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#1 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is about to be 10 years old. She has been sleeping with her dad since she was 5 years old on her EOW visits with him. She has no bed in his house of her own, or not bedroom. She has no place of her own to change privately. She still can't brush her teeth. He used to bathe her until last summer, when I asked the counselor to tell him to stop. The counselor told him if he didn't stop that he would be reported. So since then he would not let her bathe there. She spent the summer (33 days) at his house with only one bath, and that was because the counselor said let her bathe or send her home to moms house. She begs me every time she is suppose to go to her dad's house for me to not let her go.

I have had my daughter in counseling since February (brother and sister had to go first to get some stability in our family) and my daughter's father has been calling the counseling center regularly to tell them not to bill his insurance. My daughter has his insurance as her primary, and state insurance as secondary. The counseling center has told me she can't come back unless I guarantee them that I will pay cash. I can't do that. My daughter is really getting alot out of counseling. The counselor has been encouraging her to try different things like asking if she can bathe, then next time taking a bath in the sink with a wash cloth. He has not allowed her to do that, so the counselor asked her to just take her hands and stand on a towel, then take her hands and wash off her face, arms and legs. She finally was able to do that, but her father told her she couldn't do it again. My daughter feels like she has some power because the therapist is working with her to come up with solutions. She is also expressing her concern about these and other issues. Now what? I am so worried about her. She does not know how to protect her own boundaries, and her father does not respect them. She has a terrible time sleeping on her own. She wants to come to my room every other night. By 2 or 3 am, she is knocking on my door begging to sleep with me. I feel so bad for her that I usually sit and talk with her for a while, and see if I can get her to sleep in her bed. If she can't, I let her come sleep with me. She sleeps with her sister, so she really is not alone, but she feels so scared of the night.

My daughter is putting all of her hope in my hands. He is threatening me if I go to court because of this, that he will have me put in jail because he swears I don't let him talk to the children. This is not true. He is also telling the children that he is going to get me put in jail. He scares them so much.

This is now YEARS. My attorney never really helped me, but instead I owed her so much money. I don't have any money to pay now.

I need some clear directions (please not a bunch of arguing about what to do). I have gotten some good help here in the past, and I would appreciate your advice. My dd does not want to go back. I asked her if she ever wanted to go back again and she told me, "yes", if he can become a better person and father and clean up his house. She often tells me about his house, about how disorganized it is. He has OCD. Both children talk about it, say there is no where to sit or play. Five years is a long time to live like that.

Help?

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#2 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 05:14 AM
 
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I apologize if you have posted on this before and I havent been following.
Is there a specific reason your ex doesnt want the kids to bathe? That is a huge red flag to me. Not allowing a child to shower/bathe sends of my mommy alert. (as does giving an older child a bath). Im also surprised the courts allow over night visits when your ex does not have proper sleeping arrangements for the kids. I would think these things and a counselors report along with your DD's request not to go back would be enough to change the vists. (it sounds like your dd wants a break from the visits the way they are now). She is old enough to have a say in what happens.
I also wonder why ex doesnt want his insurance billed. If he is required to provide insurance for DD he can not stipulate what services to cover and which to not bill. The counselor should be billing insurance they have on file. This makes me wonder if ex has cancelled insurance or if with the new year his benefits for mental health has changed?

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#3 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Bathing a 9 year old and or not allowing a child to bathe (in 33 days!) is abusive. Why hasn't the counselor called CPS?! I can't believe that not having a room or a bed of her own in a house is against CPS regulations (heck, even co-sleepers need a crib or other sleep space for a kid.) She should be reporting him to CPS for neglect and abuse.

Plus, if your X's insurance is primary, then the counselor should bill it. Period. Call the state's attorney and ask them if he is able to get away with it. Seems like he is illegally taking money from the state (my state's attorney is awesome and has helped me personally in the past.)

Regardless of your ability to pay - you need a new lawyer. Make the calls, knock on the doors. Get someone to see you pro-bono.

And not to scare you, but is it possible that your X is abusing her physically? I remeber some previous posts and his behavior seems very suspicious.

