Bi-polar Bear

I think I’ve been bi-polar most of my life.   I just wasn’t diagnosed until my 30s.   Even when I was young, I’d think the strangest things, but when I tried to talk about them, I’d get looks like I had 3 heads.   So, I’d shut up, knowing I was weird.  And that I better keep all that was whirling around in my brain to myself, or else.   I wasn’t quite sure what “Else” was, but I knew it wasn’t good.

I was made to feel that I was out of step with the world.   That something was wrong with me.  I knew I was different, just not sure why.

One day I’d be happy as a lark, playing, and smiling all over the place.   The next, I’d be so blue, It seemed my world was ending.   Nobody else seemed to have such intense emotions, and extreme reactions.

Joining drama in college, and my first year after, was fabulous!!    I was TOLD to be an entirely different person!!    It was just what I needed!!   You are REQUIRED to be larger than life!

slob, drama

                            Easter play 1984.   I was Pilate’s wife.

As I look back on it, I’m not sure why I never was involved in drama before then.    After I married Ranch Man, I tried to join the drama troupe at a big church.   I was politely told “We don’t have many roles for middle aged women.”   And the very next Sunday, who was starring in the production??   A woman my age!!   BUT, she was NOT FAT.   Yeah, being mental AND fat made my life so very pleasant.    {Sarcasm carry thru there??}

Now, I’ve seen that kids as young as 7 have been diagnosed bi-polar.   How would that have affected my growth, and development if I had been as well??

 

Sometimes teaching helped, a little bit.  When it wasn’t driving me to another nervous breakdown.   (I had a total of 3 while teaching between 2005-2008.   That’s why I’m on disability now.)

slob, bi-polar, upside down day This bit of crazy was school sanctioned, because it was “Upside Down Day” at the Preschool where I taught Kg, in 1992-1993.   It was fun!   A little hard to walk, since the dress straps were between my ankles, but hey!   Anything for the kids!

Even now, some people can’t seem to deal with me.   “Sit down, and shut up” has been inferred many times.   “Quit being so dramatic about everything”  is another frequent refrain, ringing in my ears.   “You laugh too loud.”   “Stop being like that.”    “You can’t just let out a scream like that, we live in an apartment, there’s people all around.”   “This is church, restrain yourself, you’re singing too loud.”   “You’re embarrassing me.”    “You can’t dress like that, if you want to go with me.”   All this – even AFTER I grew up!!    I was an adult!

And I’m only being myself.   It’s not like I’m picking my nose in public!   I’m just talking to the waiter, like he’s a friend.   Or, waving to a baby, and making faces.   Or, asking for a Sprite with 3 different flavored syrups.  Or horrors, hugging my aunt/cousin/best friend in public!   How dare I??   Or squealing with excitement, when I’m opening a present.  Or wearing shorts without shaving my legs.

For awhile, several years ago, I just stopped feeling.  I stopped reacting.   I quit joking, or laughing in public.   Didn’t sing until I was alone in the car.   Why do it, when I’m just gonna be bopped on the head like Whack-a-mole??  

slob, bi-polar, thwack a vole

Exactly, except I was ALWAYS whacked, never missed.

I hated being me, and wanted to just die. Some people approved of me.  “You’ve finally grownup!”   “You’ve learned how to behave!”    “You aren’t embarrassing me anymore!”

 But then, they finally started asking me, “What’s wrong?   You don’t talk anymore.   That’s not like you.”

Well, duh!!   I wasn’t being me, because “me” was always wrong!   Easier to just exist, instead of trying to live.   Being constantly beat up, verbally and emotionally, takes a tremendous toll on a person.   Especially since I already had mental and emotional problems to start with.

Now I have a select few, very few, people I can be myself with.   But I can’t always be around them.   So, I have to modify  ( read- tone down  completely change) my behavior to suit the company.   And that’s a strain.   For about 6 months, last winter, I told my counselor every week, “I’m so tired, I’m just so tired.”   I wasn’t able to be myself, because my few people were too busy, or our schedules didn’t sync.   For whatever reason, I was having to sustain my modified behavior, without a break, to let loose and be myself.  Talk about bi-polar!   It feels like having to maintain a totally different, unnatural personality.   Like being in a straitjacket, and muzzle.  Yet, still expected to talk, and “Be normal”.

slob, bi-polar, straightjacket

 But, I don’t like me, when I’m like that.   I just want to be free to be me.

