What have I done Wrong???

notahappycamperOctober 6, 2009

I'm gonna try and make a long story short... I have been married to my husband almost 7yrs. He has 3 grown daughters 27,25,23. I have 2 sons 18,14. When I met him his then 17 yr old(now 23) was pregnant. She has since then had 3 more children. Thats 4 kids, with 4 possible fathers. She has been living off and on for the last few years with on of the father's. She leaves him for someone else she gets pregnant and then runs back to him. She had her youngest in May of this year, and had her tubes tied. We have done everything in our power to help this girl. She lived with us when she had 2 kids and was a major pain in the butt. She had to move out, because it was way to much to have to deal with. We also have had the oldest child living with us for about a year. The SD gets mad and takes the kids away.

For some stupid reason me and the husband decided we would try and help her out again. We helped her get an apartment, near us so she could get a job and we would watch the kids. My husband is retired early due to medical issues. (kidney cancer). He loves his grandkids and wanted to have them near him. They are on the bus route and the oldest could get off the bus at our house in the afternoon, it was a great set up. She had a month to find a job all her bills were paid, and we knew we may need to help her for a few months till she found a job and started making money. That was just way to easy for her.....

She was there for 3 months would not get a job. Would have multiple men staying with her and the kids would be witness to all this. We also told her that if she need some adult time to at least send us the 2 older kids(girls) 6&4, they did not need to see mom doing the things she does. The 2 younger ones don't need to be around during her little issues, but they are 23 months and 5 months. They will not understand what they are seeing right now.

We also gave her a cell phone to use and to have at night in case there was a problem. She ran the cell bill up over $300, used all our min. that we normaly share with 4 people and do not go over (1500 min). We have had to pay over $400 in electric bills, and of course the $1000 to get her in to the apt.

She claims to be bipolar, and due to my husbands illness he sees a Psycologist. Because it is a terminal illness he can take in people that he is worried about and deal with the issues they have so he can have some peace. We all went with her for support (me, her dad and mom). They put her on Depakote, made a list of things she should not do such has having men around. She just need to take care of her kids, find a job and stay away from the men. If she did not follow through with the rules then all the all financial support ended. It took her a day and she was back doing what ever she wanted to and wanting us to foot the bill. Which my husband had paid her rent, I stoped payment on the check. By this time we had the 2 older kids living with us, sending the 6yr old to school and the 4yr old to preschool. She sold food stamps to pay her rent.

At the end of Sept. we told her she needed to get the lights in her name that we could no longer help her out with bills. She never did it and the day before the last day of the month the lights were turned off. This was also after she sat in my drive way screaming and cusing at me and my husband and said F you to him. She told us we would never see the kids again and left with them. This was on a Fri. Monday me and the hubby had been out doing a few things and just so happend to be back home by 4pm and here comes the 6yr old walking from the bus stop, and mom was no where to be found. She showed up 45 min. late, the 4yr old was not in preschool, she couldnt do it on her own. So we took the girls back again. We find out from the kids that after she left our house she went home and called the police on me and her dad, who has a terminal illness???? There was no police report taken and they never came to my house. Through out the week she had tried everything she could to get her Father to pay her rent and lights for Oct. and finally she said well fine I will just move and take the girls with me. My husband didn't give in at that time, but it was close. I told him he needed to call her bluff, and tell her thats fine they are you kids you are 23 raise them. (she is staying with her sister right now so we knew they would be ok). By Monday the 5th we were getting calls becasue the 6yr old had not been to school, and the SD's landlord was sitting her stuff out in the yard. Me and my husband did go and get as much of the kids stuff and anything worth anything. It was not out in the yard. Then the SD ask if we would take the girls back again. For the kids I agreed again. We went to the other SD's to pick the 6yr old up and one of the other Grandkids ask me why I turned off SD's lights.... We get home and the 6yr. old says you turned off Mom's cable, and that I was mean to mom, so now I am sitting her justifing my actions to a 6yr old who does not understand only belives that her mother has done no wrong and everyone is out to get her Mom.

If someone can please tell me Was I Wrong???

So sorry this is so long :(

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Notahappycamper, I am so sorry for your husband's illness. You two have enough to deal with without all of this extra. My BIL is bipolar. When he takes his medications, he is just fine. Just like us pretty much :) But when he doesn't, it's just awful to watch. One thing about bipolar, when they are "Up", they spend like crazy. Money goes thru their hands like it's nothing. My BIL bought a ford expedition truck at 18% interest when he was at his worst, in a "manic" or high state. the brain chemistry of a bipolar person is "off" and the medications help to regulate it. They DO NOT like to take the medications because it makes them feel "normal", not like "superman". There are links to mental health websites that you could look at. That might help too, if you understand what is going on in her head a bit more. There are also support groups for family members that could be useful to you and your DH, and her siblings as well.

