The Life of a Bi-Polar Spouse Welcome to our life.

20Feb/150

BP

Posted by elizabethmmcdonald

My husband and I have only been married 2 months now and I question everyday whether or not I can really handle this for the rest of my days. It's definitely a struggle and I am at a loss for what to do most of the time. The emotional abuse has gotten out of hand. He feels a need to control my every move and if I fail it progresses into an ongoing fight for days, sometimes violence ensues. He breaks glass, hammers furniture, and has now resorted to destroying my clothes.  I try not to express my feelings to friends and family as I don't think they will understand the situation. I realize this is an illness he can't control at times and don't want him to be negatively judged. I just need advice on what I need to do when he is having an episode. The name calling and abuse is taking a toll on my heart. I love him dearly and hope for a successful marriage.

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20Feb/150

Exhausted from Bipolar wife

Posted by Anthony1981

Thanks so much for creating this space, already I have learnt loads.

I have been married for around 15 years to a lovely lady whom I dearly love. We have two children 8 and 10. Four years ago my wife started showing the symptoms of seasonal bipolar but of course we didn't know what is was then. She would be unstoppable for 6 months and then hit a very low low. I managed to cope for the first few years of the behavior although it was very very tough. When she was on a manic episode (sorry if the terminology is incorrect I'm new to this) she really didn't want to know me and thought any wisdom or counsel I was giving her was 'dragging her down' and that I lacked 'faith' in her, in God and in life. She made extremely poor decisions, took on too much work/responsibility and  emptied the bank accounts. I eventually secretly took her cards off her and thought she'd lost them. She was accusing me of not loving her, having affairs and she was essentially being abusive. She will get one or two hours sleep a night and get into regular conflict with others. I am also sure there has been sexual activity with others but just have to live with it. I am a pretty strong and tough person and because I didn't understand the illness at the time of course I refused to be walked over and only stayed with her because of the kids. All of the cruel things she would say would mount up and eventually I would respond by being far more cruel and cutting. The end of 2013 and start of 2014 was a very very difficult time and then her 'mania' all came crashing down and she hit her low. Lows are in some ways better than the highs as at least she is around more for the children, although when she is down it is also difficult.

Eventually I and one dear friend convinced her to see a doctor. Last year she did and we have had some great advice and she is on medication. She tried two kinds and the kind she was on from last June has made an amazing impact to our lives. For 7 months our lives were back to normal.

 

Sadly though it didn't last. She had a serious infection which we believe disrupted her medication. She stopped taking it regularly (very sporadic) and  spiraled downwards. This particular 'down' she is in eight now is very bad. Essentially I do everything - wake up the kids for school, get breakfast, get their snacks ready, get them ready and then get myself ready for work. I go off to work and when I come home I cook and then get them ready for bed, often doing homework and get them into bed while my wife is sleeping (she goes for  a "little rest" at about 6pm). During the night my wife may wake up and also wake me up (at 1, 2, 3 or 4) and start saying "I know you don't love me and when I'm well I'm leaving and taking the children" - when I say that I do love her and that we will stay together she then starts raising her voice.... so I try and ignore her and tell her to go back to sleep of which she will reply "See you never ever want to talk about the terribly state of our marriage and your attitude stinks". Mornings are particularly hard as my wife follows me around the house, as I'm getting everyone ready, bitching, moaning and criticizing everything I do or say often in front of the children. She wants to constantly 'talk' about how I am unresponsive, how I am a 'bastard', how I have ruined her life, how she achieves nothing, how I am responsible for her bipolar, how unaffectionate I am  and how I am constantly unwilling to discuss the total mess I have made of our lives and our family. All of which is really not true apart from the fact I will not and do not get into things with her in the mornings as the kids are around and we are all getting ready for work and school. This goes on for 2 hours until we all leave the house. I then get about 60 texts or emails per day and the contents range from the bizarre to the ridiculous. I don't get into 'text' arguing with her and tell her she'll be ok soon. The doctors have put in place a plan to get her back to her normal levels and she has been, fair play, pretty good for the last 2 weeks in taking her medication. We all hope it will kick-in soon.

I try and work out nearly everyday as to keep myself in good physical shape and spend as much downtime with my children. Of course I admit that self-protection measures kick-in and I have hardened towards her which is now what she claims is the whole problem. I am a fantastic father and very widely regarded for the work I do... my self esteem is ok but it is still a very sad situation and I am weary.

