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Bipolar I, Cluster B Experiences

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Caretaker1 posted 4/30/2014 06:56 AM

I see an NPD topic in I can Relate but it's not touching on what experiences the BS went through. I'm looking for others who experienced bizarre, confusing, and hurtful behaviors . I have long suspected something was wrong. Here are some examples
Rage not just anger but a whole other level think umpire screaming in the face of a child or her spouse
Over the top exaggerated drama chaos to simple things
Paranoia and feeling slights over misperceptions or even if perceived correctly it was blown up into something much worse
Punishment never fit the crime..silent treatments, verbally demeaned, put down ,
Stealing ..she would often steal and have a smile on her face. I realized it was becoming a habit and eventually she either stopped telling me or she continued as I made it clear it had to stop.
Depression or sadness
Angry over the smallest things
Gossipy/finger pointing
Charming and beautiful on outside but cold and mean inside
To this day when tries to be kind I know that is manipulation followed up by horrible texts over benign small issues with exclamations, you make me sick, you always, you nevers,
Gaslighting and projections even when confronted with the true sequence of events as she even wrote them apology, no recognition a mistake was made but it's right there
Is attracted to drama, sickness and deaths she lights up when the subjects are these
Multiple major chronic illnesses
Chronic history of strong pain medicines
Extremely dependent on parents especially the mom
Short tempered, agitated and impatient easily
Would take on projects and never finish despite support
unable to budget, overspends especially during angry periods
Wants adoration which is normal but does not return it or at minimum respect or be kind
Attacks and pounces on things especially if perceives as a competition or slight...
Emotionally immature and black and white thinking no forest through the trees
Immediately found a boyfriend and told the kids who are young
Disparages me still despite decree and RO trying to prevent it
Always in motion can't seem to have quiet times
Claims no need for introspection as it was a failed marriage due to blaming me for the problems
Had to jump up always when a phone rang never could let the phone go yo voice mail or answering machines
Most times could not raise kids on her own alone always getting help, no alone time
Mocking behaviors sometimes breaking into mean spirited oddly speaking condescending tirades
Bully at times and st others like a school girl who needs saving
Abandonment issues
You are either good or bad no in between
Very impatient

I found myself often having to justify, defend, explain etc. physically and mentally draining

When with doctors thinks she's one very arrogant nature has had doctors tell her she speaks like a doctor and not a patient and to speak to them like a patient
When with Lawyer thinks she is one
Didn't follow her doctors orders ended back in the hospital more times than I can count
OCD tendencies if something is on her mind everyone has to stop what they are doing even if a boundary drawn plows through it. You could say I'm in the middle of something or with the kids and it's this will only take a minute
Multiple calls to work over nothing
Multiple calls again over nothing if not out with a group, or my family
Vindictive and wants to get back at people lies and spreads rumors
Aggressive mom and dad dad is knight in shining armor who has lifted his hands, his daughter can do no wrong
A Facebook and Bravo TV fanatic

[This message edited by Caretaker1 at 7:29 AM, May 1st (Thursday)]

DepressedDaddy posted 4/30/2014 08:01 AM

She sounds like a gem. Sorry you have to experience all that.

There are a number of books out there on Borderline PD and I would recommend looking at one for family members and friends of BPD individuals.

Classic non-clinical sign of someone that has BPD...they make every close relationship around them feel crazier than them. To those that are not close with them, the BPD is charming, yet extremely manipulative.

Although each PD can be found in both men and women, this PD (part of the Cluster B personality disorders), is usually found in women, much like histrionic PD. Narcissistic and Anti-Social PD are usually found in males. Again, even though there are predominant trends amongst gender groups, both men and women can have any of these PDs.

Just as an FYI, I work in the mental health field and I didn't mean to go off on a mini lecture. Sorry.

Some classic characteristics of BPD...

- thrives on chaos
- impulsivity
- frequent displays of anger
- becoming angered easily and quickly
- never wanting to be by themselves
- very opinionated
- attempts to persuade others' opinions (splitting, triangulation, etc).
- shifts their judgment of others quickly
- will engage in physical confrontations
- Poor self-image
- emotional instability (hot/cold feelings in minutes/hours)
- strong need for affection and reassurances
- can go from intense clinging behaviors to wanting to be emotionally distant
- difficulty trusting others (suspicious/paranoid)
- usually smart individuals, very witty and funny at times
- common behaviors include: shoplifting, stealing, drug/substance abuse, self-injurious behaviors like cutting, binge activities, suicide attempts, etc.

These individuals usually have a history of frequent job losses, having to go to the hospital, broken commitments, etc. There is also a high frequency of sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse.

Overall there are a ton of family of origin and pathological features that you deal with. Insight is usually not great. They know they have erratic/dramatic behavior, but figure out a way to blame it on the people around them.

Hope this helps...sorry if I went a little in depth with it.

Caretaker1 posted 4/30/2014 08:15 AM

This us her in a nutshell. A divorce was inevitable. I really tried. Divorcing her is becoming so expensive. She really thought she would get everything she says she is entitled to easily. Like our marriage, the world revolves around her with no empathy or compassion. Once she realized I had boundaries, I became the target. I am very happy to hear from someone in the field. My lawyer does not seem well versed in it which when interviewed he said he was. It's very frustrating. I've also realized it can be considered a disability. We tried asking the court for us both to be fair to go through evaluations, very costly, but the judge didn't feel it warranted. She has kids 50 percent of the time and kids many times come back with ailments. It's sad. I think it's just one of those things to just do what I can do.

She did say she was raped as a child something she shared during our marriage and not before.

Reality posted 4/30/2014 14:31 PM

Hi, Caretaker.

My WH was diagnosed as Bipolar I, that hits him really hard during his major depression cycles, manifesting with psychotic depression. We found all this out just in the past couple months.

