I’m new to this site so I’ll do a short intro, I want to be fairly anonymous on here so please call me by my username, Sok. I am in a lesbian long distance international relationship with a person who has Schizoaffective disorder. For those who may not know, it basically (in her words) is a mix of schizophrenia and manic bipolar. She’s in Canada and I’m in the US (south). Our 10th anniversary is coming up this summer. I’m 24 and she just turned 22. I live alone and she lives with her brother (who happens to be the druglord of their small town).
I could go on forever about all the problems this illness is doing to our relationship and my own mental health, but the main problem right now is the sleep schedule.
You see, I work two jobs and wake up every morning at 6am. My body has a lot of issues and I tend to get physically sick when I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Her episodes have been kicking in every single night like clockwork between 1am and 3am. As horrible as this is gonna sound, ive had to turn my phone to “Do Not Disturb” setting before going to bed just to make sure I can survive through the following day while she sleeps it off until almost evening again.
She blames her sleeping pills for triggering the symptoms (suicidal thoughts, self-harm, voices, dissociation, hysterics, etc.). I, on the other hand, think the root of the problem is her new best friend. This friend is transgender, schizophrenic, and attempts suicide almost every night (no exaggeration). These spouts of intense depression and reliance on my girlfriend is causing her to have more episodes. She feeds off of others’ emotions and takes them on as her own. Being around so much negativity is causing her to worsen.
I want to tell her to back off from this friend and try to find more positive influences, but I think since they’re both schizophrenic she feels obligated to stay because they share a connection no one else can understand.
She also has no other support system. She can’t drive (epilepsy) so she has no therapist, can’t see her psychiatrist without her mom driving her, and no other friends. Lately she’s stopped opening up to me because she knows it upsets me (even if I don’t react, she just knows it takes a lot out of me to deal).
I feel bad about not answering her in the middle of the night, but I can’t sacrifice my own already failing health to constantly reassure her. How should I deal with this? It’s also blurring the line between when a real emergency might happen and when it’s the normal freak out.