Daily Archives: January 24, 2016
I am sitting at the computer and struggling with chapter 9 of my book. It covers over a 2-month span between major events, and despite (or maybe because of) my detailed notes I can’t pull together the minor details into stories worth telling. I know there are stories there, but the events happened over a […]
Everyone chastised me for so long because I didn’t bust my neck going after the donor for child support. While we may need money, that money cannot buy back the sanctity that has been lost. My psychological bubble has been infiltrated by the obsessive compulsive thoughts of the donor and just what crap he may try to pull. It’s affecting my sleep, giving me nightmares, now day time stomach aches…Just that smidgeon of interaction and the overwhelming anxiety of more to come…
No one could pay an amount of money that would make up for living this miserably, feeling this rattled, this vulnerable, this threatened.
I wish I’d just left well enough alone. The peace of mind that stems from not having to deal with him and his mind games and “I’m a victim” mentality is worth more than any amount of money.
But that’s just me. When the mom side kicks in, it wails like a banshee that Spook has EVERY right to the support money and the donor has every responsibility to pay it. I am her advocate. Because no one else will be. I want my day in court, I want to sit on that witness stand, and I want to declare, “I don’t care if every cent of back support is put into a college fund that can only be touched by Spook when she turns 18.”
It’s not about money. It’s about principles and making him accountable, not to me, but to his child.
Yet this insidious creature wormed his way into my psyche so deeply, I can’t even trust myself and my unselfish motives. He is unworthy of rattling me so thoroughly but the moment he said he needed to consult an attorney-about child support- I knew the can was open and worms are everywhere.
Now I dream of him taking her away. Pointing out how we live in poverty yet he has a decent car, a posh address, a decent income…And of course those around me scoff, Oh he’s been gone four years, he’s not going to get custody even if it he wants it.
And yet…It happens. And it terrifies me.
It also infuriates me that I’ve found a place to live where I am at ease, feel safe in every way, and comfortable…And everyone has to carry on about what a dump it is. Yeah, and? I’ve spent so many years of my life feeling psychologically pillaged because I never felt safe where I lived. Now I feel safe but because I have a child I am supposed to have a better address or I am unfit. And what cracks me up especially is my parents calling this place a dump when in fact…it’s not that different from the house they bought when I was 11 and raised us with sinking floors and ancient wiring and stuff that doesn’t work right. They don’t remember that, probably because it would reflect badly on them and god knows, we can’t have anyone with the balls to handle the truth.
So, guess what, fuckface family? I am more anxious and miserable now than I was thus proving…even the notion of getting extra cash every month is NOT worth the agitation this has caused to erupt.
Now I am just wallowing in more neuroses. Because Spook is six, she likes everyone, and no doubt she will fall in love with the donor, his better car, his posh, apartment, and his gf having a built in playmate for her…As if the child doesn’t already make me feel less than competent….
I am sure I seem utterly dramatic and perhaps I am. But so is the bipolar mind. What makes you stomp and throw wrenches on Monday makes you snort dismissively on Saturday.
For now…I am rattled to the bone marrow, and already imagining worst case scenarios. If I know anything about the donor it is that he never considers his children, all he sees is a woman who wronged him and he wants to make her pay.
I know many of you probably take all this as the sour grapes/ex thing cos seriously, how bad could he have been if I agreed to have a child with this creature.
All I can say is, psychopaths are very good at fooling even the most jaded and by the time you see them for what they are…
I really have been watching too much Most Evil.
Speaking of…Based on their research for that show…psychopaths feel almost no anxiety. So for all of us with anxiety disorders…
WOO HOO, AT LEST WE’RE NOT PSYCHOPATHS!
If you have recently been diagnosed as bipolar, there are a few basics you should know. You’ll likely find them out on your own, but it might take a while.
So, here are some tips.
- Being bipolar isn’t necessarily a tragedy. It’s a chronic illness. At times it’s better, at others, worse. It’s not a death sentence and it’s treatable. You can still live a reasonably full and satisfying life.
- You need help. To live with bipolar disorder, you need a support system. Unfortunately, your friends and family may not be all that supportive. Fortunately, there are online support groups. But the most important parts of your support system, at least at first, are your psychiatrist and your psychotherapist. I recommend having one of each – psychiatrist for medication, therapist for talk or cognitive behavioral therapy, or whatever works for you.
- You will most likely need medication. And the odds are good that you will need it for the rest of your life. Don’t panic. After all, diabetics need insulin, usually for life. You may hate taking pills, you may hate the idea that you are dependent on them, you may hate the fact that they remind you of your brain’s difficulty functioning. But realize that meds will make your brain’s functioning less difficult. They are worth the hassle.
