breakdown of the middle ground.

What’s faith got to do with it?

Recently I came across this list online of things (un-informed) people sometimes say, intending to be helpful, yet completely are not, when interacting with bipolar people. I was immediately reminded of an earlier posting here on Bifactor, when I was writing about My mom is bipolar. One of the things we talked about were the different ways her and her sister chose to go about interacting with their mother. The sibling I did not speak with appears to view her mother’s disorder  more along the lines of the following…

What was said: It’s all in your head. You are a hypochondriac.

What may have been perceived: You are either completely deluded or making an excuse for poor behavior in order to get my sympathy. I don’t believe in that psychiatric mumbo jumbo. I don’t believe that you actually have a real illness.

The Fallacy: Mental health problems are the result of a character flaw or weak personality. Mental illnesses are not real diseases.

The Facts: Bipolar Disorder is a medical illness with a physical cause probably rooted in structural or biochemical abnormalities in the brain. In short, it is very real, just like diabetes or heart disease.

What was said: Just shake it off.

What was perceived: You’ve created this problem for yourself, so just get over it and move on. I am out of patience with you. Don’t bother me with this again.

The Fallacy: Everyone can and should control their emotions.

The Facts: Bipolar disorder is a medical condition. Those with this disorder can no more snap out of it or shake it off then those with a broken leg.

What was said: He must be demon possessed.


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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , , , , , , ,

Sticks and stones may break my bones…

But it’s the words that really hurt me.

“When I was 14, I took a razorblade to my left arm and carved a “V.” It stood for victim, because that’s what I was. I was a victim of my mother’s rage, of the sickness that still plagues her mind to this day. To this day I can’t tell you exactly why I did it. I was hurting and in pain, and maybe I wanted to focus on the blood running down of my arm instead of her hateful words for just a few moments. I might have done it to show her just how much she had wounded me, to mutilate my arm as she had done my soul.”

This is the startling intro to the article “How Did I Ever Survive?” A woman’s recount of what it was like Growing Up with a Bipolar, Schizophrenic Mother.

This is what the disease can feel like.

This youtube video entitled, May 20, 2008, 1137am Phone message from my bipolar mother.

This what a bipolar episode can sound like.

Of the almost six million American adults living with bipolar disorder, many people, and the ones around them, don’t know the symptoms. It looks different for everyone.
(Please continue after the jump)

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , , , ,

How many ways can you say biracial? Let me count the ways…

While celebrating a friends birthday one of the party goers pulled me aside to complain about a fellow attendee. “That mulatto bitch thinks she’s better than everyone.” First thing I thought was, really? I didn’t get that impression at all! I thought she was nice enough. Then the second thing that came to mind was, really? People actually call biracial’s mulatto these days?

I don’t hear the term “biracial’ being tossed all over the place, especially not amongst my peers. With all the multiracial individuals in America I’m kind of curious the various expressions used for description purposes. What I learned was shocking, sad and ignorant, technical, and all around interesting…

So are you “biracial” or “black with a white mom?”
Mulatto- refers to someone who has one white parent and one black. The original origin of the word came from the Spanish word mule. (A mule is the product of a horse and a donkey…hmm…)

Griffe: A person who’s black and American Indian. (Okay when I look at this word all I can think of is a giraffe! I am no giraffe!! haha)

Quadroon: someone who’s a fourth Black. (Really?? There’s a word for this? I would really like to hear someone say this…actually maybe not. I certainly wouldn’t know what they were talking about if they did say it.)

Octoroon: someone that’s an eighth Black (This is a silly word. I’m just saying.) According to the previous two words, also originated from the Spanish when European colonizers were coming to the Americas. “While these terms have highly precise definitions, in actual practice they were often used based on impressions of skin color rather than definite knowledge of ancestry.”

Creole: someone of Black and European ancestry.  (This word I’ve heard before, but I thought it regarded a particular place someone was from. I just didn’t know where…I’ve heard people on dating shows say they’re Creole, but they just looked Black to me.) explains that a Creole person in a particular definition is: 1.) A person of mixed Black and European ancestry who speaks a creolized language, especially one based on French or Spanish.  2.)  A Black slave born in the Americas as opposed to one brought from Africa. (Learn something new everyday.)

Metisse: (no matter no many times I try to correctly pronounce it to myself I keeping finding myself wanting to say Maltese. Such a cute little dog! But we’re not talking about little doggies though…) This is a person of White and American Indian heritage.

Half-Breed: (lets just leave this word at OFFENSIVE and keep it moving.)

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Filed under: bi-racial, Maggie Barnes, , , , ,