I have an ex partner who is manic depressive. I bethought myself to have severed all contact with him. Our separation seemed unambiguous.Yet when i received a phone call from him saying he was too depressed to even perform basic ablutions, i relented. If he felt i could be useful then i could, perhaps, help him out a bit. Besides, with my present relationship having ended abruptly i had time on my hands. This was a good opportunity to metamorphose myself from a helpless pivot in exploitative relationships to a useful, functional person.
Caring for Edward, which is his name, emboldened me to work out my own life. My patterns were concentered around predictable vignettes. A propulsion towards attraction, a tolerance of anomalies and an abrupt dismissal from the psychic convolutions of the other. Men in my life couldn't countenance complexity. Their lapses into primal emotions were intenser and destructive. The moment they felt i had divined their depths they retracted, unleashing in the process expletives that were more to do with their awareness of their inadequacy than the veracity of my regard for them.
Similarly had Edward repulsed me. He kept his inner life concealed from me. I caught him having a manic episode though it was the bizarreness of his behaviour that struck me. He demanded constant sex and wore me out with his unceasing expostulations and protestations of his sanity. I believed him then. It is now, in retrospect, in looking back that i realize that his manic episode scared him. Presumably to offset my presence in his psychic dilemma though concealing it with a patina of my lack of empathy, he precipitately left.
And now i bathe him, shave him, feed him and take him to the therapist. His therapist insists that i share a few sessions knowing that i was once a part of his life. Revelations unspool, parentheses are given verbal form, the subterranean is rendered tangible. What i haven't told Edward is that i have myself been saying an analyst for a long time. If the concealment of this disagreeable fact retains his image of my strength then that is all right.
Having seen an analyst for so long did not prevent me from seeking out men who reinforced my self loathing. The pattern had congealed and coagulated too intractably to loosen or liquefy. But being with Edward helps. It helps to have an anchoring point in a life of indeterminacy and self doubt. Having someone else to care for obviates my self centrality, however self critical it may be. And i have discovered in Edward a vulnerability that brings out the tenderness immanent in me. Perhaps we could start afresh. Or even otherwise his craziness has prevented me from breaking down myself. I see with clarity that had he not implored me for aid i'd be in a private ward with anti depressants. He has given me the gift of a lifeline and clutching it and being stronger for its presence, i will navigate vicissitudes better.