I have this friend- let's call her Hera. Hera happens to be the partner of exGod*. Yesterday Hera and I were going to hang out-we hang out sometimes and it's all cool and I enjoy it immensely- but what she neglected to tell me until the last minute was that we weren't hanging out alone. exGod was going to be there. Things got messy, everyone got upset, and now the problem is technically behind us but I'm emotionally exhausted. You see, Hera has these mood swings and is most likely bipolar like me. Unlike me, Hera's moodswings aren't treated and she is not open about it.

My mother is bipolar, my cousin most likely is too- I've lived around women who are furious and terrifying at the drop of a hat but who are fine and dandy the next. I learned to deal with it by basically rolling over and playing dead. I try to drift with their currents, apologize for whatever offense I may have perpetrated to set them off, try to fix whatever is broken in any way I can. It can be frustrating but some part of me feels like it keeps me safe. I'm also very protective of people with MI-as a person who lives with it I try very hard to be understanding and compassionate. These things combined make me extremely passive and conciliatory. exGod* seems to do some of this too, and it's something we bonded over in the past.

Last night, however, I kept having nightmares that made me scream and twitch. I don't remember all of them, but one involved exGod asking me to help him hide a tiger from the zoo. He kept saying the tiger was friendly, the tiger was misunderstood, the tiger was so young—but I was so scared. The tiger was angry, the tiger was scared, the tiger was sad—but most of all it was a friggin tiger.

This is how it feels sometimes to care for/about a person with mental illness, especially when it's untreated. I fear that this is what it's like having other people caring for me. I don't want people to be worried about me or scared of me or intimidated and overwhelmed by my mood swings. At the same time I don't want people to avoid relationships with me or try to force me into treatments I wouldn't want. It's selfish, but when I see people suffering there is a part of my heart that wants to go out and dive into that muck with them and help but a part that goes "there but for the grace of God go I" and is afraid.

This post is rambly and self-absorbed so I apologize, but it's a complicated situation and I don't know how to feel. I'm not going to abandon either exGod or Hera altogether because I really like the both of them, but maybe after the holiday season I'll need a break to get my thoughts together.

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I was so lonely for so long. I don't want to lose these new friends... I don't know what to do.

*For any of you who are confused, I used to be in a polyamorous BD/sM relationship with (S)exGod. Hera is his primary.