Avatar universal

False Memories

When I was married, my mania would go through the roof, and I know I was horrible to live with - period.  I know that.  He was a controlling person and really did a number on my self esteem.  I have memories of being abused - physically, but he insists (even though we have been divorced 5+ years) that he restrained me when I was in a violent state, and the tried to take over things (the controlling thing) because I would lose it.  Of course, he also insists that his addiction to porn was because I wasn't affectionate enough to him.  

I would throw things at him, hit him, destroy his things, and then just cry and cry afterwards.    It was horrible.  I know he was no saint, and lord knows we shouldn't have been married, but I feel badly for what I put him through before I was diagnosed, too.   When I was pregnant it was even worse.  He would just stay away from me because he would be afraid I would "lose it" (I couldn't take ANYTHING for depression or anything).  

Does anyone else have a possible "false memory" of events during a rapid cycling manic state?  They seem so real to me, but then again, I doubt myself.    Could I have false memories of abuse when he was really trying to restrain me?   Could the verbal abuse be because I can't sort out behaviors and they are magnified in my mind?

Whatcha think?

15 Responses
212753 tn?1275073111
HI cowgirl I can totally identify. During my worst manic episode I kicked a cop in the doodgies and I have absolutly no memory of doing it..another episode I took myself to the crisis center and I would answer the phone and talk to people I thought were there. I did alot of other stuff too that I am still way to embarrased to even repeat here.during that particular episode. I have very fuzzy memories of what was real and what wasnt I have been through alot of therapy to be able to forgive my self and ask others to forgive me. One therapist told me it happened, I couldnt change it But I could change how I dealt with the memories. I could change my behavior and not repeat the same things.
with diet,exercise, meds and theray.

Its possible about your false memories I know any thing is possible with bi polar.
I hope this helps some.Message me if you want to talk more.
Love Venora
Avatar universal
Thank you so much.  It's just weird that my exhusband is described by everyone but me as a "good guy", and it kills me to think of him in a bad way if it's not true.  I know that under no circumstances was I a walk in the park.  

A lot of our our problems in our marriage, I know were attributed to my un-diagnosed Bi-Polar, and my ups and downs eventually got the best of him and me.  

My counselor has me reading a book about forgiving your parents and healing yourself, but the main person I want forgiveness from myself is my exhusband.  I have thought of writing him a letter to explain some things, and to ask for forgiveness (I thought that a letter would get his undivided attention and let him have a chance to process it without confronting him with it.)  Is that a bad idea?

Part of me loves my ex-husband and I wanted so much to be married to him for the rest of my life.  I feel like my bi-polar issues, as well as, others killed that chance.  

I don't want to send him a letter to "Rekindle" it - but I do want to explain things and ask for forgiveness on my part.  What do you think?
212753 tn?1275073111
Writing him a letter is a good Idea. When I was first diagnosed I wrote letters to all of my immediate family and I cant begin to tell you load of guilt it lifted off of me.
It did take alot more therapy to learn to forgive myself.For me that was the hardest thing to do.
Let me know how it goes.
Love Venora
Avatar universal
It's easier for me to write letters because i can keep my thoughts together better.  I don't go off on some tandem and/or get emotional.  

Letters can go both ways, though.  I sent a letter to my Mom and also information about BP, and asked her to call me after she read it:  not a word.  She's a by the bootstraps kinda woman.....  It really hurt my feelings, but oh well.  My Dad was BP - without a doubt, and I think that she equates my illness to the bad parts he had - he would just run away, where I just ignore everyone...he was an alcoholic, and I am a spendaholic...he called to tell me he was going to shoot himself....I just overdose.  

I really appreciate you commenting on this for me.  I struggle with guilt and mixing those feelings with thinking I miss him, etc., and whatifs, but I know that he and I shouldn't have married, but glad we have our son.  The main thing is I think of the Hell I put him through over the last 10 years.  He and I have aged a lot going through my Hell, and I feel so bad about it.  

Thanks again!

605458 tn?1539228808
I had false memories of violent and sexual nature during my most severe manic episode. The details were SO vivid, and it took awhile for me to realize what was real and what wasn't. Unfortunately, I now question every memory I have. I believe there is a word for it, but I forget. It has to do with delusions. I had memories of being kidnapped, raped, and finally that I'd had a suicide pact with a friend when I was 17. In my 'memory' she shot herself in front of me during a standoff with the police. I failed to follow through and here I was, 37 years old and believing she was 'on the other side' waiting for me. All I had to do was to fulfill my promise to her and kill myself, then we would both be happy forever. Luckily, my therapist realized I was bit 'off'. Other memories during this episode that weren't true were having multiple personality disorder and being studied secretly by doctors at a university, there was a police manhunt, stabbings, my friend shooting a cop, oh, and I was manipulated into a sexual sadomasochist relationship, but was incompetent because of the multiple personality disorder.

