Progress through custody Print
Written by Gramie   

Dear Paul,

Thank you so much for your response, I appreciate the time you've taken to read my email and get back to me with your comments.

I am happy to report that in May my son won custody of his daughter and things have definitely improved since that time. The mother of the child does have visitation, and we never wanted to deny her access to her child. Stipulations regarding visitation include the mother providing monthly drug test results to my son, along with monthly statements from her psychiatrist and evidence that she is back on her prescribed medications.

Before we went to court I did try to speak to the mother about her experiences as a child and how, in the past, she had told me about the impact of her own mother's mental health issues on her as she was growing up. We had begun what seemed like a meaningful conversation when her boyfriend took the phone and wouldn't let me speak with her again. Since then, we have not spoken due to their anger around losing custody of the child. But, I met this young woman when she was still in high school and I know that she doesn't want to be the kind of person she turns into when she doesn't take care of herself. I don't think she has much support in getting better, so the court orders seem more like punishment to her than an avenue for an improved quality of life.

While the mother is still very angry that she lost custody, she has been complying with the court order. Another stipulation, which we are unable to really monitor, is that she maintain the regular bedtime that has been established for the child now that she is living with her dad. The difference in my granddaughter's mood and behavior is greatly improved and she's a much happier little girl these days.

We want to see her mother get better and really take care of herself so she can be the best possible mother she can be to this child. While she resents all of us at this point, we're hopeful that one day she'll come to the realization that these things can really help her have a better life, and by improving her own life she will improve the life of her daughter. We try to keep a positive thought for her success in taking better care of herself, but we're also prepared to deal with the fall-out if she is unable to continue to do so.

Yes, you may certainly post my email in the event our experiences could be helpful to others and you may use gramie as my user name.

Again, thank you for responding and for providing a valuable resource to parents and grandparents dealing with the many issues surrounding mental illness in families.

Best regards