I need him to like me best. Not want. Not wish. Need.
No amount of study regarding rational emotions. No therapy. No medication. It does not appear that anything will change that. And that isn’t even the worst part.
He is a cat. A type of animal I have distained all my life and vowed never to share a domicile with. He’s not even my cat. My wife’s Valentine’s Day gift cat. And it gets even worse.
The moment prompting this reflection involved an elementary school age daughter. It appears that during the previous night when I was thoroughly drugged and thought the loyal feline was by my side, he had ventured to her room. Spent some time with her. Checked out some of the other relational options in the house.
Nope. We aren’t there yet. But we are getting closer. This information saddened me. Then it frustrated me. Then…wait for it…it angered me. All within a rapidly escalatory matter of moments. So I attempted to come to the rescue of my absurd emotions.
“Well, you might have to start closing your door when you go to bed. We can’t have him waking you up on school nights.”
If you think this sounds like ridiculously childish behavior for a grown man, you’re right. It is. And now we have arrived.
Upon reflecting on these emotions for this cat and the subsequent interaction with my daughter, the internal humiliation begins. The loathing. The anger. The self-hatred.
It is a life cycle for myself. For thousands of us with Bipolar. For millions of us with a mental illness. We experience immature, over reaching, inappropriate emotions for a given situation. All of our therapy and treatment goes out the window as onlookers think we should just “grow up” or “get over” ourselves. Then, later, we do. And the knife cuts very deep. The knife of misunderstanding of what drove our motives. The knife of embarrassment. The knife of shame.
This time I started to binge eat. Some pretzels. A peanut butter and jelly roll-up. A Ding Dong. Child food for the grown man who had behaved like a child. And with each bite, I had another reason to hate himself.