Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

So, it was a long weekend of reflection, ruminating and crying…something a bipolar woman like me is very good at. Go figure. 🙄

I was talking to ma about how my last boyfriend moved on so quickly and seriously and how rejected I felt. He ghosted me after an argument where we both said things we shouldn’t have. However, I truly believed it was a cooling off period and he would come back so we could talk. I tried to talk to him once myself and didn’t get an open response so waited for him to make a move. Living 2 doors apart and the time we spent together along with things we went through had me convinced that this was the guy that was going to be the one to stick around and work on what we were building. Once again, the old refrain holds true: I was wrong.

It hit me this weekend when I saw him with his ex in the house I thought he was buying for ‘us’ so that we could have a balance of togetherness and independence and do the relationship ‘right’…not living together already but living close. This is going to be interesting now.

I lied to myself after J and I broke up. After that fiasco, I told my son (who is very strong emotionally…he obviously takes after me 🙄) that I would never let my heart be broken like that again. Never. And I was living up to it…for a while.

The rejections I’ve experienced in my life make me very hyper-sensitive (for lack of a better word) towards them and I think I know who was the biggest rejection of all: me.

My Theories of Personality class and I were discussing Anna Freud today and the various defense mechanisms we might use throughout life to mitigate internal stress. Three of them really smacked me in the face for some reason and made me think about the weekend: denial, distortion, and delusional projection explain so much to me about how I lived my life for decades.

You see, I always knew something was wrong with me…I’ve mentioned that before. I got help in high school and that led to 2 years of sexual abuse by the psychologist and understandably, that was a HUGE rejection of me as a person as opposed to an object. When B and I were married, I thought “this is it!” This is the guy I’m going to spend the rest of my life with and build a family with no matter what. In other words, despite the fact I had a mental illness, I was going to build that life perfectly come hell or high water.

So, I ‘denied’ everything that pointed to me being bipolar. Mania? Nah…I’m just really really ‘happy’ right now. Depression? Nope…not me. I just needed to clean more or make a big dinner. And then to deal with the imperfection inside my mind, I ‘distorted’ my reality in that I figured if the OUTSIDE was wonderful and perfect, then the INSIDE would be wonderful and perfect. I was perfect in a lot of ways…our house was fastidiously clean, dinner was always on the table at 5, holidays were a huge to-do, my room mothering was like no other (teachers fought to have O in their class since my class parties were legend 😳) , I parented the crap out of my son and loved on him until he was blue in the face, and pretty much created this ‘delusional’ world where everything was great. Super. Wonderful. Perfect.

I’m not going to lie…it was tough as fuck to do this. Sometimes getting out of bed took ages and I had to force it and then other times, not going through the roof took all the control and energy I had. The worst part? This charade obviously didn’t work…no matter how hard I tried. Why? Because charades are a game…not reality.

Hubby 3 accepted me completely…sorta. He accepted me completely as long as he was happy and settled and content. If I tried to talk about needing help or other issues, I was told: “You don’t need that…you’re perfect like you are.” Bless his heart…he meant that and thought that was what I needed to hear, but what he didn’t know was how devaluing that was for me. He wasn’t seeing ME. He wanted me to be the perfect one. He didn’t want to know that I was broken too. When our lives began going on different trajectories, he decided he needed to choose between his motorcycle ‘club’ and me and you know who won. I was thrown away for a group of grungy guys who drink beer, belch, ride Harleys and think they’re contributing a lot to the world. Ok. That didn’t hurt the old self-esteem.

J rejected me in the worst way possible and actually SEEING it made it that much worse. The absolutely most horrible and humiliating thing I’ve ever done in my life was to go to his apartment after this situation to ask him to work on things ONE more time. He rejected me (‘she’ was there 🤢) again when ironically, I should have been the one to kick his butt to the curb.

And now? It’s happened again. But the funny thing is this was a guy that I didn’t think would do it because it’s been done to him a lot of times too. It was like I finally found the man who could understand me. Would persevere with me. Would work with me. I did. I handled his ‘drinking’ problem…his anger issues…his trust issues. But he couldn’t handle anything about me? Women cheated on him with best friends and I’m so bad of a person that I’m left for saying 1 thing I shouldn’t have? Really? That’s how disposable I am as compared to others? Wow.

I threw my true self away for so so long in my life and I’ve had others do the same. I’m getting to where I feel unloveable. Or at least I’m loveable when they’re happy, but just not when I’m unhappy. They’re happy when I forgive their outbursts. Their anger. Their diatribes. But they can’t reciprocate. Really?

Maybe that person isn’t out there. I know I finally found her in me and am living as authentically as I possibly can (which is the only reason I can even write these things let alone hit the publish key). It took me about 35 years to do it and I’m wondering if that’s how much longer it will take me to find the person who accepts me for me…imperfect me who is going to fuck up and make mistakes. I’m ok with that me now. I hope someday I’ll find another who will be as well.

So, I realized I’m not just crying for the loss of another relationship that really meant something to me. I’m crying over the years I was lost to myself. For the hiding I had to do. For the daily performances I had to give. And I’m also crying for just how fucking hard it is to be the ‘real’ me.

Kristi xoxo

Author: Kristi

Just a bipolar Professor working to end the stigma of mental illness.

5 thoughts on “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

  1. Oh sweet Kristi you are so loveable, you have no idea how special you are❤️Surely the years your mom gave to your dad and Richard were years she’d like to have again to redo! I know I beat myself up actually till I was diagnosed with PLS about my years of drinking and my years and years of caring for my parents and their needs over my own family’s and my own! We have undervalued ourselves for so long it’s hard to believe we are women of value and loveable but we are and I’m proof of that and there are other Rick King’s out there who love truly but aren’t perfect by any means! They are partners of honor and integrity just breathe sweet child, look at all the work you’ve done on  you and for yourself. Give yourself a break!!!! Rest, refresh and renew your body and soul then you’ll be more in-tuned to your feelings. Please believe in yourself, I certainly do and know your family especially your mom does too❤️ Come see me anytime, I was a mess this weekend and could have used your loving company!!! It was our anniversary but not because of my illness and the side effects so I wallowed in that to the point I stayed in bed and was a total bitch to the one person whose there to clean up my messes which I’d made the night before. Not worthy of either of us just as your self deprivations are not worthy of u🤔 you are so very very kind, loving and the best teacher ever! Look at all the lives you’ve shaped and given hope too, give to you now. Enough is enough, we’re here for you and love u forever❤️

    Sent from AT&T Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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    1. Tina, I always thought you were perfect and felt dumpy around you. The first time I spent the day with you a couple years ago, I couldn’t believe how open you were about your struggles, and marriage not being perfect and then listening to what I had to say. You have so much to deal with in your life yet you support me and so many others. You humble me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  2. Once more for the Kristi in the back – IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. I think we all do what you describe to a certain extent, I’ve always felt like if anyone knew the real me, they wouldn’t like me very much. I’m older than you by a couple (cough) years, and I think I’m finally at the point of saying “fuck it, this is me, deal with it.” But it’s hard, hard for everyone, and has to be harder for you with your illness to add to the mix. I think you’re pretty fucking special, and loveable, and even though you eat Grape Nuts, you’re the blessing that came into my life a year ago and I’m not letting you get out. Ever. I’m a sticky boogie and I’m stuck to you.
    And Bill is a shithead and Maverick wants to bite his bummeee

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just hate that I’m not special enough for a man to come back too…it hurts. And YOU have been my brightest spot in this blog…and I’m glad you’re a sticky boogie!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

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