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mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/26/2008 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I am just looking for some input...any input.
Just to remind you all of my history, I was diagnosed in the beginning of November last year as bipolar.  Although now that I have been intherapy for 2 months and have learned so much, I know I have struggled with this since probably my late teens.
I started with a new therapist and new doctor in November.  I was put on 50mg. Zoloft and .5 mg. of Risperdal.  I can still remember almost the exact date when I actually started feeling anything from the new meds.  The Risperdal started working pretty much right away....I take it at night and it really just helped slow down my brain/clear the fog.  I have slept better in the past 2 months than I have in years.  THe antidepressant and the actual mania combating property of the risperdal didnt kick in for a good 6 weeks.  The bipolar for manifests itself in the way of lying and spending money, and usually the lying is about the spending of the money.
Anyway, on with the long story...November 8th is the day my spending and the lying manifested and came out into the open to my husband. I call that dday.  I am in a new type of therapy, called Health Realization.  I really like it and i have learned so much not only about Bipolar...but in getting the tools I need to live the rest of my life with this.  It took a few weeks for me to really open up well in therapy...just the usual hard to talk about the seemingly unending list of things I had done wrong.
Well at the end of November , through cleaning I found 5 forgotten savings bonds.  The next day I cashed them in...felt terrible for doing so, but instead of giving the $ to my husband and coming clean....I spent it.  I just bought stuff I knew we would need anyway for the house: printer ink, body wash, etc.  Cashing them and spending them all took place within 24 hours.
I felt so terrible.  At that time I was still not feeling any affects from either med, I was still mentally down in that hole, I had been taken off all of our accounts.   I was really in a low place.  I guess I was looking for that one thing that made me feel good temporarily in the past.
Well I admonished myself...told myself this can not happen again, to give myself time to give the meds and therapy a chance, to not give up...that I am hopeless.  I decided in myself to give myself a break, to dust myself off, but also to keep it to myself.
Well little did I know that yesterday we get a 1098 in the mail for the interest on those bonds.
I will try to make an even longer story short.  Hubby is pissed.  What he sees is just that it happened again.  I have explained to him that this was 2 months ago, and mentally I was still unstable.  But to him, I just lied again, no matter what the reason.  He was being so angry and smug that he called my mother and I ended up going home with her last night.  We needed to just be away from eachother.  My 2 little girls were upset and I had to leave.
I had a hearwrenching sleepless night last night, and now I dont know what to do.  Do I just stay here another night and go home tomorrow?  Do I call andask permission to go to my own house?  What is best for my kids, I know they want me in the house, and I can deal with the anger and lack of trust with my husband.  But I am afraid to call and see what he says.
Since I did that 2 months ago, I can not even explain how much better I feel.  I know if confronted in the same way today, I would never have done that.  And besides that, there has been no other thing I have dne "wrong".  I am trying my hardest to get better, especially now that I feel better.  I just dont want my husbands anger to turn this into that Michele is not really getting better, that she is just up to old tricks.  Because I am honestly not and I can not defend myself enough to that degree.
I guess I just wanted some input from you all.  I greatly respect all of you and have already learned so much about what I am going through, through your eyes...but also my husbands side, from those of you that are spouses of bipolar.
 
