Just checking I'm not being unreasonable

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Copperhead, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Copperhead

    Copperhead Active Member

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    I've been dating my gf w/ borderline personality disorder (BPD) for three years now (diagnosed in November 2013), and we recently decided to take some time off the relationship to evaluate if it can work. She moved out of her house in order to recover and lives by herself since July, in the same town I live in. She has a part time job and studies. I stay over at her place once a week and help (I do the dishes and bed, organize, sweep, vacuum and mop the entire house, I get up earlier to feed the dog so she can sleep more, I spend hours doing house work). I try to be supportive and go with her to the hospital, therapy, pick up her meds if she can't make it, I help with some expenses and I try to take care of her in general because I know she's exhausted, I would be exhausted too.

    Since she moved out, we both have less energy, we are both finishing our career at college (we're classmates) and that has led to less time to spend together and our sex life has suffered too, because she has no energy to invest on me in that aspect, leaving me highly frustrated so I started growing distant, due to this and being exhausted for giving so much and receiving so little affection.

    Recently, we had a huge fight, we both reacted badly and it ended up in her taking 1200mg of her meds when she should only take 200mg, fortunately it wasn't enough for an overdose but it was risky for her health. After this, she decided to break up with me temporarily so we could take some time off because she didn't know she was capable of taking so many pills and she attributes it to the fight we had.

    We had agreed to work on us as soon as we were off college and we were working on it but this happened and she isn't sure we can make it. She says we are on different stages of life and that I want different things so we are not compatible according to her, besides “I don't care about her anymore”, I've stopped being affectionate (I am less affectionate, it hurts me to give so much and receive no affection) and she doubts I can make a commitment on the long run. I just want respect for the things that make me happy, which she hates and criticizes too much and for my time alone with my friends, which I rarely have and this problem just won't go away.

    I believe I've done what I can, I try to take care of myself because she usually leans on me and on me only, and I can't be the only one to help her, it would damage my health and I've been struggling to take care of myself because of all the damage I took in the first two years of our relationship when we had no diagnosis.

    I'm only demanding my rights as a couple, not extra rights but I know it hurts her to not have a choice while I do, and that's why I don't buy the “we are on different stages of life” argument, because I commit to her (and her recovery) while I try to commit to my wellbeing too. I see the same pattern here, in which she focuses on one thing only instead of the whole picture but since I don't like to believe I'm the only one that's right, could there be something I don't see and maybe other ways to support her? Or could she be right about the stages thing?

    Many thanks to anyone who takes some time to read and help out!
     
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  2. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    My dear Copperhead, welcome back. You don't know how much I have thought of your past posts when I read Gentry's thread here that is next to yours. I am glad that your gf has moved out of a bad environment and she had been diagnosed and is getting medical help.

    I am wondering if she is trying to figure out if she can do this alone. I think that if she is requesting a break and it is not just an excited utterance in a fight then maybe it is time to honor her request. Give her a chance to sort things out and you a breather. I know you will always worry about her but she probably needs this time to take some responsibility for herself. Critizing you is her goto when she is defensive about how shitty she feels. Maybe she does need that space without you to face some things. At any rate, the critizing has to stop unless you can recognize that as an episode she is having and it is something that you both can pick up on ahead of time that she is about to do and eventually get control of.

    I hope you find some rest and you and her can work out some kind of real emergency rip cord protocol where she can call you in cases of real need. This may put your mind at ease more when you take a much needed respite.
     
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  3. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't date someone with BPD. I'm sorry that she is sick, but it is a very hard disorder to bring to a relationship.

    I know you love her, but you are exhausted, she is sick, you guys are fighting, she is lashing out overdosing. Not good.

    I know it sounds harsh to say 'break it off,' but I think that is what is best for both of you.

