Moving out of my old house brought back a lot of memories of moving in. Memories of Nick.
Of the two places we’d viewed, he preferred this one. And so of course I agreed, because Nick was generally so miserable at that point that ANYTHING that made him happy I would have agreed to.
And so even though he only lived there for a few months, I still think of it as our house.
I’ve always been pretty quiet about what went wrong in our relationship, trying to respect his sense of privacy. But to realize that a year later, memories still have the power to make me cry, that tells me I need to be able to vent about this.
A few months into our relationship, Nick’s depression re-emerged. And our whole relationship changed. I said later that it was as if the Nick I knew and loved died, and I was left with our surly, adolescent lovechild. He looked like my boyfriend, had moments where he was just like my boyfriend, and had his sense of humor at times.
But the Nick that was my lover, my partner, my equal, he was gone.
I loved him every bit as much as I did before, but in a protective way.
Nick became really hard to live with. Withdrawn, and mean.
The really difficult part about being around a person struggling with mental illness is that it’s hard to know what you can be mad at. Was he being a douche, or was this a symptom of his illness?
I knew Nick well enough to know that when he’s well, he’s the gentlest guy in the world. So I constantly had to remind myself to not react, that he couldn’t help it, that it wasn’t really him. It was really difficult, but what else could I do? He was sick. I wouldn’t leave him if he was suffering from cancer, so how could I justify leaving him because of mental illness?
I don’t think I realized quite how much a toll it was taking on me until he left.
When he did leave, it was abruptly, and leaving me with a lease and two car payments. I sucked it up and didn’t complain, for the sake of preserving our friendship, a friendship we don’t have now. I tried to take care of him, in what ways I could, from afar.
He’s continued to withdraw. Now he doesn’t answer my emails at all, and he blocked me as a contact on flickr. Which he’s free to do, but considering his health, seeing his flickr stream was the only way I have of confirming that he’s alive.
And I know he’s sick, and I can’t blame him for his actions at this point, but goddam this hurts. To worry, to care, to offer friendship and have it so cruelly rejected. To worry, and have no way of helping, or even expressing how much I still care about him as a person.
We were such good friends once. I figured out pretty quick that our relationship was just not workable, but where did our friendship go? I gave up so much to keep it, and I have nothing.
And so in moving out I realized that my favorite roomie was never coming back, not to hang out, not to laugh together, not for me to watch over and take care of….
Nick is no longer, in any capacity, mine.