Originally Posted by JSMa
As I have stated in previous threads, DSD has been having a real hard time visiting lately. She gets upset and says she misses her Mom.
I have been following your story and while you have gotten some great advice, I want to share my thoughts.
From what you've shared about the Mom and what we've experienced, I believe the girl is being manipulated on the other end by her Mom. We went through a similar situation. My ex decided to start "brainwashing" my kids right after the divorce. He started telling them stories about how things were when he and I were together, how my new dh messed them all up (even though new dh and I didn't meet until a year AFTER the divorce). He especially paid attention to the youngest, who was 1 at the time. He slowly and carefully put things into his head, like Mommy doesn't love you as much since she has remarried, etc. (especially when new dh and I had another child - he really played on that) Ex would put the youngest in his car seat in my car (wouldn't let me do it) and would say things like, "I know you don't want to go with your mom. I know you want to stay with me..." And egg him on to the point where he was crying and refusing to get in my car. Then he'd say to me," See what you have done to him? To the kids? They don't even want to go with you. They want to stay with their dad in their own home." It was really bad. Every time they would go with him, he would ask them if my dh was spanking them or punishing them. Of course, they got things like time out because we don't let the kids do what they want. But he did. And he played on that, too. He NEVER disciplined them.
And you have to understand that we had primary custody. He caused this much anxiety just seeing them 2 weekends out of the month. How much damage can a mom do if she has her most of the time?
Now, do I think your dsd has seen a lot of change? Yes! But so do other kids! My kids saw more change than her at that age. Plus, her mom could help her through the process and help her bond with her new baby sister... if she wanted to. She could also encourage the relationship between the LO and you. But she doesn't. Or you would see dsd welcome you with open arms.
My suggestion is to definitely NOT see less of her. You cannot change whatever the Mom is doing with/to her but you can love on her and encourage her when she's with you. Cards, letters are great. But I would wonder if she gets them. Also, anything you can do to be understanding. After all, dsd is the victim here and she does miss her mom. That's real. But her mom is playing on that emotion. But since dsd doesn't understand, let her call her mom if she says she really misses her. (ex wouldn't let my kids call me and would tell them he was upset because they didn't call him when they were with me) At times we would also listen on the phone to see what was being said between ex and kids. When we found out the manipulation was on the phone as well, we did eventually have to stop letting them talk to him but once or twice a week. Another thing we did, for example, was talk about their dad in a positive way by helping them draw pictures for him to take to him or just by saying what a great dad they had and how much he loved them. It helped them by not making them feel like they had to choose between me and their biodad. (which was what he was doing) It took years of patience but eventually they saw through it. Dd (13) doesn't even go over there anymore because she started seeing that what he'd been saying all those years were lies.
And btw, manipulation/brain washing is hard to prove in court. When my ex took us back to court and tried to prove me an unfit mother, the judge saw right through him and chided him in front of us and the attorneys. He also threatened to take custody away from him for good if he ever saw him back in court. But did he quit doing it to the kids? Nope.
You care so much and that is huge. One day dsd will see it. Don't give up hope. She will see through to the truth if you and dh continue to take the high road.