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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Tracy, N. (2011, July 7). I Hate the Mentally Ill - My Ex was Bipolar and She was Evil, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, October 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/07/i-hate-the-mentally-ill-my-ex-was-bipolar-and-she-was-evil
Author: Natasha Tracy
"There is generally one reason why people hate those with a mental illness: they have had bad experiences with them in the past"
I have seen non-MI people treat others badly - and most of the time, it isn't due to a mental illness. It usually is because one person didn't like the way someone looked, didn't like what they believed in, petty politics, boredom and sometimes they haven't even a clue.
In short, hate is everywhere, and there are some people who are so inclined to be this way for no good reason at all (see above).
Read the article carefully silly. She is not calling people whiny childish monsters - she is actually defending against people who might say that.
Hey there! I'm not a whiny childish selfish monster! If anyone your a monster for saying such a mean thing. Bipolar people can't help the way they r if just happens, sometimes I get mad but it doesn't make me a monster why all act mad or whiny or even childish sometimes so shut your mouth up about it bipolar r no different that u! /:(
I don't know what happened in your relationship and I'm in no way judging you on whatever choice you make in regards to it. Of course if she refuses to go back on her meds, you have the right to do what you feel is best. That is your business.
I did take offense in the words you used because they are not accurate descriptions of bipolar, leading to more misconceptions from the public, and they are essentially hurtful at their core. However, it appears it wasn't intentional. I appreciate the apology and clarification. I am also sorry to hear of the hardship between the two of you.
However, it is hard for relatives/loved ones to understand the illness because of a number of things: the emotions the situation conjures up, and the inability to separate philosophical/religious/generally accepted beliefs from the illness itself.
Here's a good article about stigma and family, which does a decent job in explaining why this occurs. Not saying that you're stigmatizing your ex - just including it because I do think it sometimes happens unintentionally.
I understand that lots of destructive things happen because of the disorder - and certainly there is no denying that some of her behaviors were hurtful - but what Sarah and myself want to point out is that it isn't one-sided in how the situation escalates, and the eventual outcome. How you deal with it and what you say, and the intention behind the words also affects the outcome.
Good luck to you both as well.
I understand all about it. I've read hundreds upon hundreds on people stories. People with bipolar and the family or the spouses...
I have no rage, it's very hard though and I kept my story very short. We had a great relationship overall, problems there and there but overall it was a solid relationship. She went off meds 4 1/2 into our relationship and was very worried how she might change and what can happen to "Us" in the end. And, she did change like a light switch.
She still loves me and contacts me every few days. But, I also know that she's not stable and doesn't make sense right now. Maybe one day...
I do pray for her everyday, I waited, and was understanding more then anyone. Sorry if I offended you, maybe I did not use the right wording, but that's how I expressed them.
Sarah... And I still love my ex. It's really hurtful though but I know that's she's just not ok right now.
@john. I don't believe you do have complete understanding of the situation. You say you've known this person for five years, yet you're still holding her in that manic place - by using phrases like "mentally dead", "emotionless", "I know in the end, she’s just not stable", "what people don’t understand, they are sick, their brain is not right when they are manic". These are not phrases you use if you have a good understanding. There is no compassion here at all and actually has a hint of rage in it.
I also have a problem with this: "...Unfortunately the ones hurting are the ones that look for answers and the sick ones usually don’t care" umm, how the hell do you know how people feel? The sick ones may not even realize that they are symptomatic. In the end, EVERYONE that I have talked to are very pained by the illness, are deeply remorseful, and suffer greatly.
You must have put a significant amount of expectation in this relationship. So much so that when the tough got really tough, your relationship just couldn't hold up, but fell apart instead. You have the right to be hurt and angry, but it isn't cool to frame an illness within said hurt/anger, and to use negative terms cloaked in an air of understanding to talk about it.
Some ugly stories are coming out here of terribly bad behaviour, and they're all one sided. The people writing them must have been complete angels, mustn't they?
If it were me in that position, I would at least try to inform myself of the facts. From reliable sources. Nobody who has posted some bipolar horror story here really knows how it feels, what it's like, to have bipolar.
