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08/25/2011 01:06 PM

After ending marriage truth comes out hes bipolar

flcrouch4
Posts: 9
Member

I just recently found out that the man I've been with for 5 years was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while in the military. I have 3 children, 1 of which is his, and now going through a divorce with him due to the physical abuse. As everyone says he was the man of my dreams when we met and I knew we were meant to be together forever but in the last 2 years I watched the man I love turn against me. He loves his alcohol but sometimes it was in moderation but other times it was binge drinking. The first real episode he choked me with our baby laying next to me. Thank God my other daughter was in the other room and came in a saw what was happening and screamed. At that point he looked at her astonished but gave me the opportunity to get him off of me. I wrote this off as PTSD or something traumatic from his military time. The next time I was asleep when he threw me off the bed and jumped on me and had me in a choke hold. Somehow I got out of that and grabbed all my children and ran. I returned a couple hours later to my aunt being there and him screaming at me about hitting him with a rock on the night stand. He was totally dillusional. I asked him to get help but he tried to do it all on his own. I told him if he put his hands on me again this would be over. Well, it happened again so now we are going thru a divorce. Throughout our marriage he would always run every 6 months for a drunk weekend where no one knew where he was. His moods were so crazy I didn't know who he would be each night. I never connected the dots but while going through somethings I found a medical record stating his diagnosis. I am now in fear for my 2 year old. He has been arrested this time for domestic abuse and assault and battery which of course he blames me when all I want is for the abuse to disapear. I stood next to him cause I loved him so much but makes it harder when now I know it was due to a mental illness and it wasn't even him when these horrible things were happening. He is asking for shared custody which I refuse but I wonder if I should bring up to the courts that he has a mental illness and have supervised visits. He never harmed the kids while we were married but I am not around now for him to take his anger out on. He knows I now the truth now and I'm sure he is scared but he can have no personal contact with me due to the arrest. I'm scared of what he could do to my daughter and just don't know how to do this because legally I wasn't supposed to read through the records. Exactly how do I show his bipolar illness, alcoholism, and the fear for the safety of my child if I can't use the medical records???
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08/25/2011 03:45 PM
Missypoo
 
Posts: 61
Member

Bless your heart. I have been married for twenty-five years. We have three children - the youngest being twelve. My husband was diagnosed in 2005 with bipolar. The mood swings you describe are very familar to me. Until recently he was verbally abusive but not physically abusive. I was never afraid of him until this past May when he had an episode very similar to the one you described of your husband where he was completely delusional and physically abusive. I told him the next day that he either get back on his meds or I was taking the children and leaving. We went together to the doctor that day and he is back on his meds.

I believe the one thing that has kept me in the marriage for so long was the fact that I couldn't bear him having visitation rights with our children when no one was around to be a buffer between them. So I can totally understand your fear for your two year old.

Is your husband on medication? Is he willing to seek treatment? My opinion and I certainly am not an expert, but you must protect yourself and your children first. Find youself a good attorney and file for sole custody. If visitation is mandated then by all means try to have it in your divorce that it must be supervised. Good luck and be safe.


08/26/2011 04:52 AM
taylynn
taylynn  
Posts: 1866
Senior Member

maybe the arrest alone will help in your plea to not have unsupervised visitation with your little one. In Ohio, you can get a protection order and you can include the kids..I have done it when I was scared. And I was never even physically hit. I would write down everything he has done, keep a record of it. I know you love him and he sounds sick, but he is dangerous to be around and dangerous for your children.

hugs!!


08/26/2011 05:11 AM
innerglow
innerglow  
Posts: 1457
Group Leader

I don't understand why you weren't supposed to look at his records?

08/26/2011 07:22 AM
lollipop
lollipop  
Posts: 4281
Group Leader

Welcome to our forum flcrouch4! I hope you'll find alot of good information, encouragement, and help as you seek to muddle through this mess you unfortunately find yourself in. We all feel ya.

I agree with TayLynn as far as the documentation of his domestic violence with you. That will speak volumes with the judge. And as far as the military medical records. Yeah, with HIPPA no records are to be released to anyone, businesses, doctors, or work places, etc. without his personal consent. HOWEVER, with you being his wife, I believe this carries ALOT of weight and if you didn't break in anywhere like a medical facility to get to those records Laughing, which I'm assuming you didn't, then think about this:

If your hubby left those records in the house where you both dwell, it could be implied that he gave you the consent due to leaving them in view for you to read or by leaving them in a common place you both access (like the family desk or file cabinet, nightstand drawer, etc). My husband is a retired Lt Colonel who has now (last year) been correctly diagnosed as bipolar with schizophrenia. I read your above post to him and he said it is ridiculous that your husband would say you couldn't discuss his having bipolar in regards to his behavior. If your husband is doing all he can to maintain his stability then the courts should listen to him as he presents his case for visitation rights. However, your husband has shown that he can suddenly be out of control. He has raged, even attacked you and exposed this behavior in front of the children. His judgement is impaired, at times, and who knows if he will always have the proper patience and understanding with the child/children that he says he loves. He told you he loved you once before, too, right? There was a time when he didn't abuse you physically, too, right? Something changed his thought process. Who knows. Maybe things he was exposed to while in the military? Maybe the chemical imbalance of bipolar disorder?

