IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY, what steps do I Take?

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cantthinkofaname
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/21/2012 6:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello.
Background:

I am a 25 year old new mother with a 7 month old baby. My husband is 24. We live on Long Island in Nassau County.

My husband recently started having severe issues that can best be described as manic, depression, etc. This began shortly before the baby was born. Prior to baby, for the entire full year he didn't display these signs. He worked, he had been a partner in two businesses, he had a good record in the community, etc. Every so often, he'd have slight ups and downs and different thinking patterns (i.e. marching to the beat of a drum no one could hear), but I thought it was because he is extremely creative.

3 months before baby, he started with serious problems like insomnia, erratic behavior, some irrational thoughts and was "spot treated" for anxiety. After baby was born, it tapered off.

Flash forward to today: Last night he was hospitalized after he attempted to hurt himself. He will be in there several days. For the past 3-4 months, he has been extremely erratic, unpredictable, irritable, won't go out of our apartment, doesn't go to his one job, in trouble all the time at the other job, making quick, erratic decisions out of nowhere (i.e. just leaving the state), gambled ALL our money on penny stocks because of what he "read on the internet", wouldn't take care of himself, we haven't slept in the same room in a month, he is paranoid, etc. I begged him for MONTHS to get counseling, but he refused and continued on highs on lows. Short of calling an ambulance and embellishing the story a bit (i.e. exaggerate about behavior when it wasn't actually serious or claim he was abusing me), I couldn't FORCE him to get help. I got to the end of my rope a few days ago and told him if he couldn't be there mentally or want to be a father or be married we had to live separately. I have been caring for him as though he were a child, all while caring for our child and sleeping literally 2 hours a night or less with no food in the house for me at times.

Yesterday, we were talking and he was OK and I told him I needed to talk to him about the bills because we had under $200 in our joint account. I asked if he had checks to deposit or what the deal was. He told me I couldn't add and he had it all under control. He made extremely non-coherent sentences. He talked about all sorts of irrelevant things. Then he demanded I take him to the army recruitment office so he could enlist/find out why they denied him (i.e. he's in default on EVERY loan and refused to pay IRS). When I said we needed to talk about things, etc, he freaked out and tried to stab himself in the neck with a pen and hit himself.

Anyway, I have, for the past few months, exhausted myself physically and emotionally. I have not been able to work full time since I had a C-section and a fractured hip while pregnant (worked 2 jobs until i was 7 months to make up for his lack of work ethic); my employer illegally terminated me (can't do ANYTHING about it and no lawyer can really take it) and I have not been able to find a job. When I did just about land a job, I was denied because of credit (husband KILLED both our credits in his erratic spending during highs, etc). I submit resumes, I get nowhere. I've worked online doing work for under minimum wage, sold things on ebay, saved money with extreme couponing, all while taking care of the baby full time, 24/7 because he can't even help for 5 minutes.

All that being said, I am not currently working because 1) I can't find a job 2) if I find one, I have gotten (at least a dozen times) concern because I am a mother 3) denied due to credit 4) have NO CHILDCARE

We have $3200 in bills due in 10 days. We have $170. He is in hospital and will be losing his job, but I can't tell him that while in hospital. He's on his dad's insurance, but it doesn't cover much. I have no insurance.

1) What are the steps of things I need to do?
2) What options are there for me?
3) What do i do with NO family, NO support? (i.e. his family has supported him and given him thousands and enabled him for the past year and are tapped out. They even said I would have to go to a shelter with the baby)

SpicyCurry
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/21/2012 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow Honey...I will start praying for you right now. You need to find some support for you so that you don't become striped down yourself. I don't know if you are religious at all but speaking with someone at a local church might be a step in the right direction. They are there to help you find solutions and provide support.

You seem so young to be dealing with all of this :( Have you persued unemployment or disability for yourself? At a minimum you need to look into some coverage or benefits for you and your child. There are mothers programs all over that you could utilize to save money on what you need for the baby and yourself.

It also sounds like your husband is not well and needs help. He could be placed on disability himself and that would provide some income for his support and care.

I really don't have a lot of answers for you but wanted to let you know that I read your post and my heart goes out to you. I will be praying for you today specifically and hope you start to find areas to take steps toward help.

Know that you are valued and loved and that God can do BIG things.
Kristi

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 6/21/2012 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
You need to go to your county health and human services and apply for child care assistance. I tried to look it up online, but your county's website is down. Apply for every program you are eligible for. WIC, Medicaid, even food stamps. They should have information on local food pantries.

If you can't do that go to a church or other community group (even if you're not a member), and ask for help. Specific help: babysitting help so you can get a job.

Lower your work expectations. Right now you need a job, not a good job. A little is better than nothing. I'm thinking McDonald's. I'm not being unkind. When your heart hurts thinking about an entry level job, remember that you're doing it for your precious baby. Think of jobs that they don't care about your credit score.

