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Update

Got some really cool news this weekend–I entered a statewide playwriting contest earlier in the year with my 1-800 play and found out yesterday (though a truly weird series of events) that I won second place and that my friend and classmate Courtney won first!  A double win for the program!

All I really get out of it is the recognition–she gets a staged reading of her play and a cash prize.  But that’s okay. I’ll send it off next year to the SETC contest and see how it does there

In other news, I am no longer actively angry.  What I am is hardened.  I’m not going to be treated like this or hurt again. I am taking steps. And that is all I have to say about that.

I need to write my MCIR article today and then start on my last revision for my class.  Then I can concentrate on getting ready for Christmas.

 

 

 

Still Angry

ANd slipping into a deep depression because of it. I can’t seem to organize my mind around doing anything–Christmas, writing, nothing, I don’t know what to do with the anger.  I have an appointment with Tillie on TUesday but I’m not sure I can last that long.  I have too many deadlines to give it any more space in my head. I just need to write through this week and then I can concentrate on Christmas but it’s going to be so hard.

I’m trying to take care of myself as much as possible.  I’m trying to get lots of sleep, trying not to hurt myself with food, and just handle business as it comes.  Talking to people.  What scares me is trying to finish everything up for school and not sure if I’m going to be able. And do my other story for MCIR.  I/m just frozen solid.

I need another dose of good news.  Because right now everything looks pretty bloody bleak.

 

Encouragement

We had a good service at church last night where Brad talked about potential in all of us.  He said that Jesus has opened a door for each of us that no one can shut–he pulled verses out of Isaiah and Revelation for the imagery.  I feel so much better knowing I am helping people with my writing and that I can expect more doors to open in the future.  I won’t be in this mental place forever, I won’t be so vulnerable forever.

Still not really up for doing anything much even though encouraged.  I need to write a paper for class and do a story for MCIR.  If that’s all I accomplish this week I will feel good.  I just don’t have long to do it in now.  But it always gets done.

Hope everyone has a good rest of the week and a good weekend.  Thanks so many of you for your encouragement.

 

 

I Don’t Know What To Write

I feel very hopeless today.  I don’t want to do anything. I don’t even really want to write here but feel like I should. I don’t know if this is holiday blues or fallout from yesterday and the feeling that the whole conversation went in one ear and out the other. I realized today that I never even got an “I’m sorry I hurt you” from Bob yesterday. ALl I got were excuses and talk about me being too sensitive. It makes me despair of ever having a voice here.

I need some good news.

UPDATE:  I got some good news.  My story about rollerskating over forty hit the Covey Club this month under “A Reinvention on Roller Skates”  http://www.coveyclub.com/blog_posts/rollerskating-over-40/

 

 

A Note About Love

I guess this post should have been a Valentine’s Day one, but I’ve been reading Alexandra Stoddard lately, her books about loving those you are close to and how to be at home with them.  I’m partway through “Happiness for Two” and I’m moved to write about Bob, my husband

He has been such a rock for me for almost 25 years now.  We dated four years before we were married and even then, he had a wonderful tolerance for my moods, enthusiasms, and ups and downs. He was the first man I ever really opened my heart to–he was my first boyfriend, and even when we went through a short period when we dated other people, he was still one of my best friends.

The day we came back from the honeymoon, the knowledge was finally setting in that I was moving in with him and would be with him the rest of my life, God willing. I still had a rocky relationship with my parents and knew I would never live with them again, but it broke through to me that I had just made a lifetime commitment, especially since we went through the day changing checking accounts, getting my new driver’s license, and getting a new Social Security card.  I was uncharacteristically quiet all day, almost scared.  And he noticed.  All he  said was that he hoped I found a job where the boss would be accepting of my moods and didn’t press me for details.  I don’t know what I would have said to him if he did.

We’ve been through several deaths, the birth of three children, moves from one house to another, a child’s rebellious stage, several job changes for me and him, the flu, chickenpox, rotavirus, pneumonia, and everything in between.  Even when my moods oscillated wildly, he never got mad or upset with me about them.  The only one he couldn’t stand was what he called “whining”–fussing about something that wasn’t going to change.  When we were going through rough times, often he would write me a letter talking about how proud he was of me handling everything that was going on.

