I recently put in for an increase in my disability veterans benefits. My psych had suggested that I do so because my "condition" has worsened. You know...from "adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depression" to "rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder type II." So...I did. I applied. The VA responded by sending me a thick packet of paperwork to fill out and return. Among the papers I could submit as "evidence" were statements from employers, friends, family...anyone who has "witnessed" my condition change.

I didn't really have anyone I could ask to write a statement for me other than my ex. He's the been the closest person to me the past 2 years and has....seen the worst of it, the worst of me.

I knew it was going to be hard to read. My ex prides himself on brutal honesty so I knew it was going to say some things that might make me say, "OUCH!"

Well...I said ouch and cried when I read it. I'm not really sure why exactly, but something about this statement bothers me. I feel embarrassed. I feel an overwhelming sense of shame, and the guilt? Oh it's swaddling me tight, making breathing very difficult.

But yet...I asked him to do it and to be honest. I appreciate that he wrote it for me and I know he didn't have to. That being said....it hurts. Deeply. There is truth in what he's saying but it's not the whole truth. There is no acknowledgement of ambiguity or misbehavior on his part that could have sparked some of the "issues" our relationship suffered from.

(sigh) Part of me says "who cares? At least he wrote it, you got what you need, you aren't with him, his opinion of you doesn't matter." The other part of me says "It does matter. More than I want it to, but it does matter. I don't know why. I don't want it to. But it does. Am I really like this? That disruptive, destructive person was (is) me? (sigh)"

I don't know what to make of it....all I do know is that it hurts, and saddens me.

So what did he say? Read for yourself....

I served as ADriane's supervisor for a period of time in 2009 and 2010 for our mutual celebrity chef client.We managed and operated the online media properties for said client including website, social media (inc. Facebook, Twitter) and blog. ADriane's ability to produce at a high level was consistently compromised by anxiety, mood swings and the ability to receive instruction / critiques in a professional manner. These issues provided a bottleneck to professional growth in this space in spite of her significant writing talent.

ADriane and I pursued a personal romantic relationship resulting in the birth of our son Adrian Alexander Nieves in April 2010. ADriane's constant anxiety over any and all issues, large or small, and prolific mood swings during short temporal spans - usually within the same day - from extreme highs to unbelievable lows usually resulted in out of control scream-fests and domestic arguments between us and notably inducing anxiety to her oldest child, Brennan Mills. One fight led to a domestic altercation where the authorities were alerted and ADriane was cited. The relationship spanned 2 years and resulted in 3 breakups and significant disruption to my domestic living situation, emotional stability and financial & personal well-being. The discord significantly affected my ability to consistently perform at a high level as a software consultant and resulted in the poorest 18-24 month performance span of a highly regarded 15 year software consulting career.

Initially, I suspected the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy and the initial post-partum period of 3-6 months were probable reasons for these behaviors but after 8-10 months post- partum, I started to suspect the issues may have pre-existed prior to our relationship and/ or a serious mental/emotional disorder may be to blame. Our relationship ended for the final time and A'Driane committed herself to the VA hospital for evaluation. A bipolar diagnosis was presented by VA doctors. Years of anxiety, sadness, discord and disruption came into focus for both of us, sadly enough, the damage was done and our personal and professional relationships were irretrievably broken. 

In my personal and professional opinion, A'Driane Dudley needs significant medical and professional help and resources to help her provide a suitable home life for herself and her children and to ever hope to advance in academic and/or professional pursuits.

We are working hard to be responsbile parents and to effectively co-parent the kids in spite of our history.