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Thursday, October 14, 2004

When my bipolar wife goes missing, I get upset

I have been playing around with beaded jewellry for the past few months. Making the odd thing here and there.

I saw a board on the side of the road requesting exhibitors for the local hospital's volunteer charity craft show, so I actually sent in an application. Yesterday, I dropped it off at lunch time at the hospital with the required picture of a sample of the goods. They told me they were actually quite beautiful and that I definitely have a spot in the show. I was surprised to hear that during this one day show last year they had approximately 1000 people pass through. I was expecting a gaggle of old ladies crocheting doilies and oohing over each other's dusty submissions. But I was excited by the prospect of the show. I pay $100 for the table and whatever money I make at the show is mine.

So last night, I came home, made dinner for my son and then changed, telling him I was going for a bike ride. I took my bank card with me. I went for about a 1/2hr ride around the hilly neighbourhood (a river cuts right through the city about 2 miles from my house and the ravine it creates has echoes of its depth for miles around) and worked up a decent sweat.

It is October. That means around here it is full dark by about 7 pm or so. I left the house at 6:20.

Then I took my bike to the craft store. I was lost in a maze of beads, crystals, beading wire and tools. $130.00 later, I went out into the night and biked home. The store is less than a km from my house (less than 1/2 mile). I turned onto my street and saw someone walking toward me. It was my son. It was 7:40.

"Where were you!" He was quite cross.

"I told you: I went for a bike ride".

"You've been gone for an hour and a half! I thought I was going to be a motherless boy forever! And Rob's just FREAKING"


I went inside, and said my regular "Hellloooo" when I came in the door.

"Where the hell were you?"

"I stopped and got some stuff for my craft sale. I totally forgot to tell Adam about it and I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to make you guys worry."

The two of them just stood there staring at me.

"When my BIPOLAR wife goes missing for an hour, when she says she's going out for a bike ride and is gone for an hour and a half, in the dark, without a light on her bike, and no indication of where she's gone, I get worried! Do me a favour: next time you deviate from routine and go for a bike ride rather than a run, leave an itinerary, ok?" This is a clear reference to my comments in the past about driving into a bridge abutment, or when I just wandered into the emergency room and ended up committed for 8 days.

"Ok - I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to get anyone upset. I just lost track of time."

"Are you wearing a watch?"


"Then you shouldn't lose track of time."

The two of them sat down on the couch to watch CSI on Spike TV. I went over. "I know I was wrong. I just forget sometimes. I'm sorry." No response.

I turned on my heel and went upstairs.

Suddenly, I was angry. But at who? At them? At myself? And I was sad, sad that I had made my son worry so. Rob I did feel bad about, yes, but more so my son - he's only 13 and shouldn't have to worry that way. But this irrational anger kept coming up - I was thinking that Rob had been somehow conveying to Adam that his CRAZY mom was out there doing something to hurt herself out there, talking about me, turning my son against me. Part of my mind pushed that away as nonsense. But a small part still remained.

I puttered around the house, refusing to sit with them, almost as punishment. I don't know if I was angry at them for calling my bluff, refusing to let me off the hook for being irresponsible, or if I was angry with myself for being irresponsible, or both, or something else entirely. When I finally did sit with them, I refused to speak. Finally, it was just my son and I - Rob went to do something upstairs - and I apologized to my son for causing him such worry. He said it was okay, that it was just that he didn't know where I was. He seemed almost guilty in being upset with me, and that's wrong.

Later, when he went to bed and I tucked him in, I apologized again. My anger was gone. I was a self-pitying rube. I almost told him that there is something wrong with me that I can't always control how I react to things and that I didn't mean
to make him feel bad for being upset, that he had a right to be. But instead I told him that I really didn't mean to make him worry and that because I love him I know he deserves better so I will try really hard not to do that again.

After that, my husband took me aside and said how worried they both were. The reason my son was on the street when I rode in was that he was sitting on the front porch, hoping to see me.

I think my guilt is more than just one sided. The obvious holds true, that I caused them the worry I did. But I also think I feel guilty because I think I was caught sliding upward from hypomania. And I've been so smug and positive that I'm under control. But I went and spent money (mind you, it's an investment in what I hope will be a successful financial venture, supported in concept by my husband) and lost myself in a spin of ideas and images in the middle of the craft store.

The guilt and the anger were sudden. Like a knife slamming down on the chopping block. Depression? No. I don't get depressed. But the reversal in mood was severe enough to have given an average person cerebral whiplash. What do I put these guys through?

Now, 24 hours later, I'm somewhat better. Rob's coaching his competitive women's hockey team tonight, so Adam and I went to the bookstore, McDonald's for a cheap dinner, had a bit of fun just he and I. He feels much better about things, I can tell. Me? I'm tired, not as focused today, but the ideas are still there. I want to get the excitement of yesterday back - I have things to do and ideas to put into play. At work, toward the end of the day I had flashes of RAGE directed at M. I've posted about him before. I almost threw my phone across the room, but controlled the impulse. Barely.

In the spectrum of things, I really don't know where I am right now. I am spinning my wheels. I want to let the clutch go and let fly. The lack of insight (using the term in its psychiatric sense) is troubling.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Blogger moodymicello said...
I think you are most likely angry at the one thing that is so hard to get over. Angry that you are bipolar and that this happened to you when you had what should have been a normal plan to do a normal thing that, darn it all, was going to be a fun adventure. and here comes Mr. Bipolar causing rack and ruin once again. Yep, you spent a chunk of change - but it is an investment. I've done the same with ceramics, fabric, yarn, and embroidery. There is a link between the artistic talent and the bipolar person. The key is to stay with it on your project. Who knows --- this may be the begining of a new jewelry designer, the Blondzila line!  

Blogger blondzila said...
You've hit the nail on the bipolar head. Angry that my life isn't what it used to be, that my perspective can be so out of true with "normal" people.


And I am hoping that this jewellry is the start of something larger. But I've got to keep a leash on those thoughts as well: grandiose ideas come hard and quick if I let go.

*sigh again*

But hey, at least I won't be bored. If I'm expecting 1000 to walk through, and an average of 1 in 10 buy something, I've 4 weeks to make 100 pieces. I've got to get cracking!  

Blogger moodymicello said...
Let me know how it's going. I lack only the "wedded' and the date on the wedding sampler and it's ready to be framed. I promised myself to be done by the end of this week. It really has turned out beautifully. I am pleased. Think I will start on chalking a nativity set for my daughter. It is a beautiful set. Tall, thin figures and all the animals included. Chalking gives the "Hummel" effect...not necessarily the colors, but the effect. I am curious, do you have cats or dogs? Michele  

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