Child's Mental Illness Can Make Your Marriage Sick, Too
I've receive innumerable comments from readers about how their child's psychiatric illness has taken a toll on their marriages. I'd be lying if I said my husband and I are the exception. The tension in our house has been thick enough to spread on a bagel, and over the course of this year, it's gotten progressively worse.
Plus, I've noticed a definite tone to my posts lately. No longer optimistic, rarely showcasing the dry humor I'm infamous for, and mostly just a big written invitation to my Pity Party. When I started this blog, I'd hoped to make it a mix between informative, generalized posts and the more personal, happened-to-me stories. Lately, however, the personal, happening-to-me (us) are weighing on my mind, heavily enough to render me interested in little else.
Mental Illness Has Taken Toll on My Marriage
When my husband and I met, Bob was 3 1/2. The problems had already started, but hadn't progressed yet (or I hadn't pulled my head out of the sand enough to see them yet) to the point of professional intervention. I knew Bob was "difficult" and a "handful" but I also attributed those qualities to his high intellect, my ongoing tumultuous relationship with his father, and the adjustment of shifting between biological parent homes. I had no idea what we were all in for down the road.
My husband and Bob got on splendidly from the start. He treated Bob not like a stepchild, but like a child. When Bob's problems necessitated meetings with preschool personnel and mental health providers, my husband was there, and felt the burden as heavily as I did.
I worried about how having a second child--a child that biologically belongs to me and my husband--would affect the dynamics in our household. I worried that having a biological child would distance my husband from Bob. I worried about how I would handle giving Bob the attention he demands and give a newborn, baby, toddler and young child the attention they needed.
My Worst Fears Have Come to Life
It's hard to admit any of this--to myself, and definitely to the blogosphere. It's harder still to admit I don't have the first clue what to do about any of it.
In essence, all of my worst fears have been recognized. There is such an obvious void between Bob and my husband that I feel helpless to bridge. I empathize with both of them--a lot of the time, I don't want to deal with Bob, either, because he is exhausting. But at the same time, he is my son, and I love him, and I want him to be happy and feel loved.
I feel pulled between opposing forces in my own home, 24/7. And worse, I feel responsible for everyone's unhappiness--I put Bob in an environment where he is the elephant in the room; I brought my other son into a home divided; and I ruined my husband's life by pulling him into my misery.
McClanahan, A. (2011, July 22). Child's Mental Illness Can Make Your Marriage Sick, Too, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2011/07/childs-psychiatric-illness-can-make-your-marriage-sick-too
Author: Angela McClanahan
After some hugs and catching up with my buds, Justin introduced himself and his son, Tyler.
Justin! Tyler! Who are you?! I needed to know.
In these first steps, I joined arms with my friends and escorted the group around the festival chatting with everyone, being careful not to make my attraction and curiosity obvious. A couple immediate and obvious thoughts presented (inner dialogue): He has a son… is he married? Is he in a relationship? Be cool. Do this right.
Naturally, I waited for a moment alone with our mutual friend to ask if Justin was married. To which he responded, “he is not”. Ok…. so “does he have a girlfriend?” Answer, “he does not”.
RUSH, excitement, giddiness! I had never felt these to this degree simply meeting a person in my adult life.
Thereafter, I spent a few hours with the group. I held Tyler’s hand and felt a completeness, more “whole” while amusing, caring for and simply walking with him. He was just 4 years old then, rambunctious and full of energy. (What kid isn’t at a festival?)
Unsure of how to approach Justin directly to express my interest, I waited until the closing ceremony. Fireworks. When I chose to sit directly next to Justin, I could see the surprise on his face. His eyebrows raised, he sat up straight, and smiled.
Tyler was sitting just in front of us, bouncing and clapping, observing the show. Having seen the fireworks show many times, I carefully developed the conversation within the allotted 45 minute window… Tell me about your son. How do you know these guys (our mutual friends)? As it turned out, we barely missed each other dozens of times, 18 YEARS in orbit of one another. Finally, we were occupying the same space and enthralled in beautifully flowing conversation. We were shooting off sparks in every direction, mirroring the fireworks above.
Just as the “actual” fireworks were about to end, I worked up the courage to ask, “Do you have a girlfriend?” He blushed, and said “no”. Which led to my follow up question… “do you want one?” He laughed, reached for my hand and said “yes”. We immediately exchanged phone numbers.
It was time to say goodbye but I wanted to, needed to, absorb every second. As we made our way to the festival gate, Justin and I walked a couple paces behind our friends, with Tyler sitting on our friend’s shoulders. In this brief moment, out of view, Justin and I kissed. At the gate, I hugged goodbye to the rest of the group.
