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Tired of being judged for my decision to leave her


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Or at least I FEEL I'm being judged.

 

I was talking with the HR lady at work today and she asked what was going on in my life. I mentioned the breakup (it's been almost three months now) and how my ex is on meds for bipolar. She, like everyone else it seems, asks if she's making progress - like somehow if she's made progress I should be able to work things out. Like because she's bipolar I should excuse it. Like because IF she's getting help and sticking with it, I'm supposed to just wipe her behavior from my mind. If she was bipolar, she still had the choice of how to deal with her mood swings. She chose to take them out on me - yell, scream, curse, throw things, embarrass me in public - and she did it all. I personally feel that it was deeper than simply being bipolar - that she was immature and self-absorbed. I went broke - mentally, financially and physically from dealing with her. I just thought about the physically part today - I never had to wear a belt with my pants. Now I have to wear one, super-tight, because I lost 20 pounds throughout the relationship, most likely from all the stress she put me through.

 

The thing is, she kept saying she'd get help. After our numerous fights and breakups she said she would. She didn't. NOW she's supposedly getting help, after I finally left for good. And people have this attitude like give it another try.

 

I can't erase how she treated me from my mind - all of the negative things she said or did that really, really hurt me. I can't start new like that. I don't know why people feel I should be able to. She is a different person to me now, and I feel that I will always see her in that light.

 

I know that the ones who I believe are judging me this way haven't heard the numerous breakup stories or the stories about the fights she'd start over something silly, and for many the breakup was the only bad thing they heard about our relationship. My family and friends tell me that I did the right thing. Others - when I tell them about her bipolar, etc., they give me this look or pause like "so why not go back?" What...out of PITY?

 

Is it possibly that they've never been in such a damaging and toxic relationship that they can't grasp it or what? I almost feel like getting back with her just to come out of it saying to these people "There. What do you have to say now? She's still nasty to me."

 

But I won't. I was strong enough to put up with her crap for fifteen months, and I'm strong enough to move on.

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They don't know the circumstances so they are judging out of ignorance.

 

But it wasn't just her being bi-polar - she was a selfish and self-absorbed woman whatever state of mind she was in at any given time.

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I can relate. Because I didn't want to damage my exes reputation in the community, I never really let on about what our home life was like. In public he was very careful to "act normal". So when I split us up and divided a family with two children I was seen by some as the bad guy, a monster, a bad mom, a selfish b, a woman who'd rather date around than be loyal to one man, etc... I never defended myself either although I sorely wanted to. We are still both in the same family-oriented community and after a few years it just doesn't bother me the way it used to.

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The only person who truly knows your situation is you. Others may weigh in or offer advice but ultimately you are the one who has to live with your decision. It's easy for someone else to say things when they aren't the ones who have to deal with the fallout.

 

Take heart. You did what was right for you and that's all that is expected.

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They don't know the circumstances so they are judging out of ignorance.

 

But it wasn't just her being bi-polar - she was a selfish and self-absorbed woman whatever state of mind she was in at any given time.

 

I guess a big part of this is my fault for assuming that even without the whole story, everyone's just going to jump to my side. Like they can read my mind.

 

A good friend on this forum explained to me that a person who is bi-polar and the behavior they exhibit during an episode are two separate things. I guess these people I talk to don't understand A. The nature of the relationship's toxicity, and B. The parts that are attributed to bi-polar vs. the damaging and hurtful behavior learned by the person during their childhood/past. It's wrong of me to expect that everyone understands that.

 

Next time someone asks, I'm just going to avoid the topic unless they feel like sitting down for an hour to listen to everything.

 

Thanks DN - long time no hear, hope you are well.

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I can relate. Because I didn't want to damage my exes reputation in the community, I never really let on about what our home life was like. In public he was very careful to "act normal". So when I split us up and divided a family with two children I was seen by some as the bad guy, a monster, a bad mom, a selfish b, a woman who'd rather date around than be loyal to one man, etc... I never defended myself either although I sorely wanted to. We are still both in the same family-oriented community and after a few years it just doesn't bother me the way it used to.

