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The weekend

Posted by mattie_gt (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 13, 10 at 10:56

BM had her 48 hour visitation this past weekend. As soon as we pulled up to pick him up we could tell something was seriously wrong. SS8 got into the car and curled up in a ball, BM was screaming at DH about how SS was rude and disrespectful all weekend and she'd had to spank him and DH needed to do something about it. He said he'd talk to SS and we got out of there.

As soon as we pulled out SS burst into tears; finally we got out of him that apparently he had fallen on a gravel driveway and started crying; BM came up behind him and wanted a hug, he said no, he didn't want a hug because he was hurt - so she started hitting his behind. We got him home, cleaned up, fed, tucked in bed, etc. and DH called BM.

She confirmed SS's story. Said he was rude and disrespectful all the time, she'd had enough and would "crack his ass" if and when he needed it, she was done with it and that he needed to be disciplined. When asked what the rude and disrespectful behavior was, she said that SS kept telling her about things he'd gotten to do with us that she can't afford to do, and that he is not allowed to refer to me as his "step-mom" because it hurts her feelings - I am to be called either Mattie or Dad's Wife. And that it was rude and disrespectful of him not to hug her.

I am so scared. SS has his counselor tonight and I am hoping and praying that maybe the counselor will feel that something needs to be done, and DH is contacting the attorney. His counselor has been working with SS on speaking up for himself and obviously it is going horribly wrong (I don't blame the counselor because she's supposed to be helping SS and couldn't have realized what was going to happen). I don't know what will happen when he goes up again and what she might decide is "disrespectful" and what she will do to him. Please pray for SS if you don't mind. I really feel like this situation is deteriorating rapidly.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The weekend

Wow.

What is this woman's *deal?*

I mean, do you know if she any sort of mental illness? Her behavior seems erratic and, like you said, it's deteriorating. It seems like a dangerous situation for SS.

I feel so bad for him that he has to go through this. I mean, it's one thing for divorced parents to have differing parenting styles, but THIS is way more than that.

Asking him to not refer to you as his SM is ridiculous and highlights how insecure/jealous/competitive SHE is. That reminds me SO much of my own SS's BM. The stuff he does with you versus the stuff she is unable to afford. SS's BM is angry b/c we're going to Colorado in a few weeks; I get it, I get it---she is jealous/sad that she cannot do those things with her son.

But she turns that jealousy into ANGER and HATE and turns it on us, instead of focusing on making her own life better.

It's very similar to what you're describing.

Keep us posted about what the counselor has to say.


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RE: The weekend

I pray that the counselor sees red flags waving everywhere in this situation and does something to help this child. Isn't spanking a big no no nowadays? Can't she get in trouble for that? Are their bruises on his bottom from her spanking him?

This lady sounds like she knows she is losing her son and she is grasping at straws to make him love her. Instead of doing it through kindness she is making him fear her. I feel so sad for your ss that he has to deal with this.

When is his next visitation with bm? I forget the details but what is your court order on visitations?


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RE: The weekend

DH says she had an aunt who was mentally ill, but it was depression or something not uncommon.

We have noticed for a while that it seems as if she does not want to admit that SS has any existence at all outside of when he's with her. SS has told us and counselor that BM won't talk about his school, his scouts, his soccer, none of it - and those are not things that are expensive or really relevant to DH and I at all. She also acts like he's still a toddler and not a young boy.

There is something else that I have not said before because it is just speculation, but it is really scaring us. During the course of SS' health problems this year he had an MRI; the neurologist was showing us scar tissue scattered throughout his brain caused by an "insult to his brain" that she said would have occurred as an infant. She'd go no further than to just keep repeating that phrase, and to say that he was OK because new pathways had formed to work around the scarring. The counselor just asked SS last week if BM had ever hit him; he said no. If she's starting I'm terrified as to when/if she'll stop. But there's no proof that BM did anything; the only thing we know is that SS had "an insult to his brain" that caused scarring throughout his brain and it happened as an infant - and DH knew nothing about any injury.

I'm so scared for SS. He's such a good little boy. Even a horrible little boy would deserve better than this.


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Three weeks to figure something out

He has no bruises; I don't think he was hit that hard but he's never been spanked here, and to have it happen with no warning or explanation beforehand had to have been really upsetting.

It's three weeks until next scheduled visitation.

