Warning: If you have bipolar disorder, stay away from manipulators!

Names and places in this story have been changed to replace both the guilty and the innocent.

As many of you are aware, I have bipolar disorder and was diagnosed with it nearly 20 years ago. It hasn’t been perfect, but I believe that I’ve dealt with as well as I can.

Earlier, I wrote about whether those of us with bipolar disorder should “come out of the closet with our bipolar disorder.” I was referring to whether or not we should tell people that we have bipolar disorder.

My new sad answer is, “No.”

Someone recently found out that I had bipolar disorder. It wouldn’t have been hard. It could have been from this blog. It could have been from the pills that were in my purse. It could have been by word of mouth.

I started hearing random comments about the kind of medication I was on at the workplace. I got into a work dispute with the same individual who then called me “violent” and “vitriolic” in front of a room full of people. When I questioned the same person about my work and whether the changes had saved, he said something to the effect of: “Of course it saved. Otherwise you would be crazy.”

The emphasis in the sentence was on the word “crazy.”

I had never told the person that I had bipolar disorder, but it was clear that he knew and that he was going to use it to his advantage. I had no idea what to do; it was a new job, I was older than many of the people doing my job, and had no idea that adults acted so juvenile.

Each and every day, I felt like he was trying to send me over the brink. I asked to be transferred to another department, but was denied. I heard comments about my Facebook posts, which I had erroreneously assumed were for “friends only.” I heard comments about my appearance.

I knew that the person had OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) by their own admission, but I tried not to stoop to that level. I did, once, however, cough on my keyboard as a precautionary measure so that the individual would be too scared to touch it.

The person continued to try and manipulate me into my worst self. The individual was in a position of authority over me, so there wasn’t much I could do. When I did file a formal complaint to move to another department, he spread the rumors there.

It didn’t end up happily for me there. That wasn’t the only reason, but it did play a large role.