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Bi-polar Mother in Law and my marriage

My recently-diagnosed mother in law cam over a few weeks ago (while my hubby was away on business) and launched an attack on my parenting skills. She accused me of abusing my daughter and causing suicidal thoughts in my son and threatened that the kids would be taken away from me. None of this is true - not even a little bit. I tried and tried to get her to stop in a pleasant way, but she just kept hurling the abuse, so I demanded that she leave the house. She wouldn't leave, so the only way I could get her to go was to agree to be a better parent.

It wasn't until a few days later that I put two and two together and realized that she had been in the hospital a couple of days prior because her meds were making her sick and that she was probably under or un-medicated at the time of her visit.

My question is, were her actions a direct result of a manic episode, and therefore I should be extra forgiving? Or were they the calm, collected and well-thought out ideas of a medicated person who has spent a good, long time trying to drive a wedge between my hubby and I?

If these accusations were as a result of her disease, is it safe to assume she is well enough to spend unsupervised time with my children? There has not been a further outburst, but she continues to insinuate that she is a better parent than I am.

It should be noted that she was an abysmal mother - abandoning her kids over and over again, went through 3 marriages and divorces, and 6 different co-habitating relationships while my hubby and his brother were under 15.
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replied January 22nd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Is this a first accident when she attacks you?
What was your relationship like over years (is she always causing you problems)?
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replied January 22nd, 2008
This is the first time that she's actually come after me, but not the first time her disease has caused problems... she's terribly unreliable (says she's coming for a visit at 2 pm and shows up at 7 pm etc), and has always been unreasonable demanding of my and my families time and attention. But like I say, that's the first time she's ever done anything that I would call "dangerous".
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replied February 13th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Try to ignore her acts and avoid being with her at the same place without your husband presence.
Also, if I was you I'll do everything to stop her being with children unsupervised.

All best to you!
Marija
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replied February 13th, 2008
Thanks, that's what I thought, and my hubby's advice, too! He's been wonderful since. He's being the filter through which everything passes before she can get to me.
I have eliminated unsupervised visits so far, and everyone is much calmer.
Again, thanks
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replied March 6th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
You are welcome!
I'm really happy for you that you found understanding from your husband and a way to deal with that.
Best wishes to you and your family!
Marija
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replied August 3rd, 2010
bipolar moter-in-law
As a bipolar mother, I believe you should be "extra forgiving" as you mention it, because no matter if a bipolar person is well medicated or not medicated at all, these symptoms (irritability, uncontrolled anger) can occur at some phases- I repeat, even if the medication is taken properly, it can not extinguish all the symptoms at once, it takes time- sometimes even a few months before the person act normally again!
So take this into account and do not take it personally, just let her whine and say you agree with everything, then do what you think is right for your kids and not what she tells you to do- how can she know if she does not live with you?
About leaving her unsupervised with your children, it is ok since she loves them so much, unless she has been violent with her own kids.
Ask your husband if he was a victim of physical or verbal abuse by his mother and if the answer is yes, don't leave your children alone with her!
If she was not abusive with her own chilren, she won't be with her grandchildren, but stay at a close distance because if your children are not very obedient/disciplined she might easily loose her patience with them, then she will need you to take them away from her or she may shout at them, which is not good for any child!
So, leave your children with her but be as close to them as possible in case of an emergency!
If you want to know anything more about how to cope with a bipolar patient, ask me.
Hope I was helpful!
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replied August 31st, 2011
I have a mother in law that is bipolar and it is very difficult to deal with. Most of the time she is controlled with her medications, but her sons tip toe around her and never say anything to her. We also have to do and go wherever she wants to go. Its quite frustrating. Are we not supposed to say anything to our bipolar in laws even if they are well controlled on medications?? Will this trigger an episode?
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