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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 ThisisEXACTLYWHATIWANT
Joined: 6/18/2012
Msg: 1
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
It's a long story but I'll do my best to keep it short.

Met a girl, fell in love. Moved her to my city. For five years we were together. Something happened. I decided to break it off. She moved 2500 miles back home. One year goes by and we've maintained contact. She's dating and I know that. Suddenly a few weeks ago, she starts calling me crying about all these bad dating experiences, one night stands and her hope to have a baby. So, I talk her through all of it. This goes on for a couple of weeks with five or six calls a day. Her job is crap. her family is crap. Her life is crap. Drama, drama, drama. Well, about 5 days ago she tells me that she's quitting her job, giving up her apartment and moving 500 miles into a house with a guy and his two kids. A guy that she met online... And had coffee with... ONCE.

Next I get an email from her best friend who asks me if I beleive she's bipolar. Like thunder, it all started to come together. I didn't want to see it while we were together. Her family has a history of mental illness. Father is depressed, mother has MS and brother is a paranoid schizophrenic. Here's my problem: Her family is incapable of caring for her or providing any kind of support network for her. There's me and her best friend. I know she's terrified of being diagnosed with a disorder and winding up like the rest of her family. Her friend tells me cut her off. I say, if it were me, I'd want her to help me.... Conflicted.
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 2
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 5:09:48 PM
IF she was your long "relationship" then you have a lot of intimate knowledge of her and her issues. Since you are NOT a qualified counselor/therapist,
don't attempt to act like one. Neither is her supposed "best friend".

Be just her Ex and maybe a friend, NOT attempting to be her keeper or therapist. You can talk to her once or twice per day if you wish,
do NOT answer your phone 5-6 times per day when she is off any meds she ought to be taking.

Go ahead and give her rational advice NOT to quit her job and move 500 miles with a coffee date person. Don't require her to follow your friendly advice, just give what you can and let her go if she must. She is an adult and maybe still legally competent.

Do NOT become a codependent enabler for her mental episodes, advise her to seek the professional counseling that she needs and STOP expecting any of that from YOU.
 Zamboni_Operator
Joined: 11/20/2012
Msg: 3
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 5:26:33 PM
I know she's terrified of being diagnosed with a disorder and winding up like the rest of her family.


Sounds like she's already arrived at that point... She needs to be diagnosed & get on meds, if that is in fact the problem. Just because some other members of her family haven't coped well with mental illness doesn't mean it has to be that way for her. However, the way she's acting is a self-fulfilling prophecy - the more she avoids getting medical help, the worse her life is going to be. She needs to stop the spiral. Could be bipolar, could be schizophrenia, could be clinical depression & anxiety, could be the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse, who knows? Only an appropriate professional can tell, & then help her with it. Encourage her to go for medical consultation.

Sounds like she doesn't cope well living on her own.
 laskoboo
Joined: 2/12/2010
Msg: 4
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History
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 5:29:59 PM
Let me make this short and to the point...

what does that make you if your going along with the "drama" ? I mean my gosh !!! How are you gonna
meet anyone with all that in your life and head? You broke up with her, she makes her own choices and you
were not her choice, so she is responsible for her choices. If she is bipolar, do you believe your going to help? because your not !!!
You can give her rationale out the wazoo but she is going to do whatever she feels like doing... !
Do yourself a favor and try to exit lest you be sucked into a never ending vortex of her drama and involve yourself as if you had any power, influence or control because in fact you don't !

When she calls, keep it brief and kind and tell her you hope she makes good choices as the result of bad ones will be HER BURDEN.... you can maybe hget that in and done within 3 to 5 minutes... so you can stop the conversation and getting sucked into her vortex of destructiin and bad choices.

Make a clean break from her... so you can find someone, as any woman YOU meet is gonna wonder about YOUR mental health if you keep a relationship with her under the circumstances ! this ex of yours sounds like the type of slash her wrists on your porch. Don't let her think your going to get invokved in any choices you make and keeo good boundries with her at all times.
 sigungq
Joined: 10/6/2012
Msg: 5
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 5:53:26 PM
OP, don't take a shower when she's around..........
 flaneur001
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 6
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History
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 6:18:28 PM
OP: I can appreciate the situation you are in. Just because you no longer have a committed long term relationship with someone doesn't mean you don't care about them and when they are in need you feel compelled to do this. I've had friends with mental illness and physical illness who have needed care and support...that doesn't mean you have to be their 'therapist' or that you are 'co dependent' it's what friends do.

