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#1 of 23 Old 12-25-2011, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Presents are wrapped.  I'm the only one awake and too caffeinated to sleep.  So I'm going to vent.

 

HISTORY, loosely (Feel free to skip.  This is actually me trying to be succinct, but it's a complicated situation and I'm long-winded.):

* DSS's Mom is Jewish.  

* For a time, she was estranged from her family and surrounded by Christians (including my DH; her husband at the time).  Understandably, she attended get-togethers on major Christian holidays and participated in celebrating them with my DH and their son (whom she agreed to let DH raise as a Catholic).  However, she still identified herself as Jewish.

* During their divorce, she severed ties with the Christians close to her (besides DH) and reconciled with her Jewish family.  She went back to celebrating only Jewish holidays and began telling people DSS was also Jewish and saying derogatory things to DSS about Christianity.  She didn't bother to give DSS any Jewish education.  Evidently, it was enough to tell him Jesus and Santa were both made-up and to switch Christmas gifts and decorations, for Chanukah ones.

* For several consecutive years, DSS spent every Christmas with DH, with Mom's blessing.  The year Chanukah began at sundown Christmas Day, DH offered her parenting time, but she wasn't interested.  She said she and DSS had celebrated Chanukah together early.

* The year DSS was 7 was especially high-conflict.  DH won several court battles, reinforcing his parental rights.  Mom responded by moving across the country with DSS; trying to get conflicting orders out of the CA courts; and making concerted efforts to sever DSS's contact with DH and everyone in his family.  

* DH was entitled to a 7-day visit over winter break.  Mom had to pay for airfare.  Unfortunately, nothing spelled out who got to pick the dates.  Months in advance, DH requested to have DSS the same week the older son from his 1st marriage would be visiting, from college.  Mom would only agree to let DSS be there for half of his brother's visit.  But the dates she agreed to included Christmas.  She never suggested she felt it was her turn to finally spend a Christmas with DSS.

* Instead, she took DSS out of school early, sent him here for only a 5-day visit and scheduled his return flight at 6am the morning his brother was set to arrive.  (So, before Christmas.)

* Even when DH took her to court, she never argued that she felt entitled to Christmas, since DH had it the previous who-knows-how-many years.  She only said the dates she chose were "convenient".

* The court let DSS stay here through Christmas.  Then he came down with pneumonia and was under doctor's orders not to travel and ended up with DH until a day or two after school resumed.  Mom was spitting mad and even pushed for DH to fly DSS back to CA against doctor's orders and the judge's instructions, because DH getting such a long visit was so intolerable.

* The next year added insult to injury.  DH asked to have DSS over Christmas, as usual.  But he also asked to have DSS on Thanksgiving Break, to be in our wedding.

* Mom posed no objection to DSS spending yet another Christmas with DH.  But she wanted to make DH choose:  Have DSS at our wedding, or exercise his winter break visit.  Not both.

* Only AFTER the judge sided against her and let DH have both visits did Mom suddenly become emotional in court, claiming she celebrates Christmas even though she's Jewish and how hard it's been on her, to go so many years without having DSS on the holiday.

* The judge let her have DSS that Christmas.  AND SHE DIDN'T CELEBRATE IT WITH HIM.  I know that's hard to quantify, but they had celebrated Chanukah earlier in the month and did nothing Christmas Day that DSS recognized as a holiday celebration.  No tree, no gifts, nothing festive.  They went ice skating, which they could've done just as enjoyably on the 26th, without DSS having to miss Midnight Mass and everything his Dad's family does, for Christmas.

* Two months later, the judge issued her final ruling, giving DH sole custody.  The ruling mentions, "Father is Catholic and celebrates Christian holidays.  Mother is Jewish and does not observe Christmas."

* In the 1st 3 years after the custody change, Mom made it clear she sees the year DSS was 8 (and spent Christmas with her) as a precedent that she's entitled to every other Christmas.  But she has either offered, or been willing, to trade "her" Christmases for other things she wants.

* Sometimes DH has gone along with her (i.e., buying DSS's plane tickets, even though Mom is court-ordered to pay for them).  Other times, he hasn't (i.e., when she wanted DSS to have no contact with us whatsoever and to skip all his regular activities, like sports, during her 10-day visits).  Either way, DSS has spent every Christmas with us, with little or no conflict.