I have no idea if ignoring or refusing to get into debates and arguments is the right approach as it seems to just wind my wife up even more as it appears I am unloving and uncaring. When i tell her that everything will be ok she doesn't believe me and says that for everything to be ok I need to change and our lives need to change and the kids need to change. She frequently swears at me and and although I am tough and have broad shoulders it is exhausting.  Also the children know that she is very down and worried and despite my eternal optimism when i am chatting to them about it I know they are hurting... my wife actually refuses to allow me to explain to them she is unwell but I have had to do it for their sake.

So..  I hope by sharing this it helps me express my experience and also if there are any pearls of wisdom I would be grateful. The doctor reckons that it should be another 2 weeks before she is better but both of us worry that the 'blip' will be permanent and that we will be back into the up and down cycle... and to be honest I am not sure I can cope with this cycle.

 

THANKS for reading.

 

 

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20Feb/150

Can I really just leave?

Posted by Lyssy311

This is my first time posting anything about my relationship and marriage, but I need support. I apologize ahead of time, for this is quite lengthy. I just feel like you need the whole story, and I also don't know how to shorten it. I know I'm not alone. I know there are so many others who are suffering, and with far worse scenarios.

I am 34 years old, have been with my husband for 10 years, married for 7, and have 3 children. When I met him he had not been diagnosed, and the first year or two were great. I had a 2 month old son when we met (his father and I split up before I even knew I was pregnant), and I was not interested in dating anyone as I had a newborn at home; but this man was convincing. We met when we were both Realtors and I began working at the same office as he did. We lived near each other, so when we took classes or needed to travel for conferences we would carpool. He finally managed to convince me to date him and our relationship was pretty great. We got engaged after only 6 months, moved in together, and began planning the wedding for the following year. Unexpectedly, we found out we were pregnant 6 months later and moved the wedding date as I refused to be pregnant at my own wedding.

Things started getting a little strange after we found out we were expecting. His behavior became a little more erratic, but I chalked this up to a combination of pre-baby and pre-wedding jitters, so I didn't become too overly concerned, wedding planning and surprise babies are always a little stressful. We had our daughter and continued on, I had met a man that I loved and I wasn't going to be one of those people who bailed on their relationship just because it wasn't perfect. Lets face it; nothing is perfect, and anything in life worth having is worth working for. That's how I used to think anyways.

Things became even more stressful and erratic the month before the wedding, I began to doubt that I was making the right decision, but again, I thought it was just stress and pre-wedding jitters; nothing to be concerned about, it happens. We continued on, got married, had a wonderful honeymoon, came home, and the "bottom" began to fall out of what we called life.

By this time our son was almost 3 and our daughter was approaching 1 (he has always looked at our son as his own since he has raised him basically since birth). My husbands mother, an incredibly unstable woman, had told me just before I married my husband that he had been sexually abused as a child by his father. My husband had never mentioned this, and I understood why he wouldn't want to tell me. The feelings of shame are hard to erase even though he had nothing to be ashamed about. I talked to him about it, but he told me it didn't happen to him, only to his brother. I didn't question that he wasn't telling me the truth, or what he believed to be the truth, but 6 months later his mother showed me medical reports from the doctors that she took him to, confirming what she was telling me. Evidently he has repressed these memories. His behavior kept becoming increasingly agitated, he would be completely irrational at times; yelling at me, throwing things around the house, yelling at the children for no reason, which he didn't understand. I begged him to go see someone, but he refused. I also became a stay at home mom, not trusting him alone with the kids.

A few months later we were offered a transfer for his job to North Carolina, (he was no longer a real estate agent as this was after the market crashed). We took it with excitement. I had never really like living in Connecticut, and we figured the worst case scenario would be that we could always move back. He was also very happy that it would take him away from his highly unstable family. We were gone within 3 months, far away from both of our families, one happily and one with remorse, and things got even worse from there. I became pregnant again, despite an IUD, and while I was pregnant with our 3rd child, another boy, was when our life became hell.

My 3rd pregnancy was awful. I was exhausted from taking care of a toddler and a 4 year old, and had no support system in NC. We had just moved there and didn't know anyone. My husband slept, fought, and worked. One morning after a particularly bad night, he saw the holes in the walls as evidence of an episode that he couldn't even remember and I was able to convince him to go see someone and we started trying different medications, and he was then given his bipolar diagnosis. I had the baby, and life was going pretty well. We decided I would go back to work a few months later, a 3rd baby was expensive and we needed the money, and since he was doing better I was no longer afraid to leave him at home with the kids.

This didn't last though. He felt better, so he stopped taking the medication. Things were so awful that I told him I wanted him to leave, that I couldn't have him there with the kids acting like that, and that maybe we should consider a temporary separation to work on things. He left after a terrible fight, and 3 hours later I received a call from the psychiatric hospital asking me if I felt he should be held inpatient. My husband told them that I was working for a psychiatry practice handling clinical triage, and because it was my job they wanted my opinion. I said yes. I gave more details about his behavior and told them about him stopping his medication. A week later he came home, and though he wasn't anywhere near well, he was better than he had been.

