Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know how much you and your children have experienced because of their mother's mental illnesses.
As sad and frustrating as it may sound, this is not an uncommon scenario and most times there is not much a parent in your shoes could do besides of what you have already been doing. Every time you have the chance to have your children with you, those are your opportunities to play the healthiest role in their lives, from the parenting you provide, to the affection, discipline and expeirnces you share together.
Thank you. My ex-wife has not been professionally diagnosed with BPD yet. After 20 years with her I had many of my own issues to work through with a counselor (anger issues, depression, turned to alcohol). After four years of seeing a counselor and joining AA I'm finally feeling like a healthy human being. However,
My children are still stuck in that sick environment. Do you have any suggestions?
On the other hand, not it would depend on how well the family and children's court handle your case, for you and your children to get better support and protection from anything that happens to be damaging to their mental health and well-being. The fact two of them are already using psychiatric medication and all suffer of mental disorders - anxiety is very sad and concerning, and it does show how strongly their lives situations have affected them.
The only thing besides of being the best parental presence in their lives you coudl do, you have already started around requesting these evaluations and from there work on getting them necessary psychotherapeutic support and protection from any form of neglect or abuse, which would depend on the court's findings after their investigation and evaluations.
That's the way I've been handling this situation; as a lawyer building a case. I've had all of the children in counseling, even though my ex-wife protests it because they may something "bad" about her. It's getting worse on my 12-year old daughter and I need to accelerate assistance. She is cutting herself (more like scratching) and "thinking" about killing herself (no plans yet), but that scares the hell out of me!
Have you already got all the reports and recommendations from their school supporting your case and what you have requested to the court?
I have not, but the counselor can support everything if his records are subpoenaed.
So far the schools do not know anything about this.
Would you recommend my 13-year old daughter share what she's feeling and facing with a school counselor too?
You bet! That is very serious, I am sorry, but you are absolutely right feelings this worried about your children, this is not normal at all, and the court must be able to set the children's health, integrity and well-being and the top priorities here. the best way you can support them and promote a good development and outcome here is by improving the way you take care of yourself and your communication and relationship with them, since that's what the court will take into account when assessing your request.
I am sorry but how could her psychotherapist provide sound and effective support to her without working consistently with all the core adults closely involved in her life? including educators and her school counselor?
Ok I'll try to get my daughter to open up to one of her school counselors too. It's a really tough situation to be in, watching your children suffer like this.
This is not about an isolated minor problem, but about your three children suffering of mental health disorders, which are getting very serious, and require consistent and effective therapeutic and emotional support, to prevent more serious problems, deterioration and further suffering. if there has been neglect and/or abuse, it needs to stop no matter what, and everything you could do to ensure that must be taken into account
Absolutely, and I cannot imagine how painful it has been for you but can relate for sure, and the saddest and most frustrating part of it is not only facing the fact that they are present victims, but that they would become dysfunctional themselves as adults if they continue to be exposed to any form of serious neglect, abuse of dysfunction, since their personalities are literally been shaped by everything they feel, perceive and experience during these initial periods in their lives.
As part of my ex-wife's illness, she feels she's perfect (literally)! She refused to see a counselor because she has nothing to do with everyone else's dysfunction! I had no idea what was wrong with her until my counselor told me to read a book entitled, "Stop Walking on Egg Shells." A few pages into the book I had a huge "AhHa" moment. That 250-page book was about her from cover to cover. It hasn't helped her, but at least it explains why she does many of the "insane" things she has done and continues to do.
I support you and feel hopeful about your role in their lives, since you have been able to take full responsibility for your own rehabilitation process and made real changes, and as long as you keep that approach and setting your children's well-being as a number one priority, you would give them the best any parent could under any circumstance, specially when so necessary because of so much pain and stress come from a mother with mental illness and a disrupted family.
Thank you doc, I wanted to hear from another professional to confirm that I'm on the right track. We discussed my children calling 911 the next time they have a big argument at their mother's house or admitting my 13-year old for psychiatric assessment. Don't want to make any "wrong moves." My ex-wife is VERY intelligent!
I understand and believe what you are saying, and feel hopeful about your consistent work to work on yourself and to support your children even more, for then to experience the life they need and deserve in the present, and . to become whole , healthy and fulfilled adults.
That;s why it is so important to work on all these concerns with your therapist's support and with your attorney too.
Thank you for your trust. Please take good care of yourself and of your little angels, getting all the support they need to have the life and well-being they deserve. Focus on that and the court would know you care and are willing to do your best for them.
Thank you again and best of luck in your future. Have a great day!