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  #1  
Old 10-29-2009, 10:05 AM
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Default bail her out OR tough love

I am new here so here goes... My cousin who is more like my sister is in jail right now and might be serving 2 years for probation violation...We are contemplating getting a lawyer to try and help with the legal aspect, but due to her drug use we are hesitant for fear she will be right back in jail, now the question is should we invest $2000 on this...

First a brief breakdown...

My cousin has a history of drug use but nothing that was 'out of control'.
For the past 2 years though she has been spiraling out of control, for example:

1. she lost her 3 kids but technically 2 kids (because one is 18) recently due to drug use and received a child endangerment charge and given probation. Now her mother(72 yrs old) is raising a 2yr old child and taking care of her 18 yr old still in H.S. Her daughter was sent with her father.

2. While on probation she threw a compliance paper at the social worker and kicked her out of her house

3. She is in jail now because she failed a drug test.


side note: her daughter missing school for 70 days started the investigation,
she has been charged also in the past with dui,
caught breastfeeding her child while having drugs in her system...
she has burnt many bridges with family members

My aunt likes to say that she is bi-polar, which may be true but i believe the problem lies within the addiction.

I feel sorry for my cousin and her children...I really don't want to see her in jail, but ....there is always a but...

But, is it best to give tough love right now or should we try to get her out. Like I said if she does by the grace of god get out of jail, more than likely she will be right back to doin drugs and fail her test and be back in jail again. After all an addict is an addict and me being a weed head and understanding the power of drugs like cocaine/crack (not sure which she is using but probably both and who knows what else) I know it is hard to quit. Even those with the strongest of will power can have a breakdown. I think she needs rehab, but i know it won't happen until SHE is ready.

So do we give tough love or bail her out and she what she does next...



Optimistic Note : I want to see her get her life together for the sake of her kids.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:10 AM
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I absolutely would not bail her out. sometimes the best kind of love IS tough love. because when a person is addicted if others cushion their fall and don't allow them to be able to suffer the consequences of their own CHOICES,they never learn... why should they if they never feel the ill affects of their bad behavior??? best of luck to you. i'm sure this is very hard on you and your family. most esp. the children.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:15 AM
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I agree with beth. I wouldnt bail her out.

All the choices she made, the WRONG choices. She's not going to learn anything from them if she doesnt sober up and realize what she did. - With being in jail she will be FORCED to be sober. Possibly have to go through a drug program, which would be good for her.

I wish the best for you and your family. Please keep us posted.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:17 AM
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:18 AM
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I wouldn't bail her out she needs to feel some consequences for her actions. My son is in jail again and this time we are not bailing him out. We allow phone calls, write letters and let him know we love him but this time he needs to figure it out or stay in jail/prisons for the rest of his life. I can't say for sure but I wonder if we had not bailed him out the previous times maybe he wouldn't be there again with more serious charges. He is involved with drugs and alcohol so it is hard to say but as much as it hurts us we need to let them feel the pain so to speak. My heart goes out to you and her children who care so much for her hopefully she will get herself together.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:11 AM
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i would give her that time to sit in there and think about what she has been doing and the consequences if she contines, also what she has to lose(which is a lot).

also, on your end. if you are up for it and willing, i would try to quit smoking. my BF is in for drugs, and i smoke weed. i have to quit by the time he comes home. i cant tell him not to do something that i am also doing(whether its not as bad a drug or not). i also think, showing her that you can be 100% clean and doing the right thing, might just make her want to be like you, and to get her kids back.

but i would leave her in there until shes good and clean off of them at least you know? otherwise she will come out and continue, without at least getting that chance to think with a clear head.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:59 PM
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Thanks for everyones support, and prayers... I think everyone is right about the tough love thing...even though it is hard... I guess its never easy to turn your back on a loved one.


@chelseagreg1427: I know I need to quit weed, I have many times before and its no problem for me, I just love to smoke it...sounding suspect myself huh. lol,
but you are right about what you say.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by speakmytruth View Post
Thanks for everyones support, and prayers... I think everyone is right about the tough love thing...even though it is hard... I guess its never easy to turn your back on a loved one.


