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Utterly. Speechless. - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I'm sure that's true, but if that thought is crossing the minds of several posters here, it's definitely crossing the mind of the OP's DSS too, and children who feel abandoned aren't always receptive to all the factors that led to their perceived abandonment.
I'm sure it has... and unfortunately, that's not always something we can control. We do the best we can with the hand we are given and sometimes that's not what is best for our step-children despite our best tries. Remember, this is a step-mother that is posting. Step-mothers have absolutely NO legal rights. Sure, we can lead our husbands in the direction that is what we think is right but ultimately, it comes down to the 2 biological parents in what happens. For some reason, her DH didn't pursue the custody angle. I don't know exactly why that is... but I DO know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons why it's not as easy as taking someone to court and a judge awarding custody to who says they are the better parent. It's expensive, time consuming and virtually impossible for a father to get custody without a clear cut case of abuse.
post #22 of 29
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
#1. She already answered this.

#2. What the ex is doing may very well be abuse, but probably not in the eyes of the courts....
Additionally, a suicide attempt is not, in itself, a sign of abuse.
Originally Posted by kblackstone444 View Post
Emotional abuse and PAS are very hard to prove in court. You can't just jump into it, you need very careful planning, alot of luck, and an empathetic judge. And suicide attempts are not always a sign of abuse, and could easily be turned around to be made someone else's "fault", if you're not careful.
Sometimes I don't have time to read all the other replies and just respond to the original post. So, sorry, Theoretica - you did answer my 1st question before I asked it.

Of course I do not think that every suicide attempt by a child is a sign of parental abuse. In this case, the child clearly said he attempted suicide in reaction to things said by his mother that were cruel, intentionally hurtful and untrue. It was due to abuse, no different than a kid who attempts or commits suicide due to cyber-bullying. And in such cases, people generally don't question the connection.

Emotional abuse and efforts at parental alienation on the part of the custodial parent (the child probably does not have P.A.S., if he seems so open to a relationship with the father) are easier to deal with in court, when:

1- There is hard evidence, such as the custodial parent disappearing and preventing contact with the NCP for years (and hopefully that was in defiance of a court order?); and/or

2- The child is at or near the age when the court is required to consider his stated wishes, in determining custody; and he is able and willing to verbalize the manipulation by his mother and the direct effect on his mental health. If he's uncomfortable testifying (what kid wouldn't be?), he could talk with a guardian ad litem, a counselor or, better yet, a custodial evaluator, who could testify on his behalf.

If a community is so backward that no judge there could be relied upon to consider giving a father custody, when a mother upsets the child to the point of suicide by trying to convince him his father doesnt want him, when it was, in fact, she who thwarted father/son contact, for years on end... then that's what appeals are for. They're made to a larger panel of judges, with a bigger jursidiction that just that community.
post #23 of 29
I think you should give him dad's email. He can still email him from school behind mom's back.

I think you should still actively seek partial custody or at least court ordered visits. how much does it cost to at least ask a court for that? Squeaky wheel and all.

Sounds like the mom and dad left on some very bad terms. Isn't there an after marriage counseling for kid's sake that happens. I forget what you call it. I wonder if she can be ordered to attend. Saying cruel things like that is a form of abuse. Why is she going through such lengths.

I know you're broke and think no one cares but I think he should resubmit his request for visitations every month till he's 18 if that's what it takes. And yeah, file for child abduction if she leaves again.

It's all very sad
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
I will definitely respond to everyone when I have more time, but wanted to give a quick update...

She brought him over at 11am yesterday, said he had to be home by 8pm so he could go to grandmas in the morning, as he's out of school for the day and she's working.

He begged DH to stay the night, we encouraged him to call and ask her as we *know* she'll tell DH no.

DH could hear her yelling at him from across the driveway on the phone, and DH wears hearing aids. She asked him "don't you STINK? you have to SHOWER, I know you're STINKY" and he said MOOOOOMMMMMM you could say BO or something!!!! It's more MANLY!!! Her response?? "MANLY?? You're not a MAN, you're 13 years old, you're a BOY"

She relented about him staying the night and this morning we texted her saying we'll bring him home when she's off work, as there's no reason for him to be at grandmas when Dad is available and willing for him to be here. She said fine, but we KNOW she is furious that he wanted to stay.

