Saturday, October 23, 2010

If it's not Love

A few years ago some physicians tried to tell me that my own husband was(is) bi-polar, not just depressed. To top that cake off with some icing they told me that he was bi-polar with homicidal tendencies, that the best treatment for him would be to have him made a permanent ward of the hospital. Now, at this particular time he had JUST started on some new medications, we had just found out I was pregnant, with a child he was told he would never be able to produce, without divine medical intervention, and we had just renewed our on again/off again relationship of 3 years, just prior to my pregnancy surprise. In short - never under-estimate a stubborn, pregnant, intelligent woman, with access to Google, on her 25th birthday. She will make sure that you with all your degrees and experience and certifications come out looking like high school sophomore who just started their first social sciences course.

The degree holding professional neglected to factor in the fact that he'd started this new medication, took it for a couple of weeks, then was advised to stop taking it, cold turkey, from a high dosage, just days before the apparent 'psychotic break'. He was in there for the mandatory 72 hours before the doctor started telling him that he would be better off being in there permanently. He refused to sign the voluntary paperwork, so she moved to get a court order to keep him there. On Thursday (day 6) I was told of the court order.

I did my homework, by the time I showed up at the hospital at 8am on Friday morning I knew everything there was to know about bi-polarism, diagnosis, treatments, and severity. I talked to four lawyers, everyone in the hospital administration building, including the hospital director, and a judge. I was at the hospital for 9 hours that day. But I soon got my point across to every last one of them, I was not backing down. Before I left at 5:30pm that evening Brian's medications had been changed, he actually claimed to have been feeling mentally clearer, for the first time in a while after a few hours. Court hearing was set for the following Monday morning.

I went to the visit on Saturday with him, reassured him that he would not be forced to stay in the hospital, I didn't care what it took, I was going to get it corrected. He actually looked better and sounded worlds better in just a short period of time since the medication change.

I showed up for court on Monday. I was absolutely prepared for the battle. The battle ensued. The hearing lasted almost two hours, after we finally got in to see the judge. Most of these hearings only last 20 minutes, at the most. The doctor did her damnest to make sure Brian was forced to stay there. Claimed him to be a threat to me. Claimed that he was going to need consistent monitoring. He wasn't safe in society. She did everything she could to convince the judge that he was a homicidal threat. A threat to me, to Mikeal, to our unborn child, or anyone who may cross him or upset him.

I was able to keep my composure. Something that I struggle with at times. My emotions tend to get the better of me and I generally wind up a sobbing mess. I presented the judge with my three years of experience with Brian. I presented him with my extensive knowledge of bi-polar behaviors, treatments, and what to look out for. In the end I signed over a paper stating that I would take full responsibility if Brian left the hospital, detoured from his treatment plan, or actually committed a homicide. He was back home with me late that evening after discharge papers had all been signed and filed.

Now, I'd been with him for 3 years at this point - twice as long as my previous marriage - yes, I'll admit he'd broken my heart a number of times, he did his best to make the heartbreaks as painless and as kind as possible. There are no painless heartbreaks, just ones that are easier to swallow than others.

He'd never threatened me, even during his psychotic-break. He locked himself in our bedroom, to protect me, as he called his therapist and told her of his thoughts. Thoughts that he was afraid that he was going to hurt me. I'll admit, I was scared out of my gourd that day. Not scared of Brian. Scared that I wasn't going to be able to help him through this. Scared that this would be the moment that I walked away, permanently. Scared that I would be like every other person in his life up to that point - another one to add to his list of people who walked out when things just got rough.

I knew this wasn't MY Brian. The man that I fell in love with over long internet and phone chats we had before I ever looked into his deep chocolate eyes. The man that I fell irrevocably in love with to depths I never knew to be possible when the moment came that I did physically gaze into his eyes. My Brian who would pull away just before he knew he was going to cross the line. The man that I could spend a year not talking to after a break-up, drink a bottle of vodka at the end of that year, delete every piece of contact information I had for him, while 'celebrating' my freedom I had just given myself to finally start moving on. Only to get a simple instant message from him just days later: "Hello, I'm sorry".

