Qn: I am a straight-talker and I find this affecting my relationships with some of my colleagues at work who think I am arrogant. This is really affecting me and I don’t know how to deal with it.
On a date in a fancy restaurant, a 28-year-old girl told her boyfriend all the details of the tests she was to undergo the following weekend.
One of the tests is called a colonoscopy and involves among other things, cleansing of the alimentary canal, by medically induced “running of the tummy”. The night before the test is challenging in that one has to visit the toilet many times. The worst possible time to discuss such a test is during a meal. The girl, being a straight talker and without inhibition had taken the most inappropriate moment to talk about bowel movements.
All this was described by the young woman as her boyfriend stared at his medium rare steak. He suddenly lost his appetite, went to the toilet and threw up. Later that evening the girl asked to be taken dancing to prepare her body for the tests. All her timings were poor.
The young man who had hardly eaten asked to go home when 3am came and he could dance no more. The girl insisted they go for a ride around the city. When he flatly refused, she became very angry and jumped out of the car. Luckily, the young man was driving slowly and she only got minor injuries.
At the hospital later that early morning, hell broke loose. The girl had become like a raging hurricane. She spoke fast and loudly, ordered all the nurses around, and refused to go to the X-ray department unless her boyfriend apologised to her in public.
She spoke loudly about her job, family, money and her educational background, then told the nurses what she thought of them without any inhibition. Had they spent more time in school (rather than in bed with boyfriends) they would be like her; clever, educated and trendy.
She told them of her future plans and how in the next five years she would be married, with two children and would drive a big car. In her view, none of those around her had the skill or ability that she had. She sounded most arrogant.
The young doctor attending to her was not spared either. He was slow, fat and without ambition. He was asked to explain why he was at work at 5am and not at home with his wife and children “like other men”.
Her speech was becoming incoherent as her thoughts seemed to come to her faster than her mouth could utter the words. She moved from one topic to another.
None of this was making any sense to the young boyfriend and he literally escaped and ran home. Later that day he learnt that his girlfriend had been diagnosed with a manic episode which was part of a Bipolar Mood Disorder.
A few days later, he visited the girl at the clinic and he saw the medical team.
He had a lightbulb moment. This manic episode had been brewing for at least two weeks. At first it was a great increase in libido. She demanded sex “all the time”.
She spent money like there is no tomorrow. She had many plans for the two of them and for business. She was (like you) arrogant when she spoke to people. She did not let anybody finish their sentence. The dinner they had gone to was on an impulse as they passed the expensive restaurant.
She seemed easily distracted from any plans they might have made. The boyfriend followed her every change of plan meekly because he did not want to upset her.
Her moods changed faster than the wind. A bout of screaming and shouting at the waiters that night should have warned the young man.
He was deeply in love and forgave more than he should have. Love, as they say, is blind he did not see the “arrogance” of her illness.
This was her second manic episode. She had suffered from depression in the past.
The diagnosis was clear. Her arrogance was explained.