This blog will be a chronicle of my life as a woman married to a bipolar man. I know that I will NEVER understand what he goes through on a daily basis. However, he will never understand how tortured I am as his loving support. My husband and I are current members of DBSA, but I notice that when attending meetings I am the ONLY support person there. Though it feels great to support my husband through his hardships, I don't feel that I get the full support that I need. I want other supporters to know that there are more of us out there. We're all dealing with our loved ones manic episodes, severe depression, suicidal thoughts, sleeping throughout the day, manic spending sprees and so much more. I understand, I've been through it, I'm GOING through it. We can support each other. We NEED to support each other. We are not alone.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Aftermath

My husband called me on Sunday, the day after my last post. The first words out of his mouth were, "I want to kill myself." He was sobbing hysterically. I somehow managed to calm him down and find out where he was....San Diego. That's an awful long way from home. My first reaction was to get him somewhere safe. I called the San Diego police, told them that my husband was suicidal and his exact location. They picked him up and took him to County Mental Health in San Diego. I still had no way to get him home, but at least now I knew he was safe.

After I came to terms with the fact that he was safe, around Monday evening sometime, I began to get angry. Really really angry. FUMING! I understand completely that he's ill, but he still needs to be held accountable for his actions. He needs to realize that it is NOT okay to indulge in these impulses.  He knows when he's manic so he needs to be able to tell me instead of disappearing and stealing and selling anything we have of value.

I now cannot pay utilities, because he took the money for that so he could buy a greyhound ticket. I also cannot pay rent because the little money we get from our roommate had to go toward his bus ticket home. I haven't heard back from the job interview I had on Monday, so for right now we're screwed. I hope he has a home to come home to!

I made it perfectly clear to him that I would not be like everyone else he's had in his life. I will make him take responsibility for this and for any time he disappears in the future. If and when he does this again it will up to him to get home. I will always welcome him home with open arms, however, I will NEVER give him so much as a penny to get home again. He's actually quite lucky that I did so this time. I was going to make him find his own way home from San Diego. I made that perfectly clear until I checked the mail. We had received a letter in the mail from disability office telling us of an evaluation he was to have with an appointed psychiatrist. We really need him to get on disability so I couldn't have him missing that appointment.

One thing that did make me feel a little better was the password for the bus ticket. When picking up his ticket from willcall he had to provide them with a password. Since I purchased the ticket, I got to choose the password: IMAJERK. I felt some sense of satisfaction that he had to say that in front of people. I find public humiliation to be a very effective punishment at times.

Hopefully I hear from this job today. I really need work. No one in this house is working right now. Our roommate got fired. I left my last job willingly (before I knew my  husband was ill) and haven't been able to find another one since. My husband can't hold down a stress is crazy right now. Please send me positive thoughts! We really need for me to get this job. The interview went extremely well and I have a good feeling. The longer I go without hearing anything the more nervous I become. It's the only interview I've even been able to get.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 3

It's 3am on day 3 since my husband has decided to abandon me again. Still no word. When he left he didn't take his meds with him. That worries me. I wonder if I will hear from him as soon as last time. Suddenly stopping lithium can result in extreme mania. If he becomes even more manic it could be a long time before I hear from him.

People continue to tell me that I need to take care of myself. It's not that easy. When your body is rejecting food and sleep all on it's own. It doesn't matter that I try to take care of myself. My body physically wont allow me to do so.

I keep finding myself worrying that maybe this time he wasn't actually manic. Maybe he just decided he didn't want to be with me anymore. I really don't believe that, but it's just a part of my nature. After all, every time he tells me he loves me it's so sincere. People ask why I deal with it; that it seems like such a lopsided relationship. I tell them that I've been in much more one-sided relationships than this one. At least I know that my husband loves me, truly loves me. I can see it when he looks at me. I can hear it when he tells me. I can feel it when he touches me. He is my heart, I am his soul.

I wish I would hear something from him. I hate worrying so much. Even if he doesn't want to come home, I just wish that I knew he was safe. This litterally kills me inside.

Please come home, baby.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

day 2

Start of day 2. I feel completely worthless. How did I not see this coming again.

I maybe got 1 hour of sleep total last night, but it was broken up into 5 or 10 minute naps.

Right now I'm angry. I'm very angry.

Friday, February 11, 2011


My husband has disappeared again. Once again I did not see it coming. How does he hide his mania so WELL?

This time he changed his cell phone number and deleted his email address. He took our last $300 (which was meant for bills), my laptop and my car.  His facebook is still active though.

I miss him so much. I just want him home. I HATE this waiting game. I never know HOW long it will take to hear something...anything. I hate this so much.

I just want him to come home...please come home baby. I love you with everything I was, am, and ever will be. I miss you.

