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growing up with a bipolar parent
Monday, June 07, 2010 4:31 AM
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Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
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Down the centuries you have slurred the meaning of the words, WE THE PEOPLE...
Quote:Originally posted by tatertot:
I sometimes fear I may be bipolar too...I do have the depression moments for sure, but I have yet to have a manic episode of any kind and I am afraid of that happening sometimes...
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 6:17 PM
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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)
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Quote:Originally posted by boris:
wo! whats happening with the site..you try to post and it says it hasnt worked so you try again and again and it posts multiple times even though it says it hasn't...
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Saturday, June 12, 2010 2:43 AM
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010 2:04 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Niki2:
Oh my; you and your brother have my deepest sympathy. I'm bipolar...but "Bipolar II", the milder and slightly different kind, and it's difficult enough these days with meds and therapy, I can't imagine what you went through growing up with an untreated parent.
My mother was posthumously diagnosed as bipolar and my dad as depressive, so I know where my genes come from, now. But I wasn't dx'd until I was 48 (I'm 61 now), so I, too, spent my whole life trying to fit in (for a different reason of course) and somehow knowing I was "different". I look back now and all the signs were there, but because my behavior wasn't severe enough, nobody ever knew. My life would have been so different if I'd only known when younger!
Have you or your brother ever been checked? We can have genes from any kind of mental illness and they can manifest as any other (with exceptions), so you never know where it will pop up or what manifestation it will be. We aren't "born bipolar", you probably know by now; we're born with a gene that gives us a "predisposition" to manifest, which is brought on most often by childhood trauma, or later in life by a physical cause or other trauma.
Please do tell him, as you already have, that there's no such thing as "normal", and fitting in is a futile effort which only stunts your chance at a good quality of life. On the site I run for mental health, we refuse to call them "normies" (a term often used by those with diagnoses); for me they're GUMs, the "great undiagnosed masses". I think if psychiatry and science continue (long after my death!) they'll determine that EVERYONE has some sort of mental issue that can be given a "name". As it is, we're only diagnosed as mentally ill if our symptoms "severely affect our ability to function", and most people I know have a "touch" of this or that. It's nothing to even think about unless it severely affects one's life.
I can't imagine the things you must have gone through. Yes, back then little was known, so unless someone was hospitalized or incarcerated, and sometimes not even then, did they get help. My mother never knew--nor did I know about her problem, but I have more than enough memories of my childhood to be able to get just a glimpse of what you must have endured.
The mood swings are hard enough for a child to deal with, especially not knowing why--and far too many children grow up thinking there's something bad or wrong with them as a result of their parent's difficulties. It's a shame it took so long to understand mental illness, and even now medication is iffy and there is no physical "test" for it.
I can tell you that growing up with a mentally-ill parent, especially bipolar or schiz--ends up with the child carrying around many "messages" they internalized as a child because they couldn't understand otherwise which may haunt them the rest of their lives. I found great help in therapy, especially EMDR, in being able to go back, hear those messages from an adult viewpoint, and see that it was about my MOTHER's issues, not about me at all. I hope your brother can come to that realization, because I would bet his desire to fit in is at least partly the result of things he's not aware of which he internalized at a young age.
No, you're right; the chances of your mother ever getting treatment are next to nil. I hated my mother for years, until in her old age she came to live with us and one day the mask slipped off and I saw the anger underneath and how screwed-up her mind could be, and it freed me. I realized in time that trying to help her would do her more harm than good; as people like that get older, even if one COULD make them face reality, I think it would be dangerous to do so. If faced with all the things she had done, my mother might well have been harmed irreparably, and she was so old by then, it was easy to pity her.
You gave him excellent advice; if I were to give you any, it would be to accept him (as you already have) and repeat that message from time to time. Sometimes it takes a lot of repetition to get rid of the old messages, but it CAN be done, especially by someone who loves and respects you.
Beyond finding some you can connect with, a more important thing if he can do it is to learn to love and accept himself. There's a long lecture I could give you about how a lot of the subconscious feelings of "less than", or "not as good as" or other negative feelings we have about ourselves can be traced at the very bottom to "I don't deserve love" and deeper to "I don't deserve to be loved". That's a message that gets instilled in children who suffer unreasonable anger at the hands of their parents, and if he can conquer that one and come to love himself as obviously you and others do, his life will change dramatically. I can guarantee that.
Looking outward for support and love is good, but being able to accept it from OURSELVES is even better. He's obviously a very special person; the more you can get him to see that, the better. Judgment by other people is totally irrelevant in the greater scheme of things, and fitting in isn't just "overrated", it's unhealthy and wrong. I hope he finds/has found love, and that both of you get the high quality of life you so deserve and probably didn't get early on.
He's lucky to have you. I'm an only child, so I don't know what it's like to have a brother or sister who truly accepted and loved me; you're lucky to have one another; treasure that.
(Sorry this is so long; it's obviously a subject close to my heart, and I feel for both of you)
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 4:32 AM
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