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ĎI didnít want to be a burden to anyoneí
When Melissa couldnít cope after her boyfriend dumped her just before crucial exams she turned to CABA for help. Hereís her story
I was in my early twenties and things were looking good. I was in a training agreement and leading up to my final assessments. Obviously thatís quite pressured, but I was living in a nice flat and I was in a good relationship Ė or so I thought.
Iíd been friends with my boyfriend all the way through university, and then when I moved near him for work, things very quickly developed. It was my first real relationship and we were very close. We werenít living together but we saw each other all the time. I trusted him completely. Then, suddenly, he just stopped calling. For nearly four weeks I couldnít seem to get hold of him. I was so focused on my assessments, I tried not to think about it too much. I knew that he was also in a very stressful situation at work, so I thought, letís just get through the exams and then weíll sort it out.
Then, five days before my final assessment deadlines he dumped me. It was awful, I just didnít expect it. He just said: ďIíve decided I donít want to be with you anymore.Ē He also said some very hurtful things that just devastated me.
I donít know how to explain it, but when youíve really trusted someone like that, then out of the blue they just destroy you, it makes you feel so vulnerable. Itís the worst feeling in the world. I had so many unanswered questions, but that was it. He ended it and I basically never heard from him again.
I couldnít stop crying. I felt so betrayed. Iíve never felt so alone, and I knew I had to get through my assessments. I really didnít want to tell work what had happened, I didnít want to unravel and end up losing my job.
In the middle of the night, I was crying and crying. I had a lovely flat-mate, but you canít wake people in the night about things like that. I just didnít want to be a burden to anyone. So I thought, Iím just going to call CABA. The advisor that answered the phone was really good. She talked through some breathing exercises to calm me down and got me into a state where I was able to sleep and go to work the next day. She said I could call back whenever I needed, day or night. I have to say that the people at CABA must be some of the most patient, understanding and kind people you can imagine.
CABA arranged for me to have telephone counselling Ė I mostly did it in my lunch breaks by going into one of the meeting rooms. Counselling was crucial for me Ė I really think I would have ended up signed-off work or hospitalised if I hadnít had that. Somehow it makes you able to carry on, because you know someone is there to talk to, that youíll get a chance to go over all the unfinished business again.
I also found some of the advice the counsellor gave me really helpful Ė like the idea of being kind to yourself. I was so hung up on what Iíd done wrong, what was wrong with me to make him leave, but I see now that whatever it was, it wasnít to do with me. He must have problems of his own to treat someone so badly.
I think if youíre ever in trouble, you should call CABA. Theyíre so good and helpful.
I got through the exams and passed them, thankfully. Now Iíd say that, for the most part, Iím okay. Itís taken nearly a year, and I still get upset sometimes, but really Iím fine. Work is going really well and Iím about to become qualified, which is a great feeling. And Iíve learnt from this. I think Iíve become more aware of myself, my own emotions, and Iím also more resilient. I donít think I would react quite as badly now, if it were to happen again.
Iíve been re-gaining my confidence, and just recently a really nice guy asked me to go out. And Iíve said yes. So I must be back on track, ready to try again and trust people.Ē
ē Go to www.caba.org.uk; the 24-hour support line number is +44 (0) 1788 556 366
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