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Author Topic: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)  (Read 4400 times)

murphy35

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New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« on: Nov 30, 2003, 07:04:19 AM »
Hello everyone!  I'm new here and I'm needing some help.  I recently married a man (3 weeks ago) with an ex-wife who's goal in life is to make this man's life miserable.  They have been divorced for a little over 2 years, they have a 6-yr old daughter.  

This little girl has become a pawn for the mother - pumping her for information about his/our personal life, using the daughter to express the ex-wife's opinion about her father, getting this girl to lie about what her father does, etc...

It's getting worse - daughter was in the hospital about 2 months ago with pneumonia - ex-wife used the opportunity to make it her own little drama.  Daughter was released from hospital, clean bill of health.  Discharge papers from the hospital made no mention of asthma.  My husband has now received a letter from CPS with an accusation of neglect (the week after our wedding) and also a letter from the ex-wife's lawyer accusing the same thing (yesterday)- that he smokes around the child - knowing she has "asthma" and not caring about her welfare.  First off, this man has never smoked around his child, not before his daughter's stay in the hospital, nor after.  When she is here for visitation, we are outside smoking, to the point that she is not allowed to even be outside with us when we are smoking.  Regardless of whether or not she really has asthma - it's what we have always done.  Now he's getting accused of neglect.  Other than the ex-wife asking my husband in the hospital if he was going to smoke around their daughter - to which he responded that he never has and never will - she herself has not asked about it since.  The only place she could be getting her "information" would be from the daughter.  Unfortunately this girl has learned at 6 how to lie to make mommy happy.  

We are at a loss at what to do.  Does he have to prove he is not being neglectful?  What can be done about false allegations of neglect?  We suspect PAS (which we have read extensively about on this site - it's like reading our diary with this woman).  

His daughter is very screwed up emotionally - sits there and will tell her father "you never let me call my mommy", sobbing, hysterical - although it's never been an issue - she's always been allowed to call her mother while she is here.  This is just an example of the kind of stuff his daughter will come up with while she is here.  It's like she's coached by her mother of all the father's wrongs, and when she gets here and sees that none of it is true, it simply flips her out.  

Whenever she is disciplined here for her behavior (she simply is not disciplined at home), she immediately will want to call her mother and go home.  We allow her the phone call - which then becomes a drama fest with her mother wanting to come and rescue her from evil daddy.  This happened on Thanksgiving day - she had hit my daughter and I caught her doing so, and simply told her that we do not hit each other in this house - she then misses her mommy - wants to call her.  My teenage son was on the phone at the time and by the time we got him off the phone she was perfectly fine - her dad had read her a book, etc...  He dials the phone for her, she instantly starts crying, sobbing, etc... wanting to come home.  This goes on for half an hour, to the point that he said fine, I'll take you home.  Soon as he says that, however, she changes her mind, "I don't miss my mommy, I want to stay here", but he takes her home anyways.  This kind of stuff goes on all the time.

What is he supposed to do?  How does he handle this?  What is he to do without involving him/us and his daughter into this game his ex insists on playing?  Not wanting to play the game, but needing to defend himself at the same time.  

FYI:  We live in Indiana, and Indiana has put those "guidelines" out there to make the children's lives easier.  Personally I follow them like the bible - it simply makes things easier with my children's father - and it's the right thing to do.  It eliminates conflict.  It's frustrating when his ex disregards these guidelines.  Who enforces these guidelines?  Does anyone know?  

There's so much more that has been going on, but I hope I got across the general idea.  I apologize for such a long post.  Any advice you could give would be so much appreciated.

Murphy


nosonew

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #1 on: Nov 30, 2003, 09:14:11 AM »
Murphy, first thing:
1.  Don't take the child back during your visitation.  Why?  Because you start a routine that is enabling the PAS.  Then by doing so, you are showing the child mom is right and when child has something happen she doesn't like, back to mom she goes.  How do I know?  Went thru the exact same thing!!  Our BM would drug the child, have him sleep all day, then told him if he couldn't go to sleep at bedtime, it was because he was "homesick for mom".  So, when bedtime rolled around, he wasn't sleepy and would ask to go home.  How did I handle this?  I have lots of Disney movies and we would stay up, watch movies, eat popcorn and have fun!  When bm realized this wasn't working, she quit, (but moved on to other things of course).  So each time she tries a new avenue, you just "intercept" and change the course to your favor.