As long as you know you aren't lying and you absolutely SAW the diagnosis and it is 100% accurate (not hearsay from another person) you can say he has been diagnosed by the military as having bipolar. Even if you don't have the paperwork to back up your claim, the judge will hear that from you and because the judge is human...the information will be in the back of his mind when he considers the out of control behavior your husband has perpertrated on you (and in the kid's presence). Note*** Individuals who suffer from bipolar WHEN STABLE can lead very productive lives and interact with their family in a very loving way. But if your husband is irresponsible and not trying to achieve and maintain his mental stability, he cannot say WHAT he would do if he went manic.

The information you would present in your custody hearing isn't so much to hurt him, I don't think? as it is to ensure he doesn't get in a situation he cannot emotionally and properly handle. If your husband is still ashamed and unwilling to accept his diagnosis of bipolar, then I can see how you would be concerned for his mental stability. He has to stay on those meds. I really don't think you would have a problem with him, if you weren't really worried about the behavior he has exhibited. He isn't the same man you have always known and you aren't sure why. You are concerned for your child's safety. Any mother would do whatever it took to solve a mystery like "why did my husband just try to choke me? why is he different since he got home from his military tour? why is he afraid for someone to know about his diagnosis? what has he got to hide? i wonder if he could ever unexpectedly lose control with our children?" These are normal questions for you to wonder.

My husband has his medical records/award records/copies of military orders/retirement information and everything right here in our house in a file cabinet that I access on a regular basis. I've picked through and read everything. He never told me not to. We've always been open about these sorts of things. My husband says he left them there which meant he didn't care if I did review them because I'm his wife. My husband has always kept me "in the loop" about his personal health, as I have done for him, as well, concerning my health, etc.

Now, where were those records when you picked them up and looked at them? And if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was DEFINITELY diagnosed as bipolar while in the military, I'm SURE you can think back and remember him discussing that with you anyway, right? If you get my drift. Wink And if you tell your lawyer he told you that himself, then it will be up to your husband to prove he's not been diagnosed with it. Married people discuss things all the time. If your husband is as sick as you say, with the choking and stuff when he is so out of it, for WHATEVER reason, you have to take care of yourself and your children. I'm don't think there is a court in the land that wouldn't understand that. Good luck.

Post edited by: lollipop, at: 08/26/2011 07:43 AM


08/26/2011 08:17 AM
flcrouch4
Posts: 9
Member

Thank you lollipop. When we met he was out of the military so I did not know about everything about that past. He did at one time tell me there was a record and that he was diagnosed with PTSD so as I said I thought all this was in connection to that. I found these records in the bottom drawer of his dresser when I was packing some of his things for him so no I didn't break into a facility. lol. This is a very dark secret that was kept from me during our marriage. Since he cannot speak to me I did txt him and tell him that I found his demon and I want to help him get his demon under control. Our marriage is over but we have a child now and will have to be civil in all of the matters that deal with her. I know he is drinking to self medicate and in turn triggers the violence but I cannot be sure he will not drink when he has her. I'm hoping while going thru the courts on the domestic abuse that he has to do some counseling and possible they can reach him. I do love him very much and it totally breaks my heart to find out that there was something we could have done possibly to save our marriage and our family. I'm trying very hard to let it all go because I feel it wasn't my fault. My feet are starting to heal from walking on all the egg shells for the last year though. Anyway thanks everyone for your answers.

08/26/2011 04:50 PM
wifeonbpexpress
wifeonbpexpress  
Posts: 4891
VIP Member

The abuse you tolerated for so long is over now. You did nothing wrong. I would do everything I could to make sure his unstable self doesn't get joint custody or unsupervised visits with your daughter. He has the capability to choke you in front of her, I would not trust him with her at all until I knew he was stable. I've been through this same kind of thing only the abuse hadn't become too physical, more property destruction and verbal. I had to think about the same thing you are thinking about and I made the decision that if we went through a divorce and custody fight, I would fight to make sure he didn't have access to our daughter in an unsupervised setting unless he was stable--taking the proper meds, seeing the pdoc, seeing his therapist. Thing is, for 3 years, he was doing all of those things and was still unstable. He wasn't on the right meds. It's a tricky thing. With his dv conviction, it will make it a lot easier to make it so he definitely will not be able to hurt her. Hopefully, this will give him great incentive to get stable. No one wants to keep a father from his child, but when there is uncertainty in his mental health, it is in the child's best interest to protect the child first. Sometimes, even now that my husband is stable, I have to guage his ability to care for our daughter when I'm planning to be gone and can't take her with me. Some days he is so sleepy he can't stay awake, other days he is fine and actively takes care of her, makes her meals, plays with her. That kind of makes it up to the person with bp who is stable to say if they are able to care for a child or not based on how they are that particular day. If you are separated/divorced, it could be a tricky thing to know for sure.

08/26/2011 10:24 PM
marriedtoit
marriedtoit  
Posts: 11197
Group Leader

You should ABSOLUTELY tell the court about 1) the domestic violence he inflicted on you!!!! ABSOLUTELY!!!! and 2) about his mental illness. Family courts do not have the rules of evidence that a court dealing with a crime does. (I am not at all an expert...I just know that one thing....I don't know what the rules of evidence are in family court!)

I know that a family court judge will want to know that the father of these children tried to hurt (or kill?) their mother. The judge will take that seriously.

And I am so so happy that you got out of this abusive marriage. Let me jump on a hobby horse of mine right now? Bipolar disorder--NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE. NEVER.

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