bipolar momI am very careful to make sure my husband and children always have everything they need, and most of what they want.  If the kids need clothes or shoes, they get it.  If my husband loses weight and needs new jeans, I take him for new jeans, and if he needs shoes he gets shoes.  When it comes to dentist and doctors appointments I am very diligent in making sure I stay on top of it.  If they are sick I take care of them and nurse them, if they are upset I comfort them, if they are anxious I calm them down.

What about me??

I am last to get clothes and shoes, underwear and socks.  I’m last to the dentist and last to the doctors, last to get medicines and last to get better.  I’m last to be heard and last to be held, I’m always, always last.

It’s not something that usually bothers me, in fact I find it comical that I am so focused on the 5 others in the house that I am often neglected.  I’ve had the same jeans for 4 years and my husband has just a few months ago gone and gotten all new jeans! (for the second time since I last got new jeans) I didn’t gripe and I didn’t even ask for my own.  If I buy a pair of new boots, it’s really all I get and it is held over my head for months that I “just got boots.”

I am so sad, and hurt.  I don’t mind being last, but when I want to be first, I should be put first.  I am not.

I agreed to stop spending money and gave my husband all our money so that I could have some self control, the only problem is this has turned around and ended up to be the worst decision.  Giving him control over my spending was the biggest mistake I ever could have made.  If I need something it is simply an unimportant want, regardless of how bad I need it.  Everyone else in my family always gets their needs taken care of.  I always has to justify and explain the smallest thing I buy for myself, and I even have to ask for permission before I can buy a shirt, or a $20 pair of sandals, which I am usually told no.

It’s not about money because we have the money, it is about the power I have given him over me that he abuses.

I don’t have a single pair of summer shoes.  Not one.  I threw my many 10 year old sandals away 2 years ago because they were old, worn out, and unwearable.  I bought some new outfits yesterday (after much begging on my part) to find out he would not let me buy shoes.  I have cute outfits now (something which is rare for me) and I cannot wear them with sneakers!

I began crying in the store, because my kids have all gotten new wardrobes, new shoes, new underwear, new socks, etc.  I have gotten nothing and I am still denied the luxury of being able to buy myself much of anything.  He yelled at me for being “a spoiled brat” in the store when he is buying me clothes, and stormed out.  Later that evening I pulled out his many shoes and my few, and told him to find me one pair of sandals.  Didn’t he feel crispy when he did not find one single pair of even cheap flip flops.

So with my white capris and cute floral print tank, I get to wear gray and purple Nike sneakers. <sobs>

Unfortunately with Bipolar, my needs are always just wants.  My needs are never really needs.  When I try to argue my point, I’m just the bipolar crazy woman who just wants to “shop, shop, shop” because that’s what we do.  When I began to cry out of a true and genuine feeling of heartbreak and not in the middle of a fit, I was ridiculous and not heard.

The stigma that even my husband is following is killing me right now.  It’s breaking my heart.  I just want to be first once, instead of always last.  I just want to be a woman who has needs, rather than the bipolar crazy woman who just wants to “shop.”  It hurts.

Photo by Richard Berg, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.