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How to repair family ties after a bad manic episode


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I've been bipolar since my twenties and I am 40 now.  I've had 4 manic episodes in my life and each one destroys my world.  I have to start from scratch each time because I don't care about anything during it.  My manic episodes last about 4 to 6 months when they come but they only come every 4 years or so.  This last time though I said so much stupid shit on facebook that I can't take back that I wish I could.  I don't know what to do anymore.  I miss my family so much and the only person that will talk to me is my mom.  I hate even calling her cause if my dad answers he just gives a big sigh before he goes and gets her.  they know I'm bipolar and am not myself when I'm manic yet their still punishing me for something I had no control over.  I feel totally abandoned by them and wish they would forgive me.  what should I do?  Please help. thanks in advance for all your feedback.  sincerely JJ

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Thanks Sylvan for all your insight.  My definition of family if always being there for them and accepting all their flaws.  What makes me mad is my parents were the first to commit me in my twenties when I was first diagnosed.  They know I'm not myself when I'm manic but they hold it against me.  Well not they its really my dad and I have no Idea what my brother or nieces and nephews feel about me.  I don't know if I could ever be around them for the shame I feel about the things I said when I was manic. I hate myself for what I said. I wish I forgot my manic episodes like some people but I remember every detail and what I was thinking at the time.  I don't know If I wrote them a letter if that would help.  I feel like such a coward

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I  understand, i get so hurt, betrayed and angry when they can't accept the flaws in my illness, i would forgive them in a heartbeat if it was them that happened to be ill, i have had to cut certain family members out, and then i get treated like the bad guy, it isn't easy.

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Thanks Bethy and I would forgive them too.  As I said before I've only had 4 manic episodes in my life and my family except my parents never saw me that way.  But this last manic episode my whole family was the center of my attention and I said some mean things on facebook.  What makes it worse is I'm adopted and I feel like they just gave up on me because I'm the only one in the family with a mental illness.  I've always felt shame around my family because of that and now that everyone in my family has witnessed my mania I don't think I would even feel comfortable being around them.  Its been almost 2 years since my last episode and the only person who talks to me is my mom.  At least I have her

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They may forgive you for being manic. But they may not yet forgive you for your actions while being manic. It's one thing to intellectually understand, "Oh, she's manic, she's out of control." It's another thing to let the hurtful actions and attacks committed by you just slide off their backs. Again, intellectually knowing it's mania does not mean they are incapable of being hurt by their manic loved one.

 

As the others have said, you have to apologize for everything you did. Yes, you were sick, yes, you weren't in control, but you did those things.

 

Good luck.

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So sorry :(  Can you write a letter to them?  It would be easier for you to do (probably) than talking, and it would give them time to accept things before speaking to you.

 

Also, Facebook = bad.  I had to get off Facebook because I couldn't trust myself not to post embarrassing stuff while drunk or crazy.

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I ask because I've seen this problem from both sides. And for me, there is nowhere to start rebuilding a relationship without some assurance that the person I'm dealing with is taking steps to make sure s/he isn't going to do it again. I know there are no guarantees, but without that starting point, to me there isn't any point in trying.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been bipolar since my twenties and I am 40 now.  I've had 4 manic episodes in my life and each one destroys my world.  I have to start from scratch each time because I don't care about anything during it.  My manic episodes last about 4 to 6 months when they come but they only come every 4 years or so.  This last time though I said so much stupid shit on facebook that I can't take back that I wish I could.  I don't know what to do anymore.  I miss my family so much and the only person that will talk to me is my mom.  I hate even calling her cause if my dad answers he just gives a big sigh before he goes and gets her.  they know I'm bipolar and am not myself when I'm manic yet their still punishing me for something I had no control over.  I feel totally abandoned by them and wish they would forgive me.  what should I do?  Please help. thanks in advance for all your feedback.  sincerely JJ

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I have just been through a similar manic experience - took to social media i.e. facebook etc where I manifested my delusional experience.  I am roughly the same age as yourself and have been going through this crap for about 13 years give or take.  Prior to the last recent manic episode, which lasted about two months, I had been manic free for about 4 years and thought I had it beat.  I am on the right medication and dosage and have access to a private treating psychiatrist but for some reason it happened again.  As far as family goes I think you will find that they are there for you no matter how they feel about your illness.  My mother once tried to tell me that if it happens again that she won't put herself out to help me - as if a motherly reprimand will keep an illness away.  It did happen again and guess what? - she was there for me.  Anyway my advice is that if you are perceiving angst from your parents that you should politely call them out in direct conversation - you will find that their paternal instinct is stronger than their bad feelings about your illness.  I noticed that someone blogged that you should apologise for your manic activities - please ignore that stupid advice.  Also another way to look at the 'stupid shit' you published on facebook is that it provides a firm reference for you to look back and recall how far from reality you were during your manic episode - possibly your externalisations may end up being a good topic of cognitive therapy?  Also good to remember that everyone in the world says stupid shit on facebook - and you are not the only one who has put crazy stupid shit on facebook :)

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A letter could help: set out all the ways that you have made changes to stay well, and what you are doing to help yourself.

Tell them how sorry you are & that you miss them.

Another thing would be to meet up with your mother & talk to her face to face & tell her how you feel. Maybe she could at least speak to your father & help him come round. Eventually you will need to speak to him face to face, if he agrees to meet up with you, and that will be very hard. But let him say his bit, then ask him if you can move forward.

I'm sure he misses you, but just doesn't know how to deal with the situation.

Make the first move & be brave. Keep trying too, it will show them how much it means to you.

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THis is so hard. I hat ebeing so manic and then having to pick up the pieces every little tiny piece of destruction that you created. Well it's not you it is the illness.

 

I agree with the others that sending a letter may be a good option. Explain that you are doing everything in your power to stay healthy.

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Anon86, are you supposed to pretend the things you did to hurt people never happened? Being mentally ill is a reason, not an excuse.

 

And not every parent has an "instinct" to be a good parent. Lucky you. A lot of our parents are mentally ill and untreated. I'm glad that you have had such a warm fuzzy experience, but that is not the experience of everyone here, even after they *do* apologize.

 

When I have been depressed, my mother has been the opposite of "there for me."

 

You will find that more people respond to your posts if you break them up into paragraphs. Walls-o-text are hard for people who are episodic, or on certain meds to read.

Edited by crtclms
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Parents aren't always helpful. Since I was diagnosed my father has cut contact back to ringing on birthdays and Christmas, and shouting at me regarding business stuff. He can be a little nasty. He hasn't been near me or been impacted by anything to do with my illness.

 

In my experience, apologies are best if short and sweet, they often seem more sincere. Too much explanation can sound like you are making lame excuses. As we say around here, anything after the but is bullshit: ie 'I'm sorry but' won't cut it.

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