A biopolar diagnosis is a very complicated and difficult condition to have. It really does make a difference, as someone is sorting out their medication/treatment that there are people in their life that can provide some support and continuity in their care. You have to make a decision about the degree to which you are prepared to engage with this. I've made decisions with some people that I won't or can't - I'm not that connected to them, it's not the right time in my life to deal with it or conversely I've have people move in with me while they sort things out, or I've been asked to act as an advocate in helping mediate the 'system' for them. Ultimately, you need to figure out what decision best works for you.

I have never regreted the decisions I've made to help friends/family who are going through a rough patch. It's important to help others and you have the opportunity to learn a little more about yourself along the way.
 Zamboni_Operator
Joined: 11/20/2012
Msg: 7
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 6:38:19 PM

OP, don't take a shower when she's around..........


LOL!
 annywn
Joined: 4/17/2012
Msg: 8
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 6:52:54 PM
Are you sure she's not self medicating causing all these rash and irresponsible decisions? Kind of sounds like an addict behavior. The longer your co-dependent to her issues, she won't seek help for herself and drag you into and down with all her drama. It's good to be kind and caring, just be careful of the dangerous waters you are treading being emotionally tied to her. You simply can't be her doctor or fix her. I hope she gets the help she needs.
 bucsgirl
Joined: 5/13/2006
Msg: 9
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 7:09:38 PM
If you want to help her, as a friend, then let her bend your ear. But do her a favor, and don't ever make any mention of mental issues. First off, you're not qualified, and secondly she's already afraid of that because of her family history. If she mentions it or asks you if you think she has a mental condition, kindly suggest that she get a professional diagnostic workup if she wants to know. This isn't something you give an opinion about.

If being a listening ear is becoming difficult or burdensome to you, then simply tell her you don't feel like you can be her friend anymore. It sounds like for whatever reason she's alienated most of her social network and you're the only one who'll listen. That doesn't OBLIGATE you, however. There are just some people who thrive on drama, I've known a few and after an hour or so on the phone I'd feel exhausted. You're just not equipped to deal wtih this, so don't let it tax your energy. You can't really help her, because those who ARE addicted to drama aren't looking for help, really, or even to vent. They want affirmation that all the crap that continues to follow them around in every aspect in their life is someone else's fault and they're the VICTIM. Even if you told her that, she's just brush it off and think you're not understanding she's so deep in denial.

Help her if you want, but don't let her make you a martyr to the dilemma of her "poor" life.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 10
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 7:25:40 PM
Let me get this straight. She met a guy once and is moving in or has already moved into his house with his kids, and to boot, she doesn't live anywhere near you-2,000 or 3,000 miles away. It's simple. It's not your problem. It's the new boyfriend's problem. Doesn't the new guy have a problem with her constantly contacting an ex and pouring her heart out with her personal problems? Shouldn't she be having these conversations with the new guy? If an ex contacted me and was crying the blues and was living with a guy, I'd tell her to pour her heart out to the guy she's living with.
 BLONDE_ANGEL845
Joined: 6/30/2012
Msg: 11
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 7:31:08 PM
I'll make this short & sweet: too much drama! Go to the Urban Dictionary online & look up the term: "Captain Save a Ho"
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 12
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 7:37:34 PM
I did the bipolar for 4.5 years. Cut her off. All you are going to be is the idiot that becomes a codependent, living not your live, but her life. Go live your own life. If you do not believe me goggle Karpman Drama triangle. Right now you are playing the rescuer role. But wait. It gets deep. She is playing the victim role. Do not go there.

