So this is more of a stepdadsplained. Due to losing my job and being unable to find a new one, and being unable to afford my apartment plus bills on unemployment, my 29-year-old self had to move back in with my parents. I have bipolar disorder, and have been in treatment for it for most of my life. I’ve tried every medication and every treatment that’s come down the pipeline for it. I have a bachelor’s degree, and have lived independently since graduating from college at 22, so I am not new to being independent and all the joys that come from said independence, such as bills.
My stepdad, however, is an engineer, and therefore he can fix everything. We sat down and had a discussion about my current state of unemployment and my current depression. I was trying to explain bipolar disorder to him, and he is convinced he already knows everything because he’s a recovering alcoholic so AA has all the answers. He kept trying to convince me that if I just took my medication, got to bed on time, and attended groups, I would magically be stable and able to work again. Despite my repeated attempts to explain that bipolar disorder doesn’t work like that, he continued to assert that he knew exactly how I feel because he has been depressed before and he just “worked through it” and changed his thinking and was grateful for the things he had, and it works. He also insisted that if I just got more exercise it would make me better, despite my bachelor’s in psychology, six years as a mental health case manager, being in treatment most of my life, working closely with my psychiatrist, psychologist, and GP to find the best treatment plans for me, having TRIED it and found it doesn’t help my overall mood, and quoting a recent large-scale study that found no statistical significance between exercise and depression. Obviously I don’t know what I’m talking about.
He also decided to explain how credit cards work when I was expressing some incredulity at the fact that my CareCredit card that I used to pay for my cat’s dental work gives me six months to pay off my balance without interest, but didn’t actually provide me with the amount I needed to pay in order to meet that goal, just a “minimum payment” of $25/month, which was not exactly how much I needed to pay. He went into how that’s how credit cards work and that’s how they get you trapped. Thank you, I’ve only had a credit card for a decade now, however could I have possibly understood it without you?
I might not survive living at home. He stepdadsplained his way through my teenage years, so I do not anticipate much change now that I am an adult who has hit hard times. Clearly it is because I am a woman and haven’t had his sage advice guiding my every move for the last decade or so.