2.  Regarding phone calls, if it is legal in your state, record the calls.  They probably won't do much in court, but just so you know what mom is saying to the child.  And you can "effectively" intercept what is going on.  

3.  As far as the smoking, I would tell you to quit, but under extreme stress like this, it's not a good time.  However, just continue to smoke outside and have friends/family willing to back you on this topic.

4.  Take child to your own doctor to confirm diagnosis of asthma.  Then you know.  Also, if she does have asthma, shouldn't mom be sending an inhaler or other medication with her for visits?  

5.  I feel for you regarding being the new stepmom, hopefully bm will give up on her vendetta soon and your life will be a little more normal. Don't bet on it, but Im an optimist at heart!

6.  Never blame the child.  I can tell from your writings that you feel the child is just playing right into moms hands, but it REALLY is not the childs fault.  6 years old is young enough for you to be able to make a change, but you MUST stick to your guns as hard as it may be.  Make sure any rules she follows in your household are the same for all the other kids.  Don't treat her any different. (Although I must admit, the first couple of years I got to know ss, I let him get away with alot more than my son could, and if he asked for something, I usually gave in).  It is very easy to hold a grudge against the child (even unknowingly), but please do your best not to.  She is the number one victim here.

Best of luck, hope to hear more soon.

sweetnsad

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #2 on: Nov 30, 2003, 09:55:33 AM »
Wow, reading that is like I wrote it myself....Gosh, Murphy, I know it's hard...we go through the same with BM, only three children are involved and easily manipulated...
The previous advice is well spoken...Take as much of it as possible to heart...I know I will...
I feel for you and your DH as well as the SD....she doesn't know any better and she only wants to make everyone happy, including her crazy mother....
Find out about the asthma....very important....also, if it's bad enough, she should have medication on hand during EVERY visitation, no matter what, so look into it...
Take care and God Bless..

Brent

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #3 on: Nov 30, 2003, 10:18:14 AM »
One of the first things you'll hear is "Document, document, document!". Having good records is crucial to be able to work with the court or other authorities.

If you haven't already done so, get yourself either the Parenting Time Tracker (PTT) at: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/tracker.htm or the OPTIMAL Custody Tracking service at: http://www.parentingtime.net. The PTT is free, but the OPTIMAL service is better.





murphy35

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #4 on: Nov 30, 2003, 02:38:28 PM »
>Murphy, first thing:
>1.  Don't take the child back during your visitation.  Why?
>Because you start a routine that is enabling the PAS.  Then by
>doing so, you are showing the child mom is right and when
>child has something happen she doesn't like, back to mom she
>goes.  

Good point, thank you.  Question however, how does he deal with the upset child/upset mother at that point in time?  How can he explain to a 6-yr old that this is his visitation time?  Everything we have discussed between ourselves sounds completely wrong to us, much less to his little girl....

How do I know?  Went thru the exact same thing!!  Our
>BM would drug the child, have him sleep all day, then told him
>if he couldn't go to sleep at bedtime, it was because he was
>"homesick for mom".  So, when bedtime rolled around, he wasn't
>sleepy and would ask to go home.  How did I handle this?  I
>have lots of Disney movies and we would stay up, watch movies,
>eat popcorn and have fun!  When bm realized this wasn't
>working, she quit, (but moved on to other things of course).
>So each time she tries a new avenue, you just "intercept" and
>change the course to your favor.

Wow, that is completely unreal - I cannot imagine doing that to my own children....   That's messed up.  My heart goes out to you....  I understand how we need to make each "game" not work, and be prepared for the next, it's just so tiring sometimes!  I really wonder if she (the mother) has nothing better to do than sit around and think up stuff like this!
>
>2.  Regarding phone calls, if it is legal in your state,
>record the calls.  They probably won't do much in court, but
>just so you know what mom is saying to the child.  And you can
>"effectively" intercept what is going on.  

