Mom’s Access to the Kids

A few people have expressed concern about how and when Mom should have access to the kids. Please feel free to express your concerns and opinions here. As a reminder, I DO allow anonymous comments. You can review my brief posting guidelines on the ‘about‘ page.


38 Responses to “Mom’s Access to the Kids”

  1. I truly feel that you have your children’s best interests at heart but I have a few things that may not have crossed your mind as of yet. First, I have had to deal with a bi polar son and a mother and ex husband with borderline personality disorder so I do unfortunately have experience in this area. I know that you want your mom to take her meds and that if using your children as a motivator works then you feel that is ok. I do have to point out though that it will take months to even get her moderately stable, and that it may not happen at all if ever. Having said that do you want to put your children through that? We as parents have the job of raising our children with our beliefs, but nowhere does it give us the right to not listen to our children’s wishes. We have so much power over our children’s lives, where they live, eat, play, how they are educated, who we let them have as friends, what they are allowed to see, hear or wear. We also have another job, that of teaching our children to make the right decisions, this happens by being an authoritative parent~ one who has rules and expectations for their children. But also gives their children plenty of choices within the realm of what is acceptable to us as parents. We also should not be arbitrary with our children, we need to talk to them, explain the situation fully to them and then ask what they feel and what they want. We always have the right as parents to override them. But your children are at an age where that shouldn’t be done just because you are their father. Your daughter especially is at an age where she is thinking and making her own moral judgments and if she understands the situation fully then that should be respected and permissible. i don’t think I would unintentionally alienate my children by forcing them to see my mother when my mother is very unstable and may not ever get better. Are you willing to plant a mustard seed of unhappiness within your children’s hearts for a woman who is mentally ill? Or can you possibly remember what it is like to have opinions and want your parents to respect them and let you make some choices in your life. Children learn to make good choices by having parents that explain situations to them and then allowing the child to make the choice. Look, we all want our children to make good decisions in life but without the chance to make them with us as parents holding a safety net how can they learn that? Making the right choices is something that is learned not something waiting for us to flip a switch and turn it on. I also feel that as children age they become more vulnerable to the things they are exposed to. They will always remember what your mother says to them now, if they were still young I might not have the hesitations of them seeing her. Remember that once words and images are seen and heard they can’t be erased. God didn’t install a rewind button within us although I certainly wish he had.

    Ultimately, it is your decision, I just wanted to give you something to think about. I do not let my mother in my life at this time. I will always love her but my first responsibility is to the children God gave me. I will not allow her to destroy my relationship with them or their relationship with their father or each other just so she can see them. I do not feel that her undermining my authority with my children is what God wants form me. I’m told to love her and I do, but nowhere does it say to risk my children’s well being or my marriage over her.

    Good Luck.

    • I found a great book that helps explain bi polar to kids ages 4-11 it’s available on amazon for under 10.00 it’s called my mother has bi polar. It has easy to read text and pictures.

      Doing what’s in the best interest of the child is important during parental time. I have bi polar and lost custody of my son. I get to see him every 3 weeks plus summer vacations I get him 1-2 weeks in the summer months. At first I was upset because I felt like it wasn’t enough time for me and my 12 year old but, now I think what I got was reasonable and just about all I could handle.

    • You just opened my eyes!! Thank you

  2. Only knowing the bits that I do, and that is from your wife, and what you have written here in your blog, my concerns are these…{knowing that I don’t know everything}

    1. Your mom will say something that can not be taken back. The damage will be done, regardless of whether or not you are there, or your wife is there, or if they are alone. You can prevent her from physically harming them, but not from verbal abuse. Knowing what your daughter has already gone through when she was much younger, because of your mom… does not make sense to put them through that sort of thing again.

    2. If it were not your mom, if it were an acquaintance, would you allow someone that unstable to be around your children? I seriously doubt it. Being related…….being allowed visitation, phone calls, etc… a privilege not a right.

