Ron is Bi-Polar. He just is. He tried for years to hide from it. I tried many times to push it on him. We can talk about it now, but we couldn't for years. It's been hard on both of us. I can't imagine what it's like for him - grand, glorious, hard, ugly, confusing, infuriating, humbling, binding, exciting and soooooooo scary. As I mentioned yesterday, I am jealous of Ron because he has such freedoms - because "HEY", he's Bi-Polar, ya know. He can just say "I can't help myself".
Yet he is in a bondage that I will never have to face.....ever. So there are times that he has been less than stellar. He has said things and acted in a way that was frightening, out of line, or just off center. There's no such thing as relaxing around Ron. One of the things that kept me sane was the fun of being with someone as unique, exciting and talented as Ron. So it bothered me quite a bit when I started reading over the signs and symptoms of Bi-Polar (ism?).
So much of what's unique about Ron I found out isn't so much. The daredevil antics, the brazen confidence, keeping groups of people enthralled with his stories.
That was just Ron being Bi-Polar.
Then again, the comments that flatten me out on the floor, the inability to say sorry or "I was wrong". The need to always come out on top. Death wishes, driving like a mad man, scaring people, taking ridiculous risks. Well, you get the idea.
That's just Ron being Bi-Polar.
So adjustments had to be made. I've had to keep the house quiet. I've had to hide stressful situations - or plan how to get Ron prepared to meet them. I've had to tone down holidays and preplan vacations to the minutest detail. I've had to bite my tongue. I've had to forgive and forget so many times I couldn't possibly count them. I've had to get over being terrified.....really, really terrified. And being called out, and saying something incorrectly....and being so embarrassed I wanted to crawl under the table and die. I've had to make sure that there was SOMEWHERE Ron could go to get away form the noise and turmoil less he were to BLOW HIS LID in front of God and everybody. I've had to be the responsible one....the calm one. I certainly had to hide my tears or fears because - of course - Ron couldn't handle them. Most of all, I had to hide myself, because during these episodes there was no room for Nina in the Jones house. And it made me mad and resentful and that anger and resentment changed me. And so did the fear. There's nothing quite like the fear of not knowing whether your husband could make it through another day - well, unless it was the fear of not knowing whether it would be your husband or children who would self destruct first.* see note below
But that is Bi-Polar World. Sometimes it's a rainbow of bright flashy colors, other times it's black and white....and here and there it's just plain ol' black. And that is the life I entered into. And as much as I've been afraid of it, and resentful of it, it's also given me opportunities and life experiences that the normal family will never EVER know. At the very least, it certainly keeps the dinner conversation interesting.
So I've been pondering a lot on today's scripture. "Forgive Ron, for he knows not what he does".
I obviously need to let it all go and just forgive him. No, maybe I need to go even farther than that. I need to accept him. Everyone has ups and downs, every marriage has its challenges. But I really wouldn't give up my life with Ron. Lord knows - after all - Ron has a lot that he has to put up with me and my basket of personal paranoia. And lest I paint an unbalanced picture, Ron brings SO much joy to our marriage - passion, excitement, talent, perfection (nobody will do a better job on anything - ever), dedication, hard work and lots and lots of love. My life is scary - exciting - challenging and where I want to be - most of the time at least. How lucky am I?
You know, I've known this forever. Just been fighting it. I look so good being the patient, long suffering wife. But here's the big secret ....... It's all a facade. That's not really me at all.
I heard a quote today that really wraps it up.
"Marriage is an act of faith, the holiest of all promises and you have got to believe in one another. If one of you starts to doubt, then it's kind of like letting a weed take over. After you've worked hard planting and nurturing something beautiful, the last thing you want is weeds choking it out."
Time to pluck out the weeds, baby.
* It is EXTREMELY important to point out that Ron has never ever EVER laid a hand on me. That, as they say, would be a deal breaker. No one should tolerate physical abuse - and mental abuse is nigh unto it....if Ron called me names or was hateful, that would also be intolerable. Ron is a good man, and I am safe. Just in case anyone was worried - thank you - but no need.
Next Challenge - Dare 26: Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.
Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.