I was wondering if you had any non-bipolar siblings and how your relationship is with them? Has your relationship been tarnished because of this illness?
As for my relationships with them, they have definitely not been tarnished due to my illness. With my sisters I think it has actually brought us closer. I’m the “baby” of 6 kids, but it’s funny how when they have questions regarding depression and anxiety, they actually come to me for advice.
However, being the youngest of 6 children, and also being an “after thought” in the child bearing process (meaning my closest sister is 5 yrs older and my oldest brother is 13 yrs older) I never really got much of a chance to tarnish any of the relationships as most everyone was grown up and moved out by the time I started to experience symptoms. I’m not sure that it is this way for all families.
I often feel as though I was raised as an only child. I mean my siblings were always there in the sense that they existed, but by the time I was 13 they weren’t really “There”. They lived in different cities and different states and had lives and families of their own. This was very difficult for me, but I never really let it show (if I could help it at least).
With my children though I definitely see the effects of my son’s Bipolar on his two siblings. They already know when to quietly go upstairs and stay under the radar when my son is raging. They already know that they have to be careful not to push his buttons. Even my five year old has like a “Pdog Rage Radar”. One day we were at the zoo and PDog went into a fit (because I asked him to eat his sandwich….the nerve of me!) and Chubbas (aka 5 yr old) picked up his stuff and calmly followed us where ever PDog ran. It’s like he went right into “Behave Mode”. I couldn’t believe it.
I worry sometimes about their relationships as they grow older, but I want to believe that by keeping everyone in my family informed and educated I will be able to avoid my non-bipolar children from becoming too upset over the things that PDog may do or say. *crosses fingers then knocks on wood*
Have any of you readers had problems maintaining your relationships with siblings? I’d love to hear other people’s experiences. Please do share!!!