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Started by backwardsbike, May 30, 2007, 03:58:38 PM

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Hi there. Your response was quite lost in lizmiller's post but I wanted to reply.  You were questioning why anyone would take advice from me since I married a man with a mental illness and an addiction.  

And also you seemed to think I was "blowing everyone else off".

First of all,  I married a MAN lving with bipolar disorder and an addcition.  MAN is the first part here.  I am a woman living with arthritis.  I have lived with depression.  I had lived with anxeity disorder in the past.  But first of all- I was a person.  I come from a rehabilitation perspective here, unlike some people who think if one has a mental illness or addcition - let alone both- the person ceases to be a person and becomes an illenss.

My bipolar, recovering alcoholic, husband and I have two children of our own who are doing very well, thnak you very much.  In addition- I have rehabilitated myself as I lost my career as a nurse whan I herniated several discs in my spine.  I am now about to receive my Master's of Edcuation in the next year.

Why did I choose to get involved with a man with "issues"?  Honey- we all have issues.  Some are offically diagnosed and some aren't but we've all got 'em.  I knew that regardless of what my husband did or ddin't do, my life would be a success.  Why?  Because I will settle for nothing less.  I have tremendous internal resources.  Is my life for everyone?  Nope.  But it was right for me and might just be right for Lizmiller.  Unless you're walking in her shoes I don't think you have the right to judge her.

As for divorce being hard enough, well I guess that depends on the person who is going thru it.  For me it had good points and bad.  I lost financial secruity til I could provide it for myself.  I gained independence and freedom from my ex's negative thinking that was very difficult to live with. It took such energy to rise above it that iI had little nergy left to pursue my own passions.  Most things in life have pro's and con's if we are honest about htem.  Would it have be easier if I had just stayed alone- no- no necessarily.  my husband follows his program, I follow mine and we support each other.  I remeber when I was so heartbroken because of somehting that happened to me surrounding my divorce that I didn't remember driving home.  It was my husband who held me and supported me and saw that I had a safe palce in which to process the betrayal that had just happened to me.  In that respect- it was a very good thing that I had him in my life.  Ihavenot forgotten that- I actually owe him a debt for that day and many others.  He is my soulmate- not merely a man with a mental illness and an addcition.

As far as blowing "everyone" off-- I don't see it that way.  What I do see is that I noticed a very prejudicial tone in your post and stepped in to support Lizmiller because I can see her sistuation from another angle.

The "professionals" in my custody case saw things just like you did.  As a result my children are in the custody of a man who doesn't beleive in taking them to the doctor or filling perscriptions.  He sends my DD to school with holes in her sneakers so big her socks were soaked by the time she got on the bus.  And she wore a belt that had broken and was duct taped togehter for a month.  Her dad makes 70K a year and I pay guideline support  even though my income is only from disability until next year.  I had to take X to court to get him to put the medically necessary braces on DD's teeth.  Son had toenails so ingrown they required surgery.  

But my X doesn't have a mental illness so that makes him a fit parent.  He drinks like a fish but doesn't attend AA so that means he's NOT an alcoholic because alcoholics go to meetings and drunks got to bars, right? My X was verbally abusive to me for so many years of my marriage.  I had chronic health problems which cleared up in the first 90 days that I was out of his home.  They have never returned even though I made the by your definition, "poor decison" to live with the man with mental illness and addcition issues.

What I have learnd is this:  I have more respect for a person who admits they have aproblem and is willing to take the steps to deal with it that I do for anyone who likes to sit back and point fingers.
My husband is just such a man.  He's got more class on his worst day that some people have on thier best. He has no need to put others down in order to feel good. He can admit when he's wrong.  He is able to put other people ahead of his own desires when necesary. I think that's a pretty good resume.  One my X didn't have and one lots of people who don't live with diagnosed disabilities could not live up to.

I think the world would be a better place if people could just see others as the people they are instead of thier labels.  In the case of LIZmiller, her X never seemed concerend about her judgement in men when they were together. He left the child with her at times.  His fear for his child's saftey only seems to come about when she is in a romantic realtionship with another man.  When the man disappears- so do his concerns- he's dropped cases multiple times and sent the child for visitations in between. if one is honestly concerned about their child's saftey and the other parent's judgement that parent wouldn't send the child at all or would seek supervised visits.  That hasn't happened.

If Lizmiller's BF is guilty he should fry.  But if he's innocent why should he be taken from his family just to appease some guy with an axe to grind?  