    3. By your daughter’s own admission, and your sons inadvertent admission,~~they want to hide if they see her~~ they don’t want to see your mom. That should be screaming loudly at you, that using your children as a pawn…..a carrot….a bribe for your mother to take her meds…….it is WRONG……JUST WRONG!!!

    4. You as the father and head of the house have a very strong responsibility~~and I know that you take it seriously~~to your wife and children. I know that you are torn, I know that your heart is aching for what has been lost, however………your wife and children’s welfare should be your highest priority. Their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing ultimately is up to you, and it seems like you are putting your mother, and her wellbeing first. That is your dad’s job, not yours.

    I have typed this with utmost concern for your entire family……please read it as intended…..with concern, love, and friendship.

    Hugs and prayers…..for you all……

  3. It has become a moot point, as Mom has gone off her meds.

    Prior to that, my thinking was along the lines of ‘as long as she is getting treatment, and showing improvement’, etc.

    Please continue posting comments here, as I hope Mom will eventually get the help she needs.

  4. I to have a mother in law that is Bipolar and very much unmedicated! She made my husband hate her and choose not to have any contact with her. We do not have children yet. We are very fortunate that they live in Belize! Thank God for the distance because I would be a crazy person hding in our house with curtains closed and doors locked. I love my husband and will stand behind whatever choices he makes as long as when we have kids that will not have to be apart of his parents madness!!

  5. I am the 23 year old daughter of a bipolar mother. My father was gone and disappeared and I have lived with her and my sister (2 years older) all my life.
    We took care of her as we were children and through our entire lives. As in, we were 6/7 years old and cooking for her, cleaning the house, finding her passed out in the hallway from taking too many pills while trying to kill herself.
    Two or three years ago she was finally diagnosed with the disease (she was diagnosed as chronically depressed until then), and been in mental institutions many, many times since that (and before). An average of two times a year, at this point, and for very long periods.
    Fortunately both my sister and I have grown to be smart, lucid young adults, and try to proceed with our lives as we can, even amongst all this chaos we still live with. I guess all of this made us grow up and learn A LOT.
    Since a few years back, I slowly stopped idolizing my mother (which I did until then, as a child and a teenager who was exposed to that all her life, and felt I had the responsibility to take care of that person). I have been realizing how much she truly does not care how much she harms others while indulging in her maniac / depressed crises. Yes, indulging. Because while she is offering herself to those moods, super high and blissful when maniac (lying, stealing money from us, etc etc), depressed and not making the *slightest* effort to be better at other times, all her family, and her two daughters clean up after her mess and suffer harsh, harsh consequences. She is only sick because she wants to be.
    Nothing in my life (and I have seen plenty) has traumatized me the way all of this has – the things I’ve lived because of her, and what she does to us.
    I have actually seen many depressed crises arise in her which begin as fake (to stop us from going away on vacation, or from completing semestres in college – this is the time when all of her crises usually happen), and then evolved to something real, because she is so committed to faking it that eventually it turns into the real thing.
    Both my sister and I have failed many years of college because of her. And we are both, usually, A students. All I have is uncertainty about my future, and my possibility to make plans (long or short term) she won’t intentionally screw up to keep us around her.

    I will be completely honest with you. I am absolutely, one hundred percent positive that when I have children she will not be allowed anywhere near them without my strict supervision – that is, if she is even allowed at all, which I very much doubt. I intend to finish college, move out, and never have contact with her ever again in my life. She will destroy me if that’s what it takes to steal a second of energy and attention. I know what that person is capable of. She is the most deceitful person I know, and she is capable of doing *whatever it takes* to get attention and draw people close to her at ALL TIMES. Even strangers if she must. A few days ago, she tricked her doctor to release her from the hospital, while still being on a full blown maniac crises. She sits in front of me babbling absurdities as I type and wait for someone to help me get her into the hospital again.
    Remember, I am a person who absolutely *adored* and looked up to her mother until I was 20 years old or so, and was willing to help her with anything without thinking twice.