These things never happened but I was POSITIVE they had. Part of the delusion involved the doctors telling my parents that if I ever asked about anything to deny it, therefor I knew I couldn't trust my parents to tell me the truth. Once the Seroquel took hold, I went through a horrible stage where I couldn't be certain of anything being real. When I was in the hospital, I kept asking the staff, "How can I be sure I'm actually here? How can I be sure you are real? I could be sitting in my bedroom right now for all I know." It took awhile for my brain to start processing the real world properly. I never want to go through that again, so I do everything I possibly can to avoid it. The embarrassment was as bad as the terror of the whole experience.

So, yes, you can have false memories during a severe manic episode, probably during a severe depression, too. Unfortunately, thought, very horrible and very real things do happen to people. There are couple of things that I long to ask my mom about just to verify, but I am terrified of being told they didn't. Then she might worry that I'm getting off again. I need to go through my really old journals to see if I wrote about them before this particular incident with the false memories.

Advice. Try to get up the courage to ask people, just for verification and ease of mind.
605458 tn?1539228808
Oops, don't see and edit. That episode happened 3 years ago. I was 34 about then, not 37.
Avatar universal
It's weird, my therapist has asked me to ask my support system (friends/family) to write down things to describe me, but it's like they are all afraid to tell me the truth.  I even told them they can write them and seal the envelope for my counselor.  

My ex tells me that the things I have described during our marriage are not real and that he did get rough with me, but it was to subdue me during violent outbursts.  I can remember part of that.  

Maybe part of me doesn't want to remember it all, but it's just the weirdest thing in the world.  Plus, I have alienated so many people it's not funny - especially in my exfamily.

My Mom was very much a just ignore everything and shhhh don't talk about it, so growing up and having manic episodes was so hush hush that I think I learned early to just pretend it didn't happen, so I started doubting the memories even then.

Thanks for your info - it makes me feel "normal" - at least for us!
592278 tn?1235661287
NO not myself, butt your storry is familliar...My baby's mom (soon to be X) has been there. Mow that I heard your story I think that I may start believing her, Just a little..I have alway felt that she was faking it..and just make exscuses for being a **** or just plain old evil. I remember everything, I just tend to look past it. People tell me that I can't just hurt people and then think everything is just cool, the next day. It's not that I forgot, I just felt that I had been justified.
Avatar universal
I am here for information but it seems like I can give input almost as much as to receive. My daughter has similar "rages" that she doesn't remember what happens during the event and this has been happening for close to 3 years. She doesn't have "false memories" exactly it is she simply doesn't remember the episodes at all. There are things that have happened that she does remember but not quite the same way other people do. When she is in the middle of a heightened manic phase she just is completely unable to control her anger once it gets past a certain point. She is getting insight into this but it is hard for those around her and really hard on our walls, people who don't know how she is(or her diagnosis) just describe her as off, mean, bully, etc. She comes across as someone you do not want to mess with which is hilarious to me because she is 5'6 and 130 pounds and one of the sweetest natured people when she is not cycling. But when she is manic and raging it can take several people to hold her back and calm her down.

She also writes better than she talks. She is able to express herself without bungling through a bunch of thought coming out of her mouth. She would rather write it down than screw it up while she is upset.

Also your ex-husband may never understand. If you have kids you may be able to get to a point where life as parents may be tolerable but as a spouse or partner he may or may not be able to get there. You may want to encourage him to attend a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) NAMI.org, Family to Family program just for the learning benefit. It teaches family members about the diagnosis from the stand point of the family not the patient. I am in this class right now, it makes me feel like I am not alone. And although I come from a medical back ground I am getting the perspective of other people who have walked in my shoes.

Avatar universal
It's so weird.  I thought he was the devil when we were married.  Just AWFUL - the bad thing was I told EVERYONE what a devil he was and now that I am getting stable, I think, what did I do????  

When I met him, I was immediately attracted to him because he was secure, wanted to take care of me and my then 9 year old, and attentive, etc.  Well, my bi-polar mania kicked in soon after we married (we only dated 6 months- mistake), and I started "going off on him" for being jealous (he was), possessive (he was), and angry.  

Now, I think that, ok, I was in a psychotic state, but didn't know it.  He was jealous because I just started ignoring him and I was at the time working with all men, and in my eyes, they did no wrong.   He might have been possessive because I was so scattered at the time and he was trying to protect me.  After my throwing things at him, screaming at him, telling him he loved his family more than me (I stilllll think that), and yelling at him for spending money (which by the way, I did freely as a true BP), I can see why he was angry.  

Deep down, I think he loved me, but I was so sick, he couldn't do anything to help me, and it really wasn't his place to "fix me".  I do regret that I didn't get help sooner and maybe things would be different.

He has tried to reconcile with me several times through the years and I think he does still love me in some way, but he doesn't trust my emotions (neither do I).  

