I first wanted to post to the group, the members who I see on here on a regular basis...I posted my first thread about a week or so ago and I just wanted to make sure I did not say anything to offend anyone. I had asked for advice on dealing with my BF who has BP II. Everyone here offers such honesty and insight that I feel I am steps ahead just by being here. I guess I'm feeling a bit lost, a bit sad and I'm not exactly sure why. Up until a couple of weeks ago, my BF and I would have periodic blowouts that would leave me in a pile of tears and shaking because I had just never experienced this kind of argument. Even though I KNOW I need to walk away when he reacts right away to things that normally would not warrant such a response, I get into ridiculous arguments with him and all the "what not to do's" and what I've learned so far goes out the window. I get so aggravated with myself for not being the bigger person sometimes and walking away. I'm wondering from Mudhound and Colefort - if you experience similar situations.
But since I joined here and started journaling, I have seen a shift with us and I'd like to think that these have alot to do with it. My BF confessed something to me last week that I know was very difficult for him and part of it is that he is struggling with so much rage and anger that he has always had. It is bothering him that he can feel it so intensely. Initially I thought this was in his past only and now I'm finding that he struggles with it all the time. I just listened. We had a great relaxing weekend (his boys were visiting their Mom) and got through a few things that in the past would have turned sour. So last night we are at a local pharmacy and in the middle of shopping, he started talking to me more about how he feels (hates that he has to be on meds, the intensity of stress, etc.) and I was so moved that he has finally started talking to me about these things. Talking about BP was off limits so I don't know what has changed but I am so thankful that he is talking about what is bothering him. I know my role is not Miss Fix-it but I just hate how he's so hard on himself for how he feels. I keep telling him that the things that are going on outside of our relationship, all the major stress that is out of his control, are things that would send anyone off. I just want to be the best person for him because he deserves so much. All of you do. I know I don't have much of a point in all this rambling but I just wanted to share. Be well everyone.
P.S. If this posts twice, I apologize - this is the second time this has happened where I've logged in, created a post, and then I am told to log in again where it does not appear that my thread has posted. Sorry!
I can't imagine that you offended anyone. Don't worry about that. You come here and post what ever you want, when ever you want. That's what we're here for.
I can't comment on the simular situations because I'm on the other end of the disease. I'm sure someone will come along that can.
I just wanted to tell you to not be so hard on yourself! You're doing everything right to the best you are able and that's all anyone can ask. You are the best person you can be and that's seems pretty special to me. We aren't easy to stay in a relationship with it take more work than a "normie" relationship. I admire you for doing and learning everything you are right now.
I'm glad he's starting to open up to you. I'm sure you already know this but, he might just give it to you in little pieces as he can. Be patient. He'll get it all out. Part of it is the fact that he's a man and has nothing to do with his bp. Men aren't the best at opening up in the best of circumstances. I think it's wonderful that he trusted you enough to be so open with you. That says a lot about you.
You didn't ramble on. You said what you needed to say and we always appriciate that.
You are doing just fine. I have been on both sides of the equation. I have bipolar II and my first husband has bipolar I. Both sides have their challenges but as long as you both are as honest as possible you can get through this. My first husband and I were married very young and unfortunately had no idea what we were dealing with. But now we're both on medication and are good friends which helps since we have three grown children.
You are way ahead of the game because you are learning about bipolar disorder and there are so many new medications for your boyfriend to try.
I just have to admire anyone who even attempts to deal with us - and you are doing your utmost best to do whatever you can to help your boyfriend.
I'm Type I Bipolar, and my sister has Cyclothymia (which is a much milder form). I can tell you that if you can develop what I like to call "Teflon Skin" you will survive with much less damage to your heart & soul.
Encouraging him to continue with meds and/or finding the right meds is the BEST thing you can do for him. But finding a way to thicken your skin, or to allow words to just slide off rather than stick around long enough to hurt will do wonders for YOU.
