Tiger ~ I have followed your posts for sometime and although there are no clear answers to your questions some understanding of the Bipolar mind should help you realize that your friend's behavior is not necessarily about you but more about what she is internalizing. Sometimes with all that turmoil going on the ones who are closest to the person are the ones who are pushed away, lashed out at, or even abandoned.
It is not an uncommon occurrence that when somebody is hypo(manic) that they want to just run away....many people here who are Bipolar make mention of wanting to just run away and go someplace else leaving families and loved ones behind. I think that what they are experiencing is their mind out of control. There is alot of poor judgement and impulsiveness involved. I recall your mentioning that your friend was sleeping around and hypersexuality is a big part of mania. When somebody is in this state there really is no logic and rationality involved and you cannot even try to make sense of what is going on with them or change what they want to do....trying to make sense out of their behavior is a big waste of time and painful for loved ones. Until they get on the right meds to curb this mania and behavior it will most likely continue.
I know that you are tormentedby all of this and that you really care about your friend but as difficult as it is it isn't healthy for you to try to spend months and months making sense out of it.....it isn't anything that you do or don't do....it is a matter of your friend finding stability. If you can be there for her and realize that this is an illness just as diabetes, cancer, Alziehmers, Parkinsons or any other disorder that requires the same amount of empathy from family and friends it just may make it easier for your friend to feel safe and secure that she has a friend who understands that it is the disorder that makes her act the way that she does. I would suggest that you get some books on Bipolar Disorder so that you can learn more about it and by doing so gain a better insight on how you can be a friend to a person with BP. It takes a strong confident person to be able to do so. She sent you a birthday card and perhaps acknowledging it and thanking her for thinking about you and telling her how much you miss her friendship would open the door to more understanding.
My daughter has recently become stable and I KNOW has alot of remorse and shame associated with this disorder to the point that she sometimes refrains from going back to some friends feeling that she cannot resume the friendship and has burnt the bridges. She feels that if these friends don't call her to include her in plans that they are not able to forgive her for some of the things she did or said.....so she goes on to try to make other friends to fill in that void. Perhaps your friend is feeling much the same way and can't seem to forgive herself and feels that she shouldn't expect you to either.
I know it is difficult to do but what has occurred in the past you mustn't take personally.....it is the disorder speaking not the person and learning to separate the two may make it easier for you to understand.
Hope this helps out in someway....I hate to see you so tormented and trying to make sense out of something that you cannot rationalize or make sense out of especially when feelings and emotions are involved.
Tiger, listen to goody. I've felt the very same thing happen as you and I have read your posts. The selfishness and coldness seems extreme, but sometimes in such a state anything will be said to push someone away, for the very reasons goody mentioned. My screen name here is testiment to that. But I know I haven't been forgotten, just pushed away. It's just how I feel.
I see you are online at the moment so I hope you will get this. After the pushing away happens often there is a great deal of gulit for treating others as they did and a confusion and turmoil over what to do about it. It's so painful that it's easier to just let go and start over. They think, often wrongly, that too much damage has been done to return as things was. But strange things like cards or a stray email might show up out of the blue. Inside the person is feeling remorse, but is afraid sometimes even if you were to return back now. BECAUSE to look into the eyes of a relationship you had a direct hand in damaging is often too much to bare and it recalls a host of other past mistakes, and it can trigger terrible memories, even lost ones, and more mood swings.
It's better to be the angel about this, as hard as that may be. In my own life I have seen almost none understand my friend who is bipolar. Relationships then sometimes tend to flow along predictable patterns, and only risks with certain kinds of relationships are taken. So that in the end, trust is low, and the pain inside gets worse because she can never let herself be truly known, but wants people nearbye at least. There will always be this distance, this invisible barrier, and it's not one of their choosing. Sometimes that barrier is crossed, often not. But even when it is, it is often just as painful for them as it is sweet. Because to get there means traveling through a ocean of gulit and uncertainty.
Trust me. I know of what I speak. Trust goody, she is on the ball. This is a sign that she regets what she's done at least partly, and is trying as much as her fears will allow her. Inside part of her misses you, but maybe, as strange as it sounds, she might just want to spare you of the pain of knowing her, as she fears it could happen again.
Well, what IF she told you she felt terrible, dirty, sick to her stomach over what she had done? ALL of it, not just what she did to you? What if she felt somewhere inside that she didn't deserve you as a friend after what she did?
Cuz I BET some of that is in there, though it's rare it will come out. But WHAT IF? Of course you ARE likely to get hurt again with the mood swings, particularly if she isn't on meds patterns will repeat, but can you deal with that? Boils down to can you accept her WITH her disorder, cuz that's part of her. The hurt is obviously fresh and if you've been the good one you are gonna feel it wasn't deserved.