* One year, she'll put up a Christmas tree - and make sure to send a photo of it, to support the idea that she's entitled to alternating Christmases.  She'll call DSS's gifts "Christmas", not "Chanukah" gifts; and the Chanukah seder at her parents' house a "family Christmas party", even though DSS sees through this.  The next year, when she more easily gets what she wants from DH, she makes no show of celebrating Christmas.  (At least, DSS will tell us she didn't put up a tree or do anything Christmas-y and they openly celebrated Chanukah.)

 

THIS YEAR:

* Back in October, Mom emailed DH that she'd bought DSS's winter break airfare and had given DH Christmas Day with him.  Easy, right?

* But the tickets she bought had DSS departing for CA on Christmas Eve.  When DH pointed that out, Mom said it was a simple, honest mistake.  She'd just forgotten what day Christmas was!

* Other problems with her tickets:

***** On both legs of travel, DSS was scheduled to change planes by himself, in one of the world's biggest airports, on an airline that will take absolutely no responsibility for unaccompanied minors, past age 11.  You can't pay extra for it.  They just don't do it.  DH has been clear with Mom that this is unacceptable and, frankly, as sole legal custodian, he has the right to set that limit.  And direct flights are available, on the same airline.

***** She scheduled his visit exactly in the middle of his break, chopping up DSS's 5 days with us.  When she had custody, she herself insisted this was unfair to DSS, and DH cooperated with her.

***** She gave us neither Christmas Eve, nor the day after Christmas with DSS, but took the whole period around the holiday.

***** She scheduled an 8-day visit, not 7.  DH sometimes offers her longer visits.  But she should've coordinated that with DH, not just taken it - especially in a year when DSS's break is less than 2 weeks.  We're already getting a short vacation time with him.  Her lengthening her own visit makes it even shorter.  (And on top of that, she chopped it up into two even-shorter periods!)

 

* However, Mom used vouchers from frequent-flier miles and couldn't find eligible seats on other days.

* We had nearly the same situation last year.  DH paid to change the tickets and there wasn't another peep out of her.

* This year, he told her he couldn't afford to keep buying DSS's winter break airfare and wanted her to change the tickets herself.  (Incidentally, airfare is Mom's sole financial contribution.  And sometimes she out-earns DH.)

* Suddenly, she became passionate about having DSS for Christmas.  She put up a Christmas tree (or at least sent a photo of one she claimed is in her apt.) - before Thanksgiving.  She talked about gathering around it on Christmas Day with her (Jewish) family and how important it was, for DSS to be there.

 

It seems so obvious to us that she volunteered to let DH have Christmas, when she thought she was getting tickets for free; and the mistake centers around her not knowing the date of Christmas, so how important can it be to her?  Her claim of an interest in Christmas seems very contrived and convenient to the situation, not genuine.  But I think she works herself up about things like this, until she really believes them.  

 

DH was clear and firm:  He would not put DSS on a flight where he had to change planes by himself.  And he refused to give up Christmas simply so Mom could avoid actually paying for DSS's airfare.  The tickets must be changed.

 

When Mom hadn't changed them by Thanksgiving, we assumed she wasn't going to and quietly bought DSS different tickets, before they got more expensive.  We didn't want him to actually miss the visit.  And if Mom came through and changed her tickets, we could always change the dates on ours and let DSS use them some other time.  

 

As time went on with no word from Mom, DH went ahead and cancelled the tickets she'd bought, so they'd be returned to DSS's account and could be used later, not lost.  The airline notified Mom of the change and DH also emailed her, explaining what he'd done and giving her the flight information for the tickets we bought DSS (to arrive in CA the day after Christmas).  

No response.  

DH called and texted her, to be sure she got his email and knew about the date-changes of the visit. 

No response.  Not even a "What-you-talkin'-about-Willis?  I didn't get the memo!"  And this was only minutes after Mom texted DH, asking him to have DSS call her.  So her phone was working and she was near it.

 

Meanwhile, all month she's been talking up "Christmas in Cali", with DSS, telling him how she can't wait.  Clearly, she wants him to side with her and be disappointed and fight it, if DH tries to keep him here for the holidays.

 

But DSS has repeatedly asked for reassurance that he's going to get to spend the holiday here.  But he's confused and frustrated, because Mom keeps telling him he'll be out there by Christmas Eve - as though she is completely unaware of the flight changes.  

 

She has further confused DSS, by playing up how exciting it will be, for them to spend Christmas with her friend, skiing in Tahoe.  She copied DH on their plane tickets to Tahoe and they aren't going until Dec. 28th.

