Yesterday, I became very anxious. My wife told me to be prepared to feed an extra mouth; my daughter’s boyfriend. We had very little food and were waiting for May to go shopping. Just as many with bipolar, even though I make a six-figure salary, I still struggle mightily to keep food on the table because of debt and spending. I couldn’t think of what to make that would be suitable for company. That’s the mood I was in when I walked into my home.
A quick scan of the refrigerator and pantry led me to a bag of navy beans. I dumped them into a boiling pot with bacon fat, onions, garlic, herbs, and jalapenos. As I was doing so my wife walked in and said, skeptically, “You’re making beans?” I said yes, and left it at that. Then my son did the same thing. I felt humiliated and frustrated that it was down to beans and it would be a long wait before I could serve them.
But then my daughter, who is also bipolar and having stability problems as well, walked in and said “Beans? How long is it going to take?” Now, what I know is that she was asking because she needed to know if she should go ahead and have a snack and also when her boyfriend should come over. But what I heard was “Beans? Are you that cheap? Are you that bad at managing your money that all you can serve my entitled ass is beans?”
And the switch was thrown. I yelled at her as I hadn’t since I was sick 5-6 years ago. She screamed right back, then I told her I didn’t even want to see her face.
She went up to her room. My son and wife were listening to the weatherman freak out about some severe weather on the way. I screamed at them to shut it off and that we wouldn’t get more than a rain shower and a tiny bit of hail (which was true). No grapefruit-size hail or numerous tornadoes. What utter bullshit. That’s when I knew. My family wasn’t bracing themselves for tornadoes, they were bracing themselves for me.
I’m fine as I’m writing this, and I generally am during the work day, but it ramps up in the evening. I get hyperactive, intensely talkative, agitated, and if I’m out and about, I get forward with women. Hypersexuality combined with impaired judgement, poor impulse control, and grandiosity is what caused such chaos in my home the last time. I was extensively unfaithful. My family simply calls my symptom douchey. I found out that my daughter knows I cheated, but my son does not. That’s as good a description of it as any.
I haven’t told my wife that this is starting up again. I don’t want to scare her. She doesn’t really understand, or if she does then she cannot separate her feelings from my symptoms. At this point, I’m still conscious of what’s happening, but if I can’t nip this in the bud then there will come a point in which I am not seeing it clearly. I will think that infidelity is a good idea because of imagined problems in my marriage. I may not see that it is simply a malfunction of my brain which needs to be treated.
I’ll be honest. I’m scared. I’ve used up all of my wife’s grace. It won’t matter if I’m sick or not, I’ll be out of my house. My marriage will be over. But I feel my inhibitions and boundaries weakening. All it would take is the right scenario at this point.