Her decison to allow the baby to live else where while she lived with her BF is her own to make. I perhaps ,might have made a different one on that issue. But I'm not her, I haven't walked the proverbal mile in her moccassins.  I am sure that she is doing what she feels is best and i didn't read that she asked for any advice on that situtation. her questions seemed to be centered around whether or not she had a chance with her DD.

Obviously, she's in a tough spot. Nobody can make these decisons but her.  But I believe that she is an adult- so I think we need to respect her as such.


and I hold fast and strong to that advice and support.  I told her to put her relationship with her children first, and I hold strong and fast to that advice and support, as well.  You want to convince someone you are living right? Then live right.  Do the simple things to show the world where you are...doesn't matter if her bf is or is not a child molester in my advice.  It matters that SHE PUTS HER CHILDREN FIRST. Did you miss the part where she moved her son out so her bf could stay????  I mean, WTF, Backwards, can you not see that for the huge mistake it was?  There was nothing prejudiced about my advice.

In the advice of Dr. Phil, "how's that working for her?"  Hum...it's not.  She needs to find another way that actually puts her kids first and shows the kids, the courts and everybody watching how serious she is about having a relationship with her kids.

And what in the heck is it with everyone these days? You have to LIVE with some bf in the house to make it?  BS.  Absolute BS. You don't have to live with someone to have a nice relationship with them.  It's no wonder these kids get confused. Liz mentioned having THREE different men living in her house.  How's that for putting the kids first????

Pick your battles Backwards and don't assume that everyone's case and life is just like yours!  I also got screwed by the courts but the one thing they couldn't focus on was the numerous men in and out of my house...or some bf living in there at any given time, cuz there wasn't.

And yes, we all have problems, but I still question getting involved with someone with an addiction problem and bipolar disorder.  Did you know that the success rate of an addict after one year of sobriety is around 1%? and after 5 years of sobriety that number only raises to 3%?

Having grown up with a father that was off and on the sauce more times than I care to count, I can tell you they do really good for a while...seems like they are cured, and then next thing you know, they pick up where they left off.

Hope you never have to live that...but remember the statistics I posted.  

Best to you Backwards...just be sure to really read the posts in the future. I am all about Liz getting a relationship with her kids.  I am just not all about the men in her life.

Plenty of time for that later...right now she needs to focus on her children.


I guess my issue is that she should need to "convince somebody" that she's living right.  She is an adult individual.  In this country we are supposed to have certain RIGHTS and one of them to to have or not have a partner whether or not we are, or can be married to them.

It IS possible to have a relationship with a partner AND with one's children simultaneously.  If we are in our first marraige that's what we are expected to do, right?  And at least where I live, women who choose to leave a marriage pay a heavy price for it.  A large number of women who have chosen to leave relationships where they didn't allege domestic abuse have lost custody of thier children.  And why must the relationship with the children be more important than the one with the partner? I somehow think her heart might be big enough for both relationships to flourish and that the love she feels for her kids is different than what she feels for her partner.

As far as the success rate for people who have addcitions issues and a concurrent mental illness- nope not good. But is it about building a relationship with someone or is it about only committing to a person who can pull exactly 50% of the weight?  I find in healthy relaionships sometimes one person is stronger in some ways and the partner is strong in different ways- at least that's they way it has been in the nine years I've lived with my wonderful spouse.  Sometimes I fall, sometimes he does.

I don't have an addcition or mental health issues but I have a physical disability. My husband has nursed me thru back surgeries, taken primary care of the children so that I could return to school full time and work.  He has supported my dreams as I have his.  It sounds like your relationship with your father was not like this and i'm sorry and sorry for the hurt that you may have felt because of his struggles with sobriety.  But the man Liz wrote about and my husband aren't your father.  And Liz is living her own life. I personally had a very difficult time with the idea of trying to prove to anyone that I was "living right".  What is that anyways?  What is "right"? And who do we want to have the power to decide?  Will you be OK if the powers that be decide that something you hold dear is no longer OK?

I addressed the issue of Liz moving her baby to her realtives home in my previous post.  Not what I would have done but not my choice.  I'm sure she had reasons.  SHe's a soldier- I really don't buy that she "needs" this guy to prop herself up.  It sounds to me like she made a choice to have a realtionship with him that meant something.  I read that they were both going off on deployment, perhaps to defend the "rights" I'm writing about.  Maybe that plays into her decison.  But whether or not it does, I do not feel I have a right to judge her and her choice.

I strongly feel somebody needs to check in to see why exactly her X keeps making these claims and then dropping the cases as soon as the guy is out of her life.  And who on earth gives a parent a choice about whether a child who claims sexual abuse is examined or not?  I fnd that highly unsusal- where would the evidence be?  Without an exam- as traumatic as that may be for the child- its just "he said" she said".