 

Today, she called DSS mid-day and asked excitedly if he was on the plane!?  (Well, she knew he wasn't in flight, or he wouldn't have answered the phone!)  She already knew DH had changed his flights, but she behaved as though she didn't and made DSS give her the "bad news" himself, then he had to listen to her full-flavored shock, disbelief, anger, disappointment and tears, as though this was the first she'd heard of it.  

 

DH and I had both promised DSS that DH would communicate with Mom about this, that he wouldn't have to break the news to her.  So, Mom made DSS think we lied - or at least slacked off and hung DSS out to dry.

 

He's also confused about whether we've ruined his ski trip, which Mom wants him to think started on Christmas Day, but which we haven't interfered with, at all.

 

She has even confused him, about previous Christmases.  He told me, "Mom says I was supposed to visit her on Dec. 26th last year, but that didn't happen and Dad sent me late."  Which is complete B.S.  He did fly out to see her on the 26th, last year.

 

He had a big crying jag, after he got off the phone with her.  But aside from that, he's seemed remarkably fine.  He's having fun with all the pre-Christmas stuff and spending extra time with his brothers.  He was excited about Midnight Mass and Christmas morning.  He's been particularly eager for heart-to-heart talks with me.  He bought everyone gifts with his own money and made something special for his Dad and me - completely on his own initiative.  He's excited for all of us to open them.  

 

I just hope he doesn't go out there the day after Christmas and have to spend a week listening to manipulative, distorted crap about his Dad and listening to his Mom (the one who didn't celebrate Christmas, the last time she had him for the holiday) crying about spending the holiday alone and making him feel guilty if he doesn't take sides against us.


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:  partners.gif  orfencing.gif... twin sons:lurk.giflurk.gif(HS juniors) ... step-son: guitar.gif (a freshman) ... our little man: kid.gif  (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  ourdog2.gif. 
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#2 of 23 Old 12-25-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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hug2.gifFor you, your DH, AND your DSS.

 

Poor kid, that's horrible.

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#3 of 23 Old 12-25-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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I read it all.... divorce sucks.


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#4 of 23 Old 12-25-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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hug2.gifI just don't understand parents deliberately hurting their kids in order to give their ex's a hard time. My thoughts and (Catholic) prayers are with you and your family.

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#5 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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Unbelievable. I hope you guys had a great Christmas together.
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#6 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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2whistle.gif  I logged on here, to reduce my original post.  It is obnoxiously long (even for me)!  Sorry!  But I won't spend the time, to re-write it.

 

Thank you, for the good wishes.  We did have a wonderful Christmas, with Midnight Mass and a house full of grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins...and a new puppy!  DSS seemed to enjoy all of it and was in good spirits all day.

 

Having DSS call his Mom was an issue.  We suggested he call her early in the day.  He said he did.  Then, apparently, she texted DH in the afternoon, complaining that DSS hadn't called her.  DSS said he would and walked out of the room with his phone.  When we asked him later if he'd talked to her, he said yes, but wouldn't look at us.  So maybe it was a bad conversation, or maybe he lied about calling her.

 

Normally, if Mom makes the effort to ask DH to have DSS call her, DH makes sure it happens - checking the online phone records, if necessary.  But yesterday was very busy and we don't know what all DSS had to listen to, on Christmas Eve, that made him cry.  He very rarely cries.  If his instinct is to avoid subjecting himself to more of that, on Christmas, do DH and I want to spend the holiday hounding him about it?  Not really!  Mom did not contact DH again, so we decided to just take DSS's word for it, that he called her (even though it seemed suspect).

 

Mom still refuses to respond to DH about the flight changes.  He texted and emailed her, saying before he puts DSS on the plane today, he needs some confirmation that she knows when DSS is arriving and that she'll be there to pick him up!  In general, she doesn't seem like a parent who would just leave her kid at the airport because she's mad.  But she's also a person who does a lot of unexpected, irrational things when she's upset.

 

I have to say (as I'm sure I've said before), she makes me appreciate my ex.  He and I had a very atypical snit, on the 23rd, because he forgot to tell me his Dad's big Christmas celebration (always on the 24th) was moved to the 23rd this year.  I heard about it 2 hours before he wanted to pick up the kids and I had other plans for them.  He also felt so sheepish about neglecting to tell me, that he tried to coordinate picking up the kids, by calling them instead of me.  I snapped at him.  He got defensive and snapped back.  Then, the afternoon of Christmas Eve, he invited me to his house during his wife's big, family gathering.  I took the kids over there and he hugged me and apologized.  God, who wants to fight over such stupid details, when co-parenting relationships CAN be so much worse?