You will regret every moment.
 AJ2517
Joined: 2/27/2006
Msg: 13
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 7:39:21 PM
OP, you have to be careful----------FOR YOUR MENTAL BEING........It is great to care for people we know but there is a huge difference with this type of "caring".......You say you talk to her 5-6 times a day, whether this is recently or in the past, not sure.....The point is that is way too much....If you are going to stay in touch with her, make boundaries for yourself, not her....Can't tell you that you touch base every few days or once a month or whatever but this is only affecting you!!!!....Your mental well being is at issue here...This woman, whatever she has, should be dealing with it, not talking to you 5-6 times a day....Totally not healthy for you....
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 14
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 7:39:22 PM
In life we are all responsible for our own actions.
Helping someone who is mentally unstable is putting you in a co-dependant role.
Do you want that?
Will you be happy being her caretaker for the remainder of your life?

I know I wouldn't.
I had to release a husband after 20 years who could not take care of himself.
He's now found someone else to take care of him.
And the two of them together is a walking nightmare.
However ... IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM!

Say that a few times real LOUD.

IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM.

She has to take care of herself.
If she has a fear of being diagnosed with a disorder
Then SHE will have to live with the consequences of HER decision.

You back off.
Do what is right for you.
Find yourself a woman who has no issues.

However if you are REALLLLLLY drawn to help this woman.
Open the phone book and look under therapists.
Then find out WHY you need to put others before yourself.
 bucsgirl
Joined: 5/13/2006
Msg: 15
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/5/2012 7:48:31 PM
"I did the bipolar for 4.5 years." I have two male friends who dated bipolar and listened to ALL their stories....well most..(god my ears!) and it's frightening. BUT to be fair, she's not be diagnosed, it was something someone else said. This was not a statement made by a qualified professional.

It's great to want to help, there are just some people you can't help because they are in denial and they can drive you batshit nuts in the meantime. I like to help too, but I've realized my time is better spent on those that I CAN actually help and want help and will take the help. It doesn't appear this is the case from what the OP has said. It IS unfair to label this woman bipolar based on someone else's opinion though.
 tampasmiles
Joined: 11/12/2010
Msg: 16
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 4:35:11 AM
The "bi-polar" term gets thrown around a lot...it seems everyone has dated someone that is bi-polar even though that person has never been professionally diagnosed as that...if you don't act exactly like the other person expects it must be bi-polar..yeah right.

Encourage her to talk to a counselor ...or join a support group....they are out there...and no matter if she is bi-polar or not..it will solve two problems....will give her someone to talk to other than an ex...and it may help her find her way to make better decisions leading to a happier life.

Remember ...you can't help her...but you can be there to pick her up when she falls...as a friend...her calling that often throughout the day is a bet much...but you are allowing it.
 privat33r
Joined: 2/8/2009
Msg: 17
view profile
History
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 4:43:42 AM
Here in pofferforums there's lots of diagnosing of our fellow miscreamants. Bipolar leads, next psychotic, Assburgers is popular as well. Only a few posters are capable of professional diagnosis, far outweighing the number that have themselves been professionally diagnosed.

Diagnosis is a tool for medication, control, treatment, councelling and sometimes caution. Maybe a few hundred years ago in the Pre-Cambrian or pre-Columbian times we could get by painting the kids up to raid the neighbouring village, collect a few noses, drag back slaves in gages- now that form of 'get it outta their system' play is frowned upon, even deep in the Amazon. Insanity has always existed but much of what we now term 'insane' are traits that are broadly shared and might better be referred to as 'uncivilized' or 'poor manners on a bus'. 'Beserker' was not a charachter flaw in 4th century Norway.

Maybe your longdistance babe is bi-polar. There are crazy ones out there - once she has a file as thick as a phone book with the cops, eighteen crime related nicknames, and you've collected 170 pages of emails referring to 'sharing the grave' - I'd start to suspect something might be going on.

If you feel comfortable posting about this issue to a public forum- with your real photo associated, from an account that she might ever see then she's not insane. Others play hardcore hardball - a hardlife has hardened their resolve and our petty concerns with things like life, careers and hope are laughable to them.

