Please beware of dating someone with mental illness

I'm not sure if this will help anyone, but I feel the need to post it in case it might. I had a nine month relationship with a girl that ended with her being hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In the end, it nearly resulted in me losing my own sanity and my life. We happened to meet via r4r and really hit things off. The connection was instant and at first she came across as any ordinary girl. She was up front with a few struggles- bulimia, OCD, and sexual assault. Being that I have PTSD from a near fatal car accident/ TBI, social anxiety and that I have lost one of my sisters, I could relate to her struggles, as life is inherently hard, and didn't let it deter me from getting to know her. I believed maybe my experience with my issues could help her with what she struggled with and vise versa.

I had never met such a kind, compassionate, imaginative, funny and smart girl as her. She seemed alive with such a flare and vibrancy that I'd never met in any girl I'd dated. Really, I can tell you now I'd just met her while she was still on a medication that was working for her at the time. This was also before she was before she went off such medication. Hell, I only found out about that when I asked her one day after I'd been out of town for work why she seemed down lately. It was also only then I found out her psychologist believed she was bipolar and wanted to change this medication to one for such. He wouldn't prescribe her the old medication, but she also didn't want to take the new medication for fear of how it would effect her personality. She had decided to just stop going to him entirely, but never mentioned what she was going to do with the situation. The way she was just so calm, thoughtful about, I just forgot about it and never pressed. Anyway, I digress.

In getting to know her, it didn't take too long to form a strong bond with her and she was so rationale with all her problems whenever she talked about them. I fell in love with her quick and hard. In hindsight, I can see this is where I made my mistake as with the intensity, inexperience with mental illness and the want to be with a person who added so much to my life initially made me blind to many little details and red flags that should've deterred me from continuing to advance things as I allowed. However, by the point I realized how drastically wrong things really were, I was a mere choice away from suicide hearing her say the phrase over the phone, "Well, just make sure you make a video too for your parents before you kill yourself."

This relationship and keeping it together nearly cost me my life, my sanity. Because of how high functioning and well vieled this girl kept her problems, because of how much I cared for her and naively believed love could fix any problems, I put myself in a situation that nearly had dire consequences for myself and my whole family. I am writing this post as a warning to all who read it. Mental illness really isn't a joke and you cannot fix someone's problems with love. You cannot undo their habits or break their codependentcies.

As we got to know each other more, became closer and spent more and more time together, there were so many things I overlooked, wrote off do to how she explained it away, thought could just be fixed or assumed was part of what I was initially told of her trauma. But now things are over, I can see with clarity how wrong everything was. The fact she had no real friends, that she had some negative story for just about every person she interacted with on a semi frequent basis, the fact she had hung out with dudes who stole out with cars and dealt cocaine– there were so many damn things. So many damn things like the fact she couldn't just buy a new pair of shoes/ clothing, that she had three medications that I never once saw her ever take or refill at a pharmacy, and that she had to be the absolute best at her job with never seeing anyone as her equal. There really was so much I overlooked. There was so much too she could explain away or that I just thought was from stress. They should've been so obvious, like the sudden anxiety and panic attacks over subtle or minor social interactions. Hell, even the more alarming shit, I should've saw the warning signs. There were times she just blacked out due to a random action or at certain points during sex and she would forget minutes of time entirely. Some of these episodes even ended up with her forgetting up to half an hour at a time.

Even as I am writing this, I am just remembering so much more. She never invited me into her house. When we facetimed, she never let me see her whole room. She once said she had thought her parents were hoarders and I had once seen a photo on her phone of their living room. It was a mess and she'd just said they'd been cleaning because of quarantine. And her family, oh lord. All the issues with them. Her mom and dad had cut everyone else off from their immediate family of four because of how insane they were. Yet, these people rarely left the house. Their washer broke months ago and it still hasn't been fixed. They just go to the Laundromat and do their laundry there. With her not consistently around, they quit buying groceries and just ordered out every meal. One of the first times she left with me on a trip for my work, she came back to find out they hadn't done the dishes and had bought plastic utensils and paper plates instead.

