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Mental Illness and DDlg


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Guest DominantBlogger

There is something we don’t talk about much in the BDSM lifestyle and in DDLG in particular.  That is how to cope with a partner who suffers from mental illness.

Keep yourself mentally and physically healthy.  You cannot be there for your partner if you are not healthy yourself.  Not only that, but many of us who have been in relationships where your partner was suffering thought we could remain objective.  We could remain above what was going on day to day.  IT WILL CHANGE YOU.  That doesn’t make it bad.  But it is bad not to realize it.  

Find a good venting partner…  Now…  This is touchy…   I’ve said this a long time.  Do not vent to people of the sexual orientation or gender you find attractive or that find you attractive…  i.e.  Don’t vent to people you could one day fall for or that could fall for you.  WAY too much drama…  Avoid it…  

Realize no matter how much you love your partner, they will still be sick.  It isn’t about your love or their love.  It doesn’t matter how many coping mechanisms the two of you develop, they will still be sick and you will never be able to hold them to the same standard you might someone who is not ill.  

Understand it is ok to let go.  Often times the partners of people with mental illness can feel trapped and unable to leave a relationship due to the result this might have on their partner.  No matter what your role, your partner is an adult.  They are sick, of course.  But your responsibility ends at the point where the relationship is no longer consensual.  Be an adult.  Don’t pick a fight to create a reason for leaving.  If you decide it, do it quickly, decisively and without giving false hope for the future.  

Guilt is a powerful thing.  Don’t assign it to or accept it from someone else.  Own your shit.  

Realize not everyone with mental illness is good.  Not everyone is bad.  Everyone falls somewhere in-between.  That means that sometimes they are going to do genuinely bad things to you.  Don’t romanticize it.  Address it and move on or don’t and move out.  

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  When it comes to kids being involved this gets much harder but understand you cannot stay for someone else.  I stayed married to someone with mental illness for 10 years because I thought I needed to for my stepsons…  In the end I lost both of them and came very close to losing my biological children, as well.  Recognize the greater good.

It is amazing what can become ‘normal’.  Often a relationship with someone who suffers from mental illness can become abusive.  Don’t stay in a bad situation because you are afraid of the unknown.  Don’t make excuses for them because of the mental illness.  When it comes to abuse there are clear lines which cannot be crossed.  Clearly communicate what your your intentions would be if they every cross those lines and follow through on your promises.  It is never ok.

Just some food for thought…  This is still a work in process but I will likely post this on Fet sometime when it is complete.

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"Don’t make excuses for them because of the mental illness.  When it comes to abuse there are clear lines which cannot be crossed.  Clearly communicate what your your intentions would be if they every cross those lines and follow through on your promises.  It is never ok." 

 

Well said. These are valuable and valid points on a tough subject. 

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Just want to say, if someone with a mental illness becomes abusive, get them help. Don't leave them by themselves cause it won't do anything. I am an abusive little with a very strong chance of having a mental illness.

 

My Daddy has suffered a lot because of it, but I only become abusive when I'm hurt so if he were to abandon me I would break. I am a stubborn little and I refused to go get help due to my dislike of doctors. It wasn't till I nearly hurt Daddy that I realised I needed to go through with getting help (Daddy had previously laid down an ultimatum and I went to go get help, however didn't want to follow through with it).

 

I think if Daddy abandoned me I'd have probably done something stupid and harmful. Just don't stay in an abusive relationship and do nothing, help your partner. Ofcourse protect yourself, but get them help at the same time.

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Trigger Warning:

I think personal responsibility still has to come into play here... lil-bearcub I understand what you're saying but your mental well being is your responsibility not your Daddy's. While it is possible you would have done something "stupid and harmful" it is just as likely that you would have realized there was a problem in another way and gotten help for yourself. This is not really an either/or situation as one can never know the past without being influenced by the choices we've already made.

 

My own biological father would take knives and harm himself in front of my mother when she tried to leave him. So she stayed, became pregnant, married him, had me, and then all Hell broke loose, they divorced soon after. My mother, as broken as she was, realized she could not "cure" my father. 

 

I have PTSD and my husband has dealt with that for many years, but I do not look to him to save me as that one is my sole responsibility.

