We had decided to take two cars on a fun excursion to the aerospace museum to see the space shuttle Endeavor in Los Angeles. Us five girls piled into one car and the three guys piled into the other. It made so much sense at the time. I should have known by the way he was manically dancing and singing and deliriously happy before we left. All signs pointing to an episode. I was just so thrilled to have a visit from my brother Jim , his fiance Debbie, and her two young children Alice and Adam from out of state and it was the farthest thing from my mind. A family visit was a very rare occurrence in my life. Driving down the freeway laughing, all of us ladies happily chattering when my cell phone began to ring. It was my brother saying he was standing on the side of an unknown freeway as my husband had physically choked him, forced him out of the car, and sped away with Debbie’s son. It was too horrible to believe! I told him to quit joking and hung up on him. He kept calling our various phones and insisting it was no joke. I had to face the truth of it when my husband called his daughters phone, in a tirade, to explain why it was all my brother’s fault. I could hear his manic voice loudly from the front seat as he screamed through the phone. Can you imagine my panic with a car full of girls trying to stay calm and figure out where my brother was? Was he hurt? How could I get him home when my car was full already? Was Adam safe? Was he afraid? I could hear him crying in the background of the phone call. Such a nightmare to deal with, but, no time for panic, just my usual problem solving. I told my husband to meet at the closest exit to where he forced Jim out and to stay in the car til I arrived. Once there, my brother, bleeding and with claw marks around his neck and face got in my car to drive Debbie, Alice, and Adam home, while I drove my girls and my husband in the other car. During the 45 minute drive, he ranted and raved about how it wasn’t his fault, it was Jim’s fault for saying he was” lucky.” Yes, the word “lucky” sent him into a massive violent bipolar episode while driving 80 mph down the freeway. He continued his litany about how my brother was a piece of crap and had to get his crap out of his house and stay somewhere else. Etc. etc. At home, I had to pack their suitcases and let them take my car. I couldn’t apologize enough for his behavior and they were on a plane home a few hours later. It just devastated and crushed me and our girls. Although I didn’t cause it, I will always carry a tremendous burden of guilt for somehow allowing it or not predicting it. To this day, my husband still insists it was Jim’s fault and Jim made him do it. He doesn’t even understand the irony of his being “lucky” he wasn’t arrested for assault or kidnapping. His bipolar illogic won’t let him accept responsibility for his actions. Over the years, I silently accepted his violence and rage as long as it was directed towards me. Terrorizing my family was just too much for me to forgive. It was one of the three things that happened in a short time period that forced me to realize I had to get out to survive.