It's been a long six years of living with and trying to care for a mentally ill partner.
I know I didn't cause his mental illness. It was there before I knew him, including the behaviour patterns he displays now.
But I can't help thinking I'm part of the problem.
Things never get better. Counselling, psychologist, psychiatrist, GP, medication - now talk of Occupational Therapy... none of this has led to any change. I compromise constantly, forgive, go without, shoulder the responsibility, do what's needed. But it seems like a race to the bottom. Inevitably, the next swing sets in with accompanying behaviours. I constantly lower my own standards, firstly to make the crappiness of it all seem more bearable (the 'well how much can I really expect' bargain one makes with oneself), and secondly so we can keep going as a family. But the pressure is always on me to prevent the next deterioration into a lower set of acceptable behaviour, and I get exhausted.
Recently I told him I'd had enough. Over the six years of us being together, he's become worse, not better, therefore, I must be a part of the problem. Some friends have talked to him about his behaviour and he's lifted his game. He has actually tried. But if knowing that I'm fed up and packing my bags is the only thing that will get him to participate healthily, and I don't want to live in a constant state of being fed up so as to get that action, then - what's the point?
I can't help thinking I'm part of the problem. If I break this up - he'll be mentally ill anyway. Mentally ill with me, mentally ill without me. If all the effort over the last six years to learn about and try and help with this problem has amounted to greater unhappiness, then it seems the best step is to break up.
I don't like who I am anymore. Over the last few months I've become hardened, de-sensitized. I'm losing compassion for his situation. I'm angry too. Have I been used? Is his problem not depression, but some type of personality disorder that sees him enjoying all this drama he creates? I'm becoming intolerant. I speak bluntly or just refuse to speak sometimes. I'm exhausted. Sometimes when I think of him, the only words in my head are swear words. I don't think I can be nice anymore, let alone kind. It's worrying.
Maybe it isn't that I've been part of the problem, but that if I continue on, I will certainly become part of the problem.
Any thoughts? I know I'm not the first to be thinking like this.