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Author Topic: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?  (Read 5599 times)

*iLUVmySD*

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SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« on: May 26, 2009, 12:23:44 PM »
Brief History:

We are in AZ. SD is 9. My husband has primary physical and joint legal. SD lives here 75% of the year and visits BM in CO the other 25% of the year. They were never married.

There has been many accusations by BM in the past regarding my husband and me abusing my SD. BM has thoroughly involved my SD in everything court related. She knows too many things that she shouldn't. Things have been really tense for about the past 2 years and we have been gearing up for a nasty trip back to court.

Current Events:

So we decided to take my SD to a female therapist. The request had been made by BM probably to try to provide some proof that my SD is being abused although we never told her that SD had actually started seeing a therapist because SD said BM would ask her to lie to the therapist and say that we are abusing her. SD didn't want to tell BM about the therapist. During my SD's sessions with the therapist, they made flashcards for my SD to study regarding some things to say when BM asked her to lie in court, talked bad about us, etc. My SD decided that she wanted to take the information with her to BM's house this summer but she didn't want BM to find it because she was scared she would get in trouble. SD proceeded to copy the information onto a single piece of paper that she could fold up in her pocket and hide from BM in her room. We were really hopeful that this would help my SD cope better.

Then on Thursday evening (her flight leaves the following Friday) my SD tells us that she is scared to go to BM's because BM drags her up the stairs by her arms when she gets angry and also knocks her sister to the ground. We ask her if she wants us to talk to a judge so she doesn't have to go (getting a protective order) and she says yes. Well we go to the courthouse Friday morning first thing before her flight is scheduled to leave. It turns out that the judge wouldn't have time to review the request until after my SD's flight is scheduled to leave and the judge's secretary advises us to put my SD on the plane. After more discussion, my husband decides to send my SD as scheduled, but my SD makes sure she has her information from the therapist in her pocket.

Saturday we weren't able to have our scheduled phone call because my SD's phone was off. Finally Monday we call again as scheduled and it is still off. My husband proceeds to call BM's phone, angry because my SD's phone is not on as requested. When BM is asked about the phone she said she won't turn it on because her other daughter doesn't have a phone and my SD rubs that in her face. BM then states on speakerphone that she has something else she needs to talk to us about, but she'll do it later. My husband, who is already angry about the phone, pushes for BM to talk about it now and she did... BM told us that:

Apparently when my SD got to BM's house the first thing she did was tell BM that she had this paper with the information from the therapist and that she never got to talk at the therapist because my husband and I would always talk for her. (SD went every appointment except for the initial one by herself.) That's when BM started to question things that my SD has been telling her about the abuse and that's when we told her some of the things my SD had told us about her. It was decided that all parents and step-parents should phone conference without my SD to discuss what has been happening.

Having had such a hostile relationship between our two families for the past two years, we still feel wary about this new found cooperation and trust, but at the same time hopeful. It does seem to make sense that this could be what is happening. Maybe my SD is doing it for extra attention, or pity, or anything she can manipulate out of us. We don't know, we are waiting for some additional advice from my SD's therapist. In the meantime, I thought I would tell our story and see if anyone has any input or advice.

We feel lost because something we have been basing our actions on for so long may not be true and therefore a whole new basis of operation needs to be established. Anyone dealt with anything similar? Thanks!!!


Kitty C.

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 12:50:37 PM »
I haven't been in that situation, but it's JMO that you may be on to something here.  Just the aspect that the BM is willing to even discuss it is an eye opener itself.  It's good that you contacted the therapist and hopefully she will have good advice for all the parents.  I would just recommend going slow at this and playing your cards close to the chest.  If she is playing everyone against each other, that will slowly come out, but eventually it will all be on the table. 
 
This is just a gut feeling but I don't think that laying all the past history out to examine at once woud be a good idea, given the adversarial relationship between the bio-parents.  But........if through this process you all come to an understanding of what's going on, then there's no need to dig up hard feelings anyway.  At that point what is needed is to move forward and resolve the situation jointly.........which is the best case scenario for your SD.
 
