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Old 11-12-2009, 07:29 PM   #1
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Post Bipolar or Sociopath?

My ex girlfriend and I broke up a while ago, we were living together and in a relationship for about a year and a half. Right from the start I could tell she had issues and she later confided in me that she had been sexually abused as a child. She was very often emotionally detached (especially during sex), suffered from bulimia (on and off), very impulsive, would very often cause a scene in clubs when we would go out (someone bumping her being the common excuse for her outbursts) very insecure, etc, yet very beautiful. Everybody loved her, but no one ever really saw the other side of her that I saw while we lived together. She could pretty much put on a very convincing happy face at will, even when she was feeling depressed. Was almost unbelievable how well she could pull it off. She was very popular and she had lots of friends in and out of work. At times she would be completely happy and bouncing off the walls, and other times she would come home and just lie under the blanket in her own thoughts. Anyways, the relationship was rocky as you can imagine from these mood swings and lack of respect for herself and other people was a common topic for arguing, but I would always try and council her afterwards and she would then always have a cry and promise to change (not just for me but for herself because she said she hated being that way) and thanked me for everything saying I was like her guardian angel and I meant so much to her. Ofcoarse, the promises hardly every materialized, and the cycle often repeated itself, but I could see gradual improvement as time went on and that gave me reason to stick it out, or so I thought. Then one day she came home and told me that her boss had offered to transfer her to another country. Obviously this was big news. She thought about it for a while and accepted the offer and asked me to join her there. I thought maybe this was a blessing in disguise, that a change of scenery was just what we needed, but it was a big decision for me ofcoarse, as I would have to quit my job and look for something else there. I had a reasonably good office job at the time. So I asked her whether she was sure that this is what she wanted, and she said yes ofcoarse, she loved me very much and didnt want to be without me, so I agreed. She flew over first, and I stayed behind to take care of things on this end (shipping boxes, sorting out rent for my apartment, and loose ends etc) with the plan of joining her on that side 2 weeks later. The day I took her to the airport she was in tears and handed me a letter saying how much she loves me and how she cant wait for us to be together again, and how much she will miss me. Within those 2 weeks apart however, I noticed when we spoke on the phone that her attitude was beginning to change, but she put it down to her being stressed with work and getting organized there. When I arrived there 2 weeks later however, my fears were confirmed. With suitcase in hand, she sat me down at a coffee shop and without even a tear in her eye, said her feelings for me had changed and she wanted to break up. I noticed she had lost a lot of weight also and looked extremely thin and unhealthy, so I mentioned it only to have her snap at me saying she loved being this way and how much she hated me all this time for trying to stop her from being bulimic (even though she always thanked me for this in the past) It was a real shock to hear that. She stayed maybe 10 min, then oddly tried to grab my hand in sympathy, before she got up and walked away leaving me stranded there in a foreign country with nowhere to go. I tried to contact her the following day to see whether I could talk some sense into her and even pleaded with her to think rationally, to which she coldly replied that she wanted to be alone and that I could get a bar job or something to support myself while i figured out what to do next. It was like talking to a complete stranger. I could not go back, as I had sublet my apartment for 3 months so ended up staying there all that time and spending a fortune on hotels and accommodation, not to mention the flight back and costs to cover expenses while I looked for another job. By the time those 3 months had passed, I had become financially ruined and emotionally wrecked. I suppose I could have flown home earlier and stayed with a friend, but I was too proud and embarresed at the time to do so. To say that this experience was traumatic is an understatement. It rocked my world to the core and made me question my own judgment. I could not believe anyone could do that to another human being, let alone someone who had stuck with and supported them through an illness for so long when most people would have walked away. I beat myself up for a long time about that, and hated myself for ignoring all the warning signs. I would also like to mention that she did not even call, txt, or email me until around 6 months later, and that was only to say thank you for everything I had done for her and that she was sorry for leaving me like that but that she was finally getting some help. I found out later from relatives of hers though that she had a new boyfriend 2 months after breaking it off with me, and that she was still severely underweight so who knows. So my question is, do you guys think she was bipolar or a sociopath? Something else? I know its difficult to diagnose but I need some closure so would be interesting to hear your opinions. Thank you.

