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Mental illness, stigma and bullying

Community Member

Hi, all -

I wasn't sure where to post this, so apologies if this is not the appropriate place.


Ouch. I received a text message from the friend/team-mate of a man I was in an on/off relationship with, over several years, until recently...a cruel, manipulative man (and thanks to the friend who told me to Google 'gaslighting'!! ) who, for some reason, I kept going back to. This 'relationship' in recent times was 'virtual' only - but overlapped him having a girlfriend who, he said, he had no intention of leaving, but we had a "bond that couldn't be broken". This man had told me, on numerous occasions, that I was 'psycho', 'nuts', and that no-one else would touch me as he had told them all as much. Recently though, when I told him I was being treated for depression, he told me he didn't think it was necessary, as I was mentally strong, and just needed to exercise more. WTA?

I'm not proud of myself, but I felt the only way out was to make it that he would never want to contact me again...so I outed him.

I have never had so much as a conversation with the author of the text, she doesn't know me personally, but she had previously shown herself up to making mischief - so I let her know and thanked her for her interest. I can only assume this vitriolic response is as a result of rumours my ex has made in order to make himself look good.

So now, I don't feel I can attend this Club, and I am concerned about the effects this gossip will have on my ability to participate in the sport I love, or even to socialise there as I think it may nudge them into increasing the volume. Part of my depression is an urge to withdraw so this has been a massive backward step just as I was just starting to feel better.

Not that I believe I have behaved in any way close to what they seem to be discussing - but it got me reflecting on the nature of this illness; I don't notice her making fun of the breast cancer for which I was recently treated. And if I decide to pursue this as a bullying complaint - well, it seems likely I'm going to be dismissed as crazy.

I feel so alone.



2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi all, apologies for not meeting the guidelines and I understand why the actual 'text' was removed.

In its absence, for context, I'd just like to say that it called me an unstable weirdo, "a psycho", and that I had been - and will continue to be - the subject of much discussion and hilarity amongst this cohort.

I can't stress enough the humiliation and fear I am feeling as a result of this vitriolic message.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Oceanblu~

Welcome here, don't worry too much about where you post, or having a few bits altered or removed, it happens. In time you can get a feel for what is used here.

It sounds as if the man you have been associating with is truly horrible, and you have been the subject of an abusive realtionship. There one person tries to control another, until the have no self esteem or confidence left except to go along with it.

You have shown great courage and strength of mind in making break from him and I guess I feel sorry for his GF and also the person who sent you that cruel and unfeeling post -maybe that person is under his influence too.

I can understand your worry and wanting to withdraw , also that this would leave you without the sport you love.

Fundamentally there are only two people who are a problem, the man and his letter writer. Are there any in your club you would regard as a freind, or at least would be impartial and respectful?

I do not know what sort of sport you are referring to, but in most there are teams or partners, do you think there are enough so you could avoid those two?