"This lady sounds like she knows she is losing her son and she is grasping at straws to make him love her. Instead of doing it through kindness she is making him fear her."

I absolutely agree. It really sounds like SS is doing his best, at times, to provoke her as well. But the more she yells and demands love, the further he pulls away, and I think that is why this seems to be getting so bad so fast. DH said something last night about counseling (as in, if there is any hope for a decent relationship between BM and SS they need to be in counseling together) and she said it was a waste of time and he just needed "disciplined". (It's always something wrong with SS, never anything that she could/should be doing differently.)


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RE: The weekend

"But there's no proof that BM did anything; the only thing we know is that SS had "an insult to his brain" that caused scarring throughout his brain and it happened as an infant - and DH knew nothing about any injury."

Wow. That is really disturbing. Did you ask the neurologist what sort of injury this would have been? I mean, are we talking about someone slamming his head into a wall here--or something as simple as he bumped his head on the edge of a table when he was learning to walk?

KWIM? There's a big difference.


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RE: The weekend

The neurologist would say nothing besides he had had an insult to his brain, over and over. What disturbed both of us was that we could see on the MRI, and she showed us, that the scarring was all over his brain, and not one particular part. One would think that bleeding from a bump would have been more localized but I don't know, and the neurologist would not speculate at all. She also said over and over that it would have been when he was an infant, but after childbirth; she made it sound pre-walking age. DH and I both thought the same thing but I don't even want to say it because it is so horrific and we might be wrong. I hope we are wrong. And even if it was caused by a person, SS was also watched by his grandparents and he does have an older brother.

We tried not to think about it too much because there is nothing that can be done and she said he is fine now; that an infant brain is incredibly resilient and that all new pathways must have formed. So many kids in the waiting room had horrible brain injuries and we were so very grateful that whatever happened, SS did not end up like some of them. But because of the weekend it is very concerning.


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RE: The weekend

Oh dear...
How horrible for you and for SS.

If it helps, it may be possible that the 'insult to SS's brain' was an illness as opposed to an injury. Possibly an infection, or even a vaccine or drug reaction.

Might be time to schedule a session for you and Dad with SS's counselor to share your observations and insights. I doubt she'd piece together that same view of things just from your SS's input.


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RE: The weekend

Thank you sweeby. It is reassuring that it could have been something from an illness. She did say it could not have been from a high fever because DH asked. Anyway, that was years ago and I should probably focus on now.

Counselor wants to talk with DH and I tonight after SS. She sounds very concerned as well but I'm not sure what, if anything, she can do to help either.


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RE: The weekend

That's awful, your poor SS!
I think a call to your atty and requesting supervised visitation/emergency hearing-whatever they do about abusive situations is in order. What a scary place to send your SS. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around a mother doing/saying things like that to her child.

I know it happens, but it's so sickening to think of.

~Cat


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RE: The weekend

this is just awful, sorry for the little boy, hopefully something gets resolved, maybe she should have supervised visits only


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RE: The weekend

Quote from Mattie: "She confirmed SS's story. Said he was rude and disrespectful all the time, she'd had enough and would "crack his ass" if and when he needed it, she was done with it and that he needed to be disciplined. When asked what the rude and disrespectful behavior was, she said that SS kept telling her about things he'd gotten to do with us that she can't afford to do, and that he is not allowed to refer to me as his "step-mom" because it hurts her feelings - I am to be called either Mattie or Dad's Wife. And that it was rude and disrespectful of him not to hug her."

I did not read everything, no time sorry, but this particular bit brought back a memory I quickly wanted to share.

Once we took SD's to basketball and BM came to watch the game. After the game she wanted SD14 (then SD10) to give her a hug. SD14 was busy playing and sort of pulled away, did not hug BM enough, I don't remember exactly. All I remember is BM grabbing SD's jaw and squeezing it, hissing something at her.

Later on when driving home SD14 was in tears and told DH that BM called her a B..ch because she did not want to hug her properly. How awful to say/do that to a child..


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RE: The weekend

Thanks, everyone, for your support. The counselor is very concerned, she says that it is a toxic environment for SS and she feels that a temporary "separation" between SS and BM is what she thinks is best for SS - not sure how the court will feel about that but meeting with attorney is this week. She said that it is not legally child abuse in our state so her hands are tied; she agreed that the situation is deteriorating rapidly. She thought about calling BM herself but decided that the risk to SS of her doing so were too high and she didn't really think it would help anyway.