 

That's EXACTLY it. I'd never mention the bad things, and talk about the good things that happened during the relationship. If we went on a trip or something and she'd rage at me, I'd come back saying "It was a nice trip" - not mentioning the rage. Once I broke up with her, they act like "But you guys were having so much fun!" and I felt like the bad guy. But they never knew - a big part of that was because she was careful about striking out when friends or family were around.

 

One of her closest friends even asked me while we were together "How do you do it?" - she'd been subject to my ex's issues before, and I think that's why they only got in touch every couple of months.

 

PLUS - I don't have any idea she was or is bi-polar. It might all be a load of garbage. Maybe she told her friend that in HOPES her friend would tell me since she knows I see her friend on Sundays (the friend is a waitress at the restaurant I frequent). It might be just that - she's selfish, immature, self-absorbed, etc.

 

Now, if someone asked about why we split and I say all of that, leaving out the bi-polar part, I'm sure they'd say "Wow - good for you for leaving." Throw an illness in there, and people start switching sides. So that's it - next time someone asks, I'm leaving the speculation out and giving them the facts, or either not saying anything at all.

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I think people are just trying to be supportive. They don't know what was really going on. Only you do. They're just trying to understand. There's no way they really can though because they didn't go through what you experienced. Letting it out is the best way to unburden yourself. It's part of the healing process and in time you will feel your load getting lighter. Just be grateful for that outlet without having too many expectaions of people's reactions or reading into them too much. Ultimately you are gaining from it.

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That's EXACTLY it. I'd never mention the bad things, and talk about the good things that happened during the relationship. If we went on a trip or something and she'd rage at me, I'd come back saying "It was a nice trip" - not mentioning the rage. Once I broke up with her, they act like "But you guys were having so much fun!" and I felt like the bad guy. But they never knew - a big part of that was because she was careful about striking out when friends or family were around.

 

One of her closest friends even asked me while we were together "How do you do it?" - she'd been subject to my ex's issues before, and I think that's why they only got in touch every couple of months.

 

OMG, trips were THE WORST! I love traveling except with a 6'2" two year old, ugh. It could be something so small that would set him off and then we'd all have to live under the shroud of his mood until we got to wherever we were going because we were stuck in the car together. Try getting a young child, an infant, and a protesting giant infant through an airport in time to catch a plane! I should stop now before the dam breaks and it all comes flooding back to me at once. I have a decade of crappy memories.

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OMG, trips were THE WORST! I love traveling except with a 6'2" two year old, ugh. It could be something so small that would set him off and then we'd all have to live under the shroud of his mood until we got to wherever we were going because we were stuck in the car together. Try getting a young child, an infant, and a protesting giant infant through an airport in time to catch a plane! I should stop now before the dam breaks and it all comes flooding back to me at once. I have a decade of crappy memories.

 

There you go. I almost took the Greyhound home. I'd just about rather have rode a bus wondering if some nut was going to cut my head off and put my ear in his pocket than ride home with a ticking timebomb.

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There you go. I almost took the Greyhound home. I'd just about rather have rode a bus wondering if some nut was going to cut my head off and put my ear in his pocket than ride home with a ticking timebomb.

 

My saga went on and on because we had children together. I finally figured out that he calculated that he could treat us all worse because he knew how much I loathed to split up a family. Sometimes mental illness crosses the line into plain old every day evil malice.

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Or at least I FEEL I'm being judged.

 

I was talking with the HR lady at work today and she asked what was going on in my life. I mentioned the breakup (it's been almost three months now) and how my ex is on meds for bipolar. She, like everyone else it seems, asks if she's making progress - like somehow if she's made progress I should be able to work things out. Like because she's bipolar I should excuse it. Like because IF she's getting help and sticking with it, I'm supposed to just wipe her behavior from my mind.

 

OK, what did the HR lady actually say? From what you have written, it sounds like all she did was ask if your ex was making any progress. Is it possible that you are so sensitive about the whole situation still that you are assuming that all these people think you should get back together with her? cause I don't see anywhere in your post where the lady actually suggested anything like that.

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I'm sorry you had to go through so much of that, ready2heal. After getting a taste of it myself, I really, truly empathize with you. And you're right - there is a line. I'll believe that there's an illness that's an excuse for every single type of bad behavior when I believe there's a single pill that can cure all illnesses.