As hard as it is, you need to get Social services involved, for the sake of the kids. Maybe someone in the family besides the two of you could take them sometimes? YOu said you picked up the kids from your other SD's, would she be able to help out ?....This lady is really not fit to be raising kids with her mental health issues and Social services, although it may take awhile, they will do something. Even grant you and your DH temporary custody, something, anything!! Please don't leave those poor little kids with this person until she agrees to get some help.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:25AM
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I agree with Shannon about getting Social Services involved. Social Services can intervene legally, and without any legal authority, you and your husband have no standing -- you're at her whim. She can (and is) holding her kids 'hostage' to her demands for financial support.

I'm very sorry about your husband's illness and prognosis, and hate to even bring this up. But have you considered what you want your role to be in the future?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 12:51PM
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Yes I have thought about what My role will be with the kids if and when something does happen to him. I do know there is no way on this green earth that I can deal with the mother.

I have told my husband many many times that social services needs to be involved and he disagrees. I have called social services and told them a bit of what is going on and they say they will not take the kids away from her unless she is abusing them or neglect such as food,clothes or electricty. I found that to be rather stupid, the kids are not clean when she has them and I told them that, and his response to me was dirty finger nails is not going to get a child removed from a parent. My husband is planning on getting her to sign a Power of Attorney child custody paper. If she does do that will that hold up in court? She called the police on me and said I would not give her kids the clothes I had purchased. They are going to school from my house and if the clothes go to her house they do not come back, and you get something that is to small.

Thanks for the kind words concerning my husband, at this time he is doing ok. His last 2 bone and CT scans came back clear no evidence of disease. He has lost a kidney, lower left lobe of the lung and he did have a met to one of his ribs that was radiated. He is on Sutent a cancer med. that seems to be keeping it out of the soft tissue.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 2:46PM
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Please consult an attorney before you get Social Services involved;
the attorney represents you & will advise you.

Social Services supposedly works for the best interests of the children, but they might easily put them in a group home or foster home since the children's grandfather has kidney cancer.

A good attorney is worth his/her weight in gold.

I'm holding you & hubs & the little ones in my thoughts & in my heart.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 5:52PM
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forgot to say that

you might enlist the help of the older daughters;
maybe they'd be willing to accept custody.

Once you get social services "in", you don't have any ability to get them "out".

Absolutely stop sending/giving money. Tell this young woman that she's drained you, that the only things you can offer at this point are a roof over the children's heads & lunch money for them.

& come here and let us know how you're doing; if anyone here has insight or wisdom to offer, she'll share.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 5:56PM
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...to mention.

If money is tight, ask for a referral from your local bar association for someone on their lawyer referral list or for someone who does pro bono (free) work on this kind of problem.

You can also call a children's advocacy organization or even a women's shelter for referrals.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 6:12PM
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Thanks so much for all the info. My husband did get SD to sign and notorized paper stating that we have Power of Attorney child custody of both girls. They did this today so we have gained a bit of control. I am going to talk to an attorney to see if I can get it registerd with the courts. That was also my fear with social services, but at times they are better any place as long as they are not with their mother.

The older SD's are almost as bad as she is. They are a bit more stable. The oldest has 4 kids of her own, and the middle one has 3 step children. To be honest we are the only ones who have the means to take care of the kids. They love having the cute shoes and clothes and being like the other kids at school. For the life of me I will never understand how any mother would not want to give their children everything and not want to be with them as much as they could. These 2 little girls are tons of fun and we laugh and goof off with them. SD is missing so much. If you ask the girls if they are ok staying with us or do they want to live with Mom they say we will stay with you and see mom sometimes.

Right now my husbands health is stable and we sure hope it stays that way for awhile. I am young enough both these kids could be my birth kids. I just don't want to do it alone. My husband is still in his 40's so he has alot of fight in him to battle this cancer.

Thanks again everyone for all the help...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 9:49PM
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from what you describe, it really does sound like your SD has bipolar. Another less known symptom of bipolar is sexual promiscuity. My sister had Bipolar as well.
My best advice to you, is that if you want to do anything to help her and these kids is to get her in a treatment facility. Not the psch hospital where they will keep her for a week and send her home with some pills etc... she need long term (like 90 day) treatment to learn how to manage her mental illness and get on the right medication.
I don't understand why you all only got power of attny for the two oldest and not the younger two, is there a reason why?

