I HAVE BIPOLAR – BUT I CAN NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF
When I was very young I was always sad, frightened and life was difficult. I had great difficulty at mixing even at a very young age and felt alienated. When I was a teenager, my mother regularly told me that I must be a very selfish person to be the way that I am and that I should pull myself together and be like other people. I became reclusive and developed an eating disorder, with extreme mood swings and depression. I hated myself and my parents were ashamed of me.
When I was in my twenties, and a young Mother, I no longer believed that I was human. I saw myself as a spitting, slavering demon. I actually thought that I was a monster and I was frightened and delusional. I fought constant battles with my head and suffered with thoughts and visions of harming my children. I could not tell my doctor or health visitor that I wanted to kill my children because they would have been taken away from me and I loved them madly. I was ashamed of my madness and so afraid and alone. I despised myself for my weakness. My moods became far worse and I would go days without speaking to my husband; sitting staring into space, crying and raging in my head.
It was difficult to leave the house, as I was afraid I would push my children in front of a bus, or throw them off a local bridge into the river that I had to cross on my way into town. I spent years on and off on antidepressants, but I could only ever tell my doctor that I was depressed, never the whole truth. I did have some counselling but I think it made me worse, so I stopped going.
In my thirties, I was completely manic, up and down like a yoyo, and my rages were frightening. Suicide was on my mind daily for I felt I didn’t deserve to live and life was so fearful. It was during this time that I left my family as I did not think I deserved them and they would be better off without me. My youngest son was just 2 years old.
It was not until about 4 years ago, after I ran away again because I knew I was once again making life unbearable for someone that I loved very much, that a psychiatrist actually told me that I was suffering from bipolar disorder. I was put on new medication to control my moods, and although I was still very unwell, it was as if a weight had at last been lifted from my shoulders. There was now a reason for it all.
Unfortunately, I found the meds didn’t work for me, as I can’t function on them and to be honest, after all these years I like my highs- and the lows I have learned to live with and manage. It’s almost a lifestyle choice now, and I have learned various coping skills. I, also, during a very bad period, got a little black dog, and he is my saviour and my love. I would be dead if it weren’t for him.
Now in my forties, I can never forgive myself for the pain and suffering I have caused my family because of the way I am, but they have forgiven me. My two youngest sons now choose to live with me. It took 10 years for me to get them back. It is a struggle every day.