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Having to accept that I'm damaging my children and let them go to someone else. But who and how??(28 Posts)
This is my first post but also the last place I'm asking for help before calling social services tomorrow. I've exhausted every possibility of getting help and despite doing everything right, according to my mind counsellor, doctor, alcohol counsellor and friends. Today I have to accept that it's just not enough and the best thing for them is not to have me as their sole carer.
I could write pages on the lead up to this and explain really how serious I am in my decision but please just take my word when I say that I have spent years trying to put off this day but it's here and I have to do the hardest thing anyone could do.
I've spent all day thinking about suicide (again), but that's not being a good parent and more than anything that's what I'm desperate to be.
My current situation has come about since realising and addressing the fact that I have had undiagnosed borderline personality disorder all my life but used various means to suppress it.
My final and most damaging self medication was alcohol which took me down the path of accepting I am not normal and could have been damaging my children for many years. This realisation was enforced by losing my job due to my lack of ability to fit in and communicate in a professional manner. Basically, everyone I worked with couldn't cope with my personality and could tell I had mental issues. That led to a pathetic suicide attempt and then the decision accept and address all my problems by taking time out of work and getting as much help as possible.
That's what I've been doing since October but it's being a very slow process and the only 2 people I have had to support me through this have come to the end of their patience and understanding. They now belive that I'm not trying hard enough and that I should be getting better and looking for a job. They have come to think that I am actually ok and just want to stay home, do nothing and drink.
The upshot of this is that they have now both told me to sort myself out, pull myself together and that I am creating the problem and damaging my children. They are the only 2 people who know everything about me and my parenting. They know the good and the bad in me and they know how much I have always wanted to be a good parent. I have to accept their opinion and believe what they're saying which means I can't parent my children anymore.
There's so much more but I need to stop there. My counsellor suggested Family Lives who I had already contacted earlier today and they told me social services. I feel I've done everything a good parent should and I'm putting my children first by taking this last and terrifying step.
I'm sorry if some of this is typed wrong I'm on my phone and haven't checked it through. Just want to get it posted.
I'd call social services if you feel like your emotional dysregulation and alcohol use is impacting on your children and you've exhausted all current offered help. I think it would be a really brave thing to do.
The best thing (most likely, I obviously don't know what you do at home and how that impacts on your children) and what SS will aim to do is keep your children with you but find you support that really helps.
Thank you. I'm trying so hard to be brave. I feel stupid for posting now, should have trusted myself. Just to say I haven't drunk anything today and since Sunday I have only had 3 beers. My doctor has confirmed I am not an alcoholic but I do have a problem with alcohol due to my bpd.
Do you have any family who could look after your children? There's a thing now called a Special Guardianship order which gives family members 'official' care of children (and I think comes with money for a period of time too)
nomad - this sounds very hard
how old are your children? Is their father in the picture?
To be honest, I would not phone social services before getting some legal advice from a good family lawyer (look on the law society of England & Wales or law society of Scotland's websites and you can search for one). You need independent advice before surrendering any parental responsibility.
I know how stupid and pathetic this sounds but those 2 people are the dad and his mum (grandma) They are/were my support network after everything went to shit last May.
I was diagnosed with bpd when I self referred for alcohol addiction. I needed to show them I was doing everything I could to get myself well again. The service doctor confirmed that I wasn't suffering from alcoholism (yet) but was self meditating. I have been referred by 2 doctors and the crisis team to a personality disorder clinic. It could take another year to get the treatment is need. In the meantime I have sought any help in can get. I see a MIND counsellor every week and an alcohol service as often as they'll have me (about every 4 was if I constantly push for it)
I can't and don't want to settle this with the dad and grandma anymore. I know they expect me to carry on despite what they say and think, simply because they don't/can't have them. I'm desperately hoping that social services will help put the kids in the best place for them, even if it is with Dad or Grandma, but I want the decision taken away from me because I am not mentally stable anymore.
I realise it sounds like I'm not taking advice but I really am and is will be speaking to my counsellor in the morning. But I'm kinda hoping that more people may say that I'm doing the right thing, even though it feels like I'm making the biggest mistake of my life. I still haven't had a drink today because I'm scared if I drink (which when I drink means 3 bottles of wine) I'll wake tomorrow and believe that it's just the alcohol that's the problem and not me, tell myself i can cope if i just stop drinking and the cycle will continue.