Bipolar disorder is something people can't help.
Your attitude is something you can change.
Thank God for my wonderful husband. It's not easy for him, having a bipolar wife, but he loves me, so he learns to love the bipolar disorder.
I went out with a bipolar girl for 5 years. She was a great person and a sweet soul, but at times can explode for the silliest things ever. We made it for 5 years, but I never knew she had bipolar until our 4 1/2 year when she told me she was going off meds... I laughed and said... As long you don't kill me we will be ok... Boy did she kill me, mentally and physically. 3 months down the line, something triggered her manic phase... She was strange, weird, dressed differently, talked differently was emotionless towards me... She was gone, like I was nothing for 5 years, yet, we didn't have a fight in over 1 1/2 years, were best friends, companions and lovers... From what I know, she went with other guys right away, left her parents house, moved in some guys house, got into 2 car accidents, went clubbing, bars, sex, drugs, alcohol, these are things she would normally never want to do. The girl I knew for 5 years was seriously dead mentally. She texts me till this day with I love you's and miss you's. But, I know in the end, she's just not stable, and that's what people don't understand, they are sick, their brain is not right when they are manic.
It's almost like being high x10, or drunk x100 without the side effects. I say to people educate yourselves before judging. Unfortunately the ones hurting are the ones that look for answers and they sick ones usually don't care. The internet is a great place to learn, we did not have in back in the day, so it was easy to call people crazy and trow them in a cell.
One year later, I'm still in point A... So my suggestion for people is to love them, and move on, and realize they are the sick ones and will suffer their whole lives. I believe I'm one of the most understanding people in the world, I forgive her, but I'll never forget what she as done. In the end, she gave up on me, on her and on us by going off meds and therapy.
I've cried enough, I've suffered enough, I'm am free but she will always suffer in the end, so I forgive her. God Bless to all. Mental Illness is nasty and not only destroys you... But everyone around you, that's why it's also the number 1 cause of suicide. That said... If they don't take care of themselves, then it's their problem in the end and you need to move on.
There's a song by some group (Plain White Tees?) that goes, "hate is a strong word. But I really, really, REALLY don't like you!" Now, i am keenly aware of the widespread hate and fear of the insane or otherwise dysfunctional in society. I am bipolar and have become a recluse out of shame because i cannot cope with what people might say or think of me if they found out. My hope is to find some way of working from home i.e. selling items on ebay or etsy, so that i don't have to get up and go out in public and face the threat of slings and arrows from an employer or coworkers. If someone ever found out i was mad or insane, the minute they did, i'm sure the rush of photographs would flash through their mind in association with "those like me." Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Jared Loughner -- and you know, i often put myself in their position and think that maybe i would react the same way, thinking wow, what if such-and-such person shoots up the place?
I've even stopped referring to "myself" as "someone who has" manic depressive disorder and started calling myself "something that is" broken or diseased. I know in my heart that i would never harm another person, and when i do get angry, it's usually in defense of someone ELSE who is being royally screwed by "the system" or even another person who's causing THEM pain or bother. Rarely if ever do I stand up for "myself" because I've already given up on referring to "my-self" and using "person first language" that i don't feel i deserve. (As you can see, i don't even capitalize the pronoun because one wouldn't capitalize the name of a thing. The only time i do is at the beginning of a sentence.) I lament the fact that there are no bell towers anymore where i can hide and claim "sanctuary" like the outcast hunchback of Hugo's famous novel. I'm a leper and i know it. In many ways the illness itself is not as bad as the way people would react to it. And for that reason i know very well that it's up to me to stay out of everyone's way.
I feel so bad for you. You must get out of this situation, you, your daughter and your dog do not deserve this. Why are you staying? He is not going to get better and may end up hurting you more or worse. You are not helping him, maybe he will get help if you leave. Life will be better for you when you leave, it surely can get worse. Maybe a safe house is the first move so you can get some counselling and help for you and your daughter. There are places that foster animals for the short-term if you need it. Good luck and God bless you.