    Be very careful when allowing your children to be with her. Try to explain something to them in ways they can understand.. But be careful not to turn them against you in her defense. From what I have seen, through talking with different people who have bipolar people in their families as well, there are many many things they all do.
    If your mother is like mine, and many others I have known about are, she will have few reservations in playing the victim to your children, if she feels that is what will bring them near.
    Show them, by example, through your own interactions, how to deal with her. That is of course if you choose to allow this.

    I understand how all of this must feel for you. How confusing and full of contradictory feelings. And I imagine how tricky this whole situation must seem. I have no concrete idea how I will deal with it when the time actually comes.

    Do what you must, that is the most important thing I have learned. Don’t care about what others will think of you if you must protect yourself and turn away. They have no idea what this is really like. You job is to protect both yourself (physically, psychologically) and your children.

  6. Sorry i just had to write see….the things is i truely beleive my mom is bipolar but just refuses to get help andhonestly you name it she has done it to me. The point is i too keep my kids away from grandma and it kills me also people tell me thats not fair let her see them but it just i get so worried about the damage she can cause that i just pray to GOD “please dont let me become her” but i just wont put my kids through that i just refuse to what do you guys think?

  7. I am a stepmother to a 3 year-old boy. His mother is bipolar. She has been diagnosed with this illness when she was a teenager…erratic behavior, going through school with difficulties, terrorizing her parents (especially her stepmother), no interest from the parents to help her with her condition.
    I am a special education teacher. I see parents in denial everyday. They don’t want to accept the fact that their children have limitations, but they have potential. They are able to compensate their disabilities and show talents in other areas. Of course, if they are proper trained and educated.
    This woman’s parents are in denial. And they had been like that since she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorders. You can be in denial as much as you want, but when your daughter has a child and is not able to take care of him, you step in and do something.
    Four years ago, this woman meets a man, gets romantically involved and after a while, starts acting erratically because she is not under any treatment that works for her. She doesn’t want to go back to the doctor so they can adjust her meds. , doesn’t want to follow any therapy…nothing. It’s like a nightmare roller coaster. She doesn’t work anywhere, starts abusing him verbally and emotionally. Terrifying to the point that you want to run and never come back.
    They break up. This is when the misfortune happens…she gets pregnant and decides to have the child knowing that she is not capable of raising one, no network support, no job…nothing. The father to be wants to do the right thing and decides to give her a chance. Wrong move…because she made his life a living hell during her entire pregnancy and after the baby was born. False accusations of physical abuse of both her and the baby, aggressiveness toward her partner, lies, hysterical behavior. He can’t take it anymore and asks her to leave his residence. She refuses, of course starting a fight. He calls the police. She has to leave the house, but takes the baby (1 year old at that time) with her and disappears. Two weeks later she files for a restraining order against him stating that she was physically abused by him. Not true, because she doesn’t show up for the court date. The judge dismisses the case.
    The father tries to find his son, pleads with her parents to help him. But they remain deaf at his desperate cry. He is not able to see his son for almost a year. She calls him one day saying that she can no longer take care of the baby.
    I was with him the entire time when he was trying to find his son (we met right after she took the baby and disappeared). I have witnessed his entire ordeal, pain, frustration, anger.
    To make a long story short, he has the custody and she has supervised visitation. She continues to act erratically, lie and deceive, live in total denial, be selfish and extremely mean, blame everybody for her condition.
    She has supervised visitations; she is not able to do anything for her child. Yet she had expectations that everybody should give her the right to dictate over the child’s wellbeing. She doesn’t accept the fact that there is someone else who takes care of her child- and that person is me.
    I feel anxiety every time she calls to talk to her son.
    She has stopped accusing my husband (we got married in the meantime). She has started to make false accusations about me saying that I want to take her child and stuff like this. She judges me all the time, even though she doesn’t know me.
    It is very difficult and I can’t help myself not to be angry.
    What should I do to free myself from this anger?

