A rant about being disabled and dating and bad girlfriends

You know what?  Rejection sucks and I am tired of talking about the one big rejection that has defined my life in Saskatoon.  So my last girlfriend didn’t want to be with me anymore because I went crazy and she couldn’t deal.  So what.  So later she said she loved me but didn’t want to be with me because I had no willpower or ambition.  Like I care?  I guess I did care, but mostly I was stunned because it proved to me that she didn’t really know me.

And six years has passed and I don’t know who she has become.  Last time we tried to be friends on Facebook she was actually kind of an asshole.  So maybe it is a blessing that she has so emphatically rejected me.

My Mom and I were talking in the car today.  She was saying she has noticed I have become more optimistic about life, and then I said I didn’t feel very optimistic about my love life.  And we talked about that a bit, and she said I have this problem where I am so grateful someone likes me that I let them get away with treating me like crap.  And it’s true.  I actually can’t name a single girlfriend who was good to me with any kind of consistency.  It’s a major problem.  I have to get to the point where I don’t care if I stay single for a number of years, because I am too willing to settle for bullshit.  And it lowers my self esteem, which is shitty.  I can’t be with someone who makes me feel like shit again.  I had to put in a number of years in rebuilding my self esteem because I was bullied so much in school that I felt horrible about myself for a long time.  And why would I want to date a bully who is just going to make me feel horrible again?

I think one major change is going to be holding out for a monogamous relationship.  I’ve been in too many poly relationships where my partner wasn’t actually behaving ethically about it.  None of that anymore!  And if someone has a partner already, NO WAY am I getting involved.  Even if the other partner knows about it.  I don’t like this constant feeling I would get of being someone on the side, like number 2 or even 3.  It’s a shitty feeling to know you’re lower in priorities.  I hate that feeling, and it makes me resentful. 

I could go on and on about what makes all my past relationships shitty, but I feel like maybe that’s not a good way to draw someone new in.

And then also, I don’t even really know if I want a girlfriend here.  If I am moving anyway, what is the point?  I can be single for another eight months or more, it won’t hurt.  I’ve been single for almost six years anyway.  Another year is not a major deal.

My friend Shavonne who is moving to Montreal in May says there is no one here for us to date anyway, it’s a really small community and we are kind of like, specialty girlfriends.  Someone would have to be looking for something really specific to be interested in me.  My Mum always thinks the kinky stuff would turn someone off and that I should not be into it anymore and I could find someone, but I would be miserable if I couldn’t do all the things I am into.

And what is really depressing is I am 34 and I still haven’t found a girlfriend who I can explore all of myself with.  There is a lot of uncharted sexual territory with me.  I guess sex gets better the older you get, I’m just disappointed I never got to have crazy sex times when I was younger and had the energy to stay up all night.

Also having bipolar 1 means having major episodes that are extremely debilitating, and those have really held me back both professionally and in relationships.  It took a long time to get to a point where I felt like I could do things and move forward again.  It’s frustrating because I think people just see someone who is lazy or something and don’t clue in that the word “Disability” really means disability!  Even a mental health disability has the power to impact how you move through the world and what your capabilities are. 

Maybe that’s why I was so appalled when my ex said she didn’t want to be with me because I had no willpower or ambition.  Those things were really impacted by the fact that I was struggling with a severe mental illness.  The brand of Bipolar disorder I have is the most severe you can get, getting psychotic features is no picnic.  And then it just makes sense that I also struggled with addiction issues, because when you have a major mental illness you start self medicating and so on.  And life feels pretty shitty sometimes, so smoking up/drinking/cigarettes just become the lifestyle.  It’s not a good way to live, it’s just what happened to me.

Anyway, I always had ambition, but recovering from my last manic episode really made life difficult.  I remember the summer after I would try to write stories and I’d just sit there for an hour with a pen in my hand and maybe five sentences.  Trying to get from there to here seemed impossible.  And I was so suicidal, EXTREMELY suicidal, and ambitions kind of disappear when you just want to die.  I’m always suicidal after manias.  I just went numb and tried to think of my life as being in front of a mountain, and the mountain was time, and I couldn’t see what was on the other side, I just had to have faith that there was SOMETHING on the other side and I could get to it if I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and passing time day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.  And it was brutal.  And so maybe I didn’t have ambition for a while, I was too busy just trying to survive.  And then I had to learn how to live a normal life.  Recovery takes a really long time, it’s not just about when your symptoms go away.  It’s about figuring out how to thrive and making a support system for yourself and on and on.  It’s made up of little things and big things and taking steps that lead to other goals. 

So I guess what I am saying is I need to find a compassionate girlfriend who understands that I’m fucking disabled and that it means different things from day to day.  One day I might not be able to get out of bed, another day it might not be a good idea to leave me alone in public.  Those days are so rare now, but they are a part of my past and so it makes sense that they will be in my future at some point.  And it would be nice to find someone who doesn’t think of my disability as me being broken or having Too Much Baggage or me being fucked up.  Because it’s a health condition, and it’s passed down through my family and I am doing everything my mental health team has told me I should do.  I’m on top of it.  But that doesn’t mean it’s all over forever. 

Sometimes it pisses me off that people can’t see my disability as clearly as other disabilities.  It’s all in my head, because it’s my fucking brain!  And brains are fairly sophisticated organs!  We wear helmets and all that kind of stuff because we know we should protect our brains, but when someone has an illness that directly affects their brain, we tell them to suck it up and get over it and stop acting weird for gods sakes!  I don’t know why society doesn’t care for persons with mental health issues better.  Even just validating that I had a major episode that impacted my life would have been nice, instead of shitting on me for not doing what most people my age are doing who don’t have disabilities.  Sure I don’t have my own house and I’m not a millionaire and I don’t even have a car and I live with my Mom, but at least I am honest and nice and cute and I have a future, even if I’m not always able to see it myself.

So fuck that!  Fuck people who have unrealistic expectations of persons with mental health disabilities.  I’m doing really well, and I don’t need that kind of shaming bullshit in my life.  I’m glad my last girlfriend rejected me, she’d just be making me feel like shit if we dated anyway.

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