@fifi. I believe you are right - your partner does not sound like he is depressed or bipolar. If he is depressed, he simply wouldn't have the energy to even deal with you. If, indeed, the pdocs are correct and he might be suffering from bipolar, the only thing I can think of is perhaps the anti-Ds he is on is worsening his condition. Anti-Ds can be really bad without a stabilizer, and even worse if you throw alcohol into the mix. However, once he is stabilized, his anger issues will be managable.
How will you know if he is ill or just evil? Are the behaviors you are describing his "normal" baseline, or are they different from how he usually is? I am not a pdoc, but if what you are describing is his normal, I would venture to guess his diagnosis is incorrect. The fact that he is isolating you and preventing you from working is such a classic profile for someone who commits domestic violence - and this is an entirely different thing all together. The vast majority of people with mental health problems DO NOT abuse other people. If the abuse is random and unpredictable, and/or involves strangers as well as people they know (eg in public and in the workplace), then mental illness may be a possibility. But you mentioned his anger is more directed towards you, and it appears to be worsening so it might be safe to say it is something else entirely.
Regardless, you have a child, dog and yourself to think about. Your child should definitely not be subject to any abusive behavior, and should be protected from him. Dogs are generally vulnerable as well, and deserving of a better life, and YOU deserve something way better, despite his mental health status.
I would suggest checking out a domestic violence website or calling a DV hotline as it might be more helpful in your case.
Such a tough situation and my heart goes out to you.
I happened on this site when i googled mental or evil? IDK which my partner of 5 years is anymore. He says he is ill but he acts like a psycho. he is on meds for depression/bipolar but it is easy for anti socials to be misdiagnosed with bipolar and as the meds seem to make him worse while he continues to drink and do weed on top of his anti-psychotics and anti-D's. He shouts, swears at me, smashes things, threatens me, hits me and i do not deserve this. i was married for ten years and my husband never acted like this. we grew apart and split on good terms. my current partner is like a seething mass of rage and hate and he directs it all at full force towards me. How do i help him? how do stay safe?? I think that the real problem is his sh*tty, selfish attitude and a lack of anger management skills. He has, i feel, conned me into staying with him saying he is ill and how i should look after him when all i see is agression and hateful and violent behaviour towards me, my daughter and the dog. i look after him best i can but nothing i do is enough or deserves a thank you. it is taking it's toll on me that i am treated to nothing but hate, hate and more hate from him when i have done NOTHING to deserve it. i can't afford to leave (he spent my savings before becoming a full blown monster) and he stops me from being able to see anyone and work. The police told me to keep my phone on my person at all times and consider me high risk. He is nice to everyone outside the house, the gym, work, social engagements (hahaha i wish i had energy to work out and keep fit like i used to but i'm now too ill from constant stress and abuse from this "ill" person hahahha) but at home he is a MONSTER. A street angel and home devil as my mum puts it. i wake up with my stomach in painful knots every morning and i cry and pray for an easy day but he never cares...sometimes he is evil to me before i open my eyes and lift my head from my usually tear stained pillow. i NOW do not believe he is ill...his doctors do but i don't. i believe he is SICK yes but not with anything curable or manageable. i believe he is just selfish and evil. He lies constantly and blames me for his illness and all his problems...never blames his nasty dad who abandoned the family when he was little oh no of course EVERYTHING IS MY FAULT. he uses words to hurt me, actions to hurt me and he makes me feel sometimes that i would be better off dead. Because of this maybe i unfairly hate mental people but it is hard not to when they verbally, emotionally, physically and financially abuse me. Before i met him i was a mental health worker in a hostel for men with drug, alcohol and mental problems...i almost had my head split open by a resident who threw a sauce bottle at me FOR NO REASON other than a laugh. i left soon after. i reckon more people are made ill by so called bipolar people than are actually ill with it themselves. i have been made to feel very ill but i refuse to take happy pills as they fry your brain and how is a pill going to stop him abusing me anyway?...he is the problem...not me. I have tried being patient to the point of bending backwards to no avail...his own mother is nervous around him...my daughter hates him, the dog shakes...I SHAKE...if this is how a "mentally ill" person thinks it is ok to treat people then yeah ...i hate them. I FUCKING HATE THEM. How can you nurse or take care of someone who makes you fear for your life every day? How does one help these awful buggers?? i would love to know because it is going to be a while before i can escape this evil ape. My sympathy for him is all used up...my sympathy lies with me these days and if it did't i would be dead now. Genuinely ill people are grateful for sympathy and support. my fella if indeed he is ill behaves like a rabid dog that needs putting down before he kills me. if this is how all bipolar people behave then FUCK 'EM...evil the lot of 'em. Me and my family deserve better.