  8. my mom has borderline PD and I refuse to her near me or my kids if she ever has any.

  9. Wow. Is my first impression as i read thru the comments left. Let me introduce myself, i am a bipolar mother with borderline personality disorder, ptsd, and accute anxiety. Sounds scary im sure. But in reality its just neat ways of packaging me in controlable parts.
    Please do not deny your child the experience of love and non judgment towards others. I agree bipolar is a demon that can wreak havok on the tolerance of your family. The belief that she is acting is obsurd. It is unfortunate for the girls that had to raise thier mothers illnesss but, she is not the only one to blame. I can assure you her heart is so weak with dissapointment that she feels her life is unworthy. Explaining that mom does not see or feel the world the same way that you want for your own children is a good first step to allowing her to love gma without loving the behaviors that bipolar can bring on. I have three kids and have been hospitalized several times. I now live with the everyday pain of thier confusion and misunderstanding. I can assure u being bipolar is not a scapegoat any disabled person longs for. Its as frustating as being paralized yet yearning to reach out and hold u. It controls ur life and as we know real life carries on, so were left behind. Stuck in moods of craziness and deppression. Getting mad at her is like punishing a child in a candy store. You have the upper hand mentally. Assuring her loving her may seem corney but ull be surprised at what love can cure. I dont recomend leaving ur child if she is suiciadal or destructive thats what hospitals are for. To regulate. All blah blah aside its not a journey for the weary. My sons are hesitant and unsure about me and this steams from lack of understanding. If im going thru it and keep them away they think im abandoning them. If there around without support when i break down they blame themselves. But to live without these precious beings that keep me moving forward i dont know what motivation id have. Just dinner or a movie or a little shop
    ping spree can mean the world for both. In conclusion, work smarter not harder. No one wants to be bipolar.

  10. I completely agree with the poster from March 16th. My mother is also bipolar, and whilst I know it’s not her fault at all, there has been so much damage done because of it. I, too, have made the conscious decision that my mother will not have any interaction with my children (if and when I have them).

    I also plan on cutting out contact soon because she is so unstable and cannot understand the repercussions of her actions. I know this inability is due to the bipolar but it is, and has been so destructive and harmful to my sisters and I. After having been through most of my life with this hurt,we’ve made the decision to start living and focussing on our own lives, rather than on hers.

    You may not feel like cutting out your mother, but you have to remember that your mother’s words could be very hurtful to your children. Even though we knew as children that our mother had bipolar, her words were still very hurtful. Even now when she says something she may not mean, the words do their damage in your heart before you get the chance to rationalise the fact that she probably doesn’t mean it. Especially if she isn’t quite taking her medication or fully accepting of her bipolar.

    You should also just talk to your children as much as possible and fully explain to them what’s going on (as it seems that you are). It would have helped us to deal with our feelings much more if someone had spoken to us and helped us understand. You may already have all the information you need but here is a website to help answer questions that children might ask:

    Just a further point, if your children have expressed a desire not to see your mother, you should respect that completely. Pushing them to spend time with her will definitely result in resentment, and further hurt if she does indeed say things she does not mean. As a child you can’t fully understand bipolar, you just see a normal adult, and this normal adult is saying horrible things, and you take what they say to be the truth, and if your children don’t want to go through that, please respect them until the situation gets better.

    I also just wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences. I know it can be hard, but you’re doing a good job, so all the best. Don’t forget to look after yourself as well through all this, because if you don’t look after yourself then you won’t be able to look after anybody else.

  11. My bipolar mom is living with me and wow, is it stressful!!!
    90% of the time she doesnt know what she is doing. She takes sleeping pills to sleep but gets totally disorientated. My kids are big (teens) but I have trouble with her, the way she talks to me and the kids. She might think its a joke, but I take everything seriously. I cant talk to her, she gets upset and mean and then paranoia sets in. We are all out to get her, then she feels sorry for herself, No one loves me, etc. I am at wits end. (Scary thought – I am nearing 40 and what is the chances – I might be bipolar myself!!!)