@chelseagreg1427: I know I need to quit weed, I have many times before and its no problem for me, I just love to smoke it...sounding suspect myself huh. lol,
but you are right about what you say.

its ok im in the same boat well i want to quit more than anything, ive been smoking for 3 years straight, at least 5 times a day. i have anxiety and major nausea issues which is why im scared to death. but i know exactly what you are saying
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:31 PM
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Hon, she should sit in the corner with the dunce hat on for a while. And she should have a psych eval done. Bipolar is a very, very common reason for people to use drugs and alcohol, and they need a good deal of time on the right meds to get control of their condition. She can't control the bi-polar without serious medical intervention.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:58 PM
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Default Get the BiPolar in check!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimuay View Post
Hon, she should sit in the corner with the dunce hat on for a while. And she should have a psych eval done. Bipolar is a very, very common reason for people to use drugs and alcohol, and they need a good deal of time on the right meds to get control of their condition. She can't control the bi-polar without serious medical intervention.
Welcome to PTO and I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I just wanted to strongly affirm what Nimuay said about BiPolar disorder. You mentioned it as sort of a side note but this is a very serious disease and it affects many many aspects of a person's thinking ability and rationale. It can cause one to have horrible judgement, skewed, distorted thinking, severely impulsive behavior, out-of-control anger and extreme agitation/irritability, not to mention all symptoms of depression. Often, many criminals are acting on their bi-polar impulses and when the manic episode is over, if they don't know they're bi-polar, they don't have any clue why they violated their own morals and impulsively used such horrible judgement as to commit a crime. In severe cases, dilusions, paranoia, and hallucinations also can go hand in hand with BiPolar disorder.

This condition is treatable and people with this disease can go on to lead very stable, productive lives once they're on the right meds. PLEASE have a psych eval done if you believe she is bi-polar because she will never "behave herself" or "do the right thing" if she is bi-polar and is left untreated. She could be in and out of jail indefinately. If treated, her behaviors may stop (throwing the document at the DSS worker and kicking her out of the house sounds remarkably like manic irritability with poor judgment and impulsive acting out - i.e. a manic episode).

Also, it is estimated that 60%-80% of bi-polar patients are addicts/alcoholics. The theory is that they are trying to regulate their moods with their substance of choice and "escape" the horribly painful reality of living with the disease. Believe me, you wouldn't want to be in the head of a bi-polar individual. I do believe in tough love. Just because she is ill (if she is in fact suffering from bi-polar) isn't justification for using drugs. She still has to deal with her addiction and tough love is a good start but if the underlying cause is bi-polar, she may never get clean without intervention for the mental illness because her distorted thinking (from mania) will never allow her to hit bottom (i.e. she'll always justify an excuse to use as she will not be rationale).

I wish ALL of you the best!
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  #11  
Old 10-29-2009, 10:00 PM
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I'm another parent going through the same thing. I say don't bail her out.
Please try to change your thinking...."You are not turning your back on her."

I know it is very hard to let her sit in jail, but hopefully you are doing her a favor.
My youngest son is currently sitting in the County Jail, again. He violated his probation and self surrendered, he will be there until the end of January. When he gets out of jail he will have reached the ripe age of 21. The legal age to buy & drink alcohol. That's his drug of choice, but when he couldn't get that he was great at substituting.
In his mind he thinks a lot of his problems stemmed from being underage, although he does recognize he does have a problem. My concern is I think he thinks, he will be able to self-manage his problem. He will be 21, so therefore he will be of legal age to drink.
I am just praying to GOD that he has the will power to abstain.
We have had him in and out of rehabs....and he still managed to get into trouble with the law.
Just remember your cousin does have a choice and so do you.

Tough love is not easy, I'm trying to keep my backbone in check too.

Best of Luck!!
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevenandme View Post
Welcome to PTO and I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I just wanted to strongly affirm what Nimuay said about BiPolar disorder. You mentioned it as sort of a side note but this is a very serious disease and it affects many many aspects of a person's thinking ability and rationale. It can cause one to have horrible judgement, skewed, distorted thinking, severely impulsive behavior, out-of-control anger and extreme agitation/irritability, not to mention all symptoms of depression. Often, many criminals are acting on their bi-polar impulses and when the manic episode is over, if they don't know they're bi-polar, they don't have any clue why they violated their own morals and impulsively used such horrible judgement as to commit a crime. In severe cases, dilusions, paranoia, and hallucinations also can go hand in hand with BiPolar disorder.

