Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?

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intotheblack

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Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« on: January 20, 2020, 02:15:02 PM »
Hello all,

I found myself here on OOTF whilst researching a variety of PD topics due to concerns i have with my current relationship. I'll try and keep things as brief as possible but would appreciate any responses from those who have personal experience of anything remotely similar.

To outline, i've been with my partner for 4 years and married for 2. When we met i instinctively felt i had found the girl of my dreams and felt confident this was a relationship that was worth putting everything into. Initially things were great. I can't say anything really jumped out by way of a red flag or concern, but i did feel she was very work focused. I put this down to her having career determination and thought little of it at the time. The only other thing that felt a little odd was that she never complimented me ever on anything - if we went out on a date she would never said she thought i looked smart or make any kind of nice comment. Again, i just put that thought to the side.

As time went on i started to notice that her work was all consuming. Within a few months she was asking me to write her e-mails for her to certain people because she thought i had a better way with words. This went from the occasional e-mail to almost every e-mail. She would get quite annoyed if i expressed any kind of reluctance to help. She began to talk about her work more and more, to the exclusion of talking about anything else. She wouldn't ask me about my day, or ask how i was doing, or even make general chit-chat over dinner.

The physical aspect of our relationship quickly became very routine. More so, it became completely one-sided - me being the only one putting any effort in. I tried on a number of occasions to bring the subject up only for her to get extremely upset and shut the conversation down by saying "when you mention it, it just makes me feel even more blocked". In other words, it's not my problem. This began to have a huge effect on my self-esteem. I started to feel like it was a chore to her, and she had no interest in me.

I found myself kind of soldiering on in the relationship, always thinking things might improve. Any time i tried to voice an issue i'd be met with an irrational response. She is hyper-sensitive to criticism and appears to see everything in black and white - if i say anything at all to her which she perceives as negative, then she throws herself into the "you think i'm a bad person" hole. It is incredibly tedious to deal with.

Things changed about 18 months ago. She got pregnant. We hadn't planned it but to me it was a nice surprise and i was quite inclined to follow nature's course and see it as 'one of those things that just happen in life'. Her reaction was completely different however - she became wildly erratic, disappearing from the house late at night and staying in hotels not telling me where she was etc. She wouldn't discuss things with me directly but seemed to be constantly in communication with her (toxic, quite possibly uNPD) mother. This went on for 12 weeks, each day a full day of circular, weird arguments and further random disappearances. Eventually she made the decision to terminate the baby, on the basis that it clashed with some work related thing she was due to start the same month as the baby would be due. I was devastated, but kept a lid on it because i knew things were highly emotional and difficult for her. The following month she started saying she wanted to try for another baby....

Things calmed a little, but partly due to the fact she was away a lot with work. However, last November she was in London for work and i started to feel she was acting very oddly. For the entire two weeks every phone call i would receive from her would start with "this person i am working with is talking about me behind my back", or "i'm sure the director is trying to push me aside" etc. I'm talking about three or four phone calls a day. Not once did she ask how i was, how my work was going, how my parents were.

When she returned from London we had a few days of relative calm. However, i had been wanting to bring up the subject of finances for a while (i pay all the bills and had been trying to have a proper discussion with her for well over a year). I gently raised the issue one night only to be met with floods of tears and upset - she managed to put herself into victim mode within minutes and a backed down, but not before she ran from the house saying she was going to stay in a hotel. The speed at which she reacted was unbelievable.

When she returned the following day, she just walked in the door and started packing stuff into bags. I tried to converse with her but she was unwilling to talk. What followed was three days of the house being covered in half packed bags and her sleeping in the middle of the living room floor. On the fourth day i was so fed up i said to her straight "what are you doing ? are you moving out or unpacking all this stuff ? It's been going on for days and i'm fed up stepping over things and i can't even get you to discuss what is happening". She responded "i haven't made a decision". So, as fed up with the drama and the dragging nature of it i said "okay let me help you pack the rest of your things". What followed was bizarre - she immediately phoned her mother (as she often does in such moments) and i could hear the mother rattling on at length on the phone. When she came off the call she told me her mother thinks i'm (me) toxic and that she is in a dangerous relationship. that day she booked tickets to fly to her mother's for the following morning (December 12th).

