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Am I in the wrong?

tonas24's picture

I am here to seek advice for a situation I'm dealing with. I have 2 step grandchildren, 4 and 1. I have been in their mothers' life since she was 15. She has always been a liar and will lie as easy as most draw breath. As an example, she once told me her cousins home was in flames and burning down. As it turns out, an outlet let a small puff of smoke out and there was no fire. A few days ago she told her kids father, that she had to bail her mother out of jail because she was pulled over by the police and they found drugs in the car. I was with her mother the whole day and I never saw any police. Anyway, I digress. My issue is I called her out on some of her lies and she blew up and was refusing to let me see the kids. Her exact words were, "You will never see my kids again you f****** loser." Now she has calmed down and her kids are asking for me. I will not let her use her kids as pawns when she deems it fit. I told her I won't see them until she gets mental help for her lying, among other things. She is diagnosed as bi-polar. I don't think it's fair to me for her to use her kids to hurt me. Am I in the wrong? Am I handling this the wrong way?? Please help.

marblefawn's picture

You are in the same bind as many others dealing with someone with mental illness. Are you doing the right thing? No one can answer that, but you're resorting to the same thing others do when they are at a loss of how to get help for someone who's sinking.

Save your own sanity. Only you know how miserable she's making her kids' lives and those around her. If the kids are in danger, absolutely use whatever you can to get them help. If not, you may give in so you have access to keep an eye on their well being.

If you want to wage a war that actually forces her to get help, you will need her entire family backing you. Do you have that? Probably not -- it's hard for others to acknowledge mental illness. It's easier to just keep going and act like it's not there. But if you have any allies, talk with them and find out how far they will go to force her to get help.

In the end, you may have to go it alone. And that will be tough. You have to do what you feel is just. Others might hate you for it. In fact, others are LIKELY to hate you for shaking things up, but your conscience has to dictate what you do.

That wasn't much help, was it? That's the bind of mental illness.

tonas24's picture

Her blood family are aware of her issues but seem to want to ignore and, as you said, let it go. Such a sad situation. Thank you for your comment.


tog redux's picture

I think you are wise to not get attached to the kids and not be a way for your SD to use them as pawns.  It's not your job to ensure their well-being by putting yourself through mistreatment from their mother. 

Rags's picture

No you are not wrong.  IMHO you are handling it exactly right.  As your GSkids get older it will be important to keep them up on the facts so that they can learn to protect themselves from their toxic liar of a mother.  Navigating this has to be difficult.  But always remember that the facts are the best tool for driving appropriate behavior in a toxic person regardless of age.

Good luck.

Take care of you.