Skipping , giggling… I went back to my dressing room, feeling the rush of beautiful possibilities. Excited by the chance to develop a relationship with him and his son. I was not naïve. I considered the delicacy of dating someone with a child and how to approach the situation with respect and patience. Justin and I text throughout that first night after they left, and for days and days after. Asking, learning, sharing.
Two weeks later, we went on our first date and have been together ever since.
During the date we explored each other’s lives, and quickly developed a tight bond. I asked him how long he had been separated from his Ex-girlfriend. He told me they were never married, but together 4ish years. He had moved out of their shared apartment 8 months prior (to meeting me). He also shared that they were not intimate during the entire last year they cohabitated.
For the first year of our relationship, he lived with a roommate, (as did I) but Justin would stay at my house nearly 100% of the time that he did not have Tyler. When he did, I met them on weekends during the day, going to parks, pools, restaurants etc. I had dinner at his place with them often, but still allowed much one-one one time for the two of them. Tyler was kind to me, and seemed to find me fascinating, comforting and fun. He liked my performances (the family friendly shows) and bonded with me in a love of science (my day job). He was always excited to see me, and I enjoyed the maternal beginnings of this new relationship with him.
Sadly, it did not take long for the cracks to show… I began to notice that Tyler had some serious issues with defiance. With or without me present, he would throw terrible tantrums. Tantrums related to anything and everything. Food, clothes, getting in his car seat etc. At first, I chalked this up to normal toddler behavior, but the tantrums and defiance seemed more intense and frequent than other children. True, I am/was not a biological mother, but I as the eldest of my siblings (4 total) and cousins (5), I was the babysitter, teacher, guide. I practically raised my younger brother, who was no cakewalk, (extreme ADHD). I do want to be a mother, someday.
I’d dated two men with children previously, although those children were above 5 years old. Those children seemed well adjusted and did not exhibit excessive behavioral issues. Ultimately, I ended those relationships simply because I was not “in love” with their fathers. We still keep in touch and I think of them fondly. Even with this (I realize limited experience), I still felt something was “off” about Tyler.
About 6 months into our relationship, we first our had a “sleepover”, (with me in the mix). First at Justin’s apartment, then at my townhome. We slept in the same room, with Tyler on a cot or blow up mattress. This was carefully thought through. Tyler was 4 and slept with Justin in his bed every night. In preparation for weaning Tyler a bit, I suggested that he get a cot/ or small bed for Tyler to place next to his bed. He lived with a roommate and there were only two bedrooms, so locating him in another room was not an option. He did this, but of course Tyler would crawl back onto Justin’s bed most of the time. It took time to get him to rest in his own cot. Once that was achieved, we planned the first sleepover. We talked to Tyler about it, and he was excited. Justin and I laid on the bed, and Tyler on the cot. Within an hour though, Tyler was in the bed between us. I was not sure if this was “right”, but I remained calm and the night passed without event. I discussed with Justin that I was not sure if this was an appropriate arrangement, and that Tyler’s mother should also be aware. (She was dating a man she is now married to, and already allowing him to sleep in the same bed with them). It is worth noting that Tyler had his own room at his mother’s house, which he also refused to sleep in.
We slept in this arrangement perhaps 4 or 5 times, alternating between my house or his. By that time, Tyler was 5 and I felt he needed to be in his own bed whether or not I was present. This was a difficult concept for Justin to grasp and enforce. Our attempts were met with awful, BLOOD CURDLING, screaming tantrums. So, I decided that we should put these sleepovers on hiatus. I figured we needed to step back and approach this integration in a different way. Justin and I were already planning on the two of them moving in “formally”, and we hoped to acclimate Tyler slowly. It was a year and two months into our relationship, (and a MONTH after we were married), that Justin and Tyler “formally” moved into my home. Of course, my roommate moved out. Tyler now had his own room with hundreds of toys, a large bed and oodles of love and attention.
Night after night he would wail and scream, run to our room (which was a loft with no door) refusing to sleep in his own bed. We set up sheets, pillows and blankets on the couch, which was merely 15 feet beneath us, with only half of a wall covering the front of the bedroom. We were quite literally in the same space. Still, Tyler refused to accept this. We tried not to give in, but without a door to our bedroom, he would simply run up and scream. Inevitably each night, Justin would leave and sleep with Tyler in his bed. Justin could not see that a year and two months into our relationship, it was now necessary for Tyler to be weaned from this, and to learn to sleep alone.
Anytime Tyler acted out Justin would allow his fits, often providing only a “don’t do that” tacit response with zero consequence. A few times though, he spanked him. I personally do not believe in corporal punishment. Whatever the instance, Tyler was rarely punished appropriately or proportionately to his actions. He could still play with his iPad, toys and watch shows. He was still treated to amusement parks, random gifts, and coddling. I had to coach Justin into appropriate punishments, appropriate communication and in general how to control Tyler’s aberrant and attention seeking behavior. I suggested removal of entertainment and discussing the consequences. I told him to offer positive feedback when Tyler was good, and to set goals for him and celebrate when he met them. As much of this seemed common sense to me, it was always a struggle or fight to get my husband to see that he was not handling his son well. He slowly took my advice, and Tyler’s behavior improved. Yet when a new situation would arise, my perspective and advice was instantly met with hostility, dismissal.. denial.
