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I Hate the Mentally Ill – My Ex was Bipolar and She was Evil

I like my job. I get to write for a living which is something many writers don’t get to do. And moreover, I get to write about things that matter to me. Also a great luxury for many writers. These are pleasures as are the vast majority of people I get to meet.

I do have the great displeasure, though, of seeing vehement hatred for those with a mental illness. People who hate show up here, on my blog and elsewhere. People with a hatred for bipolar disorder seem to seek places to express their hatred.

But hatred of the mentally ill is simply another prejudice. Hatred of people with bipolar is the same as racism and just as unacceptable.

People with Bipolar Are Selfish, Whiny, Childish Monsters

No one in their right mind would say, “All [people of race] are selfish, whiny, childish monsters.”

They wouldn’t say that because it isn’t true and it’s outlandish to think, let alone say. People of any race are individuals and thus are all different. Enlightened people understand painting them all with any brush is inaccurate, insulting and quite frankly just plain wrong.

It’s exactly the same for those with a mental illness. Suggesting all people with bipolar are selfish, whiny, childish monsters (and I have heard much worse) is ridiculous. I am none of those things. I’m a grab-bag of traits, much like everyone else. Except I have an illness.

Some people have had bad experiences with the mentally ill. They use this as an excuse to hate everyone with bipolar disorder. This hatred is as bad as racism. Read more.Why do People Hate those with Bipolar?

There is generally one reason why people hate those with a mental illness: they have had bad experiences with them in the past. And for whatever cockamamie reason, they have generalized that experience onto everyone with bipolar disorder. And for some reason they don’t see the ludicrousness of that behavior.

My Ex was Bipolar; She was Evil

Lots of these people have bipolar ex-significant others. And some hate their ex-others. Perhaps for good reason; I couldn’t say. But here’s the thing:

  1. You fell in love with that person at some point and married/had kids with/lived with them, so there really is something good there somewhere.
  2. People hate their ex-others. It has nothing to do with bipolar and everything to do with being an ex.

People also think “men are bad,” because of a bad divorce, or “women are conniving,” or what have you. Not because of anything intrinsic to the gender but because divorces/breakups are nasty, ill-fated, legally acrimonious affairs.

Unfortunately, when one party has a mental illness the other party often feels perfectly justified in dumping the ills of the world at the feet of the illness. And then at the feet of everyone else with the illness.

Your Bipolar Ex Might Have Been Evil

I have no idea who you were married to, and they may have been the worst person on the planet. In fact, their illness may have made their life and yours a living hell. That person may have needed help and refused it. That person may have done horrible things and blamed it on their disease. That person may have hurt those and those you love. Quite possible.

But that’s not about being bipolar, that’s about the individual.

I will accept this illness makes people unpredictable and challenging, like many illnesses. I will accept the fact being with a person with an illness (any illness) is hard. I will accept that we hurt people, and sometimes that hurt has to do with bipolar disorder.

I will not, however, accept any insult you want to throw at me simply because I have the same diagnosis as a person you know. I will not allow you to tell me how I am or who I am. I will not accept your prejudice and I will not accept your hatred.

Enjoy Your Hate

You can hate whomever you like. It’s a free country. But do it in front of me at your own risk. I do not buy your nonsense and to me, you are no better than a racist. Go find another place to play. Because I won’t let you unabashedly hurt others just because you have been hurt.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

138 thoughts on “I Hate the Mentally Ill – My Ex was Bipolar and She was Evil”

  1. Synyk,

    I am so sorry that you have gone through that horror. You are a survivor. However I want to say this loud and clear: YOU ARE NOT YOUR MOTHER. It sounds to me that she has more wrong with her than just bipolar disorder. She seems to lack a conscience,which is typical of sociopathy. She also sounds like she is narcissiatic as well. Here is why I know you are not like her: You have remorse for the things you have done. She doesn’t.

    Bipolar disorder and depression are not character issues. You are still the person you always have been. YOU ARE NOT A MONSTER. What you need is help, not condemnation. I would suggest that in addition to professional help, try going to support groups as well. Many mental health centers have them. I wish you luck!

