Toddler DD REFUSES to go with her father (possible triggers) - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-12-2010, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We went to mediation about a year ago for a schedule change. I had a set work schedule and couldn't afford child care anymore so DD began going with her father about 40% of the time. She had 3 overnights with him, 2 overnights were in a row.

Her behavior began to change severly...I've taken into account her age and how she's bound to have shifts in behavior...but these changes have been noticed by family and friends on my side.

ALL my friends and family that have met xMIL have mentioned they are "creeped out" by her. Ive had some pretty strong feelings of dislike, now I don't want to come off judgmental...but the intuitive feelings are there...not to trust her. Now, xFIL has an unreported (xDP told me stories) sexual abuse, physical abuse, and verbal abuse history...xFIL was the abuser. I also left xDP when DD was around 6mo because he was verbally abusive, manipulative, etc. I should also mention, every time she is with her father, she most definitely sees her grandparents.

Now, back to the current issue...DD absolutely REFUSES to see her father. On his days with her, he shows up and she has terror in her eyes, she pleads, she kicks, she literally screams bloody murder...she even runs to the back of the house and hides in a corner screaming "NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!" This is obviously not normal behavior when a child sees their father. I have brought this up to him and he claims she is fine after they leave and she just doesn't like the "switch off"... I have asked him and his mother straight-out if they are spanking or yelling at her, they have both said they use positive discipline without spanking or yelling. I have also brought up the possibility of xFIL sexually abusing her and xDP called me crazy and paranoid, said his father would never do that.

xDP has been taking domestic violence classes for the past year, so I'm hoping that has helped him control his anger.

Now, due to other information being passed onto me from other sources (xDP possible drug use *which he denies and has volunteered to do a drug test*), I have decided to keep DD with me for the past month.

The other day while I was folding laundry, she was without a diaper (we are potty training) and she laid on the couch and grabbed my hand and moved it toward her and said "Touch me, touch my squirrel, c'mon touch me." I have a past of childhood sexual abuse and this is NOT OK for a 2 year old to say, she MUST have heard that from somewhere, right?! I also questioned whether or not I heard her right, thinking since I do have a past of trauma...I could just be paranoid and being over-dramatic?

We have mediation scheduled for Jan 18th...next Monday, but I am nervous. I want to revoke his overnights. I'm also weary of letting him have her while I work weekdays... I cannot afford child care right now and I'm not sure what to do about this situation.

I have contacted child psychologists who work with toddlers. Left voicemails and have not heard back yet, until I do...can someone, anyone PLEASE give some advice or share a similar story?!

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Old 01-12-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Oh mama. What a tough situation. I think you are very wise to take the actions you are and to be so aware of your DD.

I know that when I have to call DHS/DSHS for stuff, the recording before you get to a real person says what to do if you are calling to report child abuse. Maybe something like that could help you get your DD help more quickly. I'd also keep calling the therapists until they answered or called me back. In a situation like this it's not OK for them to get back with you at their leisure You could also call your local police, the non emergency number, and ask them for advice and what your next steps should be. Something like this should be well documented. Sorry I don't have better advice.

Stay strong and wishing the best for you and your DD.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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That is not normal and never has any of my kids ever said anything remotely similar to that. I would be highly concerned.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Theia View Post


Oh mama. What a tough situation. I think you are very wise to take the actions you are and to be so aware of your DD.

I know that when I have to call DHS/DSHS for stuff, the recording before you get to a real person says what to do if you are calling to report child abuse. Maybe something like that could help you get your DD help more quickly. I'd also keep calling the therapists until they answered or called me back. In a situation like this it's not OK for them to get back with you at their leisure You could also call your local police, the non emergency number, and ask them for advice and what your next steps should be. Something like this should be well documented. Sorry I don't have better advice.

Stay strong and wishing the best for you and your DD.
Everything she said. I read this post with a very open mind expecting it to sound like normal toddler perferring one parent over another---if you'd only typed about the squirrel incident, that would have been all I needed. 2 year olds don't make that up out of no where. You definitely should contact the appropriate authorities asap. That's not paranoid or overdramatic at all. It's NOT ok.

I can't even pretend to imagine what you're going through! Take care of you too!!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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Please mention this post can be triggering for some people in the title or at the beginning.