A lot happens that is just plain stupidity in this world, a lot of regret, or at least regret that can't be said aloud immediately. Maybe someone ELSE knows her regret over how she treated you, or maybe she has no one to tell and is lost because it hurts so much she just prefers not to think about it. But then she can't just to nothing, so she sends a card. When someone in this situation tries to restablish contact of any kind I'd BET there is some awareness.
Question is I guess are you strong enough to deal with being the friend who sticks around, gives space, and sometimes gets treated rudly for it. They have a commercial where I live about being the kind of friend that COULD be a friend to a person with a mental disorder. Those that are bipolar are normal in everyway, except for the mood swings. I KNOW that at those times they'd wish to be someone else, or just not to be period.
That's hell. Can you be a friend to a person who is in that kind of hell sometimes, even if you get burned?
I think in the end you know what to do. It just is hard because you know now it isn't going to be easy, and it may hurt. But maybe you'll learn something too, in the end. Good luck.
Last edited by Forgotten1; 09-04-2007 at 06:43 PM.
Tiger.....please do not take offense at what I am about to say but you are dealing with an illness that affects the judgemental and emotional part of the brain. Your friend is not going to think rationally or act rationally until she is properly treated and then still have her moments. It takes alot of strength and empathy to be a friend or loved one to somebody who is BP and not properly medicated. The thing that you need to do (I believe this is what Forgotten was suggesting you do) is ask yourself if you are strong enough or equipped to offer your friend empathy and be there for her unconditionally.
It seems as if you are passing judgement on her for her poor impulsive decisions which are definitely part of BP mania. You would really understand better by reading more and more about BP so that you can have a better understanding of what it does to your friend and how it affects judgement and feelings and how helpless one with BP often feels when they want to be one way but cannot because they are driven by what their brain is telling them or interpreting for them at a given time. It isn't personally directed at you.....it would be directed towards anybody that they truly care about.
One thing that took a long time for me to understand is how much energy it took for my daughter to appear normal and nice to the outside world from going to school, to working, to her vocal teacher, other parents and peers. And then see her lash out at me and her sister and dad all the time wondering why she couldn't treat us nicely too. Turns out that I understood more after I learned more about BP and how the worst comes out directed towards the ones they feel won't leave them and who they can count on and who have unconditional love for them. It isn't easy but once I began to realize that I wear that badge of honor knowing that I am loved very much by my daughter....but still I do point out when she hurts me and try to work with her in developing healthier less destructive ways of projecting her stress and upsetment. I have seen firsthand the pain she has after saying things to me when she crumbles to the floor and tells me that she doesn't know why she does that and I take her in my arms and ask her what I can do to help her. And usually she comes up with something that is so easy but took a long time to figure out. That simple thing was to not initiate any conversation with her when she first walks in the door from school and give her 15 minutes. And that one change has worked wonders in our household.
BPers do not want to say or do the things they do and when unmedicated often don't even remember saying or doing them. It wasn't until my daughter was medicated that she began to see what she was doing and saying and worked on ways of making sure that it didn't always happen. It takes the right meds, therapy where they can talk about the remorse and guilt that they feel when they lose control and then them putting into action the coping skills that they develop to lessen the impact upon the ones they interact with.
Your friend is hurting and has removed herself from your life most likely because she doesn't want to hurt you or disappoint you. You need to make the move towards letting her know that you want to still be her friend....she is incapable of taking that step but you must look within and decide whether you can handle it enough to give her love and understanding and be ready to allow her behavior to bounce off of you until she becomes strong enough to get the help that she needs.
It can't be about what she has done to you it has to be about what you can do for her as a friend.
Tiger ... Goody is so dead on with what she said really nothing more needs to be said...much. Note my screename. If you are closest that closeness when someone feels ashamed of how theyve acted actually HURTS. She probably singled you out then just like me, and it hurts like hell to be the ONE person treated differently. Heck there are testimonies to that on this board by the dozens. BUT it is what it is and I TRUST my friend when she can't explain it all, says she feel horrible because I'm the one person who didn't deserve it but got it always the worst. Took me a while, even though I saw it all and didn't need to be told by anyone. We're human and it does HURT to be told the things I've been told and no one else really has, and they get let in EVEN THOUGH they have been wrong to my friend. Goes against logic. BUT NOT REALLY. NOT IF YOU TRUST YOUR FRIEND. Probably she hasn't opened up to you fully yet so it's all too puzzling and feels like a trap. But sometimes it's just easier with others because maybe she feels the have messed up like her and you haven't so she runs from facing herself and maybe messing up again and again and feeling worse for it. Then too, if you lash out and she trusts you most, and feels you don't SEE that she doesn't mean it, then she's gonna feel lost. She may cling to others, but you are probably the one she respects the most. It stinks at times, and the rewards are really none too much for that, but it is, strangely enough, a honor. So yeah, I wanted to say be prepared. Because if you go back and she pushes away and you lash out, in the end you will have to feel the sting of knowing you were wrong. And it sucks even worse to know the person you loved you have hurt when they were hurting so much, you knew it, and still managed to hurt them more. THEN YOU WILL KNOW HOW THEY FEEL. Trust me, you don't want that. But it will be an education. Still, it isn't one they can handle always and they will pay for your learning them, so benefit from what Goody told you. Trust beyond what you can see. It may take years but in the end you will see the friend you remember underneath it all. I know with my friend Sonia, I've never lost sight of her, but that's only hurt her more I'm afraid. But I'm not quittin on her. She'll get there in time, I'm gonna help as much as she'll let me. I've tried to do more and she's lashed out, but that isn't her. It really isn't Tiger. Stay cool. I know you care about her and are just hurt. WISH there were others telling me that all the time. My friends sometimes think I'm too nice. But really, is there such a thing. Seems there's always a situation that calls for just that in my life. Que sera sera.