Get the book "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder". It is very helpful and written for the spouse of a non-compliant bipolar patient. Check your local library so you don't have to spend money.

Save the money you do have for gasoline and a true emergency. Consider bankruptcy (your creditis ruined, can't get much worse right?).

You need to take care of your baby and yourself. The hospital will take care of your husband - he will not come home until he is safe and in his right mind. Take care of yourself by

0) Save your money for gasoline and real emergencies.
1) Find free childcare
2) Apply for all assistance you can get, no matter how humbling. Go to governement and private sources for help. Neighbors too!
2) Find a entry-level job
3) Set up personal bank accounts and stop using the joint account
4) Consider bankruptcy
5) Bills - get rid of every bill, service, and contract you can survive without. Lower your standard of living temporarily. Write letters to the companies as bills come in and very briefly state that you will be unable to pay for a few months and will resume payments asap. This should prevent harassment and might avoid late fees. If there is a student loan in your bills, apply for economic forbearance.
6) Find support. Support networks aren't accidental and don't happen overnight. Churches have built-in support networks and for this reason have great value even if you're not religious. You're going to need to talk to people - try your neighbors. If nothing else, use internet support.
7) Remember what you are passionate about, remember what drives you. Maybe there is income in something you love.

First work towards safety and stability. Then work towards the lif you truly want.
Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Lithium 1,200 mg, Klonopin 1.5 mg as needed (yay, lower meds for a while!)

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 6/21/2012 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to say, if you are breastfeeding your baby you can find amazing support for that and the rest of life at La Leche League. There are Mom's Clubs nationwide, and churches have MOPS clubs.
Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Lithium 1,200 mg, Klonopin 1.5 mg as needed (yay, lower meds for a while!)

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 6/21/2012 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I found so much in the OP that I identify with that I started replying before I made my obligatory post!  Here are some additional resources.
 
We can't be everything to everyone. This forum is for people experiencing bipolar disorder. While we do appreciate and respond to questions for non-bipolar family, friends, and partners, we will not be able to respond to non-bipolar members coming here for personal support, venting, ranting, or complaining about another person's bipolar symptoms.
The change is reflected in our "Members: Please Read Before You Post" thread: http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=13&m=883428 I have copied the content of that post here:

This forum is for support for people experiencing bipolar disorder. This forum is a safe, anonymous environment for people with bipolar disorder to freely discuss their struggles and symptoms. It is not a support group for friends and family of bipolar disorder. Living with someone who suffers from bipolar disorder presents a set of problems all its own. There are groups for this at other sites:

NAMI's Online Communities

And one for family and friends at Pendulum.org

And the Family & Friends of Bipolar Support Group at Daily Strength.

Posts that are perceived to be venting, ranting, or complaining about another person's bipolar disorder symptoms will not be tolerated. Offensive posts will be edited or removed, replaced with the resource links above, and be locked to prevent discussion. Objective and compassionate posts will remain and it will be at our member's personal discretion whether or not they chose to answer.


Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Lithium 1,200 mg, Klonopin 1.5 mg as needed (yay, lower meds for a while!)

Andy Pink
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 6/21/2012 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Sending blessings and prayers your way.

First step - reach out to the local church, even if you don't consider yourself religious. They will be able to help you.

Your first priority to stay healthy and strong for your child, secure your home and basic's. Then get help for your partner, he needs immediate help, once he is getting the help he needs it will put your mind at rest somewhat.

You have many other great reference / action points above.

Go the the church and they will be able to walk you rough and get the contacts you need ASAP

God bless
Lithium 450mg

Made many shifts in my health over the past few years. I was on lithium 900mg, lamatil 200mg, Serequel 25mg, topimaz 25mg 14 months ago. Goal is to get really healhly, (emotional, spiritual, fitness) and live a very long life by taking control of my health. Live a life with minimal or no medication. Just commented my first Ironman 70.3 Florida (1.2 mile swim, 56 bike, 13.1 mile run)

cantthinkofaname
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/22/2012 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Just wanted to give an update:

There is no help from NYS. I went into social services yesterday.

At the desk I told them I needed emergency assistance or temporary assistance and possibly daycare so I could work. I had a long lengthy discussion with them because it's a "unique" situation. Then it had to be escalated to the HEAD supervisor. This is what it boils down to:

1. We are married. By law, this means that we do not follow the black and white protocols of NY or the federal government. My husband took ALL of our money and put it in a separate account I cannot touch. He did this during his manic episode right before we left for the hospital. Also, IF there is money in the Scottrade account, he set it up so i could not touch it as well. But, because we are married, even though I am legally barred from touching the funds, it counts as our household having "too much income" for assistance. So his paycheck that was directly deposited into the account I cannot touch means I CANNOT get Temporary Assistance, TANF, Food Stamps, Welfare OR anything but WIC, which I already have. And that does NOT cover food for me according to them. So I have NO MONEY for food or gas or ANYTHING when this $170 runs out.