    I think the stress of your relationship is too much for her illness (exhibit A, overdose). And clearly, it's been terrible for you. Some people can be BPD in relationships. But your gf doesn't sound like she has that level of coping or stability.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. Copperhead

    Copperhead Active Member

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    I asked her if she was ok with not talking for a few days so we could sort things our in our heads because I need time to think and breathe. She broke silence twice, saying she had almost made up her mind but maybe she is just trying to stay in control, afraid I might abandon her (she mentioned it before) and she clearly is unstable right now, so I don't know what kind of break she wants.

    Anyhow, I am preparing myself for any scenario (moving on with the relationship, getting dumped, mutual agreement, etc.), so I am looking for courses and activities stay busy and productive.

    I was doubting whether I wanted to keep going or not but I guess I'm too stubborn and patient so I might give it a shot but if it is too much pressure for her then I'll walk away.
     
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  5. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    She seems to dictate a lot of stuff for you, the timing and communications. I can't tell what is really in control, your sense of loyalty or her mental illness. I think in our talks before we have feared the latter. While I understand your loyalty has made things better over time I do worry about your health overall. Please don't let this get out of hand and like you have said, asert yourself in this and insist on some space to clear your head. She will have to get over her fears of abandonment somehow and she can't get it by controlling and belittling, isn't that her moms all over again?

    Edit...mind, I am talking about this as someone who wouldn't know how to be in a relationship like this. My gf and I have fantastic fights, fantastic meaning they count for something. They happen for different reasons including each of us having our own baggage, insecurities and issues. They may not even sound fair at times. But they never made either of us feel like we are just women who just needed to be handled even we do have issues that needed handling. Your girlfriend can't feel very good if that is how she sees herself and her biggest contribution to the world is to have to be handled. I hope she knows whatever troubles her that she is a worthwhile human being and she can over come this and be a credit to the world. Maybe that is something to encourage and for her to look forward to before she can have a meaningful and intimate relationship with someone.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
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  6. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    I think you need to pull back an think about yourself a bit. You've gotten really wrapped up in what she wants and needs. But you haven't asked yourself some basic questions:

    1) is this relationship healthy
    2) is this relationship going to be good long term
    3) is this relationship good for you

    Lots of people want relationships. Not everyone is able to have them, because of the baggage that they bring. Someone with an untreated drug problem, with issues with violence, with uncontrolled mental illness - struggle to be in relationships. They hurt their partners and they hurt themselves. The relationship gets pulled out of whack and cycles of enabling or fight-breakup-fight create unmanageable instability.

    It seems like you have gotten really caught up in trying to make things work. And in trying to fix, or stabilize your gf. But sometimes, relationships just don't work. People aren't ready for them. They don't have the skills.

    And if it is getting to the point where the relationship is threatening your gf's life (exhibit a, overdose) and leaving you drained and exhausted - it's time to take a step back. It's easy to think you can rescue someone, but sometimes in rescuing, we undermine their long term ability to cope.

    I would recommend you talk to a counselor. They can help you sort out the difference between what you want and what is possible or healthy.
     
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  7. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    "Lots of people want relationships. Not everyone is able to have them, because of the baggage that they bring. Someone with an untreated drug problem, with issues with violence, with uncontrolled mental illness - struggle to be in relationships. They hurt their partners and they hurt themselves. The relationship gets pulled out of whack and cycles of enabling or fight-breakup-fight create unmanageable instability."

    You're right about with this.

    I am wondering how a person with such disorder can study, keep its mind in the books and build a future for herself. I'd say a person in that case still has some strength. Me for example, I become incapable to even work out right when I get very angry at some thoughts and I don't have disorders.
     
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  8. Copperhead

    Copperhead Active Member

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    Bluenote, that possibility scares me. I don't want to be a source of guilt for her and this recent event scares me because she had never done that before. Yes, she has cut in private and in front of me, I've had to struggle with her to keep her off the street when she thinks jumping in front of a car is an amazing idea. Those things are quite possible when you date someone with BPD (we've been lucky, I know people with even more out of control partners) but it is scary nonetheless because you always hope for the best (even though you prepare for the worst).

    Kaiden, she is actually high functioning and almost genius. I don't know how but she manages to get good grades and be awesome at what she does, I am proud to call her a future colleague. She's tough as hell, she just lacks interpersonal skills, that is her area of difficulty.
     