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:  partners.gif  orfencing.gif... twin sons:lurk.giflurk.gif(HS juniors) ... step-son: guitar.gif (a freshman) ... our little man: kid.gif  (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  ourdog2.gif. 
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#7 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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I hear you there- my ex is a jerk and does really stupid things that cause me problems but that is just not as bad as what you described at all!


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#8 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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Jeanine- That sucks. I'm sorry your DSS got upset for really... no reason other than his mom trying to make him feel bad. I am glad you had a great Christmas with your family even though it started off a little rough. I do envy you and your ex's co-parenting relationship... My DH's ex refuses to talk to my DH so I am the go between which is very hard. I would love a nice healthy co-parenting relationship. Could you show DSS that his dad tried to get ahold of his mom or would that cross into not talking bad about the other parent in front of the child. He is 12 so he understands by now how things are planned for his holiday visits by now. Hugs mama.


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#9 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously, this woman is not going to respond, about whether she received DSS's flight info!  We even broke down and had DSS text her, asking if she knows when/where to pick him up today.  Nothing.  No response.  And the clock is ticking away, before we have to put him on a plane and send him 2,500 miles, hoping she knows where and when to pick him up.

 

I feel sorry for DSS's Mom about a lot of things, but I have no compassion for her consistent choice to prioritize conflict with DH, over doing the obviously right and responsible thing for her child.  

 

Jeez.  Just bite the bullet and say, "I did get the message, so it's OK to put him on the plane.  I'll be there when he gets off."  You don't have to be happy about it.  Just communicate enough to facilitate the basic mechanics of this hellish merry-go-round we ride with you!  

 


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#10 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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oh my god. i would also not put him on the plane without a response from her. i am so sorry for your dss. mecry.gif


  

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#11 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

Seriously, this woman is not going to respond, about whether she received DSS's flight info!  We even broke down and had DSS text her, asking if she knows when/where to pick him up today.  Nothing.  No response.  And the clock is ticking away, before we have to put him on a plane and send him 2,500 miles, hoping she knows where and when to pick him up.

 

I feel sorry for DSS's Mom about a lot of things, but I have no compassion for her consistent choice to prioritize conflict with DH, over doing the obviously right and responsible thing for her child.  

 

Jeez.  Just bite the bullet and say, "I did get the message, so it's OK to put him on the plane.  I'll be there when he gets off."  You don't have to be happy about it.  Just communicate enough to facilitate the basic mechanics of this hellish merry-go-round we ride with you!  

 


Honestly, I know this would further complicate the matter, but I would just not put him on the plane. If she takes you to court, thats fine - she had PLENTY of opportunities to tell you that she knew where he was landing/what time and confirm that she was actually going to pick him up. No (just) judge would fault your DH for wanting to keep his child safe and confirm that someone was going to pick him up! (ETA - especially when he's flying clear across the country and there isn't a back up plan!)

 

I'm so sorry your DSS has to be in the middle of all this!

 

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#12 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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Honestly, I know this would further complicate the matter, but I would just not put him on the plane. If she takes you to court, thats fine - she had PLENTY of opportunities to tell you that she knew where he was landing/what time and confirm that she was actually going to pick him up. No (just) judge would fault your DH for wanting to keep his child safe and confirm that someone was going to pick him up! (ETA - especially when he's flying clear across the country and there isn't a back up plan!)

 

I'm so sorry your DSS has to be in the middle of all this!

 



yeahthat.gif not to mention, you guys paid for these tickets right? it's obvious you want him to have the visit but just don't feel comfortable sending him into the abyss not knowing if she'll be there. it's terrible you have to deal with this woman.


  

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#13 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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DO NOT PUT HIM ON THE PLANE AND QUIT TEXTING CALL HER!!!!!  She can always say she did not get a text.


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#14 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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I honestly would leave her one more message and tell her if she doesn't respond than her son will not be flying.  She can deal with it.  I can almost guess what she will do, leave him at the Airport then tell him it's your guys fault for not giving her the information.  Of course that might now happen.  She may just be feeling hateful and not responding for the fun of it.

