Sunday, June 13, 2010

After All, Your're My Wonderwall: Marriage and Bipolar Disorder {Part2}


With my husband's permission I am going to write out the story of his breakdown and diagnosis of Bipolar 2 in the first year of our marriage and it's effects on our life since. This story will be told in segments. The stigma of Bipolar is enormous and has not begun to decrease in power as it has with other mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. This story intends only two things: to be entirely honest in it's telling, and for that honesty to help break down some of the
scleloderma stigmata of it's truth. In writing this I am assuming a level of respect toward my husband and his story in the comments, as well as an understanding that this is a man I love deeply and have committed myself to.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT { Part Two }

The next day was this: silence and slow moving pictures, a movie made for him about him starring him without him. He worked and when he came home his wife was weeping on the phone in the kitchen and the baby was crawling on the tiles and the boys were in their room yelling. He felt a hard place in his chest become harder and expand. It felt good, like a back brace feels on a pulled muscle, supportive and strong.

He was not aware and this felt like a good hard drunk. The silence began to push inside his brain and hurt. The drinking began and he was a quiet drunk. He saw his wife look at him and her face was twisted and strange and he looked away quickly and was able to live in the silence in his pictures. His family was for someone else. He was for drinking and at 8pm he passed out. The next day he drank and passed out and the next day.

One night after the baby was in bed his wife sat on the couch next to him and touched his face looking at him. His mind was a hundred still pictures moving and making and her hand and her gaze were distracting. She made him feel an ominous pull, something tugging something tugging something that at the end was black and diseased and half dead. He drank and offered her the drink but she would not. Then she was talking and crying and sitting on his lap. She pressed his hand against her breast and he felt her heartbeat quick like a rabbit and her hot mouth on his mouth and they were making love. She stopped him and held his face and made his eyes with hers, and whatever she saw there stopped her from looking. She held both his hands to her rib cage and his hands could give her something his face could not. Afterward he passed out and in the morning he heard her crying in the kitchen.

Time passed with this hard brace inside of him and his mind clicking and filming pictures and work and drinking and his wife kept climbing into bed with him crying and pulling his hands to her body. He felt the memory of feeling sorry for her.

In the hallway she stopped him one evening and her hair was wild, her eyes swollen and the blue hard and shiny. She demanded he tell her what was going on. Didn't he love her anymore? He thought it was best to help her, be honest, so he said, no. The boys were in the bathtub and the baby at his feet. His wife drew her hand back and slapped him so hard across the face that he was looking at the smudged hallway wall when she finished. The noise from the tub stopped and the baby cried. His wife was sobbing so hard she heaved as if to vomit. He left the hallway and closed a door behind him to drink and pass out.

Weeks passed and his wife was making whatever plans she was making, he couldn't be sure he knew. If she had told him it left with consciousness at 8pm every night. He drank and she cried. Her mother came over almost every day and helped with the children and sometimes made his wife leave the house. This was when he felt something. He was sitting with the bottle in his hand, planning to drink, and he remembered his wife saying Something is wrong, this isn't you, I think you need help. And he remembered his wife's face for the two years after the divorce from his ex-wife, when his wife now was his best friend. He remembered her face watching his for the hours no one else would watch. He felt a sour place that churned and bled, his heart picked up the foul blood and pumped it until it reached his brain and he thought I do love my wife. And with this the movie stills all exploded into sound and he could hear all the voices in each room of his brain talking and yelling and ordering him around and he began crying and he felt afraid.

His wife came home and he asked her for love and she gave it. He felt the baby's hands on his ankles and picked her up and found his arms were shaking. He saw the baby's calm smooth face and large blue eyes and he was able to understand that if he did not love this family then he was lost to himself.



Brigindo said...

Very powerful Maggie...very powerful

sherri said...

what you two have been through, i can only imagine. that was beautifully written - thank you for sharing with us.

michelle said...

I have no words but wanted you to know I was here to read

xxx

Still Life With Coffee said...

You are a heart-breakingly beautiful writer. <3

Annie said...

I'm so happy he was able to break through the wall and find there was something he needed to do, to keep, to love. Thank you for sharing the struggle, and understanding him so much, you could break through that wall, too, and still see him. (You've got me in tears again.)

Ally said...

I actually teared up reading this.
Amazingly well written. You are such a strong woman, a role model.

Thankyou for telling us your story.

svasti said...

Like Michelle said. I am wordless, but I'm listening with an open mind, an open heart and lots of love. xo

Maggie May said...

I love you guys. Really. Sometimes when I go read comments in other places I think 'why am I so lucky to have the kind of people I do sharing blogs with me?' your compassion, awareness, interest and loyalty are something i treasure. xo

Cassie said...

Thank you for sharing. I have been moved and appreciate your candidness. Not everyone can expose themselves/their marriage and do so in such a loving, respectful and teachable way.

Mary said...

still here.

still full of empathy.

feeling your experiences in the echo of mine.

Mwa said...

Also just here. And amazed at you again. x

yolanda said...

i met some people who were bipolar in the day hospital, so i can imagine all...

strong, so strong write, maggie!!!

i love you-
y.

Home Girl said...

OMG Maggie this is so powerful. I am totally gripped and astonished at the level of insight you can have into a disturbed state of mind. its also so tragic that you had to live through such a heartwrenching and confusing situation. thank god you have pulled through (although I imagine u still have to live with the uncertainty of the disease coming betwenn you again) you have such an amazing gift with your writing. i feel certain that you will be rewarded greatly when your talents are relished by the world at large. lots of love and a big kiss to biggie pea xx

Home Girl said...

i have something i want to send to you! would you send me your address? claerwen@claerwen.com xxxx

Meg said...

I can relate to you so well. I had almost an identical experience with my Fiance, but he turned to drugs instead of Alcohol and ended up having a psychotic break, but before that was hell on earth! You give me such inspiration to write about it.

~Amber Elise~ said...

I seriously just cried reading this. Psychological disorders are so heartbreaking and are all too familiar to me.. I thank you and your husband for sharing this. It is definitely something that needs to be shared. You are so strong, but I guess none of us know how strong we are until we have to be : )

cserdan said...

what a beautiful blog! Your words, openness and honesty are so refreshing.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

This is so moving and frightening, Maggie.

Michele R said...

This was beautifully written. Thank god for one's family, right?

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Everyone who I have known that has suffered from Bipolar speaks about rapidly moving images in their brain, etc just as you have described it. It's very powerful to read abut it in such a descriptive way...and I think helps me to understand the disorder a little better.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Love is a powerful thing. I have no doubt your unconditional offering of that love was healing in a most special way.

Josey said...

Wow...so powerful...and now I'm in tears at my office. Wow....

Ms. Moon said...

This is so hard to read for many reasons. It pulls my heart until tears flow. Mental illness is not something we can control and it is scary to live with it either in ourselves or in the ones we love. No, not scary. Terrifying.
I recognize and honor your instinct to pull him towards you, to keep his hands on you. Oh Maggie. Oh Maggie.

SJ said...

As always, you tell it so well that I feel I am standing in the room with you.

I wish I were.

Phoenix said...

This is so incredible to read. It seems as if you nail it so seamlessly, as if you were there in his mind and understand exactly what he went through, although in his story written by your words I still see you struggling as the wife who just wants her husband back.

Very heartbreaking...but in an honest way that is washing away misconceptions.

deb said...

unreal.

you gift with this , Maggie. you do.

Sherry O'Keefe said...

new here, but wanted to let you know how much this post touched home.

Therese said...

Thank you for continuing your story. I will read every word.

previous next