Everything was so weird and moving so fast i could barely think. I took her to the airport the following morning and saw her off. Ten minutes later i got a text from her telling me she felt really bad about leaving and she loved me. Things calmed down for a few days and the texts between us were fairly warm if a little restrained. However, out the blue on the fifth night she called up and started screaming down the phone "give me a move out date - I WANT A MOVE OUT DATE !". Shocked i found myself saying perhaps it'd be better if she gave me a date and i'd be there. Her response "NO NO I WANT YOU TO TELL ME". The whole thing had rattled me. I went off the phone and texted an hour later that the 3rd of January would be fine for a move out date. I immediately got this aggressive reply stating "you had better be sure this is what you want. I'm giving you until 4pm to make your decision otherwise i will inform my parents of what is happening and you will see the consequences". I just sat there completely confused as to what was going on.

After a couple of days of the above, she went completely silent. No answer to my texts, wouldn't pick up calls. I spent Christmas alone wondering what was going on and when she was coming home. As it turned out, she flew back on December 31st, but didn't tell me. She spent the night with a friend, then stayed at her old flat.

I managed to get a meeting with her on January 1st. It was supposed to be a heart to heart and i genuinely thought we could sort out whatever the issues were. However, she came in on the offensive and started with "what are YOU going to change about yourself to make this marriage work ??". I was honestly stuck for words. I suggested it'd be better if she told me what i could improve only to be met with "NO i want YOU to tell me". She keeps repeating that she "wants a family" but refuses to acknowledge my points about her inabilities to discuss relationship basics without reacting and running off into the night. We went round in circles for 3 hours with her constantly deflecting, moving the subject matter, mis-quoting me on things, regurgitating old arguments, and making statements out of context to suit her narrative. It was utterly pointless.

The following evening she turns up at our home with a suitcase, and dramatically starts packing things into it then creating this huge mountain of stuff in the living room. I stay calm and say to her that i assume she's moving out and that i'll help her if she wishes. I then said i'd leave her to it as it is obviously a bit uncomfortable, and i left the house to go to the local bar. I had literally walked into the bar and my phone beeps - it's her mother, aggressively warning me that i am 'illegally evicting' her daughter from her home. She reminds me it is a criminal offence to do so and states that she will contact the police if i continue down this route. I politely but firmly reply that no one is forcing her daughter to do anything and that she is packing her stuff as we speak against my will - she replies "we know the law and will not hesitate to use it". I return to the house at midnight, and my wife has unpacked everything and put everything back where it was. The suitcase is empty, and she has gone back to her old flat for the night.

This routine continues for two days, but bizarrely on the third day when i return from giving her space to pack i find her hysterical. She is literally in floods of tears. When i ask what is wrong she informs me that her father is on his way from France and will be picking up a van at midnight to come and clear her stuff from the house. She looks panic stricken. I calmly tell her that she doesn't need to move out, that everything is fixable, and all we need to do is calmly sit down and talk. The following day all her belongings are gone from my house.

On January 5th i received a text from her. She's going back to France in the morning. It's now January 20th and she has been silent for ten days. I feel her silence is deliberate and passive aggressive. It feels like she's trying to get me to buckle under and give in to her demands and she is weaponizing silence and distance as a means to achieve that. Much as i want to know what is going on i refuse to contact her for fear she will use it to make me feel worse. I am however emotionally exhausted dealing with it all and finding it very difficult to focus on anything.

My gut feeling is that she is an undiagnosed covert narcissist. She is incredibly self-centered and i haven't seen any empathy from her in the past 5 weeks. It feels like the discard phase. I have had experience of this in the past and her behaviours seem to line up perfectly with the characteristics of that specific disorder. However, i also have moments where i feel i must have it totally wrong and it must be something to do with me, or it must be me imagining certain things. I feel like i'm going mad.

Any opinions would be much appreciated.

