Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bipolar Madness: Part One

I am a 42 year old woman, married for 18 years and have one teenage son. My family history is as follows: My Mother has dealt with depression since my father left her 30 years ago and was hospitalized for it once. My Father is a functioning alcoholic. My Grandmother died from alcoholism and my Uncle committed suicide at the age of 54. My brother is a functioning alcoholic and my sister has an eating disorder. Sound like a crazy family? Actually no, they all have been college educated have families, and have successful careers, etc.

The first 13 years of my life were quite normal, nice family, camping trips, family gatherings every weekend, I was a straight A student in the gifted program, no violence or sexual abuse etc...mostly normal. Then my father left my mother out of the blue for the next door neighbor. During the next 4 years my life turned from a "Leave It To Beaver" existence to an attempted suicide, mood swings, anger issues, I was arrested for truancy, forgery and DUI, expelled from school for fighting, my Mother's new husband held me at gun point, I had an abortion, I was never able to have a steady boyfriend, had 2 car wrecks, drank too much and was not able to keep a job for longer than a few months, etc.

I always thought my behavior was attributed to my parents divorce and that I had overcome all that. I also met my current husband during this period of time. We never dated but were friends and stayed in contact until I was about 21. The only chemical dependency I have ever had is consuming too much alcohol. I do not take pills, I do not have an eating disorder and I do not do illegal drugs.

At the age of 17 I finally started having some normalcy in my life, I graduated High school, started college and remained pretty stable until my junior year of college and got arrested for disorderly conduct and battery on a law enforcement officer. I had to drop out of school and get a job to pay for my legal fees. I ended up getting a job in a topless bar so I could make enough to cover my legal fees.

At that point my alcohol intake increased, I jumped from place to place working mainly because I was disgusted with myself for working in that type of place then it all came tumbling down and I checked myself into a rehab center. I only stayed for a few weeks and left. At that point I went to nail school and got my license and started working as a nail tech, then out of the blue my now current husband called me which whom I had not spoken to since I was 21 and wanted to see me.

Within a month I had moved in with him and began playing Suzy Homemaker. I had never been happier. And for once in a long time my life seemed to be back to the Leave it To Beaver one I had always dreamed of. I was married at the age of 24 and my life seemed to not be so chaotic because my husband moderated me and took care of me. I did not drink as much after getting married either.

We had our ups and downs like all married couples and he tended to be verbally abusive but I eventually learned how to handle him. We had a child and I got to be PTA mom, cook, do all those things I always considered normal and up until 2 years ago all was well, then something changed, my husband started being more verbally abusive again and I was starting to not handle it as well. I started to buck him, so to speak, not getting the car washed when he told me to, etc...trivial things and I was feeling like I was getting old and not attractive anymore.


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