Being incredibly stressed out, I told the doctors that I worked for what was going on to let them know that I may need to leave unexpectedly that week. Since they were psychiatrists I figured they would be the first to understand, and they did. They asked me about a little more history, and that was when we discovered that our children were my husbands triggers. His abuse started when he was around 3, and when our son was reaching that age, even though he had repressed those memories, he was a trigger. Being a mother, I freaked out and took my son to the doctor to make sure that he had not been abused in any way, and he hadn't, but I had to check considering my husbands history.

Now the question became, how do you prevent a trigger that is not preventable? You can't. My husband had to stay on the correct regimen that would stabilize him, or he would automatically cycle. Now, we are lucky in that we didn't have to shop around for the correct regimen much, except for the fact that he wouldn't stay on it.

The last 3 years have been a predictable cycle. Medicate, stabilize, feel better, stop taking the medication, manic/depressive episodes begin. This usually happens every 3-4 months. Last year, when we had 6 months stability and a happy family, I decided to go to back to school to eventually become a psychiatric physicians assistant. I thought we were over the hump, so I decided to do something that would better all out lives, as well as many others that I could help suffering from mental illness, but once again he stopped taking the medication.

This is our life. I have become his caregiver instead of his wife. Everyday I ask if he's taken his medication. I watch him to make sure he hasn't stopped it; and then when he does stop, I have to referee and oversee everything. All while working full-time, going to school full-time, and being a mother of 3. I would go to work, come home, do dinner and bedtime, then go back to work after the children were sleeping so I could work on my homework without him coming after me yelling and screaming about something. I was getting 3 hours of sleep per night if I was lucky. Something had to give, and not wanting to quit school because I knew I would never go back, I quit my job.

He got worse.

He stopped taking his meds, I did horribly in one of my classes because I couldn't get my assignments in on time and the instructor wouldn't take late work, our home became filthy because I couldn't get the energy up to clean, be a mom, a student, and a referee.  The last time it happened I begged him to not let it happen anymore. I told him that I can't live this way and come out okay afterwards. I had already started taking antidepressants myself, but pills could only do so much when living a life of misery. In September he did it again, and this time I seemed to have just shut down. I don't even remember much of the fall and the chaos that accompanied it. I did what I could to keep the kids out of his "line of fire", and ignored him as best I could. The kids and I would stay out of the house as long as possible on his days off.

Then, the week before Christmas we still hadn't gotten the tree up. I asked him to please just clear the area that the tree needed to go in while I went out for some last minute things we needed. The kids and I were gone for 6 hours battling the weekend before Christmas rush, came home, and the area for the tree had not had anything done to it; he was sleeping. It's so little, and yet it was my breaking point.

I decided that I cannot do this anymore, and that while I do love him, I no longer felt the same way that I did for my husband, a man who willingly makes his family's life incredibly difficult. I cannot love a man as a husband whom I have to take care of like a child, and cannot even trust at home with our kids. My mind was made up. I would break it to him once he was once again stable. I didn't even cry. I was resigned to the fact that while I care for him, we do not have a marriage, it died long ago, and I knew that. I made a plan. I planned our living arrangements, and when the children would be with me and when they would be with him, providing he was taking his medication. I knew that we would be able to get along because I wasn't angry. We could still do birthdays and holidays together with our children for their benefit.

Then I told a few people, and one of them told me that I was not living up to my marriage vows; in sickness and in health. I believe in marriage. Then I cried, not for me, but for my husband, because as this person told me, what will he do without me? How will he react? Will he be okay? Once again I am the caretaker; it's what I'm going to school for and I cannot shut it off, the worry over other peoples well being. I cried because I knew I would hurt him, and despite everything, I am still his friend. Leaving will be better for me and better for my children, but it will not be better for him, and he has no one but me because he has isolated himself completely (part of his agitation and anxiety). And while I could act like an adult and not be mad that our marriage didn't make it, could he?

Leaving will probably destroy another human being, but staying will destroy me. Can I really just leave? I don't know anymore, and how do I tell him, knowing the damage that I will cause. Maybe it will make him see what he needs to do and his next relationship will be more successful; or it could go very badly.

 

 

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26Jan/153

Scared of the Future

Posted by Molly

I wanted to tell my story and ask for advice. My husband and I have been together 5 years married for 2, no kids. I met him while he was somewhat depressed but he was very charismatic and charming, the life of the party. He suffered through some indecision about his major in college over the next few years and finally landed on something to pursue. Over this time he also had several menial jobs that he would never stay at very long (8-14 month periods) but I chalked them up to being shitty jobs. All "normal" young adult stuff. We were married and life was hectic but good.

