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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/23/2009 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I want to say first off thank you thank you for creating this forum and serafena, the way you answer some of the posts makes me tear up- it is really refreshing to have someone who actually cares and UNDERSTANDS and can empthasize with you! may God sincerely bless you!
Now here is my question. It took me a very long time to finally accept that there is something wrong with me. Even though since 1994, I have been hospitalized countless times, I was always in denial and refused to accept that I was bipolar. I have only come to terms with my condition in the last couple of months. Over the years, I have been cruel to alot of people and have cussed out and fussed out friends, bosses and loved ones and have lost every friend that I have ever had except one that refused to let me go. My question is- should I contact some of these people and explain my illness and apologize or should I just let bygones be bygones and just forget about it? I don't want anyone thinking that I am a jerk or anything. Also, one of the people who I need to apologize to is my younger brother who I haven't seen nor spoken to in over 5 years. I would love to have a relationship with him again if possible but don't know what to say to him or how to say it. My younger brother hates my parents because he and I were both abused as kids and he moved out of the house as soon as he was able and severed ties with my entire family. As I said, I haven't seen or spoken to him in over 5 years and he only lives 15 minutes away. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Diagnosed with Mixed Bipolar Disorder with hallucinations, PTSD, OCD and Major Depression since 1994.

Always feel free to email me- sometimes an email just to say Hello is the highlight of my day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/23/2009 10:51 PM (GMT -7), and so have alot of others here, have surely wronged many people in our lives.  I know with myself, the guilt did sometimes eat at me to where I felt the need to explain myself to people.  But what you must tell yourself is to only worry about the meaningful relationships.  There is no need to go and revisit every person you feel you have wronged.  Depending on the time that has passed, most people have simply moved on.  If life somehow brings any of these people back into your life, maybe you will get the opportunity to tell them  "by the way....." 

But as far as your brother, if it is a relationship that you care to reconnect, then you should go for it.  He will always be your brother, and the two of you share many memories.  You might be of help for eachother to get over the abuses you suffered.  But you must go into it without too high of expectations.  If he has truly cut his family out, he might be resistant to you tying to get back in.  You know, he may need to see to believe. 

I wish you luck, and think it would be a good idea to get back in touch and try to mend things.

"Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean
you have to run people over." ~ Fred Pausch

Sera Smiles
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 1/23/2009 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there- I am glad you posted, this topic is important and one that many of us here can relate to. I think that reaching out to your brother coukd be a positive thing, reconciliation can take time, but can also be good.

As far as others in your life, please hear the words I am going to say and take them in the way they are suggested, with compassion and sincerity. I have learned that in trying to make amends, ask for forgiveness or explain away negative behaviors, sometimes we can make a bad situation worse. The people we offended do not want us back in their lives, and for us to reach out to them makes the "reconciliation" more about us and our needs than theirs. They often feel manipulated all over again. My feeling is that once we have offended someone badly enough that they have removed themselves from our lives, we should respect their attempt to bring order back to their lives and do not impose again.

I hope you find the peace you seek.
"A butterfly is most vulnerable immediately after its metamorphosis."
Dx FM- 2003
Rx Meds- Ultram, Flexeril, Toprol, Cymbalta, Buspar 
OTC meds- Benadryl, Claritin, Melatonin, Valerian, B Complex, Multi Vitamin

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/24/2009 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you for the kind words, I'm so glad that I can be helpful. I do try.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mommy.michele. I think you can drive yourself nuts with guilt thinking about all the people who have gone through your life at one time or another. You can't possibly reconnect with everyone, and you don't know exactly why you've lost touch with them anyway. Perhaps you'd driven them away, but friendships fade also. It's a fact of life.

So like michele was saying, I would pick a choice one or two that you're really set on trying to revive -- like your brother perhaps -- and try to approach those people. You don't know that he'll be receptive, but there's no harm in calling him up and telling him you'd just like a chance to talk to him and try to make amends. If he's not amenable, he's not, but you'll know you did your part in trying to connect again. I wouldn't expect him to be real warm, but if you're committed to trying to contact him, I don't see the harm in it.

Good luck,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 1/24/2009 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I think it would be helpful to contact some of the people you still care about and let them know about your illness. It will help them make sense of your behaviour and it will help them understand that you had a disease and you were not a malicious individual. It is up to them to reconnect with you. Some people forgive easily and others are less forgiving. You should make an effort to establish a relationship with your brother. You need the support of family in coping with your disorder. Why don't you meet your brother casually one afternoon and evening and explain your situation to him? I often have very intimate conversations when I go out for coffee. I hope everything works out for you. I lost a lot of friends because of my disorder - they did not want to have anything to do with a mentally sick person (In India, there is a lot of stigma associated with psychiatric problems, in olden days mentally ill people were killed). I have now started making new friends and I am doing much better because of that.
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