I had a new idea a week ago. I would take certain emails/blog posts I got and respond to them orally.
You can read the question and hear my response by visiting:
Here are the responses I address:
“I can’t find your blog. I just wanted to comment that I feel that you think that only people with bipolar get upset and yell and lie. It seems to be a theme with you. Maybe all of the people who called and screamed curses at you were the families of the people who have bipolar, you know, the ones who drove them nuts? Statistics show that more mentally ill people are abused than abusers. Chew on that, Dave.”
“Could you tell me what medication your mom uses? it would help greatly with my daughter.”
“David, wonder if I might offer a little ‘constructive criticism’. I’ve been at this bipolar thing for a long while myself. My husband was hospitalized twice before I knew him. He spent a lifetime with parents who were of the generation I’m assuming your father is-they didn’t do the right things for him. They just figured that he would eventually snap out of it, see the error of his ways and do the right thing….then along comes Mary-proactive, strong, determined, in love and willing to fight the good fight-we’ve been married over a decade and together for years prior to that-I, like you did the research, read the books, ran a support group-I know this illness inside and out-I also know what it’s like to be married to this illness and to lose oneself in the wake of it all.
I found your webiste while doing some research for a friend. I logged in thinking I might find some interesting things-while I’m not going to pay for your courses, I have been reading your emails and I do find them interesting but I do also, now here is where the constructive criticism comes in-bear with me-find them to be a little bullish. I see that your intentions are noble and I do understand the plight you’ve lived as a child of a bipolar parent-but I read your words and I feel like if I didn’t know what I know and was solely relying on this email to guide me, I would feel guilty as hell for not having the energy to do what I need to do……being a parent or a spouse to a bipolar person is exhausting. It is draining. It leaves us with guilt, pain and shame like no other. In the midst of my husband’s diagnosis I became isolated where before I was gregarious and outgoing. I became depressed and confused because I always had to have my eyes open. I was reading everyday, calling doctors, seeing therapists….I was doing all the right things but I was wasted.
I read your emails and I feel like you are writing them with an admonishing tone…these people are searching for this information because they are in pain, they are riddled with worry, and confusion and doubt and fear. They are less than who they really are because they have been beaten down by an illness that has taken it’s toll on their loved one and as a result has killed a part of them as well…..imagine feeling like that and then opening your email looking for support to find that you have an email telling you that you’re blowing it because you’re not learning fast enough, searching hard enough, reading enough books or doing the right thing.
David, change with this illness does not come over night-a diagnosis doesn’t come overnight-sometimes, like with my husband, it takes years to get the proper diagnosis-Bipolar Illness is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to treat because there are so many components and levels-everyone reacts differently to meds, every ‘caretaker’ has a different level of tolerance, ability and strength and some caretakers are so beaten down by the time a diagnosis is reached that they themselves have lost their own ability to cope…I know that what you’re doing is done with the best of intentions. Who wouldn’t want to share what they’ve learned when they find something that works but is it possible for you to ease up a little on the guilt trips? I get the message you’re trying to convey-we do need to be advocates, we do need to educate ourselves, we do need to find the right doctors the right meds and the funds to finance these endeavors-but we also need to be treated with kindness and gentle persuasion….not everyone operates with the same determination and energy that you did in helping your mom and as I did in helping my husband. I am a strong woman with the thick skin and a pair of brass ones…but I occasionally fell apart and got lost in this illness-it tears us down and rips us to shreds and what we need as those who love one with bipolar illness is not admonishing guilt laden emails but a firm loving push in the right direction…..
I’m just sayin'”
there you go again, dave. if your mom is a liar, then she is a liar. it doesn’t have anything to do with bipolar. i don’t lie. i don’t spend all of my family’s money. i don’t become violent. you are doing a huge disservice to all of us who do have bipolar and manage it. people who lie, lie. people who have bipolar have bipolar. they may not be mutually exclusive, but I’ll be damned if i am going to be lumped in with a bunch of people who lie just because i have bipolar. i’ll be damned if i’ll be lumped in with a bunch of people who are abusive, too. you are so wrong. so, the people out there who are using someone who happens to have bipolar can go to your site and say, see, that person is the liar, not me, even if the person without bipolar is a pathological liar and a pedophile. thanks for giving people like that ammunition, dave. really nice.
“If you really cared, you would share your information freely.”
“Thanks Dave, you have helped me so much with all your information and your course I orderd has been so great for our family”