I have to preface this by saying that my husband is the most wonderful person I have ever met. He loves me more than anyone. He would move mountains for me and my children. Unfortunately, like the rest of us, he is human so he isn’t perfect. Unfortunately for both of us, he is a trigger. A trigger is something that “sets off” the symptoms of your illness. Something that either makes you so happy you can be pushed into mania or so down it could push you into a depression. Stressors that make my anxiety go through the roof. I am fully aware of what my triggers are. I do not go into Walmart alone and rarely with someone unless I have to. I do not purposefully go into crowded or loud places. The Christmas season is a trigger for me. I get so excited, I am usually hypomanic by Thanksgiving. My husband hasn’t grasped this concept yet that he is a trigger. When we go somewhere and he drives and he yells at the other drivers, that sets off my anxiety. I ask him to stop many times and he doesn’t. He doesn’t because he is treating me like any normal person. He isn’t treating it like something that might upset me, until I scream at him in front of everyone in the car because I completely lost control. Then he is confused as to why I am so upset. Confused, of course, because no person in their right mind would scream at someone for tailgating the car in front of them. But I don’t have a right mind, I have a mentally ill mind. So he forgets again. He thinks I am normal and he treats me that way. I want to be treated normally too, but I know I am not normal. I have to worry if the fight I had with him this afternoon is going to make me depressed because I hurt his feelings. He doesn’t think of these things because normal people don’t get depressed after a fight. If I look okay, he thinks I am okay and it is like he forgets that I’m not. I know what will set me off. I try to warn and prepare for the inevitable loss of control, but what can one do if no one listens? I want to be treated normally but I also want him to be aware of the things that he does that trigger my symptoms and proactively not do them. At the very least, listen to me when I tell him to stop. We’ve been together for 3 years and he has seen all that illness has thrown at me so far, although not as bad as it can be. I hope he uses today’s fight as a way to finally come to terms with my illness, but I fear I will keep pretending to be okay and he’ll keep forgetting that I’m not.