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#4 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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You should call CPS anonymously and talk to the therapist as well and see if they will call CPS. Quickly. I have no issues with co sleeping but this goes beyond that.
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#5 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I have been around a while and know a lot about your story. They should be billing his insurance and if they refuse to pay then the secondary insurance and let the insurance companies work it out. On the other issues, why hasn't the counselor called CPS? Your daughter not being able to bathe for 33 days??? and still sleeping with him at 10 years old and his control over her just washing herself? The counselor needs to call CPS. He cannot prove that you are keeping the kids from talking to him, you have phone records, do not succumb to his threats. If the counselor won't call then have your daughter talk to someone at school so that they will call. It really needs to come from her and from a mandatory reporter, I still cannot believe the counselor hasn't called yet.
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#6 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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This would be a huge red flag to also i agree with what others are saying.

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#7 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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Call your daughter's teacher and ask her to talk to her. Tell her you are worried. Don't go into specifics. The techer is a mandated reporter. If your daughter will talk to her the teacher *should* call CPS based on the information you have provided.

Call the courts and ask what the minimum overnight visitation requirements are for beds/sleeping. There should be some standard policy. Typically it is that every child have a place in a bed with either a same sex sibling not over 13 or something like that. Sometimes even there own bedroom is required. Someone at the family courts should be able to tell you this.

What state are in you? Can you contact the legal aid society for assistance.

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#8 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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He's being abusive. I suggest you seek help at a DV shelter (they have resources other than shelter - they may be able to help you find an attorney for example).

I also second the CPS call - I'm not a fan of them, but there are cases where its warranted. Don't make the call yourself - her counselor should make the call. And, you need to get in contact with the insurance company - they are required to pay for her sessions I believe as long as it doesn't go over what they are required to pay. Your states attorney should be able to help you with this.

For other recommendations for a lawyer you can always call and ask your states Bar Association and they will give you advice and recommendations.
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#9 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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I don't have suggestions but just want to chime in to support your feelings. My 4 year old DD cosleeps with her father and I have no problem with it whatsoever. So there isn't any prejudice talking, but what you have described is alarming. I could say that with the bathing maybe he just didn't realize she didn't need any help anymore (I don't think that's terribly likely, but it could happen), but forbidding her to bathe without him is more than just a red flag, it's WRONG all by itself. What I'm trying to say is, this is not something you can explain away, it's not just different cultures or an overprotective dad or potential special needs. There is no explanation that makes it right, period.

You won't go to jail. I don't know exactly what I'd do, but I'd act. Call CPS yourself. Get another lawyer. Something. He's making threats because he's afraid - and for good reason. I'm so sorry you and your daughter are dealing with this.

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#10 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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I'd talk to the therapist about options. You've been seeing this therapist for awhile now and she's seen some nasty sides to your ex. I don't know why she isn't giving you more advice about how to get visitation monitored. It seems like the counselor is also scared of your ex. I would think that his refusal to allow his 10yo to clean herself would get him limited to supervised visitation.

I agree, talk with your daughter's teacher, have your daughter go talk with the school counselor. Call the police or a lawyer and find out what can happen if your daughter simply refuses to go to visitation. If a police officer was there and your daughter said "no, I will not go." what would happen? Would your son still be willing to go?

I know you've dealt with a lot of abuse that has been ignored by authorities. He's played the system against you time and time again. It's got to be tempting to just give up. Give up for a day to gather yourself, but then get back up and fight some more. She and your son may be old enough to tell the courts what they want. Document everything. Call around to see if any lawyer can help you. Go to the DV shelter and see if they can help you figure out how to get representation. Write out a letter so that you don't get jumbled, write down everything you and your children have endured in the last 5 years.

I'm so upset for you everytime I hear about this guy's antics.

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#11 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
I asked her if she ever wanted to go back again and she told me, "yes", if he can become a better person and father and clean up his house. She often tells me about his house, about how disorganized it is. He has OCD. Both children talk about it, say there is no where to sit or play. Five years is a long time to live like that.

Jyotsna
This is another reason I think it's time to get CPS involved. They may be able to do a home visit and determine that his house is not an appropriate place for the children.
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#12 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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I may be way off base here, but the first thing that springs to mind is that in your situation, I would be worried that my daughter was being sexually abused. Have you asked her if anything like that is going on?
I'm so sorry you and she are going through this. I agree 100 percent that a mandatory reporter needs to get CPS looking into this.

