I let myself slip.


Yesterday was the first time I couldn’t keep a lid on and hide the depth of my feelings from The Boy.

I know he isn’t stupid, he’s a very mature early teen, we’ve told him I am Bipolar. . . but I felt so  g u i l t y  about it all yesterday.

Ok, so here’s what happened.

The Boy was out with my dad, as usual, having something to eat after school. They do this once a week and it’s a  w o n d e r f u l  thing. They have an amazing bond.
I sent a text to dad saying my back was giving me a lot of pain and I would be in bed when they arrive home. My head was also not up to having company, but I didn’t say that.

When they arrived home, they had also brought something home for me to eat. The Boy brought it upstairs and came to say hello. He went back downstairs for about 5 mins, then I heard the front door shut. I assumed they had nipped out again, but was surprised when The Boy told me that my dad had just left. He usually would shout up to say he was leaving, so I got the impression he was fed up with me being upstairs. The Boy said they didn’t get the text I sent saying my back was bad and I would be resting it upstairs.

I suddenly felt so paranoid that dad was in a mood with me and was angry and hated me. I started to panic. I started to cry in front of The Boy, despite trying my hardest not to. I asked him if he thought Grandad was in a mood with me. He said he thinks Grandad is a bit fed up with things and I should get back to work. This made me so upset.
But I pulled myself together, The Boy and I had a few jokes about it, then I managed to pretend I was alright.
I was also angry at what dad had said about me needing to buck up and get back to work.  J u s t    l i k e   t h a t .
Does he not think I would love to do that??  I would love to feel part of the normal ‘working world’ and not see things through a filter.
I would love to be back at work and contributing for my family.
But I’m not.
I’m still trying to come to terms with being Bipolar and everything that comes with it. I’m still trying to get through the side effects of the meds. I shouldn’t have to  p r o v e  my diagnosis to people.

“Look everyone! Look how shitty I feel!
Oh, now look how good I feel!

 My dad doesn’t believe I’m Bipolar. He is a retired Psychiatric nurse. He doesn’t like labels (fair enough). He’s worked in the old-school Psychiatric institutions, and doesn’t believe I am like the patients he looked after in the 1970’s, therefore I am not Bipolar.

Well no, maybe I’m not like them. I am fortunate enough to not have been to hospital with my symptoms. But I think I’ve come damn close to it before. We are all different and our symptoms manifest themselves in different ways.

Maybe its fear. Fear because he has looked after people in acute stages and doesn’t want his daughter to suffer that or face that. Or face the same stigma it used to have. Now I feel guilty.    Rahhhh!!!!!     I hate all the flipping between emotions!

Anyway, I spoke to The Boy and all was well. We had a lovely evening, but I had to try my hardest to hide my anxiety.

My dad also phoned as I left him a voicemail asking if he was upset with me being upstairs. He said he wasn’t and just wanted to get going and not hit rush hour traffic – hmmmm. I think he was bothered but knew I had been upset and didn’t want to say anything.

Sorry this hasn’t been an upbeat post!

I hope you are all feeling strong,

Much love,

Karen x



10 thoughts on “I let myself slip.

  1. Oh, Karen. I feel absolutely terrible reading this. It can be so devastating when a parent or other family member wants to deny your disorder. Also, not working is so frustrating, especially when a person knows that they are unable to work. It feels so crippling, I know.

    Older people don’t understand disorders the way we do. Back in the days of old, when a person had a disorder but wasn’t institutionalized, people would just consider that person to be “crazy”. There was no clinical term for it. So, people were either dangerously crazy, and should be avoided because they might be a killer or something, or they were “normal” crazy, like just a little off.

    My parents had the hardest time accepting my disorder. Because I was never hospitalized, they just told me things like, “Oh, that’s just the way you are.” Yeah, that’s exactly what I needed to hear. I’m just damaged and broken. But, in a way, I think it was a way of protecting themselves. After some time, my mother came to admit that she could see how it could come from her side of the family. She seemed worried that it had something to do with my upbringing. And that wasn’t something that she could accept. So, she often shuffled blame onto my father, who already has a disorder himself.

