Jim called today (are you surprised? I'm not). He is still visiting with his family and has not gone to see that girl yet. According to DH, he was very concerned about how DH was doing and how all the animals are doing. He asked so many worried questions that it was apparent, even to DH, that he misses us/our house/our family life. DH told me that he did not invite Jim to come back, but did not completely close that door, either. I'm actually a little surprised he's been gone as long as he has. I am still predicting that he will be back and we will still have to actually ask him to leave. But I've been wrong before! I'm just a little skeptical that him leaving would suddenly be so easy for him, when for 10 months he hasn't been able to bring himself to leave....I sure do enjoy the empty living room, though--it feels like a home again!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Today was a very warm and humid day outside. (I love summer!!!!!) I didn't really notice, though, because I've been working all day, but I did notice something I wanted to share with you, because it made me kind of excited but it also made me want to stop and figure out what's wrong (LOL--I know that's bad thinking, though).
I've been dreaming again. Not like dreaming as in "I went to bed and had a dream", but I've been fantasizing about my future. I haven't done that for so long, it feels wrong!!! But I think that with DH being somewhat more stable, and DD being, well, as good as she's ever been (she's at horse camp right now, though, so maybe that contributes to the feeling), LOL, that I am feeling like there might be some "me" time in the future. I've started thinking about redecorating the house. I've started thinking about fencing the yard, so the "not-so-obedient" dogs won't have to be tied out. I've been thinking about getting more exercise (there's still a time issue with that one, though) and taking some classes.
It's a nice feeling that I think I had forgotten--it might be possible for me to have a life and work and sleep too....??? Unfortunately a lot of my ideas still involve money, but a few don't, and a few don't involve MUCH money (how much does a bucket of reject paint cost? $1 or $2?--you know, the paint that someone had gotten mixed and then rejected it--every paint store has some) Maybe there's not as much of a life as I'd like, but I am hoping I can keep this little spark of feeling going so that tomorrow when I'm home, I might be able to do something that makes me feel like I accomplished something, or better yet, maybe something that makes me feel proud of myself. (I know that I'll probably wake up and "That Guy" will be there, but maybe he won't....?)
Battling bipolar, even if you're not the one with the illness, can sure sap your hopes and dreams, can't it? I hope that I'm getting some of those back :-)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I had mentioned to Lorna, one of the regular readers of this blog, that I am surprised at myself for not reading up on bipolar. Usually, I read everything I can get my hands on. When our chickens get sick, I read everything I can to see if I can help. When the dogs or cats get sick, I also read up on everything I can. And when I had my gallbladder taken out three years ago, I read everything I could, and asked many people about their experiences.
So I was surprised when I realized that I wasn't learning much about my husband's condition. I can analyze from here to there, but the truth is, I really don't understand why that is. But the fact remains: I am relatively ignorant about the specifics about my husband's illness.
I know that part of it is that a lot of the bipolar information out there is geared towards people who have the full-fledged mania, where they think that they will be the next president, so it's fine if they go out and meet lots of women and spend lots of money, etc. I guess I really didn't think there was much information out there for people with the type of bipolar that my DH is suffering from, and it was my assumption (and we all know what happens when we assume) that is to blame, among other things that I have yet to delve into.
Anyhow, Lorna had mentioned a book--"Loving someone with Bipolar Disorder" and, recognizing my lack of concrete knowledge regarding bipolar, I bought a copy. I kind of skimmed through it at first, there are a lot of exercises in there that seem like I might need more time to do them, but there are a LOT of things in the book that seem very obvious, but I hadn't even thought of.
The one thing that is sticking in my mind right now is something the author(s) recommend--"Respond, don't react." And I'm a little embarrassed to say, that up until now (and probably for quite a long time after this, too), I have pretty much only "reacted". I've been running back and forth, trying to put out all of these bipolar fires, and as soon as I get one under control, another one flares up. I can see that it would benefit me HUGELY if I could learn to a) recognize what tends to trigger DH's symptoms and b) accept his illness and c) form a plan to help manage DH's illness so that we can get on with our lives. What an amazing concept!!!