You just promised me last night that you'd never leave again. You're breaking my heart.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Past: Part 3

Four days. Fours days of pacing. Four days of waiting. Four days of not knowing. Four days of hoping. Four days of crying. Four days of no sleep. Four days of no food. Four of the most completely torturous days of my entire life.

I guess I was lucky though. My husband's ex wife usually had to wait a minimum of  seven days before she would hear anything from him.

The call came in to my cell phone. I don't know what time it was, I  just remember seeing "Unknown" on my caller ID. I pushed "talk", weakly said "hello", and held my breath. When I heard his voice saying my name on the other end, I immediately fell to my knees and exhaled. I couldn't believe it was him. I could barely concentrate as he told me to take down a number, give him 10 minutes then call back. As I wrote down the number I saw it was international, but didn't know where the country code was.

I googled the country code of 91. I had to read the results 2 or 3 times before it really registered.....India. India?????  INDIA!!!!! What in God's name was he doing in India? How was I going to get him home?!?

I attempted to call him back, several times, before I figured out that I don't have international calling availability on my phone. I then logged into my email account and saw that just a few minutes before calling me he had send me an email telling me to expect his call! This was how I could speak to him. I HAD to speak with him. I emailed him back that I couldn't call him and that I didn't know what to do! At this point I was in an irrational panic that I may never speak with him again if this email didn't work. I sat and waited for a response. Each minute that passed I grew more and more anxious. Then something wonderful happened! My IM blinked and there he was! I could finally speak with him.

We were both typing frantically, not bothering to wait for the other's response. I was telling him how I already knew about the bipolar diagnosis, how much I missed him, how much I just wanted him home. He was telling me how sorry he was, how scared he was, and how much he wanted to come home. 

He begged me to help him get home. He had spent his entire paycheck (which was supposed to be rent) on his one way ticket to India. I had absolutely no idea how to get him home. I had $7.00 and neither of our families had a spare $1000.00 just lying around!

My husband was once a  monk in a Hindu Yogi monastery here in the states. Just to anticipate any questions, my husband is not Indian. He is actually 1/2 German 1/2 American mutt. However, his once lifestyle allowed him to take food and shelter within the walls of an ashram in New Delhi. He met a "brother" there who he was able to tell his whole story to. I'll always be indebted to that monk for taking such good care of my love. Unfortunately, my husband was unable to tell anyone else why he was actually there. He couldn't even tell them that he was married or he'd back out on the street. This monk allowed my husband to gain access into the ashram office so that he could chat with me twice per day. This was really the only way we made it through the next several days. 

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Midnight Musings

I lay awake thinking of his recent depression. The pendulum back-swing from his October manic episode.

The first 9:00 AM wake up call. Then back to the room again and again and again trying to get him to budge. "I know your tired, but the more you sleep the more depressed you'll get, baby." By 11:30 AM he's sick of hearing it and stumbles downstairs in his skivvies, looking barely alive. A peck on the cheek is received but has no energy or affection behind it. He sits on the couch as I make him some eggs and bring him his medication. After two bites of the meal he politely tells me he's done and thanks me.

As the uneaten yolks are being rinsed down the drain the sobbing begins. A deep, mournful cry. A sob so full of sorrow that it hurts my soul. A sorrow with no reason. A sorrow that just is. He doesn't want me to feel sympathy. He doesn't want attention. He can't help his inconsolable state of emotion.

I look and see him in the fetal position on the couch, wailing and sniffing. I go and I hold him. He rests his head on my chest like a child. He's too weak to put his arms around me. Through the sobs and whimpers I occasionally make out an apology. He's sorry for being stupid, weak, a poor provider, unable to hold a job, a liar, an asshole, a loser. He's sorry for being broken. I deserve better. I'm too good for him. He isn't worthy of my love and affection. He's so sorry for being broken. He just wishes he could be normal. He hates himself so much. Why can't he just be normal? Why can't he have a magic button that makes this stupid disease just go away?

His negative ramblings break my heart. I tell him over and over that he does deserve me. He's not stupid or weak or any of those horrible things he had said about himself. There are no words to console him. There is no way for me to draw him back from this pit of despair.  He's wandering blindly through a labyrinth of fog and darkness with no way of escaping.

I feel completely helpless while witnessing his utter hopelessness. I love my husband and never want to see him hurt. His extreme pain makes me want to cry out in turmoil with him. However, I have to be the strong one. I cannot allow his emotions to overtake me. I must be the rock. I desperately try to remain positive, whispering to him how wonderful he truly is.

12:30 PM and the outpouring of emotion has subsided. He wanders up the stairs and falls into bed once more. At 2:00 PM I wake him for work. He dresses and makes his way to the office. His depression is etched in his face. Not just because of the stubble on his jawline, but also his lack of coloring, lines of labor, and the tell-tale signs of crying.