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#15 of 23 Old 12-26-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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I hope things worked out today. What a crazy situation to be stuck in, your DSS deserves such better treatment than he's gotten from her! The only thing I can think of to suggest is that if DSS actually sees your DH send the texts to her, he'll know what's what. It doesn't need to be negative, but it sounds like there have been times where he's expressed concern to you or your DH, and that'd be a good time to say "Here, I'll just send her a text and confirm with her..." and while sitting right next to him, type out a pleasant reminder note and send it as though you presume it's an innocent mix up. I don't think there's any rule that all casual correspondence needs to be kept secret, is there? I guess the line seems a lot finer when you're walking it... but from here it looks like you've crossed over from not badmouthing the other parent, to trying to hide her crazy from him. Letting him see her for what she is will be hard, but you can't cover for her at your own expense, that will only compromise his trust in you and DH, I think.

 

 

 


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#16 of 23 Old 12-27-2011, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Everything worked out.  dizzy.gif

 

At the last minute, Mom texted DSS something akin to, "Yes, Angel.  Of course I'll be there for you."  So we put him on the plane.  I think he called DH after Mom picked him up.  (I'll admit, I was asleep before DSS should've arrived in CA, but DH stayed up to wait for his call.  That DH did wind up in bed makes me assume DSS did call).  But I noticed this morning that DSS posted on Facebook, from the TouchPad his Mom gave him ("for Christmas", of course).  So he is definitely with her.

 

DH says just before he boarded (only DH can go back to the gate with him), DSS said he didn't want to go and he doesn't want to have to go back out there, for spring break this year.  It's troubling.  Is it really that bad, when he's there?  How bad would we have to prove that it is, to keep him from going?  What gyrations would we have to go through, to prove it?

 

Or, has DSS been so conditioned to tell his Mom he doesn't want to leave her, that his instinct is to say the same things to DH, when leaving him?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

... I can almost guess what she will do, leave him at the Airport then tell him it's your guys fault for not giving her the information.  Of course that might now happen.  She may just be feeling hateful and not responding for the fun of it.

Yes, that was our fear.  You feel mean, suspecting that of a fellow parent (especially after it became clear she DID intend to pick up DSS at the airport).  But it's hard to know what to expect from her!  So many things have been unexpected...until she did them!

 

E.g., the "last straw" that made DH start fighting for custody, when DSS was 5, was that she would lock DSS out of the house at night, when DH dropped him off after visits.  So little DSS would be out there in the dark, crying and scared, banging on the door.  DH wouldn't drive away, but thanks to Mom's Protective Order request, he wasn't allowed to get out of his car.  Meanwhile, Mom's inside calling the cops, crying that DH is stalking and threatening her, in violation of a P.O.  She mentions nothing about him being there to drop off their kid.  (We've listened to the recordings.  Sheesh!)  Then she would wait until the cops arrived, to open the door for DSS - ensuring that DH stuck around.  (Really - what kind of screwed-up situation makes a man's dependability and devotion to his kids a liability?!)  

 

Certainly, compared to locking your kid out on the porch, intentionally leaving him stranded at an airport would be a new level of evil.  But DSS is older.  Maybe Mom thinks he can handle more, in her battle to discredit his Dad?

 

Well, anyway, our fears were wrong.  So, good!
 

Quote:
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...if DSS actually sees your DH send the texts to her, he'll know what's what. It doesn't need to be negative, but it sounds like there have been times where he's expressed concern to you or your DH, and that'd be a good time to say "Here, I'll just send her a text and confirm with her..." and while sitting right next to him, type out a pleasant reminder note and send it as though you presume it's an innocent mix up. I don't think there's any rule that all casual correspondence needs to be kept secret, is there? I guess the line seems a lot finer when you're walking it... but from here it looks like you've crossed over from not badmouthing the other parent, to trying to hide her crazy from him. Letting him see her for what she is will be hard, but you can't cover for her at your own expense, that will only compromise his trust in you and DH, I think.

 

I think you are entirely right.  What I highlighted is exactly what goes on, around here.

 

Key example:  Two days before Christmas, DSS kind of ambushed me out on the front step (in the cold, while he was in shoes and a ski jacket and I was in socks and a T-shirt!  Yikes!).  He complained he never knows what's going on with his travel.  His parents are always telling him two different things and he never knows what to believe, until it happens.  Plus, when his Dad flew out to CA with him this summer, Mom acted happy to see DH and they were nice to each other.  So DSS doesn't understand why they disagree so much; what she could've done that was so bad she lost custody; why she won't move back here; and overall why it's necessary for them to live across the country from each other and fight over who gets more time with him.  The only logical answer he can come up with is that it's his fault, and things would obviously be better between them, if he never existed.

