I was molested as a kid (badly... almost every day for ten years), my parents divorced when I was young, I wound up marrying someone that I knew was violent but did it anyway, and became the typical battered wife getting out with the help of a shelter.
Throughout all of this, I've tried almost every antidepressant available, I have sat and spoken with some form of counselor or therapist for hours on end, week after week, learning so much about myself, yet never making progress in getting past the anger I felt inside (that came from... where??? ) and the depression. I even went as far as getting a degree in psychology. Close to graduation, things started to fall into place and I thankfully found an incredible doctor around the same time. I didn't understand that anger and irritation could be a form of mania.
I had high expectations of a lot of people I was in relationships with because I didn't feel as though I asked a lot of them (though in retrospect, I was fairly demanding). I was so disappointed and felt so alone when it came to trying to work through the most difficult issues of all because I was the only one who would try. I never stopped trying to get help, and I was never the one to end a relationship.
So, my first antidepressant was started at the age of 12, and I'm now 43, diagnosed as bipolar within the last six weeks or so, and I'm having a dilemma.
Knowing what I know now about there being a chemical imbalance in my brain and knowing that I did, in fact, try with all my might to have positive relationships, I wasn't able to because I was not yet diagnosed (or I was misdiagnosed).
I left the men in my life feeling as though they were failures... they left because they felt they would never be able to make me happy. In these relationships where I caused abject frustration, I wonder if it would be appropriate for me to contact them all these years later and explain to them what I've now learned.
I don't know if it would give them validation for the frustration they endured. I have heard from every single one of them over the years and they have all said that leaving me was the worst mistake they ever made in their lives but we never did get back together, and there in lies the fly in the ointment. I made each one of these men feel absolutely terrible as though they could never make me happy. And now I know that it wasn't necessarily the man but the mania. These gentlemen truly loved me, and I don't know whether I should keep this a secret or share it.
My question revolves around whether it is appropriate or not for me to come back into any one of their lives to discuss this, or if I should just leave it alone. I'm curious to hear different opinions. I'm posting this question based on an unsettled guilt that is bubbling in my stomach, and I don't know whether to take action on that guilt, or if it's a guilt that I need to deal with on my own and carry as my own personal albatross.