Friday, January 19, 2007

G-Word: The Bi-polar Experience Of A Guilty Heart

Guilt. It’s an emotion one may experience when one feels they might have done something wrong. In psychology it is considered an affective state where someone may experience conflict over something they have done, should have done or should not have done. It has been described by Freud as the struggle between the Ego and the Superego or Id or…something. The superego being the parental imprinting that you experience in your very young life. Some have seen guilt a tool for social control or a survival instinct ingrained into the very fiber of our genetic makeup. Useful for the days when tribesmen might suddenly find that they have an uncanny desire to kill another tribesman. If you don’t slaughter another tribesman you might be favored among the rest of the tribe and would probably not be bludgeoned to death then. See…useful for survival.

In our society today guilt is assigned through our judicial process. Guilty, not guilty, guilty until proven innocent. We take guilt so seriously that we’d rather let a guilty person go rather than incarcerate an innocent person…just in case you know. Some may even feel guilty whether they did something wrong or not. Maybe even if what they did wrong isn’t actually as bad as someone else. Some people punish themselves more than others because of guilt. This, my friends is my malfunction and one that is a prevalent indication of Bi-Polar Disorder. In the Japanese culture guilt is actually more “shame-based”. Meaning that the actual act of getting caught is more important that what you actually did (Sounds like an old friend of mine. Whore anyone?). Although this is something I very much understand it’s not exactly what I go through. It’s kind of a mixture of the two and could have something to do with my Mexican heritage. We feel guilty about everything from the sun not coming up at a specific hour to world hunger. What the fuck kind of analogy is that? Maybe it’s just me?

Point is Guilt is my fucking middle name and pretty much has always been. Since I’ve diagnosed myself with Bi-polar disorder, I only say myself because my Drug Pusher agreed that I “could be” and my councler said I “might” or “most likely” am, I have begun to asses several parts of my life and my personality that could be construed as bi-polar. Not that I’m trying to write off my past misdoings, no, just trying to understand myself better. This harping business really got me thinking yesterday and as usual when I can’t stop thinking of something I have to come to a conclusion to put it to rest so I think I may have come to another one of my conclusions.

One of the things I don’t like doing all the time is comparing my life with my ex-husband (Pumpo) and my current husband (Rigid), but in situations like this how can I not? I know I had problems growing up and even while I was married. It was difficult seeing what my sister would go through and what my mother was doing to us. I left them to fend for themselves and they blamed me for their problems for many years afterwards because I abandoned them. I’ve since grown to understand that it was not my fault. They’re ill and so am I. It may have been selfish to walk away from them when I was 18, but I had to do what I needed to do in order to survive. I don’t think having thoughts of killing yourself and your entire family are the kind of thoughts you should be having at 11,12,13,14,15,16,17 or 18…you get my meaning. I didn’t understand my disorder or my sisters until she was diagnosed many years ago. I didn’t understand the implications of that diagnosis until my aunt, who was dying of cancer, let the cat out of the bag despite my mothers pleadings. My grandfather tried to kill himself many times. We knew he terrorized his family and beat the living hell out of them and my grandmother, but he suffered a serious disorder and though that disorder wasn’t exactly explained to me I understood right away. How could my mother not have said anything to us? How could she not? My sisters arms and legs are literally COVERED in scars. Scars I didn’t know she made for a long time.

I lived my life apart from them as much as I could. I lived a double life with Pumpo. Hiding my sexual misdeeds from my family. Living a life of guilt and shame without shame or guilt. How do you do that? It doesn’t matter, the way I lived my life is the way I chose to live it. I don’t regret my experiences with him and I never will. I may get confused about it from time to time, but hell who wouldn’t. I’m being cryptic I know, but that’s why they call them dirty little secrets. I’ll let you infer what you will from that. He and I had a fantastic time together. He understood me well and didn’t freak when I freaked. When I got to him I was having panic attacks left, right and center. He showed me how to exert self control, showed me how to breath and showed me how to let it out. We would spar sometimes all day long. We always had one activity or another to do so he always kept me busy. We had our spats and in the beginning they were more frequent, but eventually we became so used to each other that if he scratched his head I felt it.

He knew I wanted children from the time I was 16 and I knew he would have trouble from that time as well. Even then he would go back and forth between wanting a child, wanting several and wanting non at all. It was understood that if he still felt that way by the time I was a certain age I would have to move on for my own sake. I made the decision at 16 that if my greatest love (at the time) was still unsure at a certain stage of my life I would have to take the plunge on my own, I made the decision then that having a child was more important that the man I was in love with and always will be. That sucks. And it sucked even harder when I had to make that choice. Damn near broke my heart, well, actually it kind of did and now I’m with someone else and my life is very different from what it was. It’s hard.

