There's a pattern to this roller coaster ride now; I just need to recognize the signs - listen to the tick- tick-tick of the bomb in front of me, about to go off.
Step two: trust my gut and shut my mouth because even the most benign comment can trigger hostility.
He'll be great for a couple of weeks- nice as pie. But progressively he goes higher until the crash where he goes from hyper-manic to hyper-defensive and angry.
Then everyone in his trajectory better watch their words and actions VERY bloody carefully.
What ever I say in these moments, do or do not do is interpreted as an outright attack.
This is life with a Bi-Polar spouse. And unfortunately although he will soon be officially an ex-spouse, he will remain in our lives Lily's and mine "till death do us part". That's the fine print in the marriage contract. Ironically it sounds so romantic in your wedding vows.
No romance in that now; no sir-eee
The last crash was on February 28 where he tore me apart on the phone. His accusations flew at me; familiar taunts from 2014 leading up to his being sectioned: 'I have a problem, I need to see a shrink, [he's] well and now its all my fault - I'm out to punish him." Only, it was my fault before too.
Like a body builder on steroids he can sustain extremes of disproportionate anger and outrage without any provocation, any assistance at all, for some time.
I've had experience in that department too unfortunately but in that case I threw the offender out the next day and the only custody issue was my large protective German Shepherd, Max, who made his enthusiasm for Mister Steroid's departure quite clear.
Lily's dad's previous episode lasted ten days; longer than Mister Steroids best effort by at least a week, albeit less physically threatening I have to add, in all fairness to Lily's dad. Nonetheless it felt like a lot longer; all interaction with him involving tippy-toeing around all the egg shells.
And almost to the day in the following month, here we are again. Last week he was Dr Jeckle; he and Lily had a wonderful sleep over; after three bad ones. He sent me a text last weekend to tell me what an agreeable mood she was in. Could it be that she was relaxed because daddy was in better shape?
However, this week Mr Hyde is back and I was back on the phone to the Mental Health support line speaking with a Triage Nurse who insisted the Mental Health Crisis Team call me back.
What a difference a week can make- huh?
But I assured them both I don't believe we are in imminent danger and I don't believe he's a danger to himself, but if his bloody slacker of a psychiatrist doesn't extract his digit we are certainly heading there again.
Forget counseling, he's almost six months overdue for blood tests! Forget his cycling moods and behavior; He's supposed to be tested regularly for Lithium Toxicity** which apparently is both easy and common to develop. But this Doctor seems fine to hand-out a years worth or repeat prescriptions to a mentally unwell individual, heavily in denial, with no insight and a propensity to avoid doctors as he gets worse.
So with all the usual red flags returned: (the rapid speech, flight of ideas, grandiosity, elation, poor judgment, aggressiveness, and even hostility) I have convinced the Crisis Team to call his psychiatrist and raise the red flags with him.
The Triage nurse wanted Lily's dad's address to send a team immediately to assess him, and though while hes' in this stage of his cycle it's harder for him to give one of his academy award winning performances, it would be totally counter productive.
People with Bi-Polar can lead very good productive and happy lives; if their condition is managed. Mister Denial will not manage his (because there's nothing wrong with him of course) and so far his 'treating' doctor ( I use that term loosely) has shown very little interest.
For my part, as soon as the lawyer can unhitch our collective wagons, I don't care anymore if he self destructs.
As long as Lily and I are well out of range of the shrapnel.
|Lily's drawing done in her last therapy session :0(|
**Further reading on Lithium treatment for Bi-polar disorder and Lithium Toxicity:
US National Library of Medicine