I love people like you who enable bipolar misfits. My mother was bipolar or even worse and the neighbors as well as relatives pooh poohed her illness. She did everything she could to destroy me while I was growing up and guess what? She knew EXACTLY what she was doing. But the reason she had so much power was because of the people like you who enabled her. You're as disgusting with your naivete as she ever was with her evil sickness. Yes I agree with people who call it an evil disease because it is.
I want to suggest that just as I suggested to another person here, I don't think that this woman has bipolar disorder or at least that is not her biggest problem anyway. She sounds like a sociopath to me, since she does not seem to have a conscience. A sociopath is not mentally ill. It is a personality disorder. It may be that she has been misdiagnosed. I will say this very clearly, having worked as a peer supporter in the mental health field for 7 years, and also being friends with these people, I have never seen the kind of behavior you and others describe. I am not a professional of course, but this is just my own experience. Some doctors are known to latch on to a diagnosis and prescribe drugs (which cannot treat a personality disorder) without a proper evaluation. Part of this is also due to the fact that the patient may not always be completely truthful. After reading some of these stories I have to wonder if these people actually have bipolar disorder. It sure makes the rest of us "loons" look bad! lol
Bottom line is that the people that I know who have this illness are kind and loving. Nothing like you describe.
You are exactly right when it comes to mental illness and violence. There is a new study out that says that among those who have bipolar disorder and have commited violent acts that they were also taking illegal drugs and/or drinking. Since this combo can cause crazy behavior in even "normal" people it stands to reason that if you do this and also combine these with meds that this could very well send someone who has a mental illness over the edge.
However like you say the majority of violent crimes are commited by sane people, I feel much safer about being around someone with bipolar or schizophrenia than gang-bangers! In fact I worked as a peer-supporter for a mental health organization for 7 years and I never encountered anyone who was violent. Once a guy tried to grope me but guess what? He was drunk! Fortunately he was not violent and he was escorted out by staff. My point is that drugs and alcohol seem to be more likely to result in violent behavior than just plain mental illness.
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!
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!
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.
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!
I mean hole up :)
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.
I don't have any PTSD resources in my back pocket except for those hosted here (many of which I have written).
Check out these articles:
Hope that helps.
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.
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.
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!
Also, love the red hair Natasha - I have pink hair, sometimes other colors, most of the time pink. =)
I have always been called "a doormat", because I am always there for my friends and can not say no.
I was diagnosed with BP II earlier this year, and it came as a shock. I know I had ups and downs (who doesn't) but in hindsight... I can see it. The crazy over-productivity, signing up to volunteer for a lot of things, not sleeping, and then came something and I *crashed*. I did have extreme problems with depression - that I knew, and that is what raised the alarm and had my boyfriend push me into a therapist's office.
When I couldn't get out of bed, it was so painful. It is very true that to be in that state of mind is very painful, and the feeling is not describable - and I do not put upon others but rather hibernate and hide. In a sense, this could be considered selfish because I am not there for people 100% of the time - and it bugged me. It bugs me more that I scoured the internet for all the symptoms/stories of people who live with BPD have - and wow, I was not aware of the stigma.
People like Zoe who wrote that piece above, have made me realize that some people really can't see outside of their own world and needs. Just as her stepdaughter can use an illness as a crutch (or maybe she really just needs help, you know?) Zoe is just as able to use her phobia and bad experiences as a crutch and excuse to dump her attempts at trying to understand that one does not represent a whole.
I guess I will not be so open in the future with what I have - because only a few people before have ever been able (out of hundreds of people) to suggest I might have some sort of mood disorder.