I suspect that for me, for sure, though, it's going to be a lot harder than it sounds. It's been so difficult for me to let go of the "normal DH" and accept that the DH I married might never be that person again. And it's very hard for me to tolerate "That Guy". But they say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so this book is my "step" for the week. I'll share what I learn with you all, if I can.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Jim is finally leaving in the morning. All day I had been looking at our house and remembering what it was like to be just me, DH and DD, struggling on, but as a family...remembering how it felt when it was MY (our) living room, and MY (our) fireplace, and kind of mentally reclaiming everything that Jim had kind of taken over. I was so excited, I wanted to throw a party!!!! How nice to be able to watch a movie in the living room, how nice to be able to let Buffy and Molly (dogs) into the living room to wrestle when I get home in the morning....how nice for DD to be able to play (yes, even though she's 15, she still plays with toys and dolls sometimes) in the living room again....this time has been a long time coming--too long!!!
But DH called me tonite and told me that "Jim has concerns about his relationship with (that girl)". "But he feels like he has to give it a chance." So I said, "So he's not leaving then?" "Yes, he's still leaving." "But he said he knows what he wants in life now. He wants to live in the country and have dogs and cats. And chickens and ducks. And he said that if it weren't for (that girl) he'd be staying on, and the reason he's stayed on for so long is that we treated him like a family member. We appreciated him, and he has loved being part of our family."
And I suddenly was glad I wasn't throwing a party. I guess we were right when we were trying to figure out why Jim just couldn't leave. This family life is something that he relishes and even at our most dismal, we still had a loving family. Enough where he didn't want to leave. So I'm feeling kind of mean about wanting him to go (not mean enough to ask him to stay or come back, though, LOL) but, what has been bothering me so much has apparently been a huge highlight in Jim's life. And I really hate (in a way) that he has to give something like that up.
(But don't worry--I actually told DH that I think Jim'll be back way too soon. I think that thing with the girl will fizzle and he will come back to our place to "lick his wounds".) I hope I'm wrong. What I'd really like is for him to meet a "normal" girl, one who likes men and doesn't steal from people, and settle down close to our place....but not in the living room, LOL!!!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
As surprising as that may seem, I've been giving it some thought, and, yes, although I think that there are many more negative things related to the bipolar than there are positive, I can say this about it: It has made our marriage more real.
When we first got married, we were still trying to put on a "good face" for each other, and I think that in that sense, even years later, we both were still hesitant about letting the other see our faults. And we sometimes weren't completely straightforward with each other, because we didn't want the other person's feelings to be hurt, or for the other person to think less of us. I was a rather submissive wife, and let DH make many of the decisions related to our marriage, because I didn't want to "rock the boat." And while we had said those words, "in sickness and in health", I don't think either of us envisioned what that would mean, or that we would end up doing anything besides putting up with a crabby spouse who had a cold or something like that.
But when bipolar arrived, things changed dramatically. I was dragged, not without a struggle, into this whirlwind of drama, and depression, and weird stuff. Suddenly my DH's "good face" was gone, the bipolar was obvious to me, he couldn't make it "pretty". I learned what my vows really meant, and gained a new appreciation for spouses who are caregivers. I confided in DD's therapist, and found an ally in her, I don't feel like she "does therapy" with me, I feel as if I'm talking to a friend, or, perhaps, a mentor. If DH had not had a mental illness, I never would've had a reason to share my story with DD's therapist, she would've just remained in that role, "someone important to DD".
And on a related note, I've also met some unbelievably nice people through this blog. I never would've started to blog if I hadn't needed someplace to express myself and my frustrations regarding DH. I am amazed at the support I've found, from people who used to be strangers to me--I am so lucky!
I learned some things, too. Some things that, even if bipolar were to disappear as suddenly as it appeared in our lives, I would never let go of. For example, I learned how to be more assertive with my husband. Suddenly I had to make decisions or they wouldn't get made. I started planning for the future as if DH was not going to be able to help, and in this sense, I was able to become more independent. I learned that even on days when "That Guy" was really horrible, that taking the situation seriously was not the best strategy. Although the words and behaviors still hurt me, I am now able, with some degree of success, to say "I'll just wait until tomorrow, when he gets back to normal." (I'd like to say that's easy for me, but it really takes a lot of thought, for me to let anger or hurt feelings just go by the wayside like that, but I don't think I'd be doing it at all, if it weren't for bipolar.)
I learned how to live frugally. I learned how to manage my time AND my money much better. I learned how to take charge of the family.
