My Biggest Fear is having Bipolar or Schizophrenia
I’ve been diagnosed with major depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I’ve seriously wanted to kill myself before and believe I would have if I had of gone into the liquor store first before going home, which I was fighting with myself on the drive but I didn’t want my eyes to meet anyones in the state I was in; but instead I swallowed pills and then had my stomach pumped. I was in the military and spent some weeks institutionalized. Years have passed since then and I’ve continued to fight illnesses. I’ve gotten married and have had wonderful times and some low times. I have no regrets because I love where life has taken me and I found my husband in a city I had chosen to live without ever visiting before. I’ve made big decisions but I am grateful for those choices.
Life has made me very level headed and overall I make good decisions. Until I get struck with the depression or anxiety and I am no longer rational. It can be frustrating especially for my husband when that switch turns on and I’m no longer the good talker that thinks out situations to make the best actions and decisions. I then think in absolutes; “It’s always this way” or “You always do this”. A mere look of anger triggers a crying frenzy and it’s nothing that has been said or it doesn’t even matter what has been said, I just see the look. We’re always learning how to work better together through these things. Sometimes all I need is a hug to feel somewhat better. I need to be reminded that “always” and “never” are not true. I also can’t leave it up to my husband to “always” make me feel better, it’s my mind and he doesn’t have the magical powers to do that. That’s a lot of pressure I have put on him before.
I grew up with a bipolar mother. My dad at work and mom at home. My mom favored me as a child and my brother received all the screaming and yelling. I can’t even remember so many things that we did, we did go on vacations regularly but those memories are weak if even there. When I was elementary age my mom was severely depressed. She was always laying on the couch watching Oprah. I’d sit on her watching TV and gave her endless compliments because I knew what made her happy. I knew all the right things to say to her and was obedient. My brother on the other hand always fought with her and she’d hit him with shoes or belts. I remember my brother as my bully. But looking at pictures you would never know. We’d wrestle and dress up as sumo fighters. There were times I’d be in tears because my mom was taken away to the hospital. There were times she’d laugh and laugh and I’d be upset at her because nothing at all was funny. Teachers told my mom that she was a wonderful parent and we sat in the car and she’d say, “They have no idea how it really is.” I’d come to school with a big smile and that’s what the school saw.
When I became an adult I told my mom the truth about her behaviors and I no longer agreed with everything she shared. She’d say I was disrespectful and someday I’d get the same. I eventually saw through her mind games. She lied and didn’t let me talk to my dad and always said he was dying, very horrendous things she would say. When I came to visit it would end with her yelling in my face. I do not take yelling from anyone, there is no need for yelling in communication. My mother has egocentric ideas that she will die a famous poet. Her life revolves around being Christian and herself. She succeeds at leading religious activities. She is charismatic but the charm disappears to others after an extended time. She gets off at being more ‘holy’ than others. She is one not to apologize and cannot take any sort of criticism. If she is not placed on a pedestal, you are stomped to the ground. She’s been on and off meds through her life or trying to cut them out. I’ve successfully kept her out of my life for the last couple years and several years total. For this I am proud. To live a healthy life has no room for this kind of relationship.
My brother was also in the military. He was ‘normal’ during this time. Everything went downhill for him after he separated from service. He found out he was going to be a father and did not have a good relationship with the mother. He ended up in a bad car wreck and believes he would of been killed if it were not for his seat belt (Thank goodness for his new car that beeped until the seatbelt was put on, he did not wear the seatbelt before).
My brother came to live with me. We never had a close relationship but I thought it was nice to be with him. But boy was I wrong. He was his ‘normal’ self at first but still overwhelming for me. The mess he made was massive and I’d clean it up. He didn’t wash the dishes but he said, “Don’t wash them, I’m going to do it”. But weeks went by and they were not washed.
