when all else fails, blame it on the bipolar
the bitch fest continues.
so now my favorite part about being “bipolar” is that it can conveniently become the scapegoat for all emotional responses. irritability, for instance. rather than being a normal response to a shitty situation is now reinterpreted to reflect “an extreme mood swing”.
say you fly 2000 miles and pay $400 (on a graduate student salary) to see someone, a boyfriend perhaps, for his birthday. you meet up with his friends and some family and plan to go out, except boyfriend hasn’t slept in two nights and he isn’t feeling well. no biggie, we’ll have dinner and hang out rather than go out.
the meals haven’t even arrived yet. i roll a cigarette to go out and smoke. boyfriend says, please don’t smoke right now, it will make me nauseous. okay, i put it away. a few minutes later, he’s saying, can you just not smoke for the entire night? mind you, there are other smokers in the party. i say that’s a little silly, and i will smoke less. boyfriend then proceeds to give me shit about starting smoking again. i say, do you really want to do this now?
so, boyfriend decides from that point on to stop talking to me and ignore me. he puts his arm up and turns completely away to talk to other people at the table. this is awkward. these are his friends and family. what am i supposed to do?
this ignoring continues for the rest of the night, and is supplemented by whispering to his friends about “the situation” with my smoking. awesome.
i get pissed. i try to play it cool. as the night wears on, i’m thinking about all the money i spent to be here. i’m thinking i should be grading right now. i was about to burst so i went outside to vent to my mom.
once the night is over and his friends drop us off, he starts to play nice. i’m still livid. boyfriend thinks i have no right to be mad and that i should just stop because it’s his birthday. eventually we work it out.
come to find out, my actions were somehow an “extreme mood swing” and that i made his birthday all about me, and that his family member who was present got a bad impression of me, and so on. oh, and that i didn’t seem to “care” that he was sick. never mind he is ALWAYS FUCKING SICK and isn’t on top of taking care of his health and i have only taken care of him a baJILLION fucking times. and on top of it, i was concerned about how he was feeling…until he started IGNORING ME.
apparently, i’m supposed to apologize. for what, i don’t know. also, the apparent appropriate reaction in that situation was to “fake it”. i don’t know how to say this any more clearly: that is NOT how i roll.
my grandmother once asked me to “fake it” when my mom and i weren’t getting along. i said to hell with that plan. if i won’t do it for my grandma, i sure as hell won’t do it for boyfriend.
i’ve dated my share of douches that try to make me second guess myself, and i’ve resolved to trust my gut. but when it comes to the bipolar, i’m on shaky ground. suddenly i have a mood disorder, so i have doubts about what “normal” vs “bipolar” behavior is. and this vulnerability scares me, and it makes me fucking angry. i can’t definitively defend myself because I. Don’t. Know. To me, my reaction makes sense in light of the situation. and i’m so furious that i can’t defend myself, and that if i try, my anger will come off as more proof of my mood instability.
but i’m just so angry because now bipolar is a crutch for any mood, valid or not. and using it is like a subtle reminder: you’re actually crazy and you can’t trust your own reality.