Is that too much to ask??

Man, Much?

Okay, I gots thoughts all jumbled up today.  {Yes, I said “gots” on purpose.}    So, if you can’t follow the thought processes, just raise your hand, and I’ll try to back up, and make it clearer.   (Clear as mud, I’m sure.)   Alrighty then, here we go!!

This is my 3rd divorce.   I am very ashamed of that fact.   But, I comfort myself with the thought that at least they (the first 2) were to the same person.   Does that make sense??   I felt like at least I was pouring out all the misery on only 1 man, instead of making 2 men miserable.

slob, humor, nuclear family

Original married family. Look how little the girls are! Look how thin we parents are!

(My jacket was actually purple.   Why do some shades show up blue??)

And I always just knew I couldn’t live without a man, to take care of me, and just generally be there for me.   So, shortly, very shortly, after both divorces, I had snagged me another man.   Then, after the first divorce, we got remarried.   Then, it didn’t work out again.   Was anyone surprised??    I think not.   Pretty much, I’m sure everyone saw that train wreck coming VERY clearly.

After the 2nd divorce, I was with my second husband.   {2nd man, 3rd marriage.   Still following?   Good.}  

slob, humor, wedding photo

Mr and Mrs Roberto Antonio Sanchez

(That man was SO handsome!    I’m a little teary eyed right now.   I haven’t looked at these photos in YEARS.)

 After only 2 months of marriage, he died of cancer.   Which was kinda good, because we would have gotten divorced too, I’m sure.   I was rough to live with, due to all my own issues, and he was too, due to his.    Plus, he was Latin, so, he met my flair for drama, and LOUD screaming talking fights, with his own high level!   The volume in our house, was probably what caused me to start hearing loss!   (Let’s just say I was very grateful for concrete block walls, instead of wood frame!)   Much as we loved each other, it was a volatile relationship.   He never physically abused me, but we all know words can cause hurts so deep, they never heal.

So, after he died, I was so deep in grief, and depression that I cried every day for 10 months.  I lost my job, almost became homeless, etc, etc.   On the first day of the 11th month, I woke up, and decided I would smile at anyone who smiled at me that day.    I was so weary of crying, and being depressed.   I had felt for a time, that I wanted to die too.   But God had plans for me.   Namely, to stay alive!   😀

I had managed without a man for 10 months, because I was so focused on the dead one.   Can you guess what happened??   Yep, that very day is when I met Ranch Man, (XH) and we were together every day after that.   Our marriage lasted 13 years.

slob, humor, husband

PurpleSlob and Ranch Man, (now XH)

 

But this divorce is different.   I haven’t tried to find another man.   (Whoops, that’s a lie.   I went online to meet someone, and got cat fished.   But at least I figured it out within a week or so!   And that dampened my desire for another man tremendously!)

So, this time, I have focused on having my own life, not looking for another man, to build a life around, because I can’t be alone.   Before, I was almost pathologically afraid to be alone.  I didn’t think I was strong enough to go thru life, without leaning on a man. 

Don’t get me wrong, when I need to lift 50 lbs, I still call for muscles!   I ain’t trying to give myself a hernia, go to hospital for emergency surgery, catch a staph infection, and die, just so I won’t depend on a man!!   I know my physical limits!!   (About 10 lbs….well, 12, since that’s how much PPJr weighs now.)

I’ve found out, I CAN live without a man!   All I need is Jesus, my family, and friends!   I get my hugs from Mama, Sis, Brother, Shirley, DD1PP, and PPJr.   

Solitude can be soothing to my soul.   As long as I am choosing to be alone to enjoy stillness, not isolating due to depression.   Hearing my chimes on a soft breeze, the birds adding their sweet sounds, is healing for the mind, and spirit.

Wow, I’m really wound up today!   I don’t usually preach this long!