SS is doing a bit better; he had some points yesterday where he'd laugh and giggle like normal, but then he accidentally knocked over a lamp and broke the bulb. DH and I heard the crash and found SS crying completely hysterically that he was "going to be in SO MUCH trouble". He was so scared that he'd broken the lamp, and we spent 15 minutes reassuring him that it's a freakin' lamp, it was an accident, it wasn't broken anyway, etc. It's so hard to see him that way when he's terrified because he spilled his milk or knocked over the lamp or something completely trivial and commonplace (we've got cats in the house, there's always something knocked over!)

Oh, and counselor told DH and I that we were doing a really good job and that we should continue to be "stable". I don't feel stable or like we're doing a good job - if we were then shouldn't we be able to protect him?


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RE: The weekend

Mattie, I'm so sorry. I think this is a case of inappropriate touching, both for SS and Yabber's SD.

"My body's nobody's body but mine".

I think what SS needs is to know clearly that he's not required to touch anyone or have anyone touch him unless he's ok with that EVEN IF someone gets mad at him. This has potential future sexual abuse written all over it (not by BM, but setting a kid up to think they have to be touched by someone or touch someone or they will get in trouble is really bad news, IMO).

What a piece of work. I just thought it over, how I handle it when DD gets hurt. I always say something like "oh honey, I'm sorry you got hurt/that looks like it hurt" and then I ask "would you like a hug?". Yes, sometimes I say, "c'mere and give mama hugs" but that happens when everything is stable rather than in a time of stress or anger or fear.

The saddest thing is that we can't protect our children all the time. You are living examples of stability, and you're doing the best you can. Hopefully SS will be able to tell the difference.


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RE: The weekend

Hi Mattie,
I just read everything and the description 'toxic' seems exactly right. So sorry to hear about all the heartache this is causing, poor SS. And I bet it's taking it's toll on you and DH as well, these kinds of situations are absolutely draining. Try and look after yourselves, take it easy, and I hope something good will come out of the talk with the atty, keep us posted.


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RE: The weekend

Thanks yabber. Yes, it is really hard, not just because of the worry about SS, but because it's really time-consuming trying to put him back together. It took him 3 1/2 hours last night to do his homework! This has happened before sometimes after visitations; he sits at the table, does a few problems, starts to cry and say he is too stupid to figure it out, I reassure him and comfort him, help him with the problem (without telling him the answer), he'll do another one, ask me four times if it's right, get stuck on the next (that he'll have breezed through before), repeat, repeat, repeat.

The counselor has said the same thing we thought, that even though it's tempting to just make exceptions (like skipping homework), that it's not what's best for him. It's concerning to me because SS had already had been told that we were all spending the whole evening together, so it's not that he should have been taking so long just to keep him near him - he knew that we were already going to be with him all night. And it's awful to hear him saying that he's stupid or dumb.

DH and I know that we need to be trying to take better care of ourselves but there does not seem to be any time to do so. We can hand off being with SS to each other for brief periods but there's simply not enough time left after spending literally every waking moment that SS's not in school with him. Hopefully he'll be at least a bit better for the moment in another day or two, hopefully the lawyer will have some fantastic solution.


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RE: The weekend

Mattie, is your DH planning on consulting with his attorney?

I think with the counselor's backing, he might have solid grounds for a change in this 48-hour visitation schedule. It's clearly affecting SS in a negative way.

How long has he been seeing this counselor?


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RE: The weekend

The appointment with the attorney is tomorrow. SS has been seeing the counselor since January or February of this year. He'd been complaining of "tummyaches" but had no fever or coughing. The school nurse realized right about the same time we did that it was a pattern (right before visitation weekend, with sudden recoveries if his mother canceled). So she recommended counseling then.

I hope that the fact that it was his school nurse who recommended he go in the first place, that he's had the same counselor for almost nine months now, and that she's noticed this deterioration and is so concerned about it, will be enough to get something changed. If SS' counselor testifies and something does not change, I really fear that BM's anger at us and the counselor will be taken out on SS. I guess we'll know more tomorrow.


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RE: The weekend

I'm in tears. Basically what the attorney said is that it is unlikely to get an emergency hearing for emotional abuse and that he's not physically abused because there's no bruising and parents are allowed to "discipline" their kids. And that since her visitation is already so limited, it's a really high (or low) standard to have emotional abuse meet the criteria for supervised visitation, which is about all that's left. So there's a chance that supervised visitation would be ordered, but it could easily take months (and thousands of dollars, of course, which means choosing between working OT and spending time with SS).

