My 10-year Second Marriage almost disintegrates at five
I asked my Second Hubby to move out yesterday – with his kids. A ruthless move, driven by a sense of imminent annihilation. I am trapped by overwhelming fear – fight or flight? Both.
I have moved through the stage of dull and non-functional depression, to now weepy and awake. What I am trying to figure out through this blog is: what is me and what is the Bipolar Disorder? What is real and what is not?
For those who haven’t read my previous posts, a brief back-story: I have had a long-term conflict with my now 15-year-old Stepson. I feel dis-respected in my home, and my space is invaded by someone whose values make me nauseous and angry. To be less polite – I feel revolted; my feelings are not acceptable; I hold back my voice; I swallow my words. Desperation before the suffocation begins. Then I drink, play around with my meds, or check into a hotel. My Second Hubby thinks I am delusional (or such words) and does not understand my repulsion. Second Hubby and I had started therapy to reach a compromise, which was derailed when Stepson crossed my value line again on what I perceived to be a big issue. (Here is some confusion – what is normal, what is me, what is the bipolar?). But more importantly, Second Hubby downplayed the event … I was over-reacting. This triggered an existing low-lying depression; I did my best until I went into hospital. I come out of hospital, and four days later, my Stepson triggers me again. I am trapped, my back against the wall, and I will scratch at people’s eyes to defend myself and get a breath.
My first port of call in these situations is to haul out my suicide-fantasy-scenarios. I have various. Then I play them out until I find the one that calms me down and brings back some sense of control. My Plan A. The next step is to acknowledge that none of this can happen because I have children, and parents who are still alive. And of course those who love me, but they will recover from a suicide. Children and parents don’t. Okay, so lets look at Plan B. Divorce. I know how that one works, and besides a bit of financial messiness, that’s a good Plan B.
Now I am getting creative with Plan C. I love Second Hubby and we have a fantastic relationship. We are best of friends and I want to extend the 10 years marriage plan and be the fun people we were supposed to be before kids and work and responsibility. So, my idea is that Second Hubby moves out, with his kids, for a few years until Stepson is on his own two feet. Then Second Hubby and I can live together again. I can site known and working examples of couples who don’t live together. And if Second Hubby doesn’t like Plan C, then we go back to Plan B.
This all came out in a fuzzy, angry, hopeless conversation. We are both wounded, and see an early end to the 10 years I had promised him. We have made it to five.
And then he does what Second Hubby does – he hugs me and holds me and lets me cry. He picks himself up and turns on his Can-Do Superpower. We are going back to therapy. We discuss options, for real. He still doesn’t understand how extreme I feel and still thinks Bipolar has made me wonky in the head when it comes to his son. But he is not letting go of me.
So what is real and what is the Bipolar? Do other bipolar people fixate on one thing until it turns their stomach and they will make drastic changes to protect themselves? Does it mean they are manic when they do act? I have done this before: a boss, a subordinate, a work colleague, a friend, a house-mate, First Hubby. Is this extreme thinking and dramatic action a character flaw/strength or a mental disorder? And how extreme is it anyway?
For now, my Second Hubby stays by my side while trying to navigate between his love for me and his love and deep care for his son.