View Full Version : My family told me i'm a failure not Bipolar


InvitroCanibal
02-18-14, 03:49 AM
I am unsure what to do. I just came back from a 3 day trip visiting because my dad had congestive heart failure. I'm 25 and have failed my college classes repeatedly. Between 2004 and 2011 I tried everything I could but medications. Exercise, diet, CBT, anything I could think of. Some things helped for a little while but my energy levels would fluctuate every 1.5years. Some summers I had boundless energy, nothing was impossible, other summers I had no energy. Winters I generally had no energy but every now and then for a week or two I might get short bursts of productivity. This was before ADHD medications.

The results I got from the adhd medications were that they calmed my body and allowed me to sleep easier but didn't calm my mind. Their effect was always sporadic, sometimes they worked sometimes they didn't always on the same dose. It was seasonal I found, where in the summer time my add meds magically worked with no changes.I told my Doc about these things, about the 1.5 year cycle my whole life where it isn't altered by events. Even my sisters death hadnt changed it. I had boundless energy even after that event.

After I got in from my 8 hour flight and it was around 10pm I went to my sisters. It pretty much went with my brother in law teling me i'm a failure and I was simply going to meds for a bipolar diagnosis because I wanted the easy route. I failed classes because I didn't try hard enough.

Now this doesn't bother me so much coming from my brother in law but it also came from my sister. My brother(biological) just kinda mediated. The Two days later, my brother told me it was my fault that had happened, I was picking fights because I refused to agree I was a failure. He said they were just giving me advice and suggesting I try other things besides medications.

My mom is bipolar, she doesn't use medications and hears a voice she calls god. They act like that is her fault as well. That she should take medications and don't know why she doesn't. She told me she was afraid to not hear the voice of god anymore because last time she tried meds she couldn't. She also said god told her not to take medications because she needed to trust in his power to heal her. My brother in law had her read a poem when she visited so that he could mock her after wards. It was in regards to what the voice of god told her about heaven. He acted friendly only to encourage and then mock her later.


I left last night when my brother called me a disappointment, that I was picking fights by defending myself and that I needed to try other things besides medications. That I was making excuses for my life. Etc. Getting a diagnosis, treating it,was the hardest thing i've ever done. To this day it's hard to take meds and not want to try just exercise or exercise and diet. I don't want to have to take these things my whole life but I have to, if I don't want to end up like my mom. She is genuinely a good person but she can't accept the voices in her head are not there. I hate the way my family treats her as well.

I've been taking lamictal for a few weeks now, titrated up to 150mgs with a target dose of 300mgs. I've felt a lot better. I used to get kicked down a lot by my family, in terms of the comments they'd say about me my whole life. I was always introverted, I didn't pay attention or care about what was going on around me. I read a lot but mostly thought a lot. I always just wanted people to leave me alone so I could finish what I was doing. I could pretend to be extroverted when my energy was up, and people loved me then. I'd make lots of friends but i'd feel burdened by them once my energy was low again.

I've failed every class i've tried with college, I suppose I am a failure but I don't really see how it helps to point it out as much as possible. My dad was possibly dying and that was all they could talk to me about, was how much I failed.

The question I have now is what do I do? I can't decide if I cut them out of my life or keep going knowing they think so less of me for taking medications and having a diagnosis of bipolar. My brother treated me like a dog for it. Mocked me, and so on.

He said he was gonna apologize the next morning but I had already left. That he had the best intentions at heart. That I provoked him etc etc. I don't know if I misinterpreted it as attacks and went defensive or if I was wrong for standing up for myself but I don't think so. I didn't call them names or say they were failures, I simply debated whatever logic they used and shot their arguements down every time. It was making them angry I guess. The lamictal seems to help me not be afraid of conflict anymore. I also think more clearly now and see the flaws in peoples arguments. I have a better working memory too. But I am now depressed after what happened. I think in some ways that is good as well, because i'd feel like a robot if I couldn't feel anything.

I don't really know what to do here, about life, school, my family, my diagnosis, any of it. Maybe I am fool hardy for continuing to try school again and again and fail over and over. I just am trying very hard but it's hard to figure out these things quickly. In terms of meds, diagnosis, problems, willpower, etc etc.

