Hi. When my 2 children were still babies, I became seriously ill with bipolar disorder, made worse by my violent partner, and was hospitalised for 4 months. During this time we split up and my ex gained sole custody of the children. This was 5 1/2 years ago. Since then I have gradually improved and seen more and more of the children. I have taken them on holiday with my parents for the last 4 years and used to have them to stay overnight at my flat until I had problems with my neighbour. In the last 12 months, I foolishly got back with my ex, mainly to spend more time with the children. I stayed over at his house with the children most nights of the week and started to do everything for them. I got them up in the morning, washed and fed them, took them to school, picked them up, played with them, got their tea, read to them and put them to bed. I would buy all the food and clothing, take them out, pay some rent and half the bills. Recently we were talking about me moving in and had booked a holiday for us all to go away, which was paid for by me and the kids grandad (my father). This summer I took the kids away for 3 weeks on holiday to visit their grandparents. Shortly after we got back, my ex blew up at me and kicked me out of the house, taking all my belongings with me. However, I still came round every day, getting there early to get the kids up and ready for school and I hoped this could continue. A few days ago, I took the children to the doctors. I reported back to my ex what the doctor had said and he completely lost it. He ordered me out and grabbed a kitchen knife and threatened to kill me if I didn't leave. I was scared for my life and informed the police. My ex denied everything and blamed me saying that my mental condition was deteriorating. The police dropped the charges and nothing is going to be done. I have been allowed to see the children for a short while today, but in light of recent developments, I wish to seek joint custody. I know this is an unusual situation, but are there any mums who have lost custody and managed to regain joint custody? Also, is there anyone with mental health problems who has nevertheless managed to gain joint custody?
I would be grateful for any input on my situation..