This condition is treatable and people with this disease can go on to lead very stable, productive lives once they're on the right meds. PLEASE have a psych eval done if you believe she is bi-polar because she will never "behave herself" or "do the right thing" if she is bi-polar and is left untreated. She could be in and out of jail indefinately. If treated, her behaviors may stop (throwing the document at the DSS worker and kicking her out of the house sounds remarkably like manic irritability with poor judgment and impulsive acting out - i.e. a manic episode).

Also, it is estimated that 60%-80% of bi-polar patients are addicts/alcoholics. The theory is that they are trying to regulate their moods with their substance of choice and "escape" the horribly painful reality of living with the disease. Believe me, you wouldn't want to be in the head of a bi-polar individual. I do believe in tough love. Just because she is ill (if she is in fact suffering from bi-polar) isn't justification for using drugs. She still has to deal with her addiction and tough love is a good start but if the underlying cause is bi-polar, she may never get clean without intervention for the mental illness because her distorted thinking (from mania) will never allow her to hit bottom (i.e. she'll always justify an excuse to use as she will not be rationale).

I wish ALL of you the best!
Great information, I like how you broke it down to me...I will read this to my family when they get home tonight. How do you get a psych eval done? can it be done in jail? or is it something that the family has to pay for? I was told she had one done in the 90's and she is suppose to take prozac, but she doesn't do it.

How do you get someone to take their meds, or go see a psych or anything for that matter if they don't want to.

Sometimes I beleive she is bi-polar and then sometimes I question it, but who really knows.

On another note she does fit the description of bi-polar, the highs and lows, but couldn't that also be just the drug use.

But again how do you go about the process?
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordbew/us View Post
I'm another parent going through the same thing. I say don't bail her out.
Please try to change your thinking...."You are not turning your back on her."

I know it is very hard to let her sit in jail, but hopefully you are doing her a favor.
My youngest son is currently sitting in the County Jail, again. He violated his probation and self surrendered, he will be there until the end of January. When he gets out of jail he will have reached the ripe age of 21. The legal age to buy & drink alcohol. That's his drug of choice, but when he couldn't get that he was great at substituting.
In his mind he thinks a lot of his problems stemmed from being underage, although he does recognize he does have a problem. My concern is I think he thinks, he will be able to self-manage his problem. He will be 21, so therefore he will be of legal age to drink.
I am just praying to GOD that he has the will power to abstain.
We have had him in and out of rehabs....and he still managed to get into trouble with the law.
Just remember your cousin does have a choice and so do you.

Tough love is not easy, I'm trying to keep my backbone in check too.

Best of Luck!!
It is never easy, you are right I shouldn't feel as if I am turning my back on her, but it does feel that way. When she yells help and we can't help it hurts.
It really really hurts.

I hope you son will be ok...prayers to you...stay strong.


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Old 10-30-2009, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimuay View Post
Hon, she should sit in the corner with the dunce hat on for a while. And she should have a psych eval done. Bipolar is a very, very common reason for people to use drugs and alcohol, and they need a good deal of time on the right meds to get control of their condition. She can't control the bi-polar without serious medical intervention.

lol at dunce hat...you are right.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:08 AM
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i think you should let her sit there sometimes tough love is the only way, especially with people with addictions they have to stay there for a while sadly. my boyfriend has had drug problems up until he got locked up in january. he's only 21. & i look at it as "the longer he's in there, the better" cause the more it motivates him to stay clean when he comes home. it's just what HAS to be done in that case.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:55 PM
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Welcome to PTO! I'm sorry you couldn't have found us under less difficult circumstances...

Were I in your position, I would most definitely not bail her out. She is an adult that made her own choices. The ones I would be more concerned about right now are the 72 year old mother and the toddler. They need more help than your cousin, at this point, at least in my opinion and I think your family would be doing a great thing to focus your money and energies more towards the unintended victims of your cousin's behavior.

Plus, as other posters have discussed, this could be a very good opportunity for your cousin to get clean for a period of time and possibly have a mental health eval in the event she is Bipolar, not to mention the potential for drug/alcohol treatment, particularly if Children and Youth became involved prior to her incarceration.

I wish you and your family the very best with this so difficult situation.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:22 PM
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Just a note here to add about bipolar. They "tried" diagnosing my son bipolar many years ago due to his irrational behavior. He was not bipolar. Yes, he does have some emotional issues (antisocial, OCD, no self confidence, etc. etc). But his irrational up and down behavior was due to drug use. All the drugs they gave him to help this so called bipolar just made things worse. Antipsychotic meds are not to be taken lightly. THey can be a life saver to some and a nightmare to others.'

