Too Close To Home

Occasionally, my husband will post some really personal stuff on his Facebook account.  Much of it is something that he will compare with his personal experience, and it is rather brutal in its honesty and sometimes it seems like it is very emotionally raw.  Recently, he posted this regarding the local Pride celebration this year:

…It took me several years to accept and realize that I might actually be gay (after identifying as bi for a few years) and my times here helped out on that journey as well as other life experiences…

Now wait just a minute.  I’ve been aware that he was bi-sexual for several years.  He “came out” to me, and at the time, it didn’t matter to me.  I didn’t care, it was just another label to attach to him.  (This was before his father died and he joined the cult.)  I thought it would be fun because we could do some things together, such as see a Chippendale’s show.  I even went with him one year to a Pride celebration.  I even gave him the freedom to explore his gay side by giving him permission to go to some local gay clubs without me, with the promise that he was looking but not touching.  If he touched, he never told.  And I never asked.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

Now, after the cult, it is painful to read this sort of revelation.  What hurts is not the fact that I read it on Facebook instead of him telling me, but it reinforces that my feelings and thoughts don’t matter because it is all about him (a lesson I learned too well in counseling).  I still don’t trust him with anything emotional of mine, and yet this feels like another knife in the heart to go along with the others he put there.

I haven’t begun to seek out groups for straight spouses of gay persons.  I don’t even have a clue how to begin to process this nugget of information about Hubby being gay.  Sometimes I wonder if it is just a delayed reaction because I was numb when he first came out.  Sometimes I wonder if it hurts so much more now because I still am raw when it comes to bombs like this after the cult.  And sometimes, I think it justifies me meeting my needs how I see fit and without him.  That includes the emotional ones.

This is not something I dare to discuss with him without a neutral party present.  And I damn sure am not going back to that idiot counselor who basically reinforced that my feelings and needs don’t matter, that it is all about him because I have made things all about me for most of our relationship and that it is his turn.  Bullshit.  I need to find someone who is experienced in this dynamic, and those people are few and far between.  Not to mention, I can’t afford it and I know there isn’t someone like that in the health system Hubby has access to.

I haven’t let on that I saw his post.  And I’m not going to.  I’m just thinking that this is another cycle that I need to get ready for, and that it will last for about 2 years.  It is his pattern.  I just dread what will happen after this one ends.

Routine

One of the most important things I can do to manage bipolar disorder is to have a routine.  By establishing a routine, I am better able to keep my moods from swinging so wildly and I am able to function knowing what will happen each day and when.

For example, I wake up every morning at 7 am.  Since I don’t have to be at work until 8:30, it gives me time to take a shower if I wish, get dressed, eat breakfast, fix my hair, and leave the house.  I work from 8:30 to 5:00, getting home around 5:30.  Either Hubby or I fix dinner, eat by 6, and I relax and enjoy a quiet evening until around 10:30.  That’s when I have a little snack, take my Latuda, and get ready for bed, finally falling asleep between 11 and 11:30.  On the weekends, I usually sleep in until 8 or 8:30, then get up and clean the house after I have gotten dressed and had breakfast.

For me, having a routine helps me deal with the chaos that is my day job.  I manage an office of 12 people, and about the only thing set in stone is that I have meetings on Monday with the boss to get my tasks for the week and to go over any other items that need her or my attention.  I get a large amount of steps in going all over the office either making ornery office equipment to work correctly, show a co-worker how to do something, or answer the phone while heading back to my office/heading out to a co-worker’s office.  I literally do not know what will happen from one moment to the next, and while I can sort of manage that chaos, I take comfort in knowing it is just a small part of my daily routine and allows me to remain calm.

Decompressing in the evening is a must for me.  If I’m not writing blog entries for this site, then I am either reading a book or I am coloring using one of those neat coloring apps available for my tablet.  Sometimes I make things for breakfast for the week, sometimes I make things for lunch for the week, and sometimes I just like to sit and listen to music.  I do watch a few shows on television: NCIS, Supernatural, and the Dynasty remake.  Usually the television is on in the background, just loud enough to be background noise while I go and do what I need to get done.