And the fact that my DH, with his mental illness, has no choice but to let me see his struggles, I am more comfortable with him seeing mine, too. Sometimes I wonder if instead of destroying my marriage, the bipolar might truly have been a blessing in disguise. I have definitely grown up in these last two years, and said and done things I never thought I could. And so, although I would do anything in my power to get rid of the bipolar that my husband suffers with, if we hadn't had this experience, maybe our marriage would not be what it is today.
Well, DH and I had an interesting conversation earlier today. He was talking about how he just can't get out of bed, no matter what. And he forgets to set his alarm. And he forgets to go to appointments that could potentially benefit him. I wasn't too sure how much I should say about all this, because I wasn't confident that he was DH and "That Guy" wasn't around. So I just tried to be supportive without saying much except things like, "Yeah, I wonder why that is?"
And out of the blue he says: Do you think I could be sabotaging myself? Maybe I'm so afraid deep down that I'm going to have problems at work again, that I'm doing this to avoid dealing with the stress...? At that point, I realized it was truly DH that I was talking with, so I said, "Yes, I think you're exactly right." And he said, "I wonder how I can stop." And I suggested that his therapist might have some ideas. And he said, "Yeah, he might. I've gotta make an appointment." And I stepped out on a ledge and said "Yeah, you've been kind of sabotaging your therapy lately, too." And he agreed that he had.
He told me that he gets very worried when I get frustrated, and he thinks I'm going to give up on him. I tried to explain to me that it seems so obvious to me, that some of the things he does, like stay up until 4am when he has a job interview at 9am, it just doesn't make sense to me at all, and I have a tough time understanding that he can't see it for what it is. And he said to me, "Well, you know if I'm sabotaging myself, I'm trying very hard not to see it, aren't I?"
Holy cow! In that moment, he was seeing his illness in a clearer light than I was. I hope he can keep it up.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Today I got home at 7:30am. DD had to be at summer school by 8, so I brought her there, and then DH had his job interview at 10, so I spent 45 minutes trying to get him out of bed. He finally got up, went into the living room, and came back 5 minutes later and told me that he "rescheduled" the interview (can you say bad move?)
And he went back to bed.
I was angry, not so much because of the wrecked interview (somehow I figured he'd sabotage it) but because I only had 3 1/2 hours to sleep before I had to go pick up DD and I spent 45 minutes of that trying to get his sorry *** out of bed, and then he didn't even go!!!
So then I got up at 11:30 because I had to go pick up DD, and then we got home and I slept for another hour. Then we went to her therapy appointment. DD's therapist is the best, she always makes me feel better....and this time was no different. I left the therapy session feeling much less frustrated.
So then I went to work, and I realized that I had forgotten to feed the chickens, so I called DD and asked her to. Since she has a habit of "forgetting", I tried to call her back several times to remind her, but nobody answered. DH finally called, and asked me why I hadn't called his cell phone. I told him that I was trying to call DD, and did't need to talk to him. Apparently he took that wrong, because he had a mood swing then and abruptly ended the conversation. It felt just like pre-Lithium, where he would get angry when I would expect him to do certain things. Luckily, I was so tired, I just didn't care!
About three hours later, he called me and all was "forgotten". He talked about the cats and DD as if nothing had happened.
AND OH!!!!! I ALMOST FORGOT TO TELL YOU!!!! THE OFFICIAL WORD IS JIM IS LEAVING ON MONDAY!!!!! YAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!! DH thinks it's "for good", but I'm more inclined to think that he'll be back as soon as he figures out that he's not going to "reform" that girl and he needs a new place to stay....but I hope I'm wrong!!! Jeez I wish I had money, I'd really like to replace that stupid couch he's slept on all year, I want my living room back, with no reminders of him at all!!!!! (But I know that barring a really good curbside find, the odds of replacing that couch are slim at the moment...)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
DH finally went and applied for a job at the casino. He has an interview for a dishwasher/housekeeper tomorrow morning (crossing fingers). He felt good about that. I tried to urge him to apply at some other places, that way if he doesn't get a job at the casino, he won't feel so hopeless. But so far he hasn't listened to me on that one...