Our Aunt had been sending my brother DVDs about the Masons, Illuminati, and secret things. He got me to read about it but he wasn’t abnormally paranoid yet. It was interesting to learn about these ‘Secret and Evil’ societies. Later on he’d notice black vehicles that were near and he would say they were there to surveillance him. He new too much secret information. It made me nervous and I did believe in it at first. Things got worse. He made booby traps around our apartment. Then I had to take the battery out my cell phone to speak to him. He told me he scraped rocks on his stomach to show the Mason’s he wasn’t scared of him. He was covered in scratches. One day when I came home he was covered in mud. He wrote congressmen because he wanted to see his daughter. He was going to run for office. He had many plans. He worked as a waiter but at this point he quit. There was no way he was capable of working. I was afraid of him hurting someone there because he was so angry at this restaurant.
My dad saved us. I couldn’t handle anymore. I went to the mental hospital, I just needed a break it was all too much, and I was too depressed and needed to take care of myself. My dad stayed at my apartment doing his best to take care of my brother and tried to get him treatment at the Veterans Hospital.
I came back from my “vacation at the hospital” and I was ecstatic with joy at my release and I was there with my dad. What a wonderful dad I have. He told me he was getting my brother help. We went to Wendy’s, my first being free from the hospital meal. Then I got a phone call, it was a police officer saying he was there with my brother and asking if my brother was on drugs. I told him, “No he’s not on drugs but he needs to be on medication for his illness.” The officer had my gun that my brother had put under the couch cushion. He had called the police to report the Masons that had been following and servalancing him. My little bit of short lived freedom hadn’t been but less than an hour and I hadn’t but taken a bite of my meal. My dad and I come home to speak to the officer. They had an ambulance to take him to the Veteran’s Hospital. I was happy that he would finally get some care.
Two days later my brother is knocking on the door, my father and I are in shock. “Didn’t you stay at the hospital. What happened?”, we said. My brother said since the hospital was in the neighboring city the police had no jurisdiction over him and he just left and walked away from the hospital. He walked through the swamps, there were alligators, and he spoke to Gabriel the Archangel. I could write so much more about these situations but I’d have to get someone to help me write a book.
My dad knew this was too much for me to have my brother with me. My dad convinced my brother to live with him. I can’t express how wonderful my dad is. He tried his best to care for my brother. He went well beyond the duties of a parent. But only so much can be done for someone who won’t accept their illness.
A few years pass, *ring, ring*. The phone says, Restricted; so I’m taking this call.
My brother just called from jail. I am happy to hear from him. He is happy to know I am doing well. He wanted me to get the phone number of his first child’s mother. I don’t know if I can do that, I have to stay away from these things. She had a restraining order against him last year. My brother keeps up with politics and tells me to read the bible. I don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t want to read the bible and I am no longer Christian. I would not want him to hold the fear of the thought of his sister going to hell. He doesn’t understand the reasoning of him being in jail and believes in his reasons, his own truths, that got him there. He didn’t have to end up there he had many chances to go to the hospital instead, but when someone doesn’t accept their illness they will not be forced. Even if they hurt himself or threaten someone else, it’s much more than that for someone to get help. This is hard for others to understand when they believe they know how the ‘system works’, well it just doesn’t work out the way the law is written. I pray that one day my brother will accept his illness until then he is trapped. Trapped in his mind.
I did not get across the point yet that I wanted to make with this writing that is, I fear that I’ll be bipolar or schizophrenic. Sometimes I feel like I am bipolar but I’ve never had a manic episode. But there have been days that I have felt overwhelming joy but it never it teamed up with poor choices or irrational behavior. I know there is stigma with mental health. And I’ve seen the negative of it and I pair bipolar and schizophrenia with negativity. They are negative illnesses. I have negative illnesses. How do we take the stigma out something so negative? Getting help, getting care, receiving treatment; this is positive. Accepting what you have, this is positive. I’m not sure if it’s possible to take the stigma out of mental illnesses. But we should at least support the care for mental illness, this should have no stigma. Man, woman, or just human being, it’s ok to accept help. Help is positive. People with mental illness aren’t the only ones who can benefit from mental health care. In all stages of life there are new things, things we have never been through before. It’s ok to get support after the death of a loved one. It’s ok to get counseling after a fight with a spouse. It’s okay for everyone to receive guidance. We all are going through things that are new to us everyday and we learn even about ourselves every day. People with illness or without it’s okay to receive Mental Health Care. It is positive to better yourself. I support Mental Health Care. Do you support Mental Health Care?