Anyone - what do you think?
A friend is getting married and invited me and my ex. We're all mutual friends.
I had declined to go because I don't want to run into my ex. it was an emotionally and psychologically harmful relationship. He was diagnosed with a mental disorder and I had loved him through it. Until I couldn't endure the hurt anymore.
He certainly does sound like he's changed. I'm sure he has. I know he's really made strides in his life. Rekindled family ties and friendships, went back to school, etc. It was the best decision for us to part even though it was difficult at the time. We've both done better apart.
But I know that part of the disorder is brought out by emotional intimacy and relationships, especially family or partners. They bear the brunt of the backlash. Other friends just see a charming person who could do no wrong.
We've made our peace but I firmly believe I should keep him out of my life. I still think that once he gets involved with another person, it will set him (and her) up for a cycle of what I went through with him. He's called me a few times over the last years just to chat, and our chats are somewhat enjoyable, but then he'll start apologizing about things. I was the only one who was like a best friend, who was there for him. So whenever he's lonely, he remembers me. He understands that I feel better not interacting with him, that I do not want to meet him. So he doesn't push the issue. And I don't contact him at all.
This friend went through some stuff with my ex - its just he didn't understand what happened and distanced himself. It's only now that he's getting married that he initiated contact.
I never told the friend what happened (re the breakup or the relationship). Except that the parting was mutual. I feel bad for not letting on about this other side of my ex. The things he did. And how he really hurt me. If my friend knew, he would not want to remain friends with my ex. But I've always felt it wasn't my place to say anything. But neither do I think it's a good idea to meet up at the wedding.
Am I wrong to feel this way? Mental illness is what it is. And this isn't an affront to him. I just want to protect myself.
I can help you with this as a pshychic and as someone with a mentaly ill mate. Forty plus years. And because manic depression (bipolar is hereditary I have a bipolar adult son). First, it is a very lonely predicament as most people are not educated about mental illness and our society mostly defines people as crazy or sane--no inbetweens and many folks are ignorant of how little control the the ill person really has when sick. They do not get how an ill person can seem ok--maybe a little odd but holds a job etc. They often do not see the really bad stuff AND the ill person when manic often goes on a alchohol or drug binge or both so folks think the behaviour was caused by that. It is heartbreaking to love a mentaly ill person at times and not everyone can handle the responsability of taking care of a loved one. You are right that mentaly ill people or in my mates case bipolar is a disease of the brain chemistry--it is not about being crazy. There is no talking to them once they are out of control. It is a matter of proper medication and psychiatric help. Even after forty years I have days when I say I can not do this--then he gets back on track and it passes. It is easier for others to forgive inapropriate words or actions than when you love that person--it is a constant battle not to be hurt but honestly--you can't deny your emotions so you are right in that every person has the right to decfide if they can take it because there is no cure for mental illness and meds often need to be adjusted and any outside life crises or stress can trigger an episode. Bipolar as well as schitzaphrenia are a malfunction in the brain that produces sparks--and misfiring. Stress can bring it on. The number one issue is meds---bipolars rarely can go it alone as they often get lax on the meds---many have side effects or they feel fine so go off or it's the nature of there illness--to be paranoid and imagine the meds are bad so they go off. Also, they can not drink like others and just by having one to many with an innocent celebration it can begin an episode. I'm assuming your x if he is doing well it can only mean he has found the perfect doctor and the right meds and has a backup of loved ones who keep him on track. I have accepted that I am married to more than one person! But I try to focus on who the real one is and when he is that ill guy all you can do is buckle up and deal with it and know it's not real. That does not mean I do not feel hurt or go in my room and cry as otherwise I'd be unhealthy and blocked off. I let the emotion pass and my head knows he truth.It is painful for the ill person--they did not ask for the illness and have no controll over it other than treatment. Also, most ill people only see the doctor when depressed--the crash after the high so doctors misdiagnose. When Manic the ill pperson feels powerful and everyone else is crazy--manic people never go for help. My husband has a geniouse IQ and many bipolar people are gifted--many are famouse members of society. They have family members who intervine when they "go south". I know exactly the horrible unspeakable things you have endured. When manic--at first the ill person is superman or woman--upbeat---happy---full of energy. So much energy they do not need sleep--mania is all movement---they feel invincible and take risks---as they go more days without sleep the brain stops functioning properly, they get paranoid---even loved ones are suspect. They become delusional. More days without sleep they become violent--agressive. They can be