Bipolars and Significant Others Alike

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serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/23/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone,

We've had some WONDERFUL discussion of late, specifically among spouses and significant others. But there's a line that just keeps barely being touched and I want to remind everyone of it. This board is for bipolars AND significant others. While we have a lot of discussion from the sig others right now, the majority of our members are bipolar patients. So please remember when you're writing about the behaviors of your spouse -- NOT all bipolar people behave the way your spouse has behaved. I would hate to have a statement made that implied that all bipolars are abusive, are manipulative, make terrible marriage partners, etc... As I have said before, most of us, particularly on this board, are doing our level best to contain our disorder with medications, therapy and regular visits to the doctor. Even more importantly, we do our best to maintain strong, respectful relationships with our families. What you are experiencing is not necessarily the norm.

Thanks,

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


twisted71
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 10/25/2008 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Well said Sarafena
AJL
 
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!


kirstenhere
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/25/2008 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope I didn't lead anyone to believe that?!?! I was only telling my story to others that are where I am. I sure didn't mean to upset anyone...sorry if I did.

For the record (whatever record that is, lol) my husband is a great guy. I believe I said that for the most part, out marriage has been great. It's only when he's cycling that things go astray.

BTW, my husband FINALLY talked to me yesterday. He actually cried to me....it was GREAT! I felt like, for the first time in awhile, that I had my husband back. He actually told me how he's been feeling, etc. He also told me that he skipped his meds for 3 days. I saw him grab the bottle and "THOUGHT" he took them, I was soo proud that he was doing this on his own, but found out he was faking me out. He also told me that he'd "think" about going back to the hospital. Sooo, that is good news! Of course, that leaves me in a lonely basement by myself, UGH! But it's ok...as long as he is getting help.

I want to add one more thing here: Until I knew about what bipolar really was and actually had to deal with it daily, I was one of those people that thought "others" were crazy! Just like that piece of book I put on here. And I do believe that in society people that know nothing about this, think that way. My husband, for the most part, is pretty normal. Sure, he may have his ups and downs, manic and depression, but he's really a great guy. I truly believe that just the word "manic" makes people think the way society does. That is a strong word, that's for sure. People, I believe, relate that word to movies...where people totally lose it on society. Am I wrong here? That is truly what I think. Like I said before, my mother says my husband is just childish, etc. And she is sooo wrong with that. And I believe it's because she has NO clue what bipolar really is. Maybe if society had more education on it...people wouldn't be so harsh to judge us or them. :-)

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2008 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
That is absolutely true Kirstenhere, there needs to be so much more education. Thank you for that. And I didn't mean to imply anyone had said anything. I was just trying to avoid having someone cross the line -- it's so easy to do.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


lostwife
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 10/25/2008 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Kirsten,
I join you on that one! I don't want anyone ever to think that I believe all people with bp disorder do these things. I know that there are varying degrees of bp and a person's past/experiences and general personality traits can aggravate situations during the cycles. I love this forum because the people here are here because they care and want more understanding. In the two years that I found out my husband had this, my love to him brought me to the forums because I wanted to learn everything I could to help him (and myself). What I learned, is that there are so many wonderful people out there that are out there who do not have the understanding and love that they deserve. It makes me sick that there are so many people out there, caught up in the bs of this world who just don't want to be bothered by what someone else is going through. I have made some friends along the way (with and without bp) and I am so grateful from what I have learned from eveyone. It has made me grow as a person and when I'm "out it the world" I look at people differently, and without hate or judgdement. Yes, sometimes I get aggravated. I am frustrated with my mother-in-law right now. But what's sad, is she doesn't know what she's doing. I put my anger aside the other day and said a prayer for her. God knows, it isn't just the people with bp who need help, there are so many afflictions in this world, but we all need help at times in one way or the other. I've seen the hearts of many people not struggling with any mental illness at all, and compared to them, my husband, even though can be horribly ugly at times of mania, is a far more a beautiful person to me.