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" ~ Maria Robinson


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/27/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Michelle, you bring of several issues as a BP spouse I would like to address. You are correct that it is your house too, and you should not have to ask permission to go back to it....However...the other side of that is granting your husband some space to cope with the feelings of being deceived again. So...what to do??? Own it...without excuse (I was sick at the time...I'm better now), and without whipping at yourself claiming to be this bad person (putting yourself down to evoke guilt or sympathy)....just own it. You call your husband and tell him you can completely understand his rage, that he has every right to it. Sick or well, you did the wrong thing. This process of getting well, albeit is NO excuse, will take time and work from the both of you. You love him and the girls and want to get well for all of you. You want your family, and while you completely accept that he can not, and should not, trust you right now - in your process of gaining wellness you one day hope to earn his trust back. That you are the mother to his children and that comes first to be the best one you can be. You pro-actively would like to set up some safeguards until you can gain enough credibility you can learn to trust yourself to make the right choices, and he can re-learn to trust you too. That it is your plan to come home, but you voluntarily will either sleep in the guest room (if you have one), or on the couch for the time being if that is what would help him. But that you are coming home to take the first steps to begin to work through this as a family. It is simply too confusing for the girls, and their needs come first, and while you care about his feelings here, and will do all you can to respect them, it is your goal to preserve the family you both have built and to do better. That you and he need to calmly sit down and look at what needs to happen to reassure him about you telling the truth from now on, and to protect the assets and finances from any negative impulses you may have for the time being. That you are WILLING to set up whatever those safeguards are that you can rely on to help you, and reassure him. You want to write this all out and post in perhaps on your bathroom mirror so you are daily reminded. You are clear he as a spouse to a BP can not, and should not, have to live this way anymore with a spouse lying to him, or deceiving him. That without making excuses, you recognize you have been unwell which has contributed to the choices you have made. And now that you know that, you deserve the opportunity to get well, and make this right for, and with, the both of you and your kids. It is the adage, when you know better, you do better. So now you know better, and you have the conviction and desire to do better now. You are genuinely sorry for what you have done, but more importantly don't ever want to make this mistake again. You need his help, even though he is very angry with you at this moment. You are his wife, and you love him and hope he will navigate these waters with you.

I would call him and just ask him to listen, tell him all the above, and then give him a time you are coming home. Then DO NOT veer from what you said about giving him space. Just go home, be with your girls. Tell him when he is ready to speak to you about this, you are there and ready. Then start making dinner, baking cookies...whatever. When bedtime comes...do as you said without looking for reassurance or an opening for him to either make you feel better, or give you permission to share the bed. Just say goodnight and give him space. When he is ready, he will tell you I am sure.

Michelle, right now what you have to recognize is that YOU need to step up without excuses, own the situation YOU created, own your illness, and own YOUR recovery. How you make this up to a spouse is by doing that - openly and honestly. Believe me, we recognize it will NOT be perfect...but the rage you are seeing is all the hurt and betrayal and FEAR he is experiencing....and THAT I am sure you can understand. Be the woman your newfound wellness is affording you. Step up. Don't come at this as a victim, but as a warrior woman wrestling this illness to the ground with the conviction it will not win in destroying what you have built and love. Which includes him and those girls. Make sure he understands that you want him on your team of wellness supporters when he is ready. That you see that he plays a vital role in all this for you. That he is not expected to be your savior, but your partner. And perhaps now that you are getting well, you will be the partner he has always deserved and really not gotten. But it is your commitment to him that he will have that. That today was a start towards that for you.

Good luck to you Michelle. I hope that helps. LFW

Django Hendrix
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/27/2008 2:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Whatever you do, do not turn that guilt into a weapon to use on yourself. You are a good person. We are sick people, not bad people. I'm sure that you have done a lot of good in your life and you are doing the best you can to take responsibility for getting better - medication, therapy, talking about it on healingwell. Just keep pushing ahead and don't let the guilt turn on you, because it *will* screw with your mood and can only lead to a setback.

mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/28/2008 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the replies. I am home now, but the main problem is his anger is so great \, that he wants nothing to do with even talking to me about it. I dont know what else to do besides to just coexist in the house until he approaches me to talk??
I have so far not let the guilt get to me. I do know that I have been working my arse off to get better, and yes I am realistic in knowing that I will have slipups. I just wish he could see that I am still trying, to try and see the progress I have made, and to not see this as back to square one. Because I am not doing that to myself, and I want and need more than anthing to have his support. But since my diagnosis I have not. He is still so angry that if we are to argue about something...he will spit out hateful things. Like saysing he is tired of raising another 6 year old, normal people dont make decisions like that, etc. It is like his mind is not even letting him understand that I am not normal, that i am not evil.
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" ~ Maria Robinson