Recently he entered graduate school and personal life has become quite stressful. (I support us while he's in school). On top of that, his father has been very sick which has set off a slowly building mania over the past couple of months. Culminating in several bizarre conversations with professors and family. He's been deep in thought and think he's reached a higher plane of understanding. Enlightened even. None of it has been particularly negative, no anger towards me, not the excessive spending, gambling, reckless, or cheating I read and hear about with bipolar. He's actually quite attentive and professes how much he loves me and that his ideas and thoughts are focused on how to provide for me and our future family, how to be successful. But it's all future focused. He doesn't help me around the house, doesn't make dinner, and isn't even very engaged with his studies anymore (he spends most of his free time lost in thought).

He has not been diagnosed, we have our first psych appt coming up soon, so I'm still hopeful. But I can be very cynical about our future too. I read others accounts; the struggles of non-medicated spouses, dealing with raising children while trying to keep everything together, trying to financially and emotionally support your families. It scares me! I'm young, we have no children, I don't necessarily feel trapped but I am scared. I do very much love him and believe in the commitment I made. What mostly scares me is the children aspect. Our plan was always that once he got through school we would settle down and have a family and that I would stay home. Right now I don't feel like this would be an option with his diagnosis in question and his past inability to hold a steady job. I'm struggling with the possibility of having to potentially continue in my sole-breadwinner role and adding the stress of having children to that (along with raising kids in that environment). But I've always felt called to be a mother. I feel like my options right now are honor my marriage commitment but have no kids, or move on from the relationship with the possibility of having kids in the future? I just feel so guilty for feeling this way.

What do you think? Do those of you with children feel yourself just completely overwhelmed? How do you manage with a financially unstable or potentially unstable spouse. I feel like I'm complaining here after reading some of your stories. Am I being too cynical?

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17Dec/1419

I am lost

Posted by Wollydog

I have never written anything publicly before but am lost right now and just need to know I am not alone in the battle I am facing everyday.  I have been with my husband for 16 years married for 11. He has been diagnosed with bipolar when we were married for 2 years. He went to the doctor for anxiety and the psychiatrist claims the medicine he was given triggered his bipolar to come out. He has been on lithium for several years but is off it now.

It seems he is angry all the time with me and everyone around him. He feels everyone in his life disappoints him, yet I have stood by his side for years. He says I am the only one he has, yet he doesn't trust me and takes his frustrations and anger out on me verbally daily. I feel like my life is spent walking on eggshells because I never know what minuscule thing I'll do to trigger him.  I work as a sort of social worker and do in home therapy for young parents and often I run late getting home at night. He will call my phone repeatedly when I am in a home and is upset if I say I'll be home around 5 and it's more like 5:30 when I walk in the door.  He goes through my phone (which I now lock) and gets mad when a co-worker texts or calls me. He even gets upset when my family calls me or his calls him. He says it's rude to talk on the phone or he listens in. I think its paranoia. Whatever it is it's driving me crazy and making me depressed. I have lost all ambition to do anything while at home such as clean, play with my dog, and having sex is like a chore.  We don't have children because I don't want to raise them in such a volatile household. That isn't the reason I tell him.

I am afraid I have lost who I am because I used to be outgoing and energetic and now am depressed. We tried couples therapy and as soon as the therapist dug into his past and supported me he became "a quack who doesn't know anything" which was depressing because I finally felt I had support and was being heard. Needless to say we stopped going. Recently he stopped going to his psychiatrist for the same reasons and stopped taking his medication. We have been fighting non stop and he is so aggressive and angry all the time. I am not a confrontational person and don't like fighting which triggers him more. He says he just wants us to get along and doesn't want to fight but he initiates all arguments and is very confrontational.

I guess I needed to get this all out because my friends and family really don't understand what this is like. I am too scared to leave because I love him, despite how bad he makes me feel. Help...I need to know I am not the only person who experiences this type of behavior.

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10Jun/142

I’ve done something terrible

My story Jan 2014- May 2014

Hello, I'm new here. My husband has Bi polar 1. We have been married for 8 yrs and together for 10yrs. I knew of his Bipolar when  we were getting married but as he stays stable for quite a long time between episodes (4-8 yrs) I wasn't worried about it and vowed to support him 'through thickness and thin'. We don't have children as failed 3 IVF/ICSI cycles which we found out was probably due to the meds he was taking (sodium valporate is the generic name but often heard of as epilim, carbamazapine, tegeratol retard) as it causes high volume of abnormal sperm. We had been together 6 yrs when he had his first episode with me. He was very manic for approximately 4 months and section 3 times throughout that episode. He was horrible to me then and it really upset me to almost the point of suicide. But he got better and things have been fine until January this yr.