If anyone has any advice, i'll take it, with a grain of salt ofcourse but i'd appreciate feedback. I won't argue with you lol but I just want feed back so I can figure out what I need to do. I am not looking for people to make up my mind for me, rather Iwant just your opinion on what you would do? Family means a lot to me, the idea of it anyways but I don't know if I can keep in contact with people that think i'm lazy and looking for easy answers. That I need to try harder etc. It just makes me feel lower than I do already.

sarek
02-18-14, 04:00 AM
First of all its important to establish firmly in your own mind what the truth is. Having bipolar or ADHD is very very real and it leads to very real symptoms. Symptoms you can not overcome or reason with and for which medication is often a dire necessity to even be able to live with them.

Next stage is establishing healthy borders. You don't have to cut out your family but your dealings with them should not be on their terms only. Perhaps it is wise to limit contact time and maybe instead of arguing with people who are just not going to get it, every now and then just walk away from a fight that you can not win.
Being a nuthead, after all, is just as much a disorder as ADHD or bipolar is and it often appears to be equally incurable.

Fuzzy12
02-18-14, 04:29 AM
I only managed to read about half of your post but I'll give the rest another shot later.

First impressions:

You are not a failure.

Your brother in law is an *******.

Your family is using you as a scapegoat to excuse their failure to treat you (and your mother) with respect.

sarahsweets
02-18-14, 05:15 AM
This makes me so MAD for you! F**K them!!!! How awful and rude. Toxic people are like toxic waste-they both need to get dumped.

Abi
02-18-14, 07:13 AM
They all seem very ignorant and backwards. Your brother-in-law may be a psychopath.

These people are toxic, you need to keep away from these ignorant NTers and psychopaths.

Anastasia
02-18-14, 08:51 AM
Ouch, I'm sorry you had to experience that at all, the reason for your visit can't help the way you're feeling as well.

I am so familiar with this behavior, it's so hurtful. My family can cut very deep during an argument, we call it going for the jugular. My a.d.d/depression has been the topic many times. It hurt very badly, and made me feel like a child. I would get a chill up my spine, followed by a flood of tears. That only occurs during these specific arguments.

I hated the way it made me feel, and I didn't like anything that could have such power over my emotions.

Then, what do you really believe? re: your Dx. These are very real Dx's, with very real consequences. Picture the argument being about a Dx, like c.h.f, diabetes, or even strep-throat etc. They couldn't possibly argue that. It sounds like they just don't believe. Your experience with your family alone, is a consequence that's not always mentioned.

We would all love our immediate family to encourage us, give us a hug, perhaps put their selves in our shoe's. It's the opposite that you have experienced, all that we have been conditioned to believe growing up. Our families acceptance and approval does matter. But what do we do when, they may be sick and display a different set of symptoms? or just don't believe?

I had to rearrange my inner core beliefs. It took me a very, very long time, and a lot of painful realizations that they are fallible and just 100% incorrect at times. I had my parents/sister on a pedestal that I was unaware of, and it puts a lot of pressure on them.

Sarek is dead-on. What YOU believe is paramount, as well as seeing them in a different light. I use prayer and meditation a lot in this area. It's a tough one. Issue's like this are like the game wack-a-mole, lol. Sounds funny, but that's how I experience the reoccurring big issues. If you practice long enough, you will beat the game or be able to know when the issue may pop-up again. If they're behavior continues to harm you, and a new approach doesn't work, then you may need to step away.

My issues with my father in this form have broken my heart. I told a friend, it was like finding out from a bratty older friend that Santa is a fake, but over and over again. A little different of course and a little deeper, perhaps. But, it came down to letting go of a concrete belief system that harmed me, the only one I have ever known.

You will then be creating the real you, not the "you" that needs any approval. Very tough process, may be ongoing, but never accept it. Use the tools you have to purge these beliefs, it's vital for growth. I'm hoping you are in therapy, or have something or things that you can practice to make this a reality.

InvitroCanibal
02-20-14, 04:13 PM
I mended things with my family. I think I had a responsibility to communicate to them just how angry I was about this. I did it via action and not by words. In the end, my brother (biological) was very hurt by this. I also had to see it from their perspective. Most things I've done in life have been failures, whether my sister or brother in law think I'm a bad person for it isn't my problem.

I think I will have to keep my distance from my brother in law and sister because I am not a robot. It still hurts them saying these things without doing any research. However I communicated this to my sister.

I realized I have a very big problem with communicating my anger. I may show people I'm mad without telling them why. It's hard to communicate emotions without expressing it. It's easier just to express it and not communicate it.