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OK, what did the HR lady actually say? From what you have written, it sounds like all she did was ask if your ex was making any progress. Is it possible that you are so sensitive about the whole situation still that you are assuming that all these people think you should get back together with her? cause I don't see anywhere in your post where the lady actually suggested anything like that.

 

I guess I was a little sensitive, another co-worker who I'd told the story to kept suggesting "maybe she's better" and kept saying for days: "Did you get back together? Are you still broken up?" - so maybe that's why I was a little touchy.

 

The HR lady was saying "But you guys were having such a good time", so I assumed that was the avenue she was going to take the conversation to. Maybe I jumped the gun, I guess it's still a sore topic to discuss with people (aside from family, friends and ENA).

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I know this sounds lame, but TRY not to let it get to you... sure, your break up may be the office scandal for a while, but soon enough the snoopy people with nothing to talk about from their own lives will latch onto another persons demise. You just have to ride it out; eventually they'll get used to the fact that you're not going back to her (not that it's any of their business whatsoever). Just don't go around telling people how horrible she was out of anger, no matter how tempting... it just leads to more problems and more negative things for you to deal with. It's not fair, but it would probably be easiest for you just to bite your tongue.

 

I can relate to your situation, in a bit of a different way... My doctor had always suspected that I may have had a mild mental ailment (they always seemed to lean towards bipolar), but was hesitant to put me on any medication. After a person who was very close to me died, I kind of just went downhill; I either couldn't eat or ate too much, didn't sleep for months without some kind of pill to help, and was experiencing terrible depression. They thought this would be a good time to put me on meds, which failed horribly and left me the moodiest person some days, or so high that I couldn't even function on others. Needless to say, this completely tanked my relationship with my current boyfriend, and even after I stopped taking the pills and worked through everything, the problems we had been having didn't go away, because they weren't CAUSED by my sickness. We just weren't right for eachother, and even though I was back to normal, I broke up with him.

 

Then news got out through our friend group that I'd received better tests and was not bipolar at all, and he was hellbent on getting us back together... he made me seem like the biggest wench to EVERYONE because he was being "so supportive" and I was being cold-hearted. I wouldn't go back to him, and he took it upon himself to tell everyone that the "bipolar" was why I would get upset at him for "no reason" (like when he would neglect me for weeks on end, yell at me, tell me I was fatter than I used to be, try to pressure me into sex, treat me like crap, etc) and that he was perfect. It SUCKED, but I just had to sit back and ride it out. When people asked why we broke up, I just said it was because we didn't work well together. Eventually people stopped harassing me and everything calmed down.

 

Things will get better! You know what happened, she knows what happened, and the people that matter to you know what happened. Other people really have no business to know, and you don't have to give them any details, no matter how much they prod. You're clearly comfortable with your decision, so try to focus on how breaking up was the right thing, not how everyone else thinks it's wrong.

 

Best of luck!

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I guess I was a little sensitive, another co-worker who I'd told the story to kept suggesting "maybe she's better" and kept saying for days: "Did you get back together? Are you still broken up?" - so maybe that's why I was a little touchy.

 

The HR lady was saying "But you guys were having such a good time", so I assumed that was the avenue she was going to take the conversation to. Maybe I jumped the gun, I guess it's still a sore topic to discuss with people (aside from family, friends and ENA).

 

Oh, I completely understand why you would be sensitive to comments like that- you are recovering from what sounds like an awful relationship and I'm sure that remarks like hers just feel like salt in the wound.

 

Based in what you've posted, however, I really don't think anyone is judging you. I think it's just those kind of off-the-cuff remarks people who don't know you very well say when they are surprised- just kind of a generic "Oh, you 2 always seemed so happy" remark. I bet she didn't mean to judge you or make you feel badly.

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Thank you, hear_her_roar for sharing that. All of you, thank you. You really helped.

 

Strangely enough, the HR lady just asked me if I was on the market or ready to date again.

 

I'd date her, if she wasn't married. God, what a fox

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Seymore, I understand that you are frustrated that some people don't give you support/ sympathy. But as someone already said: these people don't know the story. From the point of view of the HR lady, she was trying to be nice to you, because she believes that you had a great relationship (since you never shared the negative sides of the relationship) and that you left her once the BP diagnosis got thrown into the mix.