Tiger ~ It is not a matter of reading into anything...it is a decision on whether you can be friends with her and where you want to go with it. Your friend is incapable of making rational decisions...however, the fact that she did take the time to send out a card to you on your birthday speaks volumes, at least it does to me.
It is okay if you can't handle a friendship like this....believe me if you are looking for something with certainty you are not going to get it through your friend for many many years until she is on the right meds. So what you need to do is take yourself out of LIMBO....either you can try to be a friend to somebody who has BP or you aren't able to.
It sounds like you had a wonderful friendship once and then your friend got sick. It doesn't show itself like it would if a friend were suddenly paralyzed from and accident but BP changes one's life dramatically and is just as out of their control as an accident that leaves one paralyzed and changes one's life forever. Just as a friend who suddenly becomes quadraplegic and is not ready to accept it will get mad and lash out at the ones they love so will a BPer. It will last longer with a BPer so long as they don't get treatment and with a quadraplegic so long as they don't accept that they will never walk again. The two will push loved ones away and hurt them with words but it all comes down to how the loved ones are equipped to handle that. Some will be able to and others will not. Some will stay and some will walk away.
So...the ball is in your court....you don't have BP but your friend does. How do you see yourself in the picture....not her but YOU.???? That is only something that you can decide.
Don't read into nothing. She may just want you "nearbye" but not "so close". The closer you get the more she may run. It's been that way with me because I see my friend best, or so I hear said. But you might move a little closer, ask how she's doing, or something. Don't think of reading into anything Tiger, just go with what your heart tells you. Forget the bad stuff, because it's GONNA happen again. Guess people warned you about that already on here who had enough. You are gonna feel like them too, sometimes, but in the end you'll know deep down that she didn't mean for it. It will be deep down there, covered with the scars of the chances you took maybe, but you will still know. Best thing is to put it into perspective and know that she doesn't mean for it, it's the bipolar AND the guilt she can't deal with that goes beyond the bipolar. She has to live with who she is, but also who's she's been.
Last edited by Forgotten1; 09-05-2007 at 09:34 AM.
Tiger ~ Your friend who is BP is not able to respond or initiate anything in a rational way so long as she is unmedicated. The ball is in your court....you are the one without BP (although you seem to be almost equally distressed) but you have a brain that is not sick with a chemical imbalance that makes good decisions and is able to control emotions and realize that what you say or do can offend somebody whereas your friend may be incapable of doing that right now. This won't make sense to you because it barely makes sense to your friend.
I went to a seminar where there were people who had BP or some mental illness and they said that it was sooo much more difficult to get better when they had to worry about how their behaviors affected the ones they loved....it was too much to worry about how to make ammends and at the same time work on getting themselves better. Perhaps that will make more sense to you as to why your friend may feel the need to cut off ties with you at this time. IT is not uncommon for somebody with BP to want to "run away".....my daughter ran away several times and even tried to get taken away from us by making a false CPS allegation telling her friends and school counselors that we were abusing her. She was VERY unstable at the time and to her that need to get away from us was very strong to the point that she couldn't see any other way of dealing with whatever was going on with her.
So....again you must be the one who decides where this friendship goes. Perhaps at this time a simple acknowledgement of the card and how nice it was to hear from her would leave the door open to how she would like to proceed next.
You mustn't expect much....it isn't about who gives less or more here, it is how you can be a friend to your friend without getting hurt. I understand that need of yours to set boundaries but an unstable BPer sometimes is unable to even see boundaries so you must be prepared for the unknown to occur.
I am sorry if I can't make you feel better....this really seems to be affecting you as if you are grieving the loss of your friend and in a way when BP takes over and is not treated you do mourn the person that you knew before that happened. But then again, it was as out of her control as if your friend had been in a car accident and left paralyzed.
