt very uncomfortable and they've  - never intentionally - used it against me. They've hurt me more, and everytime someone does that another barrier another defence goes up. 

In January this year my boyfriend split up with me for a second time, a second time citing that he just didn't feel the same way about me anymore. That it felt more like he was hanging out with a really good mate. Retrospecivly the entire relationship was fundementally flawed, we were not good together, the relationship was toxic. I'd become so insecure I was no longer sure what I had a right to be upset about, I couldn't tell him when my studying was getting too much, I stopped even changing in front of him. The last one was a really bad sign, as after a serious body confidence issue and eating disorder I have recovered and now am body confident and feel good about my appearance but I am aware of how its not the most important thing about me, and really how I look means nothing so long as I am healthy.

I've found myself in a new relationship, with a kind patient and compassionate man. He is wonderful to me, he's allowed everything to go at my ridiculously slow (emotionally, not sex wise, I'm all about sex), because I'm scared of being emotionally connected to people, I have to go very slowly with friendships too but thats easier to do I've noticed. I didn't go out looking for this relationship, it just happened, and I'm glad it did. Without him even realising he put the final peices of me back together after my difficult relationship then break up. I'm very grateful for to him, he has a very vague idea about my mental health. Very vague, I want to tell him more about it. Open myself up to him and allow myself to be vunerable, but I fundementally believe that that part of me is completely unlovable. (I've massively progressed through CBT etc. as I previously thought I as a person was what was unlovable.) I'm also scared, he's known me for a while but not well, and the woman he knows is confident, sexy and sassy. But in actual fact I act confident because I've discovered that the actual confidence follows, I think positive because the more I do that the less I feel alone, I tell everyone I'm attractive, wear short skirts and thigh high boots because by doing that enough I'd made myself believe it. I also don't take myself too seriously so happily joke away at my own expense and paint myself as arrogant occassionally for a bit of a self-depricating joke. (It makes me laugh, a lot of people just think Im a tosser) So in short, Im scared of telling him. I'm scared of telling him everything he thinks he knows about me is wrong and I'm scared to let him see my vunerability in case he does what friends and boyfriends have done in the past. I know this is just about me waiting until I'm ready, but I am ready. I want to tell him. I just think it might shake the foundations of our relationship. 

 

Sorry. That was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be! It's even okay if no one reads it, writing it down has helped it make a lot of sense.

User Comments
Anon-1

You should be so proud of how far you have come, never lose sight of that.

If your current boyfriend already has a vague idea about your mental health and has been supportive then telling him would only enhance your relationship because a relationship without honesty is built on a lie and that will do you no good in the long run.  Sometimes what you think is going to happen is far worse than the reality because you have built it up in your head.  I'd tell him, it is nothing to be ashamed of and you have made great progress so perhaps approach it from that point of view.

I wish you all the best whatever you decide to do.