Single Mentally Ill Mom

(Yeah, I confess, true to my creepy nature, I totally chose that title to evoke memories of the movie Single White Female. Except I don’t have the energy or follow through to stalk, mimic or murder anyone and I really don’t like living with others.)

Sometimes, it’s the tiniest things that set the hamster that is my brain spinning away on his squeaky little wheel. Tonight, it was an episode of Dateline about these women who got scammed by men they met on dating sites.
For some reason, it hit me, and with no small amount of panic: I’M TOO DYSFUNCTIONAL TO EVEN USE A DATING SITE.
I’m against using one, anyway, because I like doing things retro style, ya know, happenstance, chance meeting, friends first…
But it occurred to me..I’m about to turn 42. And while I am soo not in a relationship space now (a friend with benefits who I can stand would be nice-ish)…It might become relevant since I’m not getting any younger.
Not to mention at least once a week my daughter tells me I need to go to the husband store and get her a daddy who will live with us.

The prospect of “dating”, as always, terrifies me. It sets off every panic receptor, every insecurity, every past trauma…Panic and social anxiety have made that aspect of life a nightmare for me.
My epic greatest hit dates: Puking over the side of a boat after a violent panic attack brought on by a massive crowd.
A nice guy who went to kiss me and I panicked so bad, I told him he had to get out. NOW.
Oh, the one where I decided a few drinks would loosen me up so I drank Mad Dog 20/20 and landed facedown in poison ivy. (That swollen eye was HOTTT.)
That Halloween I wanted to go this haunted trail with a guy and we got there…I saw all the people and became so physically ill I was drenched in sweat and desperate to find a bathroom.

Oh, yeah. The not so good old days.

The sages say it will get better with time. It never does for me. And by the time I am comfortable with someone so the panic is lesser, well, they’ve met my bipolar and decide to run for the hills.
It’s shit because I’ve not once tried to hide my conditions from anyone. I am very forthcoming from the get go. “I am bipolar, if the meds don’t work, my mood swings are worse than the chick from The Exorcist.” “I have panic attacks so bad I throw up.”
I can’t how many times men have sworn they could handle it.
Only to have most of them leave, claiming, “I can’t handle your mental disorders.”

Winner winner, salmonella infested chicken dinner.

So…How does one with mental illness so disruptive to such a normal thing, dating, cope?

I haven’t figured it out yet.
I don’t do on line. I’ve met way too many people that present as one thing and turn out to be anything but.
Dating sites? I’m not paying to meet someone, it’s akin to soliciting a female pimp to find me a date.
I’m not religious so I won’t be bonding at church with Mr. He’ll Do.
That crowd thing really puts a crimp in, well, EVERYTHING.
I’d love to go to amusement parks (roller coasters, hells yeah!) and concerts, but the past has taught me again and again…No matter how brave I am or how positive my attitude is, the crowd thing just sparks an instant terror response and physical fight or flight thing.

And not only do I have the mental thing going on, I am nearing 42, I have a kid, I am on a limited disability income, I live in a trailer park, I am fluffy (overweight, the idiot powers that be would say, fuck them) and ok, I don’t look like I did twenty years ago. Aside from my quirks (which put most people off) and a fairly decent vocabulary due to no social life and reading the dictionary for fun…I’m not sure I would view me as a catch.

Ding, ding, ding.
There should be a dating site for people with mental illness. Yeah, instead of phone numbers, we could all swap diagnoses and current med regimes. We could commiserate over shitty counselors and clueless doctors. We could agree to meet…If we ever get better. Which will result in a great laugh.
It could work.
If farmers get their own dating site,then why not the mentally wonky?

Single Bipolar Mom Seeks Man Who Can Handle Vomiting On First Date And Will Go Away when mood swings low…

Or I could just post a clip of Buck Cherry’s “Crazy Bitch.”

Same thing, with a better beat and guitar riff.


One Response to “Single Mentally Ill Mom”

  1. I never thought i could have a functioning relationship AND my mental illness. It feels like my emotional baggage is like another person that tags along to my dates. Telling Erin one night about my mental illness, he’d already seen some of my scars, was the hardest thing to do. I wanted to run for the hills. But he had friends at school who had bipolar so he’d been around mentally ill people before. He also has his own version of anxiety. I never thought I would be where i am now, three years ago when we started dating. I asked EVERYONE how could love and mental illness co exist? But apparently they can. I am so glad we didnt get together when i was at my sickest in 2010. Dont put a relationship on the ‘never going to happen’ truck, dont think that youre ‘damaged goods’ and un-relationship material. If it can happen to me, trust me it can happen to anyone. I never thought anyone could stand to live with my neuroses and bare to look at my badly scarred body. But someone loves me, loves me for me. I dont believe you need to ‘love yourself before someone else can love you’. I believe the love of another can help you learn to love yourself.

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