D
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 02:37:24 PM by intotheblack »

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looloo

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2020, 02:43:42 PM »
Well, hereís my two cents (itís brief):

Focus on the practical matter of your living situation and marital status.  I recommend getting as much physical distance as possible, just to think more clearly and to be able to hear your own voice without interference.  If you can take the steps to make living without her official (lease/landlord arrangements), do that.

And talk to a lawyer about a legal separation or divorce.  I just donít see any sincere, clear, good faith communication at all coming from your wife. Her behavior is abusive and should not be tolerated ó no matter what her issues might be.

Iím sorry youíre going through this. 
ďIf you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.Ē  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 03:10:26 PM »
You certainly describe some very confusing, contradictory, and strange behaviour.  When something like that happens to me I forget about the words and just stick with the behaviour. It seems you tried to discuss some practical financial arrangement and found yourself deep in the fog and your wife gone. She packs and unpacks but no normal adult conversation seems possible. Adults resolve conflicts through calm discussions. It doesn't look like this is possible in your set up. Have you ever asked yourself what attracts you to this kind of drama?

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 03:26:24 PM »
Well, hereís my two cents (itís brief):

Focus on the practical matter of your living situation and marital status.  I recommend getting as much physical distance as possible, just to think more clearly and to be able to hear your own voice without interference.  If you can take the steps to make living without her official (lease/landlord arrangements), do that.

And talk to a lawyer about a legal separation or divorce.  I just donít see any sincere, clear, good faith communication at all coming from your wife. Her behavior is abusive and should not be tolerated ó no matter what her issues might be.

Iím sorry youíre going through this.

Thank you for the clear and practical suggestions. I think things have been so erratic and overwhelming that i haven't really focused on myself but i know i have to. She is (as far as i am aware) still in France and i have no idea if or when she will be back - i need to get some legal advice as a matter of priority and self-preservation.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2020, 03:38:52 PM »
I assume you're not attracted to this drama, just confused as hell.

What you've described is normal for a PD and abnormal for anyone else.

Bringing children into this would amplify the problems drastically. Not that you've neicated this is a consideration, it's just something I wanted to confirm. If I were a guy in this sitaution I would ensure myself that children wouldn't be a factor.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2020, 03:51:23 PM »
I assume you're not attracted to this drama, just confused as hell.

What you've described is normal for a PD and abnormal for anyone else.

Bringing children into this would amplify the problems drastically. Not that you've neicated this is a consideration, it's just something I wanted to confirm. If I were a guy in this sitaution I would ensure myself that children wouldn't be a factor.

Yes i am really confused as to what has happened over the last five weeks and why. The speed at which everything has gone wrong and the total lack of a sense of her wanting to fight for the marriage is incredibly difficult to deal with. None of it makes any sense.

I agree with your comments re: children - to be absolutely blunt i don't think she is emotionally mature enough to be a mother, and her inability to deal with day to day issues without running off or over-reacting gives me the fear as to what it would be like if there was a child involved. If she hadn't terminated the pregnancy we'd have a one year old now - if that was actually the case then i'm sure she would have taken it with her to France with this latest drama and that would have been incredibly difficult.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2020, 04:03:41 PM »
From what you’ve posted it doesn’t seem like there is much to work with. There is a lot of drama and uncertainty in your post. Her diagnosis is neither here nor there really. We can’t diagnose another person. Only a professional can and really there  is no good outcome. If she does have a PD it will be a long road ahead and this will likely be your life going forward and that of any innocent child that is brought in to the situation. If she doesn’t have a PD there is something going on and she clearly is unhappy.

I alway recommend Codependent No More to people in situations like this. I found it invaluable in identifying my own behaviors and explaining my relationships.

I wish you luck with what ever you decide.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 04:06:20 PM by GettingOOTF »

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2020, 05:37:19 PM »
From what youíve posted it doesnít seem like there is much to work with. There is a lot of drama and uncertainty in your post. Her diagnosis is neither here nor there really. We canít diagnose another person. Only a professional can and really there  is no good outcome. If she does have a PD it will be a long road ahead and this will likely be your life going forward and that of any innocent child that is brought in to the situation. If she doesnít have a PD there is something going on and she clearly is unhappy.

