I despise the word sympathy, especially when people try to tell me they feel sorry for me because of my mental illness.
How do you cope? I am often asked
The truth is at times, I don’t, plain and simple.
At those times I have a guardian angel, shaped as my husband standing by to catch me and pick me back up or at least move me out of the way.
At any given time, with no notice needed, he takes over.
He can and he does everything I do for the children. He does the housework, the school runs, the baths and the bedtime. We are a team and we are 50-50 when it comes to the parenting, but he does more than me when I am ill.
Parenting is NOT devoted to mothers; fathers are more than capable of doing a great job at raising children, my husband is proof of just that.
While the mother struggles with a mental illness and a family of young children, the father is forgotten, all focus and attention falls upon her. While she receives support, it is also him that needs some guidance and advice.
Living me with me I can only assume is a nightmare at times. We are married and marriage has its ups and downs, oh yes, a bipolar marriage sure has its ups and downs.
My husband has had to standby by and watch me destroy myself, hurt myself, punish myself and act completely deranged.
I have embarrassed him, hurt him and destroyed any hopes he had for himself. His world stopped when I became ill, giving up his job to care for me and the children.
He is living with someone he no longer recognises, I am not the person he first met, or am I?
I have screamed, begged, cried and told him to leave me, many times. He takes the brunt of my anger and frustration.
Not only does he have to care for me, he also has 6 children to parent, three of which are not his own. He does this without complaint or resent.
He has never once complained, taking it on the chin.
I know he feels embarrassed when friends or people ask what he does for a living; he can’t be the working family man who provides, as he has to stay home and care for his wife. I took that away from him.
He has to explain and pre warn friends when they come, ones who do not know me that I am bipolar, just in case I take a “mood swing” while they are here. I feel ashamed I have brought this into our family home.
I don’t know why he loves me, but he does.
It’s about time the partner who lives with a bipolar is given some support and recognition for what they do, without my husband’s support I have no idea where I would be today. He too needs support; it’s not easy living with someone who has bipolar.