 
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:38 PM   #2
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

She sounds like she has a borderline personality disorder. That is terrible what you went through. Don't blame yourself. People with a borderline personality are so tortured inside, they can't help the things they do. You sound like a decent person and probably helped her some. Give yourself a pat on the back for all you tried to do. Nothing is ever lost.

 
Old 11-12-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

I'm not sure how well the options, "bipolar or sociopath?" will go over on this board. It implies that somehow we're indistinguishable from sociopaths, which is more than a little offensive.

At any rate, I'm not sure. It's a big temptation to assume some sort of mental illness when dumped, especially in a hurtful way (and this way was especially hurtful, and expensive).

However, it may just be that, once she had a couple weeks in a new area to think about your relationship, she decided she didn't want to be with you anymore. It's crummy timing, but break-ups are rarely conveniently timed. Should she have let you move in, despite not wanting to be with you? Paid for your rent? There really isn't a better alternative.

Post-breakup diagnoses are almost always worthless, as they're more about rationalizing hurt feelings and blaming the other person. You're not really in a position to diagnose her, and you're certainly not in a position to help her. Just let it go.

 
Old 11-13-2009, 02:31 AM   #4
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

I am sorry but what difference does it make now. The closure is within yourself. She was emotionally sick from the start and she continues to be 'sick' she never had control over her craziness. She needed more than anything a therapist and it wasn't you. She needed medications and the help of the mental health community because I can see in your story that you really had no idea how to help her. I suspect you stayed because she was a pretty good looking girl on the outside...or would you have put so much energy or quit your job and go around the world to be with a 'plain Jane'. She will never be well and she will always have multiple male companionship until she gets the help she so desperately needs. Meanwhile, you knew it was risky so perhaps you need some therapy as well to discover why you thought you could cure her? She was too sick . Take care of yourself but next time find a gal that is strong and independent and that you are her equal.

 
Old 11-13-2009, 05:03 AM   #5
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberian12 View Post
I'm not sure how well the options, "bipolar or sociopath?" will go over on this board. It implies that somehow we're indistinguishable from sociopaths, which is more than a little offensive.

At any rate, I'm not sure. It's a big temptation to assume some sort of mental illness when dumped, especially in a hurtful way (and this way was especially hurtful, and expensive).

However, it may just be that, once she had a couple weeks in a new area to think about your relationship, she decided she didn't want to be with you anymore. It's crummy timing, but break-ups are rarely conveniently timed. Should she have let you move in, despite not wanting to be with you? Paid for your rent? There really isn't a better alternative.

Post-breakup diagnoses are almost always worthless, as they're more about rationalizing hurt feelings and blaming the other person. You're not really in a position to diagnose her, and you're certainly not in a position to help her. Just let it go.
Ok, thanks for your reply. What you said is a bit insulting though as you make it sound as if I am making up a mental illness to excuse the break up or because I'm bitter about it which is not the case at all. Perhaps I was not very clear in my post, so apologies if that's the case.

There is no doubt whatsoever she had a mental illness of some sort, it was extremely evident even during our relationship. But I stayed because I loved her and saw the good in her and because she often told me how much of a positive impact I was having on her life, and that no one has ever cared about her as much as I did, etc. Her own family even told me while we were together that they have never seen her so positive and happy before. Its not about what she could have done, its about the manner in which she did it. The way I see it, she didn't want to be in the relationship anymore for reasons only she knows, but I strongly suspect it was because she had gotten tired of trying to deal with her issues and saw this as an opportunity to run away from it all. By getting rid of me she wouldn't have to deal with any of it anymore (or so she thought). That's why she got angry when I mentioned how skinny she looked. But she didn't want to break it off without knowing she was on solid footing in the new country first so she tagged me along. I was the "just in case things don't work out in the new country". Once she felt she could settle in there and that things would be ok, she dumped me before I could even start to become a part of this new life, in the same way that you get rid of a piece of furniture that serves no purpose anymore. The 2 weeks gap was her idea and served 2 purposes: 1, So that I could pack and ship her things to her and take care of all the "inconveniences" that come with a move like this, and 2, to give her some time to see whether there would be any hicups with the transfer. It was all cold and calculated in my opinion, with not a care in the world for the situation it would leave me in. Her "feelings" for me were literally turned off like a switch. Sitting at the coffee shop and looking into her eyes, was like looking into the eyes of a stranger.