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#13 of 52 Old 04-13-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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I may be way off base here, but the first thing that springs to mind is that in your situation, I would be worried that my daughter was being sexually abused. Have you asked her if anything like that is going on?
I'm so sorry you and she are going through this. I agree 100 percent that a mandatory reporter needs to get CPS looking into this.
I would also suspect she is being sexually abused, but be careful questioning her about this so XH can not accuse you of coaching her or putting her up to false accusations( Not that you would but if you bring it up they can accuse you) Call CPS immediately and try to get her teacher, principal and councilor to call also.

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#14 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 02:46 AM
 
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CPS. Its way overdue. The counselors should have done this already. You need to get her out of your bed for good, otherwise his sleeping with her looks normal compared to what you do. I would escort her back to bed and sit with her for X number of minutes each time.
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#15 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 05:32 AM
 
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jyotsna i feel for you.

i have been following your situation too for a while but dont know what to say.

i feel so helpless not knowing how to help you.

your story is heartwrenching to me. i cant imagine all the things your ex has been able to get away with. he is a man with a high functioning mental health issue. it is scary dealing with him.

i am not sure if CPS would help. it would make things worse. i am sure the counsellor knows that otherwise they would have called CPS on him a long time ago.

sexual abuse. in their case to me sexual abuse would be a small thing compared to everything he has already done.

the cosleeping does not raise a red flag to me because that is a cultural thing. HOWEVER no private space, disrespecting boundaries.... would be more my worry. he has to realise his kids are from this country, not the one he left behind so he cannot thrust his values on them.

unfortunately your ex is a scary character.

what i would do is create a file a history of all your cases and then find a good lawyer and keep bugging them till they take your case probono. to me that would be the only way out.

(((HUGS))) i cant imagine how you feel esp. after what your kids have already been thru. to send your dd when she doesnt want to go OMG.

your ex is a v. smart and cunning man. the only true way to stop him would be a lawyer.

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#16 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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She still can't brush her teeth.
Do you mean she is unable to brush her own teeth, or that her father does not allow her to brush her teeth?

If she's unable to brush them, he should be helping her. Either way, I would see that as a form of medical neglect. I agree with those who are encouraging you to contact CPS.
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#17 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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I am so sorry your children are still going through this crap with him.

It is time to get a lawyer...again. Perhaps with the counsellor on your side it will help. I don't know...but he needs to be stopped. And I know you've tried before...but at some point, I keep hoping someone will see how damaging this is and force him to stop.

I will continue to hope and pray that someone will finally see this (UAV) for what he is and get your kids as far away from him as possible.

I'm sending you a lot of love and support.
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#18 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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On its own a child sleeping with their parent sounds fine.

But your dd is clearly not ok with a lot of stuff going on there and does not want to go. Forcing his dd tro sleep with him, not allowing her to bathe, bathing her as an older child. that is all insane!!!! if that counselor has not reported it then he is not worth going back for.

Do not be scared to go to court over these things. you need to teach your dd how to stand up and assert herself by doing it. you need to know what your rights are as far as insurance (if your ex is responsible for being a primary insurance carrier , and insurance covers mental health then he gets no say in this!), visits and insisting your children are cared for while with dad.

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#19 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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It's all so inappropriate I don't know where to start. I am baffled that the therapist sits around thinking about "solutions" but doesn't run screaming to CPS. They can think of all the solutions they want - and of course I think it's a wonderful thing if they help your daughter to feel empowered! - but having to send her to this guy to begin with is what's really wrong when he is so abusive!

I completely agree with the poster who said he's making threats because he's scared he'll be found out. I too would worry about sexual abuse, because the whole thing is creepy and bizarre. And she's begging you not to go - something is going on, as awful as that is to think about.

I get why you're nervous to go to court what with all his threats, but do it anyway. Let him say whatever he wants. I don't think it could get much worse than the way it is now, anyway! As long as you don't appear hysterical or vindictive (and you don't sound either one), you can explain it to the court and see what a judge thinks of a man making his daughter sleep with him and never bathe or brush her teeth!!!!

I get if you owe your current lawyer money, but any lawyer that couldn't advise you better than this isn't worth your money anyway. Please consult with a new one, like yesterday.
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#20 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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No advice as everyone has already covered all my thoughts. I know you have been though a lot this past year and I hope you get things settled soon.

Seriously?
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#21 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your encouraging comments. I am going to ask the counselor to make a CPS call when the kids see him this week.

