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I Have Abandoned Mentally Ill Friend(49 Posts)
She has bipolar, NPD & is an alcoholic. She has sole custody of her 2 DC (?)
I have been trying to support her, both practically and emotionally for almost a year no and she is not getting any better. She has stretches of sobriety during which she can be ok (but always unstable & ready to 'flip') but then she will go into a manic episode, drink and things will happen. Dreadful, crazy things. Then I will help clear up the fallout & life begins again with her being the victim and her children having witnessed most of the horror of it.
Social services did act when she got fired from her job for drinking and odd/paranoid behaviour and gave her (abusive) ex's family custody until she became better. There was a plan put into place for when I was worried about her behaviour/if she had been taking drugs or drinking and they've since taken her off her plan & don't even check on her any more.
Last week she turned on me after I asked her about her drinking, behaviour etc. She was violent and threatening to me. Telling the DC that I was going to get them put into care and other disgusting things.
I have seen this side of her many, many time but never directed at me & I was frightened. Later she took to vile, threatening and abusive text messages - then facebook. I hardly slept that night.
The problem is that there is a 'procedure' I should follow to make sure the children aren't there while she needs time to get better. I did not get that support. I felt like it was me on my own, against her & her family and I was forced to leave the house while the children were there and she was clearly on drugs (and drunk?) and going through a nasty and severe manic episode. Her parents said they were going round but I later found out they were lying & her ex was too busy to collect his children. I'm disgusted but if something happens to her or her children I'll feel terrible.
If you're worried about her DCs then give Social Services a call and tell them exactly what's going on. She sounds past saving quite honestly, but they deserve help and if that means they go into care, that's what should happen. Other than that I think you've done all you can reasonably do as a friend. It isn't 'abandoning' her.
Do you have a family of your own? Job? Partner?
I'd contact Social Services again.
They are best qualified and have the resources to deal with your friend and her problems. You do not.
Have a hug tho for trying to be there for her.
I have been told by the family not to call social services. I am a bit scared of her & her exH because if I did that, they would get 'retribution' for it.
They are truly horrible people all in their own way. I need to be away from it now, for my own sanity. I would never choose her as a friend now - she absolutely disgusts me.
The children are lovely though & none of this if fair. They look after her a lot of the time. Her parents think that's fine as they're 'resilient'. (It's all quite horrifying on paper). They believe that because she's good looking & has been 'well brought up' she is different from other people who's children are in danger. She is no different from anyone with a mental illness & drink & drug problems. Something very bad will happen, especially now they are getting rid of those around them that actively help rather than enable.
Sorry I'm going on, I'm still very upset about it all.
I really do sympathise, this sounds like a very distressing situation to be in.
Obviously no need to go into detail here but what sort of retribution do you mean - would they be violent?
I do think this needs to be reported to social services and if there's any fear of retribution, the police. Those poor kids and you, being stuck in the middle of it all.
Also you are being very hard on yourself in your thread title - you haven't abandoned her, you were protecting yourself.
I feel like I'm there helping while things are ok but as soon as they get really bad, I'm off. Like I can't handle a little name calling & shouting (and being pushed down the stairs...) I should be there to help no matter what & I should have the courage to call the social worker but I have just walked away instead.
I can't even speak to her because what I have to say will make her worse & I can't bear listening to her whiny victim speech.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
People aren't required to handle being abused so please don't go beating yourself up for that.
This does require reporting though - poor kids. Have a think about how you are going to do that.
Please, please ring Social Services/the Police about the children. They have no one looking after their interests as her family seem to be colluding with her by either abandoning her themselves or blaming the system. I used to work in child protection and I know for sure we would have acted in this sort of case. These children need to be out of this hellish environment and in a safe place - and as someone says upthread, if that's in care/in an emergency foster placement, so be it. They didn't choose their mother and they are powerless themselves so desperately needs someone to act as their advocates as it is clear their grandparents do not have their best interests at heart and neither does their excuse for a father.
