California Single Mom Suffering Delusions

Hi, I’m desperately trying to find a way to help a long time dear friend. Several years ago she called me claiming she’d been suffering from PTSD from new “memories” that had surfaced. These memories included: being trained as a child by the mafia to be a hitman, being forced to kill someone and being drowned during said training, friends from our childhood being apart of said mafia—a few currently being employed as hitmen, and that almost every man close to her or her family were either child molesters or rapists. Many people ignored the mafia claims but none could ignore the allegations of child molestation and/or rape. She has now pushed away every person that has cared for her and will not allow any family to see her daughter. It is her daughter I am extremely concerned about!

Her daughter is now 7 years old and hasn’t been in school for 1 ½ years. She claims she homeschools her but after spending several days with them it is clear that the bare minimum is being done. Her daughter is barely literate, spends all day/night playing by herself on a computer, has little to no social skills, rarely plays with kids her age, and hasn’t been taught the basics: aka how to prepare herself snacks, clean up after herself, how to bathe & dress, respectful language and communication, etc. Her basic needs (clothing, shelter and food) are being met but that is about it. Her daughter is still young but it is clear there needs to be some sort of intervention before developmental issues occur.

My friend’s delusions seems to be subsiding, or rather, the delusions have now shifted to an obsessive preoccupation of (consensual) sex. She still believes that certain close family members have sexually abused her daughter but she has changed her story about other friends. In particular, 4 years ago she claimed a longtime friend had molested her daughter, then the story shifted that he had raped her. The current belief is that they dated in Junior High and that she took his virginity. She followed this up by saying “I had a lot of sex then.” I have known her since High School and know for a fact that she was not sexually active as a child and did not ever have sex with said friend. It is a bit of a relief that her delusions have shifted from rape and abuse to consensual sex; however, it is taking over her life. She continually discusses (in front of her daughter) how every man she encounters wants to have sex with her and that she really should have had sex with this person and that person when she had the chance. It seems any man that is nice to her she thinks is trying to sleep with her. This is followed up with all women being jealous or being mean to her.

At this point she has NO support system whatsoever. She will not talk to either parents or her sister (all of whom are child molesters or their partners are). Most of her friends are no longer in contact. She hasn’t and won’t seek help. Originally she said she couldn’t get help because the mafia would find out and hurt/kill her and/or her daughter. Currently she doesn’t see these “memories” or this lifestyle as problematic. She has never been diagnosed or treated. We think she is aware that something is amiss but she is deathly afraid her daughter will be taken away from her.

Two years ago I spoke with a Clinical Psychologist (and friend). She was extremely concerned by her behavior and told me to call CPS. CPS has already been to check on her daughter 3 times but since the basic needs are all being met there’s nothing they can do. Also, when meeting my friend she does not show signs of mental illness. I’m a writing here with hopes someone may be able to recommend a course of action in the state of California that can help her get the help she needs. Also, any stories about similar experiences or helpful bits that could lead us towards a better future is greatly appreciated!! PLEASE do not refer a book to me. I do not have enough regular interactions and will be living out of the country from most of 2016. I am completely heartbroken watching this little girl living in poverty, without friends or family, getting close to no education, and listening to her mom obsess over sex, rape and molestation.

Well; you have painted a portrait of a woman with classic, PTSD-driven borderline personality disorder (see below). And then tied at least one of my arms behind my back.

For the others who may read this thread, however…

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the industry standard for this combination of diagnoses at this time.

I would get her family members (if you can reach any) to read this:

California is far more assertive than most states in intervening in such circumstances on behalf of the child. But even here, the laws protecting the rights of parents are complex. If the county Dept. of Public Social Services has not yet intervened, however, it may be because they have not heard enough yet from the neighbors. So…

@JBella…im sorry for your troubles aat the moment. Your friend need the help of a psychiatric team. Try getting her in to the loop somehow.

That’s a worrying situation and I don’t know a good solution, I only want to wish you a lot of strength. I feel for you, your friend and especially her daughter.

She obviously has a psychiatric problem… what have you tried already to have her accept help? Is there some help she would accept, something less threatening, f.e. someone of social work (?) visiting her to help her organise her household or so? Is there a psychiatric organisation in her area that you could speak to, to see what they can do without the consent of your friend?

I know how hard it is to get CPS to do anything…they look and watch while it goes wrong. I’ve been battling in court to protect my child against an abusive father. I needed all my creativity, a very good lawyer, lots of patience and a court order to have a good outcome. CPS did nothing. My situation was different, but I collected all the bits and pieces of information I could find… witness reports, scary e-mails he sent, psychiatrist report…would I do it again I’d even record threatening conversations as proof.

It’s not really a nice thing to fight “against” your friend and it may break her trust even more, so you have to tread carefully… but is there anything you can think of that would convince CPS to take action? Can her old friends and family members report to CPS with their stories as well? More reports = better. Do you have e-mails or recorded telephone conversations in which she is obviously delusional? It’s a bit of a heavy measure, but could you have a conversation to have advice from a family right lawyer or someone with legal background to see what legal possibilities there are to protect the child? Doesn’t CPS have any ideas at all? Could you propose something… I’m just thinking out loud, but in my country they have a system were someone of CPS is watching over the family as a guardian and can force parents to accept help. Even if the basic needs are met, but it is otherwise unsafe. There are also parttime foster families… couldn’t CPS force something like that, if you propose it? Than at least the child experiences a normal family in the weekends and holidays too…

Unfortunately I don’t really have good ideas, but I’m just trying to think of things…maybe it brings you to better ideas than mine.

I know from experience how frustrating and heartbreaking and scary it is if you see it go wrong and CPS doesn’t do anything and you don’t know what to do! Please use all your creativity to think of solutions…BUT also from own experience don’t get so involved that it hurts yourself to much. Good luck!