violent. They can ruin your finances.The jails are full of people who committed crimes while manic. It's common to read in the newspaper about some sensless murder and to read how that person had been in and out of the hospital and was off his meds. THIS is reality. My mate holds a job and does mostly well but does "go south". I am constantly on watch for symptoms and paying attention to what's going on with him. I monitor his meds and the controlled substances are under lock and key. It's a weight to carry. So be kind to yourself if you chose not to be up for it. But also release the past so he can be at peace too. Can you imagine knowing you did things your true self would never do? AND know most people will never understand the disease of your brain chemistry is out of your control. From a psychic view it would help you to truely forgive and release. This is not easy as what has happened to you is more than hurt it is TRAUMA. If you feel seeing him is too post traumatic than own that need. Do not feel the need to explain it to others. In fact it would be best not to make drama ove it so it stays in the past. You need to heal and so does he. If you decline the wedding it would be best to make up an excuse ---you mentioned you already had declined so not sure if you can undo your reason but it would be best for you not to implicate the x. To feed into that past energy only keeps it alive. Let it go. I really get the anger delima. It takes a lot of work to manage who to be angry at! It's a raw deal. If you truelly want a seperation of peace---at night before sleep you can send him forgiveness and express you wish him well and want peace. If you are uncomfortable with speaking directly you can ask your guardian angel or his to deliver the message. The trauma has changed your life---it is what it is---it entered a fear that many can't understand. You deserve to heal. BLESSINGS!
Thanks so much for your reply
I think I feel bad for declining my friend's wedding invitation - just cos I don't want to see my ex. My friend said he wanted to see me and he guessed as much - that I said no because of my ex. He started to probe and I did tell him some things, but vaguely so. He accepted that I couldn't say too much and left as that.
To me, the make or break is whether a mate chooses to get help. I tried for more than 3 years with my mate, and he refused to stick with therapy or meds. In the end, I was the one going for regular counselling! Because I was getting burnt out, losing my boundaries, feeling alone in my predicament and going into depression.
For a long time, I equated me leaving with betraying my love for him and my own effort. I thought it was my duty, my calling - if loved him - to stick with him. But in the end, he did a whole bunch of very hurtful things, on top of the normal crazymaking - and I saw that things would never change, . If he wasn't on meds, and not going into therapy, there wasn't a chance for this to turn around. I didn't
I didn't cause this, I can't cure it - you know the saying. I was trying to 'fix' him with love, patience, support but he needed more than that. Me being there was killing me, and it was also enabling him and blocking him (ironically) from hitting rock bottom and seeking help
It took me a long time after we broke up to see that it was the best decision for us. We have done so much better apart. I don't know if he's on meds or seeing a doctor. He has always been rather 'high-functioning' - he's intelligent and witty, learns quickly, has skills and is very charming and sociable. Leaves a good impression on most people. So he could still present as being ok, even if he's not. But from my chat with my ex, I can see that my ex has matured a lot. And I'm happy for him.
But there is a part of me that feels like I'll never believe he will be ok. And I don't trust him around me. Or rather I don't trust the illness. And I don't want to let it around me anymore. Because I don't trust myself - not to get hurt or influenced. I've worked hard too - to get over the trauma - you're completely right - it iS trauma. I dealt with his suicide threats, self-harming behavior, hallucinations, projections, promiscuity, verbal/emotional/mental/psychological abuse, some episodes of physical abuse, and mostly feeling that I was trapped in this lonely horror story, where no one believed me and where I hid his behavior and my suffering from everyone - all while feeling that I loved him so much and was watching him destroy his life and mine.
In my mind, his illness and what it brings out in him is the bogeyman - it's not him. But I'm having to reject both in order to protect myself. In my mind, I've already attained closure. But that means to me that I will never be able to go near him - and I don't want to. And I don't know if that is normal. For a long time I thought it was.
It feels like I should be able to run into him and not feel like my guard is up - but I'm not sure if I can. I don't think I want to - the gate is shut. Maybe that's part of the trauma - waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've already forgiven him. But I think I can never trust him because the illness is a part of who he is. It's not his fault, but maybe neither is the way I feel. I know he'd probably want for me to be completely ok with him, for us to have some kind of friendship. But maybe the most I can do is to be happy for him that he's turned his life around - but to draw the line at allowing his presence in my life.
And I can't explain it anyone, not least our mutual friends. The chat with my friend and the wedding invitation (and me declining to avoid my ex) just made me think about things all over again. Things I thought I got over already.