  12. You have to explain to your kids that grandma is “sick.” I used to take my mom’s abuse personally, and you can’t do that. It took years for me to get to the point of accepting that she may never get better. BPD is a mental health problem, so you have to view it as that. Would you leave your kids alone with a person who is slightly schizophrenic or has slight dementia or other such disorder? No. It’s not a risk worth taking. I never know when my mom might have a fit and she has been physically, verbally and mentally abusive. I would not want my kids to go through that on their own like I had to as a child. Supervised visits are great. Make it a family visit. Hire a baby sitter for the times you want alone time with your spouse.

    • I absolutely agree. I would never, ever, ever leave my children with my mother and she knows it. She would never admit to being bipolar, regardless of what she has been told by mental health professionals. She is verbally abusive not only to me but now to my three year old triplet boys. Yesterday she told my son he is lazy, a bully, etc… All the whilte muttering under her breath how she is going to kill me. It is a terrible situation that lends itself to lots of guilt. Rarely does anyone believe you It always- that’s your mother, be nice. So nice to find a site where I see that I am not alone or the crazy one. I just have to look at it like the other people are lucky that their experience has been so great that they can’t fathom what it is like for us…. Please, do all you can to protect your children and pray for help with dealing with the guilt. Sorry, late night frustrated rant….

  13. I am a young mother. My daughter is 5 and I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 yrs ago. in the begining, it took a while to get the right med combination and i have been hospitalized twice.. all though my daughter only knows of once.. and i have not attempted suicide. I take my meds and truly i dont have anger issues on top of my illness. i am very consistant with my daughter. in my personal life.. education/ job i struggle more with consistancy. I am divorced and am trying to decide where my daughter should live… her dad is not the best place for her either… So i want to know, is it possible for me to raise my daughter in such a way that my bipolar will not affect her in an abusive way. obviously there will always be some trials… but if i can make sure that those trials are limmited… i wounder if i can raise my daughter with out my illness affecting her anymore than if i were only physically ill. this might be an idealized view, and i will make my desicion carefully, but i want some feed back… not feedback that is completely full of anger toward bipolar parents, but truly do any of you think that if your parents were diagnozed early in childhood and sought and attended treatment that their illness would not have been an abusive experience?

  14. i have bipolar and schitsoeffective anxiety …..and on meds and have a two year old daughter
    i have been living my mom since she was born and have done fine so she tells me
    now i have a chance to get into a duplex with little housing and she wont let me take with me is this legal? and what are my rights as her mom
    father has had no contact and doesnt pay child support.
    she has tried everything as far me singing guardian ship papers and they werent legal cause needed to be infront of a cop or noterry
    but absoulty will let me take her with me what are my rights?
    do i have any she also tried to get power of att and had it till i told him what mom was doing to me with my daughter.
    thankyou in advance

    • Andrea:
      It’s wonderful that you recognize that you have a problem and are taking action to mitigate it.

      I would caution you that there is no cure, and it is likely that you will suffer a relapse at some point. Because of this, I think it would be unwise for you to live alone with your daughter. Since her father isn’t around, and your mother is willing, I think your best course of action would be to stay there.

    • don’t listen to the person who replied to your comment. I to am a mother of a 13 month old and i am bi polar. Just cause of a bi polar disorder does not mean that you are unable to take care of your children. You said that on top of your illness you do not have anger issues. That is the key to parenting period. Patience. So what if you feeling sad one minute and happy the next. So what if in the back of your mind you hearing voices. As long as you provide a healthy atmosphere for your daughter and you regulate your emotions then you should keep your child in your custody. If your mother is willing to help you raise your daughter that is even better. I know for a fact if your daughter’s father is not taking care of her out of his custody don’t expect a change if he gets custody. Children are incredibly resilient. They don’t care about material things, money, or status. Kids don’t come jaded jut provide the basics and make sure you have a loving support system ( in the event that an episode arises and you end up in the hospital) Raise you child and be a good mother. Blessings to you and your daughter. Lets get rid of the stigma of mental illness.