And remember that girl that Jim is supposedly "seeing"? The one who is um....well....a "former non-heterosexual"? Well, supposedly she is back in the U.S. and called Jim and he was planning on leaving as soon as she called back and gave him the word. So I was really excited all weekend, because although he has helped me and DH both out immensely, I really really need him to go. But it's really tough to ask someone, who's done hundreds of dollars worth of work, given DH hundreds of dollars (before he was aware of how bad the spending was), taken care of all of the animals, re-did the duck house, chicken house, fencing, watched DD when nobody else was able to, how do you say, "Sorry, man, I know you've done a lot, but we want you to leave."
Well, anyhow, the "significant other" still hasn't called. Jim didn't even go to bed on Saturday night, because he was so sure she would call and then he was going to leave. But she still (on Tuesday), has not called. Not sure what that means. Prior to this, I had my heart set on just telling Jim myself that we need the living room back. But the day that was going to happen, he went out and used the wood splitter to split about 4 cords of firewood. Then he stacked it all up. Then he painted both of the toolsheds. And suddenly I felt like a meanie, so I didn't say anything. I really hope that girl calls. Even though I know in the end he's going to get dumped, and/or taken advantage of, DH has tried to warn him, and, well, that didn't work out too well. So if ANYTHING could get him to go, it would be easier on me, for sure...
Anyhow, so we're still waiting on a phone call. On Sunday morning, on my way home from work, I stopped by the grocery store and in the "half price" meats section (where they mark down the meats that are just about to be too old to sell), they had two whole chickens for $2.99 each, so I bought them both. Before I left for work, I put a couple of cans of green beans in the crockpot, then put one of the chickens on top of those, with some water. Then I put some olive oil on the chicken and added some seasoning salt, some garlic and some pepper (I think--I don't completely remember), and just let it cook all day. DH called me and couldn't stop telling me how good it was...and the whole meal was about $4.50 total, including a few slices of bread--I love when that happens! And he just raved about it--that made me feel really really good, even though I really didn't do anything except throw the stuff into the crockpot!
I hope tomorrow goes as good as today did.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Today, DH called and said that he went down to the apartment building to turn in his keys. He told me that the lady seemed very humble and told him that she still wanted him to work there. He called me and said "I'm confused."
So here's our conversation:
Me: What's going on?
DH: I went into town and dropped off my keys and stuff at that apartment building. And (that lady) was there. And she said she still wants me to work for her.
Me: Bad idea. Did she pay you?
DH: No, but...
Me: REALLY BAD IDEA.
DH: But this shows that I didn't do anything wrong!
Me: Yes, it sure does, but so what? You now have that boost to your ego, that you didn't do anything wrong, now take that and your pride and tell her, "No, I can't work for someone who plays these games."
DH: I bet it was Dick at the hardware store, though. He must've stuck up for me. I can't let him down.
Me: Dick is a man. He will understand that you are not going to tolerate getting jacked around like this.
DH: But I really like the people!
Me: Look what this has done to you! It has set you way back in your recovery. You have been feeling bad, and every time you talk to those people you feel bad. BAD IDEA!!!
DH: But I need a job!
Me: I would rather you not work for the next year, before I would tell you to go back and do that again. There are other jobs out there, you just have to go and apply for them!
DH: I applied at Subway, the manager said that she has worked with the mental health program before...she's going to talk with the guy at the mental health jobs program.
Me: Oh that's wonderful!!!!!! It sounds very promising!!!! Good news!!!!
DH: But I was making a lot more at those apartments....
Me: What would you tell me if I was telling you this, if I was the one who had been treated like you have, and now I wanted to go back and work there again?
DH: I'd tell you you were crazy, and I'd probably get mad at you if you went back.
Me: So what's the difference here??? It's a BAD IDEA--DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!
DH: (smiling and sarcastic at the same time) I'm not sure I'm understanding what you're saying!
Me: Right. Ask Jim. Ask anyone. Going back there is a bad idea, no matter what they say. Just take your pride and work for someone who is a) going to pay you for your work, and b) going to be straight with you.
DH: Oh, all right...
Me: Promise you won't go back there?
DH: I promise.
I couldn't believe that he was even giving this the time of day. I still have a lot to learn about mental illness, for sure. It's very hard for me to understand that he can't see this as clearly as any rational person would. But he did apply at Subway, that sounds GREAT!!!!
LOL, DH just called me back. He said, "I asked Jim what I should do. He said I should embrace the opportunity and go back there and work for free because I like the old people."
I said, "What did he really say?" DH said, "He said it was a really bad idea."