Also, I think I will call our local exchange club to see if someone can talk to her for free while I am getting the details about the insurance worked out.
The parenting plan does says that if we can't agree about these types of problems that the Mother (Me) can make the final decision. I pointed that out to the insurance secretary, but she seemed unsure. I will take the parenting plan there tomarrow to let them have a copy. I should have the right, since the parenting plan allows that.

The kids have to go to his house for visitation this weekend, so I am really hoping that they won't have to go, till this is sorted out.

Do I think that she is being sexually abused? I have not talked to her about it, but the doctor did check her for physical evidence of sexual abuse and said that there was none. She spoke to my daughter about it and said she didn't think she was being sexually abused. I have only told my dd that her body belongs to her, and if anyone (family or friends or strangers) want to touch her anywhere (private or else) that she should get away from that person, and tell me. I told her that I would never be angry at her if someone did something bad to her, or if she did something bad. I just want the conversation to be balanced out so that I why I said that. I told my other two children that too, even though my third child doesn't visit him at all.

She is homeschooled. I think going to school has it's advantages for a child who is abused. The counselor is the only professional person she can tell this to.

Thanks again to all of you for your responses. I don't have alot of time on the computer these days, but I really needed to hear from you all. I'll let you know what happens.

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#22 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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Jyotsna,

Just a thought, you can also make the call to CPS or while their visiting their father have the police do a "welfare check" saying your dd called and told you conditions of the house yada yada, the police will have no problem having CPS come out right then if the house/situation is as bad as your dd is stating. The welfare check makes sure there ok and safe and if there not it could immediately put a stop to the visits until he's in compliance.

Seriously?
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#23 of 52 Old 04-14-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't wait until the counselor sees the kids. I would call first thing in the morning - tell them none of it's sitting right with you, your daughter is very upset, when she's there she has to lie in bed with her father even though she hates being there!!!! it honestly makes me nauseous to even think about that. This poor child. There are many ways to be sexually inappropriate that wouldn't be physically obvious.

And while it's great that you've let her know you're a safe person to talk to, she's probably scared of her father - he probably threatens her not to tell. Just look how nervous you are about his threats. Imagine being a kid.

Please don't let her go there until somebody intervenes. It sounds like it's gone on way too long as it is. Sure he'll threaten, let him - he needs to be exposed. And maybe I missed some details but you say your other child goes there too... where does the other child sleep? and is he/she allowed to bathe and brush their teeth? If she is being singled out for this weirdness you have to know that something is up.
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#24 of 52 Old 04-15-2010, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here in our city, the police have tried to arrest me when I tried to protect my daughter. I even had the flu, a very high fever and didn't even quite understand what they were saying. I even agreed to go, until he said put your shoes on. I didn't understand why I needed my shoes, and asked...he said to go to jail. Then I shut my door, talked to my daughter and told her that she would have to go. I hated that. But I am absolutely no good for her if I am in jail, or have a record.

I talked to her counselor today and asked if he specifically talked to my daughter about being sexually abused. He said that at this point, she has not made him think that she is being sexually abused. He did say he was very concerned about my daughter however, and encouraged me to go to court to get this straighted out.

I have called multiple agencies today, and hope to find someone to help us. I'd love to not send my child to him, and yet, I can't fight this for her while in jail. Thank you all for your advice, and also for validating my concerns about her.

MissLotus-

Here are the comparisons between my two children at their dads house:
Dd has no room, but ds has a room
Dd is not allowed to bathe but ds is allowed.
Dd is not allowed to make certain choices like which tv station they watch, or how much food she should eat. Ds is allowed to do these things at his will.
Dd and ds both are not allowed to brush their teeth. My dd is nearly 10, my ds is nearly 14.

I have made many suggestions to my ex about how to handle this:
1. to put his computer in his own room and put a bed and dresser in the extra bedroom.
2. move ds to his room, and dd to ds's room, so dd has privacy, a bed of her own.
3. Ex to sleep on sofa when dd visits, and let dd have his bed. I don't like this choice, but would rather this happen than dd to continue to sleep WITH her dad.

He dad has had various situations for her, which all of them result in her sleeping with him.
1. Sleep on two crib mattresses (stacked on top of eachother) in the hallway near the bathroom door.
2. Sleep on sofa in living room.
3. Sleep on floor in bedroom with her dad.

Like I say, all end up with her in his bed. She doesn't have proper clothing at his house. She now has two nightgowns, but no other clothing that fit her.

