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    Stepmom needing help

    My husbands ex is bipolar and last week attempted to commit suicide by overdose. We currently split custody of their two kids and since the incident we have taken the kids on full time.

    She was only placed on a 72 hr hold and she felt the hospital wasnt helping so she then checked herself out saying they changed her meds and she was feeling much better.

    I know it takes a few weeks sometimes for the medicine to start being effective and to actually notice a change so I'm not confident she is alright but she is now stating it was just her bi-polar and that she wants us to go back to how things were and for her to have the kids more often. Again its only been a week.

    My husband and i feel helpless because we don't feel comfortable leaving the kids with her alone. When she made the attempt they werent home but we are scared she could try again. She admitted she got overwhelmed with work and taking care of a house alone but those things havent changed. She runs a daycare out of her house which she is no longer doing due to COVID-19 so she isnt working and now all of a sudden has decided she is going back to school in September but really has no plans so we are worried she will overwhelm herself again.

    We both want the kids to stay with us and her have visitation just until she figures out work and focuses on herself and getting better but she is taken it as we are refusing to let her see her kids.

    We tried talking to her about it and she became very defensive and refused to listen. She doesnt seem to understand how her suicide attempt affected all of us but we are nervous that she might get upset with us and it will only cause a bigger mess.

    I am just looking for suggestions on what to do and even opinions about whether we are taking the right approach or not. I dont feel i am overreacting about the incident as she originally had wanted to check herself into a hospital for a month, prior to the attempt because she was feeling suicidal but I am surprised she feels better so quickly. and just wants to push it all under the rug especially when she woke up in the hospital angry to be alive.

    Thank you for any help

    #2
    Welcome to the forum Lasvegas89. I’m so sorry to hear that you are all going thru this. It must be particularly difficult with kids involved.

    Is there any way she would agree to call a friend or go directly to the hospital if she feels overwhelmed?
    AJ

    Humans punish themselves endlessly
    for not being what they believe they should be.
    -Don Miguel Ruiz-

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      #3
      Thank you for that and it has been worst with the kids. we are nervous she will try it again with the kids around but she is convinced that she did nothing wrong and is just fine.

      I would definitely be willing to try that. She did tell us that she wanted to get help which is why were so confused that the day before she was supposed to go to the hospital she tried to commit suicide it didnt make sense and she wouldnt tell us why she even tried .

      She is just unpredictable and sometimes very dishonest so i dont know if she would even admit to herself she is in over her head......

      Comment


        #4
        Hello Lasvegas89 and welcome. Unfortunately in Ontario it is increasingly rare for someone to be held for a 15 days, much less 30 days even if that person wants to stay. After 72 hrs the person must be seen by 2 doctors if an involuntarily hold is sought past the 72 hr limit. You may be correct about the medication not having a chance to work yet. Depending on what she was prescribed, it could take 4-6 wks to take effect. It could also work very quickly . Something like seroquel can work in hrs. You also have no way of knowing if she is even taking her meds.

        It's not uncommon for a person with bipolar to make goals without making the proper plans to reach those goals. Having said that I haven't heard her side of the story either and I have no idea if she is depressed, manic or somewhere in between. I don't think that you are overreacting either. You are in a really tough spot.

        I take it that she was diagnosed with bipolar prior to her suicide attempt. So there may be a record of other unacceptable behaviour. You may need a lawyer to get custody of the children and have her have supervised visits until she proves herself and is neither a danger to herself or others. I'm sorry that I can't offer you better advice, but any mental illness can be difficult to deal with. Take Care. paul m
        "Alone we can do so little;
        Together we can do so much"
        Helen Keller

        Comment


          #5
          Hello Lasvegas89, and welcome to the forum. My heart goes out to you.

          It doesn't sound to me like you're overreacting. It sounds like you're trying to act in the best interest of the children, which seems like the most responsible thing to do. I wish I could say "do this or do that" but I can't.. I think Paul and AJ have put forward some sensible thoughts, so I won't repeat them, I think the fact that you're all communicating is a big plus in your favour. I hope you'll post again and let us know how things are going.
          uni

          ~ it's always worth it ~

          Comment


            #6
            I commend the responses and agree that you are in a very concerning position. In terms of legalities, in Canada we have seen different ruling from the various provinces regarding custody, support, etc. I can well imagine that it will require a lawyer to get things going in the proper direction. i just wish the "system" was without its flaws but it isn't. i as well hope that all works out favourably for the children. Hugs!

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you all for the responses, support (and virtual hugs) i really do appreciate it . As of now the updates are not the best, the medication seemed to be helping but now due to the side effects (weight gain, hair loss) she is getting more depressed and saying the kids are all she has keeping her happy, which I feel is alot of pressure to put on a 3 and 4 yr old. She has now also attempted to message my boyfriend with attempts to use him as a sounding board and emotional support as she feels he is the only one that understands how she feels. This obviously puts him and I in a bad situation as he has told her a number of times that his concern is for the children and their well being, he cannot be that type of support for her. he wishes for her to get better but cannot help in the way she is looking for

              I know what she is going through is so difficult and she cant help it. she was diagnosed bipolar many years ago when she was in high school so i feel like a terrible person also not wanting my boyfriend to bear the responsibility of helping her as it was a big reason their marriage broke up and caused him alot of stress. She has family support as well but she feels no one gets what she is dealing with. I feel selfish and also that i dont have a right to have a say but i also feel this directly affects all of our lives so we should be allowed to control how much we are involved.

              I agree though that unfortunately there are "flaws" and even when someone is more then willing to get help they cannot seem to find it or have access to it. Especially with the Covid-19 its even more challenging to reach anyone

              Comment


                #8
                Hello lasvegas89 Trying to get someone with bipolar to listen to reasoned arguments can sometimes be impossible. It sometimes depends on whether you can reach out when the person is neither depressed nor manic/hypomanic .nor mixed states. A lot of people , like myself, don't like putting up with the side effects of the medication either, sometimes side effects are just a fact of life and it doesn't matter if it's a mental or physical illness. However I can understand her reluctance to take the drugs,

                Whenever I run into a case where a person needs more help than I can give, I sometimes have to set limits. I have to limit my advice because I am not an expert on treating bipolar , so sometimes my advice may not be helping in a long term way and bipolar is something that has to be viewed as a long term illness. I'm sorry that I can't give you better advice. Take Care. paul m
                "Alone we can do so little;
                Together we can do so much"
                Helen Keller

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