  2. I hate the illness. It turned the college sweetheart I married into a broken person. 20 years marriage down a drain. Remortgaged a house and drained retirement to keep him out of jail for over $30,000 embezelled from work credit cards, pleading and chasing him to another state to prevent him from taking his life. Having to support a child alone when he took off to go find himself. All my love and family’s kindness betrayed by two affairs and a demand for divorce. He was not this person for so many years then he was for several despite ongoing meds and therapy. It wears you out. I loved and wanted him to stay – for better or worse right? But I became the demon, the manipulator, the controller. Now he is living in an apartment up the street, it is hard to see him struggling with himself to find happiness in all the wrong places. But would I ever take him back? No, my son and I are at peace at last. Would I ever get involved with another person suffering from bipolar? – No, I fear too much the past will repeat itself. Do I pray everyday my son not inherit his father’s unpredictable illness? – Yes, but if he does I will love him through it while hoping I have learned enough from my hard years with his father to know I need to protect my heart and wellbeing too. I count! and enough is enough!

  3. I admire and respect people that will own up to it when they fall short of goals or expectations. I, myself, have had to admit to hurting another through my actions or inactions. What bothers me is when a person will habitually mess up, then fess up, then shrug and keep going on the same way.

  4. Zoe,

    I find you very offensive. You have a BA in psychology and you think you know everything based on your failure with your step-daughter you make me want to jump over the moon with your ignorance! May be if you had an MD or an MPH behind your name you would have found it easier to have delt with your step-daughter rather you sound like you have went off the deep end. Not all people with bipolar disorder are what you experienced with your step-daughter, that was an isolated incident. Now you view all bipolar people in a bad light? How narrow minded are you? I am bipolar and happen to be functioning just fine I socialize take my meds raise my child whom wich has ADHD, and have a great relationship with my husband. So for you to generalize a whole population of people is mind blowing to me giving your credentials!