Now instead of me throwing a tantrum I’m having a bi-polar fit. Now instead of me having a mild panic attack I’m having a full blown manic episode. ie: bashing my brains into a wall… Why is it that? I’ve boiled it down to this very simple analogy. I thought of it this morning and nearly crashed into the center divider when I laughed. You may not find it quite as amusing as I did…it may be one of those “you had to be there” moments. Imagine a boat, sailing in the open ocean in a mild wind. The breeze is slowly taking it on it’s path to a wonderful and glorious journey called life. I’m am that boat. The seas suddenly turn turbulent and the clouds come to hover over me, the waves crash into me beating down my hull (whatever that is). That is a Bi-polar episode that can go one of two ways. A simple panic attack or a full blown manic episode. Pumpo had the uncanny ability to take the wind out of my sails and helped me coast right through those turbulent times. Rigid has the extraordinary ability to blow hot air in my sails. That’s what killed me…blow hot air. Get it?? He’s full of hot air…and he blows it at my sails… get it??? Ahem, no? See if its super windy and there’s turbulent waters…and clouds and stuff your boat will turn over and you’ll die….right? Didn’t anyone see that fucking movie? What was it? The Perfect Storm! Bad things happen in stormy weather. Fuck it, point is he pisses me off and he makes me CRAZY!!!

Problem is I already came a little crazy out of the box and it’s not his fault so, and here comes the so and so and so… So when I get angry at him I get the most angry I’ve ever been at anyone other than my little sister or mom which is really quite terrifying. I’ve come to understand that the people I love the most drive me the most insane because they draw out all those emotions I’ve suppressed for so long. Pumpo helped me suppress those feelings. Not that it was a bad thing and not that I loved him any less by any means it’s just that he was good at helping me cope with my disorder. Unfortunately the best way to cope without the help of medication, self mutilation, strangulation or killing of family members was to stay the hell away from everyone. The only people that didn’t send me into a fit were my friends. Not because I liked them better but because I didn’t love them as much as I did my mom or my sister. That’s the truth of it. I realized that your family usually drives you insane because you love them so much and that’s as a regular normal everyday type of person. Imagine a bi-polar person?

Being with a man is entirely different. As I’ve said before, probably one too may times, you can get rid of your man but you can never get rid of your family. Sound a bit unfair? Yeah, it does and it’s something that my sister, my crazy bi-polar sister, has always told me was wrong of me. But see here’s another thing I’ve come to realize (shit the epiphones abound!), I’M FUCKING BI-POLAR and my bi-polar isn’t the same as your bi-polar. Were a rainbow you and I, should you in fact be bi-polar. So, as a BP I harp, I bitch to no end until I’m satisfied, I get what I want or I make you get out of my life. That is my constant. Thing is…I get what I want. This is why I was with my ex for so long thing is… in the end, I wanted to collect my ultimate treasure and it wasn’t to be so I moved on…another part of my disorder I believe, but one which is entirely valid because everyone is entitled to have a child.

Now Rigid draws out the worst in me because he doesn’t understand. He’s starting to and he’s doing really well, but his mistakes are costly to us. For every step forward his mistakes take us three steps backwards. So I’ve devised a plan to help me understand that although he makes mistakes, HUGE mistakes, he’s still in the learning process and I have to give him time. Patience doesn’t seem to be my virtue any longer. I think I was deluding myself into thinking it was. I’ve been angry the past two weeks at him, especially because everything that has happened along the way, including the many ways I’ve been proven right. We couldn’t afford to even pay for gas if he quit his job. It’s been difficult, but I think we’ve made it past this storm. He asked me many times what he could do to make it up to me. I’ve never been that type of person. Usually an apology and a conversation letting me know you understand how you went wrong and what you will do to keep from making the same mistake in the future will suffice. I decided I’d try something a little different from here on out. I made him re-read and comment on every post on the front page of my blog.

After Rage Comes Forgiveness

Nathan J said...
hey look it's not my fault i've got mongaloidianitaaassssssss.
i do try but i do tend to make gignormous fuck ups when i make them
1/18/2007 3:21 PM


Nathan J said...
odeo seems cool


Nathan J said...
yes yes yes you are a little nutty
1/18/2007 3:24 PM

New Home Page

Nathan J said...
yes it does look nice but wtf is woot
1/18/2007 3:25 PM

Finished Yet Another Chapter

Nathan J said...
a fib is a teenie tiny harmless bit of fudging. p.s you'll pass if you keep studying fucker
1/18/2007 3:29 PM

Best Bloggers on GTP
Nathan J said...
fuck me that’s a lot of shit being scribbled down
1/18/2007 3:31 PM


Nathan J said...
that pumpo is a handsome devil

Dead Dreams in Empty Eyes

Nathan J said...
yes i did deserve that i must admit....... but i do have a cunning plan, and any one reading this old enough to have seen the a team first time round knows...she'll love it when a plan comes together
1/18/2007 3:38 PM

Thank you honey, I do love you, but you’re an arse. A lovely arse, but an arse nonetheless. Beejeezus!

SO! The guilt I live with about absolutely everything in my life is one of my driving forces. I feel horrible about the way I’ve treated Rigid since he quit his job. Now I feel guilty because I know I’ve been too hard on him. Yeah, maybe on some level he deserved it…okay on every level. Any man who quit his job like he did would, but I beat him down emotionally. It’s one of the things I’m really good at and …I have to admit that it’s what I do when I keep on “harping” about the same thing over and over again. It’s why I’ll probably have to stay on my medication for a while longer. Sometimes, guilt is a good thing. He’s still wrong, but so was I. After a certain point you just have to get over it and move on, and that’s what I have trouble with. Only with him though…it’s strange. It’s only with him.

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