We are done taking it for the team!

doodlebooFebruary 26, 2009

Lately Bio Mom has been calling more because thanks to tax returns she has a cell phone. She still only calls about once every two weeks but for her that's alot. She's been telling the girls that her and her boyfriend are going to buy a big house and when they do the girls are moving back with her.

This is the boyfriend who has beat her severly on more than one occasion. These are just the incidents we heard about. There have been other times we have not heard about I'm sure. He's alos the turd who came to our apartment and showed his tail with all the kids present. They are both unemployed so how they expect to AFFORD this grand estate is anyones guess.

J and I have a real problem with this because we KNOW it isn't going to happen. The girls are all excited thinking they may get to live with their mother again and talk about it constantly. Mom has also told the girls she is better...she is NOT. She also tells the girls that we are the ones who won't let her see them and that her boyfriend is a "good man".

Last nigh they kept telling us that they were going to move in with their mom when she got her new house. One of the girls even kept telling us that C_____ was a nice man and that her mother said he wasn't a "stranger". They also kept saying that "Mama isn't sick anymore". They were accusing us pretty much of being mean because we won't allow her to have that guy aorund them. It got really old very fast. We have been censoring the truth and being called liars for too long.

J finally told them the facts.

- Your mom is still very sick. She left the Doctor (rehab) with this man and he's still sick too.

- They are both on drugs.

- Niether of them have a job and they live in a very cruddy travel trailer not suitable for two little girls. They can not afford to rent no less buy any houses.

-C______ is not a nice man just because he bought you candy. He is a mean man who hurts your mama and that's why we don't want you around him. If your Mama wasn't sick she wouldn't be with him.

-We do not tell your mama she can't see you. We tell her she has to come alone and she doesn't want to leave C____ at home so she doesn't come.

-There is a very good possibility you will never live full time with your mama again.

We really hated to be so frank with them but there is only so much blame a person can take. The girls are old enough that they can start hearing some truth about their mother's situation. She always paints herself out to be a victim in their eyes while we end up looking like big bullies. She leaves out all the ugly details and expects us to take it for the team and look like buttholes by going along with her lies while she comes out smelling like a rose. Not anymore.

The girls no doubt will repeat everything we have said to them the next time she calls. She will be forced to answer the questions or call us liars in which case J will have to have a long talk with her.

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Sounds like you did the right thing. The truth sets everyone free.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:21PM
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You've done the right thing.

I never have believed that children should be told that their absent/non-functional/jailbird/whatever parent is sweetness & light & that "they'll realize when they grow up" how things really were & appreciate having been "protected".

They won't.


1. believe that the absent, etc parent is sweetness & light

2. be enraged at you for cheating them of the rich experience of living with that parent &

2. go to the absent, etc parent & embark on a disastrous relationship based on a false, rosy image.

Whenever I hear someone advocate "protecting" children from the truth, I always am tempted to ask, "what if you protect those children from the knowledge that their other parent is a raging alcoholic & they blithely hop into the car when that drunk parent is driving?"

"what if you protect those children from knowledge of predators & they trust every single person in the world & don't know that old uncle whatsis has no business touching them intimately & that it's his fault & not theirs?"

Arming those children with the truth really is protecting them.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:26PM
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I feel so bad for you guys and the girls. This is the SAME thing we've been dealing with as BM tells her daughter those things and the kids want to believe it's true because it's a happier scenario than the hard truth and reality. The worse part is that you can't control what the mom says to them and we've told SD the 'truth' about the situation several times. She's going on 10 now and still believes her mom when her mom tells us we are the liars and we are keeping her away and none of it's her fault. SD is starting to see the truth but it's such a struggle and so heartbreaking to see her going through it. Even when the kids know the truth, they will hang onto the fantasy... that makes it harder on us, as the adults that have to keep telling them "that's not true". Eventually, the kids get old enough to form their own opinions and make up their mind what is or isn't true.

What a crappy situation for those two little girls! I'm sorry you have to go through this and hopefully she will run out of money and crawl back into the woodwork.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Those poor little girls! :( But I definitely, wholeheartedly agree that you and J did the RIGHT thing. You told them age-appropriate information that is TRUE and to the point. You didn't give them any more information than necessary and you phrased everything in simple ways that little children can understand, ie "mama is sick, mama's boyfriend is a mean man, etc."

Good for you guys!

I grew up in an alcoholic home where my dad tried to protect us from the reality of my mom's alcoholism and I KNOW he now wishes he had been more forthcoming.

If you and J cover up for BM, there is a very real possibility that the girls will be angry at YOU down the road for not being truthful.

Trust is so important.