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
First off, I am sorry for not posting until now, the computers at one of my jobs have been down and I have had no access until tonite. I am hoping that things will be fine from now on, though.
Unfortunately, despite me hoping otherwise, things went about as you all would expect this past week--not as wonderful as one should hope! DH went to see the jobs guy, who helped him fill out the application for the casino, and DH went out there to turn in the application and the lady he needed to talk to was not in. So, instead of trying to get some other applications in, he came home, went to bed, and said to me, "I don't know how much more rejection I can take."
Once again, I tried to explain that from my point of view, there might have been rejection, but there might have been other reasons, too. For example, his boss at the apartment building might have wanted to have a relative of hers do the work instead. It might not have anything to do with DH at all. But he just kept fixating on "what is wrong with me?" I finally told him that he had to just up and decide, either he is going to look for a job, or he isn't, and he needs to be happy with the consequences of either decision. If he isn't going to work, there's going to be a lot less fun in his future. A lot less pop, a lot less gas. That's all there is to it. He didn't like me saying that, but that was how I was feeling.
Oh--and DH had an appointment on Monday with his Therapist, he called to double check the time and everything, but then he forgot to go. I don't know how many times they are going to let him do that before he needs to find a different therapist, but I also know that he really needs to talk to his therapist right now and it isn't happening!
Then today, DD had a get-together with some kids in town, so I got home from work at 6am, went to bed, woke up at 10am, tried to wake up DH but he wouldn't wake up, drove DD into town, came home, took a nap, got up at 1pm and took care of all the animals, went into town, picked up DD, and when I got home, DH was STILL SLEEPING. AND SO WAS JIM. When I left for work, they were both still sleeping. That made me crabby. I was the one who worked all night, but they are the ones who get to sleep all day? ARGH.
Anyhow, today I am in an "I just give up" mood. I feel like throwing up my hands and saying "Whatever!" So that's what I wound up doing today....I just kept trying to "lower my expectations" and it did make me more comfortable...I tried to get my mind back to "single mom" status again, because when I don't expect DH to do anything, I don't get so angry when he doesn't.
On the happy side, we learned that the county where we live has some extra funds and wants to send DD to horseback riding camp for FREE!!! How cool is that? Good luck for once!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Hi, there were a couple of comments expressing concern about DH getting a job at the casino--I think I must've neglected to mention that the casino has a rule that if you work there, you cannot gamble there, even if you are off duty. It's probably because of people like DH, spending their paychecks before they even get home, LOL....even if he gets a job in the hotel, he still can't gamble there. So it might actually be a double benefit! The jobs guy wasn't available though, until Monday, so I'll let you know what happens....our area is so economically depressed, that there really isn't much, except the fast food/convenience stores, an occasional restaurant (but in the current economy, those are struggling and laying off people), or the casino.
There is only one factory within driving distance, and they are NEVER hiring. People in town who are lucky enough to get in at the factory stay there for life....and they make things out of plastic there, too, so they might be facing layoffs in the near future if the price of oil doesn't stabilize....so I think, if DH isn't so worried about someone seeing him working at the casino, that he should do that. With the numbers of employees that they have, they've no doubt got training and if he goes through the jobs guy, they'll already on some level be aware of his mental health, so that might be good too. Cross your fingers!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Well, we made it through the Bankruptcy thing, supposedly in a month it'll be discharged and we'll owe $40,000 less than we did. I did give some thought to joining him in the bankruptcy, to get rid of the credit card bills, but I'm not ready to give up my good credit rating, and I think I'd have to give up my car, too, because it's worth more than what they allow you to keep. I'll just keep plugging away on the cards, if I can keep them from being used, they'll get paid off eventually....
Today, DH went out to the yard with Jim and split a bunch of firewood. Then he did laundry. And folded it. And that in itself was a good day. But the best part was when he started talking about going job-hunting.
He called me at work and had me look at the casino's website, and they have a lot of openings for jobs that pay $7 an hour and $8 an hour. I told DH this, and he started to get really excited! (Remember pre-Lithium, when he didn't want to work at the casino at all "because someone might see him working there"? He says he doesn't care any more.)
So I reminded him of the jobs lady that knew "someone" at the casino, who had offered DH a job several months ago, that he opted not to take. He started to get even more excited, and started to wonder if he could still take advantage of that--he said he is going to call that jobs lady first thing in the morning, so that hopefully she can help him.