How about you?  Does a routine work best for you?  How do you manage your mood swings?  I’d love to know!

A Dose of My Own Medicine

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.

Not Swinging

I work in IT for a small company.  A majority of the staff are over the age of 60 and/or know nothing about computers.  It makes for an interesting day as I am often called out of my office for the most basic of questions.  I also get asked about how to operate all sorts of electronic gadgets, usually personal phones, tablets, or laptops.

We have a telecommuter who is in the office one week per month.  Her office is across the hall from mine, and she is 74 years old.  She fancies herself as tech savvy and yet there is always something wrong with her computer.  It is a brand new computer and is never causing problems for other staffers, which makes me think she is tinkering with it, although she swears that she isn’t doing anything.  Even when her computer is working, she is always coming across the hall into my office, asking me all sorts of questions that are not within my position.

Because I am always at the office, I tend to know what is going on.  But her questions are not just restricted to what is going on or anything computer related.  She treats me as if I am her secretary, which is NOT the case.  And it is frustrating.  She is very snobby and insists that everyone use their “credentials” and is rather snotty to anyone who is beneath her.  (The look on her face the day she found out I have a Bachelor’s Degree was priceless, although I never stick it on the end of my name on my business cards like she does.)

When at her desk and she is working, I can tell when she is about to call me because I hear a very audible sigh.  And she will keep on doing it until either I acknowledge her or the person on the other side of her does.  It’s rather childish and drives me nuts.  Today I had my fill.  After the third time, I went in her office and asked her what in the hell was going on that had her making that annoying noise and that if it was related to her computer at work not acting like the one at home then I didn’t want to hear it.  I also told her (and in a rather ugly tone too) that it was passive aggressive and childish and that if she didn’t like the way her work computer worked then she could bring in her home computer and use it while she is here.  And I walked out.

This led to me being called into the Executive Director’s office again to discuss my rather rude behavior.  And once again I was asked if I was having a mood swing and if I should talk to my doctor about changing my medication.  I got angry.  And I let my temper flare and verbally let my boss have it.  I’m tired of being treated like dirt under this woman’s feet, I’m tired of her games, and I’m tired of having to fix what she is screwing up.  No one else seems to be having trouble with anything, only this woman.  I’ve had enough.

This woman has made it clear several times that she is retiring after her birthday in June.  I can hang in there until June.  But oh boy, it will be difficult!

Fooling Around With Social Media

One of the perks of working in IT is that I can find out all kinds of things just by looking at a computer.  Even if you delete stuff, I can find traces of what you were doing and figure out what you were up to.

On the flip side, it makes it easy for me to hide my tracks, especially since my husband and most of the people around me are not very computer savvy.  (My son, on the other hand, is a 25 year old genius who taught me a few things.)  In the past, mania and social media has gotten me into trouble and caused all sorts of problems.

I have a profile on Adult Friend Finder.  I’ve had one there for a while now.  I’ve also had profiles on FetLife, Alt.com, and Collar Space.  (I went through a period where I wanted to explore BDSM, and learned quickly that it is NOT my cup of tea.)  I’ve used the sites to find men who were willing to hook up for the night.  I had all sorts of excuses to justify it to myself and they all were rather lame.  I even justified it that my husband used religion to cheat on me and hurt me so why not return the favor and get some satisfaction in the process?

After I made a fool of myself (as I always did when coming down), I would delete the profile and swear that I would never do that again.  I would focus on my relationship with my husband and promise myself that I was happy with who I had and what we had.  I would swing in the other direction and be depressed for a while then enjoy the even keel and leave my indiscretions behind.

When I was younger, it was easier to catfish.  I always was someone else online, and lived a life I wished I had through that persona.  I was always short with big boobs, long beautiful hair, thin, and a high paying professional job that took me places and made me somebody.  The reality was that I was short, overweight, short hair, and an office manager.  Now I’ve gotten better at taking pictures that don’t show how truly overweight that I am, and apparently I get more attention with my long hair (even though now it is about 25% grey).