I want to throw up. What are we supposed to tell him? DH is considering making an appeal to BM, the counselor had also considered talking to her - I don't know if it would help but I'm not sure if it could make things much worse at this point. Maybe we should tell SS "Don't worry, honey, I know you are afraid your mom will spank you again - but it's all good! Most likely she will - but sooner or later she'll leave a bruise and then we can have an emergency hearing!"

I just can't believe this.


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RE: The weekend

This probably goes against everything I've ever believed, but my suggestion is to not take him for visitation.

Who does pick-ups? You said you do drop-offs, right?

(stay with me I've got something going here)


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RE: The weekend

(((((((((((mattie))))))))))))))))


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RE: The weekend

Oh Mattie. UGHHHH.

I'm sorry!

Honestly---the courts just seem worthless to me.

Emotional abuse can be JUST as damaging--if not MORE--as physical abuse, yet it's not viewed, in the court's eyes, as *bad enough.*

Nothing is *bad enough* for them.

when BM tried to drive drunk w/SS---seriously, no one really cared that much; sure, the GAL ordered her into an alcohol evaluation but he ROYALLY screwed up and didn't say that the COURT RECORDS (and, thus, reason for the eval.) had to be released to the evaluator.

So BM basiclaly went in and said:

"My ex thinks I am an alcoholic; we're in a custody battle and it's just a tactic."

Evaluator: "Do you have a problem with alcohol?"

BM: "No, of course not."

Evaluator: "Have you ever gotten a DWI?"

BM: "Yes, but I had one drink; I got pulled over after cocktail hour with work colleagues."

[LIAR---she got pulled over, arrested and booked for DWI at 2 AM, hardly cocktail hour. Her blood alcohol was twice the legal limit.]

Anyway, needless to say--BM passed the eval! Well--what it said was "based on information given, there is no reason to suspect alcohol addiction." Or something like that.

The GAL was ticked off, but it was his own fault--HE should have put IN THE ORDER that the court records needed to be made available to the eval.

Courts = worthless!

I'm so sorry. I'm interested in where Ashley is going with her idea, though?


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RE: The weekend

We have heard about many instances where the child calls 911. Perhaps this time it has some merit?? Perhaps the child should be instructed to make that call if he is scared of his mother or if she is threatening him? At least CPS would get involved and it would be documented... Would something like that work??


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RE: The weekend

Mattie, I'm so sorry. I know hard it is to want to badly to make something right and hit nothing but road blocks.

I doubt anyone talking to her will make any difference, but I would suggest the counselor over DH. Would the counselor be 'bold' enough to make a statement like "I am considering requesting supervised visitation from the courts if this behavior continues"? From DH its an empty threat, but maybe the counselor would get her attention?


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RE: The weekend

I am so sorry to hear this. No child should live in fear.

I am not sure your attorney is correct about abuse laws in your state and it wouldn't hurt to verify.

The Child Abuse and Protection Act provides a minimum standard which states must meet or exceed.

That standard identifies abuse as acts or failure to act which result in imminent risk of serious harm, death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation.

Note the phrase serious . . . emotional harm.

Mandated reporters in your state are obligated by law to report suspected or observed instances of emotional abuse. (States will differ on the standard of proof, so you would need to investigate your own particular state for specific information.)

The point I am making is that your SS's teacher(s), nurses, doctors, whoever the mandated reporters are in your state, are criminally liable if they do not report observations of abuse or suspected emotional abuse to children's services.

So your attorney should be clarifying for you who the mandated reporters in your state are, the degree to which state law meets or exceeds federal regulations, and who you might approach to remind them of their legal liabilities if necessary.

Believe me, school districts don't like to be sued, and they're just the tip of the iceberg.

Here is an example of the kind of thing I mean. I was a teacher. If I began to observe that on the Monday after every third weekend Johnny wet his pants or threw up or isolated himself during recess or "hid himself" in a jacket he wouldn't take off, believe me, it would be my job to note that and begin carefully to investigate. And if after some observation and research I developed strong suspicions of abuse, I would know I am legally obligated to report it. Not just to the counselor or my school administrator. I have an individual legal obligation to report directly; I can't just turn it over to someone else and bury my head in the sand.

