Another Question.........

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mom_to_3, May 28, 2008.

  1. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I've been thinking of my difficult child lately, not like I've ever stopped, but wondered how other parents handled or thought about this.

    Our situation is unique right now because our difficult child is involved with CPS and her son is in foster care. The CPS caseworkers, investigators and generally everyone there at CPS are quite upset with and befuddled by her. Mostly because........... She won't accept responsibility for her actions. (Just to be fair, she did not abuse her son. He was living with his father when he was removed.) They are scratching their heads trying to figure out "what's wrong with this picture?".

    I have not shared with CPS that my difficult child has been diagnosed with bipolar. I did tell them about her abnormal EEG and that she was diagnosis with ADHD as a child. When she was maybe 17 yrs. old, CPS did a psychological evaluation on her that showed ADHD, depression, bipolar and the characteristics of maybe 3 different personality disorders. Not a pretty picture at all.

    I'm having a hard time as a parent with knowing how much of her past (which is very damning) to share. I don't believe (I pray I am correct) she is a physical threat to anyone. She doesn't "present" well, and if I met her without knowing her, I'd figure something might be "off". She's not blatant visibly, but once she starts talking, she becomes obvious. Talks way too much, too loud, too silly and very grandiose and inappropriate. In the CPS meeting, she referred to herself, her ex and his wife as the type of people that would be on the Jerry Springer show! :nonono: Who in the world wants to publically align themselves with that type of people?

    I want so bad for her to succeed! In my heart of hearts I know she'll probably never be able to live an ordinary life. I can't get her to see or admit that she has problems. When I spoke to her about it 2 weeks ago, she told me that the info I shared "was hurtful" and why would I do that to her if I loved her? She wants to fight about all that now, but I don't go there with her.

    My family, who has always been supportive, and who DO love our difficult child, feel that she is lazy and could do better if she wanted. I just had to have a chat with them and told them that they hurt ME! when they speak like that about my difficult child. I'm not about making excuses for anyone, and we certainly have not supported or participated in our difficult child's bad choices. I really feel that her mental health issues play a big part in her failures.

    If I bring those issues up to ANYONE, my difficult child will hate me even more if that is possible. I believe our family will be split forever and I don't want that. I can't have a normal relationship with her as it is. We are extremely superficial and barely speaking now. I do feel however that everyone deserves a family and I want to at least be her family.

    How much, as a parent, do you share or blame on mental health issues? I don't want others to judge her by my word alone. I don't want that responsibility. What if I am wrong????
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Man, my heart goes out to you. I know when Rob was younger and getting into all of the trouble he was getting into it was still hard to know what was precipitated by bullheadedness and what was precipitated by mental health issues.

    In those days, I was very open because I was looking for services for him. I'd tried so many with so little success that I would have tried almost anything...and did!

    When he was out of school we basically let him "live life." If he blew it, he paid the consequences. We made no excuses and only offered information if we were asked directly, which was rare.

    I think we gave Rob a good base but it was learning everything the hard way and maturity that have helped him, too.

    Compared to easy child/PP families, we have a very superficial relationship for the most part. But it works for us and little by little we are making progress.

    You have an added dimension that we didn't and that is your grandson. As you know, his safety and well being have to come first now. I think I would base all of my decisions from this point on how will it affect him...not how will it affect your daughter. She is old enough to fend for herself, even if it is difficult. Poor little guy is at the mercy of everyone else at this point.

  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm like Suz. When my daughter was younger, I did not hesitate to explain her history, the abuse and neglect. I said what her Dxes were without hesitation if someone needed to know.

    Now, it is her business and her choice what she chooses to share. She's an adult and has the right to make her choices.

    If there was a grandchild involved, I think I would still hesitate to share. CPS can look up the history if they want to. So, unless they specifically ask, I'd keep quiet. Maybe if she were asking for custody of her son, it might be different but it doesn't sound like she is.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hugs, this has to be weighing so heavy on your heart.

    I agree with Suz and MB, with the situation as it is right now, I'd keep it quiet. If she does try for custody, I'd speak up.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I guess my advice on what to say or what NOT to say would depend on who is asking you these questions about your daughter and WHY are they asking them (IF IT IS CPS - you said they already had run tests) what more are they asking for?

    My 2nd question is - why did your daughter not have custody of her son when he was placed with his Father? ONLY asking because I only have my vivid imagination here - but it sounds like CPS is trying to gather enough "evidence" against your daughter and her x to make a case/plea to the court to find them both unfit and place your grandson in perm. foster care or have him available for adoption in the future.

    Someone is asking a lot of questions without explaining to you why.

    My hughest hugs for your heart - I can't imagine and hope I never have to know what you are going through.