This girl also claimed she was honest with her parents and kept an open line of communication with them. Really she just compartmentalized and only told them what they needed to know for her to get the benefit of what she needed from them while still indulging and doing so many things that were not healthy. Hell, she had tried to do the same with me. Her parents even seemed to do the same with her. Each one of them had their own issues and had no one else as a friend but the other family members. The only exception seemed to be the mom and her best friend got high on schrooms while remote interacting with kids in therapy sessions and routinely hired a pet physic to help her identify where she would find the newest incarnation of her latest deceased cat. The last incarnation I heard of was named Marble Fudge.

Really, you couldn't make any of this shit up. It's so bizarre to think of now. Yet, it was all so normal to this girl and in time I thought much of it was normal, too. To even think we made plans to move in together. I should've known by incidents like her slamming her head into a beam at my house or the deep cut marks on her body that I shouldn't have been getting further in this relationship. Yet, she was electric, even when her personality declined, her suicidal ideation increased and the lunacy of family increased as their codependent relationships were strained with me being in the picture, she was still so kind, caring, good and great of a person.

Perhaps between that and my love for her is why I continued to be blind to all of the warnings. Towards the end of things when she really began to struggle, she just said she needed the right medication. If only I had remembered then that she'd said what she'd been taking for depression and anxiety issues had begun to not work before she quit going to her psychologist.

I was not prepared for when the only rational and seemingly good person in her life, a former hs teacher and mentor of hers, died and she completely lost her shit in a massive suicidal meltdown. She said she didn't recognize parts of face and her personality was just a bunch of borrowed character traits. She abused ambian just to sleep for several days in a row. When the emergency zoom appointment never came to be for her to get her 'medication,' I had no idea at all what would ensue when she went to the ER.

Only now can I see why she was hospitalized. Not eating the food, resisting the therapy, not cooperating with pretty much everything but taking some of the sedation meds should've told me so much. Yet, I still believed her when she said all of this was not necessary and that she just needed medication. Until that is she had an episode, blamed me for many of problems and tried to break me in pieces entirely. I listened, believed so much because of how damn rationale and convincing she was until she had at an utter point that I was the reason for her stay and being hospitalised. She even had the gull to set 'terms' for me to be welcome back in her life again after. Days later as I was trying to resolve mailing her some of her stuff, let her know I was in therapy like she wanted, and trying to resolve some parking tickets she'd occurred with my car, she blamed her bipolar diagnosis she'd been given on me, along with her extended stay and the fact she'd been restrained after ripping an iv from her arm. When I wanted her I was suicidal, she just said I wouldn't be able to redeem myself to her anytime soon and when I apologized, she jus said what the fuck was wrong with me.

Finally, I couldn't take it. I snapped from the stress. None of this was girl I had once known. I didn't reconize her anymore. The hate and anger in her was unequivocal. The hospital stay was the last event in a serious of so many problems and stress that came with her and holding the relationship together. Soon, I found myself crying and in a moment of sheer stress acting on the impulse that only in killing myself could I redeem myself for my 'mistakes.' I won't speak more of the details of this moment, but after what she'd said, if it hadn't been for my sister, I know I would not be here now. The only silver lining of this even was that I was finally able to see how unhealthy everything was and what had almost been the end result.

Thankfully I am in a much better place now. My family was there for me when I needed it. I understand that who this girl is now isn't the one I fell in love with and I have no anger toward her, just sadness and empathy. She is an amazing girl marred in denial and mental illness with a family that only facilitates such. However, trying to help and be with someone like that nearly cost me everything as she turned and tried to blame me for the all her problems, use me as a scapegoat at my expense.Reddit, please beware the dangers of being in a relationship with someone with mental illness. This shit can be so subvert and missed in the bustle of a fast paced life. Good intentions and trust can be misused so easily. Don't just follow your feelings. Look at the little things. See who their friends are and what they have to say of the world around them. Do not assume love can overcome any trauma or that you can break/ explain codependency and its problems. Just walk away as far as you. Otherwise, you may find yourself in my place where I am now.

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