It's not normal, go with your instincts and please do not let your DD with them again without doing everything in your power to figure out what's going on. I also recommend taking her to pedi.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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This is not normal, as others said. I would not talk to your dd about it any more, you need to get a third party involved, a child psychiatrist who specializes in abuse, her pediatrician, or call CPS. I would immediately take her to the ped anyway just to make sure she is OK physically, but know that they are mandatory reporters so they will call CPS. Unfortunately because you are going through a custody battle right now you will be suspect as well, meaning that you will be suspected of making it up. If I were in your situation with my child acting like that, I wouldn't care about the possible consequences, my first priority would be getting her care. I am not saying you are not putting her first, I commend you for not making her go. I wish you luck getting to the bottom of this and getting your dd help.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Oh mama...didn't want to read and not reply...We were in DDC together...This makes me so sick-sad to read, SO not ok...I don't know what you should do, but HUGS...
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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I would take her straight to the pediatrician ( a mandated reporter) and then to the police. Ask ahead if they have someone who can question a small child. This is not normal at all. Someone has been touching her.

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Old 01-12-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Ped and CPS. And no more overnights until investigation is over! And any family that can document her change in behavior and if anyone saw the horrible handovers should write out affadavits. I am so sorry.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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Call CPS. Get them to go to the court and get an order for no unsupervised visitation. They can't do anything without a court order - and if there is a court order requiring you to give your ex visitation you will be in contempt if you withhold your daughter from him.

other than that, I agree with everyone else. Police, CPS, and find a Lawyer! One who works with domestic abuse situations. I know its expensive, but its important, and they can help you navigate the court system in a way that makes your daughter safe.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have contacted a few child psychologists who work specifically with toddlers. I also reported it to CPS. DD has a therapy/assessment appt in 2 weeks.

I am so stressed out. Not only praying that my suspicions are WRONG, but that everything goes smoothly.

I really really do not want bad feelings to surface between X and me. He really does not understand my concerns. I am just following my instincts, yet I'm still second-guessing myself. What if I just contacted CPS and DD is on file FOR NO REASON? I am so worried I am being over dramatic and taking this too far.

My mother wouldn't have reported it, my aunt said she went thru the same thing with her daughter and after years of my cousin being assessed, the counselors said she was fine. My aunt said I may be overreacting and to not call CPS or make a big deal out of it. I just feel there is constant drama in my life and I am always the source.

I am stressed to the max. What if I just created a mess and I make things more difficult for everyone?

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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you are doing what you think is best for your daughter and that is all you need to know.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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I think it is probably normal to second guess yourself in this type of situation. It's probably a double edged sword; fear of being wrong, fear of being right.

You know your daughter, and it seems like you had a really strong gut/intuition response. I'd go with that.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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I'm not really sure how much louder a 2 year old could've screamed for help than with what she's said and done. Definitely cps, police, and no more unsupervised visits at all. Your ex will just have to deal with that however much he may not like it. If he gripes ask him why he's taking this daughter he claims to love over to see someone he knows molested little kids, that's if it's his father doing it and not himself.

If you grew up in a family with a child molester the whole family system is set up to keep the molester safe. A child molester in any other kind of family would be outed and sent away. Your family seems to have this kind of set up or they wouldn't be encouraging you to do nothing and to look the other way, or in their case making you feel you're paranoid for seeing the obvious clearly. Don't doubt your instincts here. My personal favorite mantra I repeat to myself if I ever have the remotest doubt about something like this is: It's better to act as if you're right and find out you were wrong, than to act as if you were wrong then find out you were right.


editing this in...I'm not sure how to help with daycare other than asking the cps people if there is an emergency drop-in daycare in your area and if you can use it until you come up with another plan. A lot of counties have them but you have to get a hold of the right person to know where they are.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:01 AM
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Reading your OP is heart-wrenching. There is no question in my mind that something has happened to your little girl. This is in no way normal behavior for a 2 year old. Don't second guess yourself. You're doing the right thing -- Your little girl needs you to protect her.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Can you get an emergency visit with your pedi to check her out? Can you call the prosecutor's office and ask to have your dd interviewed by their child sex abuse therapists? This is ABSOLUTELY not normal behavior. I have a two year old who is fascinated by squirrels. But even SHE would never ask me to "touch her squirrel".

Can you post a message in your tribal area and ask if there are any mommas who could watch your dd for you?

As Gavin deBecker advocates, listen to your gut.

And as a pp mentioned, PLEASE take care of yourself. This has got to be so hard for you on so many levels.
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