And Serefena, I just wanted to commend you on keeping this forum well-balance. I've almost abandoned another forum due to all the spam/advertising and lack of communication. It's sad because we had a great "family" of people who I don't see on there anymore because it was not being monitored well. Right now there are people reaching out for help and are getting absolutely no responses.

Kirsten, I'm happy that you're getting some positive responses, even if the are just baby steps. Take care.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you lostwife -- I try. Olivia helps -- she's just a quieter partner. :-)

I think you absolutely hit on what I was trying to say in my post -- there are just so many people who really have so little idea about what the disorder REALLY means, and who have been hurt by it, that they last out at the whole kit and kaboodle of people with it. I see that no one here is doing that, but you never know when one is going to show up. Bipolar is getting more press, but there's still a whole lot of mystery about it, and it's still one of those "crazy" diseases. If you've got it, you're going to go nutso at some point and end up in the hospital, getting ECT and drooling. It's so prevalent, that people will deny they are bipolar, even after they've been diagnosed, because they're afraid that's what's going to happen to them.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Maripaz
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/25/2008 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
OK Gals, I think I need to shime in after some lurking.
It seems that there is a group of us Wives of Bipolars that get to live the reality of the disease as witness and punching bags.
For me that is a completely different take than being Bipolar and I think sometimes much harder than to be the one who has the disease, per my perspective being inside the disease keeps you more in control and sheltered as you are not aware of the hurt and damage you are inflicting. I am not saying that being Bipolar is better by any means!! For what I see in my husband his lack of awareness helps him as a shield, while who is not bipolar has to live with the constant reminder of what was said and done and how much hurt and the fear of not knowing when the next blow will come and from where.

I have been with my husband who is Rapid Cycle Bipolar/Borderline for the last 12 years, he was diagnosed in 2003. A therapist said he was Borderline Bipolar that is another degree of it and said the diagnosis was for both of us, because he was not alone for the ride. I know that most Bipolars are nonviolent and don't behave as my husband. My stepson is also diagnosed Bipolar since 10 years old. In a year on average he has left the house 3 times, in a good year only once. On top of that he travels for work and family business about once a month or sometimes 1-2 days a week. This lack of stability have made a number on everybody, we have 3 children living at home and his 2 from a previous marriage come only twice a month. I've been completely isolated from his family due to some issues created 8 years ago when he was going through a mania stage, needless to say family doesn't like me, I am completely alone with him and his family unawareness of what living with Bipolar means. My husband has been in jail twice for hitting me and the last time it was in public so they called the police, I had to lie to the DA so he would be let go and not serve time after he spent the night in jail. He is extremely smart and very succesful, works in a top level. So bringing this public would be a demise for his career.

Last year after one argument in the car he filed from divorce, came home with a recording machine, started packing everything and moving away, while I was completely heart broken thinking what did I do this time? he called the police almost got me arrested in my own house and played the recording to the policemen while he was packing. 3 days later I got served with divorce papers at my daughter's School, inside the Principal office area, that was sooo bad. Finally after 2 months, he agreed he would change doctors, go to counseling and come back, we dismissed the divorce.

We were kind of find until this last March when his father died, the rollercoaster started all over again! He dissapeared on me for 5 days back to San Francisco, I was not allowed to come with him to his father memorial/funeral in March then April
In May he says he is going to see a friend in Phoenix and dissapeared on me for another 5 days. Before he leaves I say "If you leave this time you are not coming home", he leaves and rents an apartment for one year. After he comes back from Phoenix he agrees we should try to see a counselor and see if we can fix our marriage. I agreed and for 4 months on an off we saw a therapist. He says he is coming back home and give the notice to the apartment last month, while he had been living here while not travelling.

