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Only the important bits background: my wayward hopefully soon to be ex-husband, let me call him WS, at some point over the past year separation began waging a campaign of terror against me and using the children as the weapons. He returned them with shaved to the skin heads- THREE times after visitation without warning, he began feeding my nine year old (who has autism) interest in guns until it has become his obsession (unfortunate ASD characteristic he has one all consuming obsession *that he will not stop talking about* at a time which until now was cows), he has been playing rated M first person shooter video games with them regularly (Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Medal of Honor etc), Rated R war movies, taking them shooting (recently graduated to small animals) with bb guns and now airsoft guns, and promising to buy DS a real gun and take him to the firing range. Once their sibling squabbles became ever so much more graphic "I'm going to stab you with a bayonet and pull your intestines out"- my 6 year old, I decided that not even all the therapists in town can fix the damage being done on his custody weekends, I will need to make this my hill to die on. I was/am terrified that DS might utter such a statement IN SCHOOL being that the nuances of social communication are a challenge for him- facing expulsion, removal from the home, criminal charges perhaps? WS, in typical fashion, refused to cooperate and then at the 11th hour agreed to all the provisions banning these things (despite that he feels its against his constitutional rights to do anything he wants with HIS kids) the day before we were set to go to custody trial. Shocker: he began violating the provisions immediately.

Adventures in the continued idiotic and completely inappropriate education of my elementary aged children by WS every other weekend, my 4th grader just told me about how "Dad said the court keeps me from living with him, if they do one more bad thing I'm going to blow the court up with a grenade launcher". Thanks WS- during the week I'll get him back on schedule, take care of his personal care, and try and get him to stop obsessing like a minion unibomber. Other classics over the past two weekends include- "dad bought us all airsoft guns- look at the pink spots where we shot each other!, Daddy had some friends over to watch the football game and they were so 'funny' they let us shoot them with the airsoft!" I also got to hear straight from the mouths of babes the entire history of Kusnikov (sp?) and the guns he invented and then sold to the soviet union as well as his involvement with BinLaden and his eventual demise (suicide or execution by shooting?) due to his increased use of drinking and drugs. Another topic breathlessly explained to me was about the LA Bank robbery of several years ago where a number of hostages and law enforcement officers were gunned down. 'We watched it on YouTube!" And- for my birthday dad is going to buy me an AK-47 and take me to the firing range. WS is a LEO. WS is clearly also a narcissist...cheese might be sliding off the cracker towards the psycopath route. All of this violates the custody agreement as well as any shred of sanity, please correct me if you think I'm wrong and being weird or overprotective btw. I don't want them not having a relationship, I just don't want it to revolve around guns, blood, violence, terrorism, and drunkenly shooting one another or squirrels or birds like a bunch of psychopaths in training. Like an idiot I asked WS to stop which of course he flat refused, DS likes watching the news- he has a right to know what's going on in the world. Yes, grisly images of homicide and terrorism.

How has this become my life- who is WS? What is his mistress doing during these times? Why is no one like "Hey being drunk and showing your kids videos about terrorism and then how to shoot each other isn't good parenting?" My lawyer won't do any more work until I have paid off the bills- as it turns out a protective order, emergency custody order, PSA, and custody amendment are pretty pricey. I guess I can't afford to fight anymore but just have to hope they don't put an eye out or become permanently emotionally scarred? Is there anything I can do? Talk me down.
 

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Wow. I would be so upset about this too. I don't honestly know if you can legally do anything-technically, your ex is correct that he can teach his kids whatever he wants, and there isn't anything illegal about BB guns and hunting, etc. It sounds like the underlying indoctrination on a particularly impressionable kid is the issue, right?

I would absolutely put the kids into therapy ASAP-this will hopefully be helpful for the kids in general, but the therapist will also be mandated reporter who must alert the proper authorities if something dangerous is happening to/by the kids (i'm not sure of the exact parameters, so I'd check that out). A report of abuse or violence will be much more valid coming from an official source than from you.

I would also try to talk to someone at the school about what is going on and what you are doing to alleviate the situation-it might not stop your ds from getting in trouble at school, but at least there will be some groundwork laid to help the school understand the situation better.

And finally, document, document, documenet. If they come home with marks again, take them to the doctor ASAP so they can be photographed, etc. it might not do any good yet, but if these incidents happen repeatedly, it will only help your case to have a documented history of injuries from gun play, etc. at dad's house. The doctor is also a mandated reporter.

I hope some of this helps. I hate the helpless feeling of not being able to do anything about dad's parenting-and in your case, the potential long term damage is really scary.
 

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Your ex is slowly trying to get your kids to murder you and/or each other. That is his singular goal. Yes to therapy for the reasons GM suggested above. You're being absolutely reasonable. Definitely talk to the school and see if the school psychologist, special ed teachers, etc can document DS's obsessions. Do not try to keep DS from getting in trouble. He's 9 yrs old. He's not going to jail at this age, but he's nearing adolescence and his ability to be defiant will only increase with time. He needs serious help, as do the other two. Your ex is in law enforcement, right? He's threatened your life before?

I know you know this, but don't give your ex any warning that you're looking into getting the children help. A surprise cps visit to his home would be very helpful if school officials would report what is going on.

Do you have an actual court agreement that states he is not to have guns around the kids? That would be useful to show the school administration. That serves as legitimate documentation of your concerns and if he's violating that, the school can help you document it, and maybe even back you in court if you end up there again. This is a very dangerous game he is playing. I'm so sorry your kids and you are going trough this. It's exhausting and heart breaking just to wrap my head around the info you just provided. I can't imagine what you're going through right now.
 

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I am struggling to read this. He's a psychopath trying to train his kids to be psychopaths. I am so sorry you are going through this. I would say get all the help you can possibly get from any and every professional, who can assist with the deprogramming that must happen every week....and become witnesses to the things the boys are saying, and the pathology of it all. The more people they have in their life promoting peaceful ways of thinking, and empathy, the greater chance of them seeing their dad as the sick psychopath he is....and hopefully try not to please him. When the thrill of the chase is gone, psychopaths will lose interest and abandon the kids. Honestly - this seems the best option in your case. And getting them away from him....maybe even trying to move away? Though I know that is hugely tricky because you would have to show a valid reason of something positive to move towards. And then there's that whole dance around abusers who cry 'alienation' when that is exactly what they are doing themselves. If there were any way, any financial support available from family, etc. to pay off your legal bill, I would say that is a huge priority....as a good lawyer is such a crucial part of your support team. And you need a team to support the hell you are going through. I hope there is a good children's lawyer in your area.

What supports do you have available locally? Family? Sending all the love and strength I can muster for you and your boys. I have a dear sweet nephew with autism who is really really really into certain things, and my blood would be boiling if his dad were doing what your stbx is doing. It's psychological abuse and torture of the worse kind to manipulate a child like that.
 

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I am so sorry and I totally agree with everyone else. The most important thing is to get your kids help. Second most important is that all the involved adults in their life are aware. Informing those adults can be in the form of bringing them to the dr to document the red marks from shooting each other or asking a teacher for help in how to combat the exposure (this can be you asking for help but also alerts them to this being a true problem and you being proactive). The more people that know what is happening the better.
 

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I am so, so sorry you are dealing with this. I agree with the call for professionals. Tell the school what is going on so they can keep and eye/ear out and advocate for your children. You might want to check in with a few lawyers who offer free consultations and get their advice about whether you can do anything legally and what kind of documentation would be helpful.
 
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