- 3 years ago
Please bare with me… This might be long.
Before my current bf, I dated “Ronald” for almost three years. We met in undergrad, though he was two years older than me. He was smart as well as extremely kind and considerate of others and we really hit it off at first. Like any relationship, we eventually had our ups and downs. But as the relationship progressed, our ups and downs became extremes. We would have a minor disagreement but it would turn into world war 3, 4, and 5! He would say horrible things to me, often as extreme as saying he didn’t love me, he in fact hated me, didn’t see me as a woman, wasn’t attracted to me, wanted nothing to do with me or my friends and family. But then the next day, he’d be back to “normal,” apologizing profusely, saying he was just stressed out to the max, begging for my forgiveness, professing how much he loved me. This behavior began about 6-8 months into the relationship and continued to the end. These episodes he always attributed to stress.
Ron always had a negative outlook on life. He always deemed himself a failure because he had never made it to med school (but still got his degree from the Ivy League, so I never understood his angst). He had about $120K in student loans. He stayed home after school to take care of his mom and the rest of his family (not because they were unable to work, more so dysfunctional). He was an emotional wreck upon graduating and securing his first job. To me, it was a great opportunity with tons of potential, but for him, the fact that he wasn’t a doctor or lawyer just about killed him. Still, with loans and family pressure, he had to work.
At this point, we were long distance as I was still finishing school. He was only six hours away, though, and we saw each other about every 2-3 weeks. I also tried to offer as much emotional support as I could. It seemed things were going well at the new job, but about a month in, things got odd. Adapting to a new job is stressful enough, but he started saying people were against him. He said the people at work would smile at his face, and whisper behind his back. I was worried and bummed out. This just seemed like another issue that he didn’t need, but I thought all workplaces have people you won’t get along with and you just suck it up and keep pushing through.
But things got really bizarre. He started telling me that they were tapping his phone. He said his coworkers would whisper private conversations that we had on his phone. This kept escalating. He was convinced they were following him and even broke into his car and rewired the system. He even said he heard coworkers laughing about injecting aids into his lunch that he keeps in the lunchroom fridge.
I was floored and so concerned. I had never heard of this before, but thought he had no reason to lie. At this point, I thought it was “us against the world” and I wanted to believe him and support him because no one else seemed to. He bought a new prepaid phone to contact me on. When we met up, he would make me take the battery out of all my electronics. He threw away personal items (like a watch I gave him) because he said coworkers had access to it and had tapped it. When we were in his car, we were not allowed to discuss anything because he was convinced that a tracking device was somewhere in the car.
All this took a toll on our relationship. We started fighting even more, and we were both totally stressed out. Eventually, we broke things off. He said he was tired of providing for everyone and being strong for everyone else (including me). He said he didn’t think God approved of our relationship and that he needed to focus on himself and date other people because he was sick of the distance and sick of everything else.
I was completely crushed, even with all the stress. But my family and friends all thought it was for the best. So I moved on with life.
Fast forward to now. I finished grad school a year and a half ago, where I met my current bf. He’s great and more than I could ever ask for. We moved to a new city after school to start our careers and our life together. Close friends from undergrad and grad school also live in the same city, and overall, I’m pretty content with life right now.
Ron and I talked on and off over the last 3/3.5 years since we broke up.
Current bf knows about Ron and that we speak from time to time, and has been fine with this, as he’s also cordial with his ex.
A few weeks ago, Ron and I talked after not speaking for months. I asked how he was, and he revealed that he had a stroke recently (he’s only 28). I was shocked and concerned. After more discussion, he revealed he was on leave from work. He said the people at work began stalking him again and he couldn’t take it anymore. He fell into depression and had a stroke. He said it was good to hear from me, as he had basically cut out all his friends by this point. But he said he trusted me and was glad we were still friends. He also said God was allowing him to talk to me.
Over the next few weeks, I checked on Ron from time to time. Just to see how he was recovering. He started revealing more. He had just finished grad school as well, but now was in rehab. At first, I thought it was physical rehab related to the stroke, but a few days ago, he reached out to me for my birthday and broke down. He told me everything.
Said he’s been possessed by demons. Said he’s been to hell and back and is unsure of his faith and where he stands with God. Said he’s heard voices and sees things like horrific entities. He said the voices have told him to kill himself and he’s tied but hasn’t been successful. He admitted he’s tried to burn the house that he and his family lives in down, but wasn’t successful either. Now he says he has no reason to live. That he’s down for 200 lbs to 140 and is a zombie. Doesn’t eat, doesn’t sleep. Just spends his hours feeling like he’s a failure and warding off the evil that exists around him.
Words can’t even describe how I feel! Shocked doesn’t cut it. My best friend is a social worker for the mentally ill so I turned to her for advice. I’m not sure what he’s in rehab for (he made it seem like it was just depression), but I think he has some sort of psychosis with delusions. Possibly schizophrenia, but I’m not a mental health professional. I care about him and I’m sad he’s going through this, but looking back on our relationship, it all comes together.
My question is, what can I do? He just finished rehab, but I don’t think he’s anywhere near to being ok. I reached out to his sister because I was so concerned. She said he doesn’t talk to ANYONE and is surprised he’s opened up to me, since many of his friends can’t get in contact with him. I’m worried about his health and his safety, as he seems to be completely checked out. I’ve moved on from our relationship and I don’t want to be the only one he can turn to, but since he doesn’t have any close friends, I worry that I’m the only one who can provide some support. I don’t want him to end his life.
Has anyone else dealt with this? What did you do?
Typed this from my phone so apologies for typos.