I met my ex-girlfriend on an online dating website and things got serious pretty quickly. She had bipolar disorder but was not getting treated. She lived with her parents and had a rocky relationship with her domineering and controlling mother. I always got the impression that her parents viewed my ex-girlfriend as a disappointment in comparison to her two older sisters who were both married with their own families. It seemed like her parents were happy with just about anybody who take my ex-girlfriend off her hands.
Initially I got along with her parents. I attended family gatherings, holidays and even went on a vacation with them. Over time, however, things changed. It started during a dinner we had with her parents. Her mother had a habit of scolding my ex-girlfriend about seemingly petty things. Even though it was an awkward situation that was uncomfortable, her mother was very unapologetic and instead got upset at me for not talking.
After two years together, we started to run into some problems. My ex-girlfriend was pressuring me into getting engaged, mainly so she could get my health insurance and get treated for her bipolar disorder. She even talked about eloping first so she didn’t have to wait to claim my insurance. I started to feel that the relationship was a little one-sided. We practically spent all of our free time together and I was bothered she never showed much interest in any of my hobbies and was always very vocal about how stupid they were. Another problem were her mood swings which often lead to arguments, which occasionally took place in public places.
After we broke up, I went out on my own while my ex-girlfriend immediately jumped into another relationship. Also during that time, her parents sort of relented and allowed her to get treated for her bipolar disorder. After a few months, we both realized that we still had feelings for each other and decided to get back together, promising that things would be different.
At first not everyone was excited that we were back together, mainly her parents. They were upset because they believed her new boyfriend would’ve eventually married her and because they believed I had caused my ex-girlfriend’s mood swings. My ex-girlfriend’s mother was upset at me over an incident that happened a year ago that never occurred. Even though my ex-girlfriend believed her, I was suspicious of her mother.
Initially everything seemed to be going great. The relationship was a lot more balanced and because my ex-girlfriend was taking medication she wasn’t getting those mood swings that plagued us last time. Around the holidays, things started to turn. I was driving my ex-girlfriend to the airport and my car got a flat tire. As I pulled into the gas station, she started screaming at me, like she did before she was taking her medication. It was so bad that the attendants felt sorry for me and gave me the replacement tire for free. Even though my ex-girlfriend wrote off the incident as holiday-related stress, it was the first indication that something wasn’t right.
Over the next month, my ex-girlfriend continued to act erratically and decided to break up with me on Valentine’s Day, only to change her mind the following day and the same pattern would occur every few weeks. Also during that time, my ex-girlfriend discovered that her mother had tricked her into not taking her bipolar medication and had told her doctor that she no longer needed them causing her doctor to believe she was misdiagnosed.
Eventually, my ex-girlfriend’s mother began to act even more coldly towards me. During an argument over the phone, I overheard her mother screaming in background and demanded that she break up with me and get it over with. Every time I saw her mother, I tried to be friendly or polite to her but she either scowl at me or storm out of the room. She continued to badmouth me and even made bizarre accusations about me. She claimed that I wasn’t serious about getting married and claimed that I was gay. She even told family members that she didn’t think that I was a nice person.
By the spring, my ex-girlfriend’s mood swings started to get worse. One night, my ex-girlfriend had too much to drink and she started grinding against me at a restaurant. After I quietly pushed her off of me and told her to stop, she started screaming at me and eventually pushed me out the door. When I returned, she continued to scream at me and had to be told to leave by the manager.
On the way home, I told her we were finished but she wanted to talk. She asked for another chance and promised to stop drinking. When I wouldn’t reconsider, she got upset demanded that I get out of her car and kicked me in my ribs and threw a half empty wine bottle out the window. The following day, she changed her mind and tried to convince me to give her another chance. After she got her friends to contact me, I felt like I had no choice but to give in.
In the following weeks. My ex-girlfriend’s mood swings got worse and she even got pushy and demanding. When I tried breaking up with her again, she again forced me to reconsider and sometimes held me hostage in her house until I reconsidered. Personally I felt trapped. When my ex-girlfriend and I got back together, this was not what I had envisioned. Now I felt depressed and noticed that I had gained weight.
I decided that I needed an outlet for my feelings and decided to sign up for an obstacle course race. My ex-girlfriend immediately thought it was a dumb idea and was upset that I ask her permission. She also hated that I joined a Sunday softball league with a friend, even though she worked on that day. She always expected me to stay home and meet with her after she got off of work.
The night before the race, my ex-girlfriend decided to rehash an old argument about how she felt that I wasn’t committed to her and believed her mother was about me. The argument continued as I was driving her home and when I tried to break up with her again, she lost her temper and started hitting me over the head with a book as I was driving. Afterwards, I was forced to change my mind after she refused to leave my car. The following week, I finally broke up with my ex-girlfriend after I cancelled my plans with her and she furiously berated me on the phone. Unlike last summer, this was for good.
In the months that followed, my ex-girlfriend continued to try to contact me.
Sometimes she scolded me for breaking up with her and occasionally she begged for another chance. She even would scream at remaining mutual friends when they wouldn’t tell her any information they had on me. I also learned that she was in a serious car accident that some of her friends believe might been a suicide attempt. Eventually, she stopped trying to contact me and I learned that she had started dating another guy and was once again taking bipolar medication.
As for me, I rediscovered how to have fun again. I made a lot of new friends on the softball team I joined that summer. It helped that we won the championship and I ended up making the game winning catch. I also lost 50 pounds and have since competed in 3 more obstacle course races. I even started dating again and am currently in the early stages of a new relationship. It’s been fun and I can't remember the last time I felt this happy or excited about my life.
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