Apr 20, 2009 12:44 PM GMT
I'd be interested on your take on a situation that came recently between me and the on the other end of what for the past few months has been an amazing long distance relationship.
About a week ago my guy called me to say he was in the hospital for some tests after fainting at the gym. He reassured me that they had already ruled out a heart or stroke or anything imminently dangerous so I didn't have to leave Boston for Charleston,SC and miss any classes, etc, He said he thought he would be in the hospital for a couple of days of tests.
We talked by phone and via IM a few times a day and he kept posted on his progress. And after three days he was home. The only thing about the whole episode that I thought was a little strange was that he didn't want to give me the hospital's name or address so that I could send flowers. (He said poor students should buy food and beer, not flowers!)
Anyhow, I came down to Charleston for the long weekend (today is Patriot's Day - a.k.a. Marathon Day - in Boston). On Saturday my bf asked if we could talk. I knew something was up because he was all flushed and then when he started trying to talk he dissolved into tears.
The short version is that he lied about the hospital thing. He was in a psychiatric hospital following a bout of intrusive suicidal thinking. Up until then I knew he has depression, that he sees a psychiatrist and that he takes a couple of anti-depressants.
When he calmed down he told me that he had rationalized a lot of reasons for not wanting to be upfront in the first place (e.g. not wanting to scare me, not wanting me to know that during the suicidal episode our relationship didn't seem like enough to stop him wanting to kill himself, etc). But he told me the real reason is he was ashamed at being in the hospital and didn't want to scare me away. We first met face to face two or three months ago.
For the record, I usually have a very, very low tolerance for being lied to - especially by lovers.
But I felt nothing but compassion for my bf. We had a bunch of long talks Saturday and yesterday about how I feel about his illness, his lying, his suicidality etc. In the process I learned that he was first diagnosed with major depression six years ago and that he was hospitalized two times before this most recent time.
I've made it clear that my main annoyance at being lied to was that it underestimated my commitment to my bf, my ability to deal with scary news and it stripped me of the possibility of helping more effectively.
I've made up my mind that this episode will strengthen, not weaken our relationship. (Two of my best buddies from HS have bipolar type 2 and we're still v close , so I have some experience with being around people struggling with mental illness.)
So my question: how might you guys have handled this situation differently?