    For you, I wish there was a way he could educate himself, so he can come to understand that the institution was where people went when they couldn’t live in society. And they don’t institutionalize people anymore (not here, anyway). Only the worst people went there. And that’s what happens when it’s either just too severe, or after there are many, many years without treatment. That’s the progression of bipolar disorder. If it goes untreated for long enough, it gets to the point of hospitalization.

    Truly, he has to remember you being a little different in your youth. I don’t know your diagnosis story, but I’m going to assume that it took a long time before there was one. And most of us can identify something in our youth that was a precursor to this. Maybe you were sensitive, or temperamental. I don’t know. But, I know that there has to be something he could see, if he were looking. Hindsight is 20/20.

    • Thank you so much Lulu. Your comment really does give me some reassurance. You are totally right about my parents noticing something not right about me, from about age 11 I wasnt well. Maybe I will do a longer post about my symptoms whilst I was growing up. I knew I was different, weird, crazy, saw things through a kind of filter. I totally get it when you say your parents said ‘thats just the way you are’. Mine did too and dad still does now. And I do agree that its maybe a way of protecting themselves. Thanks so much for your comment, it really has helped me. I hope you are feeling well, Karen x

  2. Hi Karen. I too feel really sad for you right now:(

    I spent 1 month in a psych ward after trying to commit suicide.
    Things are different these days and your dad would be shocked to see that difference. Of course there are some really really sad cases!! Which is not for the faint hearted to see!

    Mostly people get up eat breakfast and go to therapy…In my case I had 15 ECT’s (shock therapy) and maybe that’s the sort of thing your dad’s comparing you with!…
    Every one is different… yet at the end of the day we are all pretty much the same!

    All lost,confused,paranoid,happy,sad,excitable little Vegemite’s!!!!!!!!! *smiling*
    Don’t worry Karen! …You will work it out!..It’s hard when people around you struggle with your diagnosis!

    Keep smiling… and just do your best!!!..otherwise your bed is going to become your best friend!
    He will come round:)…he’s your dad and he loves you!!!
    I’m off to Melbourne for a few days with friends..take care of yourself..I’ll see how your going when I get back!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Hi Karen,

    I tried so hard to prove my diagnosis to my family and few select friends, too. I wanted everyone to read the books that I read, watch the movies or tv programs, and just LISTEN to me…but I did not receive much understanding in return like yourself. Except from those who were in my household…husband and daughter. They are wonderful. I was talking with Lulu (hi Lulu!) earlier today about a similar topic and I was saying how I finally came to learn that I can’t get what I want or expect from everyone…even my Mother, so I had to decide if I would accept my relationship with her as it is or not at all. For a couple of years it was “not at all,” but we have started speaking again this last year. It is on easy subjects, tho…I never answer her honestly when she asks me how I am.

    But I understand, it is agonizing in the beginning because you have finally found the answer to your lifelong question of, “what the hell is wrong with me!?” and not everyone wants to share that with you.

    • Thats great that you are your mum have started talking again. I agree that easy subjects are best. I say the same if people ask how I am and I know they want to hear I’m doing ok. It is crushing though. Thats so true what you say, I do feel like I’ve finally found out what the hell has been wrong with me for all these years. Thanks so much for your comment, its good to know what I’m going through is quite common. I hope you are feeling strong, Karen xx

  4. Hi, like you say we’re all different and all display different symptoms and have different ways of coping. Yesterday was obviously not a good day for you, I hope today is better. Best wishes

    • Thank you so much. Today is slightly better. Its still taking me time to get used to the diagnosis, and I can’t expect everyone around me to do that faster than me. I hope you are having a good day, Karen x

  5. Pingback: I let myself slip. | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues | Scoop.it

  6. Karen, I hope things are getting better for you with this issue. I feel bad for you on this and understand that sometimes families don’t get the illness. Things have changed so much with psychiatric diagnoses, medications, and treatments just in the last 5 to 10 years so give your dad some time to adjust. Maybe he just needs more information to understand? {hugs}

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