I hope this helps you out a bit....it might be a good idea to seek out a counselor to get a better perspective of how this is affecting you and what you can do with those feelings.
Goody,can I ask you something-have there been times when although your daughter was running away from you/your family/she was behaving "ok" towards others-maybe more transient people in her life? How did that make you feel?
Wow....it's amazing how this seems to be a very common factor discussed amongst those who have loved ones with BP. In the world they have this need to "hold it together" because they try so hard to fit in. With my daughter it was in school, with friends, or anywhere else that she felt the need to fit in that she would utilize whatever energies possible to appear "normal". Sometime after she was diagnosed one of her friends moms confided in me how she had been convinced by our daughter that we were abusing her. After my daughter could no longer hold it together it was then that many people approached my husband and I almost in awe of what was happening and apologizing for not being able to see more to help our daughter out. So, yes, our daughter seemed to be "ok" around others and it did hurt that she told us on a daily basis how much she hated living with us and how she just wanted to live anywhere else. It hurt to the core to hear the things that she said and for the longest time I didn't understand and often was brought to tears not understanding why she would say the things she did or act the way she did. It wasn't until I learned more about her diagnosis that it all was such a relief. Finally I knew what was wrong and that there was a way to help her. It was the not knowing that was unbearable but we didn't give up on her even when she wanted to give up on herself.
Originally Posted by Tiger Cub
I really admire you for understanding all this stuff and for obviously now coming to a place where you can forgive your daughter for all the things she's done which must have hurt you. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me.I see that I need to be in the same place towards my friend as you are now towards your daughter. How did you get there?
Well, Tiger it wasn't easy. I think the hardest part was not knowing why our daughter was doing what she was doing.....as much as I loved her there was even a time that I thought it was her way of getting attention. I responded to some of her words and actions with words of my own that now looking back on it wasn't the best way to handle things. But without an understanding of what was going on it was difficult to respond in the most appropriate way. I once told my daughter that she had no reason to be depressed, that she had everything from a family who loved her to a beautiful home, friends, talent etc. But that was the worst thing I could have said at that time....eventually my daughter told me how much that hurt her and that she couldn't help feeling the way that she did, that she didn't want to be depressed and wished that she could be happy like everybody else.
The turning point came when we finally received the diagnosis....I cannot even begin to explain the relief that we felt when we had a name for what was going on. It was not something that we wanted but the unknowing was unbearable and once we knew what we were up against it became so much easier. Also...once our daughter was started on the right meds and we saw her response it was so wonderful....she cried and shared with us how she didn't want to have BP and wished that she didn't say or do the things she did. She asked us why she had to have this and why did God pick her to have it.....our hearts broke but we promised her that it would get better and that we would find the right meds to make her feel better. Once medicated she could be reasoned with and she was able to develop coping mechanisms to learn how to deal with her anger or irritability. IT took unconditional love on our part....that is the key to it all when you allow the person to know that you are there for them and will not abandon them no matter what happens. It isn't easy and I would imagine that it is easier for a parent to do but when you really love and care about someone you are able to do so.
Originally Posted by Tiger Cub
Were there times when you did feel hurt and angry as I've been doing? I see I need to get through and beyond that if we are to be friends and that's for me to do.Maybe acknowledging this card in a simple way will be a first step towards that if I can do it? I know there's nothing making me do that-I can walk away.As a parent,that must be harder for you to do-obviously you've chosen the opposite.
As I have said it is easier from a parent's standpoint to love unconditionally but there were times I just wanted to walk away. But I KNEW that in order for my daughter to have any chance of getting better I had to be there and stand strong. Even though she is stabilized there are still tough moments but it is so much easier to establish boundaries when you have somebody who you can reason with. IT is getting them to that point that is the hardest part. Unless your friend comes to the realization that she needs help and commits to getting it anybody that she interacts with will be subject to her hurtful behavior. But they need somebody who won't give up on them when they want to give up on themselves. I will never forget the moment when my daughter had taken a lot of money from my purse....when I confronted her she told me that she didn't. I found it in her room and in front of her sister and cousin told her that I KNEW that she had taken the money and KNEW where it was and that she was going to have to lead me to it in front of everybody. She did and I asked her why she did it....she gave me the usual response "I don't know". She went into the bathroom and emerged with cuts on her arms. I took her into my room and hugged her and told her how much I loved her and asked her why she was doing the things that she was doing. She started crying and said that she didn't know and that she needed help. I started crying too and told her that was all that I needed to hear and that I wouldn't give up until we found out what was wrong and promised her that I would find a way to make her feel better. And from that point on it became my mission to do so......it was sooo much easier when she came to the realization herself and asked for help. It wasn't until then that we were able to find it for her.