 

I'm constitutionally incapable of glossing over all of that with, "Don't worry about it, it's for the adults to work out."  So, I pointed out that:
* If DSS pays attention, he will see a pattern that what DH tells him about visits (when they'll happen) is true.  DH thinks DSS deserves to know when he'll be here, and when he'll be in CA, whether DH likes those dates, or not.

* DH and Mom can't get along (long-term) and would've divorced, with or without kids.  But given the choice to never have known DSS (and never have to deal with each other again, after the divorce); or to have DSS and all the conflict over parenting time, DH and Mom would both choose DSS.  I'm certain of it.

* I believe Mom loves DSS.  But honoring your kid's relationship with their other parent should be part of loving your kid.  I believe Mom struggles - much more than DH does - balancing that part of loving DSS, against her own anger toward DH.  And that's the basic reason DSS lives with us, to give him the best chance of a good relationship with both parents.  Maybe that's just how Mom's wired and she can't help it.  Maybe it stems from troubled relationships in her family, when she was growing up.  I'm sure she has never meant to hurt DSS, but if you keep your kid away from their other parent, or say bad things about the other parent that aren't true, or try to get your kid to side with you, against their other parent, it does hurt and confuse the kid.

* I didn't give many details, but I did say DH's trip to CA this summer was unusual.  Mom had just broken up with her BF and she seemed to think DH flew out to see her and make sure she was OK (which was true, kind of).  But, while DSS may not remember, most of the time he lived with Mom she wasn't happy about DH visiting DSS.  DH visited CA every month, but Mom would only let him spend a few hours with DSS.  DH never does that to Mom, when she visits DSS here.  Could DSS imagine how Mom would feel, if he did?  Could he imagine how he'd feel, knowing Mom was in town but not being allowed to see her?  It was a pretty serious problem.

 

But when DSS hit DH with the same basic questions/issues, later that day, DH said (basically), "There are a lot of good reasons for me to be angry with your Mom.  But I'm not going to tell you about them because they're in the past and you don't need to worry about them.  You need to spend time with your Mom when you can, and enjoy it, and not think badly of her because of things that went on between her and me.  Besides, everything that went wrong in our marriage wasn't her fault.  Of course, I did things to make her mad, too."

 

On one hand, I should respect what information DH does/doesn't want to share with HIS son.

On the other hand, DSS has a clear need to understand some of the basic "why"s about his own life.  When he stops me and asks pointed questions, I can't pretend I have no significant relationship with him and avoid the subject!

Also, while I'm not going to seek out DSS and contradict what DH has said, when DH is as general as he was, I fear that DSS will walk away thinking, "If Dad admits he did things to upset Mom - but he's not saying what things - is he implying that what Mom has said (about him beating and stalking us) was true?  Maybe she had good reason to keep me away from him!"
 

 


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#17 of 23 Old 12-27-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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Don't worry, my mom said the same things to me about my dad.  When I got older I realized it was all lies.  My little sister and I actually have a game we play to see how many lies we can catch our mom in.  She never admits she lied but we can usually trip her up and get the truth.  As your DSS gets older it will become more apparent who is and isn't being honest with him. 

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#18 of 23 Old 12-27-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

 

 

E.g., the "last straw" that made DH start fighting for custody, when DSS was 5, was that she would lock DSS out of the house at night, when DH dropped him off after visits.  So little DSS would be out there in the dark, crying and scared, banging on the door.  DH wouldn't drive away, but thanks to Mom's Protective Order request, he wasn't allowed to get out of his car.  Meanwhile, Mom's inside calling the cops, crying that DH is stalking and threatening her, in violation of a P.O.  She mentions nothing about him being there to drop off their kid.  (We've listened to the recordings.  Sheesh!)  Then she would wait until the cops arrived, to open the door for DSS - ensuring that DH stuck around.  (Really - what kind of screwed-up situation makes a man's dependability and devotion to his kids a liability?!)  

 

Certainly, compared to locking your kid out on the porch, intentionally leaving him stranded at an airport would be a new level of evil.  But DSS is older.  Maybe Mom thinks he can handle more, in her battle to discredit his Dad?

 

 

That is horrible. I am very glad that everything worked out with DSS mom picking him up. 