So learn your state's laws and use them. There's a tendency in the system to avoid but if you're the squeaky wheel they will have to respond. I know classes are crowded, staff is overworked and this holds true in all sorts of public agencies and organizations. However, the law does not recognize those difficulties as an excuse or extenuation.

I would apprise every mandated reporter in my SS's life of my fears and concerns and make it clear that I expect them to observe and pursue vigorously any legitimate concern or there will be h*ll to pay. It sounds as if there are nurses, teachers and counselors all aware that something is going on. If they're mandated reporters and they haven't reported they are failing in their duty.

Reporting, of course, does not mean things will get done. But if enough people report, there will be a record, documentation you can use. You probably will still have to hound children's services but at least it's something. And who knows, maybe the interest of an outside agency will stifle BM for a while.

I am not a lawyer; I don't know where you live. But it is terrible to feel helpless and see no options. Perhaps this will give you one or a piece of one. That little boy deserves to feel safe and happy.

I hope with all my heart that this helps in some small way.

Carol


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RE: The weekend

Thank you so much, everybody, for your support. We are going away this weekend to visit a relative out of state; hopefully it will help us all to have a weekend away to someplace SS has never been before. And the end of next week is Disney (I am SO glad that I planned it at what seemed the best possible time - as far as possible after visitation without ending right before the next one.)

Ashley, BM does pick-ups at the beginning now. I'm interested where you are going too, but DH is probably not going to withhold visitation. If he does, BM will file for contempt and BM could get increased visitation time or God forbid primary custody. A switch in primary is not likely at all but the consequences would be so devastating to SS that it is not a chance DH would probably take.

Thanks Silver. I needed that.

Love, I keep thinking of how the only reason BM didn't drive your SS while drunk was because you prevented it - but then because you did prevent it, there were no real consequences to her. That's what I feel like; if we were to pull SS out of counseling, quit spending hours on homework and trying to build his self-esteem back up, and overall just ignore what's going on, he'd probably emotionally deteriorate so quickly and so far that it would be impossible to overlook. And then maybe something would happen sooner. But obviously we're not going to do that anymore than you would let SS drive off with a drunk - so it just seems to go on and on because nothing bad enough has happened yet.

Lonepiper, SS has said before that he is going to call 911, and we do our neither agree nor disagree routine - "Yes, 911 is who you would call if something bad were happening" kind of thing. I dread to think what would happen if he were actually to try doing so, though. He has a prepaid cell phone, so that he could call here in emergencies or if he was really upset; he is not allowed to use the home phone which is frequently shut off, and is certainly not allowed to use her cell phone. Unfortunately BM also said during the Sunday night conversation that she will not let him use his cell phone anymore, that he doesn't need to be calling home every time she yells at him (which he doesn't - he didn't even call at all Sunday). And it is back to the same thing - her house, her rules.

justnotmartha, the counselor had considered talking to her but for now had ruled it out as she feared that it would make matters worse for SS. And he is already horribly afraid that things he says to the counselor will get back to his mother. If his mother were to be upset at things he told the counselor (and she would be) SS might just clam up entirely.

ReadingLady, thank you so much. We don't know if the nurse or teachers last year reported anything to CYS; if they did we didn't hear about it. But the situation was not as bad then. He's in a new school this year; we are going to talk to his teacher and possibly his principal so they know what is going on. His new principal is incredibly on the ball (I'm not sure she ever sleeps, I don't see how she can have time to), and she seems to be very protective of "her kids". The previous school had caring teachers and a good principal as well, but I think that they were just so overcrowded and understaffed and even I can understand that some of the kids' situations were much more urgent and critical than SS (one of the little girls was murdered, along with her mother and sister, by Mom's BF). SS's situation is very bad but obviously kids being left alone for days because Mom is off on a crack binge or having Dad molesting them have got to come first.

DH is consulting with another attorney today that was recommended to him. I think what we really need is an attorney who previously worked for CYS and went into private practice because they'd really know the ins and outs of the law.


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RE: The weekend

Is there a house nearby to BM's house that SS could go to and feel safe? Perhaps instructing him who are the "safe houses" on your street, and emphasize that if anything were to happen that's where he should go for help?

I don't remember which state you are in, but in my state you can spank your kid all you want, as long as it's on the butt and it doesn't leave bruises.