Im not suggesting that your cousin is not bipolar, just investigate it closely. Sometimes we look so hard for a "good" reason for our loved ones addictions, that we look too deep and find things that arent there. Have her go thru some counseling first before they start her on meds. See how things balance out after months of being sober. Its gonna be ugly at first - as it is with any addict, but if her emotions dont balance out after a specific amount of time, then maybe there is an emotional issue in there. I know my son has issues and that is why he self medicates, but he also knows that all the meds that the pychiatrists will give him will just make it worse. He learned that by experience. I know everyone is different and things work differently for some, just wanted to stick my two cents in

Also - tough love is defintely called for in my opinion. She has a roof over her head and 3 meals a day. Time to sober up....

Good luck to you and your family...
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:34 PM
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Hi and welcome to PTO.

A few months ago, my sister got arrested during a raid at the place that she was staying (not her first arrest by any means). The judge was going to revoke her probation and sentence her to prison. She got really lucky and got an awsome public defender who told me that if I could get her into a program that he could probably get her reinstated one more time on probation. So I did. I jumped through all kinds of hoops just to get her out and into a program. And she did get out. And now about three months later she is in jail again, and this time she is headed to prison.

My point is, that no matter how much I wanted her to go to a program, it's not going to happen until she wants it. I honestly think that she needed to go to prison. I am hopeing that this is what she needs to realize that she needs to turn her life around.

I'm going to echo everybody else. I don't think that you should bail her out. It's time she become accountable for her actions.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Leenie46 View Post
Just a note here to add about bipolar. They "tried" diagnosing my son bipolar many years ago due to his irrational behavior. He was not bipolar. Yes, he does have some emotional issues (antisocial, OCD, no self confidence, etc. etc). But his irrational up and down behavior was due to drug use. All the drugs they gave him to help this so called bipolar just made things worse. Antipsychotic meds are not to be taken lightly. THey can be a life saver to some and a nightmare to others.'

Im not suggesting that your cousin is not bipolar, just investigate it closely. Sometimes we look so hard for a "good" reason for our loved ones addictions, that we look too deep and find things that arent there. Have her go thru some counseling first before they start her on meds. See how things balance out after months of being sober. Its gonna be ugly at first - as it is with any addict, but if her emotions dont balance out after a specific amount of time, then maybe there is an emotional issue in there. I know my son has issues and that is why he self medicates, but he also knows that all the meds that the pychiatrists will give him will just make it worse. He learned that by experience. I know everyone is different and things work differently for some, just wanted to stick my two cents in

Also - tough love is defintely called for in my opinion. She has a roof over her head and 3 meals a day. Time to sober up....

Good luck to you and your family...

Any physiciatrist who is worth his/her weight will not prescribe antipsychotic or mood stabilizing drugs to a patient whom they know to be an active drug/alcohol user. Mixing these potent Rx drugs with illegal drugs and alcohol is very dangerous. Also, diagnosing BiPolar Disorder is complex and there is no "blood test" or "brain scan" available. The final diagnosis is based solely on the Dr's professional training after a thorough evaluation. Since it can only be diagnosed based on the patient's description of their own moods/behavior a good M.D. who knows a patient is using drugs will tell them, "the moods/behaviors you are experiencing are not an accurate baseline of your true mode of functioning. your moods/behaviors are being driven by the drugs/alcohol you are consuming. get clean, then come back and we'll talk about how you think/act/feel when there are no chemicals in your system". Any doctor who diagnoses a known, active addict and actually gives them meds, in my opinion should be sued for malpractice.

This actually happened to my sister. She is a heroin addict and thought she was bipolar. Went to a Dr and asked for meds. He said he didn't feel comfortable diagnosing her while she was using because he wouldn't be able to tell if her moods were a reflection of the drug use, or actually an accurate picture of how her brain was functioning. He sent her away with no meds, she was pissed, he said "too bad". She got clean many years later and still found herself suffering mentally. She went to a Dr. and was diagnosed as BiPolar, spent quite a while finding the right meds, and finally stabilized and is now living a very happy, productive life.