When he found out I had tried to act on my obsession with his co-worker, he was so, so hurt. I knew he would be if he ever found out,.  And for a while I didn’t know if we were  going to make it through that.  But he was still kind to me and never let on to the children the kind of trouble we were having.  He didn’t walk out on me or kick me out; he didn’t abdicate his role as a dad, he supported me when I needed ti with the kids and has never, ever thrown the situation back in my face at any point.

So many marriages don’t make it through bipolar episodes,.  I am blessed to be in one that has.  Thank you, Bob for loving me more than I thought anyone ever could.

The Next Year

We went on for a year like that.  Very, very gradually he started easing up on the check-ins and monitoring where I went.  We endured the funeral of his grandmother during this time.  I obsessed less and less—all it took was remembering how hurt Bob was over it to stop them in their tracks now.  I continued therapy and worked even harder on my issues.  Bob simply had to have time to heal from it all; we had long discussions about where our relationship was going and what we could do to make it better. Thankfully, we survived the entire ordeal and celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary in 2013.

Sadly, obsessions of this nature are part and parcel of bipolar disorder.  Sexual adventuring is a hallmark symptom of the disease.  I knew what I was feeling wasn’t real in the sense that it wasn’t love or any other sane emotion. It was simply an obsession—a trick of my mind.  Being aware of this truth saved my marriage in that I fought the obsessions with all I had even though I did slip that one time.  I know that in God’s eyes I was committing adultery against Bob by obsessing like this.  But I’ve been forgiven and was finally saved from it by the grace of God.

To forestall it happening again, I’ve started being very careful at how I interact with men.  I try not to be in conversation with a man without Bob being around as well.  I don’t want to give something a chance to start, and I don’t want to give anyone a reason to be suspicious at how I interacted with people. I do have a very few long-term male friends I stay in contact with, mostly over Facebook–a few from college and one from my writing days.  Bob knows them and trusts me with them. I’m also very careful with students, making sure that I don’t interact with the guys in my class in anything resembling an inappropriate way. And I keep a watch on my mind, making sure it’s Bob I’m thinking about and caring for with all my heart.

I don’t know if the pastor from my church that resigned has any of these deep-seated psychological issues   But his situation led me to share my story in hopes that other bipolar people who struggle with these kinds of issues know that they can fight them and not give in to acting on them in any irreversible way.  The feelings can be a threat to a marriage, but with proper treatment, the obsessions can be controlled to a degree.

Aftermath

We went on that next morning, and I somehow stumbled through the day.  I didn’t know what was going on with Bob until that night after we put the kids to bed.  He sat me down and started talking.  He said he didn’t understand why he had acted the way he had last night except that he must have just been in shock.  He was now very angry and very upset.  He said he didn’t know if he could forgive me.

On and on he vented, telling me that he had talked to his dad, who had said he should divorce me—and he wondered if his dad had the right idea.  For the first time since I had been diagnosed, I was afraid for my marriage.  I just listened to him talk and tried to reassure him as best I could.

We went several months in this way.  Bob became very paranoid and controlling.  I had to report to him every time I left the house, even to pick up Rachel from school.  We talked in between classes when school started up again.  I tried to be the kind of wife he wouldn’t want to leave, stressing myself over everything in the house from meals to laundry to our sex life.  We went to a counseling session with our pastor, which didn’t seem to do Bob any good.  We went to see my counselor once but didn’t seem to make any headway there, either.  But every few weeks, we would sit down and discuss our future.

It got so bad that I actually started making plans for what I would do if Bob divorced me.  I decided I would move back to Starkville and try to work for Mississippi State University, doing what I was doing at my current job for them.  I went so far as to call the current head of the English Department and get information about what papers they would need from me in order to hire me on a part-time basis and called an apartment complex there to see what the rent on a one-bedroom apartment would be if I had to leave home.

But I finally got the courage to sit Bob down and explain to him that I would not give him a divorce even if he left me.  I said I had no intentions of leaving him for anyone.  I said I would not sign papers for an irreconcilable differences divorce because I believed in our marriage and I didn’t want to do that to the kids.  I told him he didn’t have grounds for a divorce under Mississippi law and would likely be laughed out of court if he did try to get one.  That ended any more talk about it, but we still had a long way to go to build trust.