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RE: The weekend

We don't know any of the neighbors where BM lives; she hasn't been there that long. SS does not know any either because they rarely go outside. It's not within walking distance of any public buildings. The good news is that there are not any registered sex offenders living nearby either; we've already checked that.

Apparently it's unlimited spankings in our state too.


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RE: The weekend

unfortunately spanking is considered a normal discipline measures...we had same discussions on this thread before and almost everyone was in support of spanking (I am pleasantly surprised that everyone finally feels differently) ...I do hope SS calls 911 next time it happens. of course they won't do anything over spanking but at least something will be documented. poor child


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RE: The weekend

PO1, there is a difference. If you can't grasp the difference... I just don't know what to say.


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RE: The weekend

SS, I think some people live in a ONE dimensional world.


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RE: The weekend

mattie i wonder if SS ever shared it with anyone at school, his teacher, counselor (i know you mentioned his nurse). i wonder if it would be initiated by his school, it would be looked at more seriously? i am not saying he needs to be coached to be telling everyone at school but what if he talks to school counselor?

as about physical punishment it is ALWAYS wrong in my world. I understand that others have different views. It is fine. I and ex are very pleased with results of our punishment-free parenting.


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RE: The weekend

...apparently he had fallen on a gravel driveway and started crying; BM came up behind him and wanted a hug, he said no, he didn't want a hug because he was hurt - so she started hitting his behind.

Yep. That's exactly the same as spanking for any other reason.

I know kids who were never spanked and kids who were spanked a lot. Nearly every adult I've ever spoken to will say "I was spanked, I deserved it".

Children in my generation were not spanked. Go on over to the parents, estranged parents area and listen to what those parents have to say about their narcissistic, self-indulgent children who were treated "special" and given "everything".

The truth is, and ask any parent who has had more than one child....

Parenting techniques are different for every child. Each child is unique. What works for the first may not work for the second. I give advice to people just having children and then always tell them, no matter who is giving you advice, say thank you for your input and then do what you think is right. Gathering info. doesn't hurt, but the potential for all the advice to be worthless is high.

My mother didn't spank. She yelled. Abuse comes in many different forms.


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RE: The weekend

we don't spank and everyone has more than one child, i happened to only have one but everyone else has more, no one spanks and never did at least 4 generations back (don't know further back). no one is self-indulgent or selfish or estranged from anyone. it might be cultural but we do not raise hand at our children. It is not how we parent. Physical punishment or screaming or other forms of abuse is definitely easier than actual parenting.

but that's not the topic of mattie's thread, this child is abused and I don't know if there is any law against it. very unfortunate.


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RE: The weekend

Wow. No one is self-indulgent, four generations back? That's impressive. I have over 40 first cousins, at least 60 second cousins. We have every spectrum of the rainbow. Very colorful people, very dull people, one cousin who speaks over 8 languages, several doctors, at least a few multimillionaires, some drunks and drug addicts, another who doctors encouraged should be aborted prior to birth and lived to 55 with the mental age of a 10 year old.

Most of us get along just fine and none that I know of would yank a kid from falling down to spank them because they didn't give hugs.


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RE: The weekend

I said no one IS (as of who I know now) self-indulgent or estranged. Maybe there WAS someone in the past, in fact I knew one crazy uncle, his kids are very fine, he was nuts (probably not from lack of spanking LOL).

i think it is a silly thing to say that people grow up self-indulgent or estranged because they are not spanked or punished, hence my comment that you can raise kids without spanking or punishing and they will be just fine. Of course they can grow up just fine even if they are spanked or punished too, we don't do it though. It is just a weakness.


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RE: The weekend

Hi everyone, we had a very nice weekend. SS had a few bad moments (mostly when he was tired) but overall seemed to be more his usual self so that made me very happy.

It's not that DH is adamantly 100% against spankings, and reserves the option to use spankings as a punishment of last resort - but SS is usually really a good kid so it's not been an issue. His transgressions are usually much more trivial things than most people would punish with a spanking, I think. And I grew up with spankings and nasty comments and screaming - honestly I'd take the spankings first.

Even if BM were incredibly strict and spanking left and right, it would be much better, I think, if it were for defined offenses. Even an incredibly sensitive eight year old cannot always know what is going to hurt someone's feelings!