I don’t always trust what I am told online.  I’m always skeptical.  I should be, because I have been just as guilty of fooling people as I have been fooled.  But, truth be told, am I truly fooling my husband, or am I truly fooling myself?

Vindicated

In 2014, my husband lost his father and I lost my grandfather.  Each man was the rock that we each depended on, the one person we each knew would be there for us, no matter what.  He was adrift at sea, lost, and did not grieve as he was too busy settling his father’s estate and taking care of his father’s business as well as his baby sister, who was living with and taking care of their father.

One night, my husband came home, excited.  He had been talking about making movies (an old hobby of his that I encouraged), and met a group of street preachers that he wanted to make a series about.  During the conversations with this group, he decided to become saved.  I would soon find out that the group was an extremist cult, and it drove a wedge between us.  He abandoned me emotionally and mentally, and became a man that no one recognized.

He has since left the group, but I still get nervous when I see the shelf of Bibles and other books.  I get nervous when I see the Bible app on his iPad.  And it has turned me completely off of organized religion.  I have not forgotten this period, and am strong enough to throw him out should he go that route again.  I will not tolerate it.

That background is because I recently noticed that he responded to someone who was questioning this cult on Facebook.  Apparently this group has gone after this woman and caused a lot of problems in her life.  Hubby was not surprised that they went after her as rabidly as they did, even talking about how this woman never met anyone from this group until she took them to court to stop their harassment and get a restraining order.

It was hard for me not to comment about it on Facebook.  And it would not have been pretty.  I kept my mouth shut because it was not fair to the woman for her post to be full of venom when it didn’t concern her.  I also did not want to lose my temper, because I wanted so bad to let my husband have it with both barrels about how I felt then and how I understood her frustration and alienation when trying to battle the cult.

I’m dealing with it better than I have in the past.  I don’t hurt as much, and I don’t feel like it is being rubbed in my face.  But it still bothers me, and I can’t say why.  I may or may not ever figure it out.  But I feel vindicated because the group IS a cult and I am not the only one who sees their actions for what they are: desperate and evil.

Not My First Rodeo

This is not the first blog I have written.  I wrote another one about three years ago while in the midst of a severe depression, and while I was un-medicated.  I was also having marital troubles at the time, and things were dire and bleak.

Today, I happened to remember the name of the blog and went back and read it.  I was caught off guard by how depressing it was.  I was severely depressed, hopeless, and honestly could not believe that I had the energy to do anything.  I was miserable in my marriage, and struggled just to make it through the day.  I remember thinking I wanted this blog to be therapeutic and I was going to be brutally raw and honest.

I was fooling myself.  I wasn’t totally honest but I did allude to a lot of things going on behind the scenes.  I was so depressed that I could not see that I was drowning and did not have a life preserver.  Out of desperation, I threatened that I would leave if he did not get counseling.

It worked.  After a year, we were able to put our marriage back together.  I went back to seeing my doctor, got on medication, and while things aren’t perfect, they are better than they had been.  It was really eye opening and reminded me of things I had long forgotten.  Some were painful and some were not.  While I don’t care to share the link to this blog, I will say that it will assist with some topics that I will be writing about for a while.

Thank you for reading.

How I Named My Blog

When my husband and I were dating, my father-in-law had a red Toyota Corolla.  On the back windshield was a small sticker that said “Mind Gone…Back Soon.”  I always thought that was funny, because there were several times I thought the man was out of his mind.  It always stayed with me in some form or fashion, and I often wanted to go and find something similar to it for me to put on my own car or even my husband’s car.

I was never able to find it, but when I was planning out how I would do this blog, that sticker came to mind.  And to be honest, it is truthful in many ways because there are times when even I am out of my ever loving mind, and I will return to “normal” soon enough.

So there you have it, that is how I came up with the idea of naming this blog!

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!  Please bear with me while I move it and set up house.  Please pull up a chair, get comfortable, and stay a while!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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