Bipolar Parent

Greetings friends, how are you doing in these wee hours of Friday morning?

Me? I’ve been both better and worse. Thursday had hours I enjoyed… then it crashed and burned as only the day of a parent can do.

When my three kids were young I had impressed even my ex-mother-in-law (let’s call her Kathy) with how well behaved and just good all around people my children were. Now, we are being stalked by rough and naked emotions that have always existed (that would be me, Bipolar parent) but are now beyond my own mind and have grabbed hold of my youngest.

I thought I was a good person growing up. I felt as though I were a likable person, yet I didn’t have many friends. I was lonely much of the time and kept my own company out on our small ranch with my horse, dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, cows and the occasional ducks.

I was a shit.

Seriously. I was a short, freckled shit. Today my mother and I can look years back and point to much of my careening and completely out of control behavior and emotions and say, “That, that right there!” And recognize it as full on Bipolar Disorder presenting before I even had my drivers license.

In short – I was angry all the time and blamed everyone one else for everything. My depression and anger were crushing me and the only name I could give it was – sin. I was a practicing Christian and all those “evil” emotions were clearly not of God… but that’s a topic for another time.

My youngest and his regular doctor decided that he does not have the highly genetic Bipolar brain that I’m still learning to embrace. Anxiety. Depression. Mania. Mood swings. Irrational behavior. That’s Scott, my “I’m a psych major. I already know how to deal with anger and anxiety.”

Scott is transitioning from my second daughter, Sydney, to my second son, Scott. (Incidentally my father’s name was Scott.) Scott is undergoing hormone treatment. He wasn’t always easy to talk to about things that he felt “attacked” him. Now he’s so much more difficult.

I despair.

He turns 21 this Saturday. He’s angry and bitter and is working so hard to make people not like him that I just want to sit down and breathe like I’m having a baby all the time. He and his wife are both psychology majors who it seems aren’t studying behavior.

Odd.

Scott sounds just like I did. If transitioning changes him into the sex his mind believes him to be, then I will continue to try to learn and gain deeper understanding. However, he’s a grown man (he says) and I expect him to at least respect me.

§ On Father’s Day Scott thanked me for being both his mom and his dad growing up. §

What I will not do is accept from him the same behavior at 21 that I had at 14. He has tools around him to teach him about what’s running loose in his little grey cells. Me – religion, animals, and hypnosis.

The weight of his relentless ill-will and violent anger crushed me at dinner. It was like fighting with my dad, but I was the reasoning one (yeah, no. My dad wasn’t good at being rational when angry either.)

Top the whole bloody mess off with a leaking red cherry on it and you have a self-entitled disrespecting second son.

I’m not having it anymore.

Being a parent with Bipolar is terrifying literally every second of that child’s life for me. With Scott acting like the individual (did I mention pressured speech?) that he clearly isn’t I have no clue how to even begin to help him to stop yelling into my face that I should shut up because I’m not listening.

Huh?

Parenting the twenty-something kid today is a massive challenge for this Bipolar mom. I have been charged with the crime of trying to build good family memories. I have felt despair and anger towards Scott. These are not the memories I want to build. We’re going to work this out, but I realize that I will very possibly react like I have Bipolar Disorder while we do it.

I can do this. I can figure out my part in healing our relationship. Be loving and kind… and forgiving.

However, Scott is a grown man and if he does not have Bipolar Disorder or some other explanation for his behavior, then he’d better watch out. I corralled the three of them through their teens by myself and while not properly medicated for my illness.

Respect me as your mom.

Respect my illness.

Respect yourself and get help if we just can’t talk it out.

I really wanted to go old school, like back to when I was a kid, and wash his mouth out with some nasty bar of soap like Dial or Lava and spank him with a wooden spoon. Two if the first one breaks.

Sigh….. parenting never ends, not really. My mom is still my mom. Who else would she be?

Scott, baby? YOU! It’s time for YOU to shut up and listen.

Bipolar: It Is Very Difficult to Know

A lot of the time I hesitate to post because I don’t know what you, my reader, expects to read. I struggle with this every day. I could tell you about my day, but that’s so boring – dull! I could stick to only write about myself and what I’ve learned about Bipolar, but I really feel strongly that this kind of important thing deserves a website of its own so that people in pain or who are looking for answers can go to that site and find answers and acceptance right away. So, I’m developing a website to do just that.

I have Bipolar Disorder Type 1 with mixed states. I also entertain much of the rest of the alphabet. I could drone on and on and try to… well, I think you know where that was going.

Basically I’m a normal 55 year single mom of three who is interesting and has a good sense of humor. I have some compelling stuff following me around that makes me complicated, but who doesn’t? Surely everyone has experienced the strange things accompanying Bipolar, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, FM, OA, etc.

I have a Japanese Fighting fish like all your neighbors do and speaking of neighbors, also just like you, I politely file noise complaints regarding one nice household whenever my TV starts to loudly rattle. Seriously.