      • ‘So what if you feeling sad one minute and happy the next’

        Children need consistency and order to develop properly.

        ‘So what if in the back of your mind you hearing voices’


        ‘As long as you provide a healthy atmosphere…’

        Am I the only one that thinks bipolar & schizophrenia are not conducive to a healthy atmosphere to raise a child in? Especially when the bipolar schizophrenic is the SOLE caregiver?

      • Bipolar and schizophrenia are certainly NOT conducive to a healthy atmosphere to raise a child. Quinn, this isn’t about the stigma attached to mental illness.. it’s about the practicalities of child-raising. The very nature of bipolar means that the stability required for raising children is not there.

        Also, during a manic episode, those with bipolar cannot see clearly and their judgements are not trustable. They make rash decisions that can have detrimental affects on their lives (and children!) Due to this, they amazingly manage to isolate those who want to support them very quickly – and even those that stick around for a while find it very difficult and might give up eventually.. this is problematic for child-raising because as someone with bipolar you need that support so that those who know you can ring the alarm bells when you enter serious manic episodes.

        And Quinn, just like you said patience is one of the keys to child-rearing, but those with bi-polar cannot control their patience! Irritability and over-sensitivity when manic are highly common, and when depressed people also usually have low frustration tolerance leading them to snap a lot.

        Your reply Quinn is actually very indicative of a bipolar person because you have exaggerated self belief in your ability to raise a child despite recognising some things that would be highly problematic and a hinderance to providing a good and stable environment for a child – i.e. voices in the back of your head and recognising that you need to provide a healthy atmosphere whilst having no ability to control what mood you are in. What happens when these voices take over? What if the voices tell you to hurt your child and you have no control because your illness has a serious hold on you??????

        Anyway, I’m not saying no bipolar person can be a good parent. I’m just saying that the proper support system needs to be in place, and Andrea is trying to reject the support system that is in place because of the nature of her illness (i.e. because she thinks she can manage on her own). Which, of course she can ‘manage’ just like my mother ‘managed’ to send us to school with no food in our bellies and no clean school uniform because she had rejected her support and thought she could do it on her own.

      • I agree with all the other responses to Quinn’s post, people who are bipolar need a support system in place if they are planning to raise a child. Their judgement is often poor and they have times where they are so self-absorbed they don’t truly realize what they are doing or saying. My sons’ girlfriend is bipolar and is also prone to frequent seizures, she also forgets to take her medication on a regular basis which results in her having even more seizures. Unfortunately my stepson does not make good life choices and is often in jail (which he currently is right now) so his girlfriend is going it alone now that the baby is here. As of this posting, the baby is not quite a month old, we have tried reaching out to his girlfriend to offer her whatever support she needs but she refuses to respond. According to her Facebook page she has already had the child taken from her but supposedly he is back under her care again because she now has a friend who got approved to be a foster parent. We have not yet even met this child even though we have invited her over for dinner and offered to take her shopping to help her buy baby items. We think she’s doing this because she is angry at our son so she is denying us access as well. We have no idea what to believe because in the past we have caught her in frequent lies. We are also greatly concerned for the safety of the child because she has told us stories of her “flipping out in a government office” because she thought they were laughing at her. According to her she almost got herself locked up in the mental ward because of it (and this was about 2 weeks before the baby was due to arrive). We have also seen her become violent towards are son and throw her cellphone at him and start punching him in the head. We’re truly hoping it all works out for the best for her but without being able to even meet the child we are helpless to do anything (in the province of Ontario grandparents have no access rights at all). We have no idea what steps we can take to make sure this child is okay until something bad happens. I fully agree that bipolar parents needing something in place to help them raise a child, they should not be doing it on their own.

    thanks for the quick responcs

    even tho i have been on meds for years and have things under control you still think that i have always know that i have had bi polar since 15 somone in our family has it and know one knows who
    is it possible for my daughter to get scitsfania and bipolar my spelling sucks

    so is every one agains mother that have bipolar and what i have to raise kids on there own even tho there “STABLE”

  16. um so even medicated people dont think one should be around there child
    i know few people who have what i have and do just fine…
    one is single the other is not
    bi polar can be managed i am one that can tell you that my life is totally diff since havng her and being back on meds

  17. so no comment if one is bipolar and is on medication to live on my own with my daughter?

