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Just wanted to get some advice on my current situation. I'm currently back together with my BP ex-wife. We married in 2000 had 2 boys (Now 7&8) and she had 2 daughters from her previous marriage. Through Nov 2006 we had quite the roller coaster ride. I always knew something wasn't clicking in her head but didn't have the knowledge to understand it was BP. Throughout our relationship she's had many manic episodes that have been destructive to say the least. She's never had severe depression when she comes down but more of a constant level of mild depression. Never had any suicidal thoughts but takes off like a rocket when mania sets in. Between early 2005 and late 2006 she started taking Celexa which was a major mania trigger. She quit taking it 3 times but when she started again she was off to the races. She's never been alone in the last 20 years and will never leave one relationship without having a new one waiting in the wind. Since our divorce in 2006 she has consistently tried to work it out with me. This typically revolves around her losing interest in the boyfriend at the time or the boyfriend running for the hills due to her erratic BP episodes. I've went back multiple times in the past three years but could never put both feet back in for fear of the same old roller coaster ride. She did get officially dx in Jan-2008, starting on Abilfy, but then quickly quit taking it. Part of the problem with the meds was that it probably made her feel normal and that's a feeling she's never had before so she construed it as making her feel weird. It's mildly depressed 80% of the time or off to the races manic 20% of the time.

The thing is she's been fairly stable the last 18 months but her daughters (14&16 now) bailed out 18 months ago switching to living with their dad the majority of the time. A modified visitation schedule was agreed upon but then the ex-husband basically decided the girls only had to visit mom if they wanted to. The 14yr old has been dx with ADHD but I'm fairly confident she's BP too. She's all over the place emotionally and her behavior is hard to handle at times. She hasn't been affected by mom as much because she was all over the board herself and pretty much followed her 16yr old sisterís lead in moving to dads. The 16yr old has a very closed personality and will rarely expose her emotions. Between her father and me there's been many brief separations and 3-4 divorce filings between us. I've come to terms with many of her past behavior being a result of the BP but I'm not willing to give her a free pass on it either. We've been together since November and I've been amazed in how well she's dealt with things. She's in a custody fight with her ex and he refuses to give her an inch. He won't acknowledge that she did a lot of things in the past due to the BP. His anger over the past is most of the problem and he just wants remain committed to the idea that she is just an evil, self centered, bad person.

The problem I'm having is showing the 16yr old that mom is taking responsibility and is ready to make amends for the pain her BP caused the daughters. The 16yr being so closed minded emotionally she will just avoid talking with mom about the deeper issues like the plague. She is 16 so forcing visitation orders on her could very well push her farther away. The 14yr old is a separate issue with her problems and they have agreed on a more equal visitation schedule for her. Right now a hearing is schedule in court and I want to settle this prior. Mom really wants to head to court to have the judge force the 16yr old to have set overnights 3 days a week. I think the judge would very well order that considering all the circumstances but I'm at odds on whether this will help or only do more damage. In many ways the ex has caused a further divide between mom and the girls by basically revealing every last thing mom has done in her past. In essence, he has consistently let his anger and hate for mom is displayed to the girls which in turn has further tainted the girlís view of mom.

My question to all of you is how does mom go about repairing the damaged cause by her episodes of the past. Although she remains unmedicated she's remained stable for quite awhile and there's been plenty of things that would have easily triggered an episode in the past but she's remained composed. Granted, I still have reservations that the past could repeat itself and I know the 16yr probably has much of the same feelings. I've talked with Mom about things being good but if she feels something coming on then we need to act quickly to head it off. She really wants to have her daughters back in her life full time but I'm just having a hard time finding the right roadmap to follow to get it all back on track. Remember, there are two little boys that are being kept from seeing their sisters because of the void between mother and daughters.

Any advice from those of you that have had similar circumstances would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks - U&A

BTW- I don't feel like I being used and abused any more. :)

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