Keep Calm and Shut the F*%& Up

My husband is able to work just a few days a week during a good week.  We’ve managed to arrange our schedules so well that we don’t have to take our son or my older two children to a babysitter.  I have just recently went back to college and continue to work 3 or 4 days a week.  On the days we both work, I go in at 5 a.m and am home in time to for him to say goodbye and head to his job.

Rarely has it happened, and by rarely I can count on one hand the number of times in 4 years, that I’ve been stuck at work long enough to make him a few minutes late.  Today was a rare exception.  We had a manager get sick at and I had to help cover her today and put away the shipments that came in today.  My husband had to bring our four year old to me and he was 30 mins late for work.  No reprimand.  His boss was understanding.  And other than the panic attack he gave himself, it wasn’t a huge deal for him. 

I, on the other hand, was stuck at work for over two hours.  I had to put a truck away while chasing a four year old and the while trying to finish prep work for tomorrow, again while wrangling a four year old.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.  I left with only a few minutes to pick up my older two from the bus stop before the school was notified that I wasn’t there to get them.  Again, not cool. 

Since then, I’ve been yelled at.  I’ve been warned that he will be at my place of employment tomorrow to tell that *expletive* of a boss exactly what he thinks of her.  The whole situation has been twisted and the blame now lays with me as I knew when I called him asking him to drop our son with me that I was going to have to stay late. 

The entire situation has become about him and the way it’s made him feel and the way it’s screwed up his day.  Never about how my boss used me again to put the truck away.  Not about how my boss showed no empathy to the fact that my kids would be dropped off at the bus stop along a major highway without me there.  It’s been entirely about him.

Now, I sit here alone after he’s resigned to bed after this “mentally exhausting day”, never being asked how I feel about today.  Never letting my frustrations be vented.  Never given a chance to say anything.  It’s nights like this that I want to scream, “Can it please be about me?  Just for one night?’.

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16 Responses to Keep Calm and Shut the F*%& Up

  1. mimi says:

    Zebrabrie, I just want to let you know that I feel for you and I am sending you million hugs. I had a relationship with a man who is bipolar II and when we were “together “he was playing with the pill (on and off medication).His mood swings were terrible. He never told me he was bipolar so I never understood.He told me after he dumped me. I know how you feel and if this can cheer you up a bit, there is someone in Europe who understands you and I am sorry that you had such a terrible day.I am sending you lots of love – you are a strong and brave woman!

    Liked by 1 person

    • zebrabrie says:

      Thank you Mimi. I know it sounds horrible, but it truly does make me feel better knowing I’m not alone in feeling this way. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone by any means. The feeling of loneliness can sometimes be overwhelming.

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  2. Whit says:

    You are definitely NOT alone. I don’t know how long you’ve been dealing with being a bipolar spouse but I would like to strongly recommend therapy for yourself. I met a man several years ago who was in a manic phase. He quickly swept me off my feet with promises, flowers and trips. I didn’t realize that I was the one paying for those things for some time, though. He proposed to me and I agreed to marry him. I had no idea about his past psych history. Shortly before the wedding – I saw an article in the hair salon about bipolar symptoms and approached my fiance about it. It caused SUCH a sh*tstorm that I backed down. My mistake — I could have run then, but didn’t. Then the depression set in – which I was blamed for since I had even alluded to the fact that he was “mentally ill”. The guilt became overwhelming and I found that everything I did stemmed from guilt or because I wanted to keep the peace. Right before the wedding, I found out from a family member how MANY times he had been married before me — SURPRISE!!!!! When I say right before the wedding – I mean THAT DAY.
    I’ll skip all the history for now, but in only a few months I realized what my life was going to be like. Being up in age to start with, having raised several children in a messed up marriage, I decided that my last two decades or so on earth would not be spent in the situation I was in. I went into therapy and was actually taught to give myself permission to do the right thing for MYSELF. I had to wait until he was stable to file for divorce, but I did it. I am still in therapy years later going through stuff – basically I just shake my head and wonder how I was so duped…so stupid.
    PS – recently I found a box of my clothes in my garage that I started to go through to donate to charity. I found that the crazy person I had been married to had cut out the zippers and torn the buttons off EVERYTHING in that box. There was also evidence of what appeared to be the remnants of his masturbation onto the clothing as well.— again another story there.
    So – after all this the advice I have for you is to get therapy BY YOURSELF— not with him. Therapy for you and you alone. It could make all the difference in the world.

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    • zebrabrie says:

      Thanks Whit. He’s never been that “crazy” as to maliciously destroy my things. In the heat of the moment, a coffee table or hole in the wall.

      I’ve been with him for seven years. He was very level the first few years and slowly all of the symptoms have reappeared. I’ve recently started seeing a psychiatrist and have been taking Prozac. She’s working on setting up counseling (no insurance) for me. I just keep it in and hide my feelings.

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      • mimi says:

        Zebrabrie, it’s a good step that you have started seeing a psychiatrist. However, is your husband also seeing one and is he properly medicated? Does he go to therapy to learn how to cope? Relationships are difficult but bipolar are even more and as much as it is not his fault that he has this disease, he has chosen to become your husband therefore he needs to know how you feel. Does he know about your struggles?

        Liked by 1 person

      • zebrabrie says:

        Good Morning Mimi. I could write a post with just these few questions! My husband is very lucky to have the parents he does. His mother has gone to workshops and classes and works hand in hand with his doctors. Is he medicated….Yes. Properly….no. His main p doc recently passed away(had been treating him for schizoaffective disorder for 15 years). Since he’s been bounced between younger doctors who have lowered his medicine regimen. He does go to therapy every other week(how honest he is I don’t know).
        I treat him as I would my child in this aspect. His meds get counted and I report to his mother(chicken sh#t way of dealing with it I suppose).

