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What am I supposed to do NOW?!?

552 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  maybelle
Okay I have a question for ya'll since so many seem to be dealing with related issues here:

I have a protection order against my baby's father, first I got the temporary one and then two days after Christmas I had to go to court to get the permanent one. My ex didn't even bother to show up for court, but the judge heard my testimony and saw fit to grant me the full three years (the max in my state). Our DS is on the protection order as well, and the court order specifically states that my ex has to complete an anger management program before he gets any visitation, and then that visitation be fully supervised at the Family Visitation Center here in town providing that he submits to and passes a drug test before each visit.

Okay, well here it is April now...and a few weeks ago I called my attorney to see if she's heard any noise about him being done with anger management yet (because I want to be able to prepare myself mentally for the time that he gets to have his visitation -- I'm a nervous wreck even if it *is* supervised). She tried to contact him, but he wouldn't return her calls, so she called his sister's house (where he usually flops when not out partying or whatever the heck he does these days) and apparently his mother had about a million excuses for him (as usual -- the man is nearly 40!!!
), but what it boils down to is that he hasn't even bothered to *enroll* in a program yet. HELLO!!! We're going on four months here!!!!

So now I don't know what to do. Should I be sending updates on the baby, or pictures of him to his family (who incidentally, used to only harass me, but now no longer speak to me, except they did email me on DS' birthday to wish him a Happy Birthday, but never sent a card or a balloon anything...)? I don't want him to take me to court someday and say I "deprived" him of his son all this time, kwim? But at the same time -- he *knows* what he needs to do to see him -- I made provisions for that to happen, but he hasn't taken a single step towards *making* that happen.

Do I need to be the one to keep trying to foster a relationship between him and our son? I just feel like writing him off for good, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for this man in spite of all he's done...he's badly diabetic on top of his meth use and I am so afraid that he's going to be found dead one of these days and that would break my heart, because underneath it all, he's soooo beautiful and brilliant, but he's just become someone that only drugs can make a person.

Another factor in my analysis paralysis is that because he has a drug problem -- I never know how he's going to take anything -- there's just NO telling. If I send pics, he might see it as a nice gesture and appreciate it, but there's at least a 50/50 chance that he'll see it in a paranoid light as a manipulative tactic, or that I'm just 'flaunting' that which I "took away from him" and that will spark his hate and rage all over again -- NOT something I want to EVER do again, kwim???


Ideas anyone?!?!?
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Sending pictures would be a nice thing to do. Who cares how he takes it, it is a nice gesture on your part. It also shows that you are not completely taking the children from him. Maybe it will serve as motivation for him to get his butt in gear and enroll in the program.
Well, I may have a different response than others. I absolutely didn't want my ex around my son. He was dangerous physically, verbally, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually! I did want him to have even one second of visitation. My ex was not involved during my pregnancy, and after I had Noah, he saw him about 3 times before he was 4 mos. old. Then he got married, and then got stationed in Washington state (the northwestern most tip of Washington…he couldn't have been farther away unless he was in Alaska! I thank God for that everyday!). Before he left, though, I sought the counsel of a lawyer. In Florida, they are extremely father friendly, whether the guy deserves it or not. They've been known to actually give full custody to convicted child molesters.

So the lawyer wasn't very hopeful in me getting full custody. On top of the state's general father friendly (or 50/50 they call it) policy, our area just got a new "head judge" who was so father friendly that it was disgusting what he was doing to many children.

I wasn't sure if I should send pictures and letters to my ex…if that would help (he frequently played the game that if I sought his attention, he'd ignore me, and if I backed away, he'd seek my attention). So at first I thought maybe I should try and get him to come over, so that's what I did when he was on leave a couple times. I called and asked if he'd be coming everyday, told him when to come so he could help with Noah's "fussy time" (newborn who cried from 6-8pm every night, lol), and I even, reluctantly, agreed to let my son be in my ex's WEDDING PICTURES with his new wife!! I was so sick to my stomach that day. It was the most repulsive thing I've seen, really. So anyway, my ex did exactly what I'd hoped. When I called, he would get kind of panicked when I asked if he'd be coming everyday, etc. As I said, he only saw him about 3 times, and that was all before he was 4 mos. old.

I got a couple calls before he was 2 yrs old (no money, no cards, no presents, nothing), but he never ever asked about my son. he did manage to ask for a picture of ME one time, though!!! What an idiot.

So anyway, if it were me in that situation, and I felt it was seriously not healthy for my child, I'd play the game whichever way I thought would get my child out of their life.
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My daughter's bio-dad is a meth user too. I had a soft spot for him for a long time. I was like every other person in his life who made excuses for him and enabled him to be the person he is. Guess what? Despite my efforts to keep him in my daughter's life, he's still the same guy he was 7 years ago. He's still using meth, still has anger management problems. He completed anger management classes. It didn't change a damn thing.

I wish that I had moved my daughter on with life a long time ago. It would have saved her a lot of years of disappointment. It would have saved her from forced visits, where she was made to watch his other kid so that he could go into a room with his friends and smoke meth. It would have saved her from seeing him chase a guy with a baseball bat. It would have saved her from knowing what "weed" smells like. It would have saved her from seeing him hit his girlfriend.

Also, there's no way he can take you to court later, and from what it sounds like, he'd never be that motivated in the first place.

By the way, I had the same sorts of dealings with his family, except for one of his brothers who doesn't speak to him anymore. His parents were nothing but disrespectful to me and demanding of their illusory "right" to see my daughter. I set them straight a long time ago. My daughter is allowed to see them from time to time as long as HE isn't there.
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Your ex is a grown man and knows what HE needs to do in order
to see his son. It's not your job to make sure your ex keeps his
end of the bargain. Which he created by his own actions.

