I was born into a dysfunctional family, a Father who was an alcoholic, 
(Jailed 36 time for assault and battery) and a Mother who suffered 
Hypochondria and severe Manic depression.  I have 2 half brothers and a 
half sister who were raised as cousins by my Mothers family.  I only 
knew the truth about age 13.  My Mother had been married a few times 
before she married my father.

My Father was very pugnacious and outspoken.  WWII caused him to be 
rather traumatized in the spirit.  He also could never take an insult 
real or perceived, hence his arrest record for fighting.  The marriage 
that ensued was only worthwhile as they both have said, in producing 
 me.  I was raised an only child and visited my "Cousins" Often.

Between my mothers mental cruelty and my fathers dictatorial rule of 
the  roost, I somehow escaped fatal trauma.  My mother once pushed me down 
13 steps claiming I slipped.  (This she did while cursing at me in a 
demonic voice I feared.  This voice would haunt me often.  Her favorite 
game was to wait till my Father went to work and lock me in a closet. 
She would bang on the doors and say in the Demonic vernacular, "Everyone 
is dead, and I am coming to get you now."  After about an hour of this 
"Game", she'd open the door and act as if she was hunting for me and 
was soooooo worried.  At other times, while swinging on the porch swing, 
the  voice would appear and tell me I was to die for I was evil.  [Loads of 
fun, my mother.]) 

My Father never knew about this, as he would have killed her.  He told 
her often, if she ever hurt me, he'd kill her.  I never told, for I 
loved them both.  I didn't want to be with out my mother and a father in 
jail.  My Mother had erratic behavior for some time, and when I was 7, 
my parents divorced for my Mother refused to be treated for a very 
perceivable mental illness.  Father sent me to live with my Grandmother.

My Grandmother provided me with the warmth I needed for the next 5 
years. (My Grandmother remains, even years after her death, the only Mother I 
acknowledge as a Mother.  I see my Birth Mother as more of a distant 
relative worthy of recognition at best.)

My Father raised me later, I dreamed about this, but found that an 
Alcoholic Father was as good as no Father at times.  I lived in fear of 
his tirades.  I helped him stand to walk home from long nights at the 
bar.  I watched him physically pummel many who annoyed him.  I was not 
hit but maybe once.  (I knew, you don't mess with Dad.)

At School, I was quite a class clown, and considered by my peers, a 
pugnacious moody type.  (Kicked out of School for fighting a lot.)  I 
also hung out with the Drug Addicts.  It wasn't long before I was 
considered a Zombie, with a bad attitude.  I had a few brushes with the 
law as well. 

I often had Suicidal thoughts, and was considered a passion driven sort 
by friends.  I was seen as a chameleon, in clothes, and appearance. 
(Short, Long, and Mohawk Hair do's and Ripped up jeans, Tye Dyes, 
Camoflauge, Leather, and three piece suits for styles.  All depending 
on my mood for the day.) Served in the US Army Reserve a short stint, 
but was discharged for medical reasons.

Went to college, and there became "enlightened."  I hung out with older 
friends,  Vietnam era Vets and non vets mostly.  I established 
relationships with my siblings and cousins.  I inherited massive record 
collections of Classic Rock of the 60's and suddenly was rebirthed as a 
neo/hip person.

Got my degree, and couldn't find a job teaching.  (Joked to my friends 
I majored in "Unemployment") I landed a long series of never ending go no 
place jobs.  The best I had was my Musical stint as impersonating John 
Lennon and Jim Morrison.  In Bands, and a few other singing gigs.  (Jack 
of all trades, master of none)

I met my wife through her sister.  We dated and as was my forte, as 
soon as someone cared  I split.  I didn't want her to be in with a drug 
addict that knew He couldn't quit.  For "Her own good" I disappeared.  I 
just stopped all contact.  She was too pretty and too pure of heart to 
enter my warped world.  (I know now, I was going through intense 
cycling for some time before this incident, but it sort of helped wake me 
up.)

I went on a trip to London to pursue a book I am writing on Jack the 
Ripper.  While there I went to Jim Morrison's Grave and had an 
emotional upheaval ending in my vowing to kick the habit and find a nice woman to 
be with.  One week after coming back home, and one year to the day I 
stopped talking to my future wife, I called her up to explain and let 
her verbally give me what I had due coming to me. I got her mother. 
(My heart sank, as I just knew she wouldn't tell her daughter that no 
good guy called.)  Actually, She told her daughter.  "That no good guy 
called, and left his number."  (Thank God she was an honest mother.)