Originally Posted by Tiger Cub
Most of my real life friends see this friend as a "poisonous", "selfish" person who has upset me a great deal-they say I'm better off without her in my life.It's hard for me to see beyond that when those around me say these kinds of things but I want to try to understand if I can.
I hope you don't mind me asking these questions.
I don't mind your questions at all....I can see how your real life friends would think that about this friend who brings hurt your way. There were times that even my parents told me that my daughter was doing these things purposely and that we needed to ignore her or find a residential treatment center. But I KNEW that she needed me and nobody loved her as much as I did or could help her like I could.
You are right, in this situation you can walk away and you have no reason not to. You shouldn't stay if it is taking away from your self worth. Your friend does need the space to work on her issues and if she had a friend who could be there to call on in her time of need who she KNOWS will be there through the good, the bad and the ugly well the chances of her wanting the help that she needs will be greater knowing that somebody will still be there for her. However, that person MUST be strong enough to be able to set some boundaries and show her what is acceptable behavior and what is not. There is a way to be there if you are able to detach yourself enough to realize that until your friend is stable the things that she does and says are part of the disorder and with treatment will become so much better. The question is can you be the type of friend who can be there in a way that can separate the behavior of the disorder from the person who has it.
It isn't easy and it is only you who can decide whether you can find a way to be a friend to your friend withoug losing yourself in the process.
I hope that what I have shared with you somehow helps you to resolve the conflict that you are feeling within. It is obvious how much you care about your friend. She may just need to know that you are there for her when she finally gets to the place of accepting her diagnosis and getting the help that she needs. I beleive that she needs her space but at the same time to know that you are a friend who understands that and who is hoping that she will overcome the obstacles that stand in her way of getting the help that she needs.
Feel free to ask me any more questions....I am happy to help in anyway that I can.
Im sorry I haven't been on to help but happy Goody has.
Listen, I must be blunt and quick so I hope no one will misunderstand that. Oftentimes those with BP are ashamed of the damage they've caused to relationships, and even moreso to themselves. They shake and feel like throwing up remembering fragments of what they've done in anger, in testing those that love them, and also the hypersexuality part--- if it is a particular struggle with your friend, and it can be especially in the summer. But the need to have someone to hold onto, to have that love, can continue well past summer.
It is very damaging to the self esteem to feel "weaker" to their friends, to think they might not understand. Indeed many DON'T. And what's more or worse is if they do "understand" --- contrary to logic, this makes them feel more ashamed and exposed. The more time builds up the more it seems hopeless and the person just decides to not live for their hopes and dreams because they get destroyed, they live for today. Others see this "selfishness" and react to it. And sometimes it can seem almost as if they WANT you to hate them, they push away. Yeah, they are "fine" with others because THEY DON'T KNOW THEM LIKE YOU DO. So it's like a blank slate and they don't have to remember all they feel they've ruined. IMAGINE ALL THIS WERE IT YOU. Sadly then can come the despair, especially after the mania subsides and thoughts of suicide especially when good friends and histories with them are wiped out.
It's really this simple, to decide to be a friend to a person in this situation is to decide to save that persons life and to help them to act on their own to save it as well. They must regain what was lost slowly until awareness sets in and understanding, and finally healing. IF others leave, that is so much harder. But yeah, they will want to spare you the pain, and themselves the struggle to be so visible to those that knew them so well. OR if you really didn't know them deeply, that too is a fear, that one day soon you might and see their failings.
In the end none of that matters of course. What matters is your friend. BUT BP enhances fear in the person who has it. In men the aggression is a bit more perhaps, in women the fear, but really they are the same thing, and both are possible. To say, "don't be afraid" isn't going to do it. They will fear anyhow.
But as I always say, a steady light may be observed, a flash, however brilliant is debated. ------------- BE DEVOTED, BE PATIENT, and in the end you will see your friend again. BEST WISHES TRULY FROM THE HEART OF ONE WHO ALSO LOVES HIS FRIEND, SONIA, DEARLY.
Last edited by Forgotten1; 09-09-2007 at 03:25 PM.
Hi, Tiger.....as for contact with my daughter this all started coming to a head when she was 14 years old. She is 16 now and finally stable thank the Lord!! I never thought that would happen for us but it did.
During that time it hurt me so very deeply the things that my daughter said and did.....imagine your own daughter telling you that she hated you, calling you terrible names, telling people you come in contact with everyday in your community that you were abusing her when that wasn't even true!! And then on Valentine's Day of all days, a van pulling up with an agent coming into your home for a CPS investigation!!! It was horrific and caused me such terrible pain and many many tears. When I had no idea what was going on and thinking that this was all willingful behavior on her part, believe me, as much as she wanted to be taken from our home, both me & my husband were ready to let her go to one. But something told me instinctually that was not what she really wanted, that she was crying out for help and was counting on the one's who loved her to get her there.
