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05/21/2012 07:00 PM

Illness or the person?

Emen74
Posts: 13
New Member

As someone who once loved someone with mental illness, the hardest thing was trying to figure out what was the illness and what was the person?

What made me the most angry was being on the receiving end of threats, yelling and screaming in public and private, being cheated on and then Hearing " I was manic which is why I cheated..." "my meds need to be re adjusted which is why I yelled at you.". And so on.....

While it may be true, if your partner cheats on you......it hurts the same.....if your partner threatens to hit you, it scares you the same way......illness or not....

Now I suffer from PTSD after being with someone mentally Ill for 5 years......go figure.....lol

While this isn't a laughin matter, it still makes me angry when I hear excuses.........yet I'm not bipolar so I try to not judge....

Now when I date, I check those medicine cabinets.........I won't do this again......

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05/22/2012 02:46 AM
mem4809

It sounds like you really put up with a lot. Being manic or hypomanic makes it very hard to control our impulses but when abuse occurs on a regular basis I believe you shouldn't put up with it. Even when I am hypomanic I try to catch it right away and call my doctor. We have to be responsible and take more control of ourselves. I believe cheating and stuff can be prevented but I haven't been that manic before. I am glad you are out of it and I do hope you find a healthy relationship in the future.

05/22/2012 04:55 AM
RickEJ
RickEJ  
Posts: 7506
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I'm an Advocate

I am not bi-polar, I have bi-polar II, GAD & treatment resistant depression.

You certainly put up with a lot of abuse. How & why did you stay in such a relationship for so long?

I only lasted a year with a person who has bi-polar I disorder, she also has PTSD. It really tore me up because I did love this woman, I just couldn't take the cheating & verbal abuse.

Someone who knows about this disorder can tell when something is wrong. I am very self aware and have been for many years. There are times when a family member might say something about me not being myself. I know enough today when I'm not right and keep on top of it.

I don't think that having bi-polar disorder is an excuse unless the person is actually psychotic which happens more with bi-polar I than bi-polar II from what I've read in these forums. Other than that there is no excuse for treating someone badly. To me blaming my disorder for my actions is just not taking responsibility for them. I don't think cheating & abuse is any more common with people with mental disorders than in the general public. I have to make healthy decisions for myself, I am responsible for that. It took therapy to learn how to do that. I'm single now and enjoy it, I'm OK with myself today.

I would rather be single than put myself in another unhealthy relationship. You seem to have accepted that you have PTSD, its a good start. As far as telling what is the illness and what is the person, I don't think we can ever truly know when it comes to situations like this.

Post edited by: RickEJ, at: 05/22/2012 04:56 AM


05/22/2012 09:56 AM
Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16693
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Not all bipolar people are cheaters or abusers. Was this person on medications? See a psychiatrist? Bipolar people that aren't medicated or need their medications adjusted can become really unstable. As to what was the person and what was the bipolar, it's hard to say. Bipolar is a reason, not an excuse. There should be no abuse in any relationship. As for the cheating, that happens a lot in mania. I don't know if she was in an episode or not. It's good that you got out of the relationship though. No one deserves to be treated that way. I hope you get some help for your PTSD. I'm sorry that it affected you so much. A therapist would help.

05/22/2012 01:01 PM
Emen74
Posts: 13
New Member

I ask myself how and why too....lol. When someone becomes abusive it happens so slowly and gradual you don't notice it until it is already out of control. I mean, my partner was medicated and in therapy so it's not like she wasn't trying.... But she was resistant to treatment. I stayed cause I was told to "love the person hate he illness.". But eventually the person was the illness.

I did get a 12 page apology letter from her...not that it changed anything...damage was done.


05/22/2012 05:00 PM
RickEJ
RickEJ  
Posts: 7506
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For me the abuse started at about 6 months and went down hill fast. Yes it is more difficult if its gradual, I know in some situation like that I was always questioning myself, my judgement, wonder if I was doing something wrong to cause it. I know today when I start asking myself those questions its time to get out. I can't change other people I can only change my decisions and make the right choice for me. I was verbally and emotionally abused for many years, growing up in an alcoholic home I guess I'm more sensitive to the abuse. I know I'm a lot more aware of it and when its happening. Anyway glad you found us Smile anything I can do let me know. I check my messages every morning and evening when I get home from work. I try to check the forums but don't always get around to it.

05/23/2012 04:39 AM
zoominsab
zoominsab  
Posts: 81
Member

RickEJ I agree with you, even if you are sick you have a responsibility to yourself and the world around you. An abusive person might be mentally ill or not, but nobody ever has an excuse to cheat or be abusive. Being sick, manic or depressive might influence our judgement, but it will never change the person you are, the essence, if you are "good" or "bad". If you love somebody or not. If you are true or not. Sure, mania increases the chances of outbursts of anger and infidelity, but anybody who uses this as an excuse has a weak character. Sorry for sounding judgemental, but I think the best thing you could have done is get out of those relationships!!!

05/24/2012 05:14 PM
Emen74
Posts: 13
New Member

The infidelity started with emails to other men. I found them while she was hospitalized. She gave me access to her accounts to continue with bills, etc and saw her personal emails to other men. I was furious but couldn't do anything about it cause she was hospitalized for severe depression...I waited till she got better.

She said she felt confused about her feelings but said she never met these guys In person and after reading the emails I realized that was true. Fast fwd to two years later, she went to church on Sunday's and I was happy she found God. I didn't know after church she invited a guy out and they end up according to her kissing just once. Lol. Apparently she wanted her cake and eat it too....didn't want to break up with me cause I was so " great" and made her so happy And she said with me she felt loved for the first time in her life.....so I guess it makes sense to sabotage all that....

This was so painful after 5 years.....I feel like a fool.....

Post edited by: Emen74, at: 05/24/2012 05:22 PM


05/24/2012 05:24 PM
RickEJ
RickEJ  
Posts: 7506
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Don't feel like a fool, situations happen like this all the time ,and for me many times over.

You would think I'd learn after the several relationships that sound much the same way your did. They weren't as long, a year or more at the most but the results were the same.

I'm not in a relationship now though sometimes with I was. I'm not going seeking anymore, with my track record it's obvious I'm not too good at it. I'll just wait and if I happen to find the right girl or if she finds me great. In the mean time I'll stay single for my own sanity & stability. Smile


06/08/2012 08:21 PM
Emen74
Posts: 13
New Member

A friend of mine sent me a pic of my bipolar ii ex today. She thought she was helping me, but I've been crying all evening. I expect to start

Therapy on Monday again........for me to be this upset after 2.5 years, something isn't right. I have unresolved issues/ feelings that I need to

Come to terms with....

The realization that we use to know everything about each other and now we are complete strangers...... The loss/ grief.....and knowing that her big smile in the pic has nothing to do with me....I hear she doesn't contact me because she feels it is what is best for me......but I hear that through grapevine.....she disappeared without an explanation......

I'm heart broken after 2.5 years......my PTSD seems to be triggered with her.....even a pic has me in tears years later....

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