GIGS, BPD, narcissist, immature, hormones? Can't figure her (or me) out
Hi guys. I'm new to the forum. I'm struggling to wrap my head around my broken engagement to a girl I was with for 6 years.
Might be a long post, might as well start with a bang!
Me: 26, laid back, responsible, mature, good family life growing up, good values, talks about problems
Her: 25, laid back, irresponsible, shady family life (emotionally abused as a teen), doesn't talk about problems
I've been reading about BPD and narcissism to figure out what might be going on with her (or me for that matter).
The first 4-5 years were mostly decent. We did love each other and had a LDR for about 2-3 of those years but we always seemed to work it out.
We were engaged for the past year and we couldn't have been happier when it happened. We were talking, not planning, to elope. We never had any concrete plans; we were just going to do it. We both had different schedules and couldn't agree on a time to do it (she couldn't take work off very often and I started a new job and couldn't take work off for 3 months). She is a bartender and I'm in IT. We had a pretty stressful year with trying to buy a house, her getting pregnant (and later miscarrying), not to mention the stress I was having at work...I think everything just caught up with us and this is when the downward spiral started to happen.
I always had a gut feeling telling me she had some sort of mental issue whether it was bi-polar or depression. Early on in our relationship she mentioned she was on Prozac but immediately went off of it. She never appeared depressed around anyone but me. She is a people person and can talk to you like she's known you forever. She's always smiling and is charming. She is one of those people who can talk to anyone and is a cool person around them, but as soon as you get into a relationship with her, the true colors shine. She'll put on a mask when there is something wrong with her so she doesn't have to show her true emotions. Her mother has mental health issues and took a lot of her anger out on the kids and the father. Depression runs in their family and all of her aunts are on some sort of meds for their issues. If there was a big fight the night before, they woke up like nothing ever happened and continued on with their lives. Our relationship was the same way. If we fought, she'd wake up in the morning like nothing happened and we couldn't talk about it. I never wanted to pick a fight with her, it just happened when she would snap.
We had a fairly loving relationship for the most part. Hugs, kissing, intimacy...
I'm fairly laid back and so was she, but she was always bored and she didn't have any hobbies. So we'd normally go to the bar and have a few and socialize. I'd always be "boring" or "dumb" whenever I didn't agree with her plans. If I said something she thought was dumb, I'd hear about it. I was always being criticized for my thoughts, beliefs, and actions while everything she did was cool, perfect, and normal.
I couldn't say anything right around her without getting yelled at. If I had the cupboard door open she'd slam it and get mad. If she asked me to do something and I asked a question, she'd take it as offensive. One minute she was the sweetest person I've ever met and in the blink of an eye she was pissed off at me and I didn't even know what I did wrong. When I tried to defend myself, I was the crabby one. Seems like her attitude was always because of me. I know when I deserve to be yelled at, and it never seemed I deserved most of the backlash I received. It slowly crippled my confidence and turned me into a pussy. I always had to watch what I said no matter what time of the day. I always asked her what I was doing wrong and she never had an answer for me except that I made her crabby sometimes.
Here's a couple examples:
I took a day off of work to fix her car that she wouldn't take to the mechanic and she didn't appreciate that, so I bought her a new car so I didn't have to hear her complain, not to mention she didn't have any money or credit, so she couldn't get a loan if she tried. I felt I could do nothing good in this relationship. We'd have a week of good times and the next weeks would be pure hell. Nothing was good enough. She was irresponsible with her fiances and defaulted on her student loans. She has debt collectors calling her parent's place monthly and somehow they got my parent's number also. She doesn't think that this is a problem and brushes it off.
She got pregnant and miscarried 2 1/2 months later and it was a tough week for both of us. Her way of dealing with it? Let's forget about it and go get drunk. Her hormones were raging and something was off in her head for the next 3 months. She changed so much. It's like she became a shell of her former self. The somewhat considerate person I knew only cared about partying. This was her way of dealing with it, I guess, so I let it slide for a while.
We were looking at houses and the ones she liked we could afford, but couldn't afford to maintain (they needed work and the bills would have been waaaay to high) not to mention it would have been all of my money put towards a down payment. She wouldn't save a dime to contribute. She resented me for not buying one house and claimed I didn't want to make her happy. We met with her family the next day and she complained to them that I didn't want an old house because my family built a new house and continued to blast me in front of her family. I couldn't believe it. This was probably the point in the relationship where I just gave up. No matter how hard I tried I could not do anything to make her happy. I seriously felt like I was putting in most of the effort. She didn't take any responsibility and avoided it like the plague. Whenever there would be a problem in her life, she'd ignore it hoping it would go away.