On the last month I start seeing the falling getting closer, sleeping all the time, moody, sad, depressed, OHMY buckle up!
2 weeks ago on a Thursday after going to a therapy session and discussing the fact that I was being selfish for putting some of my business/children issues first instead of doing what he was demanding me to do to stick around he became distant again. The fact he had not done anything the Therapist asked him to do with the relationship wasn't relevant to him. Without warning on Saturday I come back home from being out with some friends to discovered he had moved all his things back to the apartment while gone. He told my daughter "I am leaving because your mommy doesn't love me", "She is mean to me", etc.
I just couldn't believe, this is happening all over again! going around the house; closets empty, drawers empty, TV gone; I was shattered! How can this be happening again!!! I told him that I didn't want him back home if he didn't mean it!!! (My mind was crying).
I took my car left the kids and went to the apartment, to my horror the apartment key I had didn't work, I had to knock, he lets me in and start the abuse all over again, "it's your fault, I hate you, can't stand you, etc. get out of my life, you are not my wife, after 3 hours if you don't leave I am calling 911".
I can't leave is 4 am, my Van is blocks away, he calls the police tells them I am being violent and I've might had been drinking. He is 6'1 and I am 5'2. Drags me out of the apartment, I leave running to my car. In my way home I am stopped by 1 patrol car with 2 policemen who take me back to the apartment complex and meet another patrol with 2 offices, so 4 officers with me. After one hour of questioning, me in my Van, they let me go telling me that this was a domestic violence issue and next time I can go to jail.

Next day I hear from him who is appologetic for what he did and says he was never aware I was downstairs in my Van while he was being questioned, all the "So sorry, I love you, I didn't mean to, I didn't know, I never thought".. don't matter to me anymore. I told him I didn't deserve to be endangered in that way for him to get me out of an apartment I had a key, he switched, he lied the police and told them we were separated.
It's been two weeks, he has asked to come back home and as I haven't bent this time, it's my fault I am not letting him to work it out this time. But, how can I trust he will stay if he has left soo many times and every time hurts as much as the first time.

I am tired, drained, scared, alone, hurt, sad, angry all the feelings you must be familiar at this point.
It's extremely frustrating to me he can continue doing this hurtful things to me and then not to remember them nor understand the severity of them. The kids are okay, used to see him gone most of the time. I am the one who miss him terrible, but what can I do! Even if I wanted to be with him I can't go to his apartment, I'm afraid of his reactions, it's like being with your love one first and a minute later with who hates you the most.

I have cried little here little there, try to wipe my tears when the kids are not around. My daughter's Bday is next week, mine in two weeks, then holidays start I just can't believe this is happening all over again!!!

kirstenhere
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/25/2008 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Maripaz my heart goes out to you! There are never easy decisions to make when it comes to spouses that act like this. Love is love...and that is the reason we married them in the first place, right? Everyone continues to tell me I'm crazy for staying. I actually just got in a HUGE fight with my son about this today. He is 18 and has NO understanding of my husband. As you all know, we are living in a basement with some friends...and he just thinks we sit around and do nothing all day to better our lives. He is sooo clueless about all of this. I feel so bad for all that has happened...but what can I do?
Your story is sad, no doubt about it. I wish I could just give you all the right words, but I can't. Just hang in there and keep your chin up. Smile when you can, it does help! I wish there was some miracle cure for all of this we are all going through...oh, how I wish that! I guess the only thing we can do is continue to educate ourselves and just hang on for the ride. Get some good friends on here...and they will help you through, they have me. :-)
Write anytime to me if you like. Take care, hon! :-)

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2008 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Maripaz, I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles. They sound awful. your husband needs help -- clearly more than you can offer at the moment, and you might just be better off urging him to see his doctor and telling him not to come home until he's on a medical regimen and sticking to it. I understand you love him and just want him back, but the decisions fueled by mania are only partially in his control. He needs to see a good doctor.

What you can do for yourself in the meantime is see a therapist and try to do the most to keep yourself sane and healthy. No one who has gone through what you have has come out undamaged. Take the time to try and catch your breath and figure out how you want to proceed if and when he comes back.

My best wishes,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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