me and my girlfriend have been together for several months now. She has been tested as being bi polar. I've talked to her about her BPD but she refuses any kind of treatment because she feels BPD is a lie and western medicine is a joke. Anyways she's always back and forth on our relationship. When things are good they are great and when their bad it's pretty rough. Right now we are going through such a period. She says she feels lost and disconnected and asked me to stay away for a few days while she sorts herself out and is barely talking to me at the moment. To make the situation worse she has two kids that look at me as their father and they are really upset that I'm not there right now. Which of course is another thing that is really adding more stress on me about all this. They are texting me asking me what's going on and they are asking their mom what's going on. I simply tell them I don't know what's going on right this second and try to reassure them that it's not their fault. They are 11 & 13. They are saying they understand that and that it's their mothers fault. To which I tell them it's not anyone's fault and to not hold any grudges against her. Anyways what she is telling them is yesterday morning when all this happened it was "I miss him already" ...after she got off work it was "I'm sure it's not over" ...and later on that night to me it was "I feel disconnected and I can't feel you" and "it's likely in my head or in my heart" I'm completely confused on what to do here. Today she sent me an email saying "I'm not sure it really makes any sense. I'm sorry... I'm doing the
best I can to sort things out. I just feel so off anymore." Can anyone offer some advice? Currently I'm trying to not talk to her a whole lot and give her a chance to really miss me. thank you
P.S. I tried posting this on a bipolar disorder board specifically but couldn't get any responses.
Sorry to say that you've made a huge mistake allowing the children to think of you as their father after being in a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship for several months. It's a sign if immaturity to even think this way. You have no legal rights, you think she's mental and she's telling you to stay away. If you step back and look at your situation without emotions you'll see it's a lose/lose deal. Cut your loses and say goodby to the poor needy children. After you say goodby resist the urge to go back. Nothing will change. Find a healthy partner and next time establish some boundaries if children are involved.
I agree with Enginerd, it was a bad decision on both your parts for you to become a father figure to the kids at this stage of the relationship. You probably shouldn't have even met them after a few months. It's not fair to them to have men come and go in their lives.
Regarding your GF's illness, you can fix it for her. If she's not willing to address her issues, you'd best run for the hills because it will never get better.
Granted that was my mistake but at the same time when your there all the time it's hard for the kids to not get attached. Didn't plan on it being that way but it happened. I couldn't be with her and ignore the kids either,you know?
Sorry but sometime there are no good answers. I know of similar situations and yes the persons are Bi-P. She (your ex or soon to b ex) has to get help and there is little to nothing you can do but try and be a family friends (stable force) to the kids while distancing yourself. Bi-P is very serious and I know of one marriage in which the Bi-P Had multiple EA and PA and another in which a sixty year old GOOD faithful wife is now rebuilding her life and living out of her suitcase at her childrenís homes. Mental illness can and will reek havoc on your health and life and on some level if she goes into a Bi-P mania episode then she may try to had behind her illness. Think long and hard and sometimes life hands you clues/signs. It up to you to recognizes those signs.
My girlfriend ... has been tested as being bi polar... but she refuses any kind of treatment.
Worgen, welcome to the TAM forum. What type of therapist did the diagnosis? Is he a clinical psychologist with lots of experience and a PhD? I ask because it is very common for therapists to misdiagnose BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) as being bipolar disorder because, during a 50-minute session held once a week, BPDers are easily able to hide their BPD traits. Another reason I ask is that the lifetime incidence of BPD (6% of the population) is four times that of bipolar disorder (1.5%).
I am not a psychologist but I did live with a BPDer exW for 15 years and I've taken care of a bipolar foster son for longer than that. Moreover, I took both of them to a long series of psychologists for 15 years. Based on those experiences, I have found several clear differences between the two disorders. For you, this distinction is very important because -- if your GF has strong BPD traits, her chances of getting better are very small -- far smaller than the chances for a person with bipolar disorder.
