Terrified of bipolar

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Strugglinginlaw
Terrified of bipolar

So I am here really out of a bit of desperation.  I have a bit going on in life. I have Lupus, an 8 yr old Autistic son, a husband that is in recovery from Cancer and has Anxiety disorder.  His mother moved in with us due to money and health issues 3 months ago.  She is bipolar.  Her other son is bipolar too.  My husband shows signs as well but is in denial.  He does not cope well when the topic is broached.  So most of this family's care taking falls to me.  Usually when my mother in law has a bad spell, including paranoia and delusional, irrational yelling and carrying on for hours, my husband deals with it.  They fight and then after a while she sort of settles down, apologizes and then it is over.  I try to keep myself and my sons as far removed as I can. I have a very hard time just getting over it though.  This past weekend she has made it her business to drag me into the fight.  I thought that I was the kind of person that could be reasonable and handle compartmentalizing that she is ill and to not get sucked in.  I was not.  After 2 and 1/2 hours of hearing her call me names and lie about me and taunt me I just lost it and joined the screaming match.  I did stop quickly.  For whatever that might be worth.  And her pattern was the same.  She yelled, she spewed hate, she felt better, hugged me, wanted me to say it was all better, (which I did because if not she was going to go live in a shelter with crack whores which was better than living with us).  So in order to deescalate I agreed.  That night went ok, but two days later, I am not ok.  I am physically ill.  I have a constant replay in my head of what she said to me and about me.  I am terrified that I behaved that way.   I feel like a fool for falling for her scheme.  I do not know what to do to get better.  I am skittish around her.  I get nervous just thinking about seeing her in the hallways.  Anyone else have any ideas??? I am even writing this in the bathroom with the shower on just in case.....

KarenS
KarenS's picture
Is she on meds....

I have to wonder, is she on meds and taking them?  If she is, maybe someone needs to speak to her physician about the dosage, and her behavior.  You really have your hands full, and don't need any extra stress with Lupus....  nor does your husband with his cancer.  Being it's your husband's Mother, has he sat down with her and had a good heart-to-heart talk about how this negitive behavior effects all of your health.  Maybe a counselor. 

Strugglinginlaw
Medication

Yes, as a matter of fact, she is medicated.  She has struggled with dosages and the right medication many times.  It doesn't really seem to change her core behavior.  She doesn't have a good relationship with her gen practioner.  She sees a psychologist weekly, but I have no way of knowing what might be being said there.  I don't really worry about it.  I don't foresee my husband being able to have a heart to heart with her because any honest conversation he tries to have triggers an episode.  I try to do what I can to only worry about what I can control, but this has just disturbed me on a level I haven't experienced before.  I just feel like I am living with a ticking time bomb.  I guess my husband is more used to it because they are both pretty much walking around like everything is copacetic.  I, on the other hand, vary from feeling angry, to scared, to resentful, to sick, mostly sick.  I realize that I should seek counseling, but with her living with us and the medical bills we do not have a lot of extra money to pay copays, so I feel like that money should go toward the twins, more so than for me.  I am able to rationally understand that I need to help myself, but I would have to include everyone in the conversation if I suddenly started to seek help and had to explain why.... 

KarenS
KarenS's picture
Have you spoke to your husband....

Have you spoke to your husband privately about your feelings.  If not, you should.  If this is YOUR house, then she needs to start calming down or leave.  You, and your family's health with this toxic behaviour shouldn't be compromised.  It is unhealthy to live like that, especially with Lupus or cancer.  You need as stress-free environment that you can have.  Lots of zen. 

Start by you talking to him calmly, and letting him know how much stress this causes you.  Having someone that's explosive is extremely stressful to be around...  it makes your nerves jump.  You need to think of yourself, and if this is making you ill who will take care of you or the twins.  It does no one any good.  If he's the type of guy that won't talk, then let him know if he refuses to talk then you'll need to seek professional help.  A life coach, or someone you can get advice and express your feelings to.  You are important, and so is your health!