I get the impression that a few people in my life, very few, have changed their disposition towards me since I have gone public with my disorder and created this blog.
I don’t know this, and most people have been supportive, I’m not trying to complain, it is just a suspicion and an observation.
And I believe that in at least one instance of this, it has lead this person to not ask my wife and I to watch their kids. And these people are extremely nice to me and friendly and invite me to do everything like they always have. They do not treat me any differently at all, I want to emphasize that. But they have never asked us to watch their kids and I have to wonder why. Their kids like us, it would be convenient, we are good parents.
I brought this up to my therapist yesterday and she asked posed the question to me, would I have to consider for a moment before allowing my kid to be watched by a bipolar, a bipolar who openly writes about suicide and drinking and everything else?
The truth is, I would have to consider it. When I am placing my child into the care of another person I have to consider everything, and while being bipolar might not necessarily land a check mark in the con list, it isn’t adding to the pro list either.
The reality, of course, is that I would be just as good to those kids in private as I am in public. But someone else may be equally good to those kids, and not be bipolar. Yes, we all have our things that make us ill-equipped, but bipolar is a big one, right, certainly drinking is another? It isn’t much different than an alcoholic. Would you trust your kids to an alcoholic if you had options? Probably not.
The safety of my child goes well beyond being polite and politically correct and decent. I care about nothing else than her safety and I would never choose to ignore a red flag, no matter how insignificant that flag is.
And, to me, bipolar would be insignificant unless I saw behavior that led me to believe otherwise. What could really happen? My wife is there, you don’t just snap out of nowhere, I’m not violent and have never had that history, all that stuff. But I think you do have to consider it.
And if you consider it and choose to go another direction, I get it. I might do the same.