I'm 44 with 1 friend where I live (who doesn't know about the alcohol) and 4 long distance friends. No contact with my family for 2yrs they can't cope with me either
nomad - this is such a complex and difficult decision that, frankly, it would be irresponsible of any poster to say it is a good or a bad idea.
It's good you will be talking to your councillor - you really need advice and support from an objective person who knows your circumstances well
Have you explained this to the Dad and Grandma?
If they know did they say they would look after DC?
Can the children's dad not step in and help. They are his responsibility too. If your not well right now he should be helping.
Hope you get the support the need op.
I agree OP - call children's social care.
It will be much better if you do it yourself - I'm being honest with you but it's only a matter of time before mental health services make a safeguarding referral .
If you are abusing alcohol and struggling with suicidal behaviours your children as you quite rightly say need protecting from emotional harm.
I am a mental health nurse and I think you will benefit greatly from the PD services - their psychological therapies are excellent.
FWIW the term BPD (Now changed to EUPD ... emotionally unstable PD) is increasingly being pushed away by many mental health professionals who identify it more as being a diagnosis of complex trauma.
Please enquire about DBT, distress tolerance and mentaiisation therapy .
Lovely, I've worked in MH for 20 years. I don't armchair diagnose as I'm a professional but if you've been previously diagnosed with BPD and think it applies then you are so far ahead of many people who may fulfil the diagnosis. That means you'll probably benefit from specific therapy like DBT.
It's not a bad idea to call SS. They will do all they can to keep you with your children unless they are at risk of severe harm from you but it will mean that you may be prioritised for the help that you need.
Don't think they'll remove your children because they probably won't and that wouldn't be the best thing for your children (unless there are things you aren't saying here).
You need some support and help. SSD and HV (if your children are small).
How wise and brave of you to recognise the danger signs and know that you need help.
Thank you everybody for your advice and support. I've realised that nothing is going to happen immediately but I now know I am going to ask SS for help. My children are 11 & 16 and my 16yr old is desperately unhappy at the moment and both he and his Dad and Grandma believe that is down to me. I am desperate for the correct therapy which I know is dbt and really believe I can become the parent, friend, family member and work colleague I so desperatly want to be. Until then I can't risk the negative affect on my children. They know I love them, and I will be in constant contact with them but I don't want them separated or unhappy. Maybe doing this will give them the opportunity to eventually be with me out of choice rather than the forced situation my teenager currently feels. I come across as a decent, good and responsible parent and my children are amazing and intelligent, polite and show no signs to anyone outside the family that they are traumatised. It's very difficult when as their parent I know otherwise. I have been their primary carer and financial provider for the last 9 yrs, I have tried to give them every opportunity to help them develop physically, socially, emotionally and culturally but it turns out somehow I didn't quite manage it.
I will post again once I feel able to talk about the outcome and hopefully be able to give a positive review of my experience.
Thank you again, you have helped me get through tonight without doing something far more damaging ♡
Hi, just thought I'd post to say I haven't managed to make that call to SS yet. Last Thursday my 16yr old son told me with disgust and so much anger that I was an alcoholic and he hated me. I knew he was angry and blaming me for being a terrible mum, but I didn't realise how clear cut his view of me has been since January.
I arranged for him to spend the weekend at his grandma's and at his dad's for tomorrow and Tuesday. I wanted both my boys to be together but was and still am torn over what best to do. My 11yr old wanted to stay with me and was really upset when I told him it really was best he stay with his brother and grandma. By helping one son I'm hurting the other, it's tearing me apart.
Even though I didn't follow through on Friday, I will be making that call tomorrow and hope that I will be lucky enough to find the help and support I need to make the right decisions for both my boys.
Please wish me luck, my thoughts are that SS will be a lucky dip as to whether I have a positive or negative experience.
Thanks for reading my posts. X
Sorry to hear you've been struggling OP. But, from this distance, it seems that you are already taking steps to get better. It's a long journey- you say that 2 people have been supporting you since October but October isn't actually that long ago, in the realm of mental unwellness as I've discovered.