I also found some fast food restaurants that are hiring. And I fantasized about DH having a "regular" job. He seems really excited, and ALMOST seems to have let go of that other place. He did bring up going back there to "talk to them", but I told him to wait until he was at a good place mentally, where he felt like he could handle them saying negative things about him and probably still not paying him. I don't have a problem at all with him trying to get the money that's owed to him, but I don't want him to go there and end up feeling a million times worse than he does, and still not getting anything good out of it....does that make sense? Maybe I'm wrong, but he gets so down when he thinks he's a big piece of ****, and it seems like if he goes there, he's just inflicting more of that pain on himself. And it also seems like an honest employer would have just up and mailed the check out if they wanted him to have it...who knows? I really don't expect I'll ever know what happened there.
But hearing DH sound so positive about going job hunting made me really feel good, too. Lately I feel less stressed about money. I don't know why, I don't have any more of it than usual, but I'll take that peace, any day.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Hi everyone, I don't usually put videos on this blog, because they usually aren't at all relevant, and this one is no different....but I thought it was so funny, I had to share with you...I guess it's been around for a while, so you might have already seen it, but maybe some of you haven't....I apologize for being off-topic from the usual drama :-)
Well, despite my pity party, it was a very nice birthday. Much nicer than last year, where DH, not having any money, decided that he couldn't do ANYTHING for me for my birthday, not make a card, not clean the house, nothing, so he had a pity party of his own...this year was much better. He still didn't have any money, but he handled it much better, for sure!
Tomorrow is his meeting of the creditors for the bankruptcy--no, it's still not over...but hopefully it will be all done with in about a month. I am hoping that there are no surprises, I keep feeling like "you can't just walk away from $40,000 of debt and not have something dreadful happen," but I guess people do it all the time. I am not a part of the bankruptcy. I did not file, and my credit as of right now is intact and perfect. I have heard from some people that I might end up with a notation on my credit that my husband filed bankruptcy, but I don't know how true that is--I've never done this before (thank goodness, I guess!)
As far as DH's job goes, well, we've had several arguments about it. He went back to the lady to get his "final check" and she was "in meetings". Then the next day, she was "on vacation" and the day after that, she was "at lunch". Finally one of the peon employees told DH that "they" are disputing his final check. Of course he got all upset again. The "boss" seems to be completely avoiding him. To me, the writing is on the wall, and, taking into consideration DH's fragile mental health, I told him not to waste any more time trying to get that money. "But she owes it to me!", he keeps saying. "She's ripping you off," I say, "Do you think that you going down there to argue is going to make her more honest?"
DH: That's not fair, it's my money!!!! She can't dispute that!
Me: It's $200. It's like if a plumber came to your house and you didn't like his work and decided to not pay him, except you're the "plumber". There's no sense in trying to get it, she's clearly avoiding you, she's not going to give you that money, and no attorney in the world is going to waste their time on this. Attorneys make $50 an hour, at least, so really, we just need to let it go."
Then the next day he says "I need to go down and see her about that check."
And we have the same argument all over again, because every time he goes down there and doesn't get paid, he gets more depressed and that isn't doing anything good for anyone. $200 we can live without.
And he hasn't brought up the pawn shop stuff again. Maybe he's starting to see that I can't keep doing it. I think we are going to have to let the pawn shop stuff go, even though it is his brother's gun and not DH's that got pawned. Maybe when DH gets a job again, we can just buy another gun for his brother and nobody will ever be the wiser....I hope, anyhow....
Not much else going on, I guess....I suppose that's enough, huh?
Monday, July 7, 2008
You know, this isn't what I expected at all. My birthday's today--July 7, I'm 41. No way around it, unfortunately....I feel like there's so much not done, and the grief over not having had a biological child is very strong. That's what I'm feeling most, this birthday, is that I wish things had been different. I know the odds of me having a biological child at 41 are so slim, and I also know that the odds of DH and I being approved to adopt another child are probably even slimmer than that now, due to the mental illness, and I'm so sad. I'm such a nurturer, it really makes me feel sad that I won't be able to have that part of my life fulfilled. I wish that DH and I were farther along the road to stability, I might go to see a fertility doctor or something, but right now, it probably wouldn't be fair to the child anyhow--I know that things aren't fair to DD, and she's much older....
