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Monthly Archives: March 2020

It’s Been There All Along


My intuitive mind told me this but it was so surprising. I asked how long I had been this way and it told me that I have been this way since third grade. Hmmm, first grade I was too young and in second grade I had a really good female teacher. We didn’t keep them long because if they got married they couldn’t teach. First, a woman gets married and then she gets pregnant of course and no decent woman paraded her pregnancy in front of innocent little children. All the rest of my parochial school teachers were male.

When I got in trouble in grade school, it began with defiant anger and ended with a waterfall of tears. The swing went from one mood to the other. Quite a big change. I would go home having been in trouble in school again. I did not tell my parents this of course (because I would get in trouble again) and hid or destroyed the notes that were sent home with me. Good thing there weren’t computers and cell phones then. I love you Dear Jesus but you couldn’t keep me from getting in trouble again. It didn’t matter how ashamed I felt or the amount of snot that my nose rubbed on my upper arms and sleeves. There it happened again. I just couldn’t help getting in trouble again. I remember sitting on a church bench or folding chair while my parents talked to my teacher about my bad behavior. I just couldn’t help getting into trouble. And that would be about in third grade.!

It wasn’t long before it became a hopeless or helpless situation. “Trouble” was my name and teachers tried to keep me busy to keep me out of trouble. I had no trouble with the schoolwork and became bored while the teachers endlessly drilled the students who couldn’t get it. I was imaginative and ingenious. I read endlessly and finished the school libraries in each of my classrooms. I loved art and once left cupids I created for a Valentine’s day display with bare spots between their legs. I had to redo them and put ribbons down there. I also remember being given the
Wechsler Intelligence Test For Children in grade school. I guess because they couldn’t figure me out any other way.

At the spritely age of 76, that has been a long time to be Bipolar altering periods of manic behavior with periods of depression to put it simply. I never thought of myself as bipolar as my first glimpses of Manic-Depressives were in the State Hospital working summers in college in the state hospital. Bipolar wasn’t a popular word until long after I finished graduate school. The behavior of Manic-Depressives was much more exaggerated than what consists of manic behavior now or depressive behavior now. My second summer at the state hospital, we had a man at the ward who was manic-depressive. He pinched one of the nurse’s large boobs to see if they were real. When he was depressive, he regressed into himself and did nothing in group therapy. It was then his wife took him home as that was normal behavior for her husband.

For me, my “manic state” was being outgoing and/or up. Then I had no trouble speaking to strangers by making a glib or funny remark. When I was depressed, I wanted to be left alone and I didn’t want to talk to anybody. They already had their chances to talk to me before I became depressed. See this post of mine, Been
Down So Long, It Seems Like Up To Me. When I was “Up”, I just thought I was being outgoing. I thought that I was just trying to cheer somebody up. For a long time until recently I thought that I was just depressed. Later on, I discovered I was a victim of sexual abuse and that was why I had been afraid of the dark.

I did not learn until recently that I was bipolar and that I had symptoms that fit that diagnosis. I am continuing to explore the bipolar dianosis.


Opening A New Window Onto My Life

You may have been wondering where I have been recently.

I am opening a new window in my life. I have been diagnosed as BiPolar and though many years have passed in my life I had only diagnosed my self as having depression. (I was told that was what my grandma had at one time in her life). One night after having an unusual fall a couple of days previously I called my own ambulance. I felt weird, unnatural and thought I might be having a stroke. Very recently my sister-in-law who is almost ten years younger than me had been diagnosed as having a stroke when she thought she had had the flu.
I felt oddly weak and had pain in my arms which I had attributed to wearing long sleeves that day. I talked rapidly to the EMTs and I thought that I talked very fast as I had several things to tell them that I thought might be cogent. This could have been labeled as pressured speech as I realized later as I thought the incident over in my bed in the hospital before either the doctor or the social worker came to see me and brought me their new diagnosis.

This could have been labeled at one time as a mini nervous breakdown. I surprised my family as I tearfully told the doctors in the emergency room that I couldn’t go home. I was paranoid and felt that if they didn’t agree with my wanting to go to the hospital in the first place, that they wouldn’t welcome me home with loving arms. The doctor decided to keep me for one more brain test the next day which ultimately proved negative.

There my doctor talked to me and then sent the social worker in to talk to me and this is where the word bipolar was first used as a diagnosis. They wanted to start me on medication while I was in the hospital. They were considering me for a swing bed in a new unit fostering the development of needed skills before a patient went from hospital to home. I also fit this placement because I almost lost most of my physical skills when I first was sent to my room. That presented another conundrum Because I was driving a car to and from town the day I was admitted.

I do not yet have an answer to the question of how I lost all those skills then and later when I went on a home visit and then when I came home the next day. I was “weak as a kitten” and I wasn’t faking it. I will join you later when I have more information about my new (to me) diagnosis.