It sounds like you have awareness of your problems, a desire to change them and an understanding of the impact of your issues on your kids. These realisations will provide an excellent foundation to you moving forwards. Are you actually getting any support from the MH team rather than just Mind- are you on the waiting list for any therapy? I found that in the past it was the MH team that made referrals about my kids to SS I've never self referred (and wouldn't!) but that's not to say that you can't or shouldn't, but that they usually work in conjunction with MH team or whoever supports you e.g. SS for kids, someone else supporting you. I would hope that if they offered anything it would be support to keep the kids with you. A 16 year old is likely to 'hate' you even if you are the best mum in the world, I think it's more telling that the 11 year old was upset to leave you.
FWIW my mum was a depressed alcoholic. I still would have chosen to live with her over anyone else as a teenager.
OP i'm so sorry this is happening.
i have BPD from childhood trauma, alongside other diagnoses. i am also an alcoholic. i lost my job, my kid, my marriage and my home. i very nearly died.
i'm 3 years sober next month. my child is back in my life. i have a new partner and a lovely home. i'm still very unwell but now alcohol isn't in the mix for me i have a chance to access treatment.
you need to believe that life is better sober. AA taught me how to live with all my nerves on the outside. it's been hard but the rewards are immeasurable.
don't let social services be the only call you make. speak to your GP, or MIND, or your therapist. things can be different.
please take care.
Here is am again and I still haven't made the call. I've had the page open for family services on my phone since this morning. Keep looking at it and the number and then going back to sleep before I call. I've been in bed all day and just woke up and ready the last 2 posts. Now I'm laid here crying again and feeling so lost as to what to do.
I am waiting to be assessed by the personality disorder clinic but haven't even been given the initial appointment yet. I know October isn't very long, but before that I had no support network and tried to end my life. I'm scared of ending up back there again.
I thought I was doing OK. I wanted to self refer my eldest to Casy and my mind counsellor, who is a wonderful person, has offered to speak to both my son's about my illness and try to give them a little understanding of what's happening and why. Last Thursday I was feeling so positive having just got back from my counselling and been given that reassurance that I am a good mum and I am doing everything I can for myself and my boys. It was only an hour later that their grandma came to visit and completely slated my idea of Casy telling me I was making things worse. She then went on to tell me and just reinforce my own opinion of myself, that I am the cause of all the problems with my son and that I'm damaging them. Since then I can't stop thinking that their lives would be so much better without me around.
I agree with PP that October really isn't that long ago, though I'm sure it feels like forever to you at the moment. Getting counselling and support for your sons sounds like a great idea, can the schools arrange that? Also letting your mind, support worker explain your illness to them in a way that they will understand sounds good. I don't think either of these things will make things worse and they may well help. And as PP said teenagers are often angry with their parents no matter what. I remember plenty of screaming and temper tantrums on my part through my teen years, so that may well be tied up in your sons behaviour too.
I just wanted to send you some love and support.. I too have mental health problems.. if you ever need someone to talk to please feel free to msg me xx
You may be blowing it, OP, but you sound like a person open to change and very much concerned with the well-being of your children.
I think you should try AA. Each group has its own personality, so try a couple and see if any work for you.
I haven't a clue about mental health issues, but AA does work on different aspects of your way of being in the world.
Is grandma your ex MIL? To be honest she sounds toxic and a bully.
Is there any possibility she is purposely destroying your confidence and self esteem and belief in yourself as a mother so that she can have your boys?
I had a very controlling ex and ended up believing all the lies and bullshit he told me. It is hard to not fall into that pattern when in contact with someone who is emotionally a using you.
She does not sound good for you or truly supportive.
Maybe this is something you could explore with your therapist/counsellor?
I'm not sure that grandma and their dad are giving you the best advice and support.
Can you care for your 11 year old needs on a daily basis? If you can and if provided you are not being physically or verbally abusive to him then he is probably fine with you if he wants to stay.
The 16 year old is not far off bring an adult and maybe should look to spending time with his dad or out of the home anyway.
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