If I tried to talk to her about the problems in our relationship, she didn't want to hear any part of it. I explained to her that her actions were hurting me and she seemed to tone me out like she didn't even care. It's like I was always trying to have a conversation with a 6 year old. She met new friends and spent most of her time with them, drinking, partying, and not coming home. I could never make plans because she always had plans with these people. I honestly couldn't stand them. They were so immature and inconsiderate, like "OMG....did you see her Facebook status today?". Their issues were always someone else's problem and not theirs. Her response to asking her to spend more time with me instead of them was "you're jealous that I have friends who want to hang out with me". I was jealous.....jealous she was putting them before me. I could never have a night alone with her without this other couple. I always had to make plans a week in advance to see her. I see her starting to adapt their personalities and traits.
I find she was texting other men late at night when she was away. I questioned her about it and they were fun friends and she liked talking to them. I saw one of them about 3 times and the other I never saw. She claimed the one she only hung out with a handful of times, but kept in contact with him every day through text. Same as the other guy. I questioned her fidelity and I was always over-reacting. I told her that this was making me uncomfortable, but she never stopped. Her story always seemed to change about these guys. If you don't know this one guy, but text him and call him whenever I'm not around, I should think there's nothing happening? Yeah right. She would be watching me like a hawk when I got a text message and was smiling. Still to this day she claims she didn't cheat but I don't know if I even believe her. We have a talk and I ask if she even wants to get married anymore. She is crying hysterically saying she did.
She fails to come home yet again, and what felt like years of ridicule and emotional abuse, I couldn't take it anymore snapped. I yelled at her for the texting, the selfishness, the hurtful comments, avoiding me when we go out....I just didn't know how to handle it anymore. She sits there and is crying saying she didn't do anything wrong. I told her that coming home wasn't right and ignoring my feelings wasn't right either. After the dust settled I offered counseling, but she refused.
I finally told her to move out. After the breakup I felt like I was the reason things went south. I was in shambles wondering what I could have done better. Her last words were "If we got married and bought a house things would have been different". I'm thinking, how could they have been any different? I felt like she was leaning on me to make her life the way she wanted it and she was going to coast the rest of the way when she got what she wanted
It's been two months and we had to meet again to square away our apartment lease and she acts like we were never even together. We were having a conversation and I asked a question and once again, I get yelled at for something completely irrational (asking if I should move some of her things or vacuum around them) and she accuses me of being crabby. She acts like her life is perfect and she doesn't have a place to even call her own. She's going to be sleeping on a couch. I asked her what happened to our relationship and she said she was miserable and not herself. She just wanted fun and freedom I guess she was the victim the whole time and wasn't the problem.
I'm not putting the blame solely on her shoulders as I know I could have put in more effort, but how much more effort do you put in when you're not getting the same amount back from the other person?
What do you guys think, am I the problem here? I know that no one here is a doctor or psychologist, but does anything scream of narcissism, BPD, bi-polar, or depression with her or myself?
Sounds similar to a short term relationship I had with a girl who was diagnosed bipolar. The girl would always bust my balls about how I got texts all the time ( I don't), and how they must be from girls (they weren't), yet her phone would always blow up, especially after 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and if I ever made that reference to her she would ignore it 100%, like she didn't hear what I said, that kind of denial. After a 5 month, somewhat of a relationship with this girl, what I've learned is I will never date another bipolar girl. I really like this girl a lot, and we had much in common, but what comes along for the ride is not worth dealing with.
I lived this sh*t for 16 years with a guy. So yes, this is all too familar to me. Our stories are not identical of course. But the main jist of the deal the same.
YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.
YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.
YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.
Other than, you should have never given her 6 years of your life. But don't feel bad, live and learn. That's how I have to look at it. I squandered 16 years to this sh*t.
You just spent 6 years in crazy land thanks to this mentally ill individual.
But wait, there's some good news!!
Now you are THAT MUCH WISER, and you will never waste time with a messed up individual like this again. You just won't do it. Life is too short.
And better yet in the good news department!!:
You have the rest of your life ahead of you, to spend with someone stable and loving. Good stuff for you. You just have to go find her.
Ok, back to your ex-fiancee:
She is a manipulator and an abuser. Yes, yes,yes, she is likely bi-polar or a narcississt. It really doesn't matter what she is. It can't be fixed, I can tell you that.
You need to focus on YOU. Healing YOU. Regaining YOUR self confidence.
Yes, a therapist can help you (if you find one you click with). So can reading all you can around here, and reading a wide variety of self help and self awareness books.
You need to evolve, become more aware of the manipulators out there, so you don't even get into a relationship with another one. Life is way too short for the drama and the turmoil.
