This may ramble and drift a bit but here goes:
Looking back and talking with family members; my onset with bipolar was in childhood. I had uncontrollable rages as a small child and sudden outbursts of crying jags. I would hit and throw things - my mother not knowing how to deal with me; tied and gagged me to a pole out in the backyard. This was a story told often at family gatherings and very humiliating. I was very young around 3 to 4 years old.
Later, my parents divorced and custody was given to my mom with visitation with my father. This alone is traumatic to a child and then the regular beatings took place. Yes, it was beatings not just spankings. Eventually, I was brought under the control through fear of getting hit or worse.
Who wants to be hit or debased for crying................ At the age of five, I learned how to lie to avoid being hit by lying very well. I also learned early; men were not to be trusted as my mother married again soon after her divorce was finalized.
Funny this is; we were told as children. 'ALWAYS tell the truth, I may get mad but --- not as mad if you lie to me.' No matter what though, we were hit for small thing like: unclean rooms, grades, notes home from teachers, toys left out, lost items, dirty dishes, dust, laundry being left on the floor and all the other house keeping chores we were given. (Talk about a mix messages, why tell the truth if you are still going to be humiliated or hit?)
I used to think, I was the problem. I was the cause of my mother's anger issues. That if I was only good enough; she would not be bothered by me quite so much and could possibly be happy. Little did I know then but, I suspect she is bipolar as well. It explains a lot --- just I don't excuse it.
Another thing that drove my mother to distraction was tears. How can a person expect an upset child to stop crying if they are being spanked? Yet, there were times I was in trouble -- with that sickening feeling in my stomach -- trying to stop crying -- only to be hit again -- such a vicious cycle.
Here is a kicker folks, persons with bipolar are highly creative, outgoing, charming, and bright. People pleasers in a crowd --- look around --- we are every where. In a crowd of folks usually the loudest or obnoxious folks are in the middle of rapid cycling and God forbid they are drinking. Those folks who self medicate to excess have a tendancy to become abusive or do self harming behavior they pay for later in life (drinking / driving).
One thing is becoming apparent in our family home, we may have a son with bipolar disorder. Seems there is a genetic connection and I may have passed this on to him. I am not feeling unhappy about it though I do worry. I do know I am better equiped to deal with the highs and lows than a 'normal' parent and he is my child. I waited forever to have children mostly out of fear of harming them.
At age 16, I made a conscience decision not to harm my own future children. I was laying on the floor whilst my mother sat atop me choking and hitting my head against the floor. I made the decision then to get out of her house and make my own way. It was the best decision I ever made.
Though, my story with my mother in her house ended basically there on that floor. I was not diagnosed with bipolar until I was in my late twenties. How I survived in such a strict environment on active duty for 20 years is shocking to me as I look back but, I did it.
Another thing, I am blessed to have our children and will teach him ways of coping even doctors are not aware of; 'remember that creativity?' I am so very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to raise such lovely boys though I am flawed. Just now, we will have another platform from which to form a tighter bond. I am forever in debt and blessed our boys come to me when they are in pain or trouble. This is all possible because of my husband and Our Creator.
Peace and Joy be with all who pass here