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I've read here and on many other forums, also consulted the advice of several friends, but I could use some pointers or help on what I should do! I couldn't decide where to put this since it's more than just a relationship issue, but also trying to help someone with many issues.

I have a live-in girlfriend/SO, was a friend for about a year prior to moving in and has been here now for about 8 months.

By her own admission (and some amount of verification on my part), she came from an extended abusive relationship (7+ years) as well as has a history of physical and sexual abuse as a young girl (11-14) from an alcoholic father.

When she first moved in, I was fairly certain she was BPD with a host of other issues. She had enough Zoloft to sedate an army from previous attempts of therapy in her home state, and explained she was also prescribed Prozac but was totally out. She's now moved in with me several states away and expressed a desire to get her more Prozac.

When she was first here, she told tales of promiscuity- trying to force her way backstage to have sex with musicians, several hotel tromps with total strangers, as well as having worked in stripclubs and doing extra curricular things with male patrons while drunk or stoned. She had a severe problem with alcohol and this was during the time she was with her abusive boyfriend.

She would have very BPD-ish rages, teetering between confessing how much she loved me, then later going into multi-hour rages of throwing things, pouring things all over the house, breaking things and telling me she hated me. A few minutes later, she would say how much she loved me again. She also tried to abuse alcohol when here, but over time we've worked that out of the equation. I always tried to remain calm during her rages and just told her to look at herself- she's being violent, irrational... not the things she wanted to be. After she got it out of her system, she would become calm and split back. She didn't always have them after drinking, but most often did.

These went on for a couple months, but as I placed boundries, convinced her to cut back on her drinking, as well as spent time confirming her self-worth, they eventually faded and she has been rage free for several months now. We still have the occasional arguments, but they are non-violent and we patch them up usually in short order.

Her other problems- she is vastly agoraphobic and also paranoid delusional. She seems to feel a bunch of druggy musicians from several states away are watching her and following her indirectly. She states she honestly believes they fax her picture and have millions of people in their 'network' looking out for her to soil her success. She came from a small town where her behavior followed her around from rumors, but now that she's in a big city where nobody truly knows her, she's convinced of otherwise.

I tried to convince her of the logistics of this as she is pretty smart. Such as a 2 million population city would require 100+ years if they could notify 20-30 people a day... she just wont listen to reason and can't answer for how they are 'doing it'.

She now wants to stay indoors and thinks anyone talking outside is talking about her. In public, she creates loose associations of anything anyone says as being 100% certain hints they know who she is and are after her. Example- if I take her to a park and the parking attendent makes a comment about my car, she will say it was a secret hint he really directed at her because her ex-boyfriend also had a car. Taking her to a mall, even if we park several blocks from the mall because she feels they are 'looking out' for my vehicle, she'll say they have spies with binoculars and cell-phones everywhere looking for her. If the cashier at checkout says anything, she'll create a parallel with her past to ensure her she is a marked woman, and that someone with binoculars several blocks away called every store in the mall to let them know 'she is coming'..

So she's afraid to leave the house, afraid to work, afraid to see a doctor (because all the doctors coast to coast are in on it as well), and afraid to seek therapy.

Relationship wise, now that she has ended her rages, she exhibits strong signs of ADD. She constantly figits and cannot sit still, she zones out often when being talked to, she's obsessed with her appearance and self-image, and is also very neglectful and emotionally unavailable. She's also highly disorganized, needy, messy, and complains much and projects this upon me. I'm working, paying the bills, cooking, cleaning and everything else, but she still insists upon complaining about even a spec of dust anywhere or how I chew my food... all this while she eats like a pig and has an absolute mess of a room I have to tidy else have mold grow in there.

She's found some salvation in ADD support forums, and has identified a large number of her problems and things she wants to change. I keep telling her she MUST be professionally diagnosed, but she is determined she is just ADD and now knows what she needs to do. Unfortunately, she always resolves to completely wrong priorities and when admits she's self-absorbed, self-pitying, and self-sabotaging... declares the highest priority is to get her face fixed, because if you use a set of calipers- she has one cheek that is like 1mm different from the other. She say her ex-boyfriend and friends always used to tell her she could never become anything due to some of her non-symetrical features, yet she is as perfect and flawless physically as a woman in her late 30's can possibly hope to achieve. So she sits around and measures her face, butt and breasts daily and explains she wont be right until she gets lots and lots of surgery or modifications from those years of control and debasement. She also points to her wrists and explains her ex-boyfriend told her real women dont have fine lines on their wrists.

While she has made staggering progress since she has moved in with me, I'm unsure of what I can do next to help her. We've plateaud in her progress and she's now determined to not be happy until she has not a single non-symetrical feature head to toe and not a single fine-line on her body anywhere. She has been regularly remembering repressed memories of her 20's, but they have all been of people pointing out "flaws" and telling her she was ugly, unattractive and could only hope to ever be a 2-bit whore.

I should also add there is NO sex between us.. while there were initial throws of hers while drunk, I'd just put her to bed. While she tried with bitter insincerity a few times, we resolved she just wasn't ready for a real sexual relationship. She does now feel she's not ready, but will be ready soon and has been keeping me at arms length. I don't have much confidence this will change anytime soon given what must be done in order to help this troubled woman.

Any hints or insights will be appreciated. I'm especially interested in ways , pointers, books or resources concerning how to positively suggest therapy for the mentally ill and paranoid delusional types. I can't even get her medical insurance since she doesnt want her name tied to this address, even though she's convinced these people already know where she is and are watching her... so I'm looking for alternate actions or pointers.

Thanks in advance.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Wow, lurking...

You have your work cut out for you if you hope to stay in a relationship with this woman. Frankly, it sounds like she has a multitude of problems and no insight and is determined not to let you do anything sensible to help her.

Sometimes, it just comes down to acjknowledging that what is needed is tough love and protecting yourself. I think you need to give her an ultimatum: Either let me help you get help or we go our separate ways.


In my opinion, by providing a "hiding place" for this woman, and catering to her every need, you are doing no more than enabling her self-destructive behaviors.

I think Dr. Baxter is right. Give her an ultimatum and mean it. You are responsible for your own welfare. She needs to take responsibility for hers. If she won't take that responsibility, don't let her drag you down with her.


I agree with Dr.Baxter, and ThatLady on this one, I also think she is looking for a father figure in you. All that you seem to have described above ends with you being someone who disciplines in the end by not letting her do something to herself. I don't think she is looking for a romantic relationship with you. Though this is only an opinion on my part.
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