My ex babysitter is bipolar

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SallyC
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 158
   Posted 12/10/2005 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope you guys don't mind that I am posting. I am from the ulcerative colitis sight and since finding that my now ex babysitter was bipolar about 2 weeks ago I have been reading through some posts and I have to say that it has me worried.
 
I hired her in September to watch my 2 boys age 2 and 6 months. She seemed awesome and did not tell me in the interview that she was bipolar. She told me she was bipolar about 2 or 3 weeks ago and needed to take a week off immediatley which with my job was fine and then I had vacation so last week was the only week she had the children when I was aware of her being bipolar. Reading through some posts I can spot so many  of the characteristics in my babysitter.
 
However, Long story short. I came home Wednesday and the 2 year old had started getting bored and wild and got in his little brothers face  and she said he did not respond  (he stopped bugging Luke so Im not sure what kind of response she was looking for) when she told him no and she said  he put his head into her chest. She said she had to sit back because she was filled with such RAGE and wanted to harm the boys but was able to use selfcontrol this time. And then told me how she punched and kicked her mom a year ago for coming after her in her room for something she did knowing that she should never do that to her mom. And she then told me she would never want to intentionally harm the boys but sometimes lacked self control. I felt terrible because even though I had noticed some things as of late that were not the best I really wanted to give her chance (she said she was on Lithium and I can' t think of the others). Well, I had to fire her and we really came to the conclusion mutually and left with no hard feelings and lots of love. She said that was the first time she felt rage to the boys but I guess I have noticed a change in my son lately. He won't sleep with the door closed and wakes at night screaming at the top of his lungs. Which could just be a phase of a 2 year old.
How likely is it for someone with bipolar to become violent if children are misbehaving? Should I ask her straight up again if she has ever touched or lost control in any other way at my children? Or should I just let it go as there is nothing I can do now?
 
I also feel absolutely horrible that I put my children in a dangerous situation. She said she was doing fine when  I hired her but just wasn't feeling good now. Is it possible to be so unaware of somebody being bipolar? Did I miss something that I shouldn't have? I know these are questions probably for her but I had to turn somewhere and I have always loved healingwell.
 
Any words of advice or understanding or experiences with childcare that you may have had would be appreciated.
Thank you,
 

Sally
 
Currently treating a bad flare up.
Medications: Asacol 3,200mg, Canasa 500mg, Predinsone down to 15mg and will be free of it in December.


SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 12/10/2005 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Is she on medication?
SnowyLynne


clic
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 12/10/2005 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Sally

Wow, that is a complicated situation, and let me congratulate you for being so understanding, thoughtful, and sensitive towards your babysitter. It can't be easy hearing those things, especially when the welfare of your children was involved. You had no way to know she was bipolar. While it is true there are signs, many of us are very good at disguising them, and have a great deal of control when we need to, with exceptions of course. I can only speak for myself, but yes, if I am manic and children are being very loud (being children!!) it really grates on my nerves. I have never hurt a child, but I suppose the risk is always there. It might be interesting to see what some of the moms here have to say (I still have no  kids!)

As far as asking her  if she hurt them...that's a tough one. If she says no, will you believe it? Will it help? If she says yes, will that help? How will you respond? These are all things you can ask yourself.

She is right, there are good days and bad. It is very reasonable to assume that she has been well, up until the point she told you she wasn't. Especially considering she came to you when she needed help and has been very willing to be honest and share her feelings, some that included the welfare of your children. If she was hurting htem, I tend to think that she would not be so honest and forthright, but of couorse, I could be wrong. What does your gut tell you? When was she diagnosed? Has she been taking her meds? Are they working?

In the end, it is hard to know why your little one is fussing like that at night...it could be many things. A visit to the pediatrician might be in order to discuss behaviour, or maybe even someone here can share their stories about children around your little ones age. It could be totally unrelated. Did you ever see any physical signs of abuse (ie unusual bruises-not the ones little ones get from falling or bumping into things)

I am sorry I could not be more definitive. Again, thank you for not perpetrating stigmas, and coming to the source to help you in your journey here. This could not have been easy...

Shannon2


SallyC
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 158
   Posted 12/10/2005 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Shannon,

Thank you so much for replying. No I have never seen any signs of physical abuse. And she actually watched another mothers children and when I called that mother (my sons went there one day a week) she was not aware of her disease. So I of course when thinking straight totally appreciate her honesty with me. She felt always that I shared so much with her that she could tell me about her problems. And I thank God for the time she did help us as she did things with my children that I was unable to do due to my UC.

I honestly don't think I could ask her those questions as I think she would of told me if she felt comfortable. But I can tell you understand my fear.

I will continue to understand bipolar and keep in touch with her if she will have it. I will also check with my  pediatrician on the signs I could look for in my 2 year old going on 10.

Thank you again and any responses from others would still help me to understand more.

 

 


Sally
 
Currently treating a bad flare up.
Medications: Asacol 3,200mg, Canasa 500mg, Predinsone down to 15mg and will be free of it in December.


Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted Yesterday 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sally,
I'm bipolar, diagnosed 15 years ago. I have 6 (no, not a typo) kids. They range in age from 23 to 2. I'd have ten more if I could afford it and my body would take it (mine have ALL been c-sections).
In my personal opinion you did the absolute right thing dismissing your sitter. She should have quit on her own as soon as she began feeling out of control.
I am currently unmedicated, well mostly, I take an occasional benzo if I feel too irritable but am on nothing else right now.
I don't spank my kids. I did years ago back when nearly everyone did, but I had an incident one day where I had swatted my son, certainly not hard enough to hurt him, and he laughed in my face. In that moment I had a wave of absolute rage sweep over me that I had never felt before. I immediately stood up and left the house. After 15 minutes on the front porch I knew that I would never put myself in that situation again. I haven't spanked my children in years. The two youngest never were. I don't think it works anyway.
That is the only time I have felt an issue with control when it comes to laying hands on my children. Now... I do yell sometimes. Not like a shrew but I've always wanted to be the perfect mom with the soft spoken temprament, maybe not meant to be. I had a problem with my teen daughter destroying my room the other night and she wrecked the whole thing, (theres no way to impart the scope of this mess with the printed word) just looking for something. I will admit to shrieking at this child, but I caught myself and immediately went to another part of the house for a little space to get myself under control.
We've been snowed in for nearly a week and I have been taking my tranqs to help with the irritability I'm feeling. I mostly get snappy if I'm having problems I don't typically have problems with rage.
If you're sitter is having recurrent thoughts of harming your children I would NEVER leave her with the children again. I hope you informed the other mother of the situation. It also may be wise to let the girls parents know so that she is not watching someone elses children until they are certain, and VERY certain shes is stablized.
As for your two year old and night terrors, I'd have him checked out by the pediatritian just to be on the safe side. She may have just been yelling at the kids alot and thats enough to freak out a small child. Never hurts to check it out though. Have you already hired another sitter? A new sitter, any new home situation in fact, can certainly cause sleep problems in young children. Also, could he be cutting his 2 year molars? I slept next to none at all when my oldest son cut those. Not a good time in our lives.
I hope this helps some Sally
Take care and God Bless
Ellie

domaincat
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 59
   Posted Yesterday 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
This I find most interesting, as Social Security Disability keeps turning me down saying how I can work, as they do many others, yet here due to Bipolar this person got fired. This is interesting info. You wonder why she did not tell you before. Well she was probably stable and doing okay or as well as can be expected. Maybe they changed her meds, or maybe the season change did something. Or maybe her meds she is on are no longer working for her.

The boy may be missing the babysitter and/or worried about something else. Perhaps she yelled at them or something that anyone could have done. I doubt much that she would have harmed them. I think she could control herself enough not to hurt them.

I love kids too and yet I know some are not able to even take care of their own children when they are sick. For one thing, having medication of any sort around children may be risky in case the kids get ahold of it.

SallyC
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 158
   Posted Yesterday 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Ellie,
Thank you for your response. Let me tell you all that she was an awesome sitter. Until she began having problems. Ellie I think you are right in being snowed in. We live in Michigan and were just dumped with a foot of snow too and it was actually the first day she could not take the boys out as it was too cold and they also had colds. My son did not cry out for the first time last night so it could have been a dozen things that caused it. I just got so fearful and of course came here first with my feelings instead of to her.

Ellie, on another note, having children can be stressful even for those not suffering from bipolar. I am not a peaceful soft spoken mother like you read about. My mother friends and I always say we wish we could go one day without having to yell at our 2 year olds. Isn't having children such a roller coaster? One day I want to put a for sale sign on my 2 year old and the next he is as sweet as pie. You seem to be able to control yourself which is hard even for those of us without bipolar. So hang in there and I wish you the best. And I did let the other mother know about the sitter being bipolar as she told me herself that she felt rage toward those children as well. She however did not inform them of her disease but told them she was having memory problems.

Thank you so much for your thoughts. I am still struggling with how great my sitter was to begin with. Very engaging with me and my children. And as far as the waking up at night my 2 year old slept through last night. Now if only I could get the 7 month old too. Hee hee! We have not started a new sitter. We are actually sending them to a home daycare starting next week. And as hard as it was I did let my sitter know that she would never be allowed alone with my children but would love to have her come visit when she is feeling up to it. She wanted to watch them again for a few hours here and there when she was better.
Thanks again for your response.
Sally
 
Currently treating a bad flare up.
Medications: Asacol 3,200mg, Canasa 500mg, Predinsone down to 15mg and will be free of it in December.


Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted Yesterday 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Good luck getting the little one to sleep through the night. My son didn't until I stopped breastfeeding (he was 2!) My youngest I weaned at 19 months but shes over 2 now and still wakes in the night. Good thing I don't typically require much sleep.
As for the sitter. In her defense I think it may be easier to control yourself with your own children. You may love someone elses children but you don't have that bond that you have with your own. I think that bond makes keeping yourself in check much much easier.
Good luck and a good night to you
Ellie
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