My Journey With Bipolar Started Young

I was surrounded by it relentlessly, her delusional ravings keeping me up all night. She’d made me start sleeping and spending all my time in her room to keep me safe from the rest of the family, who she believed weren’t really them anymore. “”They are duplicates now with evil spirits inhabiting our loved ones bodies,” Mom explained, “they weren’t really them anymore.”

My mom continued to talk about her psychotic delusions all hours of the day and night. She had stopped me from going to school for a while. She wouldn’t allow any family members to see me, eventually she wouldn’t let them in the house at all. I had no respite. There was no one who could help me yet. I was trapped with her and on my own. My father had already committed suicide by then.

Armageddon had come, she claimed, and by some mistake we were left behind. With the duplicates. Nobody was really “ them” anymore according to her. All our loved ones were in Heaven. By some mistake of the Lord, she said, we had been left behind. Eventually, she would tell this to a doctor at a hospital we were taken to for her to be evaluated after creating a scene in a bank. She asked the doctor to give us both lethal injections. But that’s another story for another time….

I learned the hard way to go along with my Mother’s psychotic beliefs and to not challenge her or show any fear. One night, she came into her bedroom and was angry that I wasn’t asleep yet. I’d suffered from insomnia ever since I could remember and she used to drug me with NyQuil which contained alcohol back then to make me sleep so trying to sleep in the midst of this chaos was especially challenging. She was angry and beat me with a tennis racket and I showed fear on my face. I was only 8 years old, scared and crying. That was a big mistake.

“You want to be afraid? I’ll give you something to be afraid of!”, Mom screamed as she ripped my teddy bear out of my arms, lit it on fire and held it inches from my face. That was the day I learned how to hide my thoughts and feelings. I don’t remember the rest of the night, I must have mentally blocked it out but I can still see it all in my mind like a movie. A horror movie. I can even remember how the room smelled. The king size waterbed in her room has sprung a small leak and the room smelled musty and like mildew.

The year was 1982 and my childhood was destroyed. I don’t remember how long she kept me trapped in that room, at least a week, maybe two until one morning the SWAT team busted our front door in to rescue me. They brought a social worker with them. I remember sitting on her lap and seeing my Mother hog tied and carried out of the house. I didn’t cry. Suppressing my emotions had kept me alive and became a life long problem. I couldn’t cry, so I vomited instead.

I was eight years old and this was just the beginning, folks! Buckle in for a very rough ride down my memory lane.


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