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  9. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    If she's building herself a future, then why would she say that is amazing to throw herself in front of a car? I am the insensitive asshole here and I will say that it sounds like theater. I personally know people who make all these things for the love of watching their partners struggle. You date her for 3 years, I am not going to say you don't know her well, but some people are good at hiding their other face for a lifetime if they want. Especially with the cuts and overdoses. It sounds sensible and too sad for normal people with peaceful lives. "quick go to therapy, quick take medications." What if you change your attitude for a while, become cold and detached to see how she reacts? some comply to their situation, because is a lot easier and becomes comfortable, to cry. they accept that's who they are and they take advantage of whoever falls for that. what exactly went through her mind when she tried to took an overdose? "i am worthless, i should just die here because i keep telling myself i'm worthless, while i have a girlfriend taking care of me and a bright future".
    when someone is extremely destroyed in the inside, they barely have the power to fight the war in their head, but thinking about a future. because they don't know if they are going to survive until then.
     
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  10. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you are being an insensitive @.

    BPD is a real disorder. It includes things like severe mood swings and self injuring, attempted suicide or suicide. If the OP says her gf has been diagnosed BPD, then I see no reason to doubt that. The behaviors may not make sense to us, but there is a reason mental illnesses are called "illnesses" - y'know that whole illogical or dangerous behavior thing.

    Threats or attempts at suicide should usually be taken seriously and not dismissed as "theater."

    @Copperhead , I think you should get some help for yourself. Information about your gf should not come only through her. She may intentionally or not be distorting some of the information. And you really need a handle on - is this relationship safe for both of you?

    Keep your head up, you're in a hard situation.
     
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  11. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Copperhead, it sounds like you are in a much healthier place than you were the last time you asked for help. I'm very glad that she has a diagnosis and has taken steps to get appropriate care, but still troubled by what you describe.

    Reading over your update and question, I am struck by the fact that you seem to be her only support. You clean her apartment, take care of her, ferry her to appointments, provide her emotional support. You are the only one doing this, correct? You are giving and giving and giving, and getting not much besides the knowledge that you are a good partner - and that's mostly coming from self-knowledge, rather than acknowledgement and feedback from her. This is draining (and you know it). This is damaging to you (and you know it). This is not good for her (and you know that, too).

    So I'm actually sidestepping your question. Is she right about you, and different stages of life? Yeah, maybe, in a way: you are in a place where you need balance and care, and cannot give wholeheartedly of yourself without support. I call that "self-caring, responsible maturity." She is in a place where she needs help and care and cannot give that to another person. That's a totally appropriate place for her to be, given her recent diagnosis and path to mental health, but it is not one that lends itself well to being the partner you need and deserve. (Think maybe about her recovery as a kind of childhood - parents give everything to kids without expecting equal caregiving back again, knowing that it's a temporary and necessary situation.)

    People usually ask for what that need in bass-ackward ways, and I actually interpret this as an attempt to do something responsible (what can I say, I'm an undying optimist). Having a support network of one is not healthy or sustainable, and her relying on you and only on you is not kind or caring to you - and you are hurting. So she's identifying the mismatch, which you see and acknowledge, with the words and ideas that make sense to her. It's very hard to admit that you are not a good partner, and much easier to use cliches like "different stages of life," to explain why you should take a break or breakup. But I think you should see past her clouded reasoning and to what she is actually saying, which is that you are not good or healthy partners for each other right now. You are so busy caring for her that you cannot meet her emotional needs; she is so busy needing that she cannot meet yours. She cannot give you the time you need for self care and social support, and your love and anger hold so much power over her that she will do herself harm. While you do everything for her, she has no need to build a more robust support network or do more than the minimum.

