I’m trying to write a post on how mental health, substance abuse/dependence and culpability intersect with one another, which will be interesting if I ever manage to finish it or figure out what my exact opinion is on that messy combination. However, I keep getting horribly sidetracked by interrelated issues while writing, getting too personal with other people’s lives, which I feel is crappy behavior, have to re-draw the line on where my responsibility began and ended in past situations, which I did with my fourth step, but my perceptions have radically changed in the last six plus months.
One of the main problems with writing this is that one of major events in my life was a messy abusive relationship that I kept going back to. It really should have ended a lot sooner than it did, and I started out talking about my own responsibility with it, and ended up getting tied up with my ex-partner’s end of the situation. The man I was with had a number of wonderful qualities (which is another thing, is people don’t really seem to realize how ostensibly “normal/above normal” abusive people can be in certain areas/seem), but also had a number of physical and mental health issues (beyond what should be applicable to a man in his 30s), including paranoid schizophrenia.
At the time, I kept arguing with myself about how responsible he was for his actions, but it would have been better, I guess, to operate from a different viewpoint. Something more along the lines that no matter what the cause is for certain behavior, especially when it’s repeated, combined with the responsible party’s knowledge of the problem and tendency to put fuel on fire rather than attempt to mitigate it well…that’s pretty good grounds for terminating a relationship, really.
But I feel shitty talking about this, because I feel that people with schizophrenia are talked about negatively too much. I’m certainly no expert on it, but I’ve known two other people well enough to know that it was part of their life, and they were both good people, one of them was pretty instrumental to me psychologically surviving a chaotic portion of my life.
*sighs* I guess the point is that the man is an asshole with schizophrenia, not an asshole because of schizophrenia.
Should I be treating this specific disorder differently than any other medical condition? Honestly, I feel like if, for example, he had heart issues, or even depression, and actively disregarded them while doing things to worsen his health, I’d feel differently/talk about it differently. But maybe it is appropriate to treat this differently.