My older sister, a troubled person, who seems to have to some mental issues, but won't seek help, has thrown my bp up to me. This happened while she was upset about the possibility of losing her kids to child services because her husband is being investigated by a federal marshall. She has always been paranoid, and truly, I wouldn't be surprised if she was schizo-affective and bp. She has most of symptoms. Anyway, foolishly, I had shared with her that I was bp, and during this converation she got all worked up (about losing her kids [paranoia/good imagination at work here]) and I said, "If for some reason they were taken out of your home, they would be placed with relatives, like me." She reponded, "Great, a bipolar aunt and her husband who doesn't like me!" I was so hurt! The whole reason I had called her was to give her emotional support during this truly awful time. (Her husband is being accused of stealing at work, in a state job. This is totally unlike him, and we all think he's being scape-goated for some reason.)
I emailed her today, explaining that I am a good mother. Many people have told me this, including my kids' pediatrician. I told her how hurt I was. She will probably respond by freezing me out for a few weeks/months. This is her MO when someone calls her on unkind/bad behavior.
I was so stupid to tell her I was bp. Partly it was to explain why I was so up-front with her recently, when I usually handle her with kid gloves. But the other reason was to alert her that not only Grandma, and Aunt, but now Sister has a mental illness - she might too. Her paranoia and fears keep her from getting help. She thinks that taking meds will cause her to become suicidal. So, I need to just get over it. She won't apologize - "she's rarely wrong."
Once, she accused me of causing her miscarriage, because I wouldn't come to a party (which she had cruelly rejected my other sister from). And because I wasn't coming, my kids weren't coming, and that meant they wouldn't be there to play with her then preschooler. "How am I gonna find more kids to truck in?!" she screamed at me. I stood my ground, in siding with the rejected sister (who didn't have it coming), and she got furious. A week later she miscarried. I found out years later that she held me accountable for upsetting her and therefore causing the miscarriage. Getting an apology out of her was like removing a bone from the mouth of a pitbull. It took weeks of angry, defensive, then clarifying emails. (She wouldn't rationally listen to me over the phone.) Afterwards, we avoided each other for 6 months.
Now I fear she will spill my secret, even accidentally. She is one of the most self-involved people I know. She's very indicreet at social events. I dread the next one....
Bipolar II, dx in 2008 in my late 30's
ativan as needed
Unfortunately this is kdin of like one of those times when your kids puts his hand down smack in the middle of the toothpaste tube, all the sticky stuff squirts out, you wanna put it back in, but you can't....so you wash it down the drain. From the way your sister sounds, I think you're going to just have to wash this down the drrain for now and not worry about it unless it happens. Who knows, she may be wrapped up in her own "embarrassing" moments right now that she won't have time to focus on what you think is yours. And so what, what if she does say something? Like you said, your a good perosn, your a good mom, do what people think really matter to you that much? Is it going to change how you live your life or treat other people including your family? No, I doubt it. All you can do it just keep being the person that you are and hope that your sister will not be so cruel as to divulge this personal piece of information. You never know she may not want people to know that she's tied to someone with BP, that would solve all the problems.
I'm not trying to make light of your situation, but you can't spend today worrying about tomorrow's trouble's because it will drive you nuts, create more stress, and that's one thing we BP'ers don't need, to add stress to our alrady delicately balanced systems. If your sister does shoot her mouth off just be prepared with an answer like, yes, I do have BiPolar but it's a personal matter that does not affect (fill in the blank) and I'd rather not discuss it with you. You might also want to discuss this matter with your tdoc and get his take on it.
As difficult as it is, you can't let the opinions of others bother you.
I had a hard time accepting this after one of my sisters denied the fact that I have bipolar. She told me things like, "I don't think you have bipolar" and "I know people who have bipolar and you handle your problems much better than they do."
She eventually came around after being on the receiving end of my rapid cycling and mania, so now she knows I'm bipolar.
However, even if she continued to be in denial, I can't let that bother me.
I'll never be able to change her mind and she will continue thinking whatever she wants regardless.
If your sister blurts out the fact that you're bipolar and another person mentions this to you, smile and say, "My health issues are something I'd rather not discuss. I'd appreciate it if we could talk about something else, okay?"
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN
Last edited by dreams in neon; 05-01-2009 at 08:16 AM.
I have two sisters who are very mean to me. After decades of abuse, I finally realized that just because we are related doesn't mean that they are allowed to treat me worse than I would allow a stranger. I realized that my mental and physical health and that of my child's came first and to do so meant to shut them out completely of our lives. It wasn't something I wanted to do. It is not something I am "proud of" in that we couldn't work things out, but some people are poison. I refuse to drink out of the poisoned jug anymore just because we share parents.
The drama is gone now and I have one less thing to worry about. My parents are upset, to say the least, but they have finally accepted it.
Perhaps it is time for you to "cut the poisoned cord" and worry about what matters-your mental and physical health. You obviously can't reason with her and it sounds like she isn't a very nice person anyway.
The down side is that I miss out on my niece and nephew's upbringing but my sister wouldn't allow me to take them anyway, so it really was her deal.
If you don't want to cut the cord, see if she will go to therapy with you. Or even without you!
I told one of my sisters that until she got therapy, I wouldn't be talking to her anymore.
I hope this is helpful.
My therapist once told me that at some point you have to decide what people are healthy for you to be around and have contact with at the present time in your life and mental health, just because they are family doesn't mean you are required to do so. Maybe you need to take a "mental holiday" from your sister for a bit. Just a thought.
I'm so sorry that your sister is treating you like this. To be betrayed by your family feels so unnatural, and is especially painful. My heart goes out to you. I sincerely hope that her betrayal of your feelings doesn't effect you from connecting with others and letting them into your world, bipolar and all. Your sister sounds like she is suffering a lot at the moment too. I wish she could treat you with the compassion you deserve, but maybe she just isn't able to at this time. I know that doesn't help you.....but know that her words and actions are coming from her own pain, and have very little to do with you.