I saw her issues so gradually that I was in love with her before I realized something was seriously wrong.
The first time I saw one of her mild breakdowns just made me feel empathy for her. She was out of town on business when she called me one evening crying. Something had triggered some feelings from when she was in middle school. All of a sudden, she was back in that old state of mind when she doubted herself and felt that nobody loved her or understood her.
We talked for hours and I thought it was a good experience for us. Something had triggered a crisis for her and I’d been there for her. I didn’t realize it was the start of a long spiral downward for her.
She would go weeks as a brilliant, confident and successful woman — then suddenly seem to fall off a cliff into an emotional abyss. Her behavior was erratic enough by the time we went to an out-of-town film festival together that I told her she needed to get therapy or else we had no future together.