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100th Post: The Bipolar Monster- The daughter.

December 20, 2010

I thought for my 100th blog post, instead of writing about what has been happening to me in the past few days,I would write an “article” about Bipolar and it’s emotional effects on those who have a loved one affected.

This monster has plagued my life from the beginning. Although it’s name only became apparent to me in the last couple of years, lack of communication means lack of knowledge. Idon’t know how long my dad has had bipolar but I do know his childhood wasn’t that great either. I don’t know what happened and I probably never will but I know it wasn’t good for him. I’ve looked back at pictures of him and seen a happy, social man. I remember when he was like that, it makes me sad to see how he’s like now and know that he’s not going to get better now. I’m not saying that people with bipolar cannot get better all I am saying is that he has given up. He’s suffered too long and now he’s just done with it all. It hurts to see the person who was supposed to protect you, be there for you and love you change into someone you don’t recognise.

He would get better for a little while maybe even a couple of years but then the meds didn’t work anymore or he would stop taking them because he felt “well” and then psychosis would come. He would hear voices, scream at them and then when I questioned him he wouldn’t know what I was talking about. I was only 6. I didn’t know what had happened to my dad or whether he would ever come back. I visited him in hospital and was very frightened of him, he was shakey, distance, he would cry when he saw me. I was scared of him because I didn’t understand, no one ever explained what was going on but I knew he was “crazy” (I do not use this word myself but it was what I was told, it was all I knew). I’d seen his psychosis turn into frightening violence so to suddenly be expected at such a young age to be with him wasn’t an pleasant experience, I didn’t know if he would turn into the person again and hurt me. I didn’t really know anything. All I knew was, I wanted my dad back. When he was home I was scared, I wouldn’t sleep at night and I would cry with fear of him becoming psychotic, I dealt with all of my emotions alone, I didn’t have a choice.

I do believe that my dad’s bipolar has caused me to develop borderline personality disorder (along with my mother’s (as I believe) BPD.) the inconsistant parenting from the two of my parents, the emotional neglect due to their own big problems meant I was very much alone in caring for myself, psychically and emotionally. I had no set identities to mould myself on and now have indentity disturbance. I’m not blaming my dad at all, it’s not his fault he has Bipolar, I am blaming the illness itself. It is a monster, it throws you in the air and then crashes you into the ground and you don’t know when it’ll happen. I understand why people with Bipolar do end their lives, I still hope everyday that I do not have it and that it does not come to surface for me one day because I don’t know if I could handle it, especially not psychosis. I would never ever want to face psychosis and would never want to inflict psychosis or mania or depression on J and my future family. The pain and guilt that I would feel if my children even had to face psychosis from me. My mother says that dad was scared of having children incase of Bipolar being passed through genes and I pray that it doesn’t dare skip a generation as I would hate one of my children to have to face Bipolar. I would much rather myself have it.

Even though there isn’t much communication between me and my parents, just being in the same room as my dad can be stressful, his anger is so easy to spark, his irritablity and constant impatience his meds that mean he can’t sit still for a second without getting pissed off. Basically, he drives me up the wall! Granted not all of his annoying traits are due to Bipolar but his worst traits are due to his inability to be able to show appropriate emotions. When you live in a household with a Bipolar parent and a BPD parent, everything is extreme. There’s no middle ground, you’re either so happy you could cry or you’re so depressed you think the world is ending and I can tell you now that it does rub off on children, children are like sponges, they absorb everything you give them. But I’m definately not trying to scare those of you with children who are Bipolar. You create very mature strong children. They learn how to be strong through emotional trauma from a young age so when they’re older big things affect them less, they grow up faster and havemore independence, they know how to look after themselves. I know there aren’t many positives but any positives are a bonus.

Everyday I wish I had him back, I wish he wouldn’t shake, I wish he wouldn’t have a constant glazed look when I try and talk to him. Sometimes it’s like he’s picturing traumas and he completely zones out. I wish he would wash himself, care for himself, not pick his skin and get blood on the sofa. I wish he could recognise when things happen, when he crosses the road and doesn’t look for cars, when he’s standing there pouring his drink on the floor, it’s like he can’t see. It’s like he’s tired and just wants to sleep forever. It’s like he’s empty.

I’m hoping one day, the Bipolar monster will bring my daddy home. That’s all I want for Christmas.

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5 comments

  1. Oh. You made me cry. As ever hun, a heartfelt and brilliantly worded article. The clear love you have for your Dad shines through your writing and I just pray he gains hope from it when he starts to recover. I hope for all your sake’s that he gathers up his strength and fights with everything he has. I don’t know your Mum but I do know you and if you were my child I would fight til the end of time to get better. I know that is easy to say when I am not bipolar, when I don’t have to face the world you Dad faces every day. I can’t begin to imagine how it is for your Dad, you or your Mum, but my goodness, they should be proud beyond proud of you.


  2. Have some empathy – my mum had paranoid schizophrenia, and
    brought me up alone after my dad walked out. She was hospitalised a
    few times when I couldn’t cope any more. Eventually she couldn’t
    cope either and killed herself. My dad had done the same 10 years
    before. I have PTSD but no psychoses. My son seems OK too. I don’t
    have the life I wanted but it could be worse. Yours sounds pretty
    rough, even with J. If it comes to a choice between you or your
    parents, please choose you.


  3. This was very interesting, thanks. I don’t have experience with bipolar in a loved one, or myself, but I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying. Mental illness sucks! Take care.


  4. Your posts always hit home for me, sometimes a little too close. Struggling with BPD and Bipolar 1 at the same time is my burden. Being a single mother of two is my current situation. It’s things like this post that drive me and push me to keep seeking treatment, keep taking my medications, keep going to all my doctor appointments, keep working on myself in therapy. I know I have emotionally traumatized my son when I wasn’t seeking help. He’s almost 7, my daughter is almost 2. I’ve been actively getting help since last July, but I carry all kinds of guilt around because of who I was before that. I can only hope and pray that my son sees that his mother IS getting help, and that I DO love him enough to try even though it’s an uphill battle. It doesn’t help that their dad is also Bipolar, so both my kids have a strong chance of having it. My son already has ADHD. So I want him to see that it’s OK to get help when you need it, that he doesn’t have to be ashamed of it if it happens to him too.

    Thanks for posting this. I know how heart-wrenching all this is for you. I can only say thank you for unknowingly pushing another parent to keep trying, so I don’t have to look back in 11 years and have my son saying these same things about me. Seriously, no sarcasm, THANK YOU!!!



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