Thank you for sharing your story. I think Tony has given you some great insights but I wanted to add to the conversation from the perspective of a carer.
I have supported my child, who fell ill with a mental health condition at age 13, for the past 10 years. It’s not easy.
I know the devastation you are feeling and the angst of having to choose between looking out for someone you love or looking after yourself.
Short term, it’s essential that you look after yourself. Make time to do something nice for yourself daily. Visit a friend, exercise, read—whatever works for you.
At an appropriate time, have a discussion with your partner about the impact of her mental health condition and behaviour on you. It may not be about you but it affects you, so for the relationship to work there must be more openness and transparency from her. It’s only fair.
My daughter and I engaged the help of a psychologist to help us negotiate boundaries and behaviours that worked for both of us.
For example, when upset and unwell my daughter would feel like she had to get out of the house and just take off (she has OCD and our home is full of triggers).This would leave me worried sick—imagine a distressed teen roaming the neighbourhood after dark.
Together we identified a family known and trusted to us both and approached them to see if they would unconditionally provide a safe haven for my daughter in these moments. Thankfully they agreed and both my daughter’s needs and mine were met.
What I am saying is that you and your needs matter. With some help I really hope the two of you can sort it out because your partner is really lucky to have such a kind and caring person in her life.
Kind thoughts to you