Yes, please call Social Services. Since being a schoolkid I've supported the NSPCC and one of the first things I learned was that children at risk are not confined to 'dodgy' homes and 'rough' people. That she's good looking and well brought up doesn't mean her children are safe.
It's not wrong to understand your own limitations. It's not wrong to want out of a situation where you're being assaulted. But please make that call. No-one else will.
Where did you get the idea that you should be there no matter what? That is really foolish. You care for your children unconditionally but no one else. You are not this woman's mother or carer, there is avbaolutely no reason for you to take threats and abuse. You have done what you can.
If her own family aon't step in then there'as very little hope. Ideally you should contact SS butnot if there is risk to your own safety.
One thing I have learned about mentally ill people is that the rest of us need to treat them the same as we would treat anyone else. If she has her children in a poor environment, then the children need the help of someone outside the home to get them to a better situation. Which probably means you need to call SS and/or police. Why is there a plan in place for you to take steps for the children? It is for a good reason, I'm sure, and you need to make that call for their sake. If she/her family then kick off, well, that's for police to handle. They will not do better until they are forced to, and i say this from experience. Please pick up the phone.....
Sorry, posted by accident too soon...
Don't police usually say they would much rather be called to check on someone or someone's children, than be called for some sad emergency when it's just too late?
I honestly feel social services took the children 'off a plan' much too soon. She didn't (still hasn't) got the medication right after her bipolar diagnosis, she stopped going to her alcohol worker - how can they just stop checking on her?
Can I call anonymously, does anyone know? Just let them know she's been drinking/taking drugs again...?
I know she isn't doing too well now I've gone NC and I feel bad but she's deeply unpleasant and I don't want to deal with her any more. This time, something's switched off inside & I hate her for what she does now. She's so selfish and entitled.
The retribution from her would be a smear campaign. We got a taster last week. She can say the most horrific, disgusting things about people, there are no boundaries and she can cause lots of problems for me & my family.
Her ex is just violent & has a dodgy past & dodgy friends.
I feel like her family will try to discredit me somehow, to protect themselves & their reputations. They have no idea that their daughter harms their reputation every time she leaves her house.
Don't quote me but I do believe you can do it anonymously. Google child safeguarding and you can do it anonymously via them too. Somebody more in the know might be able to tell you better soon. Can't look it up at mo but will try and link later if I get chance.
It's not friendship when you are so scared of someone that you daren't cross her. All this talk of discrediting, causing problems and smear campaigns.... you make it sound like gangland! What kind of community do you live in that anyone's going to take any notice of a violent drunk?
Yes, you can report things anonymously.
Google child protection services - it's likely that your local council will have information on this. You may well be able to send an email if you would find that easier.
I've reported someone to ss over a child protection issue and I appreciate it's a big step to take but I think it really needs to be done here.
I know. I'm prone to hyperbole. She will talk shit about me & her ex will be a dick & probably make some threats. Her parents will quietly talk shit about me.
It's not gangland but I don't want to be involved anymore. My poor family are appalled I'm even friends with her, yet her & her family think they're better than me because I'm not as pretty or thin... That's how messed up it all is. Poor DC.
So let them talk shit, how does it affect you? If anyone makes threats, talk to the police. I'm sure your family are appalled. One last call to SS for the sake of the DCs and then consign the whole miserable lot to the past.
You can do it anon but it will be taken more seriously if you give your name, as they know you are intimately involved and are therefore credible. Please do it, any smear campaign she starts will be undermined by her erratic behaviour and obvious mental health difficulties. The children come first, hard as it is.
I'm worried about this woman's children ... aren't you?
You must do something, please.
What a horrible thing to have had to deal with. I can fully empathise, having had a similar friend previously who ultimately lost custody of her DCs to her exP. I wasn't as embroiled in the situation as you were though OP although I still feel guilty. You have done the right thing
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