 
Old 11-13-2009, 06:04 AM   #6
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

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Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
I am sorry but what difference does it make now. The closure is within yourself. She was emotionally sick from the start and she continues to be 'sick' she never had control over her craziness. She needed more than anything a therapist and it wasn't you. She needed medications and the help of the mental health community because I can see in your story that you really had no idea how to help her. I suspect you stayed because she was a pretty good looking girl on the outside...or would you have put so much energy or quit your job and go around the world to be with a 'plain Jane'. She will never be well and she will always have multiple male companionship until she gets the help she so desperately needs. Meanwhile, you knew it was risky so perhaps you need some therapy as well to discover why you thought you could cure her? She was too sick . Take care of yourself but next time find a gal that is strong and independent and that you are her equal.
Yes, you are right I did not stay just because she was good looking though. She had an extremely high amount of energy at times and was quite funny and charming. Also, she was very well loved by everyone including her work colleagues which is how she got the transfer. Everyone that met her was under her spell so to speak, men and women alike. Later I began to notice that she had the uncanny ability to read people and adapt her personality to suit whatever mood they were feeling. She could give you, innocent, wild, sweet, caring, funny, serious, sympathetic, you name it. She even bragged about it to me once saying how easy it was but admitted to it being very tiring at times. Another red flag, but I guess she had me under her spell too and you always think its not happening to you. How dumb I feel now. Yes, closure is within myself and I have found it to a certain degree, but its difficult to completely put a lid on it when you look back at memories and not know how much of it was real and how much of it was an act.

 
Old 11-13-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

Trusoul-
There is something called co-morbity, where a person can have more than 1 psychiarist conditions present. There often illnesses associated with bp that are common coexisting issues. She seems to have more than 1 going on. Common co-morbid dx'es include, but is not limited to, anxiety, panic disorder Major depressive disorder, and PTSD (which she seems to have, given child hood sexual abuse and bulemia is something that can result from said abuse). I HAVE ALOT more to say but haven't got the time right now. If you are interested in hearing more, let me know. Might have some helpful points.

 
Old 11-14-2009, 05:49 AM   #8
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

I'm sorry you have been hurt.
I don't know if you re read your posts, but I read through the eyes of someone with bp, and has a terrible history of lovin' 'em and leavin' 'em. You played the role of rescuer to a point. You obviously received much adoration and many warm fuzzies in that relationship. I would say that your girlfriend wasn't the only in-secure person in the relationship, maybe her needs changed, or maybe you became more insistent- maybe you are controlling and and don't realise it? Maybe your support wasn't as supportive as you perceived it to be. Reality is 90% perception and 10% dreams you know.
If your ex was as bad as you say, I wonder if your really tried at any point to get professional help for her?
I think you are angry and want to blame something that is not either you or her.

ps- this board is for those WITH bipolar disorder to support those WITH bi polar disorder- not for those wanting us to diagnose ex girlfriends.

Last edited by mowgli; 11-14-2009 at 05:51 AM.