With him, he manifests increasing persecutory paranoia, "lack of insight" - which is the technical terminology for inability to understand both the emotional affect he is manifesting (rage) and being able to recognize the emotional affect in others, major anxiety, and some pernicious delusions about what's real and what's not.

If you go back to my last posts - the beginning of this year - you can read one of the depressive cycles in full motion - from both of our perspectives, as I posted in Reconciliation and he in Wayward.

Was your XWW ever on any medication? We've started on it in the last few weeks after a roller coaster of finally starting to understand what we were experiencing; he could switch from being the kindest and most empathetic person I know to someone who becomes abusive during high stress. The duality can't quite be believed unless seen first hand.

I saw a lawyer to start divorce also during this, but have put it off with the new information. Bipolar is a physiological brain chemistry issue - not a personality disorder. The level of how bad the brain chemistry is off can be a pretty wide scale of manifestations and severity. Bipolar I means it hits harder.

I'm not trying to talk you out of divorcing - believe me, I get it. But it has helped me to know that some parts of the relationship were real, weren't just something I'd imagined. It's helped both of us to know that both parts of him exist. We are seeing both a psychiatrist and a psychologist to get it managed.

[This message edited by Reality at 11:58 PM, April 30th (Wednesday)]

Caretaker1 posted 4/30/2014 21:34 PM

I believe the duality. However, she's sleeping with someone else now and she tells our daughters I really really really like him. The girls are 7 and. 8.

She's in her 40s going on 18. She's been abusive and I was last on her list. She's someone else's problem now. I had suspected Bipolar I for years. She's been on more pain meds that would kill most of us. I don't have the same value system of this jerk. I was once a confident man, it's returning. Living with her and her manipulations, lies, had been way too hard. I often tell family and friends I can't explain the behavior behind closed doors as it sounds so bizarre. You'd be open jawed and say how did you last this long?

How do you deal with these people ? I tend to have as little contact with her. Weekly I get nasty texts.

[This message edited by Caretaker1 at 9:42 PM, April 30th (Wednesday)]

Reality posted 4/30/2014 22:54 PM

It's more than hard to explain. Even in this forum, with everyone being awesome and trying to be supportive with overlapping issues of deceit and "wayward" behaviors, I've gotten a mixed response - even skewing towards saying it was my problem. I totally understand what the whole situation does to your confidence, which is why I mentioned what a relief it was to KNOW it was something physiological, rather than some impossibly divergent perspectives.

In our case, we're still separated and our interactions are pretty limited and supervised as we see what medication(s) do to help him even out, in addition to therapy specifically designed to help him understand and manage what's going on inside him. In the past week, I've seen enough of "him" back to start to hope.

But in the past, I tried to deal with interacting with him by a whole lot of talking and putting my feelings aside to try to understand his. For a long, LONG time, I'd try to reason him out of the bad behaviors - try to bridge the conflict with our kids, try to explain why people were responding to what he'd say or do, try to give him examples and metaphors to try to re-engage his empathy - but now, with the diagnosis and the medications, I have more confidence in saying, "Nope, that's not real." I would try to see his view, try to find commonalities and understand why he felt the way he said he did - no matter how awful the things he was saying about me personally were, but now I know there's a firm line between reasonable statements and outward manifestations of the brain chemistry being off. Really firm lines of what interactions you will allow are necessary, like I'm sure you've seen already. Giving them empathy doesn't help once they are into the active side steps from reality.

In the end, it's just as you said, there's a place that can't sustain any hopes of recovery. People have to be receptive to treatment; even if that means being grudgingly walked into it, like in our case. If my WH hadn't retained enough self awareness to understand he needed help - that continuing to traumatize his family wasn't something that was "just him being him" - there wouldn't be any hope now. That sounds like where you are in the relationship. I'm so sorry.

However bizarre it feels to try to explain what you've experienced, you should try to people you can trust. It's like living with someone who is cyclically in "the fog" and it can mess up expectations of reasonable behavior. I've been trying to talk more about it all as I go back to re-sort out what was "him" and what was "brain chemistry." Having someone you can trust to validate it all is both necessary and healing.

I've got our kids in counseling; keep that in mind for your girls. They'll have their own set of experiences in dealing with your XWW. Best wishes for all of you.

Caretaker1 posted 5/1/2014 07:34 AM

What makes it hard is her parents enable and protect her and give no credence to any other opinion. They like her are vindictive and spiteful. I have never experienced such a toxic group. The duality is they can be warm but just the very opposite.....vicious, cruel, not open to reason. I can't cut the cord totally because kids involved. They are in counseling.

Reality posted 5/1/2014 11:55 AM

Bipolar has a strong genetic component. It's not inevitable, but it tends to follow through generations. In our case, both of WH's parents have some serious red flags; secrecy, strange spending habits, that same duality of behaviors.

When WH's mom justified his first set of affairs and blamed me, I learned where the line of emotional intimacy was with them. Sadly, WH's experience with them has been just as toxic to him personally. He formatted a lot of what was "normal" off of the bad behaviors he watched growing up. You're completely right about what you can depend on from your WW's family; learning bad behavior and having it supported and enabled precludes your XWW's family from being an asset to either of you. Just like with your relationship with XWW, find that line of comfortable accessibility with her family and stick to it.

Kudos for the counseling for your girls. I hope you are, too. If you haven't started yet, look for someone who specializes in understanding bipolar and/or the like. We had to change counselors initially because the counselor had no experience with bipolar and kept framing the episodes as just a difference in "perspectives." He actively enforced WH's psychosis and paranoia and blamed a "lack of communication" as the reasons for the episodes. That kind of misdirection can throw on additional damage that is completely pointless.

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