 

I think that perhaps your DH may need to be more clear and less general when he talks about how their marriage/ divorce was. I'm not sure exactly what he would be comfortable saying but I can see where DSS would be very confused and frustrated. He probably feels like no one is telling him anything or that if they could they are trying to protect him and as he gets older that will get annoying to him. He is already at the age where he is starting to understand life a little better and being a young adult is hard in itself. He may feel a little lost. It's obvious that you and your DH will recognize this, his mother most likely won't or won't care to help him understand what truly happened. Anything coming from his mother will have a skewed POV so your DH will have to be the one to have this conversation.

 

The situation you are describing is one that I fear will happen with my DSS later on in his life. I just know how it feels as a child at that specific age to be kept in the dark about something very important because the adults thought that they were "protecting" me. It's a horrible feeling and you DSS may need to know some of the truth for his own piece of mind. I'm probably not helping much but I am sending good thoughts and wishes to your family, mama. hug2.gif


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#19 of 23 Old 12-28-2011, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

DO NOT PUT HIM ON THE PLANE AND QUIT TEXTING CALL HER!!!!!  She can always say she did not get a text.


This is kind of a double-edged sword.  

 

DH avoids talking to Mom without witnesses, because there's no proof what either of them say.  She has accused him, in court, of threatening her life and threatening to kidnap DSS, during their phone calls.  And, in a custody-related or Protective Order hearing, she doesn't have to prove what DH said; she only has to seem more believable than he does.  And that's not hard!  DH looks like he could be cast in the Sopranos.  Mom is petite, pretty, has child-like facial features and comes across as very earnest, when she wants to.  Also, Mom prefers phone calls, whenever she promises things that she doesn't want to be held to (like sharing the cost of DSS's school tuition, or paying for his health insurance).  Bottom line, you can prove two phones talked to each other, but afterward you can say anything you want about the conversation!

 

It's not flawless, but there is some written record, with texts.  Had she texted back, "Yes, I know when his flights are and I'll pick him up," that would've been best.  But you're right, if DH texts her and she never responds, she can always say she never received his message.

 

So, in a case like this, DH always calls and texts, to cover his bases as well as possible.

 

 


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#20 of 23 Old 12-28-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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Ya- I go thru that with my xh too.... I would rather text so I have proof of what he says.


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#21 of 23 Old 01-04-2012, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow.  We're 4 days into the new year and our holiday conflict is not quite finished, yet!

 

DSS got home tonight.  He seems to have had a good time, seems fine.  That's good.

 

We had some concern that Mom wouldn't put him on the plane.  We told ourselves we were being ridiculous.  He starts back to school tomorrow.  Surely, if Mom hopes to regain custody, she's not going to commit "custodial interference" (a.k.a. "parental kidnapping") AND make him miss school!

 

Yet, shortly before DSS was to board the plane, DH received a text from Mom (...so her phone DOES work, after all!) saying she might NOT put DSS on the plane, because she was stuck in a long line with him at the airport.  Of course, it was DH's fault, for forgetting to give her the confirmation #, which would've allowed her to check him in without standing in line.  Now...did she contact DH and mention this - ask for the confirmation # - before DSS was in jeopardy of missing his plane?  Of course not.  That would be too...communicative.

 

Meanwhile:

* My older DSS (from DH's 1st marriage) is getting married this summer.  Naturally, DSS is in the wedding.

* The wedding is after the date Mom typically chooses for DSS's summer visit to start.

* Since summer tickets are already available, we expect Mom to elect the dates of her summer visit any time.  She always buys the tickets before telling DH the dates.

* SO...despite all the current conflict over Christmas, DH felt he had to tell Mom about the wedding before she buys summer tix, so she can adjust DSS's return date, to make up for the days he will spend here, for the wedding.

* Before contacting Mom about this summer, DH went ahead and bought tix for DSS to fly back here the weekend of the wedding (and back to Mom's afterward).  It's an important event.  The timing is non-negotiable and DH didn't want to get into some debate about whether DSS "had to" attend the rehearsal dinner and the morning-after breakfast, or whether he should only come for the ceremony.  (Seriously, when we got married, DH had to leave early the next morning, to get DSS to the airport in time, because it was such a PITA arranging it with Mom for DSS to be there for the ceremony, much less any of the other festivities!  We'd just as soon avoid a repeat.)

* True to her nature, Mom has simply refused to respond to DH about DSS coming back here this summer, for the wedding.

