Friday, August 6, 2010

Here's something you probably weren't expecting....

I found out this past week that my cousin, age 35, who, up until this year, has never been much interested in girls, is moving in with his first serious girlfriend.  He's brought her to several family functions, and I have to say, I really really like her.  She fits right in and doesn't have a speck of that condescension that DH's brother's ex-wife had.  She's smart, self-reliant, and kind-hearted.  And I'm really excited for my uncle and aunt, who had pretty much written off the possibility of grandchildren at all, ever--to me, this whole thing seems very hopeful and terrific!

So what's the big secret?  I almost can't write this.  I'm blushing, actually. 

I'm jealous.

I don't want to marry my cousin or anything like that.  I'm jealous that he was willing/able to wait until he found "the" one.  I'm jealous that he's found someone that he truly has a lot in common with, someone that....ok, ok....nobody knows the future, and nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.  But I wonder, if maybe I had been choosier about who I got involved with, maybe I'd be happier?

But as I'm writing this, I realize:  I thought I did it right at the time, too.  DH was employed in a management position at a trucking firm.  He was putting away money to help send his brother to art school.  He had his own apartment.  He balanced his checkbook every day.  If he did have a balance on a credit card, he worked overtime to pay it off as fast as he could.

I'm left here thinking "What happened???"

In hindsight, there were some warning signs that I didn't understand at the time--once in a while "That Guy" would pop out, and I would say to myself "Oh, he must be having a really bad day!"  But why would I do anything else????  Sometimes I wonder, though, and I will probably never know for sure, if the mental illness just suddenly manifested itself or if it was really there the entire time and I just wasn't able to or chose not to notice it.....?  Or maybe DH was better able to hide the problems....I imagine, especially when you're dating and not living together, it's easier to "put on your best face" than it is when you are married to someone, for sure....but I still try to analyze it, try to figure out what I "should" have noticed.

So.....yes.....there's a very long post coming in the next few weeks--"Why I stay".  But every time I start writing it, I go off on tangents.  It's coming, though....

Anyhow.  I'm jealous.  Of the hopes and dreams.  Of the possibility of working as a team member, instead of the "coach".  Of the shared interests.  Potential financial security.  And of course, the big elephant in my living room, the babies.....

Nobody has a crystal ball, for sure.  My cousin and his girlfriend might end up being totally incompatible (I really hope not, though, because they seem perfect for each other).  And maybe there really wasn't much way for me to foresee how my life/marriage would turn out.  I guess tonite I'm just wishing my life was the fairy tale I thought it was going to be.

How's that for a pity party?


In the Pink said...

Over five years ago I was working. I was in a good mode(I am bipolar 1). I met my fiance at that work. He and I moved in and are still happy together. BUT...I do not work. I have tried but failed miserably. Break downs, even getting myself fired.

Your post made me so sad. What if he wants to leave me after we get married. What if my bipolar becomes too much.

I hope to read about your happy times with your husband soon. Your blog has always been a good way for me to see the perspective my man may have. Him being the spouse of a girl with bipolar.

perphila said...

I don't think if once and a while you think back on the choices you have made in your life and wonder, what if? Still, it's important not to dwell on it. Learn from the choices you made both the good and the bad and get the most out of it.

As for thinking you had thought things through the first time, I feel that way too. Even though I was very young at the time, for ME I made adult choices. What I failed to consider more was the fact just because I thought a certain way or felt a certain way or thought out things and made plans, EVEN if my chosen one SAID he thought and felt the same way that didn't mean that was the truth. I can see now my own naive thinking in that just because I don't lie, scheme and steal like a second nature that others don't too. I have to have compassion that the reason for a lot of flaws in the person I wanted to be with are the result of self protection from a horrible childhood and mental illness. I have had so many people try and tell me, "How could you not see it if he really has bipolar?" These people just don't understand. One, they think just because someone has bipolar they must be crazy all the time or something. We know that isn't the case. Sean had many years of stable times. What I didn't understand at the time was how MUCH I was supporting him in that stability. I can look back now and see the signs of a slow decline into mental illness and the low episodes for what they really are. I made excuses too being uninformed of what was really going on. He's just over tired from work. I know he hates his job I feel bad for him. I blamed others like his father or other women. He will grow out of hit walls with his fist as he matures since he is a young male and aren't all young men angry all the time? Excuses, excuses. I am not going to beat myself up about it. I am just going to try and balance my compassion with reality. It isn't easy.

I have a hard time thinking about wedding of friends and family too. I want to have the happy life I thought I had and want to have. I want a whole family again and not the fractured one I have now. Sometimes I feel so sad about it I want to cry but so far I haven't. I am hoping for that new door to open and in the mean time I will keep looking for it even if I had to cut the darn wall myself and make one...:)

Elizabeth A. said...

My husband, bless his heart had no idea what a truck load of crazy he was getting with me. And we had been friends for ten years. Spent weeks together. And then after a few weeks, I'd end up going home at the spur of the moment because that's about how long I can keep the facade going.

So yeah, you probably missed some signs and it is a lot easier to hide the truth from yourself and others when you live alone. In my worst mania, I hid it from just about everyone. Like you said, people noticed I was acting differently but no one suspected I was midbreakdown.

Galen Pearl said...

I appreciate your honesty, and the honesty of your commenters. My daughter was just asking me today if there were choices in my life I regret. I look at friends and neighbors who have built good marriages over decades and I regret not having that in my life. I don't want to begin a relationship at this point in my life, and although I like my life very much, I regret that I will never have that long term partnership that I see others have.

I don't know why some of us have particular crosses to bear. I doubt we can know whether it is God at work, reincarnation karma, choices completely within our control, or simply chance. But we are all bound together in our experience.

Thank you for voicing so much of what so many people wonder about their lives. And thanks to your commenters for sharing both perspectives.

Anonymous said...

The good news is you're wiser now and you can leave and start again with someone who puts you first and who isn't mentally ill. I think your DH was doing a fairly good job of hiding his illness. The fact that "That Guy" escaped a few times is a hint that all was not well. It's extremely rare for bipolar to suddenly appear at, what? 35?

Karen said...

Life gets you sometimes. DH is what he is and you love him anyway. I know its hard, I know it breaks your heart, and I know you won't leave. If you were a quitter, you would have been gone a long time ago. You have a deep strength, and you have wisdom that see's you through ALL the bad times. The good times make it worth while. Regrets...we all have them. Anger... you have a right. But pity, it ain't your style. You, give me the motivation to face tomorrow. Chin up. Cry, it clears the mind, but know that no matter what, you can do this.

Anonymous said...

It's SO nice to not feel like I am the only one who has these thoughts, of jealousy that is for other couples i see who have their "happily ever after"
I know we both know all the reality to that but it doesnt mean we dont think about it every so often! I am in this marriage for the long haul but, I still have my days of wishing differently.