Monthly Archives: October 2019

Answers

How does this tie into my schizophrenia? Or does it?

Schizophrenia has played a role in some of my relationships, maybe even most of them. I tend to like quiet activities, like reading and writing. Most of my relationships have been tumultuous with a good deal of nagging and yelling. Maybe I deserved to be nagged and yelled at, I don’t know. Also, I don’t ponder past relationships but perhaps I should. I just think that nagging and (especially) yelling are childish, so I ignore them. Most of the time.

One day, my ex — we split in 2010 and divorced in 2011 — was really going great guns on my ass. She was yelling loud enough for the neighbors three doors down to hear. And, all of it was just floating by me, like storm clouds over the prairie. I didn’t hear a word she was saying, but I finally got fed up with it. I stuck my tongue out at her and made a high-pitched screech. That didn’t help the situation, but it felt good. I guess highly expressed emotions aren’t my gig, and most of my relationships have involved highly expressed emotions. That’s part of the schizophrenia.

I also have bipolar disorder — type 2 rapid-cycling. It’s under control now, but a common trait of people with bipolar is that we get bored easily. We need variety and energy, vitality and diversity. I’m leaving my current girlfriend next Monday morning. She’s a country gal, and I respect that; the lifestyle fits her. She’s not boring but she likes the country. I’m heading to a city.

Am I the product of parents whose marriage was one of control and submission?

Yes, I am. And no, I’m not. I was controlling in the few relationships I had prior to getting married. I’m not proud of that but it is the truth. Through some pretty intensive therapy and growing up, I altered my approach. This was a process and took several years for me to understand that I had a choice. I didn’t have to follow my father’s lead. I could choose differently.

Am I the product of one relationship to which I devoted everything I could?

I was. I gave everything I had to one girl I dated in college. Everything. This approach sucked. I let myself be taken advantage of, and I thought I was doing it for love. But, my love for her came with strings. So, it wasn’t really love; it was control. I chalk this one up to following my father’s lead and to schizophrenia. That relationship was weird because I made it weird. And, I’m sorry about that.

I had one relationship between college graduation and meeting my ex. It was a good one, too, because I wasn’t focused on her. I was still focused on the girl I met in college. Now, I don’t think about the college girl too much, and when I do, it is with a great deal of sorrow and regret. But, this post-college relationship? It was good; the closest thing to love that I’ve experienced.

Does my mental condition predispose me to seek variety rather than stability?

Yes, I believe it does. I believe that the combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder created a thrill-seeking trait in me. I have tried to rid myself of this trait but have failed. Now, I plan to just go with it. This trait might just be part of my personality, too, but my personality and my mental conditions are mashed together like an Oreo cookie.

Or is variety my stability?

Easy one: Yes, it is.

Marriage: The First Salvo

I dated sparingly before I met my ex and only one of those relationships was healthy. My ex and I got married in 2005. She was 37; I was 34. This was her fourth marriage, my first. The odds were stacked against me. Against us.

Like many relationships, ours was good in the beginning. We laughed and played together, cooked meals together, and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. There were early signs that we weren’t right for each other: she was deeply religious and conservative, I was deeply non-religious and liberal. She believed in an Invisible Savior but thought that our landing on the moon was an American government conspiracy. Yes, I was naive enough to think we would make it work.

She came to me one January afternoon in 2005 and said she was pregnant. My heart busted through our hardwood flooring and landed somewhere in the cement of our basement.

“You know what they are going to think,” she said.

“I assumed we would,” I replied. Four months later, we were husband and wife. Our marriage began to disintegrate during the honeymoon. More on that later.

Question: Are you married to someone with a mental condition or are you married and living with a mental condition? Whether that condition is panic attacks, PTSD from your past, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc., how is your marriage? And, how do you keep it strong?

Best wishes,

Edd

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