 

The irony:  DH did remember to give her the confirmation # for the summer tickets...and what did she do with that confirmation #?  She cancelled them!  (Without a word to DH.  He found out from the airline.)  

 

This can't end pleasantly.

 


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#22 of 23 Old 01-04-2012, 06:45 PM
 
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Wow. I'm glad your DSS got home safe and sound. I don't travel a lot (at least not to where i need to buy a plane ticket). So I didn't even know it was possible for her to cancel a plane ticket your DH purchased but with the confirmation number, I guess she could. Is it always like this? Is there an impending court date between her and DH for custody? I hope your DSS had some fun during the visitation. I know you and your family are glad to have him home. winky.gif


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#23 of 23 Old 01-05-2012, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csekywithlove View Post

Wow. I'm glad your DSS got home safe and sound. I don't travel a lot (at least not to where i need to buy a plane ticket). So I didn't even know it was possible for her to cancel a plane ticket your DH purchased but with the confirmation number, I guess she could.

Airlines would probably restrict ticket changes to the original purchaser, if there were more families out there like ours!  

 

To be fair, DH also cancelled tickets Mom bought (the ones for DSS to fly out there Christmas Eve).  Now, he gave advance warning and was trying to ensure the tickets weren't wasted, not trying to keep DSS from visiting.  But I'm sure Mom felt just as ambushed as we did, when she cancelled the ones for the wedding.

 

Is it always like this?

No.  Mom changes a lot, depending on what's going on with her.  Sometimes conflict, for her, is total war, where the ends justify the means.  Sometimes she's actually cooperative!  Sometimes she's merely passive-aggressive, as if to remind people she's still in the game:  she may seem uncommitted to her stated position and satisfied with any perceived concession she can wrest from DH.  

 

That's how it began, this year.  She went ahead and gave DH Christmas (or thought she did), but she picked flights she knew he'd object to (where DSS had to change planes by himself in Denver).  So, at least she would force DH to accept her will about the flights; or to pay for different ones, himself (as he's done before).  Instead, DH refused to let DSS take the flights Mom chose; and he wouldn't pay to change them himself; and he pointed out her mistake about the date of Christmas, which likely embarrassed her.  

 

When she feels backed into a corner like that, she seems to look at things from an outside perspective ("How could I spin this, to get someone else on my side?") and then convince herself that her spin-doctoring is her own, true perspective.

 

So, rather than changing DSS's tickets (which would've make her feel like she gave in), she chastised DH for confusing her prior "flexibility" with a disinterest in Christmas; claiming it was terribly important that she have DSS this particular Christmas and she wouldn't accept anything less!  

 

Naturally, we found that bizarre, since moments before she hadn't known what day Christmas was and volunteered to let DSS spent it here!  But I think her new spin sounded very sympathetic, to her:  Poor, cooperative, peace-making mom lets dad have Christmas several years in a row; then he takes advantage of her kind, flexible nature by refusing to let her have Christmas, the year she was most looking forward to it!  And I believe the more she thought about it, the more that became reality, in her mind.

 

By the time DH broke down and paid to change DSS's tickets, Mom's Christmas tree had been up for a month (whereas, she didn't bother with one at all, last year) and she had a technicolor story line in her head about her cozy Christmas traditions and how ecstatic she and DSS both felt, that he'd finally spend the holidays "at home", after all the years they yearned to celebrate together, but were kept apart by selfish, cruel DH.  Paying for the tickets was no longer a sufficient concession.  By sending DSS on the 26th, DH "ruined her Christmas".  And now we seem to have progressed to total war.  DH didn't give in to her plans, so she won't cooperate with his!  

 

And completely removed from Mom's radar are any thoughts of DSS's right to attend his brother's wedding...or to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day, with the parent who observes it every year, completely unassociated with any post-marital conflict!

 

Is there an impending court date between her and DH for custody?

No.  She's been very clear she plans to ask for custody when DSS turns 14 (the summer after next).  

 

There are numerous things over which DH considers taking her back to court, but the headache, expense and conflict of it all tends to make him decide not to.  Yes, there are a lot of financial things she's supposed to be contributing, but doesn't.  Yes, it would be nice to have a clearly-worded court order about how to arrange winter break.  But the biggest thing is having custody and the other details kind of pale, in comparison.

 

I hope your DSS had some fun during the visitation.

It sounds like he did.  Thanks!


 

 


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