not sure if I belong here...
Hi. I found you all several days ago and have been reading and reading, trying to gain some perspective and maybe some comfort. I am a single mom (hence the title of the post) dealing with BD and "step-mom" issues. I could really use some words of wisdom. Here is my daughter's story, as briefly as possible:
DD's father met her 2.5 years ago, she is now 6. He visited regularly for a couple of months, then not-so-regularly for awhile. Just over a year ago his GF and her daughter (now 4, I believe) moved in with him, and things went from bad to horrible, getting worse all the time. He does now pick her up for every visit (except for the 4 months they moved to another state), and DD is miserable.
Here are a few examples, if clarification is needed just ask. DD can do nothing right with GF--she has even been in trouble for "wrinkling her toilet paper." Seriously. DD is told repeatedly that "your dad pays child support!" (not true and not the issue, just an example.) The big ones: GF told DD one day "I just don't like you, ugh!" and DD cried to me tonight that "GF tries to get me to lie to you but I don't want to." She never would tell me what about.
I know that kiddos manipulate and exaggerate, and I'm not saying DD has done never done these, but the above are incidences I firmly believe did happen b/c of the WAY she told me. I have talked to BD, he will not be any help (DDs counselor says he is personality disordered but of course no formal diagnosis).
I have talked to more than one lawyer, no one believes me on the big stuff, and the small stuff (the many times he's moved while refusing to give me an address, nonpayment of support, etc) they don't care about.
So, all that to say--I really need advice on how to help DD cope. She is in counseling but basically refuses to talk about what goes on during visits, so little help there. Oh, there is an existing court order, and no I did not have it modified when he disappeared when she was little, so we have joint custody and he has EOW and EO holiday, with a 50/50 split coming in the near future (long story). Since there is no way to keep her from having to go, what are some things *I* can do to help her feel better about it?
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I know it got long.