I never expected things to turn out like this--but I suppose there are very few brides who get up on their wedding day and think, "I'd sure like to know what it's like to be married to someone with a serious mental illness." But it's gotta be someone, I guess...why not us...I feel like by the time these debts get paid off, that everything will be "too late". Too late to have quality time with my mom, too late to stop working two jobs, too late to enjoy DD's growing up years, too late to have another child, or adopt another, too late....I hate birthdays, I really do. Sorry for this bummer of a post.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
That's what I feel like. "Ugh" is what DH always says when he is angry and doesn't know how to express it. "Ugh" when there's a lot troubling him. And that's how I feel tonite, so I'm stealing his expression.
The 4th was not too bad. DH seemed a little peppier, and lit some fireworks off for his mom and my mom who had come for the "big show". Mostly, though, he just stayed in bed. This morning, he couldn't wake up for anything, and he had to go to Spenders. He did get out of bed, but I guess he fell asleep in the meeting and was saying things that didn't make any sense. So he came home, and while I was sleeping, brought DD to visit her bio mom in a situation that was not well-controlled and I could not get him to understand that we probably should have discussed it first, even if it meant he had to wake me up. Eventually I figured it was a lost cause and just "forgot" about it.
After that, DH was basically in bed all day. I guess he got up long enough at about 9pm (I was already on my way to work) to tell DD to go to bed. So she did, for about 5 minutes, until DH went back to bed, then she got up again and made a huge mess. I don't know who to be angry with, since DH should've been supervising her, and DD should've known better anyhow, and Jim was there the whole time.....
And DH brought up his pawn shop crap again, too. "It's time"...."tomorrow's the 6th"....like I'm going to be able to just whip out a wad of bills and pay for all of his stupidity. But if I don't, then I'm not a good wife, then I don't love him, etc....I just hate it all today.
I'm feeling very fed up today. I can't do it all, I just can't. I can't work both of these jobs and still be there to supervise DD and supervise DH too. And do 78 zillion loads of laundry, and a few loads of dishes....oh--and my mom is upset because her ice water at dinner didn't have any ice in it. I tried to tell her that maybe it was just warm out and the ice melted, and she said, "well, it never has before." Ugh.
I feel like everything is out of control and no matter how hard I try, I'm not going to be able to do everything right. So Ugh. Ugh-Ugh-Ugh.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I was hoping I could make my next post say something like "Well, he woke up and everything was much better." But it's about the same. DH talked to Jim about the job thing, and Jim told him the same things I did, and to forget about it, chalk it up to "bad luck".
So DH stayed in bed again all day today. Then he finally called me, about a half hour ago. I can't believe it, HE WENT BACK TO HIS WORKPLACE TO SEE IF HE HAD MISUNDERSTOOD. I had told him to stay away from there, Jim had told him to stay away from there, and DH had agreed that it was a good idea to stay away from there.
So he calls me and tells me that he went down there, and nobody (in the office) joked around with him and nobody talked to him. He asked to see his boss, and was told "she's not seeing anyone right now." Pretty much what I would've expected, given what he had told me the other day.
But apparently somehow, his bipolar thinking had convinced him that he had misunderstood, and so going down there set it all in motion again, just like it had just happened. I told him he needed to "let it go", "put it in the past", and he said he couldn't. I told him that he was in charge of how he responds to things, and if he can't get past this, he will end up in the hospital again. He told me I don't understand.
He's right. I don't understand his thinking at all. It's pretty clear to me: Something happened at work, they decided that it wasn't working out, got a replacement worker. Except for the fact that DH has no idea what happened (as far as I can tell anyhow), it seems pretty clear to me. No need to go back there and "make sure". To me, if someone says "Don't call us, we'll call you.", mostly you just assume that they're giving you the brush-off, and if someone actually calls, then it's a better day than you expected. I just don't get this "I just went down there to make sure". That is not how my rational DH thinks--when I married him, he was as clear-headed and perceptive as the next person. So it's gotta be the bipolar and the depression making him do this stuff?
I have briefly thought about going down there myself and politely asking the lady if she could help me understand what happened, so I can help DH not have to go through this again....but since I'm very shy and not very assertive, right now that doesn't seem like it'll happen...I had thought that maybe she could tell me what really happened, and then I wouldn't have to tell DH I was there, but I would have a better idea of what went on and how to help him...I don't even know if she would talk to me, though....well, probably a little daydream of mine....