Actions speak louder than words....we needed to show our daughter that we were not going to abandon her and that we loved her very much in spite of all that she was going through. It didn't stop me from telling her how much her words and actions hurt me but I also let her know that I knew that none of it was true and that I understood that she was hurting inside and needed my help. I gave her hope that we would find out what was wrong and that one day she would feel better.
Your friend needs the same....she needs hope and to know that you will be a constant in her life and that she WILL feel better. That is what she needs more than anything else in the world. That is what will allow her the will to keep on seeking help knowing that you will still be there for her.
Her words are terrible and hurtful but her action of sending you a card on your birthday is telling you that she still needs you and sees you as her friend. Not something to be getting all carried away with but a simple gesture on her part telling you through all of the storm that she still is able to see the light of your friendship that gives her hope that things will not always be the way that they are.
Be there in a way that you can....acknowledge her gesture and assure you of your friendship and that you are respecting her need of time and space but want her to know that you are thinking of her and hoping that she is doing well. Just a little sign of hope that her bridges to having you as her friend are not totally burned.
I hope that helps you figure out what to do in response to her card....it is only something you can do and either way it won't be an easy thing. Look into your heart and listen to it....the answers usually lie there.
Well, Tiger...yeah, I was pushed away, then brought back...sort of. I came back. Then I was pushed away again. Things get said to others like she missed me, etc. And it hurt because soooooo many others were allowed in. But I KNEW HER THE BEST OF ALL. I guess I saw too much. I know she didn't like hurting me and pushing away and at first I didn't complain at ALL. But she hated that. Didn't like me being so understanding. So I let her know some of the hurt, but that was really even worse. Probably confirmed her fears. And the fear! WOW! Amazing fear there. I felt HORRIBLE. I felt like a freak at times. But then yeah, I'd here she'd miss me in the middle of like the worst mania. I mean she could be with lovers and friends, just not me. But then she missed me. Yeah, I WENT NUTS at times.
It's hard Tiger. I LOVE my friends and I LOVE her. But I was too close I suppose. She always liked to be in control. But I'm the type that if I believe it's pure I will show my heart and love, and understanding. But right now, I'm trying to help her other friends. One's that betrayed her. If I can't be her friend anymore, then they will need what I know to be able to help her and I'll just stay away.
It's hard, YES. Worse things were said to me than anyone, despite me being the consumate friend. But even if I have EVERY REASON to doubt myself and her after all that was said to me and not done, but done for others, I still know she doesn't mean for this and the mania is magnifying the paranoia and she is ashamed of a lot of how she's acted and is doing. It's a gut feeling I guess. I always saw my friend's soul when no one else really could in the same way. I'll hold on to that, but right now I need to stay away. Maybe one day again that will change. I'm trying to help others help her. Once that happens, then maybe she will be free . . . she is currently unmedicated and in full blown mania. My heart breaks for her, and it's just what she doesn't want to see. I'm not a wuss, but I won't be a robot either. I think she looks up to me, doesn't want me to see her like this after all I've tried to do. I think she really regrets her mistakes, but they are hard to see sometimes in mania. It's possible part of her blames me. That happens too when the anger is there. Don't go looking for the rational, sometimes logic can't help you here. Go with your gut, despite what you see.
Tiger, Iím in a very similar situation to yours right now. About two months ago my friend suddenly cut off all communication with me, not returning phone calls or emails among other things. It wasnít a dramatic end like yours, but I felt confused and abandoned, and it hurt a lot.
At first I was very angry at my friend. But from discussing it with people on the forum, I have let go of that because I now see that he needs my support. I call occasionally and leave messages to keep the door open.
I think you are very lucky to have received the birthday card. I would love to hear even the slightest word from my friend. But he is not at that point yet.
Reading the responses to your situation has helped. Goody and Forgotten1, I understand now about the guilt my friend may be feeling, and see how my friend can still function with others and be silent with me.
Tiger, I think it would be nice for you to thank her for the card. The fact that she sent it says that she cares. You can take it slowly, and like you said, it may help you get over some of your anger, too.