I alway recommend Codependent No More to people in situations like this. I found it invaluable in identifying my own behaviors and explaining my relationships.

I wish you luck with what ever you decide.

I'm fairly certain she is uNPD. I had a gf years ago who was a diagnosed NPD and the only difference between her and my wife is that she was extremely overt whereas my wife is more the shy/vulnerable type. Fragile self-image, hyper-sensitivity to criticism, black and white thinking, no empathy, rage etc etc. I feel that her mask slipped in December and the erratic behaviour which i've experienced since is the true-self coming to the surface.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2020, 06:39:42 PM »
I can relate to the confusion. It is really confusing.and what makes it even more confusing is how totally normal they think they are.

There is the Toolbox. It sounds like you may already be lracticing some level of Medium Chill and not JADEing.

Read around and see if you can relate to anything else on here. I hope you can come to some kind of peace/resolution.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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Glasssh1

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2020, 07:40:47 PM »
This sounds like a more extreme version of a period of time with my uppdh. It was so confusing. If you decide to interact with her in the future (and I would definitely get legal advice on this), medium chill and no JADE is absolutely key. It wasnít until I became very disciplined about this that some of my confusion lifted.  The other thing I would highly recommend is discipline about journaling all your future interactions with her and her parents  and all you can remember in the past. Stress causes amnesia, and I canít tell you how many times I have thought to myself ďI donít know what I was so upset aboutĒ only to review what I wrote and realize yes, things really were that bad.

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2020, 07:51:06 PM »
This sounds like a more extreme version of a period of time with my uppdh. It was so confusing. If you decide to interact with her in the future (and I would definitely get legal advice on this), medium chill and no JADE is absolutely key. It wasnít until I became very disciplined about this that some of my confusion lifted.  The other thing I would highly recommend is discipline about journaling all your future interactions with her and her parents  and all you can remember in the past. Stress causes amnesia, and I canít tell you how many times I have thought to myself ďI donít know what I was so upset aboutĒ only to review what I wrote and realize yes, things really were that bad.

Thank you for the advice. Confusion is definitely the primary issue. Her behaviour has been so erratic and contradictory. I just can't get my head around why it escalated from nothing to this so quickly.

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D.Dan

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2020, 09:25:03 PM »
WOW  :aaauuugh: your post gave me whiplash. I'm wondering if there is something going on in her life that you don't know about? That she's trying to hide from you.

When my uPDex escalated like that twice during our marriage, both had to do with his online affair with a minor.

I suspect the first time was because the girl he was having the relationship with, probably broke it off. He was spiralling because he thought she was going to contact me to tell me everything. So he just distracted me with threats to himself, threats to his boss (he was let go for it), threats to our kids, and just making sure I was too scared to do anything against him.

The second time was because he thought she reported their relationship to the police in her country. He assumed they contacted me and I was just lying about it, so he spiralled again. He became highly unstable and dangerous, he was very suspicious of me and started trying to come with me everywhere, listen in on all my phone calls, listen to my conversations with others through the walls of our house, going through any and all notebooks I would write in (luckily they were about budgeting, house repairs and ideas/things for our kids needs), just very..... controlling of my time, activities and my interactions with other people. This prompted me to start planning to divorce him.

I had no idea why these things were happening at those times. The things he said and did were frightening because they came out of nowhere and I didn't know what to do. I didn't understand why he was spiralling and what he did tell me didn't make any sense.

So to me, it looks like your wife is caught up in something (with PDs it could be ANYTHING really...) that you don't know about and is trying to control the situation and what happens going forward. Most likely to her advantage, not yours. It just seems confusing because you're missing the other half of the puzzle that she's got a death-grip on.

Depending on what you want to do going forward, I would recommend journaling and therapy (talking it out with someone else can help keep your grip on reality when chaos strikes again) and if you do decide on separation or divorce, then I definitely recommend getting legal advice/lawyer because she'll most likely spiral like this during a divorce/legal separation too.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2020, 12:35:39 PM »
I would say there has been a lot of very abusive behavior from the beginning.

