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On Being the Victim of a Mentally Ill Person

Disclaimer/Edit: I am sorry I came across as kind of an ass - it is definitely not ok to make assumptions about a person having a mental illness, and VERY MUCH not ok to categorize people who are mentally ill as lacking control or agency, and not consider them individuals. My frustration stems from lots of people telling me I should feel sorry for him, he has issues, etc. It planted a little voice in my head - probably one with a guilty, Catholic accent - that says, "You should forgive him." And I know that when I broke up with him, his world crashed and burned, so I carry a little unnecessary guilt there. Anyways, proceed with the original post:

I had an abusive boyfriend. He was the worst. It has been about 7 years since we broke up, and I still have echoes of the trauma that he caused me. He was mostly emotionally and psychologically abusive, and it escalated a couple of times.

Whiskey and I collaborated on a piece about the fucked up things people said to us about our abusive experiences. If you know someone who has gone through this, please read what all the wrong things to say are.


I hate him - I hate him for what he did to me, for how my problems with him changed my relationships with others (mutual acquaintances and people I know today - I am always watching for signs). However, while I have little experience with manic depressives or bipolar personalities, he seems to fit the bill.

After lots of hind sight, it really seemed that he had probably been on medication for a while and had gone off it, or maybe vice versa - there was a big shift in there, even though there were signs all along. I knew nothing about it then but it makes sense now. It really is the only explanation for some of his episodes and the bizarre shit he said and the inexplicable ways he acted.

How do I reconcile hating him with the empathy I am supposed to feel for him, because he is ill? I very much consider mental illness legitimate (as everyone should but unfortunately doesn't), and I think those who suffer from it deserve empathy. I suffer from mild depression and anxiety myself, and I sure as shit want empathy and tenderness.


I just cannot seem to stop feeling like a demon for holding him responsible for his actions. I mean, he REALLY fucked up with me. He made me fear for my life and the lives of my family. He broke and entered, vandalized, threatened, raised his hands to me, stalked me - REALLY fucked with me.

Man, I am FULL of feelings this week.

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