She obviously wants a relationship with her children.  Why must she "prove" it by giving up the one person she chooses to turn to for support?  Maybe they relate in such a way that they find peace in being together and what right do I have to judge that?  Is that any weaker than a couple where one has a terminal illness and the other sleeps in the hospital bed because it comforts both of them to be together?

It seems obvious tome that you are steadfast in your opinions. You stadn byyour advice.  The best that I could hope for is that you will read what I've written and think about it.  I feel it si so important to understadn that not everyone is the same as us.  Just because someone is different doesn't mean thay shouldn't be respected or that we have a right to judge them.  That's exactly what's wrong withthe way custody is determined.  There is entriely too much weight given to what most often is one persons opinion of what is "normal". Many children are missing out on relationships with fit and loving parents based on what some evalautor or judge thinks of a parent's lifestyle choices instead of a decison being made as to what's truely best for the children involved.  And entirely too many CPs gain and keep an upper hand by deflecting attention away from thier marginal parenting and onto the other parent's choice of partner or lifestyle.


and once they reach about 15 or 16, they can make a determined effort to have a relationship with the NCP, no matter what the CP does. This isn't a lifelong irritation, but a highly charged situation.

So...instead of worrying about whether there is a bf or a gf in your life, worry about that commitment you made to the child you brought into the world.  Their youth is short and everyone of us has our ENTIRE life to be with someone, if we so chose.  You can date someone discreetly without your children ever being involved...you don't have to live with them.

We aren't talking who has rights for what....we are talking doing what IS right by your child.  The bf's in her life are where the troubles are....so my advice to her is to LIVE ALONE for a bit....reconnect with her kids and put them first.

I'm not judging the bf either way...

I am telling her to spend some time alone and devote herself to establishing a good, healthy, loving relationship with her children.


Olanna- Children not heald captive forever????  Now I have serious worries.  Who said anyhting bout children being held captive?  We are talking about an adult individual's abiltiy to live her life in the way she see fit.

I highly doubt that she will ever have a "good" realtionhsip with her child if the child lives in a home where PAS also resides.  I, for one, think itis our job to help our children grow up healthy and well adjusted.  For most people that includes a romatice relationship.  It seems that while the romantic relationship shouldn't be the ONLY thing of worth in Liz's life, if she were living a balancedlife the romatic realtionship should be in there some where.  How is the DD to know what a healthy romatic realtionship is if she never sees her paretn invovled in one?  Surely you aren't suggesting that its OK for the father to be involved with someone else but not the mother.  If that were so we would have these two formerly involved adults living alone andthe child would shutttle back and forth between them until she's...what 16, 18, 20 when would either parent be "allowed" to have a romantic partner again?

Liz was already in a committed realtionship with her BF- theyhad a child together and were living as a family unit til CYS became invoved.  You adn I don't get to judge whether that was morally right or not.  The child had been in the situation all summer and had thrived adn DIDN'T want to go back to the CP's home and didn't want to be separated from her mother.  So it doesn't sound to me like the child was adversly affected by any of this at all til the dad trumped up some charges.  Do you really think if the BF was a pedophile he'd ahve waited til the very last week of the summer to pull some stunt?  The pedophiles I know don't generally wor that way.  But this child voiced no complaint until she was taken back to her dad's house adn then the compllaitn was not immediately made but it wasafter a few days.  Wish Ihad been a fly on the wall at the dad's house during that time.

As for myself I was more alone during my marriage than at any other time in my life.  My X travelled extensively for his work- even volunteering to go on a si week tour when our son, our first child turned one.  You see my X felt the kid wouldn't remember if he was there for the hands in the cake or not andhe had a chance to go to Guam and relax on the beach and hang out with Geishas in the Phillipines like he did increaseingly after I became prengant.  I had my son adn the two of us lived the life of a single parent. Then my X saw that I was much mor eindependent and became afraid that I would leave him.  He came home and stopped travel.  We had my DD.  But he was neverhappy. Hismisery permeated our lives adn i htink it was quite a relief when I left.  Since Ihad been "on my own" for nearly five years while he was travelling and I was holding down the fort I decided that I was ready for the famil  life I wanted, the one i had been promised when I married my X but that hadn't materialized.  At age 36 I met my current husband.  I didn't feel like blowing a chnace for more children so I quickly became pregnant.