 
Old 11-15-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mowgli View Post
I'm sorry you have been hurt.
I don't know if you re read your posts, but I read through the eyes of someone with bp, and has a terrible history of lovin' 'em and leavin' 'em. You played the role of rescuer to a point. You obviously received much adoration and many warm fuzzies in that relationship. I would say that your girlfriend wasn't the only in-secure person in the relationship, maybe her needs changed, or maybe you became more insistent- maybe you are controlling and and don't realise it? Maybe your support wasn't as supportive as you perceived it to be. Reality is 90% perception and 10% dreams you know.
If your ex was as bad as you say, I wonder if your really tried at any point to get professional help for her?
I think you are angry and want to blame something that is not either you or her.

ps- this board is for those WITH bipolar disorder to support those WITH bi polar disorder- not for those wanting us to diagnose ex girlfriends.
I did not know this board was for people with bi-polar, my apologies. I posted on this forum as I was looking for some answers and opinions with people who are knowledgeable on the subject, and also so that someone else in a similar situation might be able to seek out this forum and get some answers too.

I would just like to add that my girlfriend before the one mentioned in my post was a DIAGNOSED bipolar, and I was with her for 3 years so I'm not totally clueless on the subject. It was a more stable relationship and I broke up with her for reasons NOT related to her bipolar. Perhaps I have an underlying issue within myself which attracts me to people with bipolar. That may be true, I've often raised that question myself. It certainly is not because I am controlling though, because I'm not. If anything I am extremely patient and understanding. The difference with my girlfriend of 3 years however is that she was many years into treatment before I met her so her bipolar was a lot more manageable. She was also empathetic and easier to have a heart to heart to, where the girlfriend I mentioned in my post lacked empathy. It was almost impossible to build that closeness that normally comes with relationships. I would describe her ability to love almost child like.

As for treatment, yes I did try to get her some professional help. We looked for a psychiatrist together and she was in fact going to sessions before the big move. She would not talk about the sessions of coarse but said they were helping her make sense of a lot of things going in her head. Perhaps that's what caused her to want to run away from it all...it might have all seemed to much to deal with. But in light of what you said, I will consider deleting this post if that's possible as I seem to be getting a lot of criticism personally directed towards me.

 
Old 11-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tattoos View Post
Trusoul-
There is something called co-morbity, where a person can have more than 1 psychiarist conditions present. There often illnesses associated with bp that are common coexisting issues. She seems to have more than 1 going on. Common co-morbid dx'es include, but is not limited to, anxiety, panic disorder Major depressive disorder, and PTSD (which she seems to have, given child hood sexual abuse and bulemia is something that can result from said abuse). I HAVE ALOT more to say but haven't got the time right now. If you are interested in hearing more, let me know. Might have some helpful points.
Thanks tattoos, that would be much appreciated. What you say makes sense and is sort of what I was thinking, just wasn't sure it was possible. Would be good to hear more.

 
Old 11-15-2009, 06:37 PM   #11
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

Wow, this is an amazing post! Thanks so much for sharing all that you have to share! Alot of people will grow from reading this stuff! Unfortunately you had to personally go through it all - sorry about that, hope all is well now.

Anyways, I just wanted to comment on the FACT; that you DID do ALL that you COULD do - with what you had been given... As in; everything that you're girlfriend had told you in confidence... You simply TRUSTED her. You just wanted what was BEST for HER. And YOU did that - even at the expense of your OWN happiness... THAT - is something YOU did, and THAT - tells me alot about YOUR character! To be brutally honest, there aren't enough people like yourself out there! So pat yourself on the back and know that you've marked a spot in your ex-girlfriends life - and that one day; when the time is right... She will realize just how much you have done for her.

Okay - so I just wanted to say - that it was good to read through your situation. I have a friend whom is in nearly the same situation. His girlfriend has been acting pretty much, "Borderline Personality disorder," to the word. Its sad, but true. Unfortunately - like your girlfriend... Its almost as if - there's a certain point in time; when you can't see that same, "SOMEONE," you once knew existed in her eyes... Its almost (Like you said) insane - to think that everything you did for her - was washed away from existance... And even worse - I couldn't imagine being in the situation you found yourself in - in another country having stayed with her through good times and bad; even more bad than good... And then to be treated the way you were... Unbelievable... I'm sorry you had to go through that.

Just know - that you DID change her life. She may not admit that ALL the time, but thats because she's confused. She KNOW for a fact - deep down; whenever she gets glimpses of WHO she is in the mirror - its a result of your love and care for her - when no one else was there to listen to her pain... All those night, the crying, the overthinking, etc... YOU helped her.