As time went on, Tyler’s acts of defiance and cruelty intensified. This was not just within our home. Tyler was throwing fits and massively disrespecting his Mother. Hitting her, throwing things, demoralizing and demeaning her. Hard to imagine a child capable of this so young, but he was and is. I became aware that Tyler’s defiance and almost Machiavellian nature began many months before other partners came into the equation. Tyler said he wanted to kill his step-father, and said so before (and after) he and Tyler’s Mom were married.
Tyler was difficult in school, disrespecting teachers, hitting students, throwing chairs. He was completely out of control, choking a child in the bathroom, exposing himself on the playground, SMILING about it. He was cruel to animals, stretching and throwing and squeezing cats. Chasing and terrorizing them. At 6 and a half he was still screaming at this father, demanding him to come to the bathroom and wipe his ass. I told my husband that I felt it was time for his son to perform this on his own. After many disagreements and struggles, Justin finally agreed. This took time, conviction, commitment. I had to lead the “charge”. Standing outside the door, telling Tyler, ”You can do it! Front to back, ball it up! Courtesy flush! Good work!”
Tyler was defiant. Justin was acquiescent. Or is it the other way around…? In any case, Tyler now knows how to wipe his own ass.
He refused to learn to tie his shoes and he refused to learn to read. For these basic skills, I was the predominant enforcer, teacher, guide, muse? Both my husband and step-son seemed equally defiant. Tyler to learning and independence, Justin to guidance, enforcement and recognition of ???.
I mentioned to Justin that I thought Tyler might have a behavioral disorder (even before we were married), and perhaps he should look into therapy. This was met with anger, denial and dismissal. Tyler’s bad behavior continued, at both homes and at school. There were good days, sometimes a good week. Much of the time was occupied by tirades, disturbing behavior and feeble parental response.
Needing to understand and to help all of us, I began to do research on what might explain his behavior. Including our current actions, our past, his parents’ past and break up. I feverishly read about conditions which matched Tyler’s behavior.
After a couple months, I found this match. Tyler exhibited traits of ODD, (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). He literally checked every box. When delicately sharing articles and resources on the condition with Justin, I was again met with anger and resistance. It was 10 MONTHS after I shared this information with Justin and his ex-girlfriend, to the time when Tyler was properly psychologically evaluated. I was not present for this visit. To my knowledge, Tyler’s parent’s did not mention ODD as a possible diagnosis. So hopefully, epidemiology functioned without any of my influence or bias.
He was indeed diagnosed with ODD by the pediatric psychiatrist. If you have read about this condition, you know it’s horrific. Untreated, it can turn to Conduct Disorder, which can turn to Sociopathy. Treatment does not involve medication, but intricate behavioral therapy hinging upon complete coordination among the therapist, teachers, parents and child. Still, ODD is an extremely challenging condition to correct, or “cure”, if there is one. I am still hopeful.
But hope can wax and wane. Tyler often showed a lack of empathy. It was hard to tell if his “I love you”, and couch cuddles were genuine expressions of love and empathy, or something else… He created bizarre lies, for the thrill of telling them. He would say hurtful things, for the sake of hurting. He once told my Mother, “I like hurting people.” My Mother, friends and family came to despise Jason, but they were loving and kind to him and Tyler despite that.
As you can imagine, all of this caused a rift between Justin and I. The chaos, acting out, screaming, the deviant and defiant behavior were all too often met with little to no punishment. When I would try to get Justin to see the severity of Tyler’s actions, he trivialized them, explaining them away, “ He is just a kid.” “ He didn’t mean it.” My Mother-In-Law would say the same things.
I left my own home again and again to get away from the terror. I felt…. still feel… helpless. Justin does not enforce rules or boundaries. When Tyler breaks a rule, taunts my animals or throws things, I’m left to endure the chaos. Before December, I would go to my Mother’s house. Cry, regroup, BUT CONTINUE TO TRY. I considered splitting up with Justin over and over. I would leave to my Mom’s because I didn’t want to uproot Tyler. He had school, he’s a child, I am an adult, I can leave without causing more chaos. I was fighting for Tyler, I was fighting for my family. I feel as if I was triggered into “flight” mode, to preserve my marriage and to (attempt to) protect my mental state.
An extreme event on Christmas Eve flipped the script on my typical “flight” response.