YOU focus on your ds and yourself.

I tried for four years to bend to make a relationship happen between
my dd and her dad. My dd has seen her dad twice in the past two
years. When we were at his parents and he happened to stop by.
I still send pictures via email about 3-4 times a year to him. I don't get
replies, but I do it anyway. Since I send them to his family (Mom, aunt/
uncle, brothers, sister) I add him to the email.

Dealing with his family hasn't always been easy. His Mother used to
refer to me as "That Girl".
I stuck in there. His parents got to know
me better (before dd they just assumed them knew me) and things are
easier now. I tried because I wanted to make sure I did what I could
to make a connection for dd's future in her family.

But I know that the chance was small that our situation would turn
out as well as it did with the family. I am glad I tried.

In your situation your ex was given written instruction on what he needed
to do in order to have a relationship with your son.

Blessings to you and ds.
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Thank you so much ya'll! It felt good just knowing that some of you could relate. Papaya, I felt like you hit the nail on the head with your post! I guess I'm still not sure what to do. The fact is, he is a scary violent person when he's angry -- and the least little thing sets him off, like not understanding a question you ask him, or a menu at a restaraunt...he has *no* qualms about flipping out in's insane. So while I still have love for him, at the end of the day, I just want him out of my baby boy's life forever, as horrible as that sounds. I don't see how he has anything positive to offer him at this point in his life at all. So I think I'm just going to let it ride for now...see if he ever gets anything done as far as the steps he needs to take to get visitation.
: But I'm not going to put any more work into it on my end, and DS and I are going to try and move on with our lives in peace.
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I would leave well enough alone! If he can't show interest in your child, you can't make him. I think it would just open a can of worms if you contact him.

I hope you're rid of him for good. Someone who is abusive should never be coddled.

Best wishes!
I agree with everyone that you cannot make this man be a father, you cannot make him be responsible, get clean or even care about his child. He has to do it for himself first and if/when he does, then for his child. He knows what is 'required' of him legally.....if he chooses not to do that, you will not and are not responsible in anyway. YOU ARE NOT HIS PARENT.

If you want to send pictures to him or his family, I'd take a look at your motive. If you think it's important for him & his family to have the pictures, if it's important for you to do that for the sake of your child, then that's okay. If you think that it will help him want to be a father or do something, then I'd say forget about it. Do what you feel is best for your little one and for you. You do not owe him anything and keeping contact is not necessarily going to make him be a dad.

I seem to say this alot here who really want to be fathers are. They are involved, they make an effort, they do what it takes to be there for their kids. Those who aren't, don't. It's just that simple.
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I'd send pics to the grandparents or whoever else shows some interest. You'd be a bigger person to do so, but it's certainly understandable if you don't. I think sometimes family members fall by the wayside but would've been more active if the parents were still together. Not that that's right, but it seems like what happens. Maybe send a couple pics and a short letter about milestones to whoever may care and then see what response you get. You might be surprised by a "thank you" or maybe you'll get no response and then you'll know that they're not worth your trouble.
You should not contact him in ANY way. It is a violation of the Protection order and may nullify it.
I also wouldn't contact his family. If they want to be involved in your child's life, THEY need to take the steps - don't hinder, but don't push it either.
The man is a drug addict - he has made his choice and chosen drugs over you and your child.
Let it go. Let HIM go.

Originally Posted by Jilian
Sending pictures would be a nice thing to do. Who cares how he takes it, it is a nice gesture on your part. It also shows that you are not completely taking the children from him. Maybe it will serve as motivation for him to get his butt in gear and enroll in the program.
You see, that sounds nice, but in this situation, where the pictures could trigger a violent rage that ends in him killing our OP and/or her children... no way. Plus, any contact with him potientially nullifies the PO - the judge is going to see it as "she's so afraid of him, but she's calling him and his family? Please!"
I totally agree with Raynbow. In that situation, I would be trying like hell to avoid him and just counting the days until I could file to terminate his parental rights.
In my state, contact with the person would *not* nullify the PO. I know b/c I read my PO very, very carefully and I read it every other month or so. It specifically states that even if I invite him into my house, he could be held accountable for violating the PO. It specifically says that my actions will not protect him should the police get involved.

So, I'd check the PO on that before getting in a tizzy about it.

As for pics, etc., I agree with previous posters: you can't force the issue. If the judge deemed certain things needed to happen in order for him to see his kid, he can't see the kid until those things happen. That won't come to bite you in the butt; it's court-ordered.

I wouldn't waste pics of my baby on someone who doesn't ask for them. But, then, I'm stingy that way.

Good luck!
I wanna thank you all so much...the validation I get here on my worst days is priceless, I wish I could hug each and every one of you in person...seriously!!!

I just found out the other day that he has been telling everyone that I'm a "psycho f***ing b**ch that won't 'let' him see 'his' son..." and my blood just ran cold. Of *course* he failed to mention why there's a protection order against him -- if he mentioned the protection order at all -- or that he *could* see his son if he just followed a few simple steps, of *course* that just never comes up, yk? It just strengthened my resolve to move forward and not look back anymore. I feel like I finally have some clarity and can stop with the "what-if's" and the "but maybe's" and that feels really, *really* good.
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Maybe it depends on the state, but even if it doesn't state anything in the PO about your actions, your actions ARE taken into consideration in a judge's mind. If he were to get a lawyer and contest the PFA (PO/RO) based on *you* called him and invited him over - there is a VERY real chance the judge will decide that you are using the legal system to harass him and that you are a manipulator and a liar and drop the protection order all together. Seen it happen.
Dawn, congratulations on your resolve to just keep moving forward
! The people who matter will see through the lies he tells, and the people who don't can be weeded from your life.
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