From what you've told us she's at least going through a rough spot and maybe not hitting the optimal solutions. People getting upset and acting out is a signal to the rest of the tribe that we have to adjust to them, help or hinder them, accomodate their change. Teenage girls hit a long stretch of that when they're cooped up- that's why our race still exists. Its not conventionally a sign of insanity any more than pheronomes or bird calls are.
 pescando75
Joined: 3/23/2012
Msg: 18
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 8:22:03 AM
That's pretty sad, OP. But don't go there. You gave her 5 years of your life. That's enough. More than enough.
 ThisisEXACTLYWHATIWANT
Joined: 6/18/2012
Msg: 19
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 8:23:42 AM
I'm not so much diagnosing as I am hypothesizing and trying to understand or justify her recent erratic behaviour. It's not just me it's her best friend too, and given the terrible history of mental illness in her family and a trauma that she endured over the past year, I originally wanted to gain understanding and help her.

HOWEVER!

Last night someone asked me to look up the Karpman Triangle. Regardless of whether my ex is in her right mind or not, I've allowed myself to fall into a sad little trap that has affected me in a way that I had not anticipated. It also exhibits a pattern in my own behaviour. For lack of better words; I've been dating below my paygrade. Maybe I've been looking for damaged goods in order to prop up myself. It's possible if not probable. At the same time, when I finally did meet a woman--a mature, successful, driven, beautiful, articulate and self sufficient woman, I got sucked back into the drama of my ex. I allowed her access to me that made me question whether or not I "deserved" such a lovely woman. I returned to trying to save my ex. Not out of love but seemingly more out of my own personal self interest.

I can't help my former partner. I realize that. I also can't offer a willingness to pick up the piueces when she falls. Friends, family and professional help all say the same thing... She's a grown a woman and as long as she plays the victim, I'll be the victim too.

Judging me however, for being considerate of the plight of an ex---no matter how long we've been apart---is going a little far. Nobody loves to be hurt. Sometimes we allow ourselves to get punched in the stomach. If you're not willing to take a shot, you can't help someone have a shot---at getting better or improving themselves.

This isn't about self pity or stupidity and I kind of resent the implication of those who believe that I'm accepting of shoddy treatment. When people are in trouble and fail to see it, they'll treat you bad for pointing it out. That's just a fact. If your wife is in labour and calls you a **stard for knocking her up? If a drug addict calls you names because you're confronting them, that's not them talking it's something else.

Everyone carries some baggage. For me, dealing with a loved one that I believe is in a mental health crisis is new. How do I fix it? Where does it come from? Why am I conflicted about how to hndle it? These are real questions that everyone asks. This thread is designed simply to call upon those that may have dealt with this type of issue to offer their insight. Judgement of my actions only makes you a persecutor and turns me into a victim. Those who take my words and turn them against me are trapped in the Karpman Triangle themselves and they'll do all they can to make themselves feel better by passing judgement on others. That is of course, until they can return to the victim and rescuer role themselves.

Thanks for all the kind and well thought out responses. Thanks for a couple of laughs too. My ex is now changingher pattern and starting to call me at 6am her time (8am, mine.) This morning I said: In think it would be better if we spoke after you get help. Until then, it's best I hang up.

Saturday is shrink day and I'll get validated regarding cutting her off from my social media feeds, emails and phone calls. Breaking a cycle is never easy when you care about a person romantically or even platomically. She's good people but by me continuing to jump to her aid, I've stopped taking care of myself.

Oh, and just because I believe my ex is bipolar or is having a crisis doesn't mean she's a knife wielding psycho. Perhaps she's just hypomanic. I'm not a doctor and you're all right, I'm not professionally equipped to make a diagnosis. Either way, this thread is for me to deal with questions I have. I'm not going to pretend or hide myself for her or anyone else. Now I'm making this about me. I hope that clears the air about why I have my photo on here. Besides, I work in entertainment. If I wanted to, I could out this whole situation on air and make jokes about it and have callers laugh about it... I'm here for insight. I could talk about it today and get 1000 email responses from fans. What good would that do. The best answers... The ones that were offered to make me self aware, were exactly what I was looking for. In ten or twelve weeks, I'll share this story publicly a a means of moving forward. Until then, people here have been more helpful than not.

