Bipolar Home Truths

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.


fundamentalism and the emotional spectrum

This post resonates with me so so much. Church always told me that if I was not happy or joyful or grateful, I was BAD and SINFUL. By inference, I was off to hell. I felt like I was permanently faking happiness, plastering a huge grin over the yawning chasm of terror inside. Anxiety and panic were alien words to me, I was convinced I was not a panic attack sufferer or had issues with depression. That wasn’t ‘godly.’
Therapy is revealing how much of this bullshit I was fed.

storm’s centre.

Having serious problems dealing with the depression that’s finally hit me since I realised what was going on with the biting. I’m on the floor trying to deal with this. I cuddle up to the puppy and pray it goes away. This is crippling.

I feel like J shouldn’t have to be with someone like me. I wish I was less damaged. I know, however, that I have progressed because I want to sit tight and hunker down til it’s all over.

I’ll cuddle the loving dog in my arms and wait for this to pass. Please god not much longer.

For People Who Want To Help

Brilliant, beautiful common and not-so-common sense.


He dwelt in an isolated house,
because he was a leper.
2 Chronicles

I don’t think it’s only me who feels that way at times, right?

So you wanna help a loved one with a mental neurobiological illness?

This is so important, I almost made the text bold. It isn’t your responsibility. You didn’t cause it. You cannot fix it. Dont invalidate us by saying it will all be ok. It might not be. You can certainly help though.

Do not let it all fuck you up and make you ill. Take good care and get help and support too.

Stick around, even when we are silent, grouchy, asleep and hell bent on isolating ourselves. Just keep reminding us that you’re there. Some of us prefer text based messages rather than visits and phone calls. Just ask. But don’t take our shit.

Educate yourself about whatever disorder it is –…

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lost in the darkness

I have been putting up the Christmas decorations today, trying to keep my good spirits up, but they have crashed and I’m left feeling lost and lonely.

I was told by Dr K to expect this, but it’s left me drifting. I feel cut off from my family and very alone.

I’m cuddling up to the puppy and trying to comfort the frightened, shamed eighteen or nineteen year old who still doesn’t get why she was subject to biting and pain and misery. She doesn’t get why she was whipped with a metal belt and made to be an object for humiliation and pain. She is me.

I never acknowledged the biting and the whipping as abuse because he lied to me and told me it was BDSM when it wasn’t. It was abuse.

At first I thought the lost feeling was anxiety over Christmas, but it isn’t. I’m upset for injuries that happened in my past that still hurt in the present.

Things I never thought were abuse. TW

TW: I write about very not fun non-consensual things that happened to me with my ex. Steer clear if you feel at all triggered, be safe.

I had a bit of a wake up in therapy today. Dr K told me that I have been very badly abused. I still don’t feel like this is the case, but that’s exactly what has happened. I was raped, and other sordid things came to light today before the rapes started to happen that I had buried in the back of my mind that I had completely forgotten about. I had never even associated them with abuse til I saw them through Dr K’s eyes today and realised that I have only just broken the surface of the evils done to me.

Remarkably, I’m not feeling too horrible yet. I think I’m either still desensitised or in shock.

Dr K was asking me why I had been dreaming about horrible things with huge, devouring mouths over the past few months. She was wondering whether there was some sort of deeper rooted thing in my head that I hadn’t explored yet. Apparently, I had told her a while back that he had bitten me, but I had no memory of telling her that.

Thing is, when she asked me about being bitten by him, memories of sharp teeth grating against my hipbones and sinking into my thigh swam unbidden into my head. I told Dr K about all the times I would have to turn up to ballet class with bruises from his bites splashed like a calling card across my skin. I told her about the fact he would bite hard in the middle of sex and it would throw me, and I would try so hard to cling on to the fleeting pleasure of the moment before- ride it out, it will be ok, you will be ok. I would dread sex sometimes because I knew he would want to bite me. I knew the bruises would last for weeks, too.

On another occasion he had me handcuffed to the bed and he whipped me with the end of a belt. It drew blood. It stung. It left marks. I wasn’t happy with where it was going but he told me I had to obey him because that was a master and slave thing, a contract between us. It wasn’t. I’ve seen the BDSM community’s reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey and I know they despise it. They call it abuse, without proper safe words and guidelines, and there’s certainly no pushing of your partner past his or her boundaries.

What used to happen between he and I, what he sold to me in his lies as BDSM, was actually just abuse. I didn’t like how I felt when he was treating me that way. I felt wrong and humiliated and frightened a lot. I was always worried that one day there would be something worse than a belt to contend with.

The biting was painful and left bruises, and the whipping was even more so. But I knew I couldn’t say stop- he would never allow it. He would have carried on anyway without mercy.

Maybe this is something else I have to realise- I was a battered woman, but not in the way everyone expects. I was sexually battered.

I can’t stop seeing Dr K’s concerned face as she said that I was very badly abused. She was looking at me with horror for what I had been through.

Maybe I should start looking at other things that happened through her caring eyes, too. Continue reading