I want to tell you some things about Experiment No.7, my current partner. Call it an experiment in itself; I am looking for advice.
No.7 has been through a lot in his life, and this summary doesn’t do the whole of it justice. He has an autistic older brother, and very couple-centric parents, and as such he has always had to care for himself (and his brother) from a very young age. Now I love his parents, and I’m slowly starting to warm up to his brother… but I do believe that much of No.7’s anxiety, worries, and issues with doing new things and taking risks come from never having had much guidance or stability in his life. In many ways, he has simply never grown up.
I met him in the psychiatric facility where I was locked away with psychosis. I can’t say we hit it off right away, but I thought him an interesting experiment and he thought me… well, I don’t know what he thought of me. In the end, we got together. Our psychiatry days were really romantic in a sort of crooked way; he would cut my nails so I couldn’t scratch myself with them, he would sneak into the therapy garden at night and serenade me at my window… you know, that kind of things. He became something I wanted to stay alive for, and that is more than most people in my life can say.
He was in the madhouse because he had lived like a hermit for three years, fooling all his acquaintances into thinking that he was studying in another city while he was just sitting cooped up in his apartment, living off ordered junk food, sleeping 3/4th of the time, and having delusional thoughts the other 1/4th. (Can I point out how attentive his parents were of him, given that they didn’t notice anything was wrong for three years?) He had ended up in that situation because of a bad breakup. The woman, lets call her Cathy, was the reason he moved to the other town; he wanted to be with her. They were high school sweethearts, and he thought is was going to last forever. She obviously didn’t share that idea, because soon enough, their relationship became an on-off-on-off nightmare in which she only kept contact with him for sex. When it eventually came to a real break, No.7 began his hermit-like lifestyle.
Personally I think it was a combination of his immaturity and his need for comfort and stability that brought him to hang on to that woman until she completely crushed him, but I can be wrong, I’m only observing in retrospect after all.
Now lately, he tells me he has been thinking of her again. He blames it on skipping his medication a couple days. I wonder what I’m supposed to do about this. I am his partner for longer already than this woman ever was, on-off time included! She was a teenager when they were together! She ruined his life, and he tells me he wishes her the best! I don’t know what to do about this. I don’t understand this. I have never had a painful breakup; I don’t know how to deal with this. Will every time we have a small bump in our relationship lead to him thinking of her again?