Tiger, Goody & Forgotton1 Incredible exchange here! I understand your pain. Goody and Forgotten1 have done a masterful job trying to shed light. I am in the same situation, and know how unbelievable it is to live through this illness. My wife "lost control" about 2 years ago and did everything you could possibly do to ruin a relationship. I hung in and did everything possible to stop what was happening. I could not stop anything. the harder I tried the further she ran. when I took a step back she would take a step to me, total push pull. it was like in her mind, go away, but not too far. I would just break contact for a while then I would get an e-mail or txt msg asking me somthing not important. I believe just trying to stay in contact, but if I moved close she would get nasty. she was able to control my emmotions it was aweful. I think that she had no control over herself so controling my feelings gave her some feeling of being in control of something. I really liked what forgotten1 wrote about when he said that your friend is probably running away from the damage she has done. i belive this true for my wife as well. I believe she is embarrased by her actions and the hurt she caused to me my family and our babies, that in her mind it is easier to pick up and run and start over. I know exactly what you are saying about how she is with other people, my wife seems happier than ever, which really hurts, but her actions now are so far out of charactor from what I know of her that I believe it is an act. she is doing things now that have always disgusted her in the past. It is bitterly painful to see. a few months ago my wife switched dr.'s and the new dr. diag her with depression w/anixety then put her on prozac. My initial reaction was, watch out! no mood stabalizer? well in a couple of weeks of prozac she has filed for divorce has all new friends 10-15 years younger than her. doesn't seem to care about anyone but herself. sometimes I wonder when she will crash, or even if she will. I get to wondering if it was just me sometimes. what you have to do is wait (i know it's impossible) but I think that, like goody said, her daughter used all her energy to "maintain" while with friends, that when she got home she exploded on the ones that cared the most. So take youself away and who does she have to expode on? sooner or later she will lash out at a new friend/lover and that person may not be as understanding as you. then maybe she will see the value of your friendship.
Distroyed,I'm sorry to hear what you went through with your wife.Amongst the other points I raised in my last post,your story seems to be another where the final outcome has been a relationship which has broken down rather than succeeded.
Goody, My heart tells me not to give up but that's not enough alone,without some response,some wish for the friendship by the other person too,is it?
Tiger, what you say is of somebody who understands what they are doing at the time....your friend believes that this is right for her to do right now and her mind doesn't see it any other way. Until she is stabilized she can only go by what her thoughts tell her and they are telling her that she needs to be away.
My daughter acted on these impulses too by running away or trying to get taken away. By law she had to remain with us wheras with your friend who is an adult she doesn't have to. You have to remember that your friend is incapable of being a friend to anybody right now. IT's too much to think about another person right now other than herself. I know that is difficult to understand but with instability there is no way to rationalize her behavior. IT's a big waste of time to even try to.
Originally Posted by Tiger Cub
Goody,I'm so pleased that your daughter is stable now,that your love and patience have paid off.But your daughter has been in contact with you throughout,it's different as a parent isn't it? She told you she wants help,she turned to you.My friend has not done that.As far as I know she is getting medication,she is seeing a doctor,but she has cut me out of her life-that's a big difference to your situation-I can't force her to contact me can I,and would certainly not wish to try?
I am not saying to force her to be your friend, in fact that would be a big mistake. I am saying that showing her that you care about her well being and appreciate her gesture of sending a card is something that may leave the door open to her reaching out to you when she is ready or more stable. But again, you must decide if you are capable of doing that.
It took my daughter about 3 years to ask for help and alot of pain and hurt before that time even came. In a way my daughter did cut me out of her life when she couldn't talk to me or tell me what was wrong. And she was hospitalized 4 times in one year......a total of 13 weeks and for a very long time did cut me out of her life. It wasn't until she was on the right meds that she was able to be rationalized with and realize how her behavior affected me and others. Before that point there was no remorse or awareness of how she was hurting us.....and when she was finally able to see it she was so upset at how she said or did things to hurt others that she didn't want to do.
To watch how much she hurt when she realized how much she lashed out at us and how she couldn't stop it before it happened was so painful to watch. But we finally were able to talk about it and together came up with ways to work together to find ways to prevent it from getting to the point that she said or did hurtful things that in the end would make her feel bad and ashamed.
That is the difference when somebody is medicated....they are willing to work on finding ways to change their behavior or find ways to make things better. Your friend isn't even at that point yet and it is probably best that you wait until she comes to you when the time is right.
I hope that this helps.....for now a simple acknowledgement of her card is probably all that either of you can handle right now and that is okay. IN time the rest will fall into place when and if the two of you are ready. In the meantime take care of YOU and let time decide where your friendship will go.
(((((HUGS))))) ~ Goody
Last edited by goody2shuz; 09-13-2007 at 08:24 PM.
Tiger ~ You are finally entering the stage of understanding!!! You are absolutely correct in seeing that this relationship she is in right now is a product of her illness. Hypersexuality is a big part of the manic side of the illness and even though your friend says she knows that this will not last it doesn't mean that she is being rational or logical about the whole thing. She is trying to rationalize her behavior which she sees as having her needs met despite how inappropriate it is or how others may feel about it. This is often referred to as "mission mode" in which the person will do whatever they need to in order to get their needs met at the time. There is no changing their mind or getting them to understand that there are consequences or feelings involved....their mind just isn't capable of seeing it any other way. IT is their way or no way!!!