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/28/2008 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, you don't have to put up with verbal abuse either, and that could be another aspect of feeling so guilty. If he gives you no room to be an adult and make mistakes call him on it. It sounds like he could use some therapy of his own to deal with his anger and frustration. Or ask him what his intentions are: If he doesn't want to "raise another 6 year old" is he implying that he wants to leave? Because if he's just talking, then he needs to stop verbally abusing you like that. You are working hard enough without being belittled. I can appreciate how hard it is for spouses to live with bipolar partners sometimes, but no one deserves maltreatment. Everyone makes mistakes in marriage, everyone. And we must learn to communicate and forgive or there is no movement beyond pain. He has a right to his anger, but you have a right to be treated respectfully and like an adult.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/28/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Michelle, the dx was new to you - and it has not been that long, and you must understand that it is new to him too. I am glad to hear you are back in the house. As to his not wanting to talk to you...for now, let that be okay. His "anger" as you put it is also his FEAR. It is FAR easier to get angry, than deal with the fear one is experiencing inside - his choices of where to put his rage/hurt/fear...etc....is to rage at you for the moment , or the moon...because there is no place else for him to go (and just as you are having to do clean up, a time will come he will need to do the same if he does damage with it). The key is, he now doesn't know what his life will look like. He doesn't understand the dx. That will take time and effort to get educated. It is scary for him. Please understand that I say that to you with a complete understanding that it is EQUALLY devastating to you, and as difficult. However, you do have the benefit of choice to get well. As a spouse, we are relegated to the sidelines in many ways to "hurry up and wait" for our spouses to balance out and become who we either THOUGHT we were living with all along, or face the tragic fact that the person we THOUGHT we had married either never existed and we missed all the signs, or somehow has tragically emotionally left us (there choice or not) - and may or may not ever come back to us. See, the person dx'ed has the power to commit to wellness, start feeling better as the drugs help them balance out; suddenly make sense of an internal struggle that existed all along for you, and for YOU it is renewed hope. For the spouse, they are left with whatever damage had been done along the way. While we might be grateful for a dx, we are also terrified of what that NOW all means to our life for a while. Eventually, we figure it out too. But the deception that may have gone on, the lies or betrayal, or hurt feelings, or the daily difficulty in dealing with the BP person at times and how that can wear you out and cause pain...it doesn't just disappear because of the dx, and now with the person getting better...so many times the dx'ed person wants to just move forward...as if it becomes..."bygones!" But to the spouse/partner, the pain and hurt is real and just because of the dx doesn't just go away...and it is not exactly fair to expect that. The damage is done. It takes time to heal, it takes time to get past, it takes time to forgive, and it takes time to connect all the dots and begin to learn and figure it all out. Sadly, we don't have the benefit of feeling better because of a medication. I am NOT saying that to be callus in any way, but just to point out the other side for you.

The BEST thing a dx person can do is to STEP UP, OWN IT, and start working to REALLY be responsible about it, make amends, and FIGHT for their wellness. Be open about it. Don't use the dx of BP as an excuse, but a statement of fact and an acknowledgment - but also recognizing that it does not excuse away bad behaviors, and when you are wrong...own it and apologize. When a spouse sees that the dx'ed person really GETS that certain behaviors are completely unacceptable on their part, does not make an excuse of bad behavior...it helps us as spouses to hang in there and continue being loving and supportive. In the end, that is the most important thing to us spouses. It is what we need to see in order to not be so afraid.

Again, when you know better, you do better. Same for us. As you need time to move forward and sort through it all, and YES it matters how hard you are trying and working for your wellness, at first it takes us spouses time to do the same. It does not happen overnight because all of a sudden there is a dx. Sometimes the dx makes it feel to a spouse like suddenly a "free pass" was given to all the lies and/or hurt. And the fact is....it is not. That still needs to be cleaned up. Does that make sense? Just as you are in a healing process right now, so to is your husband... and men in most cases find it easier to get mad than deal with the fear and hurt they are experiencing.

