Anonymous Mom: An Open Letter To My Bipolar Husband

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bipolar husbandAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

Dear Bipolar Husband,

I know you’re probably going to read this some day, so before I start, let me say that I’m not talking about leaving you. This isn’t an I-hate-my-husband letter. Just read it.

I wish you weren’t bipolar, but I also wish all of my womanly measurements fell neatly in the mid-30s. You’re never going to stop being bipolar, and I’m never going to be able to wear a bikini without looking like a lumpy loaf of white bread. That’s how I see your problem, as just another part of you. You look past my weight, even appreciate it at times, and I spend very little of my day worrying about the fact that you have a chemical imbalance. You watched all the gruesome and disgusting things that happened to my body when it pushed out your child. Why is it so bad that I see you sob?

You don’t scare me.

I’m the one who sees all of your episodes, all your freak-outs, and I’ve never once been afraid for myself or our daughter. You don’t get violent, you don’t act out. You’ve never struck me, shoved me or done any other kind of physical damage to yourself or others during your episodes. If you had thrown me down the stairs or something, we’d be having a very different conversation. But you don’t do things like that. You’ve never given me a reason to think or believe that you’re even capable of it.

You’re not crazy.

Crazy is being completely unpredictable, doing and acting out irrational things. Your actions, while not always rational, come with a clear set of warning signs. I can see your shifts in moods in colors, like a sunset on a clear day. What you don’t understand, though I’ve tried explaining it before, is that everyone goes through shifts in their moods. Everyone is hyper at times, somber at others. It’s just how we are. Your public exterior, the way you allow people to see you, is no different than everyone else.

No one knows you’re bipolar except your family.

You don’t go through big freak-outs in public. You don’t have meltdowns, and you don’t lose complete control. You worry that people hate you, or don’t trust you because you’re different. It’s not the fact that you’re bipolar that makes people not want to talk to you. It’s the fact that your social skills are terrible. The only reason people don’t want to talk to you is because you act like you don’t want to talk to them. The umbrella shaped like a samurai sword might also have something to do with that.

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