You asked how to get a psych eval. I assume she has a public defender? If so, she needs to tell her public defender that she wants a psych eval. Most law firms have reputable doctors that they repeatedly use and the public defender will just arrange for their firm's doctor to meet with your cousin. The cost is covered as part of her right to free legal counsel.

Even if it turns out that she is in fact mentally sick, don't get all soft though. She is still an addict and needs tough love. She has to stop using and take responsibility. Bailing her out is not the answer.

I really hope this works out ok for everyone. Take care
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
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Any physiciatrist who is worth his/her weight will not prescribe antipsychotic or mood stabilizing drugs to a patient whom they know to be an active drug/alcohol user. Mixing these potent Rx drugs with illegal drugs and alcohol is very dangerous. Also, diagnosing BiPolar Disorder is complex and there is no "blood test" or "brain scan" available. The final diagnosis is based solely on the Dr's professional training after a thorough evaluation. Since it can only be diagnosed based on the patient's description of their own moods/behavior a good M.D. who knows a patient is using drugs will tell them, "the moods/behaviors you are experiencing are not an accurate baseline of your true mode of functioning. your moods/behaviors are being driven by the drugs/alcohol you are consuming. get clean, then come back and we'll talk about how you think/act/feel when there are no chemicals in your system". Any doctor who diagnoses a known, active addict and actually gives them meds, in my opinion should be sued for malpractice.

This actually happened to my sister. She is a heroin addict and thought she was bipolar. Went to a Dr and asked for meds. He said he didn't feel comfortable diagnosing her while she was using because he wouldn't be able to tell if her moods were a reflection of the drug use, or actually an accurate picture of how her brain was functioning. He sent her away with no meds, she was pissed, he said "too bad". She got clean many years later and still found herself suffering mentally. She went to a Dr. and was diagnosed as BiPolar, spent quite a while finding the right meds, and finally stabilized and is now living a very happy, productive life.

You asked how to get a psych eval. I assume she has a public defender? If so, she needs to tell her public defender that she wants a psych eval. Most law firms have reputable doctors that they repeatedly use and the public defender will just arrange for their firm's doctor to meet with your cousin. The cost is covered as part of her right to free legal counsel.

Even if it turns out that she is in fact mentally sick, don't get all soft though. She is still an addict and needs tough love. She has to stop using and take responsibility. Bailing her out is not the answer.

I really hope this works out ok for everyone. Take care
Good to hear about your sister.... I hope my cousin can find her silver lining.
Thanks for the great info...I will definetly tell her to go and get a psych eval. Hopefully she will follow thru. And i agree with you that any doctor who prescribes meds while someone is on drugs should be sued. That is why my family is confused, like you said, you're not sure if the highs and lows and moodswings are because of the drugs or because of a mental issue. I will try not to get soft if she is found truly mentally ill, but it would be a relief if we knew exactly if she were bi-polar. But yes it is the drugs....And like you said first she must get clean, which is what she is doing now while sitting in jail.
I hope it is all for the best.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:45 PM
speakmytruth speakmytruth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter07 View Post
Welcome to PTO! I'm sorry you couldn't have found us under less difficult circumstances...

Were I in your position, I would most definitely not bail her out. She is an adult that made her own choices. The ones I would be more concerned about right now are the 72 year old mother and the toddler. They need more help than your cousin, at this point, at least in my opinion and I think your family would be doing a great thing to focus your money and energies more towards the unintended victims of your cousin's behavior.

Plus, as other posters have discussed, this could be a very good opportunity for your cousin to get clean for a period of time and possibly have a mental health eval in the event she is Bipolar, not to mention the potential for drug/alcohol treatment, particularly if Children and Youth became involved prior to her incarceration.

I wish you and your family the very best with this so difficult situation.
oh yes, I feel so bad for my aunt, she is doing her best caring for the kids and whatnot, and not to mention she has to work 3 days out the week. Times are definetly stressful. She definetly altered people lives in more ways than one. My aunt tries her best to keep a smile on her face but i know she is hurting and feels embarassed and ashamed, mad, vulnerable and helpless. She is scared her 'little girl' is going to get hurt in jail/prison. I try and tell her she will be ok. So many emotions and you're right all of our energies should be going towards the kids and my aunt.

By the way thanks.
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  #22  
Old 11-16-2009, 04:49 PM
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SpeakMyTruth- just checking in to see how things went..

Please let us know

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