That night Tyler and I were playing around the Christmas tree, dancing and singing. My husband was cleaning and preparing food as we waited for my Mother-in-law to arrive. Out of nowhere, Tyler asked if he could speak to me in private. We sat on the stairs and he told me that he liked hurting people. That sometimes he hated me. I pet his head and said that emotions could sometimes feel strong, but he did not have to act on them. He smiled and in the next breath, said that he “put it in a boy’s butt”. What did you put in his butt? “My Penis”. He then told me that he did this to another boy, and that he wanted to do it to me. I could barely breathe...but I held it together and told Tyler that this was something to discuss with his therapist and parents. I said it was very inappropriate to do or say to anyone. I told him that his words hurt me. I told him that loved him. Justin’s mom arrived right about then. I strode over to the kitchen and told Justin what Tyler said and how I responded. He told me I “handled it well”. I told him I was terrified and needed support. I was not sure what to do, as my Mother-in-law was walking up to hug me. She and Tyler played for a while and Tyler went to sleep, in anticipation of Christmas morning.
I discussed what Tyler said to me with Justin and his Mom. She was horrified. Apparently Justin already knew of these incidents, because his Ex-Girlfriend told him. When explaining them to me previously, he sugar coated and completely omitted the gravity of what really happened. All I was told… is that on Thanksgiving, his Ex-GF found Tyler and his cousin behind a closed door, touching each other’s penises. Obviously, much more had happened. And it had happened AGAIN with another child who lived down the street from him. I was left to accept that I was lied to by my Husband. After all, Tyler told me the graphic details, and his Ex-girlfriend confirmed both incidents when I reached out to her Christmas day.
How could Justin omit the truth? How could he be so blasé when I told him what Tyler said? How… why… am I feeling constantly exiled and belittled?
When his Ex-GF called Justin on Thanksgiving Day regarding the incident with Tyler’s cousin, I was in the car next to him. The conversation was 30 minutes long. Justin’s recap with me was a mere 2 minutes. They were only naked. They might have touched each other.
Back to Christmas Eve Night, after Tyler went to sleep, Justin, his mom and I discussed the “situation”. My Mother-in-law wavered between “him just exploring/not understanding” to being “afraid he would become a rapist.” Justin took the overall attitude that “he doesn’t know what he is saying” and “he is just a kid”. I pointed out that these sexual behaviors and statements might be due to abuse, or they could be associated with ODD. The question remained how he would ever hear about “putting it (his penis) in the butt”. We always monitored everything he watched, and never let him alone around anyone. Christmas Eve night passed on, as I tried to remain calm and celebrate the evening with my family. But I was shell-shocked. Justin and I went to bed, watched a show and cuddled for an hour or so. Around 2 am, Tyler ran up the stairs to the living room. When he reached the top of the stairs, he exploded into a laugh in response to seeing his heaps of presents placed around the tree.
Let me tell you… This laugh was not a jovial child’s laugh of delight, but strange and villainous …. A loud “MWAHAHAHAHA!” For some reason, this… is what broke me. I began to cry and told my husband that I felt unsupported, unsafe and that he had done nothing to handle this very serious issue with his son. To which he responded, “I thought you handled it.” The conversation devolved, ran in circles, lead to nothing. I cried as I packed my things. I left in the middle of the night to go to my Mom’s once again. I had to use the back door, disturbing the sleep of my Mother-in-law.
She sent me paragraphs of texts after I left telling me that if I could not handle Tyler, I should just end it with her son. “Tyler was just a child” and on and on.
My Mother and I spent Christmas alone and it looked as if Justin and I would be getting a divorce. We reconciled but as a condition, I asked for boundaries to be enforced. Many were specific, but reasonable. I asked for him to properly punish and handle his son, to take charge of any instance when Tyler acted out. I told Justin that I needed to feel safe, supported and like I have a voice. I told him I felt like a battered babysitter, not a wife. I was terrified to be around Tyler alone, for him to be around my family, other children, or animals. Justin promised, he would support me and enforce these boundaries.
For the next 4 months, it seemed things had improved. There was much less defiance and no reports of violent or sexual behavior.
BUT… last week, while shooting a bb-gun with his mom and Step-Dad (horrible and absurd idea, I know), Tyler told his Mom he was “excited to kill animals”. She immediately removed the gun, told him he would never shoot it again and his Step-Dad spanked him for the first time. Justin was furious, and stunned that they allowed him to use a gun. Justin told his Ex-girlfriend it was forbidden for Tyler to use a gun many months before. He was equally furious about the spanking. Paradoxically, (maybe predictably…) he seemed much less concerned with Tyler’s “excited to kill animals” statement.
