relationships

His and hers

His and hers. Hers and his. Mine is on the right – coffee with cold milk, white sugar and in true OCD form, a neatly wrapped sugar packet with a neat twist. His is on the right – coffee with hot milk, brown sugar and a laid back scrunching of the packet. Two different people,with different experiences, different perspectives and different interests, finding a common appreciation of one another. Him and her. Her and him. Together, enjoying an early autumn dinner out. If only all of life could be as simple as this observation of a moment in time. But that moment was mine and so I am happy.

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The Good Guy

I have a interpersonal relationship dilemma. How’s that for depersonalization. I met a guy (yay). A good guy (incredulous). The problem? Um, he’s a good guy and I don’t know how to deal with this. My life programming has been all like – Calling all narcissists. All narcissists, abusers, addicts, assholes, welcome, all aboard, I’m waiting in anticipation for you to break me….. But him? Good? Nuh uh. Dunno. I’m more comfortable with the adrenaline-pulsed, failure-fueled survival of co-dependency.

It seems now that I have boundaries, roles have been reversed. He is eager to please me – respecting my need for solitude, accommodating my mood swings, my sleep routine, overstimulation, the various physical ailments and embarrassments that come with new medications, the subsequent loss of sex drive. Sex drive. Ha. Once abundant, now the mere thought of it makes me wish I had narcolepsy. He actively seeks to learn about bipolar in a genuine attempt to understand. And get this… he’s even started his own blog so that we can blog together. Talk about romance. But, but, this is all wrong. Where are my threats, ultimatums, arguments. My role has been usurped and I don’t know how this works.

I second guess everything. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Surely this is too good to be true? Is he manipulating me? Is he lying? Is he telling me what he thinks I want to hear? Why did he do that? Why did he say that? I over analyze ev.er.y.th.ing. And by the time I’ve pick through all scenarios? I’m horrendously suspicious and enormously exhausted. But if I’m to be honest? He really is just a Good Guy.

I would say I don’t deserve him. None of this is his normal. I feel so guilty because he accommodates my every quirk without complaint. I instinctively push him away, but he always pushes back. Ever reassuring, encouraging. Never gives up. Isn’t this what I’ve dreamed of all my life? Yet in my head I’m constantly breaking up with him, when in reality I don’t want to lose him. The irony is he almost qualified as a psychologist until a near fatal accident changed his life. So you could say I’m putting his education to the test. I’m the best case study he’ll ever encounter!

So here’s to the Good Guy. Long may it last.

The Hospital Chronicles – Part 3

I am suicidal but I don’t want to die. Quite the opposite. I want to live a full and productive life. So I was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for a week. I’ve had my medication adjusted, an addition to my diagnosis and received some invaluable therapy. This is a documentation of all that I learned

Permission to mingle

Okay, so I have ‘permission’ to mingle in the dating pool without that horrible label of being ‘needy’. But how to do it without getting my heart broken each time? I become quickly and intensely attached to people which always ends in heartbreak.

3-_permission-to-mingle

Here’s what the doc had to say:

Just because you date someone doesn’t mean you have to have a relationship with them.

If you meeting someone and you have chemistry and all the right stuff and you date and get married and live happily ever after, well then good for you. But that need not be the approach or end game. You can date for fun, for companionship, just for sex, a one night stand, be friends with benefits or all of the above. You can date but still keep a distance and don’t engage your heart.

My doc’s awesome analogy:

Say you go on vacation to Mauritius. You meet a local man with a gorgeous, sexy french accent. You spend time together, there’s chemistry, you laugh, have fun and have sex because you are intoxicated by the adventure . But all holidays come to an end. Its sad to part, but you knew it was going to be short-lived so you stayed in the moment with no emotional investment. There was no pressure of a potential future together. It was simply a fun holiday romance. Perhaps you do maintain contact and develop genuine feelings over the course of time. And perhaps you end up together for that happy ever after. Or maybe not.

My doc said to me:

Go out there and have some fun. Be safe. No serious stuff. If that happens to evolve over time then great. But let that not be your goal. Eat, drink, be merry, have a one night stand if you want to. Above all, keep your heart to yourself and don’t invest emotionally. Think of your French Lover and laissez faire. It doesn’t have to be long term. It can simply be for enjoyment and you can be the one in control, doing it on your own terms. This new perspective makes me feel like an independent woman. I just need to figure out what ‘my own terms’ are.

The Hospital Chronicles – Part 2

I am suicidal but I don’t want to die. Quite the opposite. I want to live a full and productive life. So I was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for a week. I’ve had my medication adjusted, an addition to my diagnosis and received some invaluable therapy. This is a documentation of all that I learned.

