Can't take anymore, but can't let go

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BGMLTL
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/22/2009 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I am new to this site.  I have read and re-read posts after posts for over a year; on this site and others.  I have tried so many things - yet unfortunately the most important was never attainable.  Getting my husband to the Doctor.  Oh, he would say he would go, but then the fear kicked in, followed by rage and all bets were off.  Our doors have slammed and either he has been told to leave or left on his own so many times, I think our door needs to be replaced.  I want to say this last time was the last time, but afraid it wasn't and yet afraid it was.  I have been dealing with my husband's disorder for so long, that I wonder if I have developed my own.  In some ways I believe I did everything I could and usually right, then realize I probably did everything wrong and not as much as I could have or should.  I have lost so much of who I am in this battle with a person I don't even know any longer, that I now wonder how to find myself. 
 
When I state my husband never went to the Doctor, that is not true.  He did go, but never to the point in which a true diagnosis could be made with proper meds.  Our family dr. prescribed Zoloft for depression, cured the depression - but sent him reeling and never really coming back down.  Seasonal episodes - abosolutely.  Days in bed, and days of the most outragious behavior known.  Never caught him cheating, but found a condom.  As a truck driver I have to face the fact, it probably happened. 
 
How does the spouse recover?  Funny how after all the verbal and emotional abuse, I never lost hope of finding that once wonderful person who I thought was my soulmate.  I now wonder was it ever real or was I the unexpected receipient of a mania state of euphoria that once we were married and he began a life as a truck driver he found a better fix than me and I have never really had a chance to find him again.  Today I am the daughter of Satan in his eyes.
 
Friday night was about the 4th or 5th time in as many months he has had to leave.  A simple request (realizing no such thing with him) about a blatant lie in which I was screamed at repeatedly for 30 minutes earlier in the day, ended up with a raging fight that he had been trying to egg on for the better part of a week.  It was severe enough that one of my son's called the police, who unfortunately arrived after he left.  Part of me wants to go after him, but if I do it will only be the same.  The other part of me fears for him.  He is unemployed, living with a sister who has her own mental health issues - validates his, and it seems he is always worse after time with her and others from their small town in south GA.  Which views bipolar as a condition that means you are crazy, psycho and stupid.  The stigma they have placed on the disease or any mental health disorder have him in complete denial, and their validation of his behavior makes helping him or convincing him to seek help impossible.
 
How can a person hold it together for some and the one closest to him be the receiver of such verbal abuse.  To look into the eyes of someone you love so much and see nothing.  No anger, no fear, no sorrow, no remorse.  Only emptiness.  This illness is the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life.  No one can understand who is close to me.  They either don't understand the disease or don't understand why I put up with it.  I too at this point don't understand my attachment any longer.  I am strong.  I am typically independent.  I am employed in a very good professional job - one in which I would advise anyone who came to me to seek help from the EAP and either the person gets help or you have to get out.
 
I have read so many posts and shake my head at those who have stayed in cases like mine.  How does the bipolar person get such a hold on the non-bipolar?  How do you break free if they won't get help?  I would like to think I would stay forever if he was attempting to help himself and furious because he won't and in denial that I continue to allow him to hurt me.  It is my own fault.  I have read so much that I know it is a disease and therefor feel he can be treated so afraid to walk away in hopes he will return to his old self.  Am I kidding myself?  Have I become delusional?  I realize I keep going after him, partial guilt and partial fear.  Fear for him, fear for his manipulation placing him in a better place than here and losing him.  
 
Can anyone relate to what I am trying to convey?  I realize I haven't given all the details of the last 11 years; however, while each story is unique and mine is definately a hell of a ride, it isn't really any different than any other I have read.  Just its own unique twists and turns.  The question I have more than anything, is will he more than likely return?  Do bipolars really ever leave for good?  Am I really better off letting him wander and do whatever he wants as I stay at home and tend to everything?  Yes, the bitterness is there too.  I am hurt, angry, bitter, confused, frustrated, ready to surrender and heal myself, ready to fight to save him. 
 