By seeking us out you've shown a real effort to understand. No matter what happens with your boyfriend, compassion like yours will continue to be a bit of a beacon to people like us.
Thank you all for your understanding. It does reinforce that I'm on the right track. The biggest thing for me is what I know I need to do - and that's develop thick skin - very difficult for someone like me who's overly sensitive to begin with. After having what seemed to be positive steps in the right direction with him opening up to me over the last week or so, I got home from work Tues. and one small thing turned into the start of a typical argument. As upset as I was and tempted to reason with him, I knew finally to stop it before it got out of hand. This is the type of thing that seems almost impossible to do. In the heat of the moment, we ALL lose some control of what we do or say, don't we? You don't need to have BP to do that. But if I can do it once to save an argument from happening, then I know I can do it again. And months ago, I felt as though I'd never be where I am now (and actually giving advice at times).
Being part of this board gives me hope. Thank you all again.
I'm so glad to hear that your bf is finally opening up to you about how his bp effects him. I would say that is a huge step in the right direction, a step that I am hoping every day for in my relationship.
I wish I had some info to share on what you asked about, but with my girlfriend it is very odd, we have seriously never had a big fight to speak of. She has bitten my head off a couple times, and has seemed on the verge of wanting to rip me a new one, but then she backs down and gets really quiet. Then she won't really speak to me for a couple days until it begins to pass. Even my emails, she will answer with only a word or two. I think/hope it is her way of shielding me from her episodes. Although I know that neither her nor I can control what she is going through, I still feel horrible, like I did something, like she may hate me, like we may never speak again. I blame myself a lot. So in that way, I react irrationally to things that I know I should not. I know better, but it doesn't stop me from blaming myself and crying a lot. That being said, I have a feeling it would be a million times worse if I didn't know better. Its kind of similar but not the same. Sorry, I tried You are human, you can't expect yourself to be perfect. It sounds like you are doing the best that you can, and your best sounds like it is a hell of a lot better than most people give most any relationship these days. I will give you the advice that everyone gives me but that I still end up inadvertantly ignoring and which I'm sure you will too. Don't blame yourself so much You sound like a great person with a lot of patience and love for your bf. He is very lucky.
You know, you were saying that you and your GF have never gotten into a serious argument but, rather, she gets real quiet. I'm thinking that everyone (w/BP or not) reacts differently when confronted with a potential argumentative situation. My BF has a certain rage or quick temper (and I can be quick tempered as well so that's what I have to watch so as not to make things worse) but your GF more or less retreats instead. I think although their reactions are different, it is still a reaction or result of being triggered.
It's easy to feel guilty or take blame yet we are only human and we cannot take all of it or it will wear us down. Instead, we need to focus our attention more on the learning, and if your GF or my BF got triggered, it's important to stop RIGHT THERE, be in the moment, and examine what happened to lead up to that moment. The reaction may seem irrational to you or me but it is very rational to them and at that time, reasoning is the last thing to try to do. TRUST ME, this is the biggest hurdle for me but I promise you, it gets better.
The norm after an argument for my BF and I would be that he did nothing wrong, he would say hurtful things, and it would take me quite a while to get over it and recompose myself (usually from crying my eyes out). Today something happened that caught me way off guard because we've had some fantastic last few days, his kids are visiting their Mom (so no stress) and wham a "where did this come from." I found myself getting a bit tense and reacting but for one of the first times I stopped and told him we weren't going to talk about it any more. Now, usually I"M the one who pushes, and keeps trying to talk it out, making things worse. Incredibly, because I didn't this time, he tried to continue the "discussion". Since I could tell he was still in an agitated mood, I wouldn't give in and not longer after that, he gave me a big hug, squeezed my hand, and told me that "someday he'd get it." Of course I corrected him and told him that WE would get it but my point is, the end result was sooooooo different from any other time.
I hope this helps. And if anything I've said above needs to be corrected by anyone because my assumptions are wrong, by all means constructive criticism please!