Is any of this fair? NO...it is NOT for ANYONE. I am sorry you have been affected with this condition, I am sorry you will now have the added stress of dealing with this condition. But it is doable, and life can now actually become everything you always wanted with proper treatment and vigilance on your part. While you NEED his support, you may need to give him space. Focus on being the best YOU, you can be, the best mother, the best wife....etc. Are you both seeing a therapist? It would be helpful to see one together, as well as separately. Does he go to your pdoc appointments? Ask him if he would if he is not...help make him a part of your team as it is critical to your successes here. Ask your pdoc to help educate the two of you on the condition. Get books for both you as the BP, and for spouses. Understand that as much as you want things to go back to a good place...that it is simply going to take time. Invite him here to get support and have another place to talk or vent it out. Focus on your wellness, focus on reassuring and producing evidence when you can to the accuracy of your words until he says he doesn't need that from you anymore (and you don't need that for yourself anymore).

There is a bright future for you...but there is no getting around the work and time it will take you. Be strong...be vigilant. YOU ARE BIG ENOUGH AND STRONG ENOUGH...YOU CAN DO IT! Sending you good thoughts...LFW (Ooopppsss...sorry for the length!)

mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/29/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   

Again, thank you for the replies.  Things are chugging along.  I am giving him space, not asking him to talk about things, keeping myself busy (which is very easy having 3 daughters)

I think where we are both stuck is the fact of the bipolar.  Since being diagnosed, I have become an information addict.  Well I should say I was for a while.  I have alot of bookmarked articles and websites.  I have read a terrific book suggested by my therapist.  I am just the type of person that feels that knowledge is power.  I would be doing the same thing if I had been diagnosed as diabetic....I would have every bit of info possible, and I would also be having to change my lifestyle...as far as diet and exercise.

Well it is as if he doesnt want to even hear the word bipolar.  I do not in any way use it as an excuse for behaviors.  I state it as my fact.  I have a condition and it's sympoms have to do with my mental abilities.  I do own what I have done, and I do not feel I can apologize anymore without making myself feel stupid for having to apologize over and over for the same instance.  I just feel that his anger is not allowing him to even venture the possibility of bipolar, he needs to be able to just blame me for all the ills, and doesnt want to put a dx into the mix.  But the one thing that allows me to move on and continue on my journey to getting better is that I DO allow myself to learn about bipolar and having these light bulb moments that help explain the whys.

There is no way I would have even gotten to feeling as good as I do now if I hadn't allowed myself to explain alot of my past to being undiagnosed and untreated bipolar.  It in no way gives me a free pass...but it answers alot of questions, and helps lead me in this new direction of wellness that I never had before.  Being dx as bipolar has been a curse and a blessing.  A curse in the way that it is an affliction that can affect my brain and that I have to be on medication for the rest of my life....and control it.  But a blessing in the way that the self defeating thoughts and actions that have plagued my adult life now have a reason for existing.  It wasnt because I was innately evil or bad...it was because I was suffering unknowingly with something that can be treated.

So there is a fine line in this house as far as the word bipolar.   But I am not going to allow hime to kepp treating me like I am just evil...and not a person struggling with something.  And more importantly someone actually trying...faithfully taking my meds, keeping a journal, doing things to feel better.  And most inportantly therapy...and that is one of the things I have to learn how to do...is to trust people with even my failures.  I am learning to do that..it has only been 2 months and I feel I can not be faulted for not being able to snap my fingers and be all better, with no screw ups.

We have therapy tomorrow and I am looking  forward to getting to finally talk.


"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" ~ Maria Robinson


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/31/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
You keep up the good attitude about your wellness, and what you are struggling with. Give him space, as you are. He will eventually catch up. Best of luck to you both. LFW
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