Today's guestblogger is Kaley. Please take the time to read her story and leave a comment of support for her
Toxic Relationships and Bipolar
“I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace.” ~Helen Keller
I am relatively new to the world of Bipolar. I was only diagnosed three months ago. During that time, I have learned a lot about the disorder and myself. I have learned that I have a voice and am using it to bring about awareness to others who may not understand what we go through or may be afraid to ask for help themselves. However, I have realized that my voice is going unheard at home.
My family has been wonderful throughout this process. My mother, brother, grandmother, and aunt have all learned what they can, read my blog, ask questions after my psychiatrist appointments, and read about all things Bipolar. I wish I could say the same thing for my husband.
At my last doctor’s appointment, she actually called him “ignorant” and explained to me that he may be having a difficult time coming to terms with my diagnosis. Sure, he has come to Bipolar support group meetings with me a few times, but did not say a word. I will admit that he is very shy. But I was hoping for more. I was hoping that he would take the initiative to read at least one of the many brochures we have lying around our house or ask me SOMETHING about all of this. He never shows any interest in discussing how the two of us can cope with my shifting moods. The other night, my husband even got frustrated at me and told me he wished he had a “normal wife”. This got me to thinking that I certainly cannot be alone in receiving less than acceptable family support.
There is so much information on how to educate family members on what they can do to help and understand as best they can. But what can you do if they refuse to try and understand? Studies have shown that it is impractical and harmful to place the responsibility of emergency care in the hands of one person. It is better to create a Crisis Plan with a Support Team. A great resource is HelpGuide.org. In my case, I do have other family members that love and support me. It is just unfortunate that I do not live with them. My immediate crisis plan involves calling a family member, usually my mother. If things escalate, then I am always welcome at my grandmother’s house as she lives the closest to me.
Lack of understanding is a big problem for many people. No matter how hard we try to improve our lives, our spouses or loved ones return home from work or if they do not live with us, when we do see them, the toxic relationship becomes a trigger for us and we undo all of the positive things we have been doing. We revert back to our old ways and throw tantrums that we are later ashamed of. Only through educating others can we have true understanding and hope to live as close to a normal life as possible.
Monday, August 9, 2010
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