  5. Hello, I would like to leave my two(hundred)cents.

    To those who believe the mentally ill are more dangerous–this is hogwash. Because the media play up a few famous cases (like the Columbine or Sandy Hook killers) people believe that mental illness is the cause of all crime in society. FYI: it’s not. The vast majority of crimes are committed by non mentally ill people and sociopaths (there is a definite statistical trend toward sociopathy among prisoners; also a higher incidence of head injury). Sociopathy is not a mental illness, it is a lack of the functioning of the part of the brain that is responsible for guilt, shame, compassion, and empathy. I believe there is always a genetic component, although certainly it can be compounded by a child’s socialization (their home environment and other influences around them). Sometimes this is caused or aggravated by a head injury (see Phineas Gage), other times it is just a genetic mutation, like being born blind. Sociopaths are not mentally ill in the traditional sense; sociopathy is a personality disorder considered to be incurable (although psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists have begun conducting studies about the role of affectionate parenting in preventing full-blown sociopathic tendencies in callous unemotional–also called CU–children). Borderline personality disorder is not incurable–it is now regarded by many as a form of C-PTSD, which may be why it affects so many women and seems to concern relationship/abandonment issues, as women suffer the brunt of sexual abuse in general and relationship battery in this society (why don’t we address the causes of mental illness–causes that are not genetic, causes which stem from the ills of society)? It is patently ridiculous to say “most violence comes from the mentally ill,” unless you think a large majority of people suffer from mental illness (which in fact many psychologists and psychiatrists do think). That would entail a reversal of what is considered “normal,” if mental illness were in the majority. Labels are slippery things. In any case, mentally ill people are usually the victims of crimes, not the perpetrators. I see most of the ranters on here listing specific people/incidences and generalizing about a whole population from there; this is invalid reasoning. What about all the people hurt terribly by the non-mentally ill? They identify something specific about their tormenter and go on other websites to rant. Mentally ill people are usually the victims of crimes, not the perpetrators (mentally ill women are far more likely to be raped–something I know both personally and academically–and the mentally ill are often preyed upon for their social security, disability, etc. etc. There are also such bad social programs that many of the most severely mentally ill end up on the street). In terms of bipolar disorder, people with bipolar disorder (I do not say “bipolar people” as the disorder does not define a person) are often extremely intelligent and usually very creative. There is a high correlation between both major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder and creativity. There are a disproportionate number of artists who suffer from bipolar disorder (maybe where the idea of the mad poet/mercurial artist comes from), in all artistic genres, writing, visual art, music, theater, dance. Also there are many high-functioning people with bipolar disorder who are extremely successful in other fields that require creativity and intelligence (like science). I am actually pretty appalled–though not really–that people can graduate with a degree in psychology and be so narrow-minded, or can get a BA at all with such poor logic, syntax and spelling (referring to Zoe’s comment–I have not read through all of these). Also, to Adey, it just boggles the mind that people can speak from such a position of ignorant privilege. Intrusive thoughts of suicide, inability to move for days, weeks, months, hearing voices, racing and obsessive thoughts of the most horrible things imaginable, paranoia, anxiety–symptoms of depression or mixed mania–this is not “having a shitty day,” excuse-making, or whining. People with bipolar disorder are seven times more likely to kill themselves than people without the disorder, and there’s a reason for that. Your comment is the equivalent of a privileged white man saying “women or (insert minority group) are just whining. They need to pull it together.” Mania is also no joke either. Oh sure, hypomania can be fun and productive and creative and generally harmless–although you might annoy people with your fast talking (then again, you are also more charming than usual)–but full-blown mania, what with the impulsivity, complete lack of self-control about money and sex and inebriants, dangerous risk taking, thoughtlessness (and for many people uncontrollable anger)–this is no joke either. I went deeply in the debt in the grips of a full-blown mania, slept with dozens of people without protection, drank way too much and did way too many drugs, mountain biked sixteen miles into the mountains during a snowstorm (I sprained my ankle on the path on the way down and could have very well frozen to death), was taken advantage of by men I never would have slept with, and was raped a number of times because I went out a lot/drank, was flirtatious, and generally seemed easy pickings (I was also raped while depressed because again, easy pickings–fearful, a shrinking violet, unable to stand up for myself). And I agree with someone else on here who said that they tend to whole up during depression–I do that during depression and mixed mania; I don’t want to subject anybody else to it. I also suffer from PTSD, from the aforementioned incidences of sexual violence and others, and from a long abusive relationship when very young; I don’t really trust people, but I also tend to think that I don’t deserve love, that no one will be able to “put up with me.” The truth is I am no more difficult to put up with than anyone else who has quirks and idiosyncrasies and is in short a human being, and I shouldn’t have to feel that way just because I have a label. But I am probably preaching to choir here. Ignorant people will always be just that–ignorant. Maybe we should consider that a mental illness or an incurable personality disorder like sociopathy.

  6. Hi synyk,
    I can feel your pain as if it were another slap, punch or kick from my childhood.
    I would like to point out that being a victim of abuse is not a reason (or very good one) to condemn yourself to the world of the damned. I would/could never explain why a person (especially a parent) abuses another person. You can, with help, get a better understanding of the emotional and psychological damage caused by your traumatic and abusive past. A good therapist can help you unravel your past and help you through the loss of your childhood and the opportunity to grow up in a loving and caring family (I can only dream of such a childhood environment like that). PTSD is a horrible trap that is often under diagnosed in men who have been the victim of parental abuse. PTSD is not something that you can will away on your own. A common fear of those who have been abused is that they will be unable to break the cycle and may repeat the abuses done to them on their spouse or children.
    I am not sure if you have looked at the PTSD blog on Healthy place (this website) titled “Trauma! A PTSD Blog” by Michele Rosenthal.

    Natasha, not sure if you will see these posts but any other advice on PTSD assistance may be helpful, not just for Synyk but for myself as well.

