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Dad needing advice badly(7 Posts)
Basically I have a two year old son and have shared custody of him with his mother 50/50 split as best we can.
The problem is; she has bipolar and borderline personality disorder. I have seen her at her worst and it is very scary but I have let myself believe that no harm would ever come to my son because of how much love there is. I'm really not sure anymore.
I have no physical proof that he is in danger but I can tell when she is unstable. This has lead to her threatening to stop me seeing him and he sometimes screams hysterically at handovers when he comes to me. He is completely fine in 2 mins but keeps saying she will stop me seeing him if it continues. This is obviously the worst thought in the world to me.
On top of all this she has said that I can no longer pick my son up from hers or unaccompanied as she has decided to say I try it on with her, which is absurd. None of this is new to me and I know it's just part of her illness. Another problem is that her current bf, with whom shes since had a baby (pregnant after 2 weeks of meeting), believes every word she says and tries to cause me grief.
I have no idea what's best to do and would greatly appreciate any help. Sorry for the venting!
Does she have a community mh team ?
Is a social worker involved ?
Speak to them.
mayb e they can reassure you they monitoring.
Agree, you should talk to the professionals fo the sake of your ds. Good luck
This is the problem, she's keeping me if the dark about if she's still seeing a mental health team or not. I've been told by her that she has recently been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder so she must be seeing someone, unless she's lying which wouldn't be unlike her.
Is it just a case of ringing up and saying her name and asking if I should be concerned? I just want to have it on the record somewhere that I'm concerned about her mental health and frankly the safety of my boy. I don't want to open Pandora's box by calling social services but also don't want to look like I'm just retaliating by mentioning her mental health when she starts throwing even more accusations.
Really appreciate the help
If I were you, I'd lie low. Don't engage. If and when you have a concern about something specific, then consider calling people. She probably wants you to react, so don't. Be calm, keep your boundaries. If she messes about with contact, propose mediation. She has no need to tell you about her mental health care, that's her business.
Sorry to hear about the problems you're having. It's a situation I see on a daily basis (I work as a McKenzie Friend - a legal assistant for cases like yours) and I am a volunteer with Families Need Fathers.
I would strongly advise you contact them and find your local branch. You will get emotional and practical support. Often there are pro bono solicitors there who are able to give you legal advice.
But what is worth considering...
Document what is happening. Keep a diary. Keep records of emails, texts, letters and think about recording handovers if they are abusive and upsetting for your son (it is legal to do so without telling her but they may be useful down the line). Make sure you have a record of when contact takes place.
In an ideal world I would say that if you feel your son is in danger that you don't return him to mum.
From my experience however the likely outcome of that however is:
a) a knock on the door from the police who (without legal basis) demand you return him or threaten you to arrest you for a breach of the peace*.
b) when you do return him she refuses to allow him to see you again compelling you to take the matter to court and his time with you is limited.
c) you are contacted by social services demanding you return him.
So this is a high risk strategy for you are a father. And with reduced or no time with your son your capacity to protect him is further diminished.
In this case think about initiating mediation if you feel that in the short term is safety is at risk. Specifically - organising it yourself. Google `National Family Mediation' and organise it...don't ask her if she will go. Statistically there is a 20% chance of it working, but there is a reason for doing this.
Firstly, there is a chance it may work and it is worth trying because if it comes to court, things may well get worse before they get better. Secondly, you will have to have attempted mediation if you DO go to court.
Hope this helps.
I would strongly advise you contact FNF (link above) - and the same goes for Mums as they face most of the same problems dads do. If you want a chat you can call the helpline - but you're more than welcome to get in touch with me for some pointers. It's far from as bleak as you may think it is and there is a lot you can do to help your son.
Stay positive and get in touch if you need a chat.
This is a massive help, I will plan family mediation straight away and I will definitely contact fnf. Not knowing who I can talk to about this has been a massive problem.
I still find it very hard to even mention her mental illness' without having my ex get defensive or her boyfriend saying I'm using it against her. The fact is, in the past (only a year before our son was born) she bought a ticket to Thailand and was convinced she was going to live there alone with no money. She was on board the plane before she calmed down enough and realised what she was doing. She has also bought 4 cats and a dog only to give each of them away after a couple of months. She is impulsive and completely irrational when she is bad.
I know I have no right to know about her mental health but the fact is she is alone with my boy the majority of the time and as it seems she is getting worse I'm getting more and more worried. Why does it seem like I'm powerless until it's too late?
Thank you all so much for your help
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