Two days later, Tyler came to our house for his Wednesday night visit. We helped with his homework, and ate dinner together. Mirroring the spontaneity of Christmas Eve, OUT OF THE BLUE, he turns to me and says, “I want to beat you up.” I asked him why he would say such a cruel thing. He just smiled and shrugged. I asked him if kids at school say that to him or if he is saying it to others. Tyler said no and smirked. I told him I was very hurt by what he said, and asked him to imagine what it would feel like to be told that by someone he loved. Justin did next to nothing, except to say “We do not do violence.”
There was no punishment, no serious talk, nothing. He was allowed to go to bed at his normal bedtime, soundly in his room without any other mention of his cruel threat. Just as last time, my husband and I stayed up together watching a movie. When we went to bed, I asked him why he had not supported me or responded appropriately, as he promised to do after the Christmas Eve chaos. I felt like I was living in a time loop. Again he responded, “ I thought you handled that perfectly”. I reminded him that he promised to step up, to support me and to properly punish his son.
Justin, once again had done nothing. I began crying uncontrollably, and asked him to leave our bedroom. He pawed and whined at the door all night begging to come back in. I told him that I did not feel safe around his son, I did not feel protected and that I did not want to be around his son again. I finally decided to stand up for my home and well-being, both to protect my safety and sanity. I was tired of being a fugitive from my own home.
I did not sleep. I doubt Justin did either.
The next morning, they were dragging their feet getting ready to leave for work/school. My nerves were shot, my body shaking. I sent my husband a message to please leave the house as soon as possible. When 10 more minutes passed, I lost my cool. I opened the bedroom door and started screaming GET OUT. Something I have never done in front of Tyler. I could hear him playing around in the bathtub and again screamed to Justin, GET OUT, GET HIM OUT OF THIS HOUSE. I know…. I lost it. I completely screwed up.
The following day, I sent Justin a long letter of apology detailing my dismay, but explaining my fury at being taunted/attacked by Tyler. It was not what Tyler said, but my husband’s lack of response that sent me over the edge. I extended an olive branch, and asked him if he would be willing to see a couple’s therapist. He was open in the past, now he says he doesn’t know.
So at present, I am in our home alone…heartbroken, furious, confused, massively depressed and devastated.
Justin and I have our own personal issues, but we have each made HUGE strides to fixing those. We both see a therapist. We communicate and react more appropriately to each other with regard to our personal and marital struggles. Prior to December, Justin threatened me verbally, shouted me down into a corner, screamed demeaning and demoralizing things while chasing me around the house. He slapped Tyler in the face, spanked him. He abused, ignored and used me. I yelled, I iced him out, I left. We got through that. We actually did. The reality remains, that 95% of our fights are about Tyler. I do not expect his son to be perfect. I do not delude myself that he will medically or magically get better. I am only asking for support, protection and boundaries.
After all this, I can’t help but think of the moment I first saw Justin and Tyler. Father, running after son. Justin chasing Tyler as he ran beyond the seats, with me watching from the stage. How devastatingly prophetic, that their entry into my life was a near exact vision of their exit.
My mind has turned over and over.. and i am presented with two options:
Should I continue to fight for this?
If not, how I can heal from losing the love of my life to his own weakness, willful denial and dismissal of his son’s troubling behavior?
Ultimately, I have had to make the heartbreaking decision to protect my life, sanity and future. We are now filing for divorce. Nothing has ever been more painful, but my family, friends and therapist have all said, Get out and don't look back.
Over the years it’s been a ROLLER COASTER there have been short periods of stability where son will have a job, home, seem happy, then there will be a sudden unforeseen crisis, self harming, lost job, homelessness, self sabotaging behaviour
I am literally shaking with anxiety right now as son has ignored my calls for two weeks, I don’t know if he is OK or not
I am financially shafted too, as I often end up paying sons living costs which mount up to hundreds per month, his rent and food to save him from being homeless again. Husband wont contribute at all, its all me ££ as husband thinks son is lazy, he doesn’t think depression is a thing and must thing that self harm is a hobby. I hate my thick husband for this view, as no one in his own family as mental illness he often compares this which I find infuriating
My husband is quite rightly fed up with all this, we thought that our life would be so different at this point but we daren’t even go on holiday for fear of what crisis may happen whilst we are not there. I would not blame husband if he left as his life is restricted by my son and a situation he does not seem to understand at all
My son does suffer depression and does get help, he was involved with the crisis team recently visiting him at his home
Since all this started, and the fact that the crisis always happen without warning or build up, it has left me with severe anxiety I probably contact my son too much to check he is Ok that day, as things change so quickly he may not be OK tomorrow .
