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Day 18 Girlfriend's suicide attempt

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Endless luke, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    When I was 24 my ex-girlfriend put herself in the path of a train in front of me and I feel sad and overwhelmed by it. Sometimes I miss her, I think. It’s been a long time since it happened and I’ve gained a lot of ability to not think about painful things or things I can’t change. I certainly don’t miss her in the way that I used to which was clearly non-functional.

    I’m sorry, I have given the impression that she died. We actually rescued her or if that’s too strong of term we pulled her out of the subway tracks. It was a scary time. She did ask me once later why I didn’t go on the tracks to rescue her and I think it’s a legitimate question. I asked myself if I was going to jump down but I just didn’t trust her. She wouldn’t have deliberately hurt me but there had been times she’d jumped on my back and pulled on me when she was having one of her episodes.

    They weren’t really episodes but just times when she’d hit me or hit herself. She had Borderline Personality Disorder and it led to her thoughts getting away from her sometimes. All of this make make her seem like a bad person for me to be dating but I loved her very strongly. She was extremely beautiful and had a rare softness and honesty to her.
    Plus the more I realize what a mental disease TMS is the less I feel that I have the ability to criticize anyone else for having a mental issue. My problems have in fact been more crippling and life-changing than hers.

    But as I mentioned she would hit me and hit herself. She never hurt me or came close but I thought it was the right thing to have rules that she couldn’t do that. I think often that I was wrong then. That I was just playing a role and acting how my parents would have liked me to act. Perhaps I was even trying to humiliate her. Actually it’s time for me to admit that was a motivation for me.

    She had never loved me. Or at least not in a way that felt like I could hold on to it. Minutes after kissing me for the first time she told me it wouldn’t work out. It’s sad but that that set the tone for the relationship. I never knew what to do with that statement and she never seemed to want to try and fix it. She wanted to be in a doomed relationship. I guess. I still don’t even really know why she thought it couldn’t work.

    So we broke up a lot. I didn’t feel like I had much choice but to get back together since I was absolutely unsuccessful with any other women and I felt powerfully attracted to her. I was always surprised that my attraction to her never diminished but it may have had to do with the relationship never feeling stable.

    Eventually I moved to NYC and she followed me. I believe we weren’t dating but she was living with me. There were a couple of times when she hit herself and it was quite scary although I’m not sure that I recognized it as scary. I did think it was sad. The worst time was when I saw her knock her head into a radiator. That may not sound bad but if you ever watched someone that you care about do that… I’m not sure how it made me feel but it’s sad and mystifying. I think it made me wonder how it was happening and how are lives had come to this. And part of me was grateful that she had something that might make her need me or bring her down to my level.

    She would pick at her face too. That and hitting her forehead with her wrist were her main activities. Her face looked fine because she used makeup and I never saw her pick at it but it did make me sad to think of her in the bathroom picking at it and not being able to stop.
    Her arms were so skinny that she couldn’t really hurt herself with her wrists. I’d often restrain her and even with all my issues with my muscles it wasn’t too bad.

    After she was done hitting she would immediately get very tired and fall asleep. In some ways now I think I should have just dealt with it and accepted it. If she’d been having an epileptic episode it could have been much more dangerous to both of us and people would definitely have thought there was nothing wrong if I’d tried to help her while she was having it.

    I think I was just casting about in terms of how to gain some control of my life. My chronic pain issues were going nowhere and consuming much of my energy and thought; the relationship was suffering; and I hated my work. So I wanted something to change. I think that focussing on her not hitting me was at least something I could work with. Something straightforward.

    So I told her that we wouldn’t be able to live together if she continued to hit me. A few days later she hit me. I called up my friend and asked him if I could spend the night at his place. He said yes and I went and spent the night there. In the morning I realized I’d forgotten my wallet and would need it to get to work.

    I walked back to my place. When I got to the apartment I saw firetrucks outside and I wondered if something bad had happened. I calmed myself down and went into the apartment and saw that she was well and my concerns had been misplaced. I think she asked me something about the relationship but I told her it would have to wait until I got back from work.

    Lost in thought I headed to the subway station and started to wait for the train. I had no idea that she had followed me. I was very surprised to see her just a few feet away. She asked me a question with her eyes and I said no.

    Then she was on the tracks. She had her legs wrapped under her in such an odd way. For a while I thought it was like that Andrew Wyeth painting where the woman is on the hill but it was really a much more relaxed posed. Aa little like you might imagine would be on the cover of a board game if it pictured a young lady sitting on the floor and casually laughing as she played.

    She wasn’t there, mentally. She was staring ahead and not recognizing that I was there in the tunnel with her or that anyone was there. Then we were all screaming. Perhaps we were screaming before that.

    I felt strange and red. It seemed like our screams could do nothing. That she might simply continue to stare forward. I wondered about going down on the tracks. I pictured her pulling me backwards as I tried to hoist myself out of them.

    Then her gaze changed. It was like she woke up. After that it was easy- she walked to the edge and we pulled her up. I don’t know if I was one of the ones that helped her. The police arrived pretty quickly. I told them some things.

    Soon we were in ambulance to Bellevue. They put her in this room behind a locked door. There was some thick glass in the walls that separated us. We tried talking through it but it just made me feel powerless. It would have been better if I hadn’t been able to see her. It just seemed like she’d been robbed of her dignity. That she was now in a place where due to her mental state she was not allowed out.

    And that was the same way that I’d made her feel when I told her she couldn’t hit me. Not that we’ve ever talked about it but I know she’s a proud person and that this hurt her. That was part of the reason she hurt herself- because she wasn’t measuring up to where she thought she should be.

    I ended up calling my parents to get their advice even though I didn’t trust them. We came up with this plan that she couldn’t live with me until she got something signed that said she wasn’t going to hit me. God, another blow to her dignity. And this document I wanted didn’t exist! What doctor would sign that?

    I just didn’t know what I was doing. But I told her that and that was the end of our relationship. She went to live with a friend in New Jersey. I pretended this was for the best.
    Until I lost my shit. I started to call her every day while we were at our jobs. For forty minutes I’d talk to her and she’d tell me how she couldn’t talk to me. Then I’d do the same thing the next day- it was a weird torture that I put us both through. This must have lasted at least two months until she stopped answering her phone.

    That’s most of the story. We’ve had some periods of contact since then but it’s still troublesome. She visited the states once and I still thought she was amazing but I still felt a bit disrespected in that she only gave me an hour. We tried emailing each other but in the end I told her I had to stop that. She was taking over a month to respond each time and I just couldn’t find a natural way to communicate like that.
    Aimee88 and Stella like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Living with someone who has BPD, bi-polar disorder, or depression can be a very stressful situation. Our goodist personality only exacerbates this tension, as we want to go above and beyond in our care for them. It can be difficult to understand that there are limitations to what we can do. This is one reason why organizations such as the DBSA have programs for people who have loved once with these problems. It is important to understand your needs and how the relationships effected your own health. It sounds like you are doing this which is great, and will really help you make even more progress.

    Thanks for sharing this story. I know it can be hard to write about personal matters, but, as I have found, it can be very therapeutic to release the tension we built up over time.
    Aimee88 and Endless luke like this.
  3. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    I'm not sure it was difficult to write about it. I didn't want to do it but it was more the reluctance when faced with any assignment. I did have some neck pain while I was doing it. That's pretty unusual for me since I almost always have tension but not pain. Anyway, I'm not going to focus on it and am going to keep doing the structured program.

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