If necessary, I can share the tale.  It isn't that I don't want to, I guess I just have come to the conclusion that the antics and story are not as important as the where do I go from here. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 6/22/2009 9:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi BGMLTL, I usually am over on the UC forum, but your thread title caught my eye. Why? Because 4 years ago I was in the same boat. I was married to "him" for 17 years, together for 18, and all those years I hid his bipolar. I suppose I wasn't sure what it really was, but one day he was up and the next day I was digging him out of the hole. It got worse as the years went on; walking on eggshells all the time. Life wasn't even fun. I never knew what would bring on the screaming episodes. Then he began drinking. Which made the cycle even worse. Yep, he too would go to the doctors, get through by telling them what they wanted to hear, then got picked up a couple of times for drunk driving etc. Spent tons of money on attorneys and jail. And guess what? We worked at the same place (about 1500 people) and not one of his friends, family, or my family knew about this behavior. I hid it from them all that time. I thought by doing that I was saving him. I was not. I was making myself ill with stress, and as for him, I was only contributing to his behavior problems. He never had any boundaries and as I continued to "help" him by taking him back time after time and covering up for him at work, I only made things worse. Unfortunately, he lost the battle in his mind and just couldn't take life anymore, but I know he was just mentally ill. It took awhile for me to find the person I once was, and now I'm living an incredible life with an incredible person. I still have some insecurities, but truthfully I don't know why I didn't get out of the relationship sooner. I didn't realize that a loving relationship was waiting for me! So know that there is life out there waiting for you. Only you can make that decision to move on -- take care and I wish you well.
Carol

Remicade - will have my 29th infusion on July 8
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics, Vitamin D-3 (2000 IU)
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/23/2009 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi BGMLTL,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar forum.

Unfortunately, until your husband sees a psychiatrist and gets into a treatment plan (medication and therapy) you can expect more of the same. Bipolar does not get better with age, it worsens, so you need to be honest with yourself that you are either tying yourself to his ship, or making a decision to leave it.

He will be back. Why would he not? You have always taken him back before and he has a free ride with you. Even when he cheated on you, you took him back. As soon as he gets lonely, he will be back. He has all the power in your relationship. It is time for you to stop enabling him, and take some of that power back.

First thing you need to do is to get yourself into some counseling. You need to start taking care of yourself ASAP. Years of being mistreated -- even by someone with a mental disorder -- takes its toll. Time for you to start healing.

Then, ask yourself some tough questions, what will you do when he comes back? Will you let him come right in? Will you make him stay somewhere else for a while as he proves he's good enough? How about making going to the doctor a condition of his coming back?

I wish you luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


BGMLTL
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/23/2009 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the insight. I am sorry "him" lost the battle and fear my "him" will too someday. He has a passive death wish, he tells me almost daily. I wonder how long before it goes from passive to real. But, again no way to help him since he never does anything in front of others. His lies are so believable and the manipulation so incredible that I found out after he was gone for a period of time, he had started to convince people I have a problem. I have been on an emotional rollercoaster that you are correct - I have to find the inner strength to jump off of. It is good to know there is life after - I sometimes wish I had the ability to just not care. To walk away and not look back. It isn't in my make-up and probably makes me my own worse enemy. My conscience battles with my common sense on a daily basis. Which isn't good for "him" or "me"; for I then seem like a "flip flopper". Want to help, want to walk away. I become so frustrated at his unwillingness to agree to help that I throw my arms up in the air and say I am done; but then my guilt and conscience kicks in and I think to myself he is ill - would I walk away from him if this were diabetes. I also think if he was rational and knew what was happening, we wouldn't be in this position. ERGHHHH..... it is maddening

There is a real feeling of grieving which I can't get past, because the one I am grieving for is still walking around, and I wonder when and if he will walk back in again someday - and which person will be the one walking in the door if he does. It is the most heartbreaking and emotionally gut wrenching pain a person can possibly deal with. Since he won't open up - I don't know the demons in his head. But from what I have read by those with the disorder and listening to him scream in his sleep - I can only imagine. And think to myself if I am this beat up from the disorder - what is it doing to him? Maybe he has advanced so far it just has become ok to him. He has said he doesn't care if he is happy or sad, has joy or not - just wants to live out his life whether that be today, tomorrow or 20 years. Basically doesn't care about anyone or anything - but then I learn of all the antics when he isn't here and it is completely opposite of what he says. So is it manipulation and know how to pull my strings or do I hear the truth and the rest is just going with the flow.

