I met my husband my junior year. I ran into him at a party my senior year. He asked me for my number. I wrote it in the snow on his truck window. I was in love quickly. His family took me in like one of their own. It was great timing actually because I felt as though I didn't have any family. We had troubles here and there, just as any relationship. It's hard "growing up" together. We finally got on track in 2005.
My mom was sick again and in the hospital for her bipolar disorder. This was a rough one. She hid from everyone -- wouldn't stay on the phone long for fear of being listened to or followed. She stayed here and there in hotels and such. I worked some with her psychiatrist on how to handle her and deal with the illness. This was a very enlightening year for me. I learned a lot. It's very hard to get someone help that doesn't want it. One person has to petition for a 96 hour detention for evaluation. They must have a witness also complete an affidavit. You have to state reasons for the detention request - explain why the individual would be a harm to herself or others. To a lot of courts/police/doctors...etc, this only means that the person is suicidal and/or homicidal. This is not the law but it's hard to argue that with the law :). My uncle petitioned for the detention hold and I witnessed it. This meant I had to testify in court against my mom - after the 96 hour hold. It didn't matter what I said, to her it was wrong. I know she couldn't see that I was trying to help her but she hated me for it. She said some very unfeeling things to me and it really hurt to hear.
The hospital requested for an additional hold for up to, but not to exceed, 21 days - not including holidays and weekends. I believe she went for an additional 90 day hold after that also. The state had her put in a group home and wanted to institutionalize her. Luckily, that was avoided. She did good after that. She did not get sick for 5 years - the longest span I remember. Every year, I was prepared for her to be sick but she did sooo great.
My sister had been asking me for a couple years to take custody of her oldest son. Summer of 2005, Steve and I agreed this was in his best interest and we were at a point in our lives when we were ready to settle down and take care of the little guy. That fall, HE proposed! Yeah! I was sooo excited. We married a year later on "the sweetest day". It was definitely a GREAT wedding. All of our family and closest friends were there. I couldn't have been happier. We finalized custody of my nephew and were a happy little family.
In 2008, Steve and I found out we were going to be parents. Our son was born in the summer of 2009. This brought a new meaning to being a mother. I love my lil guy so much my heart aches. Thanks to God for this huge blessing and addition to our family. This gift made me appreciate my nephew even more. How could a mother give birth to a child and not feel what I was feeling for my son? How could a parent not want more for their child - more than what they had. How could they not want to protect them? I can't even go on...I'm crying so hard I can not even read what I'm typing. This is my sister and I love her dearly. I want better for her. I want her to get help. I want her to LOVE again. I want her to want more for her life. But, she's an adult and makes her own decisions. If I can help her son, the way my grandmother helped me...I can sleep good at night, knowing he has a chance in life.
My mother was hospitalized in 2010 twice. No one placed a 96 hour hold on her - she was taken in by the police. She went a long time without sleeping this time. She fell asleep driving - her car went off the road and hit a tree. Part of being manic is little need for sleep. When she was released, there were certain conditions put on the release agreement. She was required to take her meds and if they were notified she was having a manic episode or wasn't taking her meds, they could pick her up. That agreement only was through the end of the year. She did really good. The medicine she was on had side effects that didn't agree with my mom. She gained lots of weight and slept 12-14 hours a day. This wasn't very practical. She tells me her doctor halved her dosage and then she halved that. I doubt that is correct but none the less, she eventually stopped taking the medicine prescribed. She was caring for her aunt who was quite ill. This was 24 hour work. The medicine puts her in a deep sleep and she couldn't properly care for her aunt. Although, I believe this was too much for her to handle, this is typical for my mom. She cares for anyone that needs it. She is always there for people, even when noone else is. She is the person that picks up a stranger walking in the rain - gives shelter to a homeless person - takes those who can't drive to the store, pharmacy, dr appts...etc - pays for someones bills so their lights or water don't get shut off. She could have $5 in her pocket and would give it to you if you asked. She has a heart larger than life. This is hugely why I forgave her for what I felt was a betrayal against me and my sisters. Although I would do differently, she felt like my father needed help and she was the only one there for him. To this day, she helps him when he calls. I'm numb to it mostly. I don't want any part of it...I don't visit when he's around or call on the phone. This works for me. But, I also understand why she does it - because she'd do it for anyone if they asked. She always finds something good in a person. She is very forgiving (when she's not sick, lol). She is non judging and too often excuses why people are in a certain predicament or position. We argue a lot because I think some (not all) people have put themselves in a bad situation and they take advantage of her generosity.
Anyway...she was just recently picked up out of state for trespassing. A public place asked her to leave multiple times and when she refused (in a manic state), they called the police. She was arrested. I only found out because I was calling around to places she had been and got ahold of the manager that placed charges against her. He told me where to call to find her. This particular police department was very unhelpful. I tried to get her help that she needed but they were uncooperative. My uncle went to her court hearing where the charges were dropped and he wanted to bring her home. She refused and it escalated to calling the highway patrol. They decided to take her to a local hospital for an evaluation for a 72 hour detention (same as our 96 hour hold). They admitted her and then also held her after that on a "up to 90 day hold". She was released after a total of about 4 weeks. She was better but not 100%. Her mania got worse by the weeks. Unfortunately, we cannot request that she get help until she poses a threat to herself or others. It's so hard to see your mom getting worse and worse by the day...turning into something you don't recognize. Sometimes, it's as though she has lost her spirit - her eyes become empty and sad. In November, my uncle petitioned for another 96 hour hold and I also filled out the affidavit/witness form. She was located by local police and they tried to pull her over. She did not stop. She says she feared it was "the bad cop" she disliked. The ended up using spike strips to stop the car. They asked her to get out of the car but the door was broke (according to her) so they broke it to get her out of the car. According to her, she exited through the passenger side. According to others, they pulled her out through the window? She was taken to the jail overnight and transferred to the closest hospital with an open bed. She was only held for the 96hours and then agreed to sign herself in until the dr got back from vacation for an evaluation. She signed out AMA (against medical advice). I've learned that the dr could have requested another 96 hour hold or could have went for a 21 day hold. He did not. Of course, she did not improve during the stay there and at this point, I was emotionally exhausted. During these two hospitalizations, I called everyone you can imagine for help. The crisis hotline, our state representative, the state health department and many others. There isn't much you can do without having guardianship on her. All I wanted to do was get my mom help but it's so hard to find "the right people" that care. All the people with the authority to do something...won't.