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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bipolar, personality, or am I just confused?



Well, I have a lot to write about tonite! First of all, DH got a job, kind of. He got hired as a maintenance guy at an apartment complex in town for $15/hr and he is feeling good about that (for the most part). He's already fixed a couple of things there and is happy to be earning a little money.

The bad thing about that is, that it's a "contract" position, which means that instead of being on the payroll and all that, DH has to bill the complex and then they give him a check and at the end of the year, there's a 1099 form that has to get filled out and basically NO TAXES GET TAKEN OUT. In the lingo of the tax guy, DH is "self-employed". In 2006, when DH had a paper route, it was the same thing, and when the tax guy got done with us, DH had actually only earned $160 total. Big time bad, especially if he puts in more hours at this job than he did for the paper route. So it's kind of bittersweet. And depending on if I'm talking to DH or "That Guy", the outcome(s) is different. When I talk to DH about this, he doesn't even wait for me to say anything, he says "I'll just do this for a couple of weeks, then I have to get something at the casino or something, because otherwise we are going to get screwed with the tax man." Which is right. Work enough to help out. Buy some cigs and some pop and gas, and then move on. Right now we can't afford to say "absolutely not" but every hour that he works for them will hurt us more.

"That Guy", on the other hand, has a different take on it. Since "That Guy" is doing something he likes and it's good money, and because "That Guy" believes it's the only job in the world, he will stay there and we will worry about the taxes at the end of the year. Not my favored outcome, of course, but "That Guy" and I don't exactly get along anyhow....

That said, I was telling DH about how the price of oil jumped $11 a barrel on Friday, how the Dow crashed (down 394 for the day) and how the unemployment numbers are the worst in over 30 years and he got some kind of bug in his bonnet about how we had to go get gas. Right now. I told him I couldn't see the logic of getting a bunch of gas on the credit card right now, because the interest would undoubtedly eat up any savings....and then I let it drop. Then DD started to get a little annoying, so then DH wanted me to take him to Subway to get away from her. I told him there was a ton of food in the kitchen and I couldn't justify that. So he went outside. When he came in again, he asked me about the gas. I told him again that I was still trying to be smart about things and I didn't think we should do it. Because all in all, a couple of tanks of gas aren't going to make that much of a difference....so then he asked me if I could go to the store for him and get him some bologna and some cheese so that he could pack a lunch for work tomorrow. I didn't say much. Then he brought up the gas AGAIN. I am sure he was just looking for an excuse to fill up his vehicles. When I told him we weren't going to do it, he got really sulky and got that "you don't really love me" attitude and went outside again.

In the meantime, I observed that we had peanut butter, jelly, bread, and butter if he wanted to make a lunch. So I decided that we didn't need the bologna and cheese. I took DD to visit my mom and we stopped on the way home and got a gallon of milk and some canned biscuits (3 cans for 99 cents!) so that I could make biscuits and gravy for supper. When we got home and DH saw that I had bought milk, he asked if I got the bologna and the cheese and I said no and right away it went into the "you don't love me" mode again....but I know we didn't need that. Actually, if I had time to make my own biscuits, that would be better, too, but the time and energy I would have to come up with might negate the 99 cents for the 3 cans....and I was kind of fuming the whole time I cooked, because basically every conversation I had with DH today involved him needing more money for something. But I couldn't point that out, because he was "That Guy" at the moment.

So we sat down to eat, and since we all love biscuits and gravy, it went over very well. DH, Jim, and DD all complimented me on the meal....and then they got up and I started thinking "yah, there you go, all you do is ask for money and then I cook for you and you leave me with a mess...." (I was feeling pretty surly and sorry for myself)....and then DH came back and cleared the table while I was finishing up. That was a nice surprise...

Then he went into the bedroom, and I just sat at the kitchen table, listening to the radio, since I had to leave for work in 15 minutes anyhow....and I was in no mood to have to tell him again that we have no money. Then after about 5 minutes he came out and sat down at the kitchen table with me. I can't possibly express how unusual this was, usually he'd sulk in the bedroom because I'm mean and then he'd fall asleep...or else he'd find some stupid reason to drive to town and buy something because I'm mean....anyhow, he sat down and asked me what I was worried about. I still wasn't sure who I was talking to, DH or "That Guy", so I just said "everything". And he said "yeah, me too." And he just started talking about how he's worried that this job of his is going to a bad idea, and how he needs a "regular" job, and then he said, "I don't know why, but I've had it in my head all day that I needed to get gas. I had my heart set on it. But you're right, it doesn't make any sense right now." I told him that I'm scared that my credit card payments were going to be more than I could handle and he told me that he was going to help me, he promised....I explained to him that earlier in the year it felt like we had more money because I was working extra hours and we got our tax refund and then that rebate check, and now I'm not working any extra hours and no more big checks to hope for, and I'm getting burnt out....and then I told DH that he has a lot more "fun money" than I ever get and he nodded and said "you're right." Then tears started falling (mine). And I had to go to work.

I hope it all turns out ok. And I wish I had some way of knowing ahead of time when "That Guy" was going to show up or disappear.....argh. And is it DH's bipolar that makes him get these spending ideas in his brain, or is it just his personality? It's hard to discern.

4 comments:

KJ said...

I just found your blog. I have a bipolar spouse as well and can looking for others to relate to in the drama of the bipolar life. Great blog.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I've been reading your wonderful blog. Mental health illnesses are so difficult. I think those of us who have depression and/or bipolar often forget the impact our illnesses have on our loved ones. Your blog is very insightful and has helped me see a different perspective. Thank you and good luck.

Clarissa in California

perphila said...

Did he have the same spending issues before? If he did then maybe it is just how he handles money. If these spending sprees and ideas about buying something "right now" have been since you began to realize his BiP then I think it's safe to say it's the BiP speaking.

Carol said...

Well, when we were first married, DH paid for absolutely everything. All the bills, all the repairs, etc. That was his idea of "being a good husband and provider". And he had credit cards and used them, especially when we first got the house--he spent $9,000 on his credit card to pay for repairs to our old house, and then when he realized what the balance was, he worked overtime to pay it all off in 4 months AND pay all our bills simultaneously. So I'm not sure if he had a spending problem before but made enough to keep it in check, or not. I think that his financial decisions were more based in reality back then. And he used to be so hell-bent to be debt free....maybe it'll come back? I sure hope so....