One difference between these two disorders is seen in the frequency of mood changes. Bipolar mood swings are very slow because they are caused by gradual changes in body chemistry. They are considered rapid if as many as four occur in a year. In contrast, four BPD mood changes can easily occur in four days.
A second difference is seen in duration. Whereas bipolar moods typically last a week or two, BPD rages typically last only a few hours (and rarely as long as 36 hours).
A third difference is seen in the speed with which the mood change develops. Whereas a bipolar change typically will build slowly over two weeks, a BPD change typically occurs in less than a minute -- often in only 10 seconds -- because it is event-triggered by some innocent comment or action.
A fourth difference is that, whereas bipolar can be treated very successfully in at least 80% of victims by swallowing a pill, BPD cannot be managed by medication because it arises from childhood damage to the emotional core -- not from a change in body chemistry.
A fifth difference is that, whereas bipolar disorder can cause people to be irritable and obnoxious during the manic phase, it does not rise to the level of meanness and vindictiveness you see when a BPDer is splitting you black. That difference is HUGE: while a manic person may regard you as an irritation, a BPDer can perceive you as Hitler and will treat you accordingly. Hence, frequent verbal abuse and meanness are a hallmark of BPD but not of bipolar disorder.
Finally, a sixth difference is that a bipolar sufferer -- whether depressed or manic -- usually is able to trust you if she knows you well. Untreated BPDers, however, are unable to trust for an extended period -- even though they sometimes may claim otherwise. This lack of trust means there is no foundation on which to build a relationship. Moreover -- and I learned this the hard way -- when a woman does not trust you, you can never trust her because she can turn on you at any time -- and almost certainly will.
Worgen, if the BPD traits described above sound familiar, I suggest you read more about them to see if they ring a bell. An easy place to start reading -- here on this forum -- is my description of such traits in Maybe's thread at My list of hell!. Take care, Worgen.
Looking back I probably shouldn't have been there all the time but I can't fix what's already done,you know? The girls are convinced that she will be wanting me back soon. They said this isn't uncommon for her to do with her boyfriends till she finally gets herself together.
There's no doubt there's been some rough times when she has been cycling. I just always kept hoping that eventually she would see that I'm not like the other guys who took advantage of her,treated her badly and tossed her aside. Of course if the above is true that may be why they acted that way. I don't know.
I found out once we were together as well that her last relationship of 2 years had ended shortly before we got together. I was under the impression that it had been over for awhile and she had dealt with it already. So I think that also plays into this whole thing as well.
thank you for your detailed response. She was diagnosed when she was a child and said that it was a psychologist but said she learned how to trick them.
Her mood swings are pretty rapid. Usually just last a few hours and she will be okay again. For instance a couple of months ago she got into a mood and was on the verge of breaking up with me. I left for a few hours and she text me about 4 hours later and asked me to come back up and was all over me again from the moment I walked in the door.
The other day when this occurred she was in a great mood when I got there and by the time we went to bed within 3 hours of me getting there she didn't want anything to do with me at all.
I know from her childhood she does have a deep regret of how she lost her virginity. Her mom told her to have sex with her boyfriend/ex husband or she would lose him when she was only 16. Forced her to dance in shows quite often as well. Which she still does that to this day.
We may go several weeks without any problems then all of a sudden there it is. She's rethinking everything between us.
I would think she trusts me? She doesn't mind if I go over to the house when there's no one there and when it's just me and the kids there. She also doesn't like to be there at night without me because she's worries about her neighborhood.
temper tantrums, inappropriate anger, lack of impulse control, constant blaming, always being "the victim," black-white thinking, and a cycle of push-you-away and pull-you-back.
I would agree with this as well
she has been unhappy since childhood.
A BPDer carries enormous anger, hurt, and shame inside just under the skin.
This as well
This is one of the hallmarks of having strong BPD traits -- the feeling of entitlement to all the sacrifices you make and the inability to have a lasting appreciation. Because a BPDer cannot control her emotions, she experiences feelings every day that are so intense that they push aside all the good feelings she had before about you.