You have come far in coming to understand why your friend is doing what she is doing. It will probably continue this way until the meds start working and for all you know she could be telling you that she is taking her meds and not OR she may need an adjustment to help her hypo(mania).
Anyway....she isn't equipped to be part of any relationship right now whether it be friendship or anything else. Unfortunately she is going to have to come to the point of realizing that the instability is getting the best of her and want to get back to seeking out the help that she needs. It is difficult when the person is an adult because there is really nothing anyone can do other than hope that they will come to the point of wanting help.
That is why leaving the door open may be her only hope because when the time does come she will need somebody to help guide her to the help that is available to her. And a friend is exactly what she is going to need.
You're doing okay, Tiger. You are beginning to see that your friend doesn't really mean you harm she just isn't able to understand what it is that is going on with herself but you are.
Keep on educating yourself and it will help you to better understand how this illness affects a person's life. It isn't easy for the one with BP or the ones who love them. But there IS hope and that comes with finding the right meds so that life can finally be balance out and stability be found.
Tiger. Sorry...I had some fairly serious health issue to deal with and was in the hospital for a few days. Just looked at all this.
It's like this Tiger, I have felt the same. I saw my friend best loved her the most. All sort of terrible things were said to push me away, things that at the time in anger or pain were partly meant, but really weren't. Yet, they have hurt. And yes, I have seen her be friends to others who "didn't know her so well". I have seen her "happy" but I know better. It is easier to go and try elsewhere and wipe the slate clean of because she can't seem to fix the hurt she has caused to others and she doesn't want to cause hurt, so it does end up hurting her that she did cause this hurt. Sigh. It's hard and I know how you feel. Sometimes a person in this situation may discover later that she just went along with it because she felt weak, or didn't know why. That she didn't want to but did those things anyway. Then comes the false person, the one she doesn't want to be the pain forces her to -- the angry mean and "I don't care anymore" person who doesn't want to hurt, and since being a good person brings pain it's easier to be "bad". It insulates against remembering too much. But at any moment if you can see through the wall that is there you will see a soul on the other side about to cry. A person who DOESN'T want to go on like this, who is more and more alone even as she reaches out to new people after the old she feels she has ruined.
Yes, she COULD do more than a birthday card, but perhaps she fears that even if she does try again, she will fail you and herself and so it's better if she just goes away and keeps the distance. But you are still there, in her memory and her heart and SOMETHING has to be done about that ---- so you have the card.
It's a hard cycle to end and IF she hasn't been diagnosed OFFICIALLY then, well, she might be not want to face that. It's hard enough to face what's happened so far probably and then to face something she will have to deal with the rest of her life?
Remember Tiger, this ISN'T about DENIAL as much as it is about IMPAIRMENT. At times when clarity isn't there denial isn't the word. When the mania is running high it's simply that she is impaired. It's her brain, not her. She can feel it, even remember some of all that went on but goody is right, the "mission mode" kicks in.
Beyond all this BIPOLAR stuff remember your friend is a individual, a person, with her own soul. This bipolar effects her, but it ISN'T HER. Faith in what you cannot see at times like this is what she will need to believe in herself and get there when she IS OPEN to it.
Imagine all that you hoped to be and then did so much of the opposite? If you tried so hard and it seemed as if only bad things ended up happening no matter how hard you tried?
IMAGINE. Alone and anonymous is what you would wish to be, even as you missed that closeness that caused you such burning pain and memories you'd rather erase. EMPATHY IS KEY, and truly at moments that WILL be the hardest what will be needed is your selflessness. You will find out TRULY how pure your heart is through this. Your goodness and understanding will be tested. But remember, even when she is at her worst this is your FRIEND, not a bipolar person. Who she is remains, even if it's harder to see or she is DETERMINED to not allow you to see and punish you for trying or succeeding in doing so. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.
Tiger, I know just what you mean. It hurts to imagine that the other person may not think of you in the same way as before. Thatís exactly how I feel about my friend.
I would say to try to stay as positive as you can and donít dwell too much on thoughts like that. Thatís what Iím trying to do. Itís understandable that you donít want to get hurt again after the things your friend said to you. This card that she sent was only the first step in setting things in order again. If you thank her for it, you could wait again for her to make the next move to see what she does. Remember, even if she does relegate you to the Christmas card category, itís not because of you. Plus, getting a card to stay in touch is better than nothing.
If my friend eventually calls me up, I would be very happy to accept him back. I would try to discuss with him how we can avoid either of us getting hurt again. I would understand better the next time he may need to be alone, but will ask him to tell me when he does.
I hope these relationships eventually work out for all of us.