Romantic Relationships and Mental Illness

We went to the theater last night with a friend of my mom’s from our old church. Her daughter had disordered eating and still struggles with severe Borderline Personality Disorder. She tried living on her own once and became non-functional. She almost died. So, her mom said she had to live at home unless she got married. She is 38 and marrying a not-previously-married doctor. There IS hope.

I asked my mom’s friend about her daughter’s relationship. I said, I know statistically, there are plenty of people living with their parents, but the situation is a little different when you still live with your parents because you’re mentally ill. She said, if her daughter can find someone, I can. In fact (I can’t believe she said this! – though, I could see my mom admitting this to someone else), she said she never thought her daughter would get married. She is picky and has many bad habits (aka BPD makes her tough to live with). She said the fiancé is non-judgmental and things were revealed over time like he didn’t learn she lived at home for a while because she met him for dates. He didn’t learn about her impulsive, self-destructive spending sprees until he asked her to share the cost of a weekend trip out of town and she didn’t have a few hundred dollars saved, even though she works full time and doesn’t pay rent. So, he helped her make a budget. It worked. Idk about current SIB, etc., but I’d bet $ that she has scars, just bc it is part of the diagnostic criteria for BPD.

Buffy_dawn cuts

 

Anyway, it makes me think there is hope!  Even more than feeling embarrassed about living at home, I worry I am too damaged for anyone to want, but she was hospitalized way more than me, used many more behaviors, and is older than I am. Her behaviors are more likely to negatively affect others, such as taking a joint credit card and spending thousands of dollars. Of course there are ways around that like not creating any joint bank accounts. She must have other behaviors and/or interpersonal issues based on her diagnosis, but Idk specifics. Maybe she is better now, but she still used behaviors earlier in their relationship. Additionally, they’re having a small wedding because they don’t want to stress her out and she only has 2 friends (sounds familiar!). So, clearly, she is not completely better.

Sometimes I feel like I have to be healthy before starting any relationship. That part of why I pull away when someone gets interested. I’m doing them a favor! At the same time, if I wait to be “normal” I might never have the chance to find someone because I’ll be waiting forever.

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One thought on “Romantic Relationships and Mental Illness

  1. I can relate to much of this and feel your pain. I myself am an empath who suffers from an assortment of acronyms. I often would describe myself as damaged goods, and felt as though no one would want me. My husband (married 15 years now) learned of my various “conditions” however in my case I was upfront. Long/short he has many times commented on how “If I knew it would be like this…” or “You should have thought more before getting married if you knew this” etc. I have found peace and solace in my writing and trying to help others know they are NOT broken, we are just formed differently. That doesn’t mean we can not live normal lives. I admit, I agree with my husband, I never should have gotten married but as a result, I have an amazing son and made some awesome friends who love me as I am and don’t judge me. I do not know how it will turn out but I have seen somewhere “Sometimes you have to take mister/miss wrong to find mister/miss right” Don’t ever give up! XOXO

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