This will not change.  Her spending the nights away in hotels around the time of the pregnancy then terminating it only to want to try to be pregnant again makes me wonder if she knew that child was not yours and was spending time with another to decide what to do.

I think you need to spend time working on self care to over come this 4year whirlwind so you have strength to press forward.  There will be tough times and hard decisions to be sure.

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ICantThinkOfAName

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2020, 12:45:40 PM »
I agree with D.Dan.  I was thinking the exact same thing.  Crazy behavior that makes no sense to you has a piece you are missing and usually you are missing that piece because they don't want you to know.

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2020, 02:28:54 PM »
I would say there has been a lot of very abusive behavior from the beginning.

This will not change.  Her spending the nights away in hotels around the time of the pregnancy then terminating it only to want to try to be pregnant again makes me wonder if she knew that child was not yours and was spending time with another to decide what to do.

I think you need to spend time working on self care to over come this 4year whirlwind so you have strength to press forward.  There will be tough times and hard decisions to be sure.

Yes i agree i think there has been abuse from the beginning, although it has become more overt and obtuse in recent months. Pretty certain the child was mine because we both know the date it would have been conceived and she missed her period the first time around after that, hence doing the test.

But yes you are right, i do need to focus on myself. Her latest stunt is this extended period of ongoing silent treatment. I would normally chase her/try to find out what was wrong etc, but something in me has prevented me from reacting. I guess my threshold has been breached - i'm not willing to play her game any more.

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2020, 02:34:28 PM »
I agree with D.Dan.  I was thinking the exact same thing.  Crazy behavior that makes no sense to you has a piece you are missing and usually you are missing that piece because they don't want you to know.

Possibly. Although i think one factor which has played a huge part in this is the influence of her mother. Her mother is extremely toxic and controlling - my wife has never been independent for her, and she has this robotic like response to pleasing her mother no matter what the cost. My belief is that her mother feels she cannot control me (i maintain strong boundaries to her behaviour) and therefore she sees me as a threat to her relationship with her daughter. This is a woman who texts her daughter 10 times a day saying "are you okay ?" repeatedly, then "you can speak to me in private if there is a problem" and so on. She creates tension, and she tries to create drama wherever she can - i think if anything, the missing piece of the puzzle is actually what her mother has been saying to her about me, pushing her to seperate, saying i am a problem and so on.

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D.Dan

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2020, 02:58:17 PM »
Sounds like they're enmeshed, and that your wife has given decision making rights over her life and marriage.... to her mother.

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2020, 03:57:50 PM »
Sounds like they're enmeshed, and that your wife has given decision making rights over her life and marriage.... to her mother.

I agree 100%. About 6 months ago her mother saw me as the golden boy (often making comparisons as to how good i was in relation to her other son-in-law). She interferes in everything and tries to plan everyone's free time to focus on her. In September my wife and i had a rare situation where we both had time off at the same time - her mother got wind of this and insisted that we holiday with her in France for two weeks. I refused on the basis that i wanted to spend time with my wife, not with her mother. What happened ? My wife went on holiday with her mother and left me at home....

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Liftedfog

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2020, 10:27:47 PM »
Wow.  I'm sorry for what you are going through. She sounds erratic and unstable and what could be more than just a personality disorder.  Has she been diagnosed with bipolar or any other mental health conditions?  As long as she is erratic you can't negotiate with a terrorist. Focus on your self and get legal advice.

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intotheblack

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Re: Someone please tell me i'm not imagining this ?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2020, 11:37:22 AM »
Wow.  I'm sorry for what you are going through. She sounds erratic and unstable and what could be more than just a personality disorder.  Has she been diagnosed with bipolar or any other mental health conditions?  As long as she is erratic you can't negotiate with a terrorist. Focus on your self and get legal advice.

She hasn't been diagnosed with anything but yes you're right she has been acting very erratically and certainly appears quite unstable. As i said in my original post it all happened very suddenly - she has always been very anxious and has a tendency to over react to specific things (running out the door and staying somewhere overnight etc), but this is very different.