I hope someone can give me insight.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 6/23/2009 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I can assure you that every word you write is what I was dealing with. He used to tell me all the time that it was I who had the problem and every day would be another threat of harming himself. I cannot tell you to this day if on his final day he thought I would find him in time or what; I suppose it's something I'll never know. As you say, I stayed because I'm too tenderhearted to walk away, but I believe I was to the point of leaving, he just made the choice for me. I would get so angry and like you, the guilt and conscience kick in. I agree with Serefena. He has all the power in the relationship and he will be back when he feels like it. I cannot tell you what to do, but now I can truthfully say I became a stranger looking into someone else's life because I cannot imagine dealing with that kind of life. I know your husband needs counseling, but what about you? Having to watch your loved one deal with this is rough, but it's rough on you too. Funny, I used to make plans on how I'd deal with finances, etc., but never did anything about leaving; didn't know if I could make it on my own. Here I am, I became a whole person again and did just fine. You can too. Take care. 

Carol

Remicade - will have my 29th infusion on July 8
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics, Vitamin D-3 (2000 IU)
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


BGMLTL
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/23/2009 9:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Carol each post you write I tear up. But I believe it is what I was searching for, to know it isn't me and that others truly have gone through this. That the warnings of suicide are real - and I am not overreacting or worrying about nothing. There is release in knowing that someone else was in these shoes. I am very fortunate that I have 3 EAP's through health insurance and work; and I can tap into 9 sessions before even thinking about payment. I guess I always wanted to save them for when he would finally hit rock bottom or have an awakening and go to the sessions. To make my story more pathetic - at the end of 2005 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I had just gotten him into a treatment program for depression, not by his choice. He was (and still is) on disability from the state and they had threatened to take away his benefits for not reporting his earnings. He asked what should he do and I told him to check into the local Mental Health Hospital. I missed my opportunity - they asked if he was a real danger to himself and at the time I didn't think so. Had I said he was, they would have had him. But instead, I opted for a day program and 3 weeks into it found out I had Breast Cancer. At 42 years of age I was devasted and switched my full attention to me (as I should have) and went through a double mastectomy w/reconstruction. My husband came out of treatment, hit a stage of mania and has gotten progressively worse ever since.

However, there was a brief period and one day, one fleeting moment he found full center (as I call it) - he told me that he could see what he had done in the past and made me swear that if he ever went there again I would do whatever I had to do to get him right again. I told him then - that I would but the problem was once he was in that state there was no reasoning with him and I didn't know if I could. He said he that he didn't like that person and didn't want to be that person. Unfortunately, it didn't last long and now he doesn't remember that conversation and denies everything. He is so afraid of being permanently locked up, fearful of the diagnosis, the stigma, that there is nothing I can do. I know that. But you and Serafena are correct - it is time to find my own counsellor, someone to help me find myself again. I am a shadow of the person I once was. As a person who has to deal with other people's issues every day, I have people constantly thanking me and telling me how strong I am. How beautiful I am inside and out. How intelligent I am. The sad part is, I have lost that person. I laugh to myself and think if you only knew when I hear those comments. I too have put pencil to paper to figure out finances, I think of how to continue on without him. It is like a caregiver to the terminally ill, you put so much into the sick person you don't know what to do when they are gone. Many people make friends or meet new people through their work, unfortuantely my role prevents that type of interaction. So my life is my kids, work, home and was/is dealing with him.

I know I must find an outlet. I must find a distraction and maybe this was my first step. For as I said, I have researched and read online posts for over a year and never reached out or replied to any. I just read and absorbed. But most of the posts were always related to how to help the BP person, the antics of the person, how they recovered. what latest eruptions or setbacks they had, what you should and should not do, etc.... not the how do you actually accept the madness and come out on the other end in one piece when there isn't a happy ending, how do you live with yourself when you didn't do what you probably should have and allowed yourself to buy into the disorder.

Thank you for listening and reaching back. It helps.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 6/23/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I say use those EAP's and get some counseling now. Even if you decide not to leave it will give you the tools to help you through the difficult times. Don't wait until he hits rock bottom; I think you need it before you hit rock bottom. I can't imagine having to deal with breast cancer too. Our stories are very similar and you can't believe how much you have helped me. I can tell you that your posts -- almost word for word the same thing I endured. There is a sense of calm just writing it out. Sad, but calm. It helps me too knowing that there are others out there dealing with a loved one who has such an illness. TC xx and hugs.

Carol

Remicade - will have my 29th infusion on July 8
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics, Vitamin D-3 (2000 IU)
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 

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