Din't you say you guys were going to use tax rturn money to get a custody order established? I am so glad those little girls have you two advocating for them.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:09PM
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I agree that given the extreme circumstances, J's blunt honesty was for the best in this situation. BM ---even if she has the best of intentions--- was basically forcing this intensely awkward situation and these decisions. I think it's also good that he explained some of the things logically to them (i.e. "C---- isn't a nice man just because he buys you candy..."), and that there are REASONS why he's telling them the truth, and it's not to be 'mean'.

I do think it's important to keep reminding them, though, that there is still some hope that their Mom could get better ---if she really tries hard--- and reminding them that in her heart you know she loves them and WANTS to get better, even if she isn't there yet.

The key (but it's so tricky, of course) is to make the girls aware of their mother's weaknesses so they don't open themselves up to be hurt by them, while at the same time not risking alienating them from their mom altogether. The two things that seem to help with that balance are providing reasonable explanations of her 'illness' and what they can realistically expect and reassuring them that, in her heart, their Mom loves them and WANTS to be better but that it is a very debilitating 'disease'...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Thanks for the support. It was really hard to tell them these things. Theyre only five and shouldn't be having to deal with this junk at all. It makes me so angry at mom. If anything maybe this will make her think twice about the things she tells them. If she has to take responsibility for some of her actions and statements maybe she'll tread more lightly. hey will no doubt drill the hell out of her the next time she calls and she KNOWS we will be listening so she won't be able to lie.

We do tell them that their mom loves them but she's sick and having a hard time getting better. we've also told them it has to be HER who WANTS to get better and there is nothing they or their father or I can do to MAKE her get better. I think it's so very important for them to realize that this isn't their fault.

Serenity- I understand where you are coming from with the "giving them hope" theory. The problem with that is if we told them that there was a chance she'd get better that would be the ONLY part of the conversation they retained and we'd be right back to the dissapointment. Every day, week, month that rolled bye they'd be more and more dissapointed.

At this point even if she did get better J has said he will not let them go without a fight to the death because chances are she would tank again. It may take a year or even two but she would tank again. he doesn't want them getting volleyed back and forth. It would be better they remain living with their dad so their lives don't get totally uprooted every time their mother goes down the pooper. In J's head they will never actually "live" with her again anyway which is probably why he told them it would be a long time if ever.

Yes, he is filing this weekend and when the money comes he's going stright to the lawyer he's been talking to and filling out the papers so they can be served. It's going to be real ugly because I think she was expecting him to just keep them untill she decided she wanted them back. A custody battle wasn't in her plans.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:40PM
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"Serenity- I understand where you are coming from with the "giving them hope" theory. The problem with that is if we told them that there was a chance she'd get better that would be the ONLY part of the conversation they retained and we'd be right back to the dissapointment. Every day, week, month that rolled bye they'd be more and more dissapointed."

I do see that point too. And definitely agree about the importance of the girls knowing it's not their fault. A very tough situation, all around...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 4:17PM
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poor girls, it must be so tough on them and everyone else, they still want to be with their mother despite the fact that she is not much around.

they need to know that BF is unsafe to be around in case mom ever brings him around and they need to know mom is sick. i don't think you should give them hope. if you ask, you can say that mom could get better if she tries and goes to doctor, but you shouldn't give them too much hope.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:41PM
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I think you did the right thing. And shame on BM for giving them this fairy tale!

My skids bm does the same thing. She has told the kids that she was moving into a home where they will all have their own room (mind you she has 6 kids now total!!!), they will have brand new furniture, a pool in the yard, a game room with bean bag chairs and video games, etc.

(Well she lives in a 3bdrm home with another family! Her and her bf have a room...another couple has the 2nd bedroom, and all the kids from the 2 families share a 3rd room. And when my skids visit they get the floor or a couch.)

And this all coming from someone who can't hold down a job, has bill collectors still calling my dh for her, and moves constantly! And the icing was when she informed the girls that they would be old enough soon to tell a judge they wanted to live with her!

We have also had to tell our kids the truth about certain situations. And as much as we felt bad doing it we knew it had to be done.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:28PM
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Yeah - You had to tell them the truth... BM simply doesn't leave you any options.

The only things I'd do now are to clarify for the girls that what BM is telling them is how she wants it to be -- her wish -- and that she and they will probably be happier if they pretend to play along with her wishes, even though they know it isn't real. Little girls that age love to pretend, but they also know when they're doing it, and acknowledging to themselves that they're playing make-believe will probably be kinder than a more bleak 'never gonna happen' scenario. They'll get to the flip side when they're ready.

And on the 'mean BF' thing -- I'd probably clarify that to that he doesn't know how to control his temper and that's why he yells hits other people when he gets mad. That's still on their level of understanding and won't be contradicted be the certain 'acts of niceness' that are likely to happen with anyone.

Good luck on the custody action --

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:06PM
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