My name is Anne and I have PTSD and bipolar. My partner Caroline shares the same diagnoses.
There's no literature out there on couples. I doubt that we're the only ones, though.
Although we have our fights, and although we don't always understand exactly what the other one is going through, Caroline is my best friend as well as my spouse.
Caroline tells me that I am beautiful even when I feel ugly. She tells me I am smart and special even when my self-esteem is in the dirt. I am returning to work for my perpetrator, and knowing that I have Caroline at home, and that I will be providing money for our household and our life together helps keep me together.
Caroline has tended me through at least a dozen surgeries. She was with me, my mom, and my sister when my father took his last breath. We have seen each other through deaths of dear friends, deaths of beloved pets, each others' hospitalizations in mental wards, and a church conflict that nearly killed us.
We never disagree about anything important. We agree about politics, religion, and finances.
We are learning how to find a healthy support system and how to set up healthy boundaries.
We are learning that, outside of work, we need to take care of ourselves and each other first and foremost. We have fun with our many pets. We buy each other silly gifts and celebrate a lot of holidays and the day we met. We have been together now for almost 17 years, and it feels like I just met her.
When we can save up the money, we travel, and I love to see the joy in her face when we visit a new city or country.
While we share diagnoses, our illnesses manifest very differently. We have learned, through trial and error, that when things get really tough, we make a joint appointment with one of our counselors, and work things through together.
I am incredibly lucky to have someone in my life who puts up with me and thinks that I am so very special.
And I am grateful to have this site where I can share this story.