Dear Diary, This is Not What I Expected

March 17, 2011

in Lifestyle

This is not the life I expected to have. In January, I packed up the boys and left my husband of almost seven years. Now I am a single mom. I have a new job. My kids are in daycare. It’s a new world. I usually try to keep my personal thought and feelings under lock and key. However, I have been told by several people that this is a situation I need to write about. So, I’ll try. The thing is, I fell in love with a Marine. I fell in love with a strong man with honor and conviction who would protect me from the world. Instead, I ended up with a bipolar man who needed me to save the world from him, or save him from the world, maybe both. Instead of being swept off my feet I was constantly trying to find solid footing to stand on. It is hard to live in that place where you have to defend your husband to your friends and family, try to explain his actions and moods. Then you have to go home and defend your family and friends to your husband because of their reactions to his actions and moods. It is a never ending cycle with one blaring constant – me in the middle. After a while, you get tired of the tug-of-war. You wear out. You let go of the rope. You have to find a way to protect yourself. Its not all bad In fact, there are a lot of good moments. With the right medication, a bipolar person can lead a completely normal life. But its still there. Each time bipolar disorder rears its ugly head, you are hurt. I vowed each time that the next time I would be prepared. I would not be caught off guard. I would be ready. And I was. I started putting on more and more armor to deal with the tug-of-war and the episodes, the paranoia. In fact, I got so good at ignoring the episodes, I began to ignore the whole person. The last two years have been tough on this family. We have suffered through more than one layoff. We have dealt with lengthy unemployment, which comes with a LOT of togetherness. We have lost family members and dealt with the illness of a child. In each of these things, the support system that your husband should be – wasn’t. If I had a bad day, his was worse. If I was falling apart, he was already in pieces. I always had to be the glue and the strength. It is hard to watch the person that you fell in love with change. It is hard to look around and know that no one else can see what you once saw. It is hard to walk away from a marriage when you put so much effort for so many years into making it work. I wish I had some wise words to wrap this up with, but I don’t. I’m still working on it. I’m still finding my footing and learning new ropes.

{ 11 comments }

Jamie March 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I found your blog on SITS.  I'm sorry you are going through (and have been going through for a lot of years) such a hard time.  I don't know how you can do it, but I know you must be a very strong person to endure such trials.  Thanks for sharing.
 
Jamie

carina March 19, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Wow, thanks for sharing your story. Being vulnerable takes such courage. I know what it is to love and hurt for someone who is bipolar, and it feel at a total loss every time something goes wrong – not through marriage, but within my family. Great post – again, thanks for writing it.

Audra March 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Oh my goodness! You are going through such a tough transition. Bipolar is such a hard disease. I dated a boy in high school who was unmedicated bipolar. He actually moved in with my family when his adoptive parents kicked him out. It was a nightmare. My brother-in-law was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It is such a struggle.
Hug your kids close and take it day by day. You'll make it through!

Life with Kaishon March 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry you are going through all of this. I can not even begin to imagine how difficult it must be. I am sorry for the loss of your marriage. I will pray for you tonight. You seem so strong. I know you will overcome this hard time and come out on top! I just know it.

M March 22, 2011 at 4:55 am

Wow, I love your bravery to put it out there. You will help so many others.

JessRaquel April 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I know how hard it is to be with someone like that, specially when you want to be the one being taken care of.. Not the other way around. You are one hell of a strong women, thank you for sharing with us. It must have taken a lot of guts to do so.
Stopping by from SITS. =)

Melody April 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Honey, I am your newest follower for sure!  I am in awe of your strength and your determination.  Please stop by my blog and say Hi.  First, I can completely relate to what you have faced in your marriage, but I have not left "yet".  Second, my oldest child (10 years old) was diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder last year and my middle child has severe anxiety, ADHD, and ODD.   I am certain that their challenges have been exascerbated by the situation we live in and not just the biochemical aspect of the disease.  I look forward to reading more of your blog and I hope you do come on by!
http://www.lifestwistedstitches.com 

Bettina April 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm

All the commentors before me already said everything but it doesn't hurt to hear it one more time:
Wow, thank you for writing this post, this couldn't have been easy on you. THen again, you've got to be one extremely strong woman to take on this burden and managed it the way you did. Respect for this incredible strength!

CoffeeJitters April 10, 2011 at 1:25 am

I can't imagine what this was like for you. Such a difficult decision, and such strength to do what you had to do for yourself, your children, and even for your husband. Best wishes.

amynabi April 11, 2011 at 4:28 am

Wow. . . You are brave! I have been with such a guy. I understand that it is not gonna be easy. I am really awed by the fact that you stick by his side for that long. I couldnt do it. It just took months for me. I admire your courage. You will get through it. Respect how you are dealing with all this :)

Fenny May 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Lindsey,  I want you to know you did the right thing. Even though you know that. I am bipolar and can't imagine living with someone who is not taking care of his illness. I  do and it is hard work. And even then it is sometimes not easy for those close to me. You have been through hard times, I wish for you that you can find it in you to relax and be kind to yourself. Take care!! 

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