Am I Having a Psychotic Break or Is my Boyfriend Just Gaslighting Me?

Ethan said on Wednesday that I should totally come over this morning and that we would spend the day together. Wow, a whole day just for the two of us? Ethan hasn’t been this attentive and romantic since before I stopped seeing other people.

I have to admit I was surprised when Ethan showed interest in spending quality time with me, but I was just too excited about the prospect of attention from my boyfriend to really analyze it. Now I’m here, and he’s furious with me for showing up! I have distinct memories of him inviting me over, and I’ve never had problems with hallucinating before. But he insists it never happened! Am I completely losing it, or is my boyfriend gaslighting me?

You know what it was? He was halfway through a single beer when he said that. I remember because it was right after I finished watching him play Metal Gear Solid for three hours and right before I watched him play Resident Evil for ninety minutes. He must have been so blackout drunk that he forgot that he invited me over! Classic Ethan. I guess I’ll just go home and be more careful next time my boyfriend displays interest in me.


Ethan has been sick for the past two and half weeks. He must have a really nasty bug! He’s so out of it he can’t even text me back except to say “still can’t talk, babe. i’m really sick, remember?” I feel so bad for him! So I dropped by his place to give him some chicken soup and Dayquil I picked up on my way home from work.

When he came to the door in just his boxers, he looked exactly as he always does. No signs of illness whatsoever. If anything, he looked even happier and more robust than the last time I saw him. He wouldn’t let me come in (So that I wouldn’t get sick too. How thoughtful!), but I could see a Chipotle takeout bag on his coffee table and roughly the same number of empty beer cans you would expect after throwing a small party. Now you know I’m not one of those suspicious, controlling girlfriends, but I just can’t help but wonder. Am I being totally paranoid, or is my boyfriend gaslighting me?

Gosh I can’t believe I’m even entertaining the idea of doubting him. There are lots of different sicknesses a person can have, and to be fair he never told me which one he was suffering from. I’m sure there are plenty of viruses out there that would make a person unable to leave their house even if they seem totally healthy on the outside. Like the girls in Victorian novels who are always dying of diseases that make them even more beautiful. I suppose I could ask him about it, but I already know that will only trigger his rage. And justifiably so! What kind of girlfriend would I be if didn’t trust Ethan completely?


Oh no! I’ve done something horrible. I told Marcia about that time Ethan threatened to break up with me if I embarrassed him by wearing my sweatpants when we went to the grocery store. It did seem like a strange and intense reaction to my choice in shopping apparel, but I honestly think it’s sweet how Ethan always wants to see me looking my best. I tell him that constantly! I only mentioned it to Marcia in a short moment of weakness and doubt because I thought I could trust her. I didn’t know she was going to tell everyone and make Ethan look bad because other people don’t understand his appreciation for beauty!

Now all my friends are being rude to Ethan and telling me I should leave him, and he’s furious with me! I don’t know what to do. I’ve pleaded and cried and apologized more times than I can count. I’ve had at least three panic attacks triggered by his relentless rage in the past 36 hours. I’m not sure exactly how many, they all start to blur together at a point. My life is just a haze of screamed insults and uncontrollable tears right now, and I can’t tell one hour from the next.

Ethan kicked me out a few hours ago because my apologizing wasn’t good enough. I’ve been sitting on his doorstep in the freezing cold ever since. He has to let me in to talk eventually, right? It’s really windy out. I wish I had worn my warmer coat, but it’s good that I’m suffering. It will help prove to Ethan how sorry I am. I was supposed to visit my family this weekend, but I need to stay here on this doorstep until I can make things right.

Listen, this might be ridiculous to even say, but does this whole situation seem a bit extreme to you? Like maybe I could just… go home and ignore Ethan? And everything would turn out okay? Am I spiraling out of control because I’m unstable or because I’m being manipulated and abused? Am I having a psychotic break, or is my boyfriend just gaslighting me?

No, I absolutely deserve all of this. My boyfriend is great. I’m just being crazy.


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