I was officially diagnosed as a bipolar disorder type 2 in 1997, not long after my husband and I began dating. I was not medicated, severely depressed, and struggling to figure out what this all meant.
This was the beginning of the internet and I began doing research on manic depression (as bipolar disorder was known back then) and found support in newsgroups. I even helped create and moderate a moderated newsgroup that was full of information for someone newly diagnosed and looking for a safe place to land. I made a lot of friends, some still close to me today.
But what comes up always comes down. The internet also allowed me new avenues to get into trouble when manic. Chat rooms were especially enticing because back then I could be whomever I wanted to be, and I had access to photos of real life people I knew who fit those descriptions. I could be whomever I wanted to be and do it from the safety of my own home. More than once, chat rooms and chat lines were my down fall. A couple of times, people would track me down and show up at the house. They would meet my boyfriend, I would crash, and would end up spending some time as an inpatient at a medical facility until I was once again stable.
He really loved me to stay and try to keep me medicated and stable. He really loved me to step in and be a father to my son and give him a stable life, which was more than what I had with my unstable, un-diagnosed mother.
I received a major dose of my own medicine in 2014. My former boss and someone who I looked up to as a mother figure was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s. She was quickly going down hill and not able to run the company properly. It was a stressful time and I was struggling to deal with all the strife within the family as well (I had worked for her for so long that many members of her family considered me to be a part of it because it was like I was literally taking care of her during office hours). To finally learn what was wrong with her was devastating, and a blow I didn’t handle well at all.
One day, Hubby picked me up from work. He was firmly in the clutches of the cult at the time. He was so firmly entrenched that we were beginning to become estranged. But I couldn’t take it anymore, and I began pouring my heart out as to what was wrong and what was going on. The whole time I am shaking and sobbing, unable to hold in my emotions. And he sat in the driver’s seat, and just stared at me. He did not hold me, did not comfort me, nothing. From that moment, all emotional trust I had in him was gone. I knew I would not be able to trust him with anything emotional and began to realize that I was truly alone.
Later, in therapy, he said that he did not know how to properly respond to me within the confines of cult doctrine. I was angry and hurt, and was not willing to let it go nor forget it at all. After all, the therapist said that I needed to learn how to communicate my needs to him. Well hell, how can I communicate my needs when he was recently out of the cult again, and that it was only a matter of time before he went back again? How many times was he to go in and out of the cult before either staying for good or leaving for good? That was a merry go round I wanted no part of.
Recently, I almost started wondering if maybe it was payback for all the hell I put him through when manic, especially after I was first diagnosed and before I made peace with it. Then part of me said that I had an excuse, that I have a mental illness and that it cannot be helped when I was not medicated. He was perfectly fine and just under the influence of a rather nasty cult. Part of me says that he had no excuse. The anger is no longer there but the hurt still is. Maybe in time it will lessen.
In the mean time, I take care of my own needs. I don’t depend on Hubby for much anymore. Maybe it was the kick in the butt I needed to take care of myself and be the strong, independent woman I know I could be. Time will tell.