Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Winter is coming – part two

I left off yesterday sharing my ordeal with a surgery and Judd’s lack of empathy.

This went on for all of June and July, while I was working full-time. In August,  I finally felt better physically, but things were still very strained between Judd and I.

With Mrs. S’s blessing for time off, I flew back to Maryland in early August to help my youngest son and new daughter-in-law move all of their belongings to Pensacola Florida. We had a fun trip caravanning across several states, and I loved helping them settle into their new home.

Once back in California, Judd picked me up from the airport and was acting very strange. He had his feet tucked up under him and was only driving with his hands, using the cruise control to speed up and slow down the car.

Even after asking several times to please use his feet because he was scaring me, he just laughed and kept his feet on the seat.

When we arrived back home, I was surprised to see most of my furniture out on the deck. Smiling, he told me all of his art was on the roof, because he wanted that to be his new studio.

I was dumfounded and worried Mrs. S would see this and I would lose my job.

He had prepared dinner before picking me up, and it was so spicy I couldn’t eat it. He was so proud of the homemade red fire-hot spaghetti sauce and said it wasn’t spicy enough to him. I was at a complete loss for what was going on.

I went for a walk the next morning, so I could phone a friend and ask for advice. She was also shocked by his behavior and suggested he might have been “off” while I was gone. She said, just be straight with him, and things will get back to normal.

When I told Judd I didn’t want my sofa and overstuffed chair outside on the deck and he got very defensive and agitated. He then told me he needed to go to Oregon to see his parents.

I reminded him we had no money to purchase a ticket to Oregon, so his solution was to ride his bike….to Oregon…500 miles away. That was just crazy to me.

But he did it.

He left our home on his one speed bike and rode it all the way to Oregon, where his parents met him. It was all one big exciting adventure to them all. But I knew there was something more to it.

It would take a couple of months and a whole lot more stories to share all of the strange details that happened that summer and into the fall.

Strange eating habits – overly concerned with cleanliness – he slept outside every night, and each morning had to wash his sheets in bleach – he got obsessed with hosing down the pool deck and didn’t want Bella around because of her hair – he would make oatmeal every single morning and then take the pan and wooden spoon in the shower with him to eat it there – he spent every day sweeping the paths obsessed with getting each and every leaf or bit of debris off – this list goes on and on.

It’s still completely overwhelming for me to remember it all.

But I’ll leave you with this:

I finally found out from his parents that he was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when he was 21. He had been on medication in the beginning, but then found an alternative in marijuana.

The more our money ran out and the weed ran out, the more he started to fall back into an old destructive behavior pattern. When I found out, I told him I would stay with him if he saw a doctor and got on medication.

He said no, he didn’t want to do that.

I took a deep breath and asked him what he did want to do and he said what he wanted to move back to Oregon and live in a cave.

And so…

This is what I looked like after a summer of hell. I was an emotional wreck and it showed …

12 Comments

  1. Oh my! This ordeal seems unreal! I can’t even imagine!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-06-26 at 07:27

      Thank you Julie, for reading and commenting too. This was such a sad situation that may have been avoided if I’d known from the beginning.

  2. Ohh, Loretta, what felt like a foundation is suddenly feeling very shaky indeed. I know this is in the past, but it must be so hard to write about. X

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-06-26 at 07:28

      It was hard to share Jane. Thank you for reading.

      I’m glad it’s out, in a strange way. I’ve been hiding it for long enough.

  3. How awful. It’s very hard being in love with someone with a mental health issue and bipolar disorder is a particularly difficult disease. It’s bizarre that he wouldn’t have shared that with you when he was well, at least preparing you for a time when he might not have been well. This is a sad twist in what was looking like a wonderful adventure for you both.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-06-26 at 16:51

      It is so sad that the entire thing happened. He never told me because he was in denial about it…still is. But, his family should have told me.

      Thank you Wendy.

  4. I just want to say I love you! Deep respect – that kind of love. I so appreciate your writing. 💋💋dd

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-06-26 at 16:51

      Thank you Dawn. That is such a lovely thing to say, and I so appreciate and accept it.

  5. Angela Gamiz

    2018-06-26 at 22:33

    When someone you love and believe can support you looses control of their life it is terrifying. I live in a person in my family, with the same diagnosis, which act out and be crazy. If you didn’t know the cause of his behavior it must have been terrifying. I can only imagine your confusion and pain. My heart is with you.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-06-27 at 06:23

      Thank you Angela, for your kindness and understanding. I’m sorry you too know all to well what this disorder can do to a family.

  6. I knew within minutes what you were dealing with, based on my late mother having it and later a sister. Fortunately for me, my mother immediately hospitalized herself when she became manic or severely depressed so I didn’t see the wild and crazy side of this horrible disease as a child. But when my sister came home from the military with that diagnosis, it became a 20 year struggle with a nightmare that I have no idea how we lived through it. It can take years of monitoring and trying different medications that work but thank God they have made great strides in this area from what it was 50 years ago when the mentally ill was either crazed or zombified!

    Many years ago, after a particularly horrible and violent hospitalization, a psychiatrist told me that they are typically the meanest to the ones they love the most. I think this is the most helpful insight for those currently dealing with a loved one who is a victim of this sickness.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-07-16 at 15:47

      Oh Mary, I’m so sorry you know too well about this devastating illness. Thank goodness your Mother had the sense to shield you and your siblings from it the best she could.

      I know the biggest reason Judd didn’t want to take medication is because of the “zombified” aspect. 🙁

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