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"I Tried So Hard"

Apr 08, 2014 - 4 comments

September 12, 2009, my third son, Davis, married his girlfriend of four years, who was pregnant at the time.  Their daughter was born 3 1/2 months later.

There were so many ups and downs during the pregnancy…my daughter in law, who is bipolar, borderline personality, and schizoaffective was not on her meds due to endangering their unborn child.  Bizarre behavior, irrational thoughts and depression followed by mania…the cycle continued.

When my granddaughter was 9 months old, the three of them moved in my house…upstairs with 2 bedrooms, a full bath, den and kitchen.  We were to live separately, but together.  My son was in college and we all agreed this would be the best situation for the time being.

It wasn't until they moved in that I came to know exactly how sick my daughter in law was (is).  She self medicated with drugs…wouldn't take her psych meds routinely (or would dose herself)…and refused to work with a therapist.  Michelle was diagnosed being bipolar when she was 14 but really had no one that had ever reached out to help her try and get healthy.  This became my goal…I wanted so badly for her to get healthy and for their marriage to work and for Madison to grow up with TWO parents that were still married.  I wanted this marriage to last, for Madison, so badly that I put her above everything else…even my son.  For some reason, when Michelle would get manic, she would tell me EVERYTHING that she had done or was doing.  I kept all this to myself, never once confiding this information to my son.

I was successful in "helping" Michelle, to some degree.  I made sure that she saw a psychiatrist, started therapy, and that she took her meds.  What I wasn't successful in doing was getting Michelle to help herself.

The next 3 years was a roller coaster.  Even though Michelle was on meds (and her scripts were changed many times), she was hospitalized in a mental hospital 7 times.  Nothing would work to stop or ease her manias from appearing and when she was manic…it was BAD news ! ! !  

I can't say that MIchelle was a "bad" mother because she wasn't a mother at all.  I basically raised my granddaughter while my daughter in law either slept…was staggering around on HIGH doses of benzos…was zombified because of her psych meds OR her simply choosing not to be involved.

While manic, Michelle cheated on my son with 3 different people.  First time, it was a lesbian relationship…second time was a few times with a guy she was in the mental hospital with…and the third time was with my son's brother…my second to the oldest who is a meth addict.  With this information in hand…I still didn't tell my son…hoping and praying that she would get well.

There is so much more to this story and I won't go in to details…but let me just say that her irrational thoughts controlled so much of her life.  There was the wreck because the devil was talking to her…chairs blocking the doors because someone was trying to break in…accusing me of molesting my granddaughter (because i was tickling her back)…meth use.  The one that about pushed me over the edge was when she came in my bedroom one day and announced that she had been having thoughts of wanting someone to come in and kill me…that she wanted me dead.  Still…I felt sorry for her and wanted to help.

I will never forget the day that my son sent me a text.  Good thing I was sitting down because I know that my knees would have buckled out from under me had i been standing.  The text read, "Do you think that I could get custody of Madison if I divorced Michelle?"  To me…this was the beginning of honesty…I would finally be able to be honest with my son about Michelle.  HE was the one who wanted a divorce…couldn't anyone ever blame ME for interfering.

I hired my son the best attorney around for divorce and custody.  We did exactly what she instructed us to do…following Michelle…recording phone conversations, etc.  The day came for Michelle to be asked to leave my house and I don't think it came as too much of a shock to her that Madison was NOT going with her.  My son was granted temporary custody until the custody hearing and divorce.

After 9 long months…my son is now divorced and has full custody of their daughter.  Michelle has supervised visitation.  Even though I know that this is the best situation for Madison, I can't help but feel sorry for Michelle.  

I tried so hard………………………………..

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480448 tn?1426948538
by nursegirl6572, Apr 09, 2014
Oh my dear dear friend.  You DID try so hard, you gave your DIL everything, and when NO one else would help her (including herself), YOU were there would open arms, a shoulder to cry on, a beautiful home for her and her precious daughter.  You couldn't have possibly done MORE.  I know this has been SUCH a roller coaster ride for you all, and I'm sure it cuts deep.  What's wonderful is that Madison has her granny, her pap and her dad to love her and raise her like she deserves.  That little princess has it made.  Maybe some day her Mom will FINALLY commit to getting better, but until she does, she has to face the consequences of her actions.  SHE has to want it and has to work for it.

You shouldn't have ONE regret.  You were fair, loving, kind, giving and generous.  What more could you do?  I'm glad things have sort of "ended" for now with all of the drama.  I'm glad that legally, she cannot put her baby in harms' way.

You're an amazing amazing mom and grandma.  You should be VERY proud of yourself for going above and beyond when most people would have long ago threw the towel in.  I'm always here if you need to talk, vent, anything.

Big (((((hugs))))) to you!!!  XOXO

495284 tn?1333894042
by dominosarah, Apr 09, 2014
I am humbled by your strength, compassion and honesty~

271792 tn?1334979657
by IBKleen, Apr 09, 2014
Lizzie my Heavens don't you ever feel guilty or feel that you have not done enough. You have stood by all of your children and you helped Michelle more than most people would have. She is sick and may not ever be well. That is not your fault. You need to let this go and all of you get on with your .ives. You are in my heart and my prayers.

186166 tn?1385259382
by LIZZIE LOU, Apr 09, 2014
i feel blessed that Madison is here with us.  Her life is now full of "normalcy".  Her mother used her as a shield…but no more…she is a thriving 4 year old…no holding her back now ! ! !  Madison goes to K3 now (her mother refused to let her go)…she has friends and play dates and is blossoming before our eyes.  Being outside is something that we both love and it fills my heart to see her share in my passion for gardening.

My son has grown so much also.  He is a great dad…I couldn't ask for more…very involved and takes care of her 100% when he is not at school.  Davis had to fight his demons also…went from crack addiction to alcohol addiction…but it was the birth of his daughter that made him decide to get his act together.  4 years clean from everything…WOOHOOOO.

I'm trying very hard to "let this go" but it's kind of like the non addict being addicted to the addict…i became very much addicted to trying to help my daughter in law.  I do know now…and have for the past year…that I did everything that I could.  Getting this out is actually therapeutic…it helps me to see that no matter how hard I try…I cannot save the world.  At 58 years old…I have got to start taking care of myself.

I'm not on Medhelp very much any more…my time is spent loving and taking care of my princess.  

GOD IS SO GOOD ! ! ! ! !

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