What you lived with her, is not HEALTHY and not NORMAL.
In time, if you stay far away from her, you will gain perspective and be able to see this more clearly. Time is a healer, trust in that.
But you also have to work on healing yourself, and learning, educating yourself on these types of toxic people that exist out in the world.
What your girlfriend was, was way more than just 'crabby'. She was a user, an abuser, a manipulator, a liar, a cheater, and a mentally ill person. She is also an alcoholic and abuses alcohol in order to self medicate.
Not your problem anymore. Just some insight.
You can't fix her, nor should you. Fix yourself. Restore yourself to your former glory of confidence and happiness, the self you were before her toxicity overpowered the good things in you.
Read all you can around here, and check out a variety of self help books in the psychology section of your local book store. Educating yourself will take some time, but it's worth it.
The poster named 'betterdeal' has some book suggestions, if you look on the thread in this section titled "Therapy Is Making It Worse", he provided a link to his list of book suggestions. That would be a good start as far as helpful reading. All the best to you and hang in there during this time of painful aftermath from a toxic tidal wave. Everything will improve over time, now that you have packed up and moved out of 'Crazyland' for good. Cheers to you.
Wow guys.....it's great to feel like I'm not losing my mind here.
I think the hardest part about this is that when it was good....it was good. I always thought about leaving, but there'd be weeks, sometimes even a month or two of pure bliss, which would be followed by a month of hell. But I always had to reserve myself it felt like. When she was in these moods, I responded with sarcasm, which was always a big no-no because I was just putting gas on the fire. It was my defense mechanism but I was always the bad guy. I always wondered if I could deal with this over a lifetime. I talked to her father and he told me the same thing about his wife: "I know you're not doing wrong to her and I know you treat her right. Look at me....I'm miserable. You need to do what's best for you." That hit me HARD when he told me that. She's slowly turning into the women she hated the most in her life...her mother. I always told her this just to get her to realize the way she was acting and she thought I was being rude telling her that.
Another thing I couldn't handle was we couldn't talk about feelings. I'd be pouring my heart out or trying to talk about things and she'd just not want to talk. She'd tear up and say "It's OK" or "I don't want to talk about it". She'd be able to put issues to the back of her head and forget about them. I wish I could do that! Every day was a new day to her and the past was the past.
I'd reach a breaking point a couple times where she'd peck and peck at me until I couldn't take it anymore....and when I exploded, she was the victim every time. I was always rude or mean when I'd respond to her critical behavior of me.
What makes me mad the most is that these people always play the victim and it's pathetic. They tear you apart and blame you for being a negative person. I'm a negative person because of her always making me feel like I am!
Therapy isn't out of the question. I haven't felt like myself since we've lived together for the past 2 1/2 years and I always thought it was the result of the stress of work, trying to find a house, and getting a new job. I think the end result is my emotional level was/is so depleted from trying to make her happy that I don't even know who I am anymore. I need my identity back and therapy would be the best way for me to be me again.
Thanks for the insight and resources everyone. I'm slowly trying to get on the right track for my recovery.
I'm sorry once again for all you went through. I'm glad you are keeping the thought of therapy open as an option. And remember not all therapists are created equal. If after a few sessions you feel you aren't clicking with the therapist, find another, and another, until you find one that feels right to you.
I know about that depleted feeling you speak of. It's legit and very serious in the long term. Your immune system can suffer - that can pave the way for cancer. It did for me.
I was diagnosed with cancer at year 8 of the the 16 year ordeal. Next comes memory loss and PTSD. The mind can't endure that type of trauma too long, something will give. It can actually be one's sanity.
I'm so glad you got out. The fact you found your way here is a good sign of your own attempts at becoming enlightened. I think you are headed in the right direction.
Don't feel bad in offering up your story here. Part of the healing process is sharing your story with others, and trying to make sense of it in order to move on. Just remember, sometimes there are parts of what you experienced with your ex-fiancee, that will never make sense. Eventually you will come to be at peace with that as well. You won't be banging your head against the wall anymore, trying to figure it out. You will just be at peace, and allow the past to 'just be'.
Mentally ill people don't follow the normal rules of logic and reasonable human behavior. That is why have such a traumatic effect on others.
You can't win with them, no matter WHAT YOU DO. If there is a lesson in any of this, that's it. You can't win for losing with these folks.
You're not alone, it's happening everyday all across the world, because there are plenty of messed up people out there. At least you're not one of them.
Good luck in your continued journey of self discovery and recovery. Hang in there.
Please note: The suggestions and advice offered on this web site are opinions only and are not to be used in the place of professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency number.