 

He was feeling a little hypo manic so we called the crisis team out and they arranged for a doctor to come to see him at home. His meds were increased but very little change in mood occurred. I am a student mental health nurse and was starting placement in January also. When I was just a week into placement I was trying to get him to get some rest and come to bed (I can't sleep when he's manic and awake) but he was showing aggressive body language and ran up before I turned the lights out. Now we listen to gentle music in bed as he finds it helps him sleep, but when I got to bed he had AC/DC on and I  had to get up in 3 hours to drive 1 hour to placement 14 hour shift. So I asked him to change it to what we usually listen to as I was getting up in a few hours but he ignored me, so I leaned over to change it and he started kicking my violently in bed and restrained me in the duvet. He then ran back downstairs, I grabbed my clothes threw them on grabbed my phone and car keys and ran out of the house and called the police. The police took him to hospital where he had a metal health act assessment but he threatened me as I used to work in the A&E he knew all the doors and corridors and told me he didn't care who he hurt to get away if they try and section him. I didn't want to risk it as I truly thought he would so I very reluctantly said I wanted him at home.

 

By the end of January he was up all night and all day, aggressive in mood drinking alcohol everyday but saying he knew he was unwell and wanted to get well at home and be in control of it this time and not the BP in control of him. It was nice to see empowerment and insight from him but I worried as I knew the mania had well and truly kicked in by then that empowerment would make him more manic. I was right and by February 15th he went informally into hospital. I was so happy he went informally as he'd always needed sectioning for treatment in the past. Whilst in hospital he was dipping in and out of insight and then it was difficult even for me to recognise when he did or didn't have insight. He was restrained on the ward twice in his time there. Every time he had leave with me it went wrong, verbally aggressive towards me, grabbing the handbrake while I was driving, trying to take the keys out while i was driving, continually drinking and smoking cannabis.  I told the ward staff everything and as soon as he had one good day of leave they discharged him! I was not happy about this. So he came home when I was still on placement things didn't seem as bad as before but then as I was on my last week in April I was doing nights and I was putting my makeup on ready to go and he was being horrible to me. I started crying , mascara running down my face, he asked me what I wanted and I said 'please just give me a hug', he refused and said 'no my shoulder hurts' and then said ' don't come back tonight, move out' I said where am I supposed to go ? He said go to ****** (my best mate) I was finishing my shift at 2am so I slept in the car outside her house until she came home from work (night shift).

 

Repeatedly I tried to tell my husband that I was feeling numb and that only he could change that but he wouldn't listen so I rang a few friends asking if they could speak with him. They tired but again he wouldn't listen. I sat every morning outside my friends backdoor crying on my own, I wanted to be alone, I felt there was no going back from here and I still do. I still feel numb towards him.

 

He was supposed to be DJing at a friends small festival which I had decided not to go to because I was so stressed with him and selfishly didn't want the responsibility of him. But I agreed to take him and a friend there. On the day I told him don't call me until you are ready and I mean ready. Well he called me, I went over and my home was trashed!!! He wasn't ready and was playing around probably to get a reaction out of me. I just sat in the car and our friend put everything he wanted in the car and off we went o to filling station as I needed fuel. He said he wanted to get money from the cash point so I pulled up next to the cash point at tesco's, he refused to get out of the car so I said 'You've got 5 mins, if you don't get the money out I'm taking you back home and you won't go to the festival' He didn't so I drove off. He stared shouting at me (he was in the back seat behind me) and leaned through and pulled on the handbrake while cars were behind me! I pulled his hand off and he called me a whore. I got to the roundabout and he started strangling me! Our friend was shouting at him and I pulled over then he let go. I ran off with the keys and he ran after me but I managed to slip him. I got back to the car and our friend was still in the car. I drove round looking for him and tried calling and texting but there was no response. I called the crisis team to let them know and they asked me where I was and called the police to me. My friend and I made a statement and I then dropped him at the festival.

