I just left my sons father for not dealing with hi bipolar disorder and frequent violent outbursts. The thing I wonder about is that for the entire relationship I was the bad person. I couldn’t have a simple disagreement or normal spat. I was always being presented as the one in the wrong no matter what and if I complained about something it got even worse. I cannot see much that I did wrong. Do people who suffer from bipolar disorder have ab altered sense of other peoples actions? Everyone was always doing him wrong and he never did anything! He wanted unconditional support even when he was outrageously wrong for his actions…and if you didn’t then you were a b*tch
First let me say this it must have been a terribly difficult decision for you to leave someone you love and I am truly sorry for your situation. While it is often a demanding struggle for a person who is bipolar to maintain on a daily basis, it can be just as difficult for that person’s loved one, family and friends.
Years ago prior to my diagnosis of Bipolar 1, my behavior was very erratic. My mood swings were like being on a roller coaster. One minute I was severely depressed not getting out of bed and had frequent crying jags. The next minute I could be agitated, screaming and yelling for no apparent reason. The next thing you know I’m the happiest go lucky woman in the world! I thought there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish. I engaged in some very outrageous, degrading and at times dangerous behaviors. All of this frightened and confused my preteen daughters to the point that they went to go live with their father. Soon after, when I was diagnosed correctly and began receiving proper treatment including medication, I became a different person. It was and still can be a daily struggle to maintain and I still have episodes, but my coping skills, knowledge and awareness of my illness has made my life so much better. My children are all adults now and we discuss that period in our lives on occasion. My daughters tell me that even though they loved their mommy so much, they just couldn’t stay in that type of environment anymore. They say leaving me was probably the hardest thing they’ve ever done.
I’m telling you all of this so that you will know that I do very much understand what you have and still are going through. When you say your son’s father is not dealing with his bipolar disorder, I’m taking that to mean one or two things;
1) He is not on medication at all or is non compliant in taking his medication and not in any type of therapy.
2) He is on medication and it’s not effective; he either doesn’t recognize this or he does but won’t do anything about it.
In either case whether he’s not treated at all or his treatment is ineffective, most absolutely yes, his views and outlook on everything can be extremely altered and distorted. This can and will terribly impair how he views everything in his life; his environment, employment, professional and personal relationships and especially his relationship with you and how he feels about you.
Most psychiatrists believe that bipolar disorder is not only one of the most difficult mental illnesses to treat, it is also one of the most difficult mental illnesses to live with and manage as and individual. There are so many facets of the disorder to deal with; mood swings and the severe instability that can accompany them, the inability to recognize impending episodes whether it be mania or depression, the non-compliance with medications and treatment especially while in a manic episode. Many people who are bipolar like the “high” they feel while manic and will basically believe they are fine, they refuse to listen to anyone, and are almost impossible to deal or reason with.
It’s important to note that bipolar symptoms can manifest themselves in many ways. Manic episodes can be different for everyone. Some will feel euphoric, grandiose and that they can do anything. Others will be hyper verbal, restless and irritable to the point of being explosive and violent. It can be the same with depressive episodes, some people will sleep too much, and others won’t sleep for long periods of time. Some are completely despondent and won’t respond to anything or anyone, others while still very depressed can be irritable and restless. Most people who are depressed though do share some common symptoms; hopelessness, guilt. Feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of death and dying and often suicide.
A bipolar person who is untreated or not treated properly can often feel confused, angry, and very simply put tormented. They often hurt the ones they love and care about the most. They don’t act like the person we know and love and that is because their mental illness in this case bipolar, has taken over every aspect of their lives. I suspect this is the case with your son’s father.
You have a very difficult decision to make if you want to try to have a relationship with him. You can very gently encourage him to get treatment. I very much suggest doing this cautiously when he seems to be in a calm mood and amenable to discussing the issue. You have to remember though he will only get treatment if he chooses to. As much as we’d like our loved ones to seek help for their mental illness we can’t make them, only they can make that choice.
I know this situation must be causing you a lot of pain, stress and confusion. Please remember that you have to take care of yourself as well as your son.
My heart goes out to you and however this situation resolves itself I wish you the best of luck in your life.