2. I cannot get daycare. Daycare in NYS is for women who ALREADY had a job but less than X amount of money coming in. So you cannot get daycare to GET a job. You have to already be employed for a certain period of time. This applies if the child is under 1 year of age. If the child is under 1 year of age, I am entitled to Public Assistance. But, going back to the first point, I am being barred from it because we are legally bound.

3. The state will help me when I can produce a letter stating I am being evicted and my utilities are being turned off. But I HAVE to wait for said letter.

I looked at them very calmly. I know ALL the mental health laws etc because my degree was in psych and I had intended (before my husband destroyed my credit and took my money that was supposed to go to pay my loans, making me ineligible to go back to school) to go back to school for being a mental health rep in the courts.

I told them, according to NYS definition of abused / battered women, "abuse" is the pre-meditated actions or actions done in the heat of the moment that result in physical harm, immediate danger or dangerous living conditions for those around the abuser. It is also extended to constant emotional abuse resulting in decline in mental health and deterioration of physical health due to the stressors of being in an abusive relationship. When a minor child is involved, any action by an abusive parent who is putting that child at grave risk and the possible involvement of CPS, the other parent is given assistance to remove them from the situation and into a safe environment. The fact that he, in a mental state that is NOT CRIMINALLY DEFINABLE as "mentally incompetent" or "insane" would indicate he is to be tried/treated according to the same exact standard rule set that everyone else is. That would mean I and the minor child fall into the battered/abused category and should be given Temporary Assistance and family counseling as well as programs to work to fix our situation with TANF. Because he is hospitalized for an "indefinite" period, that is guaranteed income loss and putting us in a DANGEROUS living situation. Therefore, they can't have their cake and eat it too. They cannot count him as part of the affected household because he is the wrongdoer.

They got upset. The manager/supervisor was angry because I knew so much and she couldn't add or fight it. So she said "Fine! He's being hospitalized. If you can PROVE at a hearing what you said they MIGHT let you on public assistance, but it's really doubtful. Either way, you need a lawyer"

The social worker at the hospital said the same thing.

I need a lawyer. And how do I hire a lawyer with no money? He has more legal rights than I do right now.

So all I can do, according to EVERYONE and EVERYTHING because he is holding the funds hostage, is get a lawyer. I knew it before they brought it up with my background, but if I do ANYTHING that makes him want to press criminal charges against me (i.e. identity theft for going into his bank account myself) I lose the baby.

Rather than be proactive and save the state of NY thousands of dollars by just getting one or two months of temporary assistance or just daycare for ME to do all the hard work, they would rather I cost them five times as much by ruining my credit for the next 10 years (i.e. getting evicted/black listed) so they can step in and pay for utilities and apartment.

They would rather I be totally dependent than work on fixing the situation myself in an efficient manner. Great state of affairs our country is in.

cantthinkofaname
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/22/2012 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Just to clarify the point about losing the baby: I have NO HELP from family, so being criminally charged would mean that I am not fit to care for the child and there is no other available parent or funds. I also couldn't get assistance at that point. He isn't in his right mind and would likely sue me with a free advocate because he is entitled to one. But I'm not entitled to anything.

This situation is beyond ridiculous. He also admitted to me, with great distress, that he is hiding something from me and doesn't want me to see it, which is why he put password on his phone. He can't talk to me about it because "i'll get upset." Honestly, at this point, him cheating on me or something isn't the most worrying.

I have a feeling his family is going to start to act against me as well. His mother likes to start trouble and has been telling me he has been "abandoning" us for months and he is an idiot and if she could have warned me not to marry him she would have, etc. CONSTANTLY pitting us against each other. This morning it was all about "well no matter what he has done, you took marriage vows and if you walk out on him it would be terrible for him and it would not help him recover and you CAN'T take the baby away etc. You can't sell his things without permission because it would upset him!" I am the bad guy. I have sold EVERY SINGLE ONE of my possessions worth anything. My mother in law actually told me to sell the baby's outgrown things when he has thousands of dollars of merchandise in a storage unit from the store he couldn't keep open.

Am I the one taking "crazy pills?"

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 6/22/2012 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Then file for a legal separation. Or divorce - even if you remarry. You must take care of yourself and baby. Don't give up.
Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Lithium 1,200 mg, Klonopin 1.5 mg as needed (yay, lower meds for a while!)

cantthinkofaname
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/22/2012 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh and tortoise, I already cut down on ALL expenses months ago. A year ago, in fact. The ONLY utility we have is electricity. The internet is being "borrowed" from a neighbor. We don't have tv, entertainment or even the luxury of buying toys for the baby. Everything she has is from craigslist.

