Most of the time I credit a proper diagnosis of bipolar axis 2 and mood stabilizers with saving my life, saving me from myself. Face it, manic episodes rarely end with us feeling better about ourselves no matter how good they feel at the time. No mania= stability I never knew before.
Recently, though, I have come to realize that the very medications that saved me from the downfall of manic episodes…has rendered me spineless. I don’t spout off my true feelings anymore, at least not often, because the meds make me so stable, I invalidate my own feelings and thoughts. I don’t want to offend by saying mean things during a mood swing or depression. I don’t want to feed everyone’s notion of me as unstable and unable to be objective. I don’t do confrontation and often standing up for yourself leads to exactly that.
I don’t miss making poor choices during mania, but I sure do miss my spine. I never felt victimized and invalidated when I was speaking my mind without stopping to question and second guess myself and avoid anxiety inducing situations.
These days the worst of it is dealing with my family. Since the lice incident when they treated my kid with chemicals knowing damn well I don’t approve, I haven’t spoken much to my mom or sis. Not that this is unusual, I can go weeks without bothering to speak to them or my dad’s faction. For this latest jaunt of silence, it’s been their utter disrespect for my wishes and invalidating me as a parent with my kid. Maybe my mom called me a bad word, maybe she didn’t, it’s established that my kid lies. A lot.
It hit me earlier today why I started calling my mom by her first name, when I disconnected from her completely. It tipped that direction when she yelled at me how my sister’s friend B was more of a daughter to her than me. But the day mom screamed at me and called me a fucking bitch in front of Spook..That was when the true cut was made. In that one incident, my kid learned she could pit the family against me and stir up all kinds of trouble for me and sympathy for herself.
And no, I am not transferring, I am not giving her too much credit. Kids pick up on these things. God knows I did with my parents constantly fighting, I would side with the fun parent over the parent who was right. Til I got older then got more objective and that was when mom turned against me entirely, viewing me as an agent for my father. Because ya know, making sure she didn’t bounce checks and get our power shut off was a bad thing for him to put me in charge of. But yeah, kids pick up on tension, on people who don’t agree…And mine has gone to the max with “I’m gonna tell Grandma” at every turn. Or “Grandma and aunt B don’t do it that way, they say you’re wrong.”
So in addition to the lingering discontent of the lice debacle, I think there are too many cooks in the kitchen making my kid think she doesn’t have to mind me and she doesn’t have to respect me because god knows, no one else does. Limiting her contact with the whole lot seems the best move to make.
How to explain it to them without starting a family war, though. My family is not logical. They view books as boring. They don’t even really believe bipolar is real, they just think I am moody and using it as an excuse not to own my behavior. Some people you just can’t reason with.
And they do NOTHING for me aside from occasionally buy my kid school clothes or crap toys she breaks in an hour.So why do I fear pissing them off by asserting my right as a parent to keep my kid away from what damages our relationship? They won’t change their behavior, ever. They never have and I’m 44. So something’s got to change and while I don’t wish to keep her from them entirely…I think the once or twice weekly thing is too much. She lies, she blames everyone when she does something wrong, she screams in my face, she defies me at every turn…And letting her go see people who hold her responsible for nothing and think everything she does is so adorable..she’s not learning anything.
Worse, she’s been going to church twice a week for a year now and her behavior is regressed. The church isn’t reaching her, either. But she still preaches to me, even this morning, about how I should go to church and she even said that I’m “into” the devil. Um…I think Satanism is too much of an organized religion, I had a friend who sent me info on it cos he practiced and damn, it was almost like the time I went with R to his Episcopal church. All that formality and ritual. And I don’t believe in conscienceless hedonism anymore than I believe in a church that condemns birth control and gay people. One thing I told her when I agreed to let her do the church thing was not to preach to me and question my beliefs. Yet she does it daily.
I went off track there, mainly because I was offended by her implying I’m a Satanist just because I have a devil doll that was a gift. (Like I would pay $70 even for a Wednesday 13 doll.) I don’t mind owning my idiocy but being accused of things that simply aren’t true really pisses me off. In fact, I am still furious about a lithium blood draw from 2007 that declared me positive for amphetamines. No, I had taken cold medicine which any lab tech will tell you often causes a false positive. Still, it’s in my file because the doctor didn’t believe me. I admitted to her I’d tried cocaine as a teenager, occasionally smoked some pot every ten or so years, so there was no reason to lie about speed. Wow, talk about off track. I really need Focalin back, fuck you insurance prescription assholes.
To get back on track…My spine is AWOL and I blame the mood stabilizers. I should not have to fear standing up for myself but I do now. Maybe because the very medication description invalidates my feelings even to myself. I am mood and unstable, so I must not ever have legit feelings thus any time I speak up I must be wrong.
Logically, I know this is not the case.
Unfortunately, I am not dealing with logical people, I am dealing with my hot tempered family who eats each other alive over every flaw but won’t accept their own. Anxiety here is warranted.
I am open to any advice on dealing with difficult family members. I got nothing.