• P#T

If she kept it forever as a secret, you would've seen me in my graveyard

For you're only considered as a one and true friend if you're courageous enough to deliver them the painful truth, no matter how much it hurts. And by that, you might have just saved a life. She, saved mine.


BY INDAH


"Can you tell me what unconditional love is?" Illustrated by Salwaa Chetizsa (@futile_odds)

2 years of toxic relationship.

1 year of depression.

6 months of crying constantly.

I self-reflected how I came to all of this mental and physical mess.


Like Any Other Beginning

Those electric, tingling feels – you know it - zinged throughout my body and soul as my now-ex first met me, and then asked me for my phone number.


I was 16.


He was 30.


It felt like a teenage dream came true as frankly speaking, those were the days where I had my “obsession with middle-aged actors” phase.


In the beginning of this relationship, I suppose I should’ve been more alert when he had said that he hadn’t mind that I was 16 at the time.“You’re going to turn 17 next month anyway,” were his very words. I’ve never really took it as a red light - until now, which is more than 2 years later.


As a natural progression in this new, exciting relationship, I lost my virginity to him when I was 17. I graduated and I relocated my location as I was accepted at a college outside the city. This is where it all started to spiral down.


Him

He started to get jealous. Almost all the time.


He stalked and followed all of my friends’ social media. He became paranoid; as he started to call me a slut and accused me that ‘you want every guy I know to f*** you’. My social and organization life became a disaster as he would be livid if I was late at replying his texts and stayed a bit longer on campus. As a result, I ended up becoming even more unsociable, even more so than I already am. It worsened the anxiety that I always appear when I’m around a group of people.


Eventually, here’s how he had manipulated my love and attention, as we females would not bear to see such things happen to their dearest: as I tried to break up with him countless times, he would always turn into this depressive suicidal monster thing on social media and I couldn’t stand looking at him hurting himself. So I took him back again and again.

During these highly tumultuous emotional periods, we still had a ‘schedule’ that we would meet – because what I had with him definitely weren't considered as ‘dates’ anymore.


As I continue to reflect on my past, I also should’ve realized sooner when he guilt-trip me into sending my nudes in exchange for his. This was a trick, as I realized even later, that he used on other women (although not always necessarily for nudes).


Your idea of happy romantic dates and beautiful boyfriend-girlfriend relationship you regularly see on mass media is an aspirational dream for the sake of #CoupleGoals. In truth, an honest way to express 'Couple Goals' is to show zero on social media and to just enjoy the company of the two IRL (in real life). Couples shouldn't need anybody's mind to validate of what you two have. Well, as for him and I, our intention was crystal clear: we met up to f***, meeting at least once a month, but we weren’t using the “in a relationship” label.

We were still madly in love with each other and we were still hurting each other, but we agreed that we were free to see other people.


So I tried. I tried to date someone else. Well, perhaps it wasn’t a date since it was simply through chats and video calls, but it was ‘talking’ and ‘seeing’ other people as more-than-just-friends. Yet, my ex stepped in again and he somehow convinced me during my anxiety attacks that the guy I was chatting up “only wants your body and will leave your right after”, and that he’s a much more decent guy who loved me and will always love me forever.


Sooner or later, I gave up on seeing somebody else. In turn, or in revenge, he apparently started seeing someone else, and even kissed someone else. That someone else became jealous when he admitted that he was still in love with me regardlesss that we have no 'relationship label' in between us. That someone became so jealous that started to harass me on social media for the fact that she thinks I held his feelings captive. Now that someone are friends of his, and there was not just one, but two of them.


It was like a never-ending war - back in the beginning when I first started dating him as well, his other ex started to harass me on social media as well, even asking me to meet with her in person.


I started to question whether I was the 'one sane woman' or the 'one insane woman' in his life.



The End

I found out almost half a year later that he has been hitting on to two of my friends, one of which is my savior. She admitted that she was being hitted on by my ex; that he sends her morning chats everyday, that it’s been happening even since before I started chatting with that other guy formerly mentioned. At first, she was not comfortable with it to say the least. I could tell she was a bit hesitant in telling me. But it was the last wake-up punch I truly needed.


And so, I tried my in-house college therapist, but they “abandoned” my case and didn’t call me in again after a few months. I gave up on them. I was all alone this whole time.


To worsen the wound, I was harassed by two female friends on social media. I had no one to talk to and by all means I couldn’t tell it to my family about my situation.


I cried almost every night alone in my room I was away from the presence of my family and my highschool friends which could’ve given me a little feeling of life. I have had no one close in my college that I could talk to.


I was so ready to give up on me.


But a crack of light came shining in to give that tiny embrace of warmth, as we return to that one friend of mine who had confided the truth and the truth that has saved me. I realized I simply can’t do this process alone to be courageous enough to leave a toxic relationship.


Not long after, I started reaching out to my other friends, telling them my story honestly, and one of which eventually told me that my ex was also hitting on her. I started receiving responses from the people whom are closest to me that this is not right and that I should end it, absolutely for good.


And I did.


It was all over just because one girl, who I wasn’t even really close to before, decided to speak up and reach out to me.

I’d like to dedicate my story here for you, that one friend of mine that mental-punched me. If you feel like you could start sensing intolerable behaviour from a friend’s other half, I hope you could clench your fist, reach out to her and be brave to tell the truth straight to her face, no matter how bitter it sounds like.


She will deny. Please don’t give up on your friend and repeat it. It takes time.


It took me time for the need to look within myself and accept the very fact. There are some friends who chooses not to be helped, and, unfortunately, that’s their choice as well, too, which you also want to respect.


Because all in all, deep inside we cannot survive alone. We cannot be courageous enough to stand up alone. By that, you might have just saved a life.


This story is part of the #PTTMerdeka18 Stories Series.


Every August P#T will celebrate our Independence month by inviting you to submit your Self-Liberated Stories Of The Year to us to help empower the rest, in English or Bahasa Indonesia. We're announcing our self-independence along with our national spirit. Merdeka!


Editor's Note: SADAR” merupakan langkah pertama yang sangat krusial untuk melanjutkan konseling bantuan P#T. Pada umumnya, untuk “SADAR” diperlukan orang lain atau kesadaran diri sendiri.


Lalu, tahap terakhir “TINGGAL” merupakan yang paling pahit dan sulit bagi semua klien. Karena P#T hadir, kalian tidak perlu melakukannya sendiri.


Ketika kalian telah sadar dan batin kalian telah menerima tanpa in denial, barulah konselor kami di P#T akan membantu kalian lewat konseling daring.


This has been an original story submitted by Indah, from our website, and wishes to share her #MerdekaBatin story , hoping that it might be able to inspire others in need. She wished that she knew P#T earlier or that it should have existed, and hopes that no one should ever go through a relationship she did. She is aged 19 at the time of writing.

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