  18. boy did i say that back wards i t men say so you dont think if people are medicated they should be alone with there kids? just curious
    have i chased everyone away

    • In a nutshell, no. I don’t think bipolar people, even ones getting treatment, should be a sole caregiver. I didn’t say that you should never be left alone with a your kids, but that there needs to be someone else there who can quickly identify a relapse. If your meds stop working, as is known to happen, someone else needs to be around to identify it.

  19. helllo any one out there

  20. Andrea, you might not be getting any replies because people may not want to offend you with their responses. I saw your comment and decided not to respond because I knew you wouldn’t like my response. I’ve actually commented on this post before about the story of my own bi-polar mother.
    If you read the comments of the people who’ve written of their mothers, the themes of confusion, destruction and heart break are very common.

    My own mother was ‘stable’ at points, sometimes for months/a year on end, so it was even more confusing when she had a manic or depressive episode. I would say that as a child it is very confusing because you have no understanding of mental illness. As a child, I took it all very personally.. sometimes my mother was lovely and told me she loved me, sometimes my mother told me I was the devil and she wished I was never born, and at other times, she didn’t have the strength to even look at me. This is/can be soul destroying for a child, and at the age of 25 I’m still working through the after effects.

    When she was stable, my mother rejected help and took us away to live on her own. Because she was able to avoid all help and contact from others who could support her, and because we didn’t understand, she went into a very serious manic episode where she was spending all her money on who knows what, and we weren’t being fed. We weren’t even being taken to school! At the age of 8, I was getting my sister dressed (in unwashed uniforms) and taking her to school… It was really difficult and confusing and it felt like our mother didn’t care about us and we didn’t know how to get help.

    The point is that you have an illness. An illness that is very difficult to control even if you are feeling stable at the moment. Don’t force your child through the same experiences others of us have had to go through. It’s not often people stick around to help people with bipolar because it is very confusing. Even adults find bipolar very confusing because with mental illness it’s easy to forget that there is something very wrong with the person. So my advice is to accept the help you’re being offered. I certainly wish my mother had. Good luck

  21. I need help… My mother in law who I adore was just recently diagnosed with Bi-polar 1 disorder. She was hospitalized for a month and had a major manic episode. Since her diagnosis she feels it is now her right to receive disability. She is totally capable of working but doesn’t want to. Any suggestions on how to make her understand that Disability is for those who are NOT able to work.. It is not meant for those who DONT feel like working. She is currently rent free with friends who pay for all her food and living expenses but they only agreed to 6 months of this and she is not doing anything to help herself. I am worried that she is going to ask to move in with us and that is not an option. 100% not an option.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • No doubt that you have no idea what she is or isn’t capable of doing. You cannot see what is in her head. To perform a job just to mention a few things you generally have to be able to think clearly, use common sense, perform physical duties, deal with people etc…Bi polar effects every part of your life. Don’t assume because she looks ok on the outside that she is on the inside. Wow get educated please. She needs you to.

    • First let me say that your love and concern turned into selfishness very quickly.
      You haven’t a clue what she is going through. You have no idea what she is capable of doing and not doing. You cannot assume that she is able to hold down a job. You first should get educated about the diseases and then instead of fearing her. The only thing that is “not” an option dear daughter in law is her choice of having the disease or not.