Thanks
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 20
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 9:10:10 AM
OP: You still haven't explained how this guy she's moving in with fits in this drama and why she is contacting you if there's a new man in her life. If she lives 2 or 3 thousand miles away, who's paying for these calls/counseling sessions? Do you ever want to date again? A new woman in your life wouldn't stick around if you can't let go of an ex and trying to be her savior. There would always be the suspicion that if the ex was to return to town, you would immediately take her back. You can either spend the rest of your life trying to save this basket case or move on with life. The choice is yours.
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 21
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 9:17:46 AM

Her family is incapable of caring for her or providing any kind of support network for her.

So are you.
I admire your compassion but about the only thing you can do here is give it to her straight, that the course of action she is about to embark on is thoroughly and irretrievably STUPID.

At this point, I think any attempts to steer her to getting professional help need to come form her best friend. No matter how you slice it, you ARE an EX. Again I applaud your compassion.
Could she be bipolar? yeah maybe-interpret that label broadly enough and everybody is.
She could be suffering from depression( it is not ALWAYS immobilizing.)
Maybe she's drinking.
Maybe she's using drugs( illegal-or abusing legal ones)

say, if it were me, I'd want her to help me.... Conflicted.

I GET that-but your position in her life limits what you can do.

mother has MS

That is a neurological condition, not a mental illness.

Her friend tells me cut her off.

I can't quite agree with that-because I think then you will be disappointed in yourself.
But you cannot get too close.
She's a grown woman-as another poster noted she's capable of holding a job. There is no indication that she can be legally found to be incompetent.
Guess what? Every damn day of the year, people with depression, people with MS, people with other mental or personalty disorders manage to live their lives without supervision. Sometimes without much of a support network, either. Yep, sometimes they screw up-and believe it or not, many of them ARE capable of learning from those experiences.

I'm sorry-but I don't see sufficient grounds here( I've had some work experience and some family experience with this)to have her declared incompetent. No one can force her to seek help or take medication. So you and her friends can hang as many labels on her as you like but it solves nothing-and it is not in anyone else's power-except hers- TO solve it.

Your wish to help her is admirable, but there really isn't much you can do and there will be those who question your motives if you get overly involved.
Just as an additional last minute thought-is it possible that she is maneuvering/manipulating to get back together with you? Do you know for certain that she really HAS quit her job and moved in with some random internet guy?
I would make the suggestion that what may be going on here is more in the nature of a maladaptive behavior rather than a true mental illness or disorder. And, really, at the end of the day-who is to say that it's "maladaptive " if it WORKS??
Cindy O
 ThisisEXACTLYWHATIWANT
Joined: 6/18/2012
Msg: 22
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 10:02:57 AM
@Maleman:

Why she's contacting me? I say again, read about the Karpman Triangle. It opened my eyes. She brings me into it because she knows how to manipulate he roles in the Drama Triangle. Simple, I found help, pro-bono. Anyone can find a shrink. If she needed them paid for, I would probably oblige or at the very least help. (That's a toxic response but until I can say for certain that I wouldn't help... I have to be honest.) Would I date her again? If she were healthy, yes. We had a lot of good days. (Again, being honest, I could be stuck in the Drama Triangle and insist that yes I want to date her because all I know is drama and it's become a drug of choice.) As for new women in my life... I tried dating one. Lasted from Febriary to May. Architect, beautiful, matuire and zero drama. I even played it safe and we didn't become intimate for several months. I wanted to be friends first and so did she. What happened? Drama Triangle. I went into "victim mode." I couldn't believe that a woman so cultured, wealthy and beautiful would want anything to do with me. I thought, she'll be as crazy as the last one and ran. (STUPID, I know. I owe her an apology but after so many months it wpould be completely self serving and possibly cruel. I don't need to engage her in my own drama. Aside from her, I've given up on dating.

Yeah, I'm on POF but I don;t necessarily want to be stuck in the madness of a relationship. Best to live life with me and my two dogs. Travel when I can. Work when I want to. Plan for my later years and being alone. Never married. No kids. What is there, really? By this age and having been a rather prolific dater in my younger days you start to realize that for some of us, alone is better. If I've learned anything about relationships, it's that I'm probably not good at them and I really don't want to rely on someone else to make me happy or have them rely on me to make them happy.

