Hello everyone, I haven't posted here in a very long time and some of you may recognise me from posts I wrote ages ago. Looking for some words of advice and reassurance at this difficult time.
My daughter's dad and I are still in a painfully slow court dispute over custody and the primary school she ought to attend come August. My solicitors believe we are in a strong position for many reasons (I have her half the week midweek already, I work weekends, my local school is much better than his, etc.) but obviously it is a uphill battle as he has had official custody ever since I was ill with PP (and undiagnosed and then misdiagnosed with PD) and judges don't like changing the status quo.
Because he has no real argument to support his ridiculous and impractical proposal (to reduce the contact she has with me by 50% and change it to every second weekend - I have worked weekends for over 3 years), he is using the mental health card: "The said child has been put at risk of harm as a result of the defender's mental health. Should the defender's mental health deteriorate again in the future the child would be put at significant risk".
This is wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to start.
My PP episode was in late 2011, I did attempt suicide twice due to severe depression in early 2012 but as many of you will know, I had very understandable reasons for being so depressed, having been wrongly labelled and separated from my baby.
I was taken off antipsychotics in March 2013. My ex spoke to the psychiatrist around that time and was assured I did not present a risk to my little girl so could he please stop supervising contact.
I was discharged by the CMHT later in 2013 and bipolar never emerged. I was on a high dose of anti-depressant as a precaution but I gradually phased that out too over the course of 2015.
I am not in a relationship and in fact actively avoid those. I have ruled out having further biological children, not only because of the risk of PP but also because of the symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) I will inevitably develop which will make it difficult to care for my daughter (at times I was in a wheelchair with her and these conditions get worse with age and every pregnancy).
I believe my ex is a playing a very nasty game, using my former illness, our daughter, controlling her relationship with me, denying her the educational opportunities I could offer her to further emotionally abuse and manipulate me. Even people who work in mental health have mentioned the possibility that his emotionally abusive behaviour played an important part in me getting ill. Another layer of difficulty is that during my PP, I made serious allegations of abuse against him. I am now concerned that if my solicitors and myself try and point out during the trial that he was indeed and continues to be emotionally abusive, it will backfire, the initial allegations will be brought up to discredit me or prove I am still delusional in some way. So at every corner of this gruelling legal process, I am reminded of his abuse and my illness, the two being irremediably linked.
So first, I wondered what you all thought of this. All I have read so far is "none of what you or your partner have done will have caused your PP" and nothing on PP and abuse, although as far as I understand, many mental illnesses are more prevalent in people who have suffered abuse - is PP just not one of these?
Secondly, my solicitors are very keen to deny and disprove his mental health argument. I am therefore after some concrete, reliable and official figures or studies to show the court that the likelihood of another psychotic episode in the absence of bipolar and future pregnancies is close to 0. Anyone out there for whom PP appeared out of the blue without bipolar before or afterwards? I think it is great that PP is gaining more media coverage but somehow I feel that the link to bipolar is currently overplayed. Perhaps something about how the vast vast majority of PP sufferers (with or without bipolar) go on to be perfectly suitable mothers to their child(-ren)?
So as to shut him up once and for all.
Thank you for reading