There is one thing bipolar has done to me that I don’t know if I can forgive myself for.
It made me hate my mother.
I’m not talking about the she annoys me and I can’t stand her but I love her anyways kind of hate. I’m not talking about the she’s done stupid things that offended me but I still feel a connection in spite of it kind of hate. I’m not talking about the I’m a teenager so I hate my parents kind of hate.
I’m talking about the no love, no connection, convinced she was consciously making decisions to hurt me kind of hate. The kind that makes it hard to buy Mother’s Day cards because everything on them feels like a lie. The kind that makes you suspicious when she does something nice because you are convinced that there is no love there.
Now don’t get me wrong, the relationship would have been strained at times without the hate. There still would have been times when I wouldn’t have understood why she did what she did and there still would have been times when she hurt me deeply with the choices she made. If I’m being totally honest, the relationship would still have been somewhat dysfunctional because of family dynamics.
But I don’t think I would have hated her like I did, because for 15 years I had a voice in my head telling me that she hated me and I hated her. There was a voice that was telling me “You know, she hates you and doesn’t love you.” I believed it, and anytime she did something that hurt me, and sometimes when she didn’t, I believed that she was targeting me and it was intentional. I know now that was one of the ways psychosis played out for me.
When I finally made peace with the dysfunctional parts of the relationship, that hatred was still there, but I didn’t understand it. It confused me…if I resolved all these issues, why was I still convinced she hated me? Why did I still think that I hated her? Why was there absolutely no connection with my mother?
I searched for that unconditional love from other women, and I actually found it at one point. But it hurt so much that it wasn’t my mother. Again, I couldn’t figure out why I had absolutely no connection with my mother.
And then we figured out that psychosis was a part of bipolar for me. I learned what the voices sounded like and that it wasn’t what I truly believed. I learned that the delusional thinking was so ingrained that I started to believe it. Anytime my mom did something nice for me, I was completely baffled. My mom did things that contradicted what I believed, but I believed it anyways. The very definition of delusional thinking. I know that now.
I worked for years to find a way not to hate my mom. I wanted so desperately to feel like she loved me.
And then last week I went shopping with my mom. The hatred was gone. Vanished. And there was that connection I had been looking for.
I feel like I’ve lost so much time. Anytime I look back on the past 15 years its like a giant black hole of bipolar…just sucking parts of me and my life into it with no way to stop it. Except I think I’ve stopped it now, or at least slowed it down. I’m learning where bipolar is an explanation, but not an excuse.
What I’m trying to say is I’m sorry mom, I love you. For real this time.