View Full Version : Question from a Loved One

08-14-07, 10:31 AM

I've found myself reading many threads related to Bipolar disorder, and I have been so impressed by the strength and perserverence I observe in many of the posters. Many of you demonstrate a lot of support and caring for one another too, which is very moving to observe. I am wondering if any of you would be willing to try to answer a question I have about one of the states-of-being that occurs in a bipolar cycle that allegedly has been known to destroy relationships between the loved ones and the sufferer. I am very curious about this because I was in a relationship with someone who was dx'd with Bipolar disorder at the time (and was taking lithium for it . . . we were living together) and he seemed to have a Jekyll/Hyde condition. Really - that is the best way for me to describe my experience with him.

I was swept off my feet by him because he was so GENTLEMANLY, charming, attentive, affectionate, even a tad chivalrous/old-fashioned (which only HE could pull off without looking foolish) . . . I felt ecstatically INTOXICATED whenever I was around him. HOWEVER -- he had these "episodes" (which *SEEMED TO last anywhere from a few hours to -- a FEW WEEKS/MONTH, I later found out when we had split up) during which he seemed to become an entirely different person. He'd suddenly be filled with HATE, DISGUST or RAGE to such an extent that you could almost feel something PHYSICALLY CHANGE in the climate we were sharing (whether that be the living room, the car, wherever . . . like my hair seemed to stand up on end and a just could sense DANGER . . . ).

And the CATALYST for his change of mood, attitude, persona could LITERALLY BE ANYTHING! At first I believed (WISHED really) that I could figure out WHAT it was that bugged him and make sure it didn't happen -- but then I realized that ANYTHING could bug him -- that it didn't make any sense to me and never would. And he'd later DENY that anything ever happened. OR -- he'd recall that it was ME who was raging, yelling, etc. and that HE was just innocently going about his business.

Anyway -- during these "episodes" he would say the most vile, despicable and CRUEL things to me and about me. That VERBAL ABUSE was ALWAYS a part of the episode. And there were a couple of times that I feared for my life because he BEGAN to get physical with me. Anyway -- AS horrible as this sounds (and WAS/IS), I still can't get over the hurt I feel from it (even though we've been apart for many, many years). So MY QUESTION is: If, indeed, his "episodes" were a symptom of "Bipolar" -- Would it be possible that he really DID love me but just couldn't control these "episodes"?? I'd like to believe that, but I can handle the truth now.

* About 6 mos. later he told me his doctor said that it turned out he DOESN'T have Bipolar disorder. And - after a whole bunch of drama, he and I ended up being "MANDATED" to take psych evals -- the results of his being "Personality disorder with Narcissistic & Paranoid features." So -- maybe his behavior NEVER had anything to do with bipolar disorder. Sometimes, though -- I'll read something about Bipolar disorder that sounds so much like him. And, to be honest, I guess I'm MOSTLY looking for a way to take the STING out of the hurtful things he said and did to me.

Thanks for your time.


08-14-07, 11:16 AM
Well Sue. I was about to say...yes to your question and add, that there might be another dx within the BP or he needed his meds tweaked or something added with. For example. I take the Lamictal. But after a certain milligram, my doctor believes through research, it doesn't make much of a differnce, in fact it can cause depression. So when these reach thier full dosage he often adds in another med to help out. In my case I am already taking a small dose of Risperdal for my PMDD and when the hypomania is bad enough the Lamictal doesn't help. His suggestion has been I most likely will start takinga higher dosage during that time, and start the lower doseage on a regular daily basis.

Bipolar is as it's explained, A mood disorder, an extreme fluctuations of moods.

When we are depressed, we are distant, unresponsive, labile, and often irritable.
When we are hypomanic, we are are fun, charming, charasmactic, witty , then if provoked, or sometimes for no reason become extremely angry and aggitated. I suppose the rapid cyclers are the worst, like me, we can switch pretty quickly, and within the same day. I can wake up in a foul mood, and come home in a good one, or visa versa....So yes I have been called Sybil, Reagan (from exorcist, not funny), Dr. Jeckle/Hyde, and the perfect example of a true Gemini...right.

BPI's are the longer extremes. Although looking at it now, even the rapid cycler's seem to have rapid moods within longer cycles. Make sense?

I was going to top all of this with saying, although we do have episodes like you described, and well more personally I can attest to that, which is one reason I finally got the dx, with the tweaking of meds, that is usually mild compared to before?

Then I read your little disclosure. And well I guess that diagnoses would explain it as well.
I understand you wanting something to fill in the blanks of how could someone that loves me do that to me. Unless this man was using you for money or something to gain ,,,,, simply put....he loved you as much as he was capable of loving. What we are capable of giving , is not always what others are.
Some of us are blessed, even with our "disorders" a capacity to love very much. It's a battle sometimes, for all involved, but we do love. Some people, even if they didn't have a "disorder" don't have the capacity to love.
And if you are the one who can, and they are the one who can't. Well the expectations you have to get back the same as you put out, is crushing.
I am not saying he had the right to say and do what he did. That could be a number of things, not just his disorder.

I am just saying, my example is based on living with an addict for years, I know he loves me, but when he is chasing the dragon he can't. It has nothing to do with me. That is his issue.

It sounds to me like you are still trying to find a reason for something you might have done wrong. It takes 2 to make a relationship, and although you most likely had some part in some of the issues by not knowing how to deal with them, it is his problem. You could have been perfect, and I am sure he wouild have treated you the same.

You have to be secure enough within yourself at the end of the day, that after you have taken your mistakes and faults , deal with them and remove them from the equation, know that you are worth loving, you did all you could, and don't get stuck in that place, or you will never move on, and most likely end up with another one just like him? Make sense?

Hope :)

08-14-07, 08:55 PM
Thanks so much, Hope! I appreciate your reading my "story" and taking the time to share your thoughts about it. And I'm sorry to just DUMP THIS here too. Every once in a while the past overwhelms me (and YES - I DO go to therapy).

I am sure that my ex has AN ADDITIONAL DX. Unlike the people I see here, I KNOW that he not only is NEVER SORRY or REMORSEFUL for his behavior -- but he has absolutely NO INSIGHT into his behavior!! (I've both witnessed this AND I had a several professionals disclose this to me as well -- due to interactions related to divorce, child custody, rest. order issues.)

So I think I have the answer to my question. This was NOT just bipolar symptoms.

And - again - I am VERY SORRY to have dumped this here. Like I said, every once in a while something will trigger memories and unresolved feelings about this part of my past which will get my mind hoping that things went down DIFFERENTLY than they actually did.


08-14-07, 09:51 PM
Ok Sue...

I got one thing to say here...............

Don't ever apologize for venting here. You are not dumping. You are venting. That is what we are here for. Some days I just need to dump, or help out, or get help. This section is not just for us who suffer with BP, it's also a place for those who love or have loved a are safe....and we are often happy to help to explain our world.

He is the one who missed out Sue. Not you. It sounds like you just missed a horrible mess. Things happen for a reason. That was a toxic relationship for you, obviously. You sound like you are dealing with it healthy...learning from it, and moving on....

Share on sista...share on!

Hope ;)

08-14-07, 10:18 PM

I appreciate it

Sue :)