Cusp. One word. Two definitions. Both summarize my existence.

When God was mapping out my life he must have had a geometry book in one hand and instructions for creating a balance beam in the other.

So which definition is best suited to me? CuspThe one that says cusp is a point of transition (as from one historical period to the next) or the one that describes it as a point where two branches of a curve meet, end, and are tangent? whoa! latter is pretty profound so  I think I’ll start with the first.

I was born on the cusp. Not an astrological one. I was born on the cusp of two generations where the role of a woman within a household are diametrically opposed. It has all the makings for a chronic identity crisis.

The second definition applies to me for different reasons. It kind of sucks. I was cruising through life making peace with my role in life. I made it to my 40s without any jolting life changes. As I got older the changes in my life were akin to gentle curves. That is, until I met my husband.

When I first met my husband he seemed so pulled together. I thought I had my super red-flag radar on at full power and it wasn’t picking up any signals. Two years after we met we were married. I was 41 and it was my first marriage. He was 45 and it was his fourth. Duh! That should have been a hint.

No more than thirty minutes after we spoke our vows I had an enlightening moment. My husband was smack dab in the middle of a full blown manic episode. To this day I can’t stand looking at my wedding photos. Everything was so beautiful and I can’t think of a single that went wrong with the ceremony or reception. However, when I look at the album I see the face of the mad man and it really hurts.

By the the time we reached our first anniversary I was introduced to PTSD. What a life. A bipolar husband with PTSD. He was not able to hold down a job so I became the bread winner for a  family of six and that was the moment when I realized the true impact of being raised on the cusp of generations. It left me with a pretty fucked up perspective of how things ‘should’ run in a household and it really sucks.

The whole purpose of this blog is to write vignettes on the fallout of living a life with a mindset that straddles cultural eras. This plays into why I get all wrapped around the axle when it comes to my husband’s mental issues. I was raised to believe that a man supports his wife and yet the reality of my world is that the woman supports her husband and sometimes it is hard to come to get a grip on that.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Life on the Cusp

    1. I understand how you feel. I was diagnosed as Bipolar II 20 + years ago. I get the ups and downs, but nothing like the full blown mania my husband experiences. It takes a lot of trust, talking and planning between episodes, at least until you get everything ironed out. We have “keep you from spending all our money” plans, “keep you from hurting someone” plans, and my favorite, “you are ramping up, it’s time to follow the pre-mania protocol” plan (sometimes we get away with just a blip on the radar). It’s worth all the planning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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