I found out some home truths last night that have really shocked me.
Apparently my nana used to drink heavily. My gramps had to tell my mum’s youngest sister that she was not to let my nana know that he had the key to where they kept the drink. Nana got quite angry with my auntie when she wouldn’t say where the key was.
She once left the house after an argument with my Grampa and vanished. It turned out later on that she had gone to a local seaside town for the day. She hadn’t bothered explaining it to her children. She’d been so angry with my gramps for renovating the house that she’d just left and gone off.
One time, my gramps pulled two of my aunties aside and told them, in his matter of fact way that this year he might well not be at home at Christmas but he might be staying in a flat. He had upset my nana and he was to blame, but that was just how it was and they were not to worry.
Also in the list of things my family had kept secret is the fact that we have had far more problems to deal with than I have always believed. I used to think that my grandparents just used to bicker, but now I know that they would have blazing rows. My nana has clearly had mental health problems for a long while before she got Alzheimer’s, and nobody thought to mention it.
I’m shocked. My mum didn’t know about any of this either, apart from a few things. This explains so much about why I am the way I am.
I suspect bipolar disorder runs in my family. I think my nana possibly may have had it. Her actions were not normal ones for the situation, and alcoholism and bipolar are strongly linked. Not only that, but I am seeing mania and psychosis in some of her actions. The running off to the seaside town episode smacks of the disordered chains of thought that pop up in bipolar sufferers. “Hey, if I go to the seaside, when I come back everything will be how it was before my husband ruined it.”
All of this makes me certain that the disorder runs in the family.