Ds has several outfits that fit him. Dd has moved from size 7-8 to size 10-12 in the last year, and absolutely no 10-12's are in his house for her. She was wearing a pair of winter pj's for the last 18 plus months, which were too short and too confining for her. She wears the same clothing that I send over. I have never seen my son's clothing from there except for a military jacket which he wore to BoyScouts one weekend while with his dad.

My son tells me that his dad's house is similar to the houses on the popular show on TV right now that deals with hoarding. Only difference is that his dad does not hoard trash. He has the children step onto his old underwear for a bathmat. I can't imagine how humiliating any of this is, but to have to step on the old underwear has to be very upsetting.

My dd is biting nails for 5 years now. She gets up and comes to my room in the middle of the night. I have been working with the counselor to stop this, and get her to sleep on her own. He does agree that when she is scared due to t-storms, that I should allow her to stay.

I thought I was protecting my kids to leave my ex. I actually put them in a much worse situation. Really, this is what happened.

Occassionally I allow myself to have some pity on myself, because my kids have suffered so much in his hands.

I'll let you know what I find out about resources here including abused womens services.

Thank you.

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#25 of 52 Old 04-15-2010, 03:50 AM
 
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omg mama. im so sorry. this is all so upsetting as an outsider. i cannot even imagine how you are feeling

mama to one '07 and one '09
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#26 of 52 Old 04-15-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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I'm sure you have been trying to protect your kids - it sounds like such a hard situation (jail?!). Your ex sounds like a someone who should not be allowed within miles of his kids, never mind in the same bed. When you speak to people about this, maybe use what you told us here, for notes - like the comparison of how your daughter is treated vs. your son. (And I don't get the clothes thing... she's not even allowed to bring clothes, either - she has to wear what's already there? They're both not allowed to brush their teeth?? I have never heard of anything like this!) This screams for court intervention.

I don't always have a high opinion of lawyers, but I think if you consult with some more and are perfectly frank as you have been here, they should be properly horrified. I'm so sorry that a community of "professionals" has let you and your daughter down thus far (even that counselor, who should have reported your ex long ago), but I'm sure there is help out there for you.
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#27 of 52 Old 04-15-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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What country are you in? Your profile says "Sunny South" and I figured that meant southern USA.

You must live in another country because no police in the USA would come to put you in jail for what you described.

Unless your ex is taking it so far that he has a friend come and impersonate the cops to scare you.

This is an extremely bizarre situation you have described, and your ex clearly has gone to great lengths to manipulate you and keep you feeling helpless.

As far as I'm concerned, DD can sleep on the sofa when she's there, it's not ideal but it's preferable to all the other choices.

Can you send clothes over with her? It's unacceptable that her father has no clothes for her, but it's also very easy to send her with a suitcase (including a toothbrush!!).

Are YOU seeing a counselor?

What kind of custody agreement do you have?

Were you married? What kind of divorce did you have? (No fault/uncontested or something specific? Who filed?)

I would go broke getting a new lawyer, this is that serious.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#28 of 52 Old 04-15-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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Why isn't the counselor calling CPS? Does he know the situation when she is there? The difference in the way she is treated and the way your son is treated? He should be calling CPS, I don't understand why he is not. If the house is like a hoarders house that in itself will have to be addressed if CPS shows up and see that. The bedroom situation will have to be addressed if your kids will talk to CPS and they go to your ex's house and see the house. This counselor is a mandatory reporter, he knows your ex, he should be reporting this.
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#29 of 52 Old 04-15-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Yes, that is what I don't understand either. How can he sit there and hear all this stuff and yet sit around talking about sponge baths? This goes way beyond ways to bathe without actually taking a shower. That really minimizes the huge wrongness of the situation.
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#30 of 52 Old 04-15-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
What country are you in? Your profile says "Sunny South" and I figured that meant southern USA.

You must live in another country because no police in the USA would come to put you in jail for what you described.

Unless your ex is taking it so far that he has a friend come and impersonate the cops to scare you.
I'm taking a wild guess at what happened because I have seen this happen. If the other parent shows up for court ordered visitation and you refuse access to the children to go on the visit then that parent can call the police and force you to either let the children go or arrest you for not allowing access. My mom had these kinds of issues with my dad when I was a kid, it was a pretty messed up situation.

Seriously?
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