Even though I suffer with BP and the last 40 years have been Hell, the ones that have suffered the most, I believe are my boys (19 and 9 now), and my family, including my ex.  They have watched the roller coaster of being a successful, intelligent, (tested to be almost at a genious level...For Real!) woman - to losing my home, losing my job, won't get out of bed, crying constantly, suicidal, etc.  My actual appearance changes during my manias.    It's bizarre.  

I just don't trust my memories to know if he was truly abusive, or that it was him trying to control me to keep me from hurting myself like he said.  I am afraid to tell him my diagnosis, even though, he might suspect it - because I don't want him to really think I am crazy....  I know, I know - we aren't crazy, but you know how people react.  

SO, take it easy on your Baby Momma (LOL), and give me some perspective on how my Baby Daddy might have seen me.  
Avatar universal
That's exactly how I was as a child.  I can remember my Mom just locking me in my room so I couldn't hurt anyone else.  We have joked about me bouncing all over the walls when I would get that way.  It was almost like I had to get the rage out of me, and then I felt fine.

My friends and family talk about me being overly-giving, funny, smart, etc.  I had 2 nicknames as a young child - "Smiley" and "White (my hair was extremely white) Tornado".   I think back and think, that was funny - even then, I had my manias identified by my family and we didn't know.    I even had one episode that I remember and so does everyone else, when my oldest sister was 12 (I was 5), and she was crawling on her knees at me playing, and she ACTUALLY in my mind, turned into the devil.  I went hysterically screaming and running to the barn to find my Mom, and all the while my sister chasing me and me getting MORE hysterical because, let's face it, the devil was chasing me, and I just collapsed.  It's still talked about today - 35 years later.

Having my babies was the only thing, that honestly, I think saved me - I learned to control my rages more because I love them so much.  I am glad that I got diagnosed to maybe help them deal with "me", and since genetically, it might be possible to pass this wonderful on - maybe be an example of successful treatment.

You have some good insight.  Good luck with your daughter.  

605458 tn?1539228808
I also have a history of rages with irritability related to mania. Immediately after they become vague and I'm not sure if they happened at all. I learned to apologize immediately after, because if I wait, the memories are fuzzy and I'd feel like an idiot for apologizing for something that never happened. Luckily, they are brief and I only am volatile with objects, through stuff, kick stuff, break stuff, and yell. It happens SO FAST and I have NO CONTROL in those few seconds.
Avatar universal
I am a parent trying to understand my 16 year old stepdaughters false memory of abuse. She believes I hit her. Child services unsubstantiated the allegation of abuse the next day but I am not without guilt. She had stopped taking her meds 2 days before and we had an argument because I was sleeping and she needed attention. She had always relied on me over the past three years to talk or just to sit next me while her heart was troubled. This time I threw a pillow at her and told her to go away. She exploded and attacked me and I pushed her away and said mean things to her, like she would be going to her fathers house and spoiled brat and the like. She became more violent than I had ever believed possible. I called her Mom at work then I called the police to separate us. I know that pushing her away hurt her very much. She has never had a relationship with her birth father and fears him. So what I said was treasonous and evil.

So here is what I am begging  help with: Its been 30 days and she still believes that I hit her. I am no longer "safe". She refuses to go to her therapist or to attend family therapy. She hates her Mom now because she feels that her Mother and I had planned to abuse her. She is back on her meds and with her birth father.  Is it possible she created the memory because I sent her away? Her Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, and best friends Mom say she had created "bad" memories before I knew her. Her father is very intimidating to her, could she have created the incident to mend her issues with her birth father since I had pushed her away? I would be very grateful for any advice. Feel free to throw bricks at me for not being there for her or my not believing in bipolar disorder until it was too late.
Avatar universal
I describe vague memories like explaining a dream. I have images of events, but they are partial memories. I also notice I remember manic events while manic and depressing events while depressed. She is 16, a difficult time anyway, but BP makes it amplified. My parents don't believe in BP, and I get it, unless you have felt it, it seems unreal. You didn't know how to respond, but now you can gain knowledge and skills to help. I am 42 and finally getting help. It is odd to look back through my life and not know what was real or not. I used to explain away my moods. Like what your step daughter is doing. "I must have been abused to feel this bad." I stopped trying to understand my mood and simply deal with it. It will take her some time to learn some copping skills. Don't beat yourself up, she is searching and young. I could hold onto a bad feeling for months, but I think she will be back. Gain some knowledge in the meantime. Find good CBT treatment and get counseling for yourself. My wife and kids deal with me much better than they used too. They help me see it coming and we have a plan for those times. I have a place to be alone. Mania could send me wandering so my family watches from a distance to keep me home. I hope she finds relief. Quitting meds is common and having an intense episode is a common response. Give her time and let her know she is welcome to come back if she ever wants to talk or spend time with you.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply and sharing your experiences. It does help us hold onto hope. We are learning patience and I research a BPD thread or story every day. I have already learned a great deal about bPD and about myself. My wife and I are scheduling therapy just for us and we will keep the door open for her always.
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