I noticed this weekend that he already is really tactful, to a point - for example, a relative made some comment about he needed to shave and shower and looked like a bum. SS then agreed and said that relative did indeed look pretty ratty. It was funny to us; SS was polite enough to not say anything in the first place but once it was brought up, apparently felt that it was OK to agree since relative was obviously aware of how he looked. So was that "disrespectful"? Or would it be more disrespectful to disagree with an adult relative, and to lie on top of it? How's a kid supposed to know?!

We also had a quick chat with his teacher and principal Friday. Apparently he's already made some comments at school. We gave the school SS's counselor's number in case they felt something might be better discussed directly with her, but they said that they'd let us know if he was having problems with the situation at school. I love love love his new school - they seem to be so on the ball in so many ways.


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RE: The weekend

I am glad he is not hiding his feelings in regards to his mom's behavior. it is funny he agrees about ratty looking relative. LOL


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RE: The weekend

"but DH is probably not going to withhold visitation. If he does, BM will file for contempt and BM could get increased visitation time or God forbid primary custody. A switch in primary is not likely at all but the consequences would be so devastating to SS that it is not a chance DH would probably take."

My train of thought gets messed up with BM doing pickups. But, yes, I was going with withholding visitation, and here's why:

1) You're afraid of BM filing for contempt, as most law-abiding parents would be. BUT, most-likely she won't do it. It would cost money, and according to her, she dosn't have any.

2) Any of us on this board who have ever tried to take someone back for contempt can tell you (and you may have experienced it as well) that it is WORTHLESS. Nothing happens as they can't really enforce it anyway. If I could see everyone, I would ask everyone on this board to raise their hand if their X (or even themselves) are in contempt in some way, form or fashion. I would be willing to bet that 90% of us raise our hands. Heck, I'll even raise two!

3) The best part is that if she DOES take him back to court for "contempt", that would be DH's chance to be in front of a judge to talk about the things SS has experienced. The truth shall set you free!!!

She won't do anything...she can't afford it and there are very few pro bono family law attorneys. Even then, things would have to be a whole lot worse to have an attorney comp fees for "contempt" charges.

If I was your DH, I would tell her she can do whatever she feels is necessary, but that he is tired of seeing his son scared and sad after every visit from her house, and until she changes, he won't be going for anymore overnight stays.


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RE: The weekend

Ashley may be onto something there.

"If I could see everyone, I would ask everyone on this board to raise their hand if their X (or even themselves) are in contempt in some way, form or fashion. I would be willing to bet that 90% of us raise our hands. Heck, I'll even raise two!"

DD's bio-dad was court ordered to sign her birth certificate. That was over seven years ago.

STILL hasn't done it. Ya think he ever will? Ha.

Actually--in our parenting plan, it states we are EACH required to give one another notice, in writing, if we move. Well, I've moved twice in the seven years since we went to court and I've never let him know.

I don't have his address or even a current phone number for him anymore! LOL. So how could I?

He doesn't have mine, either, but he could contact me via email or on facebook, I suppose.

Either way--I'm not worried about it at all.

I don't know. Ordinarily, I would not advocate what Ash is suggesting...but, Mattie, in your situation, esp. if you've got the counselor on board, and the school to back you up...it might be worth it.


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RE: The weekend

Ashley, that is an interesting idea, but BM can and will take DH to court for contempt. This whole mess started when she took DH to court for contempt of violating a court order that said, in whole, visitation "as agreed upon" and for modification of custody at the same time (which is supposed to be an entirely separate proceeding in our state). She filed in forma pauperis or something (apparently that is when you go in and explain that you have no money because you decided to quit going to work, and then they waive your filing fees), showed up without an attorney, and proceeded to lie through her teeth. It was a complete farce; the judge paid almost no attention to anything said and didn't even look at provided documentation, and decided to apparently take it upon himself to handle the whole thing and so just changed it to a "temporary" court order (splitting the difference between what DH wanted and what BM wanted) until mediation - which apparently was never actually sent to the mediators anyway! Which makes sense because the judge apparently had no right to send it to mediation from a contempt hearing. (Our attorney referred to it as "one of those third world counties", and wants to get it moved to where we live and have lived for years.)

Anyway. Bottom line is filing for contempt would cost BM nothing, not even time missed from work because she doesn't work. DH is almost certainly not going to risk it; if he did, when she filed for contempt there's no telling what the judge might decide.

And, of course, BM has violated every order that's existed until this one. The only thing that that county seems to care about is withholding visitation; the reason the court order went to the limited visitations in the first place was after she'd failed to return SS from one.