Alone is not my normal, it’s a trigger

A few weeks ago I had a life changing session with my doc and I walked away with the revelation of ‘normal is relative‘. One of the other topics addressed was my debilitating sense of ‘aloneness’ – a sense that I stand alone in this world, unwanted and invisible. This has been a hot topic in each session I have had with him. We explored it some more yesterday in hospital.

This was his perspective:

As human beings we are born to be social. From the time of cavemen, we have relished sitting around the fire exchanging stories, interacting, eating til our belly pops, loving, fighting, brawling, hunting, pairing off, having sex, reproducing, nurturing, laughing, crying, roaring with anger. I am not weak because I want a companion. For most of us, wanting a companion is ‘normal‘. If I had an extended family unit, a large circle of friends, were a social personality type or had a pet, I would not be as devastated by this ‘aloneness’ as I am. My only human interaction is the limited amount I allow myself at work, and interaction with my blogging friends. Too much time alone. Too much time for thoughts. I need to be channeling this energy into social interaction as one would channel water into a growing plant so that it may grow and thrive. I need human distraction so my thoughts don’t consume me. This has nothing to do with bipolar. Its based on my personality type.

But for every rule there is an exception. There are the extraordinary beings that live a thriving life completely alone and content. But that’s not how I’m built. I need someone. And needing is different to being needy. And needing someone to share in my life is not weak. For me its natural and normal.

We ended the session with him saying – This year, I’ve known all along your diagnosis is loneliness. Your loneliness is causing you great suffering and its become one of your triggers. Talk about ‘food for thought’. It’s more like a banquet of food for thought. An eat-as-much-as-you-like-buffet food for thought!

 

 

Sales pitch

you wanna date me?
you wanna make me yours?
right now?
how?
you don’t even know me
even though we’ve
talked briefly over the years
texting playful but always perplexing
so from where does this proposal come
me thinks you’ve plucked it out your bum
while you’ve gotten older
your dating pool’s grown colder
you think I’m an easy option
desperate for adoption
but despite your age
you’re still a shark in a cage
nothing but a playa
using my heart to wager
a remedy to your loneliness
but from you its meaningless
I know your type
from my old past life
I’m not interested in your pitch
I’m giving your offer a miss

I wish I were a saviour

Save his life? Save my life? Saving one life condemns the other life? The moral conflict is killing me. I can’t eat, can’t sleep, the guilt chokes me. When my mother was at the height of her mental illness, she asked for help and I refused her. She committed suicide 3 weeks later. Granted, she wanted me to help her die….. but if I had helped, she would not have suffered as she did. I didn’t help her and she died a terrible death.

His behaviour has become worse, a dark, rapidly downward spiral. And it is my fault. His blood will be on my hands. Expelling him from the home has added new impetus to his implosion. How do I turn my back to his silent screams?

drowning__by_magggggg-d2xzbuu.jpg - source deviantart

Is he drowning, or am I?

Every minute of every hour of the day and night I’m compelled to phone him and say – come home, I’m sorry, just come home….

But with great force of will, I have to remind myself – this ‘self‘ that is now filled with disgust and shame and loathing at the callous act I forced upon another sick human being; this ‘self‘ that wants nothing more than to reach out in compassion for her fellow sufferer and lift him from harms way. This self knows the simple fact. I can’t fix him, cure him, help him, change him, make him want to change. It’s completely out of my hands. I have no control.

her_hands_are_bound_by_jadelouisewinter-d53pry7.jpg - source deviantart

My hands are tied, I feel bound by helpless

My torment lies in how do I stand idly by watching his demise from my sheltered distance? As a human being, how do I do this? My conscience bears me no peace. I wake frequently in the night wanting to phone to check that he’s safe, still employed or on the streets? Is he still alive?

Alive, yes, for me, it is this precarious.

And then I weep endlessly in sorrow and in helplessness. In fear and in regret. I weep for him, so lost. I weep for me, so guilty. And then always, always when I weep, I weep for my mother. Another lost soul I didn’t help.

Dial 0800-DRUNK

He told me he’d phone everyday to see that I was okay. He assured me, promised me that his resolve to stop drinking and turn his life around was stronger than ever. So when I got no call on Sunday, I knew. I just knew.

To put me out of my anxious misery I phoned him. He was drunk, barely coherent, still denied it. Talking was pointless and I disconnected the call. Like two cogs fitting together I got it. He didn’t love alcohol more than he loved me. He wasn’t rejecting me everytime he drank. He is simply an alcoholic who is as powerless over alcohol as I am over bipolar.

