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It hurts, sure, to know that something I can’t really change much is the reason someone may leave me, and my first instinct is to be angry and say that it’s wrong. Sometimes you love someone, but you aren’t good for each other.

As a mentally ill individual, all I can do is work on myself, apologizing when my actions hurt others and being conscientious of how the symptoms of my illness, such as panic attacks, affect those around me.

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.

Knowing what your partner is dealing with will not only make it easier to help them, but it will help you understand some of their actions.

For example, when I would get in bed at night, my ex-boyfriend would pull all his limbs inward, almost cringing. When he told me that he was raped, it all made sense. It was the place where he was violated in the worst way.

If he had broken up with me because my mood disorder interacted badly with his, then that would’ve been okay.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.Having a mental illness and/or dealing with trauma is not an excuse for bad behavior.I can’t help having schizoaffective disorder, but if my symptoms are hurting others, it is my responsibility to work on them.

She is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media manager.

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