As for consequences for SD (if this suspicion is proved correct), I would heavily rely on the therapist or anyone else you may have to bring on board to work through this.  Above all else, any discipline as a result must be jointly agreed on, backed up by all parents (bio and step), and accorded evenly in each household.  Once you show her a united front, I can just about guarantee this will go away.  She still might try on occasion, but it will require very good communication between the homes to ensure it never gets this bad again.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

*iLUVmySD*

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 01:06:07 PM »
Thanks for the input Kitty. It felt good to get this out there. We're just really confused but I think you're right that we need to take it slow just to make sure things don't blow up because of past history. That would be the most detrimental to my SD, so hopefully the past will be water under the bridge!

(I'm honestly in shock that I even typed that... before yesterday evening that possibility didn't even exist! It's almost like we've entered some sort of alternate universe!)

Kitty C.

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 01:57:42 PM »
Nope....it's the 'twilight zone'!!!!!!!!  I've had it happen (about face with the BM) but it was a gradual process over the course of a year or so.  To have it happen seemingly overnight must have your heads just spinning!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

ksmarks

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 04, 2009, 05:04:12 PM »
I am confused did you receive a court date?  If so what relief are you requesting?  When is the daughter due back home?
 
I am not certain that I agree with flash cards, and not certain I understand the therapists approarch, therapist's are usually mandated reporters. If there was cause for concern physical or emotional it should be reported to the appropriate state officials.
 
I do however, agree a united front is the best approach with children, the less bickering and fighting the better the outcome for all parties involved.
KSMarks


*iLUVmySD*

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 05, 2009, 10:09:20 AM »
My husband had requested a protective order for my SD, but the judge's secretary said that we couldn't see the judge on Friday until after my SD's flight was scheduled to leave. The secretary said it would be best to put her on the plane and then file a custody modification. I still don't know if I agree with her advice given the situation at that time, but that's past.

Right now we are still trying to set up a phone conference with BM and Stepdad. BM hasn't been able to agree on a time yet though. We are still a bit suspicious that BM is just saying some of this to try to protect herself since regardless of what BM says, we know that BM has been heavily involving SD in the past court history, because SD knows all about it and we didn't tell her anything about court.

So right now we are cautiously waiting it out. Checking the court website everyday to make sure BM hasn't filed anything. SD is scheduled to be home at the end of July a few days before school starts.

ksmarks

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #6 on: Jun 05, 2009, 10:52:24 AM »
So did you file for a modification? 
KSMarks

*iLUVmySD*

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #7 on: Jun 08, 2009, 09:57:01 AM »
No not yet, still waiting to see what BM has to say...

snowrose

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Re: SD is manipulating BOTH households!?!?
« Reply #8 on: Jul 07, 2009, 01:35:59 PM »
I'm very curious about how this played out, as we had something very similar happen but over something much more minor.

SDalmost9 told us that BM wouldn't let her use knives at BM's, even though SD has been cutting her foods with a knife for 8-9 months and has even begun making salads with a paring knife in the last 2-3 months.  Now, we accepted that as sounding like how BM would act because BM has been infantizing SD somewhat - not wanting SD to be told about how her body is developing, not wanting SD to have t-shirt type coverings that look something like a sports bra, even though SD is developing a bit.

So, last week we decide to tell BM about SD's knife usage here in hopes it would encourage BM to let SD grow up a little at BM's.  DH tells BM about SD cutting her foods.  BM looks at SD and says, "You told me you weren't allowed!"  SD just has an 'uh oh' look on her face.  DH tells BM about SD making salads.  BM says, "All right, my girl.  You're going to start doing more stuff around my place, then."  So it turns out that all this time SD has been telling us that BM won't let her use knives, and telling BM that we won't let her use knives!    

I spoke to SD's therapist about this and she says not to get too upset about it.  It's just the divorce version of playing one parent against another.     

Anyhow, now it makes us wonder about a lot of stuff.  Like right now BM is apparently not letting SD phone us on weekends - which would be a normal MO for BM, since she just told SD not to call her on weekends anymore.  BM tends to make unilateral decisions, and if she's going to cut SD out of calling her she'll also cut SD out of calling us.  But when we said something to BM, BM says SD is lying - which now after the knife thing we can't be completely sure who is telling the truth.  Fortunately we still have CPS involved (after BM's BF abusing SD), so we can let CPS put their foot down on the phone call, whether SD is telling the truth or not.     

 

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