 

 "No matter what your role, your partner is an adult.  They are sick, of course.  But your responsibility ends at the point where the relationship is no longer consensual.  Be an adult."

 

I think these are good and true words and no matter how little or Big we are, they are important to keep in mind.

It is good that that your Daddy stood by you though, and I'm glad you both have each other. :)

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I agree with littlewildmermaid, as somebody who has mental illness I find support from my partner but at the end of the day it's really up to me to get help and take care of myself. I actually was suffering from my illness long before my current relationship and I put off finding one until I felt better in myself, instead of just seeking out the first person who I could cling onto because I knew that wouldn't end well. Mental illness is hard but if you have people supporting you then you have the power to move yourself forward

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Guest DominantBlogger

Looking at the initial post, I agree to a point with lil-bearcub.  One should always be trying to get their partner help.  Ultimately, everyone is an adult and responsible for their own life and decisions.  However, as a partner you should always encourage them to get help.

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Trigger warning: A note on what lil-bearcub said, yes by all means encourage your partner to seek help, try to help them but know this: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. That's cliche but it's true. I learned this the hard way. I stayed in an abusive relationship for years. I nearly lost MYSELF in the process of trying to help my ex. You cannot make them get better. You cannot make them accept help. THEY have to want to get better, to accept the help. And it's OKAY to walk away if they don't. I almost lost my life because I didn't know it was okay to walk away, because I didn't think I could. You CAN and it IS. I now have my own mental issues. I don't say any of this to scare anyone, this post just hits home for me and if my story spares anyone the things I went through, the things I'm going through because of what I went through then I'm happy to share my experience. And lil-bearcub, I'm not saying anything bad about you at all. Good on you for knowing you need help and seeking it out. Good on your Daddy for sticking with you while you work on it but it's not always like that. Sometimes they don't want your help no matter how much you try and it IS okay to walk away.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Little_Miss
I think how tough a relationship can be depends on the type and severity of the mental illness. I see mental illness and abuse as separate problems. As always communication is a big thing. Voice your concerns to your partner, work for a solution or negotiate. Both parties should be getting something from the relationship and be happy no matter what. Through the hard times and the good times. If it's not working, if you're not happy, if you're partner is not taking in your concerns, yes it is okay to leave. I would just like to point out that those who suffer from a mental illness can be particularly vulnerable to partners who are abusive and not be at all abusive themselves.
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  • 4 weeks later...
My littles and I all have mental illnesses. All of us have ptsd and a few anxiety disorders, my little boy has depression, my babygirl has bipolar 1, and I have schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. But I think because we're all mentally ill we understand each other in a way that nobody else does and that's why we're good for each other. We've also been in counseling for a long time, but at the same time we work together to help each other's problems and support each other.
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Guest harlequinkid

Trigger Warning: Abuse Mention

 

 

I have some mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder & ptsd. The ptsd comes from past abuse/trauma, & makes me worried that I'll never be able to have a healthy relationship in the future. I like the idea of being a submissive & having a relationship with a daddy/mommy/caregiver Dom that also has some elements of servitude in it, & possibly some non-sexual humiliation play elements. However, I'm worried that some of those things (particularly the humiliation play) would be unhealthy or damaging for me. In addition, I feel weird about my interest in humiliation play; I've read that some of that play can include things that might be considered as abuse (outside a scene), so my interest in that kind of play confuses me a lot. The verbal abuse I went through made me feel terrible, so why would I want to go through anything that feels in any way similar to that again? Why do I want someone to be "mean" to me, even as part of a scene? Why do I want to be owned, when I was part of a controlling relationship that makes me sick to think about now? 

 

I'm worried that I'll never be able to have a healthy D/s relationship...which makes me really upset, since I don't really feel interested in a non D/s relationship. I'm worried that I'll always be "too mentally ill" to function well in a healthy romantic relationship. 

 

For now, I'm trying to just tell myself that I don't need a relationship to be happy. I don't have a lot of other good coping mechanisms for these worries & feelings, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate some feedback. 

 

Also, I have no idea if this reply was off topic or not; sorry if it was!!

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