Closing the search bar on bipolar tonight, getting on with the rest of my life because that is another thing - we are not all consumed by being bipolar and dump our baggage and use that as an excuse.
I realize that this is an old thread but I have to say that it is a complete lie that people with mental illnesses are more likely to be violent than the general population. When the media throws around the term "psychotic" they misuse the term to mean violent. The term only refers to a state of delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. None of those symptoms necessarily leads to violence.
Most of the people who are labeled "psychotic killers" are actually completely sane. They are are sociopaths, meaning that they do not have a conscience. Jeffrey Dahmer is an example. He knew what he was doing was wrong on an intellectual level, he just didn't care.
As far as the haters here, there are plenty of "normals" who wrecke havoc in people's lives too. I know a "normal" who thinks it is ok to financially drain an old man of limited means by refusing to support his family. He thinks it is his father-in-laws job to support them. He has held the whole family hostage because my dad does not want to hurt his disabled daughter by cutting off the money. This at the expense of my dad's health and financial well-being. There are selfish and destructive people everywhere, and many don't even have the excuse of having a mental illness.
Some of you seem to be suffering from mental illnesses yourself. If you have that much hate in your heart, get help instead of dumping on people you don't even know.
as far as i'm concerned, i hate sociopaths so much that i want them gone from existence forever.
Why are you being politically correct? A lot of those with bipolar DO tend to get in trouble with the law and in general- that is the exact reason why they need to take responsibility in maintaining their illness in the same way that someone with anger issues need to take responsibility. That's life! You aren't special. The world doesn't revolve around you or your mental illness. Everyone is going through something. People have a right to be frustrated with you especially if your behavior does affect them negatively. They have the right to move away as far as possible from you for their own sanity.
We don't need that kind of violent imagery here please. You can make your point without using that kind of language.
Lets see who was hurt, who are the victims
-my two kids
- brother in laws family ( 5)
- father in law
- additional aqua fence's marriage (4)
That is 14 to 1 so far & the number keeps growing. BP with associated BPD is an intolerable combination. The best advice in retrospect would have been to gather all the victims [moderated]
The one experience I have of bipolar is one of my best friends. I find that with them the condition is an excuse for not dealing with the crap everybody has to deal with every day. Big new, life can be shitty. We still get up, have a coffee and have a shitty day. I don't say all bipolar people are selfish. Many people are selfish. Bipolar just makes it significantly more likely that they refuse to get their shit together and when asked, refuse to be there for other people. Is that reasoned enough?
I would hazard a guess that your step-daughter either had a co-morbid personality disorder, or was the spawn of satan himself. I am partial to the former of the two possibilities. The extreme behaviours you describe would not usually be the exclusive domain of your regular, garden-variety Bipolar individual.
Psychosis is not only found in Schizophrenic individuals. The poor Schizophrenic patients get a bum rap sometimes, drawing a great deal of paranoid interest, although, being a benign Bipolar, I am grateful for the Schizo's (affectionate term), because they allow me to quietly slip beneath the radar of those, (often well educated individuals), who are mis-informed and ignorant about mental illness.
I hope you find some sense of peace in your life, and that you consider the possibility of some therapy, if only to assist you in addressing the trauma you experienced at age 16 which obviously had a profound effect on you. You may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is considered to be a mental illness. I suspect though, that you would not consider yourself to be a danger to society?
Maybe you should find a different job...
Look it can be hard for families. Very very hard. But.. You blame your step-daughter because your marriage didn't work out. Now you hate all mentally ill people. And you say you have psychology training.
When I was young one magpie (a bird territorial at breeding time, but harmless the rest of the year) turned rogue and decided it liked to attack people. Now I am afraid of all magpies. It is called a phobia, and there is treatment for that. You have a bad experience with a mentally ill person, and now you are afraid of all of them. I can understand where that comes from, but can't you see how it is warping your perspective?
Your condescending tone tells me you believe he has no right to blame his daughter. Meaning, you also believe that the behavior of one family member has no affect whatsoever on other family members or family relationships or marriages.
