Living in the Twilight Zone

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Exploring the general tone of daily life with a UMP (Undiagnosed Mentally ill Person)

Living with an Undiagnosed Mentally ill Person (UMP), can often be described as living in the twilight zone. Things do not make sense, nor do they add up correctly. Simple daily activities may definitely be strange and leave you thinking, “what the heck is going on here?”

Many behaviour patterns are common in UMP. Some of these patterns contribute to the topsy-turvy nature of any relationship with an UMP. The type of relationship is almost irrelevant, whether the UMP is your neighbour, your parent, your sibling, your child, your coworker, your lover etc. one thing is certain if you are a partner in a relationship with an UMP, the following post should ring a few bells.

Firstly, let's ask a few questions.

Have you ever had an interaction with an UMP which has left you completely baffled? For example, you are having a normal conversation about any subject and on a dime this conversation can take a turn and become something completely different. Often times, it can include a rant or even an attack. The partner in this interaction may be left wondering what happened....the partner may think "all I did was mention that it was a nice day outside and received an attack about the cancer rates, or conspiracy of the government and world domination".

Have you ever been attacked (verbally or otherwise) for absolutely no reason? For example, you are sitting at the picnic table on a lovely Sunday afternoon sipping lemonade with your family and WHAM! the verbal assault, "if you think I am such a terrible person, why don't you just leave" . Not only are you caught completely unaware but you may not have any idea what the UMP is talking about.

Have you ever found out that the UMP in your life is not who they say they are?

Many UMPs use deceit in order to manipulate others or mask who they really are and hide their bizarre if not vile behaviours. Being in a relationship with someone who is not truthful is very difficult. Being able to ascertain when someone is telling you the truth is crucial to a healthy relationship. When you are in a relationship with anyone, it is normal to have a certain level of trust unless and until the person is found to be untrustworthy. For example, I trust that my coworker is qualified to do their job, after all they have been hired and vetted. I trust that when I meet someone and they say "Hi I am Bob" that their name is actually Bob etc. This may not be the case with an UMP.

Lies and deceit are very common traits among UMPs. Many of them do it with such ease that it can go on for many many years with the partner completely in the dark as to the true nature of the UMP and the level of deceit that the UMP is capable of.

Sooner or later, the truth comes to find the partner and your world is rocked. Questions arise; who is this person? How long have they been lying? What else do they lie about? How did I not suspect? Etc. This is extremely destabilizing.

Have you ever been in a relationship with an emotionally volatile person? Many UMPs respond vehemently to what they perceive is a transgression. The partner may not have transgressed at all but that is completely irrelevant, the only important detail is the perception of the UMP. The UMP may believe that you stole from them, or lied to them (ironic I know), or cheated on them, or defied them, or plotted against them etc. Once again, none of these need be true. In fact, many times they are not true which is baffling to the partner. This perceived transgression may spark a fit of rage or anger, or an episode of sadness, depression or despair. The result is a highly emotional and stressful situation based on nothing but an UMP skewed perception. How can you prevent something that has no substantive cause? How can you stop it if it is baseless? How can you predict the next outburst if you do not know the trigger?

It must be noted here that in my experience, the UMP genuinely will feel that pain of the transgression. For example, if a partner is accused of stealing, the UMP’s response is AS IF it had actually happened. This makes it really unsettling. The partner goes about their daily activities then wham! A huge surge of emotion from the UMP can come out of the clear blue sky and the accusations will surely follow.

Have you ever been accused of doing something you didn't do? On the surface, it is simple, everyone at one point or another in their lie will accuse someone or be accused. "You left the toilet paper roll empty again!" after a bit, the truth is discovered, the real culprit is identified and usually an apology ensues. These accusations are different. An UMP may accuse you of something very significant; having an affair, stealing from them, colluding with others or plotting against them. These accusations can be ongoing themes in your relationship and remembering that the perceived transgression may not be true at all and that the UMP is highly emotionally volatile, this can create a very tense living situation. It is not uncommon to have partners and entourage walking on eggshells around a UMP.

Do you have stress related health issues? Commonly when dealing with UMPs for a period of time, partners may develop stress related issues. These can be anything from skin rashes and sleep disorders to ulcers and emergency room visits. The point is this; being in a relationship with an UMP can be very stressful and unpredictable. Over months, years and decades this stress can take it's toll and leave it's mark just like battle scars on your body and your soul.

Are there times in your relationship when the interaction is normal? This may sound insane, truthfully it feels insane, but there are times when the UMP looks, sounds and behaves normally. It is not all crazy all the time!

This creates many issues as to the credibility of the partner and the support that the partner can draw from others. There is a tendency, from outsiders, to look at the normal behaviour and declare the UMP normal. The partner may hear things like "Well, you know your dad lies too, he says he doesn't eat the cookies but he does. everyone lied once in a while" ... THIS IS NOT THE SAME!!!! This creates a prison of isolation for the partner, nowhere to turn and nobody to talk to. Unless you have experienced a relationship with an UMP, it would be difficult to believe that these scenarios are even possible let alone frequent.

Having the feeling that nobody could understand me and my situation is the reason for this website. Looking at statistics for mental health, it is obvious that the true % of people afflicted with undiagnosed Mental health issues is not know. How could it possibly be known? By extrapolation, it was my thought that many people, just like me are living in a relationship with an UMP and has nowhere to turn.

Does it sound like the twilight zone yet!

Living day to day with UMPs can be exhausting, damaging and it can make you question everything you believe in. At some point, you may wake up and realise that you are but a shadow of your former self, your needs and wants have been replaced by the needs and wants of the UMP. How did it get to be like this? How has so much been compromised and so little gained?

Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone, there are many people out there in the twilight zone with you. Perhaps we can find each other and give each other comfort, peace and love.

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