I will definately check into the state laws - thank you.
>
>3.  As far as the smoking, I would tell you to quit, but under
>extreme stress like this, it's not a good time.  However, just
>continue to smoke outside and have friends/family willing to
>back you on this topic.

I personally would love to quit - and I'm trying to steel myself for a "new year's resolution" I've smoked for over 20 years now - and it's going to interesting to say the least.  But, yes, in the meantime we are smoking outside and will continue to do as we have always done.  We do have friends/family to back this up - as any guest who is a smoker has to smoke outside at our home as well....  Will that be enough to fight the false accusation?  Or do we need to do more?
>
>4.  Take child to your own doctor to confirm diagnosis of
>asthma.  Then you know.  Also, if she does have asthma,
>shouldn't mom be sending an inhaler or other medication with
>her for visits?  

Good point - the mother had been sending her medication from the hospital out with his daughter - on the last couple of occasions she has not...  My husband does not have any access to her medication except through her mother....  Unfortunately, the mother's doctor is also our doctor, would it be acceptable to take her to another doctor - should it be a specialist or would a family doctor be okay?
>
>5.  I feel for you regarding being the new stepmom, hopefully
>bm will give up on her vendetta soon and your life will be a
>little more normal. Don't bet on it, but Im an optimist at
>heart!

I knew the mother was quite vindictive before marrying my husband, but for some reason I had hoped it would stop - foolish I know.  This man and his child are worth every ounce of stress this woman tries to throw our way - but it does take a toll - and it is so frustrating.  I want so badly to do something to help him and his daughter, but I'm pretty much helpless in this case.
>
>6.  Never blame the child.  I can tell from your writings that
>you feel the child is just playing right into moms hands, but
>it REALLY is not the childs fault.  6 years old is young
>enough for you to be able to make a change, but you MUST stick
>to your guns as hard as it may be.  Make sure any rules she
>follows in your household are the same for all the other kids.
> Don't treat her any different. (Although I must admit, the
>first couple of years I got to know ss, I let him get away
>with alot more than my son could, and if he asked for
>something, I usually gave in).  It is very easy to hold a
>grudge against the child (even unknowingly), but please do
>your best not to.  She is the number one victim here.

I don't blame the child - but have to admit it is so frustrating!  I love this little girl so much, and yes, I admit as well that I tend to ignore alot of what she does - so she ends up getting away with more than my own children do....  I see where it probably sounds as if I am angry with the child - and that isn't how I feel - it's just my frustration at the entire situation.  Although your comments do make me wonder if I'm showing my frustation to my step-daughter as well, so I will take extra care when she is here to be sure that I'm not projecting my frustration and anger at her mother onto her.  Thanks for the heads up....
>
>Best of luck, hope to hear more soon.

Thanks so much for your input.  My husband and I are feeling very alone right now.  Family and friends have been great, but they don't understand any more than we do.  So having the input from someone that has dealt with this stuff - and maybe even overcome it is so valuable to us.  Thanks again.


murphy35

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #5 on: Nov 30, 2003, 03:00:29 PM »
>Wow, reading that is like I wrote it myself....Gosh, Murphy,
>I know it's hard...we go through the same with BM, only three
>children are involved and easily manipulated...

It's hard enough with one child - I cannot imagine it with 3!  Reading the posts here make me wonder what is wrong with the world today - when mother's purposely manipulate and damage their children.  I am a divorced woman with 3 children - but the attitude taken at the time of our divorce was that the children came first - it has NOT been easy and I am (as well as my ex is) only human and it hasn't always been perfect by any means - but no matter what - they are first.  I don't like my ex - (wouldn't have divorced him if I did) would prefer that I never have to deal with him ever again - but I do - because we share these kids.  So I deal with it - keeping them first - cuz that's really all that matters.  Not his feelings, nor mine.  Perhaps that is why this whole situation frustrates me so much.

>The previous advice is well spoken...Take as much of it as
>possible to heart...I know I will...