 

On bank holiday Monday he was finally sectioned. The problem is I have felt numb for a LONG time now I'm cancarian and very true to my sign. I need home, love and affection. But for almost five months nothing of the sort have I had. I became aware of a friend of ours liking me more than he should of. So I said to him '**** you are my friend and I love you as my friend but this is wrong I am still with **** (my husband). He agreed and I suggested we didn't see each other for a few weeks which he agreed to. But then I got drunk with my best friend and invited him round, he came and later as he was leaving I kissed him! I couldn't believe I had done that so arranged to see him the next evening to talk about it and say it wouldn't ever happen again. We went to McDonalds to talk and we both agreed it was wrong. I then said I'd drop him home but wanted to go sort my dogs and cats out first as we were close. So he came with me and I found one of my cats had been run over but was still alive! I had to ask him to drive me to the emergency vet which he did. I had to have him put to sleep. We then went and buried him in the woods late at night. I was very upset as you can imagine. This friend I talk about has supported me all the way through this episode. But on Wednesday we didn't text, call or see each other at all.

Thursday I got a call to say my husband was missing and went home to find him there with another patient!! I know my husband can be violent when ill but I knew nothing of the other patient. I called the police as both on a section and the risk to myself. My husband was saying 'do you want me to punch your face in?' I was angry, not numb just angry. The police picked them up and I then became upset as I can't see a future with him anymore. As my best friend was in bed I called my other friend and went to his. He cuddled me that's all and made me a cup of tea and I kissed him again! I then went to my best friend’s house and slept at hers. In the morning I text him (my friend) asking where he was working today he was 5 mins from me so I asked him to pop in for a cup of tea. He came round had tea and hugged me again then went back to work. I carried on with my day then last night went home had a shower went round to his and slept with him. It was good I loved it and I don't feel guilty why? I'm not sure but I know is bad and I shouldn't of done it. I have been faithful for 10yrs up until now. Usually it's the person with bipolar having a fling/affair but his time it's me! And it's unheard of. I don't know what to do; it may/may not happen again. I would never tell my husband either.

On Saturday I spoke with my husband on the phone to say i still felt numb. His reply was "That's ok, they all leave me in the end, except for ******, she never left me and she's fertile" This as you can imagine seen me plummeting into depression and tears all day. So I called the ward and told them and asked that he is not to contact me until I say it's ok to do so.

 

Sorry for the rant but needed to tell the whole story so you can see the whole picture.

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20Mar/140

Our Bipolar story

Posted by Anonymous

Hello everyone. This is my and my partner's story. I don't know why I feel the need to pubish it as I 've never written anything on the internet before, but I do. I guess we all need to know we are not alone in this.

We are both 43 and have known each other since high school. we were friends then and there was the attraction but the timing was always bad. Then we lost contact for 14 years during which we both got married, had children and got divorced. We met again 3 years ago, when he came back from the UK where he lived all those years, and we thought it was fate for us to finally be together. We were very happy for a while and very hopeful for our future as we had both been through a lot. We really thought we had found our soul mate and that we were not going to be alone again. We had a year of long distance relationship (although he was divorced for 4 years he was still living at the same house as his ex-his house-for the children's sake who were still very young) during which we found we were very compatible when we were together. We also spoke on the phone daily and, even from the phone, he was the best partner and the most supportive one a woman can have. He finally decided to leave that house, went to his sister's and started looking for a new job. He used to have a very high-profile job in a big pharmaceutical company, which he had lost- he said because of the divorce. We were making plans that he would find another job and that if things went well between us I would move there with my son. I am a teacher and I liked the challenge as well as the opportunities this opened up for my teenager son and my son liked the idea too. It seems so far fetched now. During my partner's stay at his sister's he was not well (slept all the time, drank) so decided to leave and come back to his parents home and continue looking for a job. I was happy to have him near me but soon he started being someone completely different to the person I thought I was with. Had I not known him since we were 16, I would have left him right away.

He started being irrational, irritable he had terrible mood changes, slept a lot, drank, talked non stop, did not have sex with me, did not do any of the normal things people who love life and each other do, and very often blamed me for several things. In the beginning I was in shock! I couldn't talk to anyone as all my friends had told me from the beginning not to rush things but I hadn't listened. In addition, I couldn't communicate with his parents as he always had something against them to say, which i believed. I tried many times to talk to him but he always said I shouldn't push him and he always minimised things, blamed his insomnia and his ex for not letting him see the children as well as his stress for not being able to find a job. I kept believing him. I kept inviting him to my home or driving an hour to visit him, spending my energy, my time, my money and my patience for him. He kept talking irrationally, telling me lies which I didn't know they were lies then, like he used to be with the doctors without borders, that he had won the trial about a jod he once had had, a second for him being able to visit his children freely e.t.c. There was always a problem or some big happy news which he delivered without batting an eyelid. I believed him or, in the cases I didn't, blamed the stress and the depression.