I guess in truth everyone just did what they thought was right and because of this everyone was wrong. It seems to take more than just understanding you are right when dealing with people. It requires understanding the impact of your choices on other. Even if you think you are right you could be wrong simply because it can hurt someone so much. I thought I was right because I assumed my family didnt care and that they understood what they said cut deep. They thought they were right and didnt consider their words and my situation.

Lunacie
02-20-14, 04:22 PM
I hope they all really heard what you were saying and will ease off on the judgment about you and your mom.

It's funny I guess, when someone actually needs to use crutches that's okay with people.

But when they need meds for invisible mental disorders, that's called "using a crutch" in a bad way.

If I knew how to focus better so I didn't need to wear glasses, I'd have done so long ago.

If I knew how to focus better so ADHD didn't mess up my life, I'd have done that too.

InvitroCanibal
02-20-14, 04:25 PM
I think I understamd what socrates meant when he said wisdom comes from knowing that you are ignorant. (Paraphrased) It'll always be one thing to think you are right and quite another to actually be right.

It's not to say that any feelings are not justified but that one should always try to understand the impact a choice you make has on others. I don't think I thought about life under these terms.

When we think about fathers that ditch their families, people that commit suicide, they may all have overwhelming justifications for these choices for themselves but I believe they fail to see the impact their choices have on others.

InvitroCanibal
02-20-14, 04:29 PM
I hope they all really heard what you were saying and will ease off on the judgment about you and your mom.

It's funny I guess, when someone actually needs to use crutches that's okay with people.

But when they need meds for invisible mental disorders, that's called "using a crutch" in a bad way.

If I knew how to focus better so I didn't need to wear glasses, I'd have done so long ago.

If I knew how to focus better so ADHD didn't mess up my life, I'd have done that too.

I doubt they will. It's all confirmation bias. I can't change how they think. Even if they don't bring it up I'll know it's what they think of me. But I don't care. Breaking ties would cause more distress in my family than I'd like. As was suggested I'll simply avoid arguing about it since their is no point.

Ya, you tell people you have a problem they can't understand, they think you are a hypochondriac or weak. It's just the way people are. I find it interesting, these same judgemental people seem to think the brain has magical powers, that will power alone can solve any problem. Maybe in truth they can't accept their magical brain theory being held into question and become offended at anything that might pose a threat to it. Maybe it's their means of living, if they believe their potential is unlimited than success is in their hands. Also if they are successful than it must be because they are such awesome will empowered people. Long story short...it's an ego trip

Anastasia
02-20-14, 09:14 PM
Thanks for updating us, I'm glad you're feeling a little better.

sarahsweets
02-21-14, 06:03 AM
your family is the failure not you. You have a condition, they are just as*holes.

InvitroCanibal
02-24-14, 06:10 PM
your family is the failure not you. You have a condition, they are just as*holes.


Ya, I just don't want to hide behind my disorder as a defense against criticism of my choices. Not that anyone who has this disorder does but I feel like there were two scenarios here; either they reject it and tell me to shape up, or they baby me and feel sorry for me. To be honest, I'll take the first over the latter. I realized they won't ever understand, even if I try to show them. If they do "understand" they may just see me as disabled or something. That's all I mean as far as using it as a defense. That'd back fire quick. Anytime im angry "oh he's gone bipolar again." Or "how do you know your making the right choice, you're bipolar, you aren't thinking clearly." Those are just examples.

The only one who gets it is my mom. In truth it was for her I told my family, as I'm hoping if I get treatment maybe my mom will too. It's caused a lot of conflict in her though, it almost seems like she's avoiding me because she is having a hard time coming to terms with her bipolar. Now when I say avoiding I mean just calling me once a week versus every day. She also keeps conversations shorter.

It's never gonna be easy no matter what I do or how they react. How could they ever understand, they are all very successful and intelligent people who have won the genetic lottery. They tell me I don't have motivation, they don't know what motivation is. I've put every ounce of my being into college and it wasn't enough.I came back though and I'll be back there until I finish or die. Because that's what motivation is, not giving up on what you set out to do in spite of failing and people seeing you as a failure. I'm not romanticizing it though, even if I succeed they will still remind me of how long it took.

In 12th grade when I was in high school I dropped out after going manic. I couldn't focus I just had non stop energy and felt like it was all beneath me. I then worked a crappy job at home depot for a year, I swallowed my pride and went back. I worked all night and went to school in the morning, only having 8 hours to sleep and eat or even rest. I did it but when I finished, I told my dad to which he replied "ya, a year late."