The moment I recognized his screen name it was as if not a moment had passed since we had said our last good-byes. The floodgates of a million different emotions opened up. I sat there in shock for what felt like a lifetime. I remember just sitting there. I did not have a clue what to do next.

Eventually I responded. But I think the delay was long enough in my response that I do remember him asking me if I remembered who he was. As if I hadn't, just two years before, started talking to him for up to 10 hours a day, when I wasn't working. Then didn't live with him for 8 months, shortly after meeting him. Of course it was a few months...or even a year or more...before I told him that I'd spent that 15 months of our complete separation comparing every man to him, crying over him, being frustrated with him, and mainly just worried about him and if the woman he was with was treating him well. She wasn't/didn't.

We talked for a little while. I told him about being back in Austin, had in fact just moved back a week or so before. He'd left Killeen and was up in Dallas. We talked about Mikeal starting school that year. He was a big boy now, in pre-Kindergarten. I informed him about my divorce finally being absolutely legally final. Told him that I was working on rebuilding my life. I wasn't dating anyone, but did have some blind dates set up. I kept it as light as I could. It wasn't easy. I reassured him of the promise I had made to him two years before that I wouldn't walk out of his life, he was always a great friend, even if he was a crappy boyfriend. I told him that I hoped we could go back to being friends. And I gave him my new phone number.

Over the next few months we stayed in contact. I started semi-seriously dating someone. I had worked with his adoptive mother, she'd set us up. He was great at first. My friendship with Brian stayed just that. Things went bad first with one roommate - she got rather pissed off when she was overlooked for a promotion with the company she had helped get me hired on at....I was given the promotion. Things went sour with my next roommate, to an extent. Their apartment community would not approve my application as a roommate and there were too many people listed as living there, per their rules. I ended up moving into the new boyfriend's adoptive mother's house with him. He took me for a few hundred dollars, just days before my own apartment was going to be ready for me to move into, and he ran off.

I went ahead and moved into my apartment. I made enough money on my own to take care of the bills and it was a stellar apartment. A few weeks later things went way south with Brian and his roommates. He'd been living with a former friend of mine and her boyfriend, in Dallas. A friend that was great, so long as you were doing for her. She and her boyfriend got into a fight. At some point one of them broke her four year old son's arm and pulled a knife out on Brian. Both of them went to jail for a short period of time and Brian was left having to take this poor child to the hospital to have his arm set, then had to hunt down his family members or waited for the mother to get out of jail...I don't remember for sure. I know the little boy's dad was serving over in Iraq.

I opened up my home to Brian again. He left out in the middle of the night with just what clothes he could gather up and throw in his car without the psycho roommate causing him immediate issue.

The moment I laid eyes on him in the parking lot where we'd meet so I could show him where the apartment was I fell hard all over again. It was as if all the drama and bullshit over the last few years no longer existed. It felt like going home after being gone to a war in hostile territory. Just an overwhelming sense of peace and happiness.

I sit here now, four years later. A total of 6 years since I first laid eyes on him. And I'm still irrevocably in love with him. We still have moments where the happiness and peace are not apparent. We wouldn't be human if it was all roses and chocolate all of the time. But at the end of the day there's no other place that I would rather be than lost in his dark chocolate eyes, even if the chocolate does resemble shit once in a while.

We celebrate the anniversary of the day we put our commitment on paper before God, a judge, some dear friends, and Mikeal at the end of this month. October 31st it will be 3 years of marriage and 6.5 years of putting up with each other and all our quirks. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

oh...some other bits worth mentioning here...
Brian has not taken any anti-psychotic meds for the depression or bi-polarness in 3 years. He has lost over 100lbs during this 3 years. Had held a job for the last 3 years. And the only homicidal thoughts he's entertained are the same type that any sane person would mull over...I know I at least have the same thoughts, towards the same person...but then again, I am in therapy. ;-)

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