Lots of times I tried to suggest he had depression but he always denied it. All the problems a person thinks that are normal after a divorce, or they are just baggage you have to accept, became even bigger and harder to deal with. things deteriorated fast: a long episode of what i now know is a mixed state began. When I came home from school I feared who I was going to find, my sweet, caring partner or this cruel stranger who abused me in all kinds of ways? In between the bad times he briefly was himself and that was when i fell in love with him all over again, thought we were going to beat this illness. Also that was when I tried to talk to him, and he listened, really did, but was unable to do anything. Finally, he conceded to going to see a psychologist, who then diagnosed major depression and suggested seeing a psychiatrist as well so as to subscribe antidepressants. None of these went well, Actually it was all a disaster. My partner didn't take the meds properly, destroyed the treatment many times by drinking alcohol and didn't tell the therapist the truth of what he was really experiencing. I was always so angry with him, so bitter he didn't turn out to be the person he had promised to be. When he was well he apologised but didn't really talk about what he had said and done and didnt really admit to the abuse, the grandiose plans, the lying, his incapability to have sex, nothing. When, in spring, the therapist said he didn't want to treat him any longer (he kept missing sessions, lying, he really was not commited to it), I was devastated. That was when I realised there was something more in this depression, but by then I was depressed myself and couldn't handle any of this. I went on medication, forbade my partner to come to my home again -finally I saw I had to protect my son and myself- and tried to regain control of my life.

Many people who make all the right choices in life would wonder why do you stay with a person so long if things are so bad, but I believe that most of you readers understand. You see the bipolar as a real person, as someone who does not want to be ill but who cannot help it. We see what is underneath the layers of the illness, the personality of the patient which does not vanish. We love that person and we know they have little responsibility for their decisions. I myself had one additional motive to hang in there, I had not pushed my sister hard enough to see a doctor on time so she dieds

 

All this time his parents were on denial. They thought I was overreacting and that he only needed to pull himself together and find a job(!). As I found out later, that was also what the psychiatrist thought(!)  But my partner started doing really well after quiting therapy, he took his meds properly and stopped drinking. He supported me in my depression, told me everyday that it was all going to be alright and he made real effort to be normal in the everyday sense. Me, in my depression, felt a little optimism, felt that since he was taking his meds and a psychiatrist was monitoring his progress, it would all go well. But that was when the clear episodes began. He has has had 4 since June, and , although in between the depression seems better, the episodes are more defined. I had looked bipolar on the netr many times before but the word euphoria always confused me, and since his episodes are mixed, they didn't seem like mania or hypomania. The psychiatrist had diagnosed depressionso, who was I do defy him. But after a 3 week episode at christmas which emotionally sent us back a year I decided to take action. I visited the psychiatrist behind my partner's back

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7Mar/143

I just need advise, and to know I’m not the only one

Posted by katz10

I have been with my husband for 11 yrs.  I have a 15 yr old daughter that is not his.  My husband is bipolar/schizophrenic.  He goes to his psychiatrist and lies.  Says he's taking his meds but they don't work.  He doesn't take his medication, or he picks and chooses what he wants to take.  He is more emotionally abusive towards me then physically.  He gets extremely angry with me if I go out with my sister.  What I mean by go out I mean out to dinner.  That was the latest.  He hates when I am not home and it always turns into a mean and nasty fight.  He is disabled and spends most of his time in the house.  He feels I don't care about our marriage anymore.  And to tell you the truth I don't know how I feel about it.  All the years of the fighting, screaming, arguing, keeping me up at night with music or screaming at me, the cheating before we were married and having a child with the woman, the nasty name calling, I am numb.  I have always thought he has hated me.  Last year he stayed on his meds for a stretch, and quit drinking.  But I didn't try at our marriage.  I don't know why.  Maybe cause I tried for 10 yrs, and maybe I have given up.  I'm sad.  i can't go out and spend time with my friends or family.  If I do I know there will be backlash from it.  I don't think this is how a marriage should be.  I am so lost.  He is so mean.  I don't know and never knew how to handle him.  What do I do? How do I make this better? Do I stay or go?  If I go, I loose my house, and have no where to go.  And then what happens to him?  I suffer from anxiety which I never had until a year after I was with him.  I feel this is torture.  I feel if I leave I am a failure.  He tracks my every move.  If I am out of the house even to go to work the phone is ringing at exactly 5:00.  And he stays on the phone with me until i pull in the driveway.  Sometimes I wish I didn't have a cell phone.  He thinks I cheat on him. ( never had I ever cheated on him).  I also don't have sex with him anymore, I don't know why. I have never given him a reason not to trust me.  But yet he has never trusted me.  I think tonight he has locked me out of the bedroom so I can't sleep in there.  I won't be able to get my stuff to get ready for work in the morning.   Please someone must have some kind of advice that can help me.