They won't ever have that kind of struggle and I tip my hat to them but I'd be bored if it was easy. How could I be proud of the tiniest accomplishments if it was easy :)

It's still a party in my head when I go to the store or clean the house or study successfully.

Lunacie
02-24-14, 09:06 PM
Doesn't your family ever get angry? I'd be so tempted to say something like ...

Ooh, looks like you're going bipolar. Must be catching. :lol:

InvitroCanibal
02-24-14, 11:50 PM
Doesn't your family ever get angry? I'd be so tempted to say something like ...

Ooh, looks like you're going bipolar. Must be catching.

That'd probably work against me since they all told me that they were probably bipolar too since they get a little down in the winter time. In a place with no sun, that doesn't surprise but they weren't bipolar. They never jumped off stairs because they thought they could fly at age 5 or thought they could breathe under water at age 7 or thought they had psychic powers at age 16. I have lost touch with reality a few times in my life. I almost went so crazy I was hell bent on waging some kind of war against who knows what.

I didn't tell them that though, it's hard to talk about the many mania instances you are ashamed of. It's like losing all your beliefs having them replaced with a different set. Suddenly the rules don't apply to you and you feel like you can do anything. It just sort of snow balls beyond control till one day you are reading up on guerilla warfare tactics. Luckily that was a long time ago. It's very hard to explain it to people and not feel utterly insane. The more milder mania when I was younger was when I thought cameras were in my TVs, radios, and so on. I also saw a samurai at a grocery store. To this day I don't know if that was real lol.

Luckily it doesnt just appear out of nowhere, it has to build up and is usually in the polar extreme to where my depression was. Extreme depression equals a soon to be extreme mania. I hope Lamictal is enough for me but as of yet it seems to be working well for depression. The mania is sort of a wait and see type thing. I'm honestly not some dangerous person though, these were when I was a teenager and never seem to cross that far. I never hurt anyone and I'm truly not a violent person.

The most I do now is impulsively hop on a plane to some country somewhere for the weekend.

Having it my whole life I find outlets. I find if I push through my depression, exercise and keep a routine, my subsequent mania is less intense but usually involves agitation.


Anyways sorry for the long responses and life story. I'm still trying to figure it all out myself. Some times I think "maybe I am just making excuses" that's why it was so hard to hear that. My only response to that was, does it even matter if I am? Isn't a diagnosis just a collection of symptoms to which you treat and work on beyond just diet and exercise. I figure, label me whatever you want, as long as the mood stabilizers help me think more clearly and feel less extreme than who cares what I am.

The lamictal has oddly enough improved my memory. I have an increased declarative memory. Something I used to have in spades when I was young. Everything seemed to just get foggier and foggier as time went on that taking lamictal feels like waking from a dream. I dunno if that's how it is for others but it's been like that for me so far.

craveforeric
02-27-14, 09:31 AM
I was only able to concentrate on half of your post. I promise to read it later on.
But from what I have read, my take is that maybe it is wise and best that you limit your contact with your family who is not only supportive of you but is also disrespectful to your mother. Find friend who would take and care for you as a family should and stick with them. Look for people who will be supportive and help you get thru difficult times, people who would push you up and encourage you on when you are down and feel like you can not move on anymore :) I am sure you can find those people.

Infinityman
02-27-14, 10:09 AM
First of all its important to establish firmly in your own mind what the truth is.

Next stage is establishing healthy borders. You don't have to cut out your family but your dealings with them should not be on their terms only. .This seems nuts on. You love your family but they are doing you harm. A lot of it i suspect.

I think maybe you should distance yourself from them, not cut them off entirely, but put some space between you and them.

As some wise person said, you can choose your friends, but you are stuck with your family (or something similar! :-) )

InvitroCanibal
02-27-14, 02:16 PM
This seems nuts on. You love your family but they are doing you harm. A lot of it i suspect.

I think maybe you should distance yourself from them, not cut them off entirely, but put some space between you and them.

As some wise person said, you can choose your friends, but you are stuck with your family (or something similar! :-) )

Ya, It's hard no matter what I do. I decided to just not talk about it to them. I also think my failures or successes are none of their business either way.

Some things just aren't anyone elses problem but my own. I've lived life as an open book but I think that has to stop. It's making me afraid to try anything. I will keep trying but I don't really want to give someone the chance to bring me down.

Thanks

InvitroCanibal
03-19-14, 02:26 PM
Just an update. I cut off ties with my sister and brother in law