The plan today is to get him set up with an email account that we own, a Facebook account that routes to OUR email (so she can't sabotage that), and get him a cell phone. We also plan to include him in the allowance that our other kids get, and he's agreed to spend $5/month of his money on insurance for the phone.

He is FIERCELY loyal to his mom. It's unreal. She treats him like dirt and he kept saying "My mom can't help it, she doesn't have any money, she's really stressed" etc. When we were talking to him about a phone (all our older kids have/had one as soon as they started heading off with friends, so he's older than our youngest kid with a phone, he's not being treated differently than the other kids in our house or anything) he said his mom "doesn't trust him" and then kept saying "it's not my moms fault I don't have a phone, she can't afford it".

There's more, I'll be back
post #25 of 29
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
I grew up in between two parents who had me when they were really young and my father got custody. He kept me from my mother, very much in this same way, and when I turned 12 (the age when you can decide for yourself which parent to live with) I moved in with my mother. Is there anything that is keeping you from having him live at your house? His mother sounds very unstable and controlling.
My childhood was similar, my father was abusive, the judge gave custody to my dad (he can be very persuasive/manipulative/charming/whatever). It took me until I was 15 to get the courage to tell my mom to move forward with the paperwork to change custody. I also was close to suicide, but not hospitalized because only 1 or 2 friends knew, many times.

Now, at 33 I'm ok, after years of therapy, I finished college last year, and am moving on with my life. But it's been a very difficult journey.

Maybe next time you see DSS you can buy him a Tracfone, keep minutes loaded on it, suggest he not share it with his mom (she might take it away) and tell him he can call any time if things are bad. Then HE has an out.

I don't know what to suggest with the finances, but see if there are family lawyers near-by that will give a free consultation. Your DH should at least have legal visiting rights (every other weekend, every other holiday, 2 weeks in the summer is usually a minimum). He may have to pay childsupport, but it may save this boy. At this point he is at serious risk of not having a future due to depression/loss of self esteem. He may turn to drugs (our middle school has herion dealers! It's available to kids that age.)

In my opinion, if anyone has a chance to make these things change you and your family do, and it should be done soon. The high school years are even harder.
post #26 of 29
Just saw your update, I'm so glad you are doing what you are doing!
post #27 of 29
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
He is FIERCELY loyal to his mom. It's unreal. She treats him like dirt and he kept saying "My mom can't help it, she doesn't have any money, she's really stressed" etc. When we were talking to him about a phone... he said his mom "doesn't trust him" and then kept saying "it's not my moms fault I don't have a phone, she can't afford it".
Yes, kids are often fiercely loyal to a parent they sense is emotionally fragile or unstable.

But, after so many years of no contact, there is a definite plus in the fact that he defends her, but is not treating your DP the same way she does. He is capable of recognizing that she has deficiencies and that she has misrepresented things about his father. He just doesn't want her to be criticized or suffer consequences - perhaps because he thinks she couldn't handle it.

He might be too concerned for her welfare - and too attached to her - to say the worst things in a forum where he knows his mom might be penalized, like court. But if he will be as forthcoming with a counselor (or, as I said before, a g.a.l. or custody evaluator) as he was with you two, then the objective professionals can discuss his situation and decide what's best for him, without him being forced to choose one parent over another. Just because he loves her does not mean it's healthy for him to live with her - especially if she does/says things to hurt him and he still feels compelled to defend her. Think about what this is teaching him, in terms of the treatment he should tolerate from future girlfriends or wives. This is about his whole life, not just the issues between the parents.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
That's a really good point, there was a time he was treating DH that badly, right before she vanished with him, so this is a good sign.

We got him set up on facebook He made lots of friends this weekend and they've all 'added' him already, so we're so happy for him.

The phone wasn't in stock at the store, so we couldn't send him home with one. Ugh. Hoping we didn't miss a window there.

DH had to pull over when he was taking him home, he said he was just slumped over and SO sad.

I'm exhausted. More later.
post #29 of 29
Theoretica, I've been thinking about you and your family a lot. I don't have anything brilliant or helpful to add, but wanted to let you know that somewhere out there a stranger is thinking good thoughts for all of you. Keep up the good work, mama.
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