While I agree that having a mental illness does not give you a free pass to act like an ass, I don’t think we have an inherent right to walk away from people because they are struggling, or because we find their symptoms difficult.
I do think we have a right to walk away if someone is abusive, and serial cheating counts–as do other emotionally and physically abusive behaviors.
Sometimes I get defensive for no reason and think someone is attacking me when they actually aren’t.
But one thing I feel I should note is that I have a slightly different perspective (not just from August, but from many people) about our responsibility to the people we love who have mental illnesses.
Today’s guest writer, August Pfizenmayer, appeared on this blog in the past–she wrote a post about her experience of being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder while her partner at the time was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you haven’t read “A Neurochemical Romance,” yet, I urge you to do so.
That is something that people tend to forget: not being able to handle the symptoms of my mental illness is a valid reason for not wanting to be with me.
For example, my ex-boyfriend also has bipolar disorder.