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18Feb/143

Don’t know what to do

Posted by ineedsleep

When I got engaged to my husband I didn't know he had bi polar, when I moved in with him I still didn't know. He was going through a "normal" phase and was very attentive and sweet, if a little lethargic at times.  once I moved in he experienced a high, he was living on 1 hours sleep a night, ereatic behaviour, bought a car he couldn't afford. This lasted around 6 months and I coped with it because I lived him. 1 week before we got married I found out he'd been arrested and jailed a number of years ago for arson very early on in his diagnosis. Again I coped And we got married. We've been married for 3 months and his behaviour is increasingly worrying. He has altercations with people on the street if they park in his space on the road. He shouts at me all the time. I work as a teacher and it takes me 1 hour each way to get to work. He works from home but refuses to move. I'm usually tired when I get home from my 12 hour day including driving. He complains because he doesn't see anyone (he can't even hold down a temporary job), but refuses to go to places on his own, e.g. Church (which I've never been into but I go for him).

 

I do love my husband but he is very hard to live with. He feels because he doesn't work he is worthless. I try to encourage him but he doesn't listen. Tonight I'm at the end of my sanity. He's kept me awake for 3 hours putting the tv I loud, playing games on his phone, telling me to leave (it's 3:30am). I just want someone to read this and tell me I'm nit alone. I want children but query about him looking after them whole I'm at work Boeing the only breadwinner.

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29Jul/131

Looking for Relief

Posted by Sayyadina

I wasn't sure where else to turn, but my frustration level is at an all time high.  My husband is a wonderful man, but his childhood was terrible, and through a series of terrible things happening to him over the years he became incredibly anti-social.  On top of that, he's probably suffered from bi-polar disorder since his early twenties.  Unfortunately, even though he was in counseling for all the lousy stuff in his past, no one made the connection until about a year and a half ago.

He was fired from his job for a manic episode three years ago, and although I suspected it was something...  I hoped it would blow over, so I ignored it.  Then about a year and a half ago he wanted to try going to school, but being socially anxious, I pushed him into asking his GP from some social anxiety meds.  A few weeks later he was taken away by the police and hospitalized for a severe manic episode.  He spent a couple of days in the local mental hospital and was released by the courts, but he has struggled, daily, with this since.  To top it off, his family looks at this whole thing like a pull yourself up by the boot straps and get over it kind of situation, making him feel guilty about not being able to walk this off.  It's awful.

I think he's Bipolar II, but he is very close to the breast about this, finding the diagnosis and entire experience mortifying.  He has low self-esteem, and is a very negative person.  Thankfully he's never been all that rude or mean to me (even at his worst he was good to me), but he seems to resent (if not hate) the rest of humanity, and it's like pulling teeth to convince him that the world is not out to get him.  He's been very paranoid, too, and this seems to get worse with mania.  The only silver-lining is that he is so devoted to me.  I told him, as soon as he got the diagnosis, that if he ever didn't take his meds I'd leave him.  Period.  I've heard people don't like to take their meds with this, and I am NOT putting up with that mess again if I can help it.  I often double-check with him to make sure he takes them.  I hate to have him think I don't trust him, but I definitely don't trust this disease.  But, the meds do affect his sex drive, and make him tired, and have other cruddy side effects that make me feel pretty bad for him.

Now, to top everything off, as things are finally starting to even out for us (I may have a decent teaching position coming my way *fingers crossed*), to the point where he can handle life somewhat, he just gets back from a visit with a new GP (he can barely maintain a relationship with a doctor--he often thinks they are judging him or messing with him in some way, this is very annoying--it took me years to convince him to get this one), and they say a cyst he has needs an ultrasound.  He goes home, looks at WedMD, and convinces himself he has stage 3 testicular cancer.

Now what?  I try so hard to be positive, but he just doesn't respond it and often angrily rebukes me when I try to spin things in that way.  He thinks he's gonna die, and if it is cancer, I don't think he'll fight all that hard to stay alive since he seems to hate life so much.  He's so beaten down by his childhood, terrible losses in his young adult life, and even the bad luck that we have had (lost jobs on his part, and a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis on mine) that I think this would just cause him to curl up and waste away--he pretty much said as much, too.  I'm not sure I could take losing him.  I'm begging him to be positive, patient (considering we haven't heard a diagnosis of anything yet), and fight, but it falls on deaf ears.  And no matter how things turn out, he'll probably be the house spouse when (if) we can ever have kids (being that he can't hold down a job), but I'm afraid that something will happen.  What should I do?  Or think?  I love him so very much, but I'm so worn down.

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