Yes, he blames his daughter... she is the one to blame... why is this impossible? People with bipolar also tend to blame everyone else.
And about your magpie example. One time a ferral cat suddenly attacked me. From then on I feared all cats. Not to a point of anxiety, I just avoid them and don't touch them. I can live happily without them just as this next guy who can live happily without his daughter's behavior... or to put gently, he can live happily away from the mentally ill. That's not unreasonable, as he isn't hurting anyone, and no, you can't force anyone to give a hoot about you especially when they've already witnessed a form of mental illness.
So what if he doesn't care much for the mentally ill? We aren't going to put them in his face and we can't. That would be like demanding you care about what he went through with his daughter (which even you can't do).
My step daughter is bipolar and before I met her and became a co-parent I was a nanny and took care of lots of kids. She is by far the most unpleasant, selflish, manipulative, weird, scary, shut down person. I actually believe she may be schizophrenic because she ends up having psychotic episodes on a regular basis. She will not comply to any treatment, refuses therapy, has a grandiose sense of entitlement and after 10 years of trying to be the good co-parent and save her from herself, I just give up. It has ruined my mariage, and the possibility of a normal life. I have given up on liking her, I am now quite scared of mental illness as I see it in her, I do believe mental illness is the reason most people are violent and kill other people and that society is trying to be politically correct by claiming that mental illness should be treated as another illness and even protecting severely mentally ill people from disclosure on the job or housing situations. HELLO she has caused major drama and destruction in every housing/school and work situation she entered.. Since it involves the brain and behavior and people with mental illness show little responsibility for their crazy behaviors or remorse or change, they are not pleasant people to deal with. I do believe some are less ill than others and with a lot of therapy/medication/support/self awareness can be helped, but unfortunately my experience has shown me there are many bad cases. I also was a volunteer coordinator and mostly had bipolar people on disability, well meaning and nice at first, and they always ended up being utterly manipulative, dishonest and sneaky. So to me an educated person with a BA in psychology mental illness is not pretty and it does make people quite unpleasant, just like drug addiction makes people very unpleasant and untrustworthy. Saying that it is not so is just day dreaming and political correctness. Oh yes when I was 16 a mentally ill man tried to kill me when I would not marry him after the third date. I do agree some people have a less severe cases and function well and should be treated with respect, but others are a real drain on families and society. I miss the days of having institutions to keep people who cannot function in society safe from themselves and others. Short of being killed you can barely 5150 someone who is a danger to you...the burden of proof is on you while advocates try to keep them free so they can create more chaos. Sorry, to those of you who have a mental illness and are doing well, I know it cannot be easy and I hope that there are happy outcomes. Sometimes I would like compassion for the family members who feel helpless and are left to clean up the mess.
I have completely felt like you at one point or another and I don’t lame you for aaying any of this. People who have never been abused [moderated] will never understand. And if someone is actually mentally ill then i think it’s irresponsible of them to raise children without knowing theyre stable. Some of these mentally ill women don’t get diagnosed and don’t let the fathers have custody of their kids and insist on raising the poor kids, subjecting them to their roller coaster abuse. I had an abusive depressive parent who always threatened my father with taking us away and then would tell us if we ever chose our dad over her she’d make us regret it. She worked inthe court system so she said she knew her way around enough to make it happen and since my dad was just a lay man with an entry level job he took her word for it. I’ve worjed with kids that I see in similar situations. If someone is mentally ill please be responsible and let grandparents or the stable parenr have custody. Don’t ruin your children’s mental stability [moderated]
You put in words what I have felt for years living with someone with bipolar. There comes a point where we say, we can only "understand" and deal so much.
If someone with mental illness continues to act the way they do it's not the automatic job of their loved ones to tend to it at the expense of their own lives and sanity.
If constant bad behavior is the result of zero control from the person with bipolar, would it be safe to say then that we should still try our best to handle the psycopath or malignant narcissist in our lives?
I mean, psychopaths can't help themselves right? While a psycopath may have a high risk of hurting you physically or even killing you, someone with severe bipolar disorder can also hurt you in other less obvious ways (which makes it easier for pc society to believe purely compassion and political correctness is the answer).