I’m so normal I could bore you silly. Although… did I mention my eldest daughter will be moving in with me in a few months? (Honestly, it’s for the best. I need the support and we can both use help with housing expenses.)

In fact things are sooo boring that I’m going to need to graduate from college with another bachelors degree and I’m going to have two sons and a daughter instead of what has been the standard at my house with two daughters and a son.

See? Boring.

I am first and foremost a woman who deals with an incurable illness and will continue to do so until I die. Well, and perhaps afterward too. I mean, who really knows?

If you don’t mind too much, I’m going to write about all of these things. I might even add in the bits where one of my family members believes that God has them on this earth for only one reason and that is to save his children and to draw them back to Him because they are lost.

Maybe I’ll recount some of my experiences growing upon a ranch as a teen who presented with Bipolar at a very young age and how well that went over with my undiagnosed Bipolar father. Maybe I’ll include fun times at the church I was attending that was into casting out demons. Yeah. Fun times.

Have I mentioned I went to Bible College searching for God? I wanted so desperately for Him to take away the pain I felt that was crushing me from within every day. No? Bipolar, prayer, and demonic possession… seems like there’s a story in there, somewhere.

What’s on your mind? Should I throw caution to the wind and open up a bit more? It all, and I do mean all, ties directly back into this sickness, this life long illness I struggle with. It is all infused with, you know it, Bipolar.

I don’t believe it is a disorder. I believe it’s a disease, an illness and should be treated with the respect it deserves… that we deserve.

Talk to me my Readers. Tell me what you think. Do you have questions? I can’t guarantee I’ll answer, but I’ll read all of them. 🤔

Be well.

Robin

Bipolar: Possessed by Demons?

demon

I’ve sat around on disability for years now. I raised my kids working very little because of my mental health issues. My behavior let’s just say wasn’t conducive to working with other people. Aside from melting from stress during the time I was attending college (I’m still planning on going back in the fall.) I’ve been pretty stable for the last year or so. I feel like I’m ready to move forward. I also feel like it’s risky to try to do something. What if I explode like I did when I had my business? During one of my manic phases I was inspired to start a small company that took off really fast. I did a good job. I was making money. Then I had an episode and exploded the business. I think it’s time to start over. I hope.

Time to focus for a sustained period of time and control myself and start a new business. I’ve got the company figured out and a loose business plan. Now I just have to supply the product. That’s what’s going to take the most time.

Speaking of which, did you know that if you have been diagnosed by a mental health professional with bipolar disorder you’re not possessed by demons? (Just my opinion.) It’s true. For years I thought I had demons or at the very least I was committing sin after sin. I couldn’t stop being angry and doing all the things that go with anger and rage. I felt so guilty.

I attended Bible College in the 80’s. While here I sought help for my demons of rage and anger and other unhealthy sins. I underwent sessions where professors would lay hands on me and “speak” to the demons. They would demand that the demons respond. I couldn’t very well not have anything happen so I started saying the first thing that I thought of. I didn’t want to look like a failure and not have any demons. Unfortunately, I never got better.

Many, many years later (like this year) I learned that bipolar disorder is actually an “abnormal functioning of brain circuits involving neurotransmitters such as dopamine.”

Now I’m not saying only mental health professionals can diagnosis a person with bipolar disorder, but it is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis.

If you have bipolar disorder you do not have brain damage. You are not a condemned lump of flesh that has no hope of having a normal or productive life.

You, just like everyone else, has the opportunity to be successful and reach your dreams.

I am going to put my life out there and see if I can be successful. Thus far I’ve had a lot of very tiny little starts towards my goals, but I’ve fallen off my path every time. I believe I have the knowledge and determination this time to not only set goals, but to reach them.

I know stress affects how my brain functions so one of my main missions is to live a balanced life and that includes not setting myself up to be trapped in extended stressful situations. I can do that. I know what my triggers are.

My goal: Reach complete financial independence in one year, by April 17, 2017. I have other goals too, but that is definitely the most important and easiest to measure.

Time to get busy working on my plan and putting it into play.

Remember, if you have a mental illness you do not have it because of an unknown influence upon your brain. You are not helpless, hopeless and unable to deal with your symptoms for good. Work with your mental health professionals and actually expend effort to be less depressed and control your mania.

I believe there is hope for each of us. Whether you believe you are being helped by a higher power, God, medication and/or psychology it is possible you can live a productive and fulfilling life.

(Note: If your faith says that your mental state is because of a spiritual battle I’m sorry, but I disagree. After chasing God for over 25 years I turned to science for answers and finally started changing my behavior and my thoughts. My advice is that you follow your heart and your intelligence. You may disagree with me about what causes bipolar disorder, but you can still learn about goal setting and being a successful person. They are not mutually exclusive.)

(The quote is from: “The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What you and Your Family Need to Know,” by David j. Miklowitz, PhD)