I got a few questions I suppose... Was she diagnosed with bipolar? What kinds of treatment was she on? Did she agree with the diagnosis? Or was she completely blind to her own illness / insight into her issues? Was there ever a point in time when you had to confront her about the illness? Or was she always telling you, "Its just how I feel, its not an illness...?"

Thanks,

8800gts

 
Old 11-16-2009, 06:39 AM   #12
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

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Originally Posted by 8800GTS View Post
Wow, this is an amazing post! Thanks so much for sharing all that you have to share! Alot of people will grow from reading this stuff! Unfortunately you had to personally go through it all - sorry about that, hope all is well now.

Anyways, I just wanted to comment on the FACT; that you DID do ALL that you COULD do - with what you had been given... As in; everything that you're girlfriend had told you in confidence... You simply TRUSTED her. You just wanted what was BEST for HER. And YOU did that - even at the expense of your OWN happiness... THAT - is something YOU did, and THAT - tells me alot about YOUR character! To be brutally honest, there aren't enough people like yourself out there! So pat yourself on the back and know that you've marked a spot in your ex-girlfriends life - and that one day; when the time is right... She will realize just how much you have done for her.

Okay - so I just wanted to say - that it was good to read through your situation. I have a friend whom is in nearly the same situation. His girlfriend has been acting pretty much, "Borderline Personality disorder," to the word. Its sad, but true. Unfortunately - like your girlfriend... Its almost as if - there's a certain point in time; when you can't see that same, "SOMEONE," you once knew existed in her eyes... Its almost (Like you said) insane - to think that everything you did for her - was washed away from existance... And even worse - I couldn't imagine being in the situation you found yourself in - in another country having stayed with her through good times and bad; even more bad than good... And then to be treated the way you were... Unbelievable... I'm sorry you had to go through that.

Just know - that you DID change her life. She may not admit that ALL the time, but thats because she's confused. She KNOW for a fact - deep down; whenever she gets glimpses of WHO she is in the mirror - its a result of your love and care for her - when no one else was there to listen to her pain... All those night, the crying, the overthinking, etc... YOU helped her.


I got a few questions I suppose... Was she diagnosed with bipolar? What kinds of treatment was she on? Did she agree with the diagnosis? Or was she completely blind to her own illness / insight into her issues? Was there ever a point in time when you had to confront her about the illness? Or was she always telling you, "Its just how I feel, its not an illness...?"

Thanks,

8800gts
8800gts, your contribution and positive insight to this post is very much appreciated. Thank you so much. Im sorry to hear your friend and his girlfriend are going through the same. If this post could help them in any way, it would be amazing. Yes it was unbelievable at the time, and one of the most difficult things I've ever had to go through. I felt like I deserved a thank you at the very least, not to be kicked in the teeth and left for dead. It made me question my own sanity, and its difficult to tell people the story without them thinking, "Well you must have done something to deserve that, surely". She did eventually thank me for all I had done, but only much later. In any case I try to remind myself that its an illness and that one day as you say my hard work and sacrifice (as well as hers) will pay off.

To answer your question, I don't know what she has been diagnosed with. She was completely blind to her own illness until she met me. I'm the one who set the whole thing in motion so to speak. I began to notice some serious emotional and behavioral problems, and when I would point them out to her she would say "This is how I am, its normal" when in fact I knew deep inside there was more to it. She later one night admitted to being sexually abused as a child, but even then she denied that it had anything to do with how she was. She said, "But its ok, I'm over it, it was nothing", which was not true ofcoarse, she was just in denial. I then told her it was not nothing, and that I think she needed to talk to someone about it at which point she began to cry. And that's where the journey all began. There is far too much to put in a forum, I could probably write a short book on my story, but basically it was a very slow and painful process from that point on to awaken the emotions she had been blocking out for so long. It was only much later with my help, that she got out of her denial stage and the real healing began.

