Hello everyone. I'm looking for some sage advice. I'm new here and apologize for such a complicated and lengthly post.
I'm 51 yo bipolar on Soc Sec disability from work. Left brain functions shut down after reducing lithium about three years ago. Have been mostly stable off and on trying various meds, and most brain function has returned to some degree. I would say my brain functions like a beginning stage alzheimer's patient.
My 26yo son also has mental health issues... Sketchy medical evals range from adhd to bipolar. He has been married five years and has two daughters, 3 and 5. Herein lies the crux of the problems.
Due to the many many many problems brought on by unmedicated bipolar, specifically keeping a job, home, Child Protective Services has taken custody of these two precious girls. The wife's mother keeps the five year old, and I have kept the three year old off and on, with her mother keeping her when she can keep an apt. Since my son hasn't complied with their steps to take, he may only see the girls at CPS. Now the mother the same.
In less than two months, I will be asked to keep Hailey (3yo) permanently. This is where I need your help.
Money huge issue. I'm on SS and cannot work. I can't afford clothes for myself. Really.In the last year, I have divorced my husband, moved south, and had to return when Hailey's mother couldn't keep her. My husband and I are reconciled.My husband (legally ex) is adamantly against taking guardianship of her (as are my and his parents.)I cannot raise Hailey without him for many reasons.My husband has ptsd and without medication, absolutely no one can live with him. He takes neurontin for anxiety, but sometimes hit or miss. It is not time release but is the only thing he will take (point being, opportunities everyday for outbursts.)I cannot talk to him about this right now. I seriously doubt my ability to see this through. Seriously.It may be possible for mother's sister to keep her, but they are not financially stable. The other granmother cannot handle both girls and is very manipulative to keep only the 5yo..Hailey (3yo)has mental health issues and will have a very hard time in school, with discipline, all the stuff that goes with adhd/bipolar... If I don't keep her, I believe she will go to foster care. I don't know about her sister. How will she feel if she goes to foster care when no one in the family was willing to take care of her? Remember her sister is being kept at the other grandmother's.I haven't discussed this with CPS for fear they will go ahead and take her. I mentioned it briefly to the case worker recently because the time is near for permanency. I used the term “mental health issues”, not “bipolar”. She was in a hurry so...She has no one to play with and I can't afford day care.Guilt of not keeping her. This is a biggie for me as I have already been thru this with my son when I turned him over to his Dad when I was first diagnosed and very sick. I suffer despression everyday for this. My mental health is not great. At times, she may be at risk from my brain lapses. I cannot see myself putting her thru school at times.My husband and mother-in-law say that I simply can't do it. I really don't know how my son feels. His answer will be according to circumstances. He says I can't take long term care of her now but when it's time to look for foster parents...
No one cares about a kid more than family, esp parents and grandparents. I am in tune with her mental health and am willing to work with all apects the best that I can.The joy she brings.Brings meaning to my life.Companionship Helping hand (that is, if I can get her to do anything!!)She's really cute!!I'm sure there's more, but I think you get the idea. Any thoughts?
Thanks for any ideas.... Maryann
if you have to ask if you should keep the child, then you have already answered your question. the "little voice" in your head is telling you what you have to do but your emotions are getting in the way. VERY understandable. this is a very emotive issue. the problem is that logic, reason, and common sense all say to find a solution as suggested by lfw.
my wife and i keep our 4-yr old great grandson from time to time. i love him and enjoy his company and he is funnier than a barrel of monkeys. but i am no more prepared to take care of him full time than you are to take care of your grand-baby. i would guess that i am older than you, but i believe that the same considerations that you stated in your post apply to both of us.
i once heard a financial planner say that given a choice between building a college fund for your children and building a retirement fund for yourself, one should build the retirement fund. your kids, if they want to, can make it through college. when you retire you are on your own: don't expect anything from your kids. save yourself, your grand-baby will be ok.
hope this helps.
Well, oh my gosh, the county case workers were just here (by coincidence, she called last night, the first of monthly visits) and I brought up the concerns and issues we've been discussing, including "depression", her likely mental health issues, etc. I brought up the money, and they assurred me the State of Florida would give me a stipind, (which I'm not getting now) of only a few of hundred bucks but it helps... I can buy her a prom dress... (and I can use to bait my husband who was raised very poor and money is a big issue with him. They also said they will get her into school (free) this year, she's three, and that would be the end of it! (I live in a rural county, and they mean it!! No talk of foster care here.
So I called my husband with these two little tidbits (money and school) and it loosened him up a bit. He knows some of the pressure will be relieved from me and he was very positive about it. Now, I must determine for myself the right thing. I do worry about the faulty brain wiring and cognitive function as we all do. But how bad is it and how bad will it get, how fast? Ok, now I'm asking you guys to have crystal balls too.
Had I not written to you all, this outcome could have been much different. There's a lot at stake and you have helped with in a great way and I thank you very much. It has been a very timely discussion about a situtation that looked absolutely hopeless for a long time to come into one much more hopeful with quicker resolution. Wow. Pretty powerful stuff right there....
Sorry about the typos on the prior posts. "I'm bipolar, you know!"
...and... your post just as I'm losing my guts!!... I'm trying to find some decent "inexpensive" meds to hold bipolar symptoms in check (including cognitive) and hopefully, a long term solution. I believe this is the key to finding a workable solution if I do keep her. I took wellbutrin last night and this stuff spun round and round.. and round.... it's times like that that keep me in doubt about my mental capacities to tackle this job.
Thanks for your encouragement. I have to learn to live a day at a time, sometimes a moment at a time in this situation right now and just do what I can. I have received excellent feedback from you guys, and appreiciate your wonderful thoughts. I have much to be grateful for.
Keep the faith, luckyrose