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Topic: Need advice from POC on how to tell parents about partners bipolar

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. CactusFlower
    CactusFlower avatar
    1 posts
    11 September 2021
    My partner has bipolar disorder. But separate to that he is emotionally abusive, some things I could put on the bipolar, and some things he conveniently blames on bipolar. I remain supportive and helpful and only try to talk about his treatment of me when it gets really bad, otherwise I just take it and it is slowly wearing me down. But it is what it is and I am doing my best to stay sane and see my reality. (he is on meds, sees a psychologist, but this is a whole other issue!)

    I divide my time between him and my mum. I don't want to leave him just yet because I am studying and I also look after my mum who surprisingly (?) treats me the same as my partner, although definitely not as bad. Point is, I don't have money right now and I can't just stay with my mum because I will go from looking after one person to looking after the other 24/7. Having my partners and my house actually gives me a break from my mum, my partner goes to work 3 days a week and I have my own room.

    My mum had a stroke 3 years ago, and mostly requires admin work which takes up so much time. But she is emotionally and mentally draining, puts me down and is a brat? She has always been an irresponsible parent, but now she has a lot more time on her hands to be irresponsible.

    But but but, i actually came here to talk about:
    My family are immigrants, from Africa, but the culture is more of a cross between African and South Asian. That is the best way I can describe it. So a lot of gender expectations, a lot of my older brother can do whatever and I am expected to do all the family stuff. My brothers time is respected, mine is expected. Also, my greatest achievement for my family is having a white partner, getting married and having babies. They believe this is going to happen with my current partner and they absolutely love him, they often thank him for "looking after me" which is such an infuriating joke. I have a dad, my parents are divorced. They buy him presents and they are a lot more involved in my life since we got together.

    Does anyone have advice on how to tell your brown parents that your partner is mentally ill and how to softly shatter their dreams of marriage/babies?

    This baby thing is a really hard thing for me to deal with too, because I am 34, probably won't be able to leave until next year, so my chances of having children are slowly dying away. But! I need to deal with my parents first.
  2. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9171 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to CactusFlower

    Hi, welcome

    A number of issues there and I hope I can help a little but forgive me if I dont strike the exact problem well.

    Many children from migrant families in Australia have this social traditions mgap. I was the only school kid that was beyond one generation Aussie so I know this well. The question is: is their expectations of their children too high (based on their traditional values) or is your modern day freedoms, enjoyed by others your age, flexible enough to keep them in your life. The answer I think is- both.

    See, older people are stuck in a way, in their traditions their environment gave them when younger. It isnt easy for some to flex that much to the younger ways of thinking - the African mentality which is not wrong but doesnt really fit with your new lifestyle. The bad news is, they wont change much at all. They will be hurt and even angry that you wont have children or wont marry etc but they wont be "wrong" as such. When people aren't "wrong" it is unfair to expect them to change. Such expectations if too extreme (to them) can lead to ostracization. That wont help you at all and cause great pain to all.

    On the other hand, you want to be fully into the Aussie lifestyle along with its values which also isnt "wrong", but is vastly different. These differences cant be repeated to your parents too often or it will lead to harm. So it is up to you to drip feed them with information and change the topic each time the discussion gets heated. This self regulation will ensure your loving parent suppose you either have that monitoring or you have constant conflict.

    In relation to your partner any abuse is unacceptable- ANY. So, you need to deal with that as well. You both would benefit from relationship counseling. There is a couple of threads below that you will benefit from on this topic. Just read the first post of each.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/relationship-and-family-issues/relationship-strife-the-peace-pipe

    https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/seeking-support/helping-yourself-and-others/online-forums/relationship-and-family-issues/abuse-and-its-grey-boundaries

    Also, you will have the same problem my wife has- determining if behaviour is due to bipolar or personality.

    In regards to your mums health I would meet with the health department to ascertain if you can receive assistance with helping your mum. You'll be amazed at some help they can give depending on income and diagnosis etc.

    TonyWK

  3. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    11961 posts
    11 September 2021 in reply to CactusFlower

    Cactus flower

    welcome to the forum and thanks for the thread.

    Tony has given a helpful answer. I have had a diagnosis of bipolar for over 45 years . I don’t think I have ever been abuisive but I did thinks thst I would noy

    tbhave done if I was not manic.I have been on medication of over 30 years . For me my partners have blamed all problems on me whereas I never ever blamed my bipolar.

    No one needs to use their illness as a way to excuse abudive and bad behaviour.

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