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Re: (Friends)
Aug 18, 2008
Thanks for your responses everyone. After I wrote that, I decided I would write him an e-mail. I said what I felt. I basically said that I understand that getting focused on his school to get his life on track was the most important thing. He said to me last evening on the phone that, in fact, it was more important to him than our relationship. That stung a bit but truth is, if I [I]am[/I] causing him stress then I understand where he is coming from. I'm happy that he has goals and takes them very seriously and while I do not want to break-up, I equally do not want to be a stressful element in his life (which is why I brought up the "friends" thing). Maybe he was only testing the waters I do not know but I did say that I'm not going to date anyone else and that I would hope that he wasn't going to either and that I understood what "friends only" means despite that.

I am actually a very good communicator. I don't know why he has decided I am not. In fact, friends and family that I have told this to are surprised that someone would think that about me. I'm the kind of person that always has a lot to say and will say it very thoughtfully. My therapist even has commented on how well I communicate and how it makes her job so easy.

I have sunk down to childish behaviors when I am uncomfortable (re: the silent treatment). However, I was just so angered at something he did prior to that and couldn't understand why he didn't get it. I know this is a case where communication would have been key. I messed up but I was afraid I was going to say angry words and I just wanted to sleep on it. I told him I was incredibly sorry that I didn't discuss things with him. When I did tell him what was bothering me Saturday night, the thing that made me all silent, he said that I was always blaming him for things. So it is a double-edge sword. He was just so angry, he couldn't hear me I guess (when I say angry, he's not shouting or anything but actually saying, "I am so angry at you right now...").

He isn't the narcissist that I was dating. This guy is the Bipolar I, recovering alcoholic/drug addict. He's been sober for more than a year and a half. He struggles with it every day. He does quite well going to therapy appointments and support groups. I don't drink or do drugs, so I haven't led him into any temptation or hindered his progress in that way (I have gone to an open AA meeting with him once and said that I would again whenever he wanted me to). He's an extremely sensitive person and generally a very fun and loving person. He can be affectionate and is so more often than not. It is hard to paint a picture of someone on this board without making it sound like I am either making excuses for his troubling behavior or for my own -- it isn't that black or white.

If I felt like he was really not a good guy, I wouldn't even bother. Unfortunately, I believe a lot of what is going on with him is that he is a rapid cycler BPI. It makes for a very trying relationship. His happy and sad come in quick succession. I "put up" with it because when he is doing well, I can tell that he's a really good person. He's a Buddhist as well and he sometimes has a way of reaching to that philosophy and bringing things into perspective. I have questioned whether or not that I am the right person for him since I deal with BPII (I am a very high-functioning individual with my disease in check).

He has pressured me on the communication issues. It is hard to be put on the spot. He does get easily frustrated with me. He does recognize that he has a mental illness and has even asked me recently what did I think about him having a mental illness. I replied that I don't think it makes him worse or better than anyone but it is in some ways is a gift in that he is very open about things (and this is a contrast to the person who dumped me last summer) but also because he is very intuitive about things.

He is so intuitive about things that he often can interpret my feelings or thoughts very accurately. Even when I push my feelings down, he seems to have a way of opening me up and talking them through (most people would never even realize that anything is going on but it is like he has some kind of radar). It is hard to explain but he seems to read me like nobody else ever has. He has also brought to surface issues that I have not been dealing with. He has forced me into a self-exploration that I am actually thankful for. In fact, he really does more for me than my therapist in that regard. It is simultaneously exhilarating and eerie to have someone around me that "gets me" (though I often feel like I'm under a microscope).

There are elements to the relationship that most people would think were very good. But the mental illness issue makes this relationship something I have to work at very hard. I have to decide if I want to go on walking on egg-shells in some instances, and then being very open and vulnerable in other instances. His mood swings are difficult. I worry that he said he loved me too early. I worry that I'm not being honest with myself about things. I want him in my life but, because of the hardships, question whether I want him to be my significant other. I love so much about him but recognize that our "issues" are not like any I have ever faced in a relationship before. Perhaps I am not the right type of personality for these issues. Perhaps he is not really in a position to be putting himself in a relationship.

I'm a co-dependent and this may be detrimental to us both. I have very strong and real feelings for him. I have issues of my own that I should work on. I really think he and I mesh well on many levels, I just don't know if I have what it takes to be in a relationship with him. Why do I stay? I have actively worked at it. Things did seem to be heading in the right direction. I really enjoy that we both have music as our main passion in our lives and have even been collaborating on original material and play in a band together (we have two gigs this weekend in fact). I have a lot of questions now about what is good for me, what is good for him, etc. Are we good together? Can a relationship this young handle this many problems? Maybe we are the right two people for each other that met at the wrong time? Questions...questions, questions.

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