Your husband or his EX wife needs to file in court for custody. You can do this without involving social services.
Bipolar is a horrible disease, it is frustrating not only for the person going through it, but also for the family, it is worth the investment to have SD work through a treatment program or honestly I don't see any happy endings for this family..........

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 11:04PM
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Lots of good advice for you here, that's great! I'm really glad to hear that your DH is doing well on his medication. I'm a nurse and used to work in palliative home care and it's amazing how far they are getting with medications that really help...!!

Fiveinall made a lot of sense too when she talks about the "promiscuity" of bipolar people and the best advice was to get your Daughter in law into a long term treatment facility. There is something called "the Baker Act" in which a person can be hospitalized for mental illness even if they disagree that they are ill. We actually have guardianship in place for my BIL, because I believe we were told by our attorney that a "power of attorney" can be revoked. There are good and bad things about guardianships too though, you can read more here about guardianships or just google it in your state
http://jackwilburn.com/JackWilburnGuardianship.ppt#256,1,Guardianship: Do you know the secret?


This is a link to another person with a story a little like yours and an "expert" reply. If you posted your story there, on the "expert" board, they might also be able to help further and give you more ideas/input. If she is declared bipolar, she might be able to get mental health assistance, depending on your state. I know my BIL, who lives in Florida, gets little assistance but some states have wonderful programs, even offering reduced housing, etc...

I know that you said that your husband doesn't want to contact social services but maybe the legal direction is the one to take. Sylvia also had some great ideas on contacting the bar association, etc...and about not giving her money anymore!! If you must, buy them groceries but never give her cash...!!

As Sylvia said, please come back and let us know how it's going, I hope things get better for you and your DH and the grandkids and his daughter too!!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 8:47AM
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I don't understand why you all only got power of attny for the two oldest and not the younger two, is there a reason why?

Yes there is a reason why... more then one, but the main reason is because her mother signed papers for the younger 2. I also have 2 children of my own and my husband who when is on his cancer meds. (4 weeks on 2 weeks off) He gets tired and all the other side effects that come with Cancer meds. We had planned on taking them all, but her mother did step up. She does have a few issues of her own but nothing like SD's.
We have tried not to be to pushy or forceful with her as far as the kids go. We never know what she might do, and our goal is to protect the children.

We have looked for long care treatment centers. She so needs that and she said she would go to one. Just can't seem to find one. Please if you know of one let me know...
We are in Indiana.

It's not an easy situation I am more of the one to just do it no matter what to protect the children. My husband and his ex-wife have much more control then I do. They both have medical problems. She has a heart stent becasue she had a heart attack a year ago. They both DH and the ex are enabler's. We have tried to keep her away from the guys and her mother is trying to get SD with a High School friend who always liked SD. It's a battle...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 9:29AM
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Well that's good that her Mom is helping out too. I can also fully understand that your DH gets tired when on his cancer meds, plus you have two more children to care for.

I googled "indiana mental health centers for bipolar"
and I got this. They have phone numbers and email addresses etc...but I'm not sure if this is near to you guys. It's good that your Daughter in law seems to be recognizing somewhat that she needs help. Please keep in touch and let us know how things are and if we can be of any help at all!!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:55AM
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-I am glad the other two are being cared for by SD mom. Please know I wasn't trying to be critical, I was just trying to understand the dynamics (maybe dad is involved etc)sorry if it came across wrong.
-I will do some research for you tomorow on inpatient treatment programs. It may be that she would need to travel out of state to go, but if you all can swing it, I think it would be well worth the investment ten fold. Some also except health insurance does she have any?
I also worry about your SD's children with her bipolar not being under control, someone unmedicated with Bi-polar can snap in a heart beat and hurt themselves or others. I know this personally because my sister went off her meds in January, and her roomate found her hanging from the rafters in the living room. What the hospitals offer (a week or two) and leaving a person to manage on their own is just not enough to help someone learn to cope with bipolar. I hadn't reseached much about bipolar until my sister died to know what could have helped her, but I have spent numerous hours,days etc.. learning to understand this diesase since her death. If I had only known what I know now, I would have personally paid for my sister to go to residential treatment.
If your SD says she is willing to go, that is WONDERFUL! half the battle is already won!
I will do some research for you tomorow!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 12:13PM
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