- Everyone is different. Everyone’s symptoms are slightly different. Everyone’s medications are slightly different. Everyone’s reactions to their medications are slightly different. A support group can help you with general information, but they cannot tell you what is ultimately best for you. Your particular symptoms and your unique version of bipolar disorder may well require different medications, in different amounts, than your friends. And you may have different reactions to them. Some pills have no effect at all on one person, and are life-savers for another.
- Getting better takes time. Once you have your diagnosis and your medication, don’t expect to feel better quickly. Most medications for bipolar disorder take a while to build up in the body. Six weeks is not unheard of. Then your doctor may assess how well the medication is working, and change the dose or even the medication itself. Then you may go through another six weeks of waiting for the new dose or drug to take effect. Each case of bipolar disorder requires a medication regimen tailored specifically to the individual, and that often takes some doing.
- There are several different types of bipolar disorder. The two main types are called type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is the classical bipolar disorder, which used to be called manic depressive illness. Type 2, a more recently identified version of the disorder, often manifests as mostly depression, possibly with hypomania, a less severe version of the ups that accompany bipolar 1. Other forms of bipolar disorder are rapid cycling, in which one’s mood states alter quickly, even within a few hours. Another version of bipolar disorder is called mixed states. Mixed states occur when a person experiences both extremes of emotion at the same time – for instance, depression and irritability, or fatigue despite racing thoughts.
- The odds are that you already know someone with bipolar disorder, or at least some kind of mood disorder. One in four Americans will have a psychiatric or emotional illness at some time during their lives. Because we don’t talk about it, though, no one may ever know. Especially when the disorder is treated properly, a person with bipolar illness can maintain function in society and choose whether or not to share the diagnosis with friends and coworkers. Many people choose not to because of the stigma surrounding mental illness. It’s a valid choice, but it cuts the bipolar person off from possible support and understanding from others who may share the disorder.
- Relationships can be difficult but not impossible. Relationships are difficult for everyone. People with bipolar disorder have relationships that are difficult too. The disorder may make the relationships even more difficult, especially when the family member or loved one or even close friend does not understand the symptoms, the medication, the mood swings, the anxiety or fatigue, or all the other facets of bipolar. The best cure for this is education. However, it may not be possible for a relationship to survive bipolar disorder, just as a relationship may not survive trauma, grief, addiction, infertility, incompatibility, meddling relatives, infidelity, parenting, or a host of other conditions. It may be better to look at all the circumstances surrounding a troubled relationship rather than automatically blaming bipolar disorder for difficulties.
- Learn all you can. Because bipolar disorder is so little understood by the public, because it manifests differently in nearly every case, because a person can be actively suffering or in remission, because a person may have any of the different types of bipolar disorder, because everyone is different – the need to educate yourself and probably those around you is essential. The more you know, the less you’ll panic when a symptom you haven’t experienced before suddenly hits. Rely on reputable sources. Medical, psychiatric, or psychological websites are usually the best. Support groups can offer much information, but the people in a support group may not be any more well informed than you are. And there are lots of people selling “miracle cures” that can lure a person away from needed medication and other services.
- Keep trying. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. It’s difficult. It’s painful. It’s confusing. But bipolar disorder is something you can live with, and even something you can rise above. The secret is to keep trying. Keep seeking out therapy and friends who support you. Keep taking your medication, even if you don’t want to. (Stopping your medication without advice from your doctor can be dangerous, so don’t try that.) Be stubborn. When you feel like giving up, tell yourself that maybe things will get a little better in the morning. Hang in there. You may not realize it, but there are people who need you in the world, who need you to be functioning and happy, who need you to keep fighting the disorder.
Do you have any other tips for the newly diagnosed? Please share them in the Comments section.
Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, bipolar type 2, coping mechanisms, depression, drug side effects, hypomania, mental health, mental illness, mutual support, my experiences, psychotherapy, psychotropic drugs, public perception, stigma, support systems
I know I’ve written about living with anxiety on a few occasions since this blog’s inception. I’ve talked about how the Fall often brings panic attacks and paranoia that makes leaving the house almost impossible. I’ve talked about what it’s like battling depression and anxiety. So while you may be tired of hearing about anxiety, I’m not done […]
How can you marry someone with bipolar?” he retorted. “My life is complicated. There are a lot of risks.” “Every relationship is a risk!” I yelled. “Even if I married someone without a mental diagnosis, it could always happen later. There are no guarantees! Mental-health issues happen to anyone, any time. Bipolar doesn’t define you. … Continue reading links. dumped.