I'm moving on. It's done. The whole point of this thread was to gain insight and after it's all said and done, the only thing that matters is that I learned about the Drama Triangle. Life begins to change today. And she's not a basket case. She's in trouble. Sadly, I got drawn into it.
 ThisisEXACTLYWHATIWANT
Joined: 6/18/2012
Msg: 23
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 10:12:17 AM
@ladyC4

Do I think she's maneuvring to get back with me? You bet!
@LadyC4

I'm 2500 miles away. I have a business partner in the town she's moving to with this new guy. She's even asked me to help her find work with him.

Yeah, she quit her job.
Yeah, she's packed up her place.
Yeah, she moves in with him January first.
It's all been set.

Is she in love with him? She met him once, so I say probably not. However, she sees a guy that works hard, has a house, two kids and a desire to make more babies and she believes that she can bake cookies, prep supper each night and wait for him to return. Eventually, she'll realize that it's not going to work and she'll lash out at him, he'll get sucked into the drama triangle, they'll split and she'll call me to rescue her because she knows I'm a good man and I can't turn away someone in need.
 relaxingwithyou
Joined: 12/2/2012
Msg: 24
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 10:24:15 AM
An ex of mine had 4 seisures within 6 months AFTER our break up. It was a very talented bi-polarish kinda guy that had too much drama so I broke up with him. However we mostly had a great time together.

He was misdiagnosed as having a deadly neurological disease and just like your gf he wasnt too close to his family and was left in the hospital heavily sedated. One of my relatives is an out of state MD and she told me his symptoms are not matching his diagnosis and suggested I do some research.

I found new doctors and got new testing and it ended up being heavy metal poisoning that did not show up in the repeated blood tests. I took him to another doctor who did intravenous heavy metal detox once a week for 40 weeks.

Guess who looked after him that entire time? After 4 seisures and the neurological damage he was spacey to say the least. He was also the biggest jerk you could imagine yet later had no recollection of even being abusive towards me.

To this day all the doctors, his family and friends still thank me for saving his life and getting him to all his appointments. Sometimes I would need call him several times before each appointment before picking him up so he wouldn't forget. The first 15 times I picked him up.

He is now relatively happy but has a little neurological damage in his hands and a little brain damage but it is manageable. He's in love and has a fabulous girlfriend now.

I didn't date anyone else during the entire time I took care of him, and really didn't even want to be around him. But hey if you ever really loved someone how can you walk away?

My advise is help her get to therapy, go with her. And when she knows that she is bi-polar or whatever and knows that there are meds, and has an established relationship with a doctor who can help her........then you can let go in peace knowing you have done your best and gone the extra mile for a loved one.
 ThisisEXACTLYWHATIWANT
Joined: 6/18/2012
Msg: 25
Earnestly conflicted about her mental health.
Posted: 12/6/2012 11:27:33 AM
A great story but the truth is: My ex is just being manipulative. She calls me to be rescued, she calls her friend to be persecuted and she calls the new guy so she can play victim to his new role of rescuer himself.

I'll begin the cathardic process of removing her from my life this weeked. Unfreind her on FB, delete her numbers and all of her emails so that I can't revist them searching for "the good old days" or "romantic memories." I'll remove all of the art we put up together on the walls of my home. I'll pack away or give away the linens she brought with her when she moved in 6 years ago. I should probably get rid of my two Boston Terriers as well, but I'll think a little harder about that one before I do. They were like our children and they could be an excuse for her to contact me when she starts to falter.

So, I'm essentially "liquidating my emotional assets." It's becoming what it always should have been. A business decision. I know that women often throw away, bury or burn mementos and photos and stuff, but I never have. Nothing ever bothered me so much that I felt the need, (until now.) So I figure, what the hell? It doesn't help, it certainly can't hurt.
In retrospect though... Your response made me think about something. My ex NEEDED to be married. She NEEDED children. She NEEDED to be taken care of. I've never NEEDED any of that and in fairness, I should have probably, at some point, been willing to make the sacrifice on at least one front. Yet another lesson learned if I ever decide to enter into another relationship. (Which remains doubtful... I'm starting to lean towards, old and alone in Norway. At least I can euthanise myself when I become ill or infirm.
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