I will as well....

>I feel for you and your DH as well as the SD....she doesn't
>know any better and she only wants to make everyone happy,
>including her crazy mother....

Thank you for your thoughts - and I as well feel for my sd - as she has been thrust into such an awful position of playing pawn - peacekeeper - informant, etc...  I cannot imagine the confusion she must feel, and how it must be affecting her.  We can see some of the signs of the stress she must be under - however, we cannot see inside her head to see how this affects her "inside".  It's way too much for a 6-yr old's shoulders.

>Find out about the asthma....very important....also, if it's
>bad enough, she should have medication on hand during EVERY
>visitation, no matter what, so look into it...
>Take care and God Bless..

We will definately be getting a "second opinion" somehow - as suggested in another post.  Since my husband has joint custody - is it within his rights to go ahead and make an appointment and take her?  I would assume it is - but I want to make sure we do everything right.

Thanks for your post and your thoughts...

Murphy

murphy35

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #6 on: Nov 30, 2003, 03:03:55 PM »
>One of the first things you'll hear is "Document, document,
>document!". Having good records is crucial to be able to work
>with the court or other authorities.
>
>If you haven't already done so, get yourself either the
>Parenting Time Tracker (PTT) at:
>http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/tracker.htm or the OPTIMAL
>Custody Tracking service at: http://www.parentingtime.net. The
>PTT is free, but the OPTIMAL service is better.

He had been documenting things here and there on the computer, but after reading the article on this site about documentation, he has now switched to hand written, and he will be documenting EVERYTHING!!!  

I did try to access the Parenting Time tracker to do that, but the site was down the other day, so I will try again.  

Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated!

Murphy
>
>
>
>
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nosonew

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #7 on: Nov 30, 2003, 07:13:56 PM »
Okay, how to deal with the child/upset mother.

(Once you record the phone conversations and honestly I would do this if it was legal or not, just don't tell anyone if not legal in your state), you will have a better idea of what is going on.  

So, just tell the child "this is daddy's time with you".  You don't have to get specific at this age, just change the subject, go do something fun (even if it wasn't in the plans), and she will adjust quickly to this if you stick to it.

Regarding BM, since dad has already taken child back on at least one occassion, she is going to perhaps demand the child back.  In that case, tell her you are following court orders and that is the end of it.  Period. Don't argue.  Just make the statement, say goodnight and hang up.  If she continually calls, just turn the answering machine on or turn your ringer off.  Don't let her disrupt YOUR home or your time with your child.

I am truly sorry you have to go thru all of this.  I am also bm to older son and have an ex.  We get along well and decided at the time of the divorce to not ever put son in the middle.  Thus, he is now a well-adjusted teenager who has made his own visitation schedule with dad for the last couple of years.  All he has to say is Im going to dads, and he goes (and we live 1.5 hours apart).  I drop everything to take him because his relationship with dad is just as important as his relationship with me, and as a boy, perhaps more so.  

Best of luck, and let us know how things work out.  Just remember, as hard as it is, stick to the plan.  Don't give in.  

wendl

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RE: New Here - Needing Advice Desperately (long, sorry)
« Reply #8 on: Dec 01, 2003, 04:31:26 AM »
Child is using calling her mom as a way to get out of trouble at your house, I would stop the calls, maybe let her call hmmmm later in the day after the dilemia the time out is forgotten.

Man calls CPS lol gee if mom is neglecting child NOTHING happens, but hmmm if dad is accused they come a running. I hate CPS.

Continue to smoke outside, my neoghbors son has severe asma, he smokes outside and the child has no problmens (and he is a custodial dad)

I would get copies of childs medical records, to see what you can find, also take the child to get a second opinion on the asma, they can test for it.

Good luck being a stepmom isn't an easy job.  LOL I thought being a cp mom (with a ex who chooses not to see his child) was hard, but being a stepmom is 1000000000000 time harder.

I see my dh who is a great dad and struggles cuz his ex tries to bleed him dry financially, but he will never give up on his kids, even if that means he looses all the material things he owns.

:)

 

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