Gees all kinds of stuff I can relate too, I approach things in a calm more logical manner. It's my nature.
And she is so super-sensitive to perceived infractions, she may even take offense at the sugar coating itself
Being unable to control or regulate her emotions, a BPDer has little impulse control. It therefore is common to see a BPDer acting impulsively.
A high functioning BPDer typically gets along fine with acquaintenances, business colleagues, and total strangers.
One of the things that is said in your post I can totally relate to. I am a caregiver. I have a savior mentality.
Yes, absolutely. Indeed, a recent study of nearly 35,000 American adults (pub. 2008) found that about 25% of the BPDers also suffer from bipolar disorder.
If your GF was diagnosed only in childhood, you really do not have a diagnosis you can rely on. Generally, psychologists refuse to diagnose BPD earlier than age 18 because, due to the raging hormones and immaturity, teenagers often exhibit strong BPD traits but will grow out of it. Yet, even if she had been diagnosed as having "bipolar" very recently, it could still be the case she has both disorders.
One reason, as I said, is that BPDers can easily hide their BPD traits during the 50 minute session held once a week (they tend to be excellent actors). Another reason is that, even when therapists do spot the BPD, they are loath to tell the client the name of the disorder (for many reasons I've explained in other posts). This is why I always advise the partners in toxic relationships to consult their own psychologist, by themselves, to obtain a candid professional opinion.
One of the things that is said in your post I can totally relate to. I am a caregiver. I have a savior mentality.
Today 08:02 PM
To get an insight into how you got that way during childhood (i.e., being the family's "little fixer"), I suggest you read therapist Shari Schreiber's article "Do You Love to be Needed, or Need to be Loved?" It is available at DO YOU LOVE TO BE NEEDED, OR NEED TO BE LOVED?. Her other articles at that website are excellent also. As to a good book about BPDer relationships, I note that the #1 best-selling book (targeted to the caregiver partners) is called Stop Walking on Eggshells.
I ordered the Stop Walking On Eggshells book a few minutes ago off of Amazon should be here by Friday. I seen it as one of the books you recommended in your post.
There's just no way to get her to go to the doctor now to get a more recent examination of it. I know her kids do the same thing and kind of watch themselves around her. They say they are accustomed to her getting angry but I can tell it gets to them.
I probably need to get into some kind of counseling. When I sit here and think about it I'm prone to these kind of relationships. My ex wife was Bi-P and had medication just refused to take it. It took 6 years for us to finally head to divorce.
Gees the article made a lot of sense to me really. I can relate to it a lot as far as what's going on. It took no time for me to be able to think back on things that happened in my childhood.
She told her daughter last night that she still wants me and wants me back in a few days after she has had time to clear her head. However I have also found out she is also emailing with guys on a dating site. How do i know? I checked her email. She gave me her password quite sometime ago unknowingly. was it wrong to check. Yes it was but I need to know what's going on. She hasn't met any and hasn't eluded to saying she wants to meet them as of yet. It's friendly chat. Same time she also hasn't told them about me. Who hasn't even been broken up with yet. I text earlier asking how much more time she needs. She replied with she's been too busy getting things done to even think just yet. I'm really thinking of just driving up there after the kids go to bed to talk to her. I have a concern about that though. One being that just showing up could make things worse but on the other hand she also loves aggression in her men.
Last night she was talking to me real friendly about their night and what i was up too. She sent me a picture of herself in her bathrobe telling me good night so I thought things were headed in a good direction. Now I don't know. Just so insanely hurt about this.
End it with this woman. She has a lot of issues and you aren't one of them. The hot and cold, wishy washy BS gets old fast. Not just that, but she is involving her CHILDREN in her emotional up and down. Not cool, man. NOT cool at all.
She is emailing dudes on dating sites. Translation: she's just not that into you.
Don't you know EVERYONE who gets caught out on a dating sites says the ol' they "haven't met anyone???""