Regular verbal and emotional abuse from someone with bipolar CAN have a toll on your overall health. Then CAN also actually hurt you physically or kill you.
So who are we kidding. You have a disability, but unlike cancer or heart disease your disability presents a risk of hurting others around you.
This means those with severe cases of bipolar need to stop having high expectations from their family, friends or colleagues. No one is obligated to tend to you, or to "forgive" you, or to "understand" you. You can make them aware of it, but it's their choice. This applies to everyone... we can't demand anyone to understand or care for us unless we are children.
Accepting that you can be a danger is the first step to really getting help and mending your relationships (if you even want them).
But please, if you know you have a bad case of bipolar and you've hurt people you supposedly care about for such a long time, do yourself and everyone else around you a favor and get help from a distance. That's not necessarily "isolating" yourself that is a form of maintaining your condition.
If you need your family or friends then treat them with dignity and respect. If you can't, it's your responsibility to find ways and get help where there is no emotional attachment or baggage (like a psychologist, therapist, group therapy etc).
I am bipolar and I admit freely to making mistakes and hurting people most times i was off my meds when this happened. But I took responsibility for my actions. I didnot blame my diagnosis. Hurting peple is not just for bipolars it is a human condition. My advice for anyone who has been hurt by a mentally ill person to do what we akll have to do learn from the experience and move on try to forgive life is short and I promise you your ex suffers plenty enough as it is.
they don't deserve forgiveness. what they deserve is retaliation. therefore, i refuse your advice. from my experience, i learned that forgivin' abusers encourages hem to continue antagonizing you.
"Your ex suffers plenty enough as it is."
I'm sorry but why are you telling this? Both suffer. Everyone suffers when there is someone with bipolar in the picture.
This whole thing about everyone else being told to "just deal with it" is exactly what people with bipolar are constantly complaining about (how everyone tells them to just deal with it) yet at the same time they expect everyone else to "just deal" with their bipolar rage etc.
Sorry but I think people with bipolar have the cognitive ability to actually recognize this... they just formed this habit of thinking it's them vs. the world. Or that everything revolves around them and their condition, yet they don't want to label themselves as "bipolar" as they "aren't their disease."
If you aren't your disease then why are you acting like it is? Pretending like you have zero control over your life and expecting everyone to just forgive you and "move on"? Move on with what? Walking on eggshells around you 24/7 trying not to "give" you another trigger?
Unless one can just leave someone with bipolar that is not a reasonable expectation at all. I say caretakers of those with bipolar don't need that kind of suggestion. Maybe those with bipolar need to try at least a day taking care of someone who is just as difficult to handle... AND try to "forgive" them when worse comes to worse.
"That’s an honest response. I have an exspouse that was initially diagnosed as bipolar. After years of cycling he was no longer the person I married and I divorced him for the safety of myself and children at the time. "
You're right, it is completely honest. The part that I have an issue with is generalizing it to an entire population. Any of use can have all manner of feelings towards another _individual_ and yes, _their_ bipolar might have done awful things, but I'm not them.
It's good that after the breakup you have remained on good terms. That would be a nice gift for everyone.
That's an honest response. I have an exspouse that was initially diagnosed as
bipolar. After years of cycling he was no longer the person I married and I divorced him for the safety of myself and children at the time. He needed the space to take care of his illness and we needed to go on with our lives. All of us are happier and have managed to stay on caring terms. Go on with your life, heal your heart and be blessed.
I think health professionals should take responsibility here, at least concerning some of the psychiatric labels. Take for example psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen. He says people who have received a borderline diagnosis are evil.
Well thank-you so much. If I can kick stigma in the teeth once in a while, I'm a happy writer.
One of the best antistigma posts I've ever read, and I've followed a *lot* of stigma campaigns. Once again, I'm grateful you exist, and write so well. Thank you!
Re-thinking is not a bad thing. It's much better than not thinking any day.
Good article. It actually made me think about how I keep certain personality types at an arms length due to being burned. Looks like I need to change my paradigm. Thank you!