Barb and Michael (an SO story)
Michael and Barb
I not so long ago wrote
Michael's story, with his permission and approval. I'd like to write another
personal story. A little different this time, from my point of view. How it is
loving someone with this disorder and how difficult it can be. I hope this helps
someone not make the mistakes I have made, and somehow provides comfort to
anyone enduring the same thing.
As I said in Michael's
story, I met him over a year ago. Things have not been easy for either of us.
At first, before we
knew about the bipolar disorder, I could not understand how he continued to hurt
me with his irrational behavior. I couldn't see how he could and would continue
to drink, lie, betray, hurt, and the many other things that at this point in
life seem no longer relevant.
Since we found about
his disorder we both have made many mistakes.
He has fallen back at
times, thinking he could and would fix it himself and not hurt me again. That
backfired. I seem to always know, without words, what is happening. Just a
feeling I suppose.
With this came lies
again. Lies that may come from good intentions at heart, again not wanting me to
be hurt, but lies none the less.
I can only speak for
myself, but to me, lies is the worse pain. There is no truth to me that could
hurt more. Lies break trust, bring doubt and heartache.
Mistakes made have not
only been Michael's.
I also made and
continue to make many. I read and understand that when he is having an episode,
you never accuse. You don't bring up mistakes made or pain caused. Instead you
That is the logical
rational side. The intellectual side that knows this. That side by no means
controls the emotional side. The side that cries, feels pain, anger, hurt, doubt
It is this side that
has me asking things I normally wouldn't. It's that side of me that can take the
smallest thing and think it all wrong. And in the same breath have Michael
getting angry at me for not understanding. An anger he can't grasp and cope with
while he is manic, or rapid cycling.
I have sat and wrote to
him, telling him he is not the man I see, the man I know. I have done this when
I have felt so hurt that I just can not understand why he would hurt me so
This is a mistake.
Because I have degraded him during a time that he isn't himself. I have made him
feel shame and guilt that he already felt and again couldn't control. I took
advantage of that and made him feel more. I did so because I was hurt.
I don't think either of
us is right or wrong here. I think that coping with someone who has this
disorder and trying to deal with it is almost as hard as having the disorder
We go through many of
the same emotions they do.
Communication is the
key. No matter what never stop talking. When that happens, all the wrong
thoughts emerge. All the wrong conclusions are found.
I have stopped
believing in Michael and even told him so, much to my regret and shame. This is
not the fault of me or him. It's what happens when one is afraid and the other
After I told him that,
I sat thinking and knew in my heart I had just lied to the man I loved. I had
not given up, I had not stopped believing in him, I never would.
I would continue to
pray, hope and talk to him. Together we would find our way and overcome all
obstacles that are put before us.
This is not easy for
either of us, nothing in life worth having is ever handed to you. I keep that
thought in mind and I try harder to not accuse or belittle him. When I feel like
crying, I read and learn more about his disorder. I try and understand more what
he is enduring at this time. I try and be patient, and oh that is such a hard
When I met Michael, I
knew he was brought to me for a reason. I have always known his thoughts, his
feelings, his emotions, even without words, even when I didn't understand
myself. We were connected from the start and as many times as I have thought I
would and have tried to do so. I can not walk away, something holds that
connection between us together. I will not give up on him, even though I now
feel shame and guilt for telling him that I have. I only hope he knows just how
much I do love him and that what is said during times of pain is not always the
I truly hope this helps
other couples who are in the same situation. I hope it helps them understand a
little better, both for those who have the disorder as to what their spouse is
feeling, and brings some comfort to the one who is enduring the same thing. You
are not alone. Just don't give up.