Now before I get hate mail, I would like to make one thing clear. At no point did I EVER force her to tell me anything she didn't want to, pressure her in any way, or force ideas into her head. I knew that would only do more harm than good. All I ever did was listened, raised questions, point her to "doors" she didn't know existed, gave her options and made her ask questions about herself that needed to be asked in order for her to move forward. I would often ask her whether she wanted to continue being the way she was, whether I was trying to help her with something she didn't think she needed help with, etc, to which her answer was always "No, I don't want to be like this anymore, I really dont." Please bear in mind also that she was bulimic, and that her physical health was also a concern to me. It was a sticky place to be in and I was also in a situation where I couldn't speak to anyone close to me about it, as I felt she had trusted me with a secret, so was difficult for me too in a big way. But what path she chose was ALWAYS her choice, even continuing to be who she was was an option, I made that clear. I told her to be who SHE wanted to be, and as long as being that person made her happy, id be happy. Her response was always that she wanted to get better but didn't know where to start, and it was at that point that we decided to look for a therapist. Even that was her choice, I never forced her. The thing is she always chose the path I would have chosen for her which is another reason I stayed, else to be completely honest I probably would not have. I would have given up on her long ago, but its difficult to leave when you see her making good choices, and when that person is thanking you for all you are doing for them.

But as I've said before, its difficult now looking back to not question how much of it was real, and how much of it might have been her reading me and just giving me what she thought I wanted. That certainly seems possible now, even though I feel in my heart it was real, but I don't know. If it was real, she gave up at some point and led me on to believe she was still trying because up until she left I believed she was making progress. Those 2 weeks seemed to have erased everything, because the transformation, physically, emotionally, and mentally was unbelievable. I was looking at a person I had never seen before. You must remember also that she was a brilliant actor, a skill she no doubt had learnt from a young age in order to hide the abuse. One thing i do know is that empathy and love were two emotions she really struggled with. I don't think that's very common with people who have bipolar, though the high and lows, the mania and depression was definitely there to a very large degree.

 
Old 11-17-2009, 04:47 PM   #13
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

What an awful lesson to have learned the hard way. I agree that she sounds like BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). It is similar to bipolar, but the extremes are worse. Usually there is no love emitting from the person. Their purpose in life is to control others, no matter what it takes. The bulimia has nothing to do with food, but is a way for the individual to control their life when they feel the rest is being controlled by others. BPD can be helped with medication and psychotherapy, but it isn't as easy to work with as bipolar. You were gallant to try and help her. Don't blame yourself for falling for her "con." They are experts at finding people's weaknesses and exploiting them. That you gave your love and time to her shows you are a good person that was taken in. No one could have predicted the outcome of what you did. I suggest you start over and don't try to rush into another relationship, but find a decent job and a place to live. Good luck! Lynn

 
Old 11-18-2009, 01:52 AM   #14
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Re: Bipolar or Sociopath?

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Originally Posted by Author58 View Post
What an awful lesson to have learned the hard way. I agree that she sounds like BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). It is similar to bipolar, but the extremes are worse. Usually there is no love emitting from the person. Their purpose in life is to control others, no matter what it takes. The bulimia has nothing to do with food, but is a way for the individual to control their life when they feel the rest is being controlled by others. BPD can be helped with medication and psychotherapy, but it isn't as easy to work with as bipolar. You were gallant to try and help her. Don't blame yourself for falling for her "con." They are experts at finding people's weaknesses and exploiting them. That you gave your love and time to her shows you are a good person that was taken in. No one could have predicted the outcome of what you did. I suggest you start over and don't try to rush into another relationship, but find a decent job and a place to live. Good luck! Lynn
I completely agree with you regarding the bulimia. The less she felt she could control what was happening around her, the worse the bulimia got, so you are spot on there. Much less about food, and much more about control. I have definitely been taking my time to heal. I really found it difficult to cope for a while as I had put so much energy into trying to be there for her that I literally had barely any energy left over for myself when I need to pick myself up and start over, but doing much much better now and the worst is very much behind me. Thanks a lot for your kind words Lynn and for insight.

 
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