  7. I am the product of a failed marriage between my supportive, sacrificing father and an overweight, self-righteous, hypocritical, manipulative, sadistic, needy, mentally abusive mother. The key point: The mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My mother and father started having trouble very early on in the relationship. I remember my dad telling me years later that during their worst fights, in my crib I would take to slowly pressing my forehead onto the bars of said crib (apparently a sign of stress). Contrary to the media/legal/public forced narrative on husbands, it was my mother who was the abusive party. She was especially prone to putting out her cigarettes on my dad’s belongings and leaving deep scratch marks in my dad’s arms so that he needed to hide them with long-sleeved shirts. Whenever the cops were called to their home (an occasion he views, as I do, as being the epitome of white trash shame), the cops would look at him in incredulity that any self-respecting person would remain in such an environment. After a while it all came to a head when my father, beset by an enraged wife, finally pushed her off of him violently. As she landed hard on her backside, he realized what her rage and abuse was doing to him. Sidenote: My father comes from a very strong, conservative, ‘gentleman’ upbringing that holds one tenet as sacred: Never ever lay a hand on a woman. I have come to view self defense as the only applicable exception to this rule, but I digress. I merely wanted to explain why this development so disturbed my father.
    Anyway, my father took me along in his truck and we went into hiding in a town called Holland after he arranged for a process server to deliver divorce papers to my mother at her work, where she posed no physical threat. Thus began the long and arduous divorce and subsequent custody battle. During this time my father was able to secure visitation. The court was (and still is to some extent) operating under their mantra that the worst mother is better than the best father. When the custody battle proper began, my mother became unhinged. She had a habit of calling up everyone in my father’s extended family she could reach and harassing them at all odd hours of the night. This became so ugly that my mother’s brothers (according to a family friend) began keeping their guns in their bedrooms for fear of what she might do to them. My maternal grandparents did their best to keep the peace, but in most things sided with my mother. I’ve come to hypothesize that this may have been guilt for turning a blind eye to my mother having been molested by her fathers acquaintance. Whether this story she told is to be believed, I still don’t know. But it would explain how they buried their heads in the sand out of love for their daughter, thus contributing to almost seventeen years of torment, horror and trauma she inflicted on me and everyone around her.
    She eventually lost the custody battle because of two main factors: 1, my father expressly waived any right to collect child support from my mother and constantly used my well-being as grounds for his and my then step mother’s case. She, instead, chose to use overblown emotional platitudes and her own needs. 2, she threatened to kill her court-appointed psychologist. Figuratively, she had gotten just enough rope to hang herself.
    When my mother gained supervised visitation (mostly at my mother’s parent’s house) I would share the same bed with her. This is where she began to whisper little stories and rumors about my father and step mother into my ears. She began to sew doubt and conflict into my mind, using me as a proxy weapon against a man she hated (but kept his name for some reason still unbeknownst to me). It got even worse when she gained unsupervised visitation. Most of her offenses went unknown by my father, step mother and the court because of how fearful and protective I was of her.
    Here is just a list of things she would do.
    Whenever in a psychotic tirade while driving she would sometimes hint that she could crash the car and kill us both. When I was learning how to ride my new bike and bumped into a car, the car’s alarm scared me. She came out of the house, dragged me in to my room and after slamming the door told me that the sirens were the police coming to arrest me. She would sometimes seek reassurance and sympathy from me by begging me to tell her she wasn’t a loser. I would always deny this postulate categorically and (now that I think about it) untruthfully. She said a couple of times that she wished she’d had an abortion instead of having me. Whenever we (I) were suffering through her emotional baggage, and the sun happened to be shining, she would constantly declare that God himself was celebrating our (her) misery. I never felt completely at ease around her, never sure when she would next lash out at me. Oddly enough, she never hit me ever. She simply chose manipulation through toys, video games, fear and guilty to keep me coming back. Once we were asked to draw our family in school. I drew my father’s side on one side of the paper and my mother and I on the other side. I can’t remember whether she tore it up upon seeing only one side of the paper. I do remember that she burst into tears when she realized that we were together on the other side. That brings me to the endless cycle of normal interaction, outburst/abuse/torment, tearful apology and assurances that she didn’t really mean a word of it all. When I was in the turbulent throes of puberty, she decided to project her body image issues onto me by giving me Playboy mags to view. She insisted that she wanted her son to know that not all women were as fat and ugly as she (her words, not mine). So, in order to give her son a more realistic and healthy view of women, she thought pornography would be the surest method available to her.
    During my junior year in high school a misunderstanding over automotive injury insurance sent her on her next screaming bender. She then made subtle threats when I told her I was to be vacationing in Colorado to visit my cousins. She simply said to see was state my dad’s house would be in when we got back. It was then I decided never to visit her again. She took to harassing me by calling the principal to insist that I speak with her and naively drove to the high school expecting to pick me up one day. I’ve seen her maybe once or twice these last seven to eight years. After I cut ties with her, I began turning my sadness into hatred towards her. My dad and stepmother started to become alarmed at the gruesome and brutal things I would say about her and only then began hearing the full story of her abuses from me, since I had stopped being secretive. My then girlfriend became so frightened about my emotional eruptions that she decided to break up with me. To this day, I see this as a favor. I had begun doing the exact same things my mother did to everyone around her. Over the last few years, I’ve done less and less to draw attention to myself. Instead of subjecting others to my depression, I’ve been living a life of quiet isolation as I watch former friends and family achieve and accomplish everything before me. I’ve come to realize that I’ll probably never be able to get married or even have a child. The point is rather moot however, as I doubt that any self respecting woman could love any diseased monster that my mothers pushed out into the world from between her legs. I don’t when I’ll be able to forgive her or myself for the things we, she and I did during those years I spent with her. However, I’m afraid that we won’t be reconciled until six feet of dirt separate the world of decent people and the worm ridden boxes we both belong in.