    You have spent the last year giving her everything. You ask, are there other ways to support her? Copperhead, is there anything you haven't done? It's not about you doing something else, something more, the magical last piece that will make this work. What she needs is her own strength, and other people to bolster that strength - a community to share the work of caring for her, and with her consent and participation you can help her start to build one. Other people to go with her to appointments, to call on when things are low, to help her clean, to give her love. That is the only way your relationship is going to get to a place of long-term commitment - if you have a more robust safety net and network of care, for you and for her.

    I am not telling you to cut and run; as a person who struggles with mental health and just got hitched, I am all for commitment and love flourishing even in difficulty and darkness. But I would never expect my wife to commit to being my only lifeline, and I would never consent to be hers - and because we agree on that, we can care for ourselves and each other in a way that's mutually honest and loving.
     
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  12. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    @ u mean asshole, it isn't hard to write the whole word.
    If we all go to a doctor, they will find something wrong about us. Probably even the Russians who threaten to kill themselves every once in two-three months by going on the balcony and make people call the firefighters and ambulance to make a scene there, the doctors will find some mental disease to them.
    I am not saying to avoid suicidal threats and look to one direction, I am saying that she can also take what i said in consideration, because there are those kind of people. why is so hard to accept that fact? maybe not become cold and distant, ok i exaggerated there, but at least she can be aware. what if the girl might feel is the only way she can feel her girlfriend loving her? maybe that's the only way she can see the truth.
    i'm also not mentally doing great at all (and not intending to find an illness name now to define myself by that) but i don't want to drag no one into the hell i'm living. without the affection and love, i am still alive. as many others.
    a person will commit suicide if she or he really wants. not everyone will now end up like those who wrote on blogs and made videos on youtube before they died. and saying "is amazing to throw myself in front of a car" isn't something you really say it with amazement to the one who struggles to make you feel loved and not be aware of how she feels
     
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  13. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Your level of ignorance about mental illness, lack of empathy for the OP and her gf - yet willingness to shoot your mouth off with total confidence is really rather amazing.

    Bravo. *slow clap*
     
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  14. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    I may be ignorant too, but you don't know her girlfriend personally and you can't accept all the possibilities, the fact that some people, even good ones have another side of their personality hidden. We are complex and the facts are not reduced to your experience in life.
    I have no empathy for strangers, because my empathy wouldn't help to make someone's life better; but don't tell me about empathy when one of the first things you said, is that you wouldn't date someone with such disorder. I'd date someone with that disorder because I know with my future strength we'd overcome that, I don't aim at women with healthy brains just so I can live a comfortable life, I like fighters. Anyway, this post isn't about my opinions so I will stop here. I just said the thing that everyone else avoids to say it for the sake of a good image.
     
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  15. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Yes Kaiden, because this thread is all about you. We got the message.
     
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  16. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    You are just doing that on purpose now, I'm pretty sure you have understand what I'm saying. I would've drawn you on a paper like in kindergarden but I don't want to insult you. My points are explained objectively and subjectively at the same time. Just like a lot of other posts around here. Some represents themselves as examples so the OP can get a different point of view; the difference, is that they say positive things, which in that case you won't consider them like you consider my post "all about me". Plus, when you make some references towards a person and not focusing on the points I'm saying, you have to expect some explanations to make you understand better my points of views. The rest of the story, if you like it or not, that's your decision. And I don't know who those "we" are, maybe two, three or ten, but is nice to talk only in your name. Let others decide for themselves how they should see that situation. That's it, my last reply to you on this post, say whatever you want.
     
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  17. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    It is not "objective" to ignore a whole massive body of empiricism. Your dismissal of empirical medical research regarding BPD is pretty much the antithesis of objective. It is such a fundamental flaw in reasoning, that it is near impossible to take seriously.

    "I don't agree with (or even know) what medicine says on the matter, so I am going to brush it aside with a cliche that Doctors don't know everything" - is extremely biased and, quite frankly, sophomoric. Your points are extremely thin and do not being to make a compelling argument on why medical empiricism should be abandoned.

    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml

    BPD is a real disorder. People who suffer from it and people close to those who suffer from it, struggle with a double whammy. They have to deal with the illness itself. But they also have to deal with stigma and ignorance from the general public. They deal with out of control behavior. And then they deal with people not believing or understanding the out of control behavior.