 

I felt a surge of relief. It felt so strange and unbecoming; yet so comforting. Relief that this wasn’t happening here at home, in my personal space. Relief that I no longer had to worry about the very real and looming prospect of him losing his job. He’s not part of my world; he’s not my responsibility, not mine to worry about.

He’s gone and I will deal with the imprint of him left as memories in the home. The good memories in the beginning. But really? Those hopes and dreams I had were based on a person that never actually existed.

I feel like an ignorant fool. Married to an alcoholic for 17 years. Then my first real relationship four years later? Another fucking alcoholic! If I can’t trust myself and my own judgments, how do I trust other people? So for now, I feel a desperate need to shroud myself in isolation. I find this world far too cruel a place for me. As a bipolar with amplified emotions and no appropriate filters, I feel like a lamb to the slaughter.

Cleaning out my closet

Although we hardly spoke, yesterday was filled with anger, remorse, self-pity, regret. I knew what I had to do but wrestled with inner conflict all day. Finally I quietly said, you need to find another place to live.

All my fears of danger were unfounded, perhaps I was projecting my ex-husband’s alcoholic rages onto him. But I remain aware of the unpredictable nature of alcoholics. So let me not speak too soon, as he’s already phoned me twice since last night.

I was given me the impression I would be turning him out onto the streets, homeless. But he phoned his boss, who sorted out a temporary living arrangement for him. He went to the shops and drew out his share of the rent for February, telling me it’s the least he could do after all he’s put me through. He asked if he could leave now and come back during the week for his stuff. I stayed firm, and said no, it has to be done today. I didn’t want him having reason to return.

the_undesired_letter_by_ronaldbkg from deviantart

sorry‘ such a pitiful word

He’d bought a tablet in my name because he has bad credit. I made sure he gave me the tablet since I would now be liable for it (I take full accountability for my own stupidity). He handed it over without complaint. He didn’t have much – a few rubbish bags of clothes, a duvet and two pillows, some bath towels. I tried to help by putting his pots and pans in the bakkie. You can keep those, he said. I won’t be needing them. I wondered if that was another veiled threat at suicide. But that isn’t my responsibility anymore. I have my own suicides to avert.

Throughout, I kept fighting my eternal urge to apologise. I wanted to say – I’m sorry, stay, I still love you, I don’t want you to go, please don’t drink so everything can go back to the way it was before, please don’t leave me, I don’t want to live here alone. But I didn’t. I simply cried. For the loss of hope, dreams, broken trust and grief .

From start to finish, it took about one hour. We barely spoke. We both cried in our final goodbye. Well, I had never really stopped crying……

Trigger happy dating

My experience with bipolar is one giant, lifelong learning curve. Just when I think I’m beginning to understand it, it knocks at my door and shouts “come out, come out, wherever you are”! I’ve recently discovered a new trigger for hypomania – online dating……

date night

My usual symptoms of my hypomania:

  • A belief that I am FUCKING.FABULOUS.
  • I’m the FUNNIEST.FUCKING.PERSON. Alive. I laugh loudly and everybody laughs with me
  • I have the most FABULOUS.FUCKING. business ideas. They are faultless.
  • Insomnia gives me extra time to focus on my FUCKING.FABULOUS. ideas
  • I’m hyper-sexual. My mind just humps, oops, thumps ‘sex.sex.sex.sex’

date night 2
This is what happens when I join a dating site and begin to trip the light fantastic:

I’m all depressed ‘n stuff. You know – don’t shower, anti-social, sleep for days, wanna die. As I begin to loop out of the depression, my energy returns, I shower, smell good, start living, even shave my legs, eat food that isn’t only ice cream. Hope is reborn. That somewhere in this industrial suburb a kindred spirit resides who will love me unconditionally. With great anticipation, I join a site. There is conversation, debate, outrageous flirting and flattery, empty promises and hope. Adrenaline and dopamine let loose in my veins suck me into the vortex of hypomania. The overstimulation of interaction, anxiety, late nights and lack of routine feeds a hungry hypomania like a protein shake:

  • I construct my profile and think it’s FUCKING.FABULOUS.
  • The profiles I chat with think I’m FUCKING.FABULOUS. because I’m funny and sexual, or should I say sextual and have no boundaries
  • I fall in love and make attachments immediately and I feel FUCKING.FABULOUS.
  • The frantic pace of online dating is exhausting and within weeks I start crashing.
  • We date for a while. Then they inevitably and quite rightly claim “We laughed so much in the beginning. You’re just not the same person I met”.
  • The dating stops, hope is lost and rejected, I fall into pieces. Depression settles in
  • And so I return to my anti-social habits, not showering, sleeping for days, wanting to die and eating too much ice cream

Call me crazy, but only in my world would dating be a trigger of hypomania instead of a normal social activity.