Years ago, my boyfriend and I were in couples therapy. He was cheating on me. I didn’t know that yet. He said he was doubting our relationship. I didn’t understand why. He told the therapist: “I’m having doubts about the bipolar disorder.” He looked at the therapist and not me when he said this.
He then went on to talk about all the reading he’d been doing about bipolar disorder, about what might happen with our children down the road, about all the things the internet told him about this disease and its dark corners.
What’s most strange about that conversation, looking back at it, is that my boyfriend had so many mental health issues himself: alcoholism, a panic disorder, perhaps some kind of personality disorder. He didn’t own his illnesses, he suffered in silence, and he didn’t take care of himself.
But in that therapist’s office, as presented by my ex-boyfriend, it seemed crystal clear that I was a liability in that relationship.
As it turns out, everyone has problems. The diagnosed, the undiagnosed, and all the onlookers.