I like the thinking, though. It's got to be a matter of time until BM loses interest again. Unfortunately right now she seems to be under the impression that when (if) her BF is paroled from prison that they're going to get married and then she is going to get primary custody, because then she'll be able to provide a stable family life, and then of course they'll get child support based on both my income and DH's. Seriously. DH thinks that is why she's been sticking with visitations this time, because she's preparing for the next modification hearing, the one where she's going to explain why SS should live with her. Come to think of it, after a judge listens to her explaining why SS would be better off in that environment than he is now, maybe then they'll agree to supervised visitation!

(I can't be the only one here that wonders how my seemingly nice husband ended up with someone who seems to have come straight off of Jerry Springer. Hormones must be a very powerful thing... but still!)


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RE: The weekend

"(I can't be the only one here that wonders how my seemingly nice husband ended up with someone who seems to have come straight off of Jerry Springer. Hormones must be a very powerful thing... but still!)"

HAHA. You and me both, girl!

Actually--I have another friend from highschool who is now an attorney with a respectable law firm.

She is now married to a wonderful guy. BUT this guy had an ex-wife---with whom he shares a four year old DD. My friend adores this little girl.

But here's the KICKER. When she and her boyfriend were dating---he was STILL married to his ex, even though HE had filed divorce papers. WHY?

Because the ex was pregnant. With another man's baby.

But in the great state in which we live, you cannot get divorced if you're pregnant.

AND--because this man (my friend's now DH) was legally the *husband* he had to do a paternity test to prove he was NOT the father.

HA. My friend wanted to die of embarrassment. She made many Jerry Springer comments along the way.


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RE: The weekend

HAHAHA Love... the same thing happened to me, but I didn't marry the guy. Dating a guy for a year, he's trying to get divorced from his skanky cheating wife, but she's.... pregnant!

What a life.


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RE: The weekend

Oh no! That's just awful (but funny too!) I hope there was some kind of legal separation or something - are the guys stuck paying for pre-natal care and maternity clothes because they're the husbands?!

Actually, when I look back at some of the guys that I dated when I was that young I guess I shouldn't make disparaging comments about DH's poor choices, LOL!


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RE: The weekend

"I hope there was some kind of legal separation or something - are the guys stuck paying for pre-natal care and maternity clothes because they're the husbands?! "

LOL, yes, he had filed for a legal separation from his wife---and all was proceeding nicely, they were about three months into the divorce process when, WHAM, she got pregnant. And that halted it for nine months plus the 6 weeks it took for the pat. results to come back.


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RE: The weekend

Exactly Love. My exBF and her were separated for a year, I met him, we were dating while he tried to get her to sign papers but she was flaky... living in their house, he was paying mortgage, with all of the furniture, wouldn't let him see his little girl, etc. then WHAM! she got pregnant. And that halted it for nine months plus the 6 weeks it took for the pat. results to come back.

oh wait. Did someone already write that? LMBO.

Then she had the nerve to pressure him like a crazy xyz because she wanted to marry the daddy of the baby! Well, they stayed married. They have a couple of kids, so who knows....

And, there but for the grace of God go I. I surely dated some real tools in my life.


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RE: The weekend

"2) Any of us on this board who have ever tried to take someone back for contempt can tell you (and you may have experienced it as well) that it is WORTHLESS. Nothing happens as they can't really enforce it anyway. If I could see everyone, I would ask everyone on this board to raise their hand if their X (or even themselves) are in contempt in some way, form or fashion. I would be willing to bet that 90% of us raise our hands. Heck, I'll even raise two!"

Yep that's us! FDH took BM to court for withholding visitation (after numerous breaches and exhausting all other avenues like asking nicely, writing letters, mediation, counseling, etc etc) and what happened? BM was told she'd better stick to the court order, they also changed the court order to say kids can choose when they want to come to our place, and now we never have an uninterrupted visitation anymore. GREAT OUTCOME!!

So I agree wholeheartedly with Ashley here, in the end the court will not be able to enforce it, simple as that.


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RE: The weekend

Thanks yabber. I will talk to DH.

Meanwhile, you may be wondering "Mattie, what are you going to do next now that you and your husband have managed to, yet again, get SS back close to normal?" And the answer, of course, is - WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD! I hope you all have as nice a next few days as I plan to!


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RE: The weekend

Wahoo Mattie!!! Have a great time!


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