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Am I being overly protective?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Here's some back story, any advice anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.

I think I may have posted in here before about my dd's father. When we were together there was a lot of emotional, verbal, and financial abuse. He threatened to kill himself a few times when I tried to leave and would often keep me in a room upstairs to yell at me while my dd and his son were downstairs unsupervised for long periods of time. There were issues with verbal abuse and inappropriate punishing of his son as well. This has been my experience with him.
In the past year there have been enough issues with my dd showing signs of aggression and either experiencing or witnessing verbal abuse to have his visitation limited until he underwent anger management. I've taken dd to a play therapist who said she thought 'something' was going on with dd but couldn't be more specific because of a lack of evidence. I've brought all of these things up to out parenting expeditor and I'm starting to get the feeling that she thinks I'm making all of these things up.
DD's behavior has improved since her overnight visits with her dad have stopped, but she still comes home from his house acting out angry scenarios that she would have no way of making up on her own( yelling things like, shut up, get away from me, and smacking her toys while yelling them).
I'm at the point of where I feel like maybe I am just overreacting. All the professionals I've talked to don't really seem to care or think it is serious. In my heart I worry for her because I know her father and how he can be. I also know he is VERY good at fooling people and coming off as a victim in all of this.
Is this something I should still be pushing to improve? Are all children like this in split family situations? My biggest fear is that I start to trust him more as a parent with her and she ends up being witness to or victim of his anger again. Has anyone else dealt with something like this? I've let go of all of my issues with him personally, but I'm struggling with listening to my "mommy instincts" or listening to our parenting expeditor and just be happy with what I have.
post #2 of 9
I don't think you're being overprotective.

You are seeing that your DD comes home from X acting out abuse scenarios. You are hearing - from a therapist who spends an hour or so with DD - that you have cause to be worried. And you have your history with your X, which suggests that people who aren't around him much may be fooled.

I am sure that it would be easier on your X and the parenting expeditor if you would drop your concerns, but you aren't responsible to them. You are responsible to your daughter.

You might want to talk to your daughter's therapist and/or to a lawyer of your own about what your concerns are and how best to proceed. But you've got good solid ground for worries and your daughter needs you.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think I really needed to hear that, thanks
We've been through court and I was given full legal custody and full physical custody( until he completes his anger management courses then physical will be split). We were told that all other concerns we had are to be brought through the parenting expeditor from now on. I don't technically have a lawyer anymore( she was discharged after court was final) but I'm wondering if it might be beneficial to still talk to one about what else I could be doing?
He's really good at making me feel crazy about things like this.
post #4 of 9
If I were you, I would want to have at least some conversations with a lawyer. The fact that there is an expeditor shouldn't keep you from seeking expert advice.
post #5 of 9
I am pretty unfamiliar with these kinds of legal matters, but I would transcribe and record (date of play & of visit) as accurately as possible these scenes she acts out. If it is possible to do so without her noticing, I would also video or voice record her playing so if things escalate it is not just he-says, she-says.
I am sorry you are not feeling supported
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
For a while, when this first started, I was trying to record her and/or video tape it. When I had my first meeting with the expeditor she seemed annoyed that I was trying to do this and asked me to stop. DD's father however said that he was starting to video tape all of his visits with her and the expeditor said this was a good idea. I get the feeling from her that she is VERY biased towards him, and has made a few side comments in the past that seem like digs at me for certain things. I had expressed concern that after almost a year, dd's father still hadn't signed up for his anger management courses, and she told me he was having money troubles and that I shouldn't be pressing him so hard and also to just be happy with what he was doing, which was complying with his limited visitation schedule.
I don't think that she understands that I WANT things to be better. I'm not looking to remove him from dd's life. I would LOVE to be able to trust him to have more time with her or to be able to have joint holiday events for her sake. BUt that at the same time I'm not going to just blindly trust him when he has serious issues that are going unaddressed.
We are setting up appointments with a new therapist for dd and I have been told explicitly that I am not to go to the initial appointment without him. Our last therapist had slowed down our meetings partly in fact because dd's father had yelled at her over the phone when I told him why I was taking dd to see her. I know that our expeditor thinks I went to her and made up a bunch of things because she has been VERY clear about the fact that we are switching therapists because of the past one's bias towards what I had told her

You know, as I am typing this out, this doesn't sound right to me at all I think we will go talk to another lawyer because I really don't feel that my concerns are being met.
post #7 of 9
Wow, that is awful that you not only lack support, but have an antagonistic expeditor. I do think you should find someone else to talk to about your concerns. I'm so sorry.
post #8 of 9
I know this isn't what you asked, but some of your comments sounded so familiar (he's good at making you feel crazy, he's good at fooling other people, threatening to kill himself if you left), and I wanted to recommend looking into the book Stop Walking on Eggshells. It is about Borderline Personality Disorder. I am certainly not making a diagnosis, but the information in it was life-changing for my husband (both of us, really) in dealing with an ex who operated in a similar way.

The book also has resources on finding therapists and lawyers who specialize in BPD, as well as support from other people who have gone through similar things in their life. You might be able to google to find those supports as well.
post #9 of 9
Get a lawyer, they're well worth what they cost IME.

Why will physical custody be split after he finishes anger management? Before you agree to anything you need to speak to a lawyer, and see if theres any way to get people in the court system who are familiar with abusive dynamics involved in your case.
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