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I need some help / advice / someone to talk to

(7 Posts)
Stephb88 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:10:36

This may be a long post but I'm feeling quite desperate.

I've been seeing someone for the past 12 months. This person is in the process of being assessed for BPD. We live 86 miles apart.

For the past 12 months, partly due to the distance between us and for a variety of other issues, we have more or less lived together at hers, with short breaks in between. When we are together, everything is mostly great. We have a very strong connection to the point we know what the other is thinking, how they're feeling, spend hours on end giggling over anything and everything, we have plenty of silly moments yet talk a lot on a deeper level too. It feels amazing and I am in love with her. She has 2 children and I have grown close to them too.

However, there is the downside. I know everything has some downside and not everything in life is perfect. After spending so long together, I have to return home at some point. Obviously when I return, I feel this huge void, an enormous sense of loneliness, I feel like home isn't home any more. I then fail to understand why she doesn't feel the same way. I came home on Sunday after being with her since christmas and having a brilliant time as a family. Yet, that feeling hit me once I got here. Naturally, I tried phoning her as it's obviously her I'm missing and then told "I need my space, you're getting in on me". I explained how low I was feeling and was surprised to find she'd watch tv, phone her friend, do whatever, but I never had any messages to see how I am. We're almost a week down the line now and I've hardly had any contact.

The reason it surprises me is I take myself back to many instances during the year when she's felt low and I've more or less dropped everything to help her. I couldn't imagine not doing so. I love her and if she needs help, naturally I will help her in any way I can.

She has told me since I returned that she doesn't feel she can ever have anybody living with her and instead wants me to get my own house closer to her so we can have more of a relationship. I asked if she's wanting to split up and she replies "no I love you but I have to have my space".

I can understand this but from my perpective, it feels like I'm only wanted when she wants me. When I want her, it's tough.

I don't know if it's part of the BPD she may have or whether she's just a very good actress and manipulator. After 8 weeks of her telling me how happy she is with me in her life, how we have something special, all the love, giggles, closeness, it's very hard to believe she doesn't love me. But then I struggle to understand the 'flicking of a switch' almost once I leave - it's like all of that didn't happen and she makes little effort to contact me. Even knowing how bad I am feeling, there's still nothing coming from her. I know she will eventually, but I feel like I'm having to wait her time constantly.

With having said that, I'm at a place right now where I'm emotionally worn down, struggling to function. I feel like all my hopes and dreams have been dashed. I've been looking forward to the future with the person I love and now been told that's never going to happen. Yes, I can probably move house to be closer to her, but with no chance of ever being together properly, it's a hard one to take. And it's a huge risk, moving away from everyone I know to be living alone knowing that that's it. And of course there are no guarantees that even that will work.

I've spent a few days with my mom as I'm feeling so low. Every minute feels like an hour and I don't know what to do with myself. I have this empty, lonely, sort of devestated feeling in my stomach, I can't eat or sleep. I try to occupy myself, but coming home in the evenings to an empty home fills me with dread. My mom is biased as she doesn't like the idea of me moving away so has been against the relationship from the start. But she tells me I have to end the relationship, let go and move on. Much easier said than done.

SilverStars Sat 22-Feb-14 19:29:12

If I ignore the sections about possible BPD then it sounds like someone who wants a relationship without the commitment of having someone live full-time with them and their children. Which I would guess is fairly normal. She is not prepared to move or have you move in or move to you - so if you wish to continue a relationship you will need to get a job near her and rent a house somewhere. Much depends on whether you can find a job and rent near her and are prepared to relocate to see if the relationship has a future.

If she has BPD then you may find a thread on MH useful - living with people with BPD. It certainly has its challenges.

Your low may be due to the fact you have had a very happy time and returned to being on your own? Or no routine or study or job to fill the time? And having to make decisions about a relationship that is not going how you want it to. I would imagine it is normal to struggle and feel low with big decisions. It is up to you what you do about it - applying for jobs near your partner is one option, to see what happens? I imagine your partner does not work, and if so that will make a difference if you have to work as well - and may build resentment?

NoStalker Sat 22-Feb-14 19:31:46

I'm sorry you're feeling so bad. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but does BPD mean borderline personality disorder? Someone in the past has slapped that label on me, too, and I really do want to say that certainly not all of us with that diagnosis are out to manipulate people or act!

Relationships are always a risk. I think you shoud have a frank conversation with her. It might just be that your expectations and hopes are simply different (without anything to do with her mental health issues); or it could be she has some particular worries about getting too close.