        He does not know my struggles. To an extent I know he does. He sees me cry. He sees me withdraw during his different phases. I’m horrible about dredging up mistakes he’s made and this leads to another fight. That’s why I’m trying to set up counseling for myself. I truly know he does not intend to hurt me with his words or actions(a lot of the time he’s shocked when he hears or sees what he’s done). And he’s never physically hurt anyone here. I’ve told him to leave and had his mother help during a particularly bad episode. But no, I don’t verbalize how it affects my mental health and screws with my head. More out of fear it will become a trigger. There are some things I will come right out and say. But most often, I sit in silence and cry alone. I’m just learning to verbalize with the help of one friend(2000 miles away). That was the point of starting this blog. Hoping for guidance and find ways to cope myself. Leaving him is not even a thought at the moment. I have to find a happy medium for myself while maintaining his mental health. And it’s pretty damn hard at times!

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    • mimi says:

      Whit, I am sorry about your experience. And I admire your strength and ability that you were able to put yourself first and get out. Being bipolar is not easy but in the end it is no one’s fault. Neither his nor yours. However, there are options that this illness can be managed however, if the loved one doesn’t want to do anything about that, then there is not much that can be done…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whit says:

        Even after the number of years that have passed, therapy and a wonderful new (real) husband, I’m still angry…angry that I wasn’t told early on so I could make an informed decision. He had been hospitalized more than TEN times before I met him and I found out through the family grape vine. I was lied to about ex wives, jobs, property, everything. Now he is on medication….yay for him. He preaches on a blog and unfortunately other bipolar people buy into it…they don’t see the mania through his writings. He has hurt, damaged and destroyed so many lives but now stands on the soap box of his diagnosis and preaches … A diagnosis he received years and years ago but now … With the publicity of his blog… Is ‘accepting’.
        Maybe some people are treated and can lead fulfilling lives. I really hope so. I really do.
        I wish the best for you ladies. No matter how you achieve it 🙂

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  3. bethteliho says:

    Reading through your blog and I’m amazed at your strength and loyalty, and at the same time my heart just aches reading about your sadness. I thinks it’s incredible that you’ve started a blog about it. You’ll get great support and guidance from others who can feel your pain. It sounds like you’re doing all you can for yourself at the moment, although more friends whom you can vent to would be helpful. I know there’s an online support group specifically for family members of ones with Mental Illness. I’ll go through my comment section and see if I can find it. In the meant time, HUGS to you sweet lady.

    Like

    • zebrabrie says:

      Thank you. As you know, it is sad but so rewarding at times too. When the good quits outweighing the bad is when I’ll have to have a serious conversation with myself.

      Like

  4. mimi says:

    Zebrabrie, I think it is important that you are not alone! And never isolate yourself from others because your well-being and happiness are important too. Have time for yourself (I know it is difficult when you have family, bills etc.), do things that bring joy. It is not wrong to distance yourself when you need it so that you can recharge your batteries. Remember, you cannot love anybody if you don’t love yourself first…you cannot give anything if you are empty. It is good that your husband’s parents help and hopefully, the doctors will find the right meds for him. And I like your avatar picture..it’s funny 🙂 many hugs 🙂 🙂 🙂

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    • zebrabrie says:

      Ha the pic is how I feel about this disease at times. I want to give it the middle finger some days.

      I’m just now(7 years later) trying to make sure my head stays in the game. It’s so easy to get beat down along side him. But he truly is the love of my life.

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      • mimi says:

        Just remember that no matter how “bipolar” he is, you are still zebrabrie, You not only take care of him but most important you take care of yourself.

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      • Whit says:

        Mimi, one of the issues that the spouse of a bipolar person deals with is the loss of control and the loss of freedom. Every word, every action, every family event or vacation revolves around not setting things off. You’re right…probably…that I would not have married him if only if knew. He was, however, in that manic phase…on top of the world, taking trips, surprise gifts. He pounded into my head how much alike we were…crossing his ankles like I did, watching me eat and picking up his fork and food at exactly the same time as I. For a person uninitiated into the world of bipolar I had no idea. He did lie to me several times with just the smallest grain of truth so he could say he really didn’t lie.
        Right now, several years later, I’m starting g to wonder if people so seriously afflicted with mental illnesses should be registered like a sex offender. I know after me he’s left a dozen women in his wake … His adult children still keep in touch with me and offer their pain to me for conversation, venting and eventual healing.

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  5. mimi says:

    @whit
    I think that the nature of this disease is that they don’t inform people about it and it’s due to many factors. They don’t want to be seen as crazy (“mental illness” stigma), they are in denial, they are afraid you will walk away and I believe that deep down they also just want to be loved as everyone else. And then all the symptoms come up and they are angry and hurt that you don’t want to put up and walk away. And I believe it hurts them A LOT. It would have been easier if you had been informed, I know. You could have decided not to proceed with the marriage or you could have educated yourself and you would have known how to deal with him. You could have had a choice but you didn’t because your ex-husband didn’t accept his illness to be able to manage it and give you choice. So it’s not you it’s him and his disease. And maybe thanks to this experience, you have a wonderful husband now who loves and appreciates you and you appreciate him and are grateful for having him in your life. He can preach the whole world, but he will struggle until the last day of his life with the hurt he causes to himself and others. You, however, can come home and have peace with yourself and your husband. 🙂

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    • zebrabrie says:

      So well put Mimi! I got so very lucky that him and his mother both talked to me through it and the ramifications. Granted, I had NO idea how bad things could get. I was still afforded the chance to make the choice on my own before it got too deep.

      Like

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