Unfortunately son only wants to speak when it suits him, and ignores the phone a lot - especially when he is down, which adds to my anxiety and all this is literally making me feel like life is not worth living as I cannot concentrate on anything else and husband admittedly, always comes second
Honestly I hate my life
You are correct. I have not taken care of myself and I am very involved. It has been extremely difficult. There always seems to be something new that pops up. I am frustrated. I am frustrated the school is not assisting enough with his son's scolastics. It is an endless paper trail. By the time the 45 days are up and if they decide they may or may not help and have a meeting half the year is over. I just feel like a dog endlessly chasing its tail sometimes. The thought of hormones coming into the mix with them in a few years is an ugly one. Lol.
So what do we do? Bottle up. So time passes, & 1 day his father says, " I used to pinch my brother just to make him cry. " I said ,"0h." (that's not nice) OK. Ring ring. Baby mind #1 calling.. :: umm John you need to now take her I cannot anymore. John & I had MY at the time 5 yr old his son was 6. Now the reason why mom could was apparently daughter pulled the steering wheel while mom was driving to cause an accident. Now just recently my fb was hacked by daughter & she decided to wrote herself a mean note. Not only that. Oh no. She took it to grandma with tears.
Now I hadn't seen this because I never wrote it. Immediately within the hour I drive myself to grandma's where the tears were. I needed to see what I supposedly written. So daughter hands me the phone. ( my presence did not seem to help) hand me the phone.
1st clue @ the time this was sent I posted one of the last videos or pics of MY daughter at boxing cobra kai then my phone died. Not only that my husband was right next to me. & I bi*ched about it dying because I couldn't record anytime. So how was I able to send this message like 30-? Min after my phone was already dead?.... Hmmm so I further investigate I find out how to check if anyone has attempted to try and log in to fb... & SUUUURE enough a different phone attempted and succeeded to log in..I send this to grandma like loook ! AH HA! GRANDMA SAYS: sometimes when were mad we say things but that's in the past... Um no.
So present time: son now 11 soon. Since the we met you can clearly see the jealousy. Even the pictures say it. I've noticed it and tried to gracefully give space respect and patience. Time different options therapy meds more therapy with pastors we respect. & they all agree to separate so we have a system. ( FYI My husband is also bipolar II gone through hell 1/2 but I admire and love 39 years old I'm 30 I've given him 8 years of dedication & MY LIFE BUT HIM & MY DAUGHTER "OUR." HAVE AN AWESOME BOND. 3 years on meds and stable now. ) HE EARNED THE NAME DADDY WHEN SHE WAS 1 1/2. NOW this is where it starts.. When they were like 4-5 son says.., " can we just throw (_____) in front of a car so she can die?" Husband and I look at each other. Husband says,"no that's my princess."we address it and state its not ok to say such things. Because their mean or not nice. Ect
#2 I was watching both soon and my daughter at the park. For some reason there were red long squared bricks by a tree. My daughter wasn't looking and I caught him landing one at her with all his strength. Luckily he missed. When my husband came home I addressed it & I believe I told his mom. But both felt like I was just being asssh*le really. So time goes their playing.. & son says I want to kill (____) I want to say he even told her at one point he was going to. So I said.. For her safety were good. Let's listen to the professionals & u guys have guy time well have girl time. But oh the desire to co-exist as 1. Darn it. We try it a while ago. And it starts with the boo ing of her during her baseball games & cheering for the other team loudly enough to you hear he clearly is NOT cheering for you.. I mean do you laugh it off and just say oh brothers. Go freaking figure.. Or correct it? In this cases the arguments would start. Yes very stressful on marriges. Now I said OK I'll desire when I want too co mingle and if it gets intentionally maliscious then I'm out. Like I'll see you tomorrow ( we also have shortage sleeping arrangements. ) the pastor and therapists said you and daughter go somewhere safe. I said than you for dating this out loud now I know I'm not an assho*e and there issssss something different here.
Call me anything you'd like if you must but if great grandma RIP committed suicide she was bipolar her uncle also suicide & bipolar his daughter just diagnosed & refuses meds according to grandma. ADHD and meds have been administered at least 3 different attempts that I know of. I strongly feel it's bipolar as well.. I mean it's not ridiculous to think. But because grandma and baby ma #2 don't think so it's NOT.
Well today May 21 @2:13 am let me say today was stressful.
I spent since yesterday trying to connect and be cool with his son be there how I can and have him have a blast while he's here. My daughter loves him doesn't remember the bad or awkward. So he says things to her when he's over it. When he's done with our company. He will be a sweetheart at the beginning enjoyable loving caring funny. I love it. But then he's quiet then energetic life a fire cracker then says things that are hurtful towards my daughter like. Your not my sister your just my stepsister I have a real sister & i love her more. While we listen in awkwardness like wtf why do you feel the need to randomly say that? We all wonder in our heads & look at each other like who's going to say something me expecting dad to step in. & he does we speak again and state being mean is not necessary. That legitimetly hurt her feelings @ some point soon would argue that my daughter did not have my husbands last name. Again to hurt her feelings. And today while my husband wasn't with us for a moment he asks me and Daughter, "where's your real dad." a valid question. I respond with, "to your sister in her heart your dad is her dad. "he quickly changes the conversation loudly disregarding the emotion of it all. Then about 1 hr later soon says," where did your team last name come from.? " assuming the one that is not the one she's claimed since she was 3 ish. I wosa.. But the hubby catches it. Son is clearly saying this to be hurtful or attention? For what ever reason. Dad addressed it we state & talk about it. We state that we all know he knows he knows this to be mean on purpose & it's not OK. We go our separate ways for the day..