My oldr children were over the moon at the though of the little brother they would have.  Theyloved thier step father. They were happy.  But that did nothing to change thier CP who after two years of allowing me to do all of our children's daycare, sick days, etc that my husband's mental health condition warrented taking our two children from me.  Up to this point all had been fine adn I had to listen to my children crying, begging not to have to live primarily withthier dad adn the woman he met thru a newspaper personal ad BEFORE I ever left teh home. he linedher up adn moved her intothe children's lives right away- he didn't want to be responsible for rasising the kids- he just didn't want me to have them or God forbid collect child support.

He told them that since my husband wass uch a bad guy that he would have them until they were adults.  Well he's been right eventhugh husband and Ihave our own two children who are fine.  You see the custody evalautor knew the same statistics you quoted in your earlier post.  How horrible I was for introducing this bad maninto my children's lives.  The evalauator decided i didn't deserve to have these fine children in my life adn so I got only EOW adn i fought for half od the summers which I got.

My Dh spends his days at the children's schools building playground equipment, helping in the classroom, going on fieid trips adn helpingour children with homeowork.  These are things me X used the personal ad woman to do for him.  I have ben a substitue teacher at my YDS's school on more than one occasion.  My ODS and OD's teachers think I'm some kind of child molester and were surprised to received mine adn my husband's child abuse clearances.  Wonder how they got that idea?  The answer is that my X is still as miserable as he ever was and has PAS'ed the children the family- his side- my side finally saw thru him although they had renounced me for a bit when I left him.  My husbandnow cuts grass adn does homerepairs for my father who called him such filthy names when we first got together.  My X still tries to go after my father's $$$ now asking for it to come to him thru child support- bizarre, I know.

Aftr my children ages 18 and 14.5 made false accusations for the third time in four motnhs against my Dh and i found that they had stolen some medical records from my house which concerned Dh and givent hem to thier dad as well as someof thier grandfather's fianancils I "aquiesed" to the GAL's demands that they not visist in my home "for awhile".  After " awhile" she wanted them to cme her eonly if she could be assuered that my husband would not be permittted in his own home. SHe said then she didn't mind the older ones coming back.  But that is where I drew the line.  I said they should just phone me if and when they wanted to see me and we'd met in the community.  I have received zero calls to day and they left on April 6.  I don't expect any either as their father will not allow them to calla dn is ramping up the PAS if he's staying true to form.

However, my younger children have not had to go thru the dysfunction of having thier home disrupted EOW so the older ones could come here and call the shots.  Everyone stress level has gone down.

The lesson I learned from this is to figure out quickly what you can control adn what you cannot and make the best hand for yourself out of the cards you are dealt.  Life is not a dress rehearsal. If you end up on the other side adn ahve squandered this life by playing games and have mde choices with which you are are unahppy there is no one to blame at the end but yourself.

IF in your rather rigid moral construct his makes me a poor parent so be it.  But I can tell you that I have reclaimed my freedom and am making the most of my life. I begged the court the evalauator adn the GAL for counsleing for my hcildren adn some family counsleing for the adults to no avail.  My X doesn't want to sit in a room with me or my husband. He also feels the children have been thru "enough" and the court takes his word for things because he's the CP- who would know better- right? I fought the good fight for my older children but the court refused to look past the statistics you posted and has held on to them waiting with baited breath these last nine years for my husband to kill us all in our beds.  They can continue to wait like Linus in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin. AS for me and my family- the parts of it I was able to salvage- we are going on with our lives.  If you ask me the losers are my older children. Would giving up my husband an second family have changed that?  Not at all.  mMy X hated me for leavinghim. He has not gotten over it adn still monitors my every move- i don't sneeze without him knowing about it.  Once my Dh would have been gone he would have found something about me that would have made him quake in fear for the children's saftey.  He has brought up my bck problem, my mental health, my choices.  Even after i had a psych eval as did my husband the judge htinks there is somehting wrong with me because I chose to be with my husband.  Well, th judg ein my case sleepes out of doors all year round with his sons while his wife and DD sleep in the house and I think that's a little odd to say the least. So I guess we're even.

Quite fraknly, I am happy withthe choices I've made- or I wouldn't have made them in the first place.  I am sorry my children were PAS'd but I had no control over that.  I am sorry they decided not to be a part of my family, but that is another piece over whichI have no control.  I gave them what I was able to.  I taught them the lessons I wanted them to learn.  What I have given them is still there adn I have every confidence that when they get out from under their father's hold it will come to fruition.  They will have me as a role model for how to keep a commitment( my marriage vows), how to exhibit grace under pressure ( even the judge says he never saw a stronger more compassionate woman than me), and hoepfully how to go about living your life for yourself adn not letting others ideads hold you captive.


as you have turned it into something it most certainly never was.  My advice is the same...to put the children first. It will always be that.