The student loans are a lost cause- I have been pleading with Sallie Mae to work with me for a year, but they don't care. The private loans don't get ANY forebearance for free and they basically just want me to go into default and make it IMPOSSIBLE to pay my loans back. I've been trying to make payments so I'd have SOME chance to go back to school, which I paid for all on my own because I've BEEN all on my own since 15 when my parents lost custody of me. I have worked 2-3 jobs at all times, put myself through school as an honors student, and done all the "right" things. I had thousands saved up and then got married to someone who had a bipolar episode after never having any "known" bipolar (though he did have quirks and didn't act totally "normal" his whole life) and he blew away the life I had made for myself over the past 10 years!

All gone! Just like that. Nothing to show for all I've done because HE is allowed to do whatever he wants. I'm sorry this forum is for people suffering from BiPolar, but I am DEFINITELY suffering from his bipolar.

His family is pinning ME as the bad guy because I have my hands tied and need a divorce/separation. Meanwhile, she is the one who told me on different occasions that if he couldn't be trusted around the baby when he was being difficult, then not to leave her with him and to "do what I have to do, even leave him" Now it's a different song and dance.

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 6/22/2012 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
A defaulted loan will not kill you. You anger might. You've worked hard, you got a nasty life surprise. But being angry and blaming is not helping you anymore. It is not giving you motivation to move forward. It is keeping you stuck.

If you lost all your money because of a devastating car accident and your husband was hospitalized with physical injuries would you feel the same way? If he had cancer and the money disappeared on transportation and treatment would you be angry with him?

You're carrying a grudge that is tearing you apart.

Why stay in contact with his family? They won't assist and are only ripping you apart. Turn off your phone if you have one, block their emails and facebook.

Truth is: you are young and have lots of time to recover financially. I know because I've been there - more than once. Most recently was 2 years ago. My debt is paid off now, and that is with not being able to work enough to learn a liveable wage. Money is not your biggest problem. It's your shame and anger - how you feel about not having money that is your biggest problem.
Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Lithium 1,200 mg, Klonopin 1.5 mg as needed (yay, lower meds for a while!)

cantthinkofaname
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/22/2012 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Right. A defaulted loan might not kill me. But it makes it IMPOSSIBLE for me to get anywhere to live. With no credit, options are EXTREMELY limited in finding housing. The 3 months worth of deposit I had to shell out to live at our apartment because of his credit is not coming back if we get evicted. That means without credit and money I can't get a place to live. The only solution I am seeing here is to file bankruptcy and let things get to where I have absolutely nothing left so I can live off the state. Of course that is going to make me angry! The difference is that he is fully capable of making choices. I'm sorry I believe in accountability. If you argue "well he has bipolar, etc" and it's an excuse for him to behave this way, then he shouldn't have choices/rights because they will affect the rest of society. But we can't say that either because that's "unfair" and "inhuman." He is either capable of free thought and living with full rights or he isn't. Putting other people in this serious of a situation indicates to me his rights to do things should be restricted, but hey. What do I know? I'm just angry.

If anything, I think I should be given limited power of attorney to move/touch the money legally and make decisions he cannot override. If I had to agree to a lawyer or third party to supervise to ensure I'm not "taking advantage of him" I would. But he cannot be trusted. THAT is something to be angry about. Because I have NO SAY.

And I understand this is different than a car accident, but with a car accident, people hold fund raisers and they hold events because "those poor people" need help. Do people hold the same events and provide opportunities with mental illness? Absolutely not! And maybe it isn't his fault at all. Maybe. But it was still decisions all made by him that affect ME and this innocent baby. THAT is what I'm angry about. I think I'll get over being angry. I think I wasn't ready to move on any decisions or thoughts BECAUSE I wasn't angry. If anything, it's giving me the motivation to move forward and not sit here idly by and not do anything in response. Because I'm sure I could just do that as well.

It is what it is. But I don't want to be completely immersed in it anymore. If he is hiding phone calls and texts and might be cheating on me, until I actually know what it is he's hiding that is forcing him to get to this breaking point, how can I trust him enough to want to be married? Bipolar or not. I can't live like this and a marriage cannot survive.

Before this happened, I was leaning toward separating because it is absolutely unbearable to live this way with someone like this. I told him I was done with this and him being the way he is. I've worked myself to death at the cost of MY Health.

Great. He's getting help. That's good for him. But it still leaves me nowhere and without answers. And if his family, the ONLY source of support we have is gone, despite all the negative things they contribute being gone which is a positive, I'm pretty sure it doesn't make sense to stay married, etc. Either way I'm "the bad guy."
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