Be aggressive, B-E aggressive!
Last night seemed to shed a little light on why I may have been so fascinated with playing contact sports when I was in school. I like the rush, I like to fight, and I like to be aggressive. Sports are an easy way to dump that aggression into something that isn’t illegal or harmful (at least, not harmful to those that didn’t ask for it).
Watching sports, though, I cannot do as well. I have trouble sitting still (particularly while feeling aggressive) so the sport becomes more of a curse than a blessing at that point.
“Crazy-girlfriend Sarah” made an appearance last night. From what I’ve gleaned from other sources (reading people’s accounts, bipolar or on the receiving end, hearing tales, living it, and much much more) it isn’t uncommon for this to happen.
In my own bipolar life, I tend to think of it as my brain playing a trick on me. Sometimes I will be thrust into a completely new reality where black is now white and suddenly, without question, the people who love me are attempting to hurt me. It is a switch that turns me into the incredible hulk of girlfriends, but outwardly I may not appear any different than I did a moment ago.
I can remember very vividly the first time I concluded this was happening, which wasn’t until long after the fact. In that situation, though, it has been argued by witnesses that I may have also been having auditory hallucinations, because I was in full belief that the guy on the receiving end of my wrath had just attempted to verbally attack me. I admit, it is a little funny to me now, poor guy didn’t know what hit him, but it was probably a year before I realized that the situation that catalyzed our breakup was largely fictitious on my end.
Another boyfriend experienced this beast more frequently, and I would attribute that to the fact that there were clearly moments when he genuinely did want to hurt me. I know this because not only did he follow through sometimes, I saw the words spill out of his mouth myself. At that point, isn’t that just asking for it? Want your girlfriend to become paranoid as all heck? Make her believe you might actually kill her at some point.
It is hard to say in those days though what was really going on and what was a product of those brain-tricks.
Anyway, these days are different. I know these tricks of the mind happen, so I have been doing a (somewhat) better job of curbing this problem.
My boyfriend now, well he’s a gem (and I’m not being facetious). He is sweet, trustworthy, and I can’t imagine him ever trying to hurt me on purpose. These facts have been a dot of light in an otherwise dark tunnel, when the tricks happen. Enough light for me to say, “Aha! This is a tunnel, not an apocalypse!” So I can forgo the ever-embarrassing interrogation that would normally follow.
“Do you really love me? Because my brain is telling me you don’t. And I usually trust my brain.”
My brain is a tricky creature, and I’ve come to learn not to trust it in most situations. It loves to see me slip up, or make a fool out of myself.
Basically, I’m stuck in a game of chess with my brain, which has been hard because I suck at chess. I’m learning though, and I’m getting faster at responding to its moves.
When I read horrified accounts of failed bipolar relationships, various versions of crazy-girlfriend are what I always see. Obviously I can’t speak for others, but in most situations where I’ve broken up a relationship for no apparent reason, or suddenly pushed people out of my life that I held dear a moment ago, well it isn’t exactly me. Or well, it is, but it’s my response to a fictitious situation, and I imagine there are many other people who would say the same.
Usually the aggression is a sign. A warning.
Close your mouth.
Don’t let anything out.
And run like hell to the end of the tunnel.