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04/25/2008 12:06 AM

My sister is bipolar & destroying my family!

Posts: 2

My sister is 31 years old, has 2 kids from 2 different fathers~ no child support and she is AGAIN in the hospital for a evalution because of a recent melt-down associated with her bipolar. My parents are 71 years old and 63 years old and are currently watching her children and today we had a meeting with the family services and my parents were told that as of today my sister was not in a state to care for her children and that a choice was to be made, the 2 kids can go into the foster care system or they can stay with my parents? Problem is that my nephew is 6 years old and has many, many issues of his own, currently seeing a counselor, already removed from kindergarten, kicked out of every daycare center in town because of major behavioral issues and my other nephew is 2 years old.

This situation with my sister has consumed our family for years. Up/down, always huge drama, stealing, lying, treating my mother terribly and always threatening suicide. My parents have bought her a new house, a car, pay all her bills, etc. and yet she takes herself off her meds, has huge ups & downs to the point that neither myself nor my two other sisters will allow our children to be around her or her children because it's so chaotic.

I'm just so angry. My sister will come out of this hospital and come directly to my parents home because the doctors have said that she cannot take care of herself or her children. My parents do not have many choices and nobody knows what to do. There are not choices for the kids because our family will not accept foster care for them and yet one of these children is completely out of control and he cannot be around other children.

Any suggestions on programs. Any advice. We just do not know what to do because the stress is completely ruining our family. And it seems like the only person with control is my bipolar sister because if she were to stay on her meds and be stable then these things would not be happening!


04/25/2008 12:14 AM
Posts: 3668
VIP Member

Have the parents said they can't handle the kids, & can't keep them & your sister??


04/25/2008 12:19 AM

dunno what to say, maybe someone else does.. but if she is bi-polar it isn't under her control, like in my case.. i speak for me, i dont care sometimes or dont see what im doing to my family, i just dont see it, it is a decease they tell me. it isn't b/c she doesn't love u all or b/c she doesn't want the kids.. it is b/c she doesn't know.. she is lost.. what to do im not sure.. get her help? get a restraining order? maybe that will make her help herself.. i dunno. its hard when u love someone who continues to ruin ur life.. i hope someone has better encouragement then me.. good luck

04/25/2008 01:16 AM
Posts: 2

I understand it's a disease, I know my sister loves her kids and our family. It's just so difficult to understand. She knows she is bipolar, she knows she can be productive and she knows that her meds make life for her 100% better for both herself and her kids but why does she take herself off the meds? Why continue the rollercoaster, the suicide attempts, the lashouts at our family, the chaos for her children who have just in the last 2 days been removed from her custody because she decided again to stop her meds. It's just hard to consume it all.

04/25/2008 04:12 AM
Posts: 142


One major thing that some of us do is stop the meds when we are feeling good. I will never say that it is right and I think with time she will have to decide for herself that this isn't the way to go. Took me a few times before I decided that I would have to take the medication for as long as I live.

As for the children. I didn't wait for the state to step in. It is hard to deal with when you know that the parent isn't capable of taking care of them. I found myself in that situation and stepped in and filed for guardianship of my grandson. I was granted the guardianship with full custody in Sept. He is six, and it sounds as if he was in the same shape as her six year old. I have him in counseling and under the care of a psychiatrist. Here we are three schools later and I think that he is doing good. I had to go to battle for this child but that is something that Grandmas do. The children need love, understanding, and guidance. It really saddens me to know that you and your sisters won't be around that child. Maybe with some contact and acceptance that little boy will heal.

Your sister has to reach the point of wanting and seeking the help that she needs. Your family can't fix her or change her. What your family can do is hold her accountable for her actions. If she is staying with mom, one condition should be that she continue with her medication and therapy. At times we have to use tough love, and I won't say that it is easy. As a family, some boundaries have to be set.

I may have an advantage with dealing with my bipolar daughter because I am bipolar myself. I know what it takes to maintain my illness and it has helped me with dealing with her.

You aren't alone. There are many that are in the same situation that you are in. I think that counseling would assist with the kids. My grandson has an awesome therapist that uses play therapy. He actually has an office full of toys and they play as they talk. I think that this helps in the child opening up because they have this adult that will get down on the floor and play while talking. He has worked wonders with my little guy.

Don't give up on you sister or her children. Support her but don't enable her. She has to do this for herself and she does need a support system in place.......

04/25/2008 05:52 PM
normaPosts: 10109
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Dear Kersey, Support your parents and the children. Your sister needs to take responsibility for getting well herself. Where are the fathers of these children??? I would think some help would be expected from them even if it is only financial.

07/21/2008 05:56 AM

my son had the same issues as your nephew. kicked out of every day care. hitting, violent, etc....he ended up being diagnosed with adhd and has been in counseling. but i am telling you, once he got on meds (adderall xr and risperdal) he showed a huge improvement. i am not one to push meds for kids, but we tried everything else. you have to consider that he is acting out because of the rollercoaster he has been on with his mother. he is probably very confused and hurting. just love him. it's easy to love well behaved children, but often it is the children we find intolerable that need our love the most. keeping you in my prayers.

07/21/2008 08:32 AM
Posts: 1374
Senior Member

I am not surprised with the acting out of her children. Imagine what it is like for THEM?? Children need stability and love. Your parents are good people for being there. Are you willing to take the children? I am not saying that you should, I just wondered if you were. I bet with some stability and decent parenting they would be just fine.

My grandparents have always done the same thing for my mother who has never been diagnosed with anything. She is abusive, reckless, selfish and mean. Yet, when she gets into a hole - they run right there and bail her out. They have NOTHING thanks to her. She has drained their accounts and mooched mercilessly. Yet, they continue to do it. They say they are too old to change now. I believe them. They know what my mother is about. She was arrested about 10 years ago for multiple felonies and they couldn't AFFORD to bail her out which was nice. She sat in jail for a while on that one. In the meantime - same thing the state got involved because of my sister who was 15 at the time. I took temporary custody of her. She was older and when my mother got out she went back to live with her (no rules) I let all of that go. I have nothing to do with her.

I suggest that for you to with your sister. But in this case you can probably have her rights taken away or get guardianship over HER and custody of those kids. I wish there was something else to tell you. Good luck.

05/12/2009 08:10 PM
Posts: 45

Hello -

I am assuming you are not bipolar, or suffer from any mental illness, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. One of the tragic mistakes that family members make is making the bipolar person take responsibility for the disease; it is the same as asking a cancer patient, why can't you just heal, damn it! You are doing many cancer treatments that doctors are asking you to do! Even so, if she stops taking her meds., know that meds do not "MAKE" someone better - the number one thing that 'makes' someone better is SUPPORT - easier said than done, right? By forcefully trying to make her better, and becomeing upset with her, telling others' how horrible 'she' is (by the way do not make her 'face' te face of bipolar - it's not). You seem like a bright person, so I am sure you would have figured all of this out for yourself, but know one of the only roads to your happiness, and her recovery is Love - pure unconditional love and understanding. Try family therapy as an alternative to any type of 'intervention.' Love her love her love her love her! Life and Love to you.

05/12/2009 08:16 PM
Posts: 45

Oh - I should also put in there that: Meds, support, therapy, pdocs, and many other positive forms of treatment are all key, when coupled together Wink

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