    In short - Do I tell anyone but people here about Dude anymore? no. I used to be able to run down the whole gamut of his tragic life and things we did and now I even get tired of saying it myself.

    IF I felt however someone were in danger because of him? Yes. I would tell them just that - you're in danger. Other than that? No.

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    So sorry that you are going through this. I think that I am on the side of letting CPS know the truth. While she may not be violent, it does seem likely that she would be neglectful. That baby isn't old enough to take care of himself. Maybe they can help her to keep contact with her son if they understand what is wrong with her and how to help her. If it's a mystery to them, they may have no choice other than to assume that there is no way she can get her act together. I mean, I get it that she has to want help and work on it to be a better parent. But so far she is not, and she's denying there's anything wrong with her. They won't wait forever for her to get her act together if they don't know what is wrong with her. Let them know so that they can offer her the appropriate resources.

    {{{{{{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}}}}}}}
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wow...that's a difficult question. I don't know how much I would want to share with CPS; Hubby and the boys' mom had several experiences that did not go well, even though the complaints were unfounded. Even now, I wouldn't want to get into Miss KT's history with them. Her ADHD is documented at school, but I have not shared my belief that she's bipolar. If there was a little one involved? I think I would tell them only what was necessary to keep the little one (and anyone else) safe. It's impossible to "untell" something, but you can always add more info as time goes on.

    Best of luck and many hugs.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This is a really difficult situation for you and I'm so sorry that you are facing it at all.

    While I agree she's an adult and should be able to answer for herself, I would consider the well being of her child over my relationship with her at this time. As her history suggests, you may never have a 'normal' relationship with her, and while she may not directly harm the child, she may put herself (and him) in a situation which is indirectly harmful, Know what I mean?? I think I would be inclined to tell CPS if they asked me directly...if it meant a better life for my grandchild.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    If I understand your question correctly, I can tell you that family is very important to me. I work hard to keep things healthy and cohesive. My easy child was beginning to act as if difficult child didn't exist. He was depersonalizing him as someone who didn't belong to us. While I understand the normal progression of his annoyance and anger with difficult child, he is still my child and I won't toss him out to the wolves to suit anyone. Not easy child, not husband and not anyone. He will always be connected to us in a way that is healthy for him and for us.

    My difficult child was born with incredibly difficult genes. It affects their whole life because they can't learn normal life lessons. It may seem that they are being lazy but in our case, he just doesn't get it. Doesn't remember it or can't grasp the significance of doing it. He shouldn't be penalized or lose his family over it. difficult child isn't always comfortable to be around and I tell him that. He will never learn better social skills if no one points out the obvious while he is doing it. easy child will either learn to get over the fact he has a disabled brother or he will always carry a chip on his shoulder. Since they are apart they are talking a bit more like they used to.

    Sometimes I think easy child wants to be close to us and shut difficult child out so that our relationship is special to compensate for those years when it seemed difficult child was sucking up all the relationship energy. We were locked in a death roll or so it seemed and we were all trying to survive. We do give easy child a great deal of attention and he is a great kid but he would like to be able to make life simple by blaming difficult child for difficult child's own troubles.

    I think telling them that it hurts you for your child to be ostracized completely is a good way to make younger kids understand that all of them are important to you. I figure no matter what easy child does he will know that I wouldn't turn my back since it's nothing like difficult child. LOL. Mother love isn't based on kids perfect behavior. It's deeper than that. I appreciate easy child more because he is a good kid but love is there for both of them.

    As far as telling agencies the degree of disability that difficult child has. I'm torn. I usually tell them what I think they need to know for services. I don't have the burden of worry about a grand child. Your daughter is not a fit parent and truth be told, she may never physically or sexually abuse him but neglect is still abuse. Unfortunately, cps will have to learn all of this from their own experience. You telling them will make difficult child hostile and the agency may not believe you.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I tihnk I have to agree with witz. At this time, it is imperative to act in the best interest of your grandchild. He has no power to act on his own behalf, and cannot protect himself.

    I understand fully that you love your daughter. and you want her to have a good life, and to have a good relationship iwth her.

    I have to ask this.

    What would you feel if you withheld info from CPS, your grandson was placed with her, and then he neded up neglected or harmed simply because she does not have the skills/ability/drive/whatever to be a good parent??

    I think at the LEAST you need to tell CPS about the testing, and when it was done (even roughly) so they can look it up. I would probably agonize over the decision, then answer questions honestly and fully.

    by the way, I had to do this with my gfgbro and gfgSIL. It ended up being a very painful year, but things are more typical now in our relationship. He is still a problem, but DID end up in therapy that helped him incredibly.



    ps. Just so you know, I will support you no matter what decision you make.