My future wife called, and I expected to have her tell me how worthless 
I was and that I was an Addict and Loser.  She said she wondered why I 
didn't call or come around.  I layed it on the line.  "Honey,  FOR Your 
own good, I stopped seeing you, and It was because I was an Addict." 
(In my case this was true, and she understood and believed it.  I can 
hear all the single guy's writing this down.  It is true.  I was lucky 
enough to find one strong woman who had been through all kinds of 
personal Hell, and cared enough to give me another try.)

We got married one day after I had been in the emergency room agonizing 
with Kidneystones.  My Wife was 18 and I was 25. We had planned to camp 
for one week in a remote part of the state as a honeymoon.  Destiny 
played it's own hand.  On the way to our Honeymoon, the agonizing pain 
started again, and I had to go into the hospital.  Admitted on my 
Honeymoon night.  (AAGGGHHHHH!)

The series of operations were not successful, and all extremely 
traumatic.  Lots of anesthesia, and lots of trauma.  (Let me tell you 
folks, the trauma is something out of the Inquisition, only high tech.) 
It took another hospital and a whole year to rid me of the blasted 
things. 

I worked a series of nothing jobs, and quit as often as I got fired. 
Soon after all this Medical trauma, my wife noted remarkable 
personality changes in me.  I would say things and Have no idea I said them, do 
things and have no idea I did them.  I would erupt in explosive rages, 
smashing things and putting holes in walls, and argue for hours.  (With 
no knowledge later of what happened and why my wife was crying. 
Further more, when she said I did it, I would rage and accuse her of doing it, 
as I had no memory.)

Soon, the horror came all too real as my wife was leaving me for a time 
to collect her thoughts.  I sat in a shattered room, with items smashed 
and left alone by the one I had loved.  I once more thought of Suicide. 
(I would relay this at times I started to see I was doing something and 
my wife was hurting.  I would tell her I would rather cash in, then 
hurt her, As the horrible realization was hitting me,  I had a problem.  My 
life was not my own.

She talked me into therapy, by saying it could be her problem, not 
mine, and we should go together.  (Viciously cunning, the female species) I 
was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder,  and after long tries
 of various medications and therapy, I was given Lithium and Luvox.  (I was OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) TOO,  YIPPPIIEEE) 

My diagnosis cost me a good job at the place I worked.  (Not listed as 
BP, but known by all the reason.  This occurred not long after having 
my first child.  I still am pursuing litigation, and advise others to do 
so if it happens to them.  Don't sit down and Take it.) 

I am to be 30 in November.  My Wife will be 23.  I have two daughters, 
one 2 years old and the other 6 months.  I currently have a wonderful 
job and am pursuing a new house.  BP knocked me down hard, but not out. 
The signs were there early in life.  (no one cared to notice)  The 
anesthesia and trauma triggered my genetic predisposition to BP. 
(Mother BP, Father: BP Affective, Brother BP, Sister OCD/BP, other Brother BP 
Affective.)  My father, though opinionated, no longer drinks and is the 
Father I needed when Younger. (I cherish our time as he also is in poor 
health.)  My Grandmother is gone since 1985, and my mother gets help 
occasionally, but has regressed to her old mixed up self.  (She goes in 
and out of treatment.  Despite I know it is not her fault, we are not 
close, and she remains as some distant relative in my mind.)

I look forward to providing my wife and daughters a happy, stable (as 
can be for BP) home.  Every time I get down, a smile from one of my 
daughters or a hug from my wife helps me pull through.  Sometimes I 
must grieve, rave, seek friends, withdraw, or cry and be close to the 
family, but I get by.  I am proud to be in the category of many great 
musicians, poets, authors and unknowns who have had BP.  (I am not always happy about it, but proud to know the illness has effected the great and the 
small.)  My Peace and Love To you all...................................Janus 
 
 

Thank you Janus for your story. The more we collect we see our unique differences, along with our uncanny "sameness" in the sharing of Bipolar Affective Disorder. JANUS will be pleased to hear from anyone with comments, questions, or simply in need of an ear to listen.  Email Janus Here

 

 

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