After 3.5 long tumultuous years together, my Girlfriend and mother of my son, has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia. She’s in her mid-30s and I’m in my early 40s. Today is her last day participating in a partial hospitalization program. I’m not sure what my role is at this point. For the first time in her life, she is seeing the world how it really is as opposed to the world that she has always seen. Prior to this diagnosis, I was ready to walk away from our life together. She has said and done some terrible things. I’ve even been arrested because she told the responding officers that I hurt her during a manic episode where she hurt herself. She was scared of being committed against her will and scared that the Government was “in on it”. I’ve stayed with her for a few reasons. We have an 20 month old son together. She has three boys from a previous relationship that I’m very fond of. Also, she is currently unemployed and would not be able to take care of herself and the boys if we split. I feel like I’m taking on a lot of her responsibilities. I love her. There’s no doubt there. If I didn’t, I would’ve bailed a long time ago. Also, if we were to split now, I’d feel like a real jerk, walking away when she and the boys need me the most.
I’m already seeing a counselor to help me navigate this situation. I guess I’m having difficulties forgiving her for some of the things she’s said and done over the last few years. How much of it do I chalk up to her mental illness? I probably don’t have to explain to anyone here how taxing this can be on a relationship, but the last thing she needs is something else to worry about right now. My family thinks I’m an idiot for staying with her. All they see is her manic behavior. I guess I’m not sure what I’m doing. Right now I’m just doing my best to be supportive, telling her how proud I am of her for seeking treatment and confronting the situation.
Thanks for the listen.