    I can really feel for Copperhead. She finally has a diagnosis for her gf. The crazy behavior at least makes some sense. She doesn't feel like she is the only one going through this, that other people understand and that there are some answers out there. She now knows what to tell Doctors, the police, her therapist, whomever.

    I don't think the Copperhead needs to take a step backwards and get back into the fight of 'what is wrong with my gf?' That ship has sailed, that issue has been decided.

    And I do think that it is important that she take threats of suicide or self harm, or actual self harming and suicide attempts very seriously.

    I hope this thread isn't too hard on the her. I hope that she realizes that more people than not (hey, count the participants on the thread) empathize with her and understand that her gf's problems are real and very serious. And understand the impact that her gf's illness is having on their relationship and on the OP.
     
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  18. rac

    rac Well-Known Member

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    @Copperhead: I used to be friends with a highly functioning BPD and it was exhausting that I had to give up on the friendship. One minute, people around him are the best, the next we are the s--ttiest. I'm not comparing what I went through with what you are going through because I wasn't as invested to that friendship as you are in your relationship. I'm just saying I have an idea what you are going through and you are not being unreasonable. Please take care of yourself, too
     
    #18
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  19. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    :oops: I'm falling for this... but be it.

    I can do my researches alone and i know that is a real thing, but you keep avoiding what i'm trying to say; my opinions that you consider them ignorance, are based on real stuff and has more to it than you think. I know as many people with mental illnesses as also those with theater in them. If I compare them, I barely know few people with healthy minds, because I didn't come from a not so great background, hence my interactions with them. I will repeat myself for the last time. I didn't said to ignore her mental illness completely, but to take in consideration the probability of acting. You can really scroll up and reread.. and coming with some explanations about something that it couldn't be more obvious and already mentioned, you really didn't said anything new. Besides all of that, we were not programmed to be all happy and giggles. In my view, there is a point from where I can consider that illness to be a normal thing. it would be dull to be a person with only a set of feelings that leads towards happiness. we learn nothing from happiness. happiness doesn't offer us challenges, make us do mistakes and learn lessons. but now let's feed our sick friends with medications because that's what professionals tells us to
    A lot of gypsies have those similar things, they are like something like IDs, that allows them to stay home because they have a mental illness. I personally know a Russian, who has something like that, because he doesn't want to work and he's not the only one. They get them with medications, they claim to have anxiety, they faint, the whole set. Mind you, they are from psychiatrists, because you don't get to buy them from the store around the corner. now my point is:
    if you want to come back home with a diagnose, you will be able, because all you gotta do, is have a nice imagination and acting average talents. Now, in no way I'm saying the OP's girlfriend is like that, the thing is, doctors can be tricked, not all, but many or they choose to. the more clients they have, the more money they get. if you try to look at this from all the corners, maybe you will realize half of the world isn't as sick as you thought. but i will not get to explain how this subject has more to it, it is already sounding like science fiction. and putting your whole trust in them, to be the hero of whatever you imagine, because 100 researches on internet and cases you've seen on TV is all you got, won't work on me. Keep calling me an ignorant, but watch out with those words, they don't die because of me. if one comes for help to me, i will help. personally. but now i'm not screaming out loud that i will be by one's side. and defending them on the internet, is not my thing. just because those doctors have a diploma, it doesn't mean they are all professionals, you can't use them against everyone else who is more skeptic and has experience. and point fingers at them. Sadly, I can't prove you that, but the proof stays at your discretion every single day, and by that, I mean you can start interact with very very low life people who do those tricks to have a comfortable life or live forever in a pool of drama. maybe now you will make a little effort to understand why i have these ignorant views.
     
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  20. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Tl;dr.

    Doesn't address empirical Medical research. "I know some people," and "some Doctors are bad," is a flat out crap alternative to a peer reviewed replicated Medical Study. It's pretty clear you don't understand the issues involved in proper research methodology. So whatevs.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015

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