-Yeah it's hard meds help A TON!!!
- IF IT HELPS LITHIUM & DEPAKOTE & INVEGA TRENSA ARE HIS REMEDY. (4 MY HUBBY)
-SEEING A DR. every 2-4 weeks
-ACCEPTANCE (BEING IN DENIAL MAKES IT HARDER ON OTHERS ASWELL)
-ZZZZZzzzz. It's hard but for me is worth it. As long as my daughter is safe & LOVED. SORRY FOR ALL OR ANY MISSPELLED STUFF IT'S NOW 2:39 AM
I do love my husband and want to be alone with him, yet I feel my son needs me now
Can anyone help me?
As a parent we are to to alert our child’s pediatrician to all personal history of ADHD. The sooner we are aware of potential signs of ADHD in your child, the sooner we and child’s doctor can respond. We can begin treatment and therapy early, which may help child learn to cope with the symptoms of ADHD better? 2011
K will need a formal evaluation to see if he has ADHD. This involves a health professional doing a clinical interviews and using rating scales and other important information. (Father) This is especially true if K had a sibling, parent or other close blood relative who has ADHD/mental illness. Why now? When she knew a long time ago and all problems 6, 7, and 8 grades?
Regardless of whether K is diagnosed with ADHD, there are many ways to help him at home and in school. PAST 5 years mom has NOT helped K made everything worse for him the entire family. Known major depression and anxiety...unk ocd..
My days were hard enough in army...always felt there was something wrong with my family. After I retired...I felt and witnessed even more. I cried more, went to work all stressed out. They burned me out from not knowing the truth and not being involved with the mental health behavior issues. I lived like I did not exist to them. Very much the past 12 months...dad is ATM to mom and boys
I have been with my partner for over 10 years. Unfortunately his daughter Mary, now 27 years old, has many issues. Since I have known her she has seen numerous counsellors and members of the medical profession resulting in diagnoses of adhd, bi polar, aspergers, anorexia, bullimia, substance abuse including ketamine addiction with the latest one being alcoholism. Clearly a troubled young woman.
Her mum, like any good mum, is a big part of her life and provides an unbelievable amount of support. She regularly travels 500 miles to visit Mary to do general housekeeping, washing, food shopping etc. Financially she is in the enviable position to have been able to buy her daughter a flat, pay for all her living costs and send her on a 3 month all expenses paid holiday recently. My partner of course happily contributes an agreed and substantial amount each month towards his daughter’s welfare but I am sure it is a lot less than 50% due to the additional funds mum pays out when asked to do so. Also in trying to keep the peace between Mary and her Dad she is economic with the truth about issues she has had to deal with. It has come to light that Mary has attempted a drug overdose, on a couple of occasions over the last 4 years, and as a result her father is racked with guilt and so Mary has been living with us recently.
We live in a small apartment and I am not sure how long I can continue in this situation. It is a feeling of guilt and self-loathing that I am unable to cope with someone in need, anger and frustration that I see manipulation in so many situations…the damocles sword of suicide hanging over simple requests like not to stay up every night until 4am, to tidy up etc etc. The pat reply is ‘that is the way I am, I can always go back to my own apartment if it is causing a problem’. Of course her father doesn’t want this to happen so it is put up and shut up time. I am powerless in my own home with a deep feeling of being controlled.
Like Matt I am at my wits end and my relationship with my husband is strained, no matter how hard we both put on a brave face and act as if everything is ok….for Mary’s sake!
Bitterness and resentment now setting in
I am fit to be tied.
Thanks for visiting and commenting. And you're welcome. Sometimes, it's really hard for me to connect with another parent going through what I'm going through in person. I've got great friends who do their best to understand and support me. But, there's nothing like having a connection with other parents who know exactly what I've been dealing with. I'm glad to do this. Take care and please visit again soon.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. It seems that even though things are difficult right now, you still have hope. I don't know what state you live in, but you can look on your state's website for information on mental health services. I hope this helps and my thoughts are with you. Take care.
My husband is clueless and keeps denying there's a serious problem and expects his son to work a normal job. The kid keeps blowing jobs because he threatens people or just doesn't show up at work.
