The Crazy Giant Step Part #2

walking time bomb


If you missed Part One of this post, you’ll want to go back and read it.

This is probably the most embarrassing post I have written to date. I felt it was important, however, for those of you unfamiliar with bipolar to get a good look at the sad side of mania. Those of you with bipolar may think this is quite tame, but when I look back I am humiliated beyond belief.

But I need the catharsis, so here goes:

I wanted to start of this second part of the post with some of the crazy doings at the school. Like the time the cafeteria ladies made a giant pizza and spelled my name out in green pepper strips. And then they sat me down and watched me eat it. All of it.

Or the time I kept getting complaints that a certain second grade class was just too LOUD. I visited and really agreed. It took me a while to figure out that the senior teacher in there was nearly deaf and she could not hear the ruckus.

Or the time the gym teacher made a homemade thing with a seat and a rope. He would sit the kids on the seat and swing them around in a circle on the rope. They kept falling off and getting injured. I told him to stop but he would not. Another person to write up.

Or the time I got a call from a seventh grade room that a student was holding the teacher up against the wall with a gun. I broke the land speed record to get to the classroom to find out it was a paper gun and he was kidding. He got suspended for a month.

Or the time we were getting bomb threats from some jackass who lived down the street.

(You can see how fun this job was!)

I had pressure from everywhere: the superintendent, human resources, the school board, teachers, parents, kids, the school bus drivers, the janitors, and those good old cafeteria workers. (Hardest working group on campus).

So all of this stress brought on mania. Some people overspend, overdrink, get overly loud, leave town suddenly, join the circus, you name it. I did one of the ridiculous ones. I got hypersexual.

Now I hate talking about sex. But here goes. Hypersexuality comes in two forms for me: the typical “I want to chase men down and have sex with them” and the “I have a girl crush on that woman”. I did both.

There were two victims of my male attention. The first guy was a MARRIED school book salesman. He liked me well enough and soon we had a good old fashioned flirting party going on at the school. We would take long lunches in my office with the door closed. He would send me flowers. He would call all the time. We didn’t get in bed, probably because he lived 50 miles away, but we should have. It was crazy.

Before you say I was a horrible principal, let me bring up some facts in my defense. I was manic so the school was in REALLY good shape. The grounds were immaculate, everyone was doing their jobs, the teachers were evaluated, the finances were sound, you name it. As for those long lunches with the door closed, the back wall of my office was totally glass, so anyone walking by on the sidewalk could see in clearly.

The other guy was an architect doing work for the district. He was single. I think he got the clue I was nutty but he played along for a while.

After a certain amount of time, I got in the mood to hit on any guy I met. Fortunately I was so weird acting no one seemed willing to spend a lot of time with me. I was a walking time bomb.

I had a female mentor at this time who was wonderful. Once my mind went into this state, I started worshiping her. If she would call me to go to lunch, I would agonize over what to wear. I emulated her voice. When she invited me to her home, I about fainted. I bought her gifts and really lived for her attention. At first she liked it and we had a “like fest” going. But after awhile she told me I needed some help. Ick!

Everything came to a head one day when I got a phone call from a parent. She said “You know, I’ve always liked and supported you, but I just don’t think you’re doing a good job anymore.” All hell broke loose. I started crying and couldn’t stop. I went home and spent the rest of the day in bed.

My mother (in one of her rare sober moments) decided to take me to see a psychiatrist. While we were in the waiting room, I was crying. We were watching the TV. And then all of a sudden, the news came on that the Challenger had blown up. So I cried even harder.

The psychiatrist suggested that I quit my job. Other than that, he was of little help. He did not give me any medication at all. Now this was 30 years ago, but still. I went home, got in bed in my new condo and cried and slept. All sorts of friends and relatives called me and tried to help, but I giggled and scared them off with my manic behavior.

I started drinking wine (but not to excess) and that helped some.

I sunk into a deep depression (which the wine didn’t help).

And that’s the end of my One Crazy Giant Step.




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