Bipolar is a Finicky Friend ~

me and jamieBecause of the many concussions I’ve suffered, and years of taking pain pills, I have forgotten so many things. Sometimes, I forget something I was told 5 hours ago. If you want someone to remind you to do something later, don’t ask me. I won’t remember. For work, I write everything down on a post-it or type on my phone or send myself an email. I used to have a stellar memory. I had a photographic memory. Not anymore. So much of what has happened has left my mind. I will say that if I’m reminded, I can grab the memory sometimes. For someone like me, Facebook, Instagram, my journals, photos & videos are precious. I don’t only use them to share my happenings! I also share them so I can look back and remember. After seeing Jermaine Fowler,  Cap City Comedy Club, I got a little sad because the memory has already faded a bit, but because my boyfriend took photos, I’ll remember. I don’t remember anything he said now, but I know he’s funny as hell! That’s just how my memory operates these days. Yesterday, when I wrote my blog, I Haven’t Really Gotten Over Anything, I was reminded how little I remember, or how I remembered it incorrectly. I operate on memories of how I felt at the time something happened. Folks, I am wrong sometimes! I really have to deal with the hardship the moment it comes up, or it’ll get jaded or confused or completely altered in my mind. This is more prevalent due to the loss of memory.

My boyfriend is patient with me, which I don’t always deserve. I always get so upset when he says he didn’t say something I think he said. I have to really think about it, and I’m embarrassed I can’t always remember it correctly. Sometimes I remember it in a way that wasn’t his intent. BECAUSE of that, I am not always fair to him when we have discussions about certain aspects of our relationship. Those discussions have consisted of me bringing something up after starting the conversation in my head, and then deciding to include him. Mind you – I had already made my mind up without consulting him because of an emotion I had or a sentence he said 3 years ago that I never forgot or didn’t remember quite right. Bipolar is a finicky friend. And, it’s 2 faced sometimes, too. But, Bipolar along w/ concussions and the pills just make everything harder when trying to properly address something.

When it comes to my childhood memories or memories throughout my my that are extreme – good or bad – I remember pretty well. Vividly in some cases. But, when it comes to remembering a conversation related to an emotion, I struggle. My boyfriend and I were having a conversation this past weekend, and I was trying to tell him something he said. I couldn’t remember exactly and told him so. I had to walk through the original event, and see if I could remember correctly or better. I finally did, BUT my finicky friend still slightly changed the narrative. bang-head-on-wallThe good news is that for the first in almost 4 years, I learned how to have a conversation with my boyfriend that was productive and not defensive or mean or loud. It was a really good talk. It started on Saturday (I started out loud and defensive), and then I realized I was making the same mistakes. No sense in continuing to beat my head against a wall. Being in an intimate relationship is hard for me. I didn’t have a good male role model growing up. I wasn’t with compatible men up to now. AT the same time, I know I wasn’t always a good partner either. Coming from an abusive background, as discussed in, I Haven’t Really Gotten Over Anything, I simply didn’t know how to be a good partner. I don’t know if I just thought I’d figure it out or somehow I would magically just be perfect at being with someone. None of that happened. I realized after meeting my boyfriend that I had WORK TO DO. No matter what I have gone through, I want to be in a healthy and loving relationship and that requires 2 PEOPLE, not just him and not just me. It takes 2 to Tango!~ (lol – that makes me feel old) I think we both felt really hopeful about our talk on Tuesday, in which I continued our talk from Saturday because I didn’t want to let some feelings I had fester. Boy, am I glad! I’m not normally passive-aggressive, but I had conditioned myself to be that way in this relationship because I didn’t want him to be mad or me or leave or to be turned off by my directness. THIS EMOTION is a direct result of being in an abusive relationship prior, and thinking that because I left the guy, I’m over all the stuff he did to me! NOT TRUE. I’m learning that I need to forgive myself for being in that relationship and allow myself to mourn and heal and be better. I wrote a little about that here, I Had to Shake Myself Out of It. Deciding that I didn’t have to work to do to heal and forgive wasn’t fair to anyone who might be coming into my life as a potential mate. Thing is – I thought I had waited the appropriate amount of time after leaving GW to start kind of dating. I thought 2 years was long enough – but no, it wasn’t because I wouldn’t have understood the issues without him. Being with him has made me realize how badly damaged I was and, as time has gone on, I realized I have work to do. He did tell me the other day that once he knew about my past, he felt he should compensate. UM NO! I am woman – hear me roar! I told him not to change who he is for any reason, but especially not because I’ve had some hard stuff happen to me in my life. We had never talked about that prior to this past exchange, and it was so nice hearing how he felt about everything. I know this post ended up taking a turn from not being able to remember stuff to my relationships, but it’s where it went.

welcomeWelcome to my world of Mental Uniqueness! Everyone is always welcome!

It isn’t easy being with someone who is Bipolar, PTSD, has been abused physically, sexually, mentally and verbally, but my boyfriend loves me anyway. I’m thankful that I’ve finally found someone who is patient with me. Because of my past, I don’t trust men. I actually only trust a few people in my life. But, now that I have figured out how to properly talk to him, I think our relationship will only get stronger. Communication is key to any healthy relationship, but it’s even more important for those of us who struggle mentally. We tend to lie to ourselves about how we’re feeling and what we deserve. We have been so conditioned to look down on ourselves because we’re different. How many of you hear those messages? I can imagine those of you nodding yes as you remember the specific times when you felt different because of your Mental Uniqueness. It could have been directly said to you by a parent, friend, teacher, significant other, boss, or through social media, TV, Radio, Movies, etc. Social stigmas are so devastating. Words hurt. They become messages stuck in our heads, and when we finally find that special somebody, we try to sabotage it because the messages tell us that we do not DESERVE to be loved. I’m here to tell you that you do DESERVE to be LOVED. Being Mentally Unique is challenging enough. But, you’re here and you’re living life! While some days are tough, you made it through today!

I’m thankful every day for being alive, given the chance to love again, and given the gift to raise 2 beautiful children. I only had them with me for 18 years, but now that they’re grown, I get to watch them grow into these beautiful, independent young people. I have a job I love (most of the time), family I love, and life! I have life, people! Through writing this blog, I know I’ve got a journey ahead of continuing to heal. I would be the first to tell you that you need to forgive yourself and not beat yourself up about your past or a moment you’re feeling. But, I need to allow myself the same advice. Thanks MOM! I know I’m stubborn when it comes to my own stuff.

 

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