And Blmoon - how do you do this?
I have forgiven myself for choosing not to stay. But I still have tremendous respect who choose to stay with partners or family members who have a mental illness.
Just thinking about the past riled me up - you're right, it's like feeding the energy and keeping it alive. And I don't want that at all.
How do you take care of your family and still be you and not lose yourself?
It is likely that you and he had a karma together and it is done. Often when a very compelling relationship sticks for a long time then suddenly is done and so done that the person is surprised by the complete sureness of it it is because the karma is done.You can not be general about relationship limits as everyone has a personal life agenda so no two people are meant to follow the same rules. The key is believing in your own desicion. Trusting that. It's not that you failed. I have cut out a loved one with great pain. My mother is not in my life---we do not fight or have any drama going---she is just not in my life. I was very back and forth for many many years---feeling guilty---believing in new beginnings---waiting for a change. Anytime I did reach in close one more time---I was punished! So you are right--sometimes you trust a knowing that you will geT hurt or that person brings out something toxic in you. We get stuck in 'ideas" perfect ideas of how things should or shouldn't be. I always believe in reality time---after the emotion--the fancy thinking and getting down to --IT IS WHAT IT IS. My relationship works for many reasons--despite the challenge my husband challenged things in me that needed healing and growth. Meant for ME so another person has other agendas. I have other relationships that were difficult--painful and ended. And needed to end. I work hard very hard at staying strong. I'm a surviver and my past has given me a lot of compassion for others. I've seen a lot. It has made me more efficiant at using my gift. As a medium I often help those most affected by mental illness--I have helped bring closer to many loved ones traumatized by suicide. Often the mentally ill committ suicide and leave a loved one with unanswered questions. Many mentally ill people are not diagnosed. The loved ones just know that they had problems they couldn't figure out or fix. How some days life was normal and other days just too crazy to understand. Loving husbands and caring fathers on a good and brutal monsters another. There are many days--in my old age when I think boy I can't do this anymore but it passes. You know that saying. This too shall pass! No one gets to the point they are safe from losing thereselves---there are so many ways to lose ourselves--in jobs--in lifestyles---so many tempting distractions! Actually, I was once a very needy little girl once and my husband was my whole world. He taught me to do exactly what you fear--how not lose myself--the more I had to fill my own happiness the more inner power I learned. I was forced to use my talents--I'm an artist---a poet---this requires alone time! I use the detached times of his illness to get my work done and that need to compensate makes me go the extra mile--I need to win--create beauty--make the Godly part of others spirit smile--I go the distance --I have endurance. I survive after others give up. OH this raw deal has made me a Goddess. My writing is real and touches souls because I've walked the walk--been there. I understand the human condition. I make beautiful art to celebrate all the control we only have. There will always be evil--pain--tradgedy. We make of life what we choose. My advice to you is to avoid regret. Regret serves no purpose--it keeps you looking back--it freezes your journy. Live in the now. Facing forward! BLESSINGS!
Goddess! What a wonderful word
It is true - when you have been through this stuff, it brings you to the brink of your humanness. And I'd like to think you become stronger, but with a lot more compassion.
My ex contacted me today - I guess he wanted to find out if I'd be going to the wedding. I texted him my white lie and said I couldn't make it. We texted for a bit but I kept things short. I just want as little contact as possible. Maybe you're right - maybe there was karma there. I believe we had a relationship so that his illness would not be kept hidden. I was the one who blew the whistle, in a way. His parents suspected it but didn't do anything about it. And for me, this episode changed me. I saw my fragility and strength. It nearly broke me but it didn't.
For a long time, I thought I could never love anyone else. I felt I'd been tainted because my relationship with my ex had taken me to such dark places. But this wasn't the case at all. There are scars - for sure - but I did come out into the light. And I met someone last year. I fought back the attraction for quite a while. When we were finally dating -it was promising, but then it ended abruptly. I kept quiet because I didn't feel I could question anything because we weren't official. But then I plucked up courage this year to sound him out (by text though). I hinted but I still haven't told him flat out that I'm in love with him. I'm trying to get over him, if that's possible. I think I'm doing pretty good, all things considered.
But I just feel frustrated that I love him when I shouldn't.
I believe to a certain extent we can't choose who we love. But we can decide how much we will let them into our lives. Maybe some other karma happening here? I just know that because of him - I can still love and I want to love.
Do you see anything of this situation with him?
How can I attract the right man into my life? Do you feel that I am ready for a committed relationship?