  8. I’m not one-hundred-percent in agreement with you on this subject. Why?, you might ask. It’s simple. First, all of us don’t hate those with mental illnesses. There are different types of mental illnesses and different degrees of reactions from the mental illnesses (if this makes sense to the reader). The part I have trouble with, though, is when it comes to some people who are “supposedly” “bipolar”. Example: The person who seems completely normal (shows no signs of mental illness) throughout the dating period (can even be several years). Is seemly a loving, caring, considerate and thoughtful person. And later, when that person apparently feels comfort that he/she has the other person in their possession (such as marriage), he/she then suddenly becomes more like a demon than a human being. The first personality seems to suddenly disappear and a new personality appears; one that is evil, conniving, and destructive. The first personality was so nice and for so long, too. Now the second personality is wreaking havoc on those around it—but refuses to accept mental help. Says he/she doesn’t need it.
    Now, what caused this sudden change? Why is this person a totally different person than he/she was at the very beginning? Why is this person only now showing signs of destruction and chaos? Could it be that this person was a clever deceiver, and was able to keep his/her true personality hidden during the dating period? I think so! I believe bipolar is an excuse used by some people who want to abuse others just so they can get away with it by claiming they are mentally ill. I dated a person like this. Then we married. After the marriage (about one year) it was like I awoke one morning to find a demon roaming around in the house. She started abusing her kids. She told ungodly lies on people. At one point, she even told me that she was pregnant. As the months rolled on she didn’t show any signs of being pregnant. I questioned her about it, and finally she told me she had a miscarriage. Well, it took awhile before a family member finally come forward and told me that she had “fixed” herself several years earlier to prevent having anymore kids. It also turned out that she had 2 ex-husbands. I wasn’t her first husband after all. Her 4 kids belonged to different men. I was hurt deeply. Still I tried to get her to get mental help, which she refused over and over again. To make a long story short, she bankrupted my life (put me through a mental hell), bankrupted the lives of her children, and bankrupted all of us financially. Finally I “realized” that I had no future with her, and I packed my bags and left. I filed for divorce. In divorce court she made me look like the villain. Suddenly she was once again that nice person I had first meet several years prior. The court believed her lies and gave her everything she wanted. I was tired and beaten down and I just wanted out of the mess. After the divorce was finalized and she got everything, she told me “You deserved to get hurt.” Later, she bragged that she had been feeding me rat poison during the last few years of our marriage. I knew I was sickly during the time but didn’t know why before then. So as you can understand, I don’t totally agree with this bipolar stuff. Some people do suffer with bipolar. But some people are just plain mean and evil. Thank you!

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