Journal comment from a bi-polar friend

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by nerfherder, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    One of my closest friends is bipolar. Friend? Neither of us ever had sisters, she has disowned her highly dysfunctional family (she and her brothers are Korean adoptees for what that's worth) and adopted mine - never misses my mom's birthday if she can help it, visits her more than I do actually. :) So she is a baby sister who bridges the age gap between me and my easy child, and I am the big sister/functional mother figure who listens to her rant and reassures her that she's not acting crazy, no. My brother's kids treat her like the aunt who's even crazier than I am, and a number of people at my mom's synagogue somehow got the idea that she's my brother's au pair - so part of the family's running gag is her treating him like she is, fake asian accent and all.

    Today she posted the following on her blog; I am stripping out any personal identifiers, and starring out the F-bombs. I think it helps with another facet and viewpoint of how someone apparently functional and medication-compliant still struggles every day. The following is not only copied with permission, when I asked if I may share here she expressed the hope (quote) "If I can help other parents manage their children I'm glad to be a resource." She also notes that if there are any specific questions, I can pass them along and she will try to answer them.

    Have I mentioned lately how much I hate bipolar?

    For all it's done in helping me realize what a strong, confident person I can be, bipolar really f***s up my life a good 50-60% of the time. I'm getting tired of the sleepless nights that I can occasionally feel coming on but I feel helpless to stop. Because sleepless nights turn into days at work where I can't focus and those turn into days where I get into trouble. They also turn into days where when I want to try and sleep off the bipolar delirium I feel guilty for being a lazy a**hole who does nothing but sleep. I also wonder how many of my relationships have gone onto self-destruct because I'm a crazy person to what amounts to basically half of the year.

    I love the days where I wander around looking like s*** because I'm death warmed over from no sleep. And part of me hates being fat because I can't enjoy memory foam or a tempur-pedic like a normal human being without overheating like a stuck pig. And I still haven't learned how to take a g*****ed compliment like someone telling me my eyes are beautiful without thinking that there's an agenda behind the compliment. Today I just really hate being myself and I want to crawl out of my skin. And when I get into a mood like this, I go into a spiral of feeling bad about hating myself and it all just goes to f***ing hell.

    There's times when I feel like how my mother f***ed me up was tantamount to child-abuse-that-no-one-will-call-child-abuse
    [TD] because she f***ed with how I see food, how I see myself, how I see how relationships are supposed to work between two grown adults, how I see my accomplishments, how I see a lot of things. Ultimately, it's my destiny to either continue letting these world views control my life or doing a lot of reprogramming that will ultimately have me feeling better in a couple year's time, but I hate being patient about things like this. I want to be a lot skinnier than I am, although I think I am slowly losing weight. I want to be a whole hell of a lot more stable than I am because godd***it I've been medicated for the better part of the last five years. I've come to the conclusion that I will never have a good relationship with my mother, and that kills me, because I miss my brothers and my dad. And unfortunately she is a major impediment to me having a relationship with anyone else. And I feel weird and horrible when I think about taking someone home to meet my family and all I really have to show for family are my good friends. And if I decide to rear children (however they come about), that most likely they will never know their grandmother and possibly their grandfather and uncles on their mother's side because I don't want my mother to f*** up my children like she f***ed me up. They'll get aunts and uncles aplenty that aren't blood related through my good friends, but it kills me to know that in the traditional sense, I will never really have a typical family unit. And that feels like I was robbed of that opportunity twice.

    So world, please take this long ranty mcrant as a nice f*** you. I will over come all this. Even if it kills me (and it almost did once, so HA).
  2. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thank you so much for posting this, nerfherder. I love the way you describe your family! My heart goes out to this sister. Our daughter was recently diagnosed bipolar. She has tried to explain so many times. This was so helpful to me. As daughter's diagnosis is new, she is still looking for definitions (and taking comfort from recognizing herself there). It helps her to make sense of things, and helps us to understand with more compassion. I will read this to her tonight.

    Thank you for your courage in sharing with us. Please know that I wish you well with all my heart.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can so relate to her so tell her I said Amen Sister! I describe it as a terminal illness because its here to stay and there is simply no getting over it. Some of us do manage to attain long periods of stability but bipolar is always lurking there just under the surface waiting to strike. I have never been able to completely get my bipolar under control. I can put on what I call my public face and most people wouldnt know if they only see me for a few minutes at a time but I cant maintain it for long. Thats one of the reasons I cant handle having anyone living with me. My home is my safe place and I need to be able to be me in my home. I cant be "on" all the time. Its just too much. Also being confined to one room is too hard on me. I need my home.

    So I get your friend. Also my mom was the one who messed me up so badly too. Thats another thing we share. Amazing huh?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Question as one with a mood disorder who is doing rather well and knows it was not caused by my dysfunctional family because bipolar is caused by heredity, not dysfunction, such as poor self-esteem can be. Does this friend comply with her medication? Does she refrain from taking illegal drugs? Does she try very hard to get stable in her therapy?

    I was a mess in my 20's and my family was not great, but I knew I had been born this way. And I knew that to get better it would take a heck of a lot of hard work and medication compliance on my part. Does she do the things she is supposed to do in order to get better? It can take many years, but if you try and work hard you can usually (not always) get better.

    Another questioni: Was she adopted as a baby or as an older child? Older child adoption can greatly affect how the adoptee attaches to the adoptive family. Sorry for being sensitive, but I'm an adoptive mom and I do have a Korean daughter. She came as a baby and is very attached to all of us. Now a child we adopted at age six from Hong Kong has left our family and would say we were abusive to him. It's not true and none of my other kids think so, but six is just too old to adopt a child and to expect him to attach. He is not bipolar, but suffered bouts of depression that he held inside pretty well until his 20's. 20's seem to be a bad age for people with serious issues.

    I think...many issues going on with this person. What do you think, nerfie?
  5. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    MidwestMom: Oh, absolutely issues! I won't share the stuff she tells me, by the standards of "normal" or "neurotypical" she's definitely not either of those. I think she was older, not as much as 6 but not an infant either. And yes, she's in her 20's. She is medication compliant, her biggest stressor on our family trips is remembering to bring her medications along - and then forgetting to stay on schedule if she gets distracted (which doesn't happen much but my mom is good at timing her Stuff for when people have other things they have to do. She's 94, right? :) )

    I think she does know about the heredity issues, but in her case trying to get *any* information about her birth mother or the family has been Not Very Successful, given how her mom has been fighting releasing any information at all, and what she has to do (she has said) to get anything out of Korea.

    She avoids illegal drugs, holds down a job with a Very Significant State Government office, and her desire for stability is almost heartbreaking at times. So she does all she can, never misses a bill, a rent payment or car payment, and knows she has friends who will listen when it gets rough.

    I will forward on the questions (minus your closing comment. :) ) She has little in the way of embarrassability, so I don't think any of your questions will be a problem.

    Everyone else - thank you for your kind words, and thank you for my friend's sake too. May I forward back your comments? All identifiers will be stripped. Moderators, is this a violation of the forum rules? I will wait for all your thoughts on this.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If she knows the agency she was adopted from in Korea (there are only three), she can write to them and get information, maybe even find out more if biological mom is interested in meeting her. I have tried to get my daughter to find out more, but she's not ready yet. My daughter was adopted through Eastern Child Welfare. There is also Holt. And I forgot the last one. Bethany maybe?

    At any rate, she doesn't need her mom to get information if she is over 18. They will respond to her. I think it would also help if she contacts the agency in the US where her parents adopted her from. It's NOT impossible anymore. It's a small, small world with the internet.