He comes home early, by 5:30 PM, walks up the stairs, undresses and falls back into bed. I wake him briefly at 8:00 PM to take his medication.

I know six weeks of depression is minimal for some of you out there. This was our first experience of depression together. Every night for six weeks I would wake in the middle of the night, several times, and place my hand in the middle of his back. I just wanted to make sure he was breathing. It was by far the most exhausting six weeks of my life.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Past Continued...

On my way to the airport I just couldn't fathom what was happening. I called his parents to ask if they had ANY idea where he may have gone or why? They seemed to know nothing and acted quite surprised. I spoke to my sister and she and I both agreed it MUST be some type of mental illness. People who are happy and newly married don't just disappear without any kind of warning at all!

When I reached the airport my ride and I found my car and began searching it for clues. The only items we found were 1) my husband's work provided laptop 2) his work badge 3) a parking garage ticket with a timestamp of 3:17 PM, and 4) a 1/2 full orange soda. No clues as to where or, more importantly, why he went. I gave the laptop and badge to the former coworker who gave me a ride. I thought she might have an easier time returning them to his employer since she was still employed there.

While searching the car I made one more call which was to one of my husband's sisters...

I hate to digress, but there is something I should say about his family. Though I love them dearly, but they are extremely secretive. They are also in a constant state of denial of ALL mental health (as well as other) issues within the family. My husband had made me aware of their secretiveness  before we were married, but I had NO idea to what extent.

I remember speaking to his sister and specifically asking, "Does ______ have ANY history of being diagnosed with with ANY type of mental illness? Schizophrenia?? Bipolar?? Anything?" I received the response of, "Nooooo, not DIAGNOSED." What an outright LIE. Over the coming days I would find out to what extent. I am still upset with her for blatantly lying about that. Not to mention how upset I am with the rest of his family for never mentioning that this disappearance was not an isolated issue. Maybe that I should have EXPECTED it. Any time they had spoken of his past it was always presented in a very deceitful way. More of a, "when he was younger he liked to travel a lot." That was HONESTLY how it was presented to me before this all happened. Come to find out it was not like that at all.

I made my way into the airport and proceeded to ask all the airlines within the terminal if they could tell me where my husband had flown to. Absolutely not! If my name was not listed on his purchase then there was no way to find out. I felt completely defeated and decided it was time to go back home. My ride paid for the parking fee of $15 as I only had $7 to my name.

I had started to feel numb. I thought that I could possibly find a clue at home. There was nothing. The only thing that appeared to be missing was his passport. That was not a good sign.

I called the local police department and placed a missing persons report. The officer that came to our apartment was a woman and was very rude. She just kept asking if there were problems at home or if we'd had a fight. Every time I answered no she would roll her eyes and look at me as though I was a liar. I honestly wanted to punch her in the face, but I think that may have been my frustration in not knowing anything about what was going on.

Once the officer was gone, I reached out to two specific "friends" on my facebook for answers. One was his most recent ex-girlfriend (also a former co-worker of mine). The other was his ex-wife. The only reason I began to find out anything about his past was because of these two women. I am eternally grateful to them for opening up to me and sharing his secrets. The list was long and shocking:

-Yes he was bipolar
-He was diagnosed while in the Marines (over 12 years ago) by a civilian psychiatrist
-He had disappeared every 5-8 months while married to his first wife
-He had planned on committing suicide a minimum of 3 times, all by gun.
-He had been hospitalized once
-His discharge in the Marines was based on 1) his mental health diagnosis and 2) going AWOL for 175 days (one of his many disappearances)
-He had been married a second time that he had not informed me of
-While in the Marines he had been forced to go through anger management courses because of his tendency to have "outbursts" at people, including superior officers
-A history of drug and alcohol abuse

There is so much more that I'm sure I'm missing on that list. I was overwhelmed by facts. Our entire relationship felt like it was based on lies. While we were dating I had even specifically asked him 1) if he had ever seen a therapist or psychiatrist and 2) if he had ever tried to commit suicide. He had admitted to seeing a psychiatrist once, but that nothing had ever come of it. He did outright lie about the suicide though. Then again, to him he was probably telling the truth. After all he had never actually pulled the trigger of the gun, therefore he had never actually TRIED to commit suicide.

The facts just kept coming and coming. Over this period of time his ex-wife and I became good friends. It was nice to speak with someone who knew exactly what I was going through. It was absolute torture not knowing where he was, if he was alive, what he was going through, why he left, etc. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat...and if I did attempt to eat it would come back up anyway. I managed to stay hydrated because water was the only thing I could keep down. If I wasn't by the computer, hoping he would find some way to get in touch with me, I was pacing in the living room and staring out the front door. I half expected him to be walking up the street.

His ex-wife assured me that he would call in about 7-10 days, crying and begging to come home. All I could to at this point was play the waiting game.

To be continued...