Just an FYI for all of you: I might post later tonite, depending on what develops, but I have a day off work tomorrow, so unless I get to the library, I won't be posting until Saturday....but I'll give you the lowdown then, for sure.
DH, from the sounds of it has been in bed all day :-( I called him and he said, "I'm having a lot of bad thoughts." I started questioning him about the thoughts and he said he really just wants to go to a bar and get drunk. With that comment you need to understand that prior to bipolar, DH and I were such non-drinkers that liquor from our 2000 (year) wedding was still in our house, untouched, in 2005. In other words, neither of us, in our natural state(s), is a drinker of any kind. So this comment was scary in that sense, and also scary because that was one of the big problems that was happening last year--he was going and getting drunk at bars and lying to me about it. And since Lithium, he hasn't had an urge to do that at all, so this seems like a big deal to me.
Then I was asking him more questions, trying to figure out what was bipolar and what was normal feelings (considering his job loss, I'm sure), and I apparently was overzealous, and he said, "I'M NOT ANSWERING ANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS. YOU INTERRUPTED ME THREE TIMES AND SO I'M NOT GOING TO TALK ANY MORE." I felt bad, I hadn't realized I was interrupting, and it's possible that I thought he had paused in his talking when he hadn't, but whatever, in my attempt to figure things out and possibly help or offer advice, I made it worse. Now he won't talk to me at all, and I'm pretty sure he's suicidal. I asked dd if he'd been out of the bedroom all day and she said "no".
I don't know how to handle this, and I'm scared. I'm scared that we are going to fall back into the place we were a year ago, and things had been going so well. Even the "bad" days weren't so bad. I was starting to remember what it was like to have a husband again. And most of it wasn't related to work, although it felt good to have him contributing, and his self-esteem went up, that wasn't it at all. It was seeing him smile, having him ask me how I was doing, how could he help, do you wanna have a "date night"....
I tried to apologize for interrupting him, but he wasn't interested. He just said "I'll call you later." And so far, he hasn't. I wish I had some sort of coping mechanism for these situations, I feel so helpless and frustrated.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Well, DH came home from work early yesterday, his boss told him that she was "going to spread the work around to several maintenance men" and that she'd call him when she had some work for him. Based on some of the questions he said she asked him, and the fact that he made a mistake on Friday--he accidentally reversed the hot and cold water on a washing machine--and nobody called him to come and fix it and "people were upset all weekend and couldn't do their laundry". Doesn't that just sound stupid??? They've got his number, nobody even called to see if he could/would fix it...then, if the cold and hot water were reversed, couldn't they just wash their stuff in hot water instead of cold and just make it work? Stupid. Of course, I don't know the whole story, I tend to think there's more to it than that, but anything is possible. Yesterday, his alarm went off for him to go in to work and he didn't bother to get up until 11am (he tries to start work at 8am). He told me that they weren't concerned with when he got there or how many breaks he takes, etc., could be that he was wrong about that....I don't really know.
Bottom line is, I think he got canned. I think that ultimately, realistically, that is probably a good thing, because I don't think he was/is ready to take on a job with these kinds of responsibilities, and I think our home life has suffered since he started working there....but financially I wish it hadn't happened, of course...and DH is taking it hard and taking it personally, saying "What am I doing wrong?" "What is wrong with me?" "I must be a piece of ****--I can't keep any job".
I tried to explain to him that when he gets a job where it's basically a one- or two-person situation, it's almost always doomed. The other person might have unrealistic expectations, if they don't do the same kind of work, there's nobody to ask questions to or to train you in properly, and if the one person who's the boss has second thoughts, well, there's not much safety there. I tried to tell him how much better it would be for him to have coworkers, to have others doing the same kind of work, etc., and he said he understood. But I'm not sure I explained it right, the words weren't really fluent....
Then after that conversation, last night before bed, DH told me that he was going to get up and fill out some job applications. But he didn't get up until 1pm. So he didn't do anything at all. I'm feeling pretty frustrated. But I think that once again, my expectations are too high--after all, he's just coming off two years of doing nothing, with virtually no expectations of him, and this work thing was tough and letting go is tough, too. Sometimes it seems like no matter how great the Lithium is, no matter how much better our relationship is, it's just not happening "fast enough" for me. I need to slow down and remember how bad things COULD be and be grateful for what I've got now....