I'm asking myself if it's time for me to leave. I wonder if the marriage is worth it. My husband will be drained financially (we can't create a financial future together) and is often to preoccupied with the problems to be present in the marriage.
Thank you for sharing your story. From what you've described, it sounds as if your husband's son has had issues for a long time that have gone on without being resolved or worse, undiagnosed. I feel for you. From your words, I can tell that you see your husband's son as a child (due to your calling him a 'kid' several times). It takes two people to make a relationship work and many to make a family work. In my experience, people do not change unless they are ready to change and not a second before. Unfortunately, it sounds as if your husband is allowing his son to manipulate him by being in denial of his son's issues. If this is affecting your marriage, then it is up to you to talk to him. To say that your concerned about his financial situation, that you cannot make a financial future with him (without mentioning his son at all) and that he is not present in the marriage due to other preoccupations. I'd have to agree with the family counselor. Your husband has to make the tough choices when he is ready. If you push him too much, you'll only push him to keep trying harder with his son because it is clear from your description that he doesn't want to lose his son. It isn't about giving him an ultimatum so much as letting him know how his actions (your husband's) are affecting you. I'd consult the family counselor on how to have the conversation to help you practice before you actually sit your husband down. A 30 year old is an adult and it sounds as if your husband's heavy enabling is helping his son keep this negative cycle going. I'm thinking good thoughts for you and hope that you visit again soon.
Thank you for sharing your story. You've been through so much - not only as the mother of a child with mental illness, but also the wife of a serviceman. That being said, it must be so hard to have someone blaming you for something he hasn't experienced. Especially if this person is your partner. It sounds as if things have been happening for a long time. You did not mention how long your husband has been in the Navy or how many times he has been deployed. So many factors are involved when mental illness hits - genetics, environment, life events, etc. All of those have a part to play. As for the medication, it takes a month or two before they start working. You're doing everything you need to do by keeping connected with the team. Keep the psychiatrist updated regularly about any changes (or non-changes) with the medication. And consider individual and/or family therapy to help you all cope together. One big challenge about mental illness in children that no one really talks about is how it affects the parents especially when they disagree about treatment. Hang in there and please come visit again soon.
I'm really glad that you shared today. And I'm so sorry for the pain and suffering you've been through. It takes a very strong person to walk away from an abusive relationship. As a single mom, I knew that introducing a new person to Bob would be a challenge. So, I prepared him beforehand. Bob was very upset about it because he still wanted his father and I together. Which is something many children want, but aren't able to articulate. Bob did though. I explained to Bob how unhappy I was as a child with my parents arguing and how happy I was when they broke up. And I told Bob that I didn't want him to go through years of arguing parents when he didn't have to. It took him a couple of years to accept that his father and I wouldn't be together. Bob is now looking forward to a future stepfather and siblings. It's all about how you present it while also giving your child time to let go of the fantasy. I'd recommend family therapy so that you can allow your daughter to process her feelings about your new relationship. Because our children do affect relationships regardless of whether or not they are related to the person (bio parents) or not (stepparents). Also, the family therapy should include your husband so that he can talk about his feelings as well. Everyone needs to be heard and validated before healing can begin. I believe with my whole heart that you can have a happy family life if you put the time and effort into it. Good luck and please visit again soon.
acceptance and hope. Hope is the key that unlocks our premision to still live as a family, to love what is always there under the tatters and tears.
I always have pain, i always have some guilt, i have frustration, I have enough hope to demand we function as a family enough of the time that it is who we are. We are Timmy's family. We are John's Family we are Mom and Dad's family. We know no matter what happens there will be our family tattered, torn but still whole.
love and hope
What about my 43 years old. Leponex has put him as big as he can get,
not able to find a couple, and frustrated all the time blaming parents.
I feel more thann sick. I am 63 years old, suffering his illnes 43 years now.
Cannot afford it any more.
The good news is that we can affect each other in a positive way, too. You've already started by acknowledging some of the problems. Next, if you haven't already, access support, accept help and work on changing how you think about things.
Start small and take one day at a time.
As Breanna has gotten older (13 now) she has really done a lot of changing. Her grades are good, (we push her hard), she is maturing, The outburst now only happen maybe once a week where it used to be several times a day, and she is such a daddy's girl. She and Blake have such a wonderful relationship now, and she and I do to. I am not saying life is perfect, but it has gotten so much better.
Blake and I are getting married (finally) In October, we have included her in the wedding as a Jr bridesmaid as well as with the unity candle. Blake and I light one uniting us, then the other candle that is called a family candle, all 3 of us light it uniting us as a family.
I guess what I am trying to say is for those that think your hell will never get better, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I never thought there would be, but thank god in my case it is getting better.
God bless all of you and you family. I pray for each of you to have a peaceful day.