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mental illness and relationships

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Littlebit Sally

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
23
My present relationship (the last five years) has been one in which I am treated like a child. I have even been told I have the emotional maturity of a six year old and that I cannot accept any responsibility.
Here is my counter-point, I love animals and I have 11 pets, all of which I take excellent care of and many of which are geriatric and need meds themselves. I get up at 7:00- 7:30 every morning and feed all the animals, make homemade turkey soup for the elderly ferrets I have, mix their meds into their food and clean up after all of them etc. etc. housechores,etc.
I feel that because i cannot hold a regular job for the paranoia and social phobia, my partner feels that I am worthless in a way.
My partner is about 10 years older than I am but it seems like there is 20 years difference or something.

What it comes down to is that I am not treated like an equal. I feel enraged and feel like I am controlled and manipulated on account of my "instability" paranoia, and "craziness". I have schizophrenia by the way. Does anyone else feel manipulated by lovers that are so-called sane (undiagnosed)? Does anyone feel that their partner always pits your own particular mental illness against you. For instance, they know your weaknesses and uses them to make you doubt yourself? My partner, when I have a problem with HIM, he blames it on my mental illness in some way. He will say, "Oh, you're imagining things, you're paranoid". OR that everything that goes wrong with the relationship is a direct result of my inability to cope or it is always my misperception or over-sensitivity or I am delusional or blah blah blah, the list goes on.

I have not posted in a while and am one to only post when I am faced with a particular problem. Reason being is that I like to try and forget that I have problems much of the time :)

These relationship problems are much more complex than what I have typed here but how my mental illness affects the relationship is a huge factor. Of course you don't know me or my boyfriend so it is hard to know what to say in response I guess. Just some thoughts on the matter if you will.
 
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coraline1664

Guest
Hi Sally,

I have similar issues with my boyfriend. Sometimes the sort of comments that you mention (you're just paranoid, you're imagining things, etc) seem like a knee jerk reaction for whenever I mention something that's worrying me- that he doesnt properly listen before giving those answers.
It then makes it harder for me to open up to him because I am worried we will get into an argument and then the rest of the day (or longer) will be worse for both of us.
I do sometimes think though that as I am often solely dealing with my agonizing illness I am not as aware of the issues that my partner deals with.
From what he has said to me before, he finds it hard to know when it is right to comfort me. He doesn't want to do it too much because he is worried that it might push the reality of my everyday tasks out of perspective, make me think that I am right to be worried. When i think about it, it must be pretty hard to know how to respond to me sometimes. And of course, he has his own things to do- work, studying and nuturing his friendships outside of us. Managing work, college.. all of that tires him and it can be stressful often making sure that i'm ok. Sometimes he will be very grumpy and frustrated, it wasn't calculated like i first thought. He loves me so seeing me in pain and upset saddens him, he wants me to be happier. As my partner he wants to have good times with me.

Of course this is my situation and I understand that some things will be different for you. I am not sure of ways to deal with those reactions, I still find it hard when that happens and I know it's not something you can just bottle up and not say- i'm sure wouldn't be the right way to go about it either. I just think it is possible that he might be struggling too and that the unreasonable responses might not be as loaded as they seem.

I'm sorry I couldn't offer you more advice, but you have my complete understanding. :hug:

Elizabeth
 
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Littlebit Sally

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
23
I think you are right about much of this, however, I have a few reasons to suspect otherwise with my relationship. One is that I have accused him of ignoring me and neglecting me, well sure enough, he admits he gives me the silent treatment one day out of the blue. I am not sure why as I am always very attentive to him (maybe too much so)

OKay this will take up the whole forum if I continue so I will try and describe the relationship as I see it in a couple sentences.

He is the typical strong, silent type, authoritative ( he pays most of the bills, financially takes care of me) He is straight faced and emotionless most of the time.

I am the nurturing one, attentive, moderator, communicator, instigator, you name it. Basically I am the animate one who tries very hard to please.

Elizabeth, I agree with you about the whole question of whether or not to indulge someone like ourselves or to give them tough love so to speak. I have always been confused as to what I should expect of MYSELF in life. When he says "I told myself I was going to stop giving you the silent treatment so much" this of course raises the question- What have I done to deserve to be ignored when all I do is attend to him and try to appeal to him in any way I can? I am looking for life out there and there is none. So when I suspect he is playing the mental illness card with me and any problems that I want him to own up to are always passed back to me blame included.
I think it is extremely hard for him to admit when he is wrong in any way shape or form. As before when I said he is "authoritatve" I meant it.

Thanks so much for the response and One more thing.... Your response consists of the kind of thoughts I have myself much of the time. Although, I think that they are also my thoughts when I am confused and unsure if I should blame myself or him. Does that make sense? I begin to question everything about my experience and I believe HE KNOWS that will be the result. It all sounds very bitter I realize....:(
 
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coraline1664

Guest
Don't worry, it doesn't sound bitter in the slightest.
And I didn't mean 'tough love'- i don't think that's the answer at all.
I understand exactly what you mean when you say you start to question yourself and then feel that he knows you will do this and not stick with your first feelings on his behaviour, as if he is messing with your head. I don't know how much of this is true in my situation and of course yours but I think being around this sort of situation all the time is so unpleasant that things will get very foggy and they are going to be even harder to deal with.
Do you have anyone else that you can see or are comfortable with coming round? Do you have support from a different person?
 
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Littlebit Sally

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
23
Oh I have a few friends and the support of my father whom I call every day. I don't really lack interaction from those people but I crave the interaction- a dialogue with my boyfriend. Is that so much to ask? I don't want to be "roommates" living in the same quarters even sharing a bed and hardly speaking or enjoying each other's company... I've even thought he may have a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome. Reasoning behind this thought is that he has very flat expression and emotes very little. He is very monotone with his voice, always preoccuppied with something like TV or that horrible World of Warcraft. I like the idea of the game but it is irritating to see someone so consumed by it.

One detail I forgot to add was that he is almost chipper and bubbly around people other than myself. It seems as if I have somehow taught him that he can take me for granted and disrespect me.

This is another reason, I WONDER if he is doing things to mess with my head???

I appreciate your thoughts, it is nice to hear an objective view but also coming from someone who has sort of been in my shoes.
 
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