Hi Folks--I'm going crazy here and need some advice. My SD is almost 16. I have been in her life for 5 years. She lives with us Friday through Monday morning. Her mom is the primary custodian and has her Monday through Thursday. She is very protective of her time as she has flat-out told sd that she would never be able to stay with us because she needs the child support (and yes he pays on time every month and always has). Mom refuses to pay for any of sd's expenses. They are supposed to split school costs, insurance etc., but she never has. We feel that because of her age going to court for any of these problems would be futile. Also, we live in Louisiana...
I hate to use this term because I know it is loaded and controversial, but I don't know what else to call it. I think sd is in the final stages of "parental alienation". It is constantly my husband against her and her mother. My husband is unable to discipline her regarding even doing the simplest thing (doing her homework comes to mind) because she complains to her mom who then derides him for being "emotionally abusive" or just plain "abusive". She will come over and seemingly have a great time with us--then suddenly revert back to the crazy-making things her mother has taught her. I feel like her mother more than likely has histrionic personality disorder (she doesn't speak to her mother who also sounds like she has something of the sort) making her impossible to reason with. The latest blow up is because at the last minute she refused to go with us on an already planned trip during dh's parenting time. This would be a normal teenaged issue. Enter mom who said the trip wasn't important and it would be mean to force her to go etc. So now, she is at her moms and refuses to talk to my husband because of this. Trying to parent with someone who undermines everything you do as a parent is impossible.
The last bad blow up she didn't talk to dh for a week because sd and dh about potentially changing the schedule for her to stay with us some nights during the week (we live closer to her school). And no he wasn't trying to sneak around her mother about the schedule --he was just feeling her out to see if it was something he should pursue to make life easier for her during the school week since she stays as late as 6:30 some nights. Her mom got wind of it and raged out, therefore making my sd rage out for a week.
She has withheld visitation because she is angry with dh at least 6-7 times since I have been with him, and many more in the past. In the past, he never had money to pursue anything in the courts as he was paying close to half his salary to her in cs when they first split (he had no lawyer and her dad is a multi-millionaire so you can imagine...). It is only recently that we would be able to afford a lawyer and now I feel like it's too late.
We are both sick of the drama, and although it sounds horrible even saying it I would be so relieved if she stayed with her mother full-time. I feel like the damage is done. She has been used as a pawn in this horrible game for so long--it would almost be a relief for her not to be in the middle anymore. We have tried to get her into therapy. The problem is that mom will cancel appointments, and because she is the legal guardian she has control and she wants to know everything that is said in therapy etc. I just can't have the craziness in my house anymore. She is actually a good kid, but her mother is making her into a monster. It is so stressful. My dh and I are on the same page about it, but it is so straining. Has anyone had to deal with this?