  22. Hi, i have only briefly started reading your blog. I am a daughter of a bipolar mother. At the age of 31 her manipulative ways, her lies, her guilt trips still get to me. I have a beautiful 14 month old son…. whom she will never ever meet. I am currently 7 weeks pregnant and she is making it her mission to upset me in everyway imaginable. And as u know bipolar i dont even have to go into what she is doing…. its so evil and so beyond anything one human should do to another let alone a parent doing to their own child. I dont regret not letting her see my son, know where i live or be part of my life…. cos if this is what she can do with little access one can only imagine what she could do with full access. Bottom line, my choice was to never ever let my son be in a position to be lied to, manipulated or beaten due to her sickness. We didnt deserve or want it as kids…. so why put our kids in a position to experience that.

  23. Thank you.
    For bring there in print, to reaffirm that my mad little world is actually reality … and that I am not alone.
    For many years now my Dad has admitted to me he knows my Mum is ill although infront of her he never will. He takes her side and no matter how many times I scream at him “It’s different when she’s doing it to you” he never has my back. I understand loyalty but I am his daughter. He has a duty to protect me. To a point I feel more anger towards him because he isn’t ill. He doesn’t have an excuse.
    I’m 32 now and God knows how I’m still on this Earth because I’ve been depressed for years due to my Mother’s inacceptance of her illness – more so than her illness itself. I often think if only she’d taken the help over the years. Was she too selfish or was the illness selfish? That’s what I find so hard to deal with. The extremely blurred line where the person ends and the illness takes over.
    My earliest recollection of knowing something was wrong must have put me about 6 or 7. Ever since it’s been battle after battle, emotional blackmail, inability to emapathise least sympathise. Selfishness and by this I don’t mean she won’t do anything for anyone, quite the contrary; but it has to be something she’ll get glory for or where she’ll be centre of attention. Something which doesn’t put her out too much and (my old favourite) something she thinks I may not be 100% happy with. The mind games of a bi polar mother and the incredible and sincere denial which go hand in hand are something else!
    My biggest problem now (apart from still failing to accept she’ll never cuddle me if I’m upset because mostly her cruel un sesored words and attitude have caused the upset) are my Children; her relationship with them.
    I already see the mind games and lies going on. The cross examination, the outbursts and uncontrollable switch from nuce Grandma to monster but when I try to limit contact the emotional blackmail from her (the tears, the woe is me etc) her ability to twist things and make me out to be a nasty person … it wesrs me down. My Dad (as is common of the partner in a BP marriage) joins forces with her albeit in a far more ‘reserved’ way.
    I NEED to protect my children. Will they hate me for damaging their relationship? I am a single parent with no close family near by so I always struggle to stay strong. I can not gave them growing up like I did and somehow my fear is every day they spend with her and with me and her together (she rejoices in belittling me and overruling me) is damaging them more xxx

  24. I really, really need to find someone to get advice from. My 33 year old bipolar daughter is a TERRIBLE mother. I am legal guardian of her 3 children. I was hoping to let her have them back legally to raise, but her parenting skills seem to never get better. We are older, husband has health issues. We don’t know what to do.

  25. My worse nightmare. My grandbaby was placed with me after birth due to her mom having bipolar sz.she could not even relate to the fact she had baby, Dss went straight to the hospital a day after birth and took the baby pit her in foster care and we fought until she was 6 months to get her out. Then finally she was placed with us .The mom was in the mental hospital which we were told was for the worse cases the women has been in and out them for years plus many electric shock treatments now all of a sudden the baby is 16 months now she is going for unification and looks like after a few classes, and visits she will be given this baby. She lives with her mom who’s health is bad. I am beyond myself worried for the safety of this innocent one seems to want to see this I have been told they don’t look beyond the time she has been trying to get the baby..I know she is only able to survive the world with the help of medications and in the past many times she decided she didn’t need them plus this child was,born with weed in her system. We were told grandparents have no rights. But we went through numerous things to be able to get her placed here plus continued things to do and updates. Our hearts are totally broken and worried beyond. This child is out of NC and is placed in SC

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