Either way, it's great that you're going out of your way to help her, but don't forget to look after yourself in the process!

Stephb88 Sat 22-Feb-14 21:19:04

Thank you for your replies. NoStalker - I didnt imply that people with BPD are manipulative. I'm sorry if it came across that way. I was saying I don't know if she's being purposely manipulative or if the BPD plays a part in how she's being.

We have discussed it and she was in a 20 year relationship with her childrens father. From what she says, he was mentally abusive to her. They divorced about 5 years ago. He lives close and has the kids once a week. However, she has said to me "I keep him sweet and use him on purpose to help me out, with the kids and the house". She strongly suspects he will move away soon as he's recently become engaged and so she'll have the children full time. One reason I wonder whether she wants me to move closer but in my own place - to help out when she wants or needs me, and then back home when I'm of no 'use'. Like I'm replacing him. I have put this to her and of course she denies it.

Before Sept we ticked along very smoothly. I didn't think she had BPD at all as she was very happy each time I saw her. In Sept, the girls father went away and got engaged in Lebanon and announced he might move there. This caused a major meltdown and she had a suicide attempt. She became very detached, especially with her children and they had to live with dad for a month while I helped her deal with social services and get them back. She told me at one point "I look at her and feel like I hate her" - about her eldest daughter. We remained close during this time while we worked towards getting her better and the children back. Successfully, they got back on track and a few weeks after the children returned home, the 'hate' seemed to then be turned to me. She told me she didn't want to be with me any more. She was clearly disassociated and had this blank look about her. It was like the lights were on but nobody was home. It's hard to describe. I then had to return home.

It was then I realised she might actually have a mental health condition as I'd never experienced anything like that and pursuaded her to go back to her GP. She did so and was then sent for assessment. She has been told she likely has it but doesn't have a professional diagnosis yet and treatment has yet to start.

During the time I was researching BPD, we talked about everything that happened and she said she didn't know what was going on in her head and she did love me and wanted me there for Christmas. So, like I said, that's where I've been since and we've got on better than ever before! There have been no problems whatsoever. I had to return as I had a dentist appointment. The day I left she said she had a ball in her throat and didn't want me to go. She seemed a little down. But it seems the moment I left, she somehow 'flicked a switch' and then didn't want to speak to me. She couldn't understand why I phoned her that night, couldn't understand why I felt low and felt I was invading her space. This came as a huge shock to me and just made those initial feelings of missing her and re-adjusting to home life even worse. Of course, I've tried giving her some space but I feel like I'm really struggling and don't understand how she can be like that. We have talked and she's adamant she loves me but doesn't ever want me to move in (not that it was on the cards yet but naturally something I hoped we'd work towards in the future, all being well) and said her friend had a 20 year relationship with someone with BPD but they never lived together which gave her this idea about me re-locating.

Another long post here.... it's hard to talk about and explain properly as there is just so much. I don't even know where to start when it comes to explaining to somebody in RL!

NoStalker Sat 22-Feb-14 22:29:47

It sounds like a tricky situation, and I think you're smart to try to look at things objectively and question things, no matter how much you love her. It sounds like she's having a hard time though, and I'm sure she's glad of your support.

I hope she gets her diagnosis soon, no matter which diagnosis that will be. In my experience that's very much the key to getting proper help and support from the actual mental health professionals. I wonder if maybe it's a good idea to wait with the major life changing decisions until she's a little bit better and has had some help?

dishandspoon Tue 25-Feb-14 06:57:16

Very sound advice there from both SilverStars and NoStalker -

''I wonder if maybe it's a good idea to wait with the major life changing decisions until she's a little bit better and has had some help?''

Yes, yes, and yes again. In my opinion.

I strongly believe that I have BPD, and am waiting for an official diagnosis. I can see how far I have come already (via self help, over many, many years) and can recognise what you are describing, about your partner's behaviour. Which is not to say that she has got BPD, just that I identify with some of the behaviour myself as in how I used to behave. And that I can now see how hard that was for anyone I was in a relationship with.

As someone who is actively addressing recovery I have chosen not to be in a relationship for a while until I get further along the road of recovery. I can now see that I should not have been in those relationships in the past, in the state that I was in. Not good for those I was involved with, or for me either.

I cant offer any answers, but would just say that a lot can happen with diagnosis/recovery. I really hope that you both find the right path, and just wanted to send you my best wishes, and wish you both god luck.

dishandspoon Tue 25-Feb-14 06:57:39

good luck

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