Maybe it’s just me, but often? It feels like having bipolar (or any other sort of invisible illness) is a lot like being on trial forever. You’re on the stand, over and over again, repeating the same damned thing to different people, or maybe the same person two hundred different ways. It’s hard — you want to make your situation make sense. You want to help someone understand, so they can be a better ally and friend as they might wish to be. Or perhaps, you just want to break down a stereotype because you’ve seen a person using it to the detriment of yourself or those you care for. Whatever the case, it’s freaking exhausting. So is tilting at windmills, which let’s be fair — sometimes isn’t much less productive than trying to explain an invisible illness, mental or physical.
This is, of course, triggered by a real life happenstance! Thankfully, it’s not been too taxing a one, considering. And I am trying a new tact that might be a useful one to recommend around. You see, the person in question has had a history of gaslighting me when I bring up my personal experience because it is not one this person has not personally had the displeasure of experiencing. So while I often feel that trying to explain things not only is to an unreceptive and uncaring audience, it’s still one that I would love to get the point across to. So I drafted friends in to say their piece. I don’t know how it is for everyone else in dealing with old friends and family who predate diagnosis, but it’s been my personal experience that many of them are incredibly dismissive because they chose to ignore how poorly I was doing by default. I don’t let people do that anymore, obviously. *grins* But I figure — if they won’t listen to me, perhaps they will listen to people who aren’t me who are saying things I personally would say (and in the vast majority of cases, more cogently than I could because hey, not pulling hair out trying to find yet another way to phrase the damned thing I’ve said a million times before!). While I am not sure what the final outcome of the discussion might be, I feel that applying this ‘trick’ has moved the person of contention into a place where they are more amenable and willing to consider experiences outside of their personal realm. If that personally benefits me too? This is the face of me not complaining. Plus, I think most of us can agree that it is a thing of sheer joy when we can help someone understand something new!
Beyond that, I’m sort of feeling better physically. Had my 20 week scan yesterday, and everything is where it should be on Yon Fetal Invader. And understanding YFI’s positioning in the womb better helps me translate the assorted movement, which is always exciting; I’m not one of those ladies who can tell you precisely where the baby is and what limb is doing what second to second, hee hee. My sleep is still terrible after coming off the Seroquel; my brain wakes at the end of sleep cycles when it didn’t used to, and it’s very annoying (and keeping my poor husband on the couch so he doesn’t disturb me). The irony of feeling sort of human is counterbalanced by the fact my nose is streaming snot, but ah well. I guess I can’t have it all in the feeling good department right now, and better to count the tiny blessings… like pretty much always.
Hope everyone is doing well!
I’m glad you got a good report at 20 weeks. I wish you the best with that other situation. I agree that it does feel like being on trial when trying to explain things about this illness to someone who is not that apt to understand. It’s very frustrating.
Mmm, and how many insist they’re *TRYING* to understand, and then continue to deny what you’re telling them?! Bah! *chuckles* Thankfully, I’ve got a nice, safe nest of a couple good friends I can rely on who understand and we can support each other.
And it was definitely nice to find out what’s up with the kiddo, especially location. I’m not one of those women who has a magical understanding of where the baby is second to second, so having a fix on location helps me understand why x is aching, and translating why I feel motion at point y. 😀