 

You simply have to take these kind of comments for what they are: someone trying to be sympathetic. It's the intention that counts, not really what she said.

 

It would be the same if you had posted here only half of the story, people would offer their support, but of course would say totally the wrong things, because you hadn't shared an important part of the story.

 

I am not advocating that you should share everything with everyone (au contair: I wouldn't talk much about my private life at work), but that you have to start putting people's reaction and thus your reaction into perspective.

 

You have been through a lot in this last relationship and it is good that you are talking about it here on ENA and with a few select close friends. But I wouldn't talk about it with too many outsiders. As wrong as it is, many people still have prejudices and disbelief when it comes to a woman abusing (even if 'only' emotionally) a man.

 

So it is in your own interest not to share the details with everyone in to accept that some people will jump to the wrong conclusions as to the reasons why you didn't stay in the relationship

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Thanks, penelope. I guess I get what I ask for when I start talking about it to people who don't know the story. I can't expect them to just jump on my side simply because they know me. It's not their business anyway, so why open that can of worms? Nothing good will come from it.

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People are always going to give you their two cents about relationships. You can either deflect their comments on you can take them to heart. If I am not in the mood to deal with these kind of comments then I wont fight the comments I will just make vague statements like maybe one day or I still need time to think about . . . you can say just about anything that vaguely relates to your situation. The bottom line is that you have all the facts and they only know what they are told.

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Seymore, my mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder years ago.

 

She made life very difficult for my father. As you know.

 

Know when she finally got help and stuck with it?

 

When my father gave her an ultimatum: "Get help, or I leave and take the girls with me. They don't deserve to grow up with this bullsh!t."

 

She was hospitalized for a few months to get stabilized, and she has been (more or less) sane ever since then.

 

You may have saved your ex's life. Hold that in your mind the next time someone gives your grief.

 

YS

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Do not feel guilty for breaking things off with her. People can say whatever they want to say, but you know the truth. There was a lot more to going on within the relationship than her being bi-polar. Live your life the way you feel and don't let other's judgment make you feel any different.

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Or at least I FEEL I'm being judged.

 

I was talking with the HR lady at work today and she asked what was going on in my life. I mentioned the breakup (it's been almost three months now) and how my ex is on meds for bipolar. She, like everyone else it seems, asks if she's making progress - like somehow if she's made progress I should be able to work things out. Like because she's bipolar I should excuse it. Like because IF she's getting help and sticking with it, I'm supposed to just wipe her behavior from my mind. If she was bipolar, she still had the choice of how to deal with her mood swings.

 

This is controversial, I know, but personally I think that even if you had broken up with her solely because she was bipolar you were completely justified in doing so.

 

In the interest of disclosing my bias, I should mention that my ex (a member of the Christian Science church who does not believe in the efficacy of drugs) emotionally cheated on me and left me for a bipolar girl who had recently had a breakdown and gotten back on medication. If anything, your story gives me a perverse hope that she will go off meds and royally mess up his life.

 

You're not married, there's no reason that you should have to spend your life taking care of someone who won't or can't take care of herself. And someone who won't share the burden of looking after your needs. A relationship is a mutual thing and it sounds like yours wasn't, in part due to her bad behavior and in part due to her illness. Even if you are married, I think it's legitimate to bail. Why ruin two lives if only one is screwed up genetically? It's not your fault she's sick, regardless of whether she gets treatment or not.

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Thanks, lily. That line "It's not your fault she's sick" echoes how I feel.

 

She used to say "I don't know what it is that's making me act like this!" like it was some sort of excuse. I told her right back "Well I DEFINITELY have no idea what the cause is and I'm the one taking the abuse, so imagine how I feel!"

 

I don't know whether to laugh or what...right as I left work about a half hour ago, I passed her by on the street while she was going to the school behind my work to pick up that kid she drives to and from school. The song "Always something there to remind me" was playing on the radio. I didn't feel the panic or extreme wave of emotion this time. I just kept on going. Still felt a little hint of pain, but nowhere near as bad as the previous times. I think I really AM getting over her! I used to walk out to the parking lot after work wondering if she was already in the next lot over waiting for the kid, hoping she doesn't see me, but now I pretty much don't care...well, as much.

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