Very rare and mostly about football. But this time he came knocking on my door, he said he’d been on the Mind website and found a page that described Bipolar really well and he wondered if I had read it. He isn’t very good at computers so he doesn’t realise that you can find millions of pages of information about Bipolar but he wanted to talk to me about it and I am always willing to talk about my issues and his. I said that I have indeed read it and that he should look up Borderline Personality Disorder so maybe he could understand my illness and he was more than happy to learn. We don’t talk about emotions and feelings, he’s a manly man, he doesn’t do crying and showing how he really feels (unless of course he can’t help it due to illness). I always try and get the most I can out of these rare encounters that he wants to know more about what makes me tick and wants to share with me his feelings. He read through the page and didn’t say much. It didn’t matter that he didn’t respond much, I was happy though that he didn’t looked shocked, he read it, took it in and accepted it. He especially concentrated hard on the part that said “how to help someone with BPD”, he read it all out loud. These small things, mean everything. I spoke about mum and how I believe she caused a lot of my problem and I said how I believe she loves her celebrity obsession more than me, to which he responded, “she probably does.” That cut me deep but he knows how that feels, she always loved her obsession more than him too.
We spoke some more and he told me about his breakdowns as if I wasn’t there, maybe blocking out the idea that I had to see this happen. He explained that his first psychotic episode was because he thought my mum was trying to take me away from him (she had threatened this before) but he became irrational and tried to hurt her. All these years I had thought he was trying to kill her because he was “mad” and didn’t know what was happening. When he was actually trying to save me from being taken away. It changes my whole perspective, of course it doesn’t make it better that he tried to hurt her but a parent who loves their child will fight to save them from harm and will never let them be taken away without a battle. My dad was willing to hurt, even kill someone he loved to prevent losing me.
This knowledge is so precious, especially to someone who frequently believes they are unlovable. It’s frightening, of course. But to actually know that someone would go to the ends of the earth for you is in itself, well, madness.
I love you, dad.