advice on difficult child & siblings/NCP

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by helpme, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Does anyone have any good advice on how to keep the drama
    from increasing even after difficult children are removed from the household. On
    my son I have a OP, but my daughter and her father are another story.

    I tried letting my youngest see her sister a few weeks ago at a local
    restaurant while I sat a few tables over. But the situation was unbearable.
    Youngest daughter had asked to see her sister and I decided to comply.
    easy child 3 doesn't really mention her sister or her father and this was the first
    time she had asked. I'd rather find some solution than to have her sister
    running around causing more problems for everyone. Her brainwashing
    and the lies are intolerable.

    I wish that their was someone who could talk with youngest and make
    an official statement to the family court that it is in the child's best
    interests not to have any relationship with her father or her siblings. I am
    confident that I have tried everything and anything and all that results is
    more drama. I probably should have filed for an OP against my middle
    daughter, but to be honest after it took two years to get the first one, I
    just was too tired to go through it all again. My oldest was
    physically/sexually abusive, but my middle daughter is not.

    Their father also insists that all of their problems are my fault and he
    is demanding visitation with the youngest next month in court. She's seen
    him, visually only, maybe three times in the last year while he was dealing
    with middle daughter's problems. She won't go with him, and I'm pleading
    with him to "reserve visitation at this time", rather than me having to prove
    abandonment and that he is unfit (in his parenting style) and that she is
    unable to cope with the pressures of all of their lifestyles at this time.

    Of course the youngest is adamant about not attending counseling.
    I probably couldn't get supervised visits because father himself is
    non-abusive, just irresponsible and immature. How can I convince the
    court that I am not interfering, only protecting?
     
    Lasted edited by : Dec 19, 2009
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I think you're going to need an objective third party to get involved. A minister, therapist, probation officer, school counselor; someone like that.

    What does "dissociates with father, sister, and brother" mean in your signature? If you mean something like she goes into multiple personalities (?) when she's around them, I would think it would be documented by a therapist or hospital somewhere and would be valuable info to support what you're trying to accomplish.

    Suz
     
  3. helpme

    helpme New Member

    >I think you're going to need an objective third party to get involved. A minister, therapist, probation officer, school counselor; someone like that.
    Yes, I think that's exactly what I am going to do.

    Yes, what I meant was that she has no relationship with them and becomes
    a completely different person whenever they are discussed, involved, or
    their drama erupts and flows into her life. More so for her I think it is the
    embarrassment of their behavior and wondering if people think the same of
    her because she is related to them. Anger and confusion are very hard for
    her to verbalize. Their father acts as if we are the crazy ones and she
    gets so confused so quickly.

    I spoke with him yesterday, since difficult child 1 called to tell me he graduated from
    HS. I'd sort of mentioned money at graduation a while back, but after the
    last money I gave (xmas and birthday) bought a large tattoo down his
    belly, I said to myself, boy that was stupid alright. No more money I said
    dummy.

    I thought I'd be happy that he finally graduated, but to be truthful, knowing
    he was just passed through, I couldn't seem to force myself to care. And
    knowing that he is only getting probation for two years means the child will
    think he can get away with murder and not suffer any consequences. And,
    without a job and the eviction looming, I thought oh great, now he's gonna
    get into more trouble.

    Thanks for listening. I think I know a great special education teacher easy child 3
    will open up and talk to.
     
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you want to have a prayer with this you need a good lawyer and you need therapists etc.. to write letters to the court to say that visitation is harmful at this point. Most likely it will come down to what easy child wants. This is the 12yo, isn't it? If she can stand up and say she doesn't want to go with him, that she is scared over there, or that she doesn't feel safe with him, THEN you may get what you want.

    In our county a parent has to be beating the child on the judge's desk while other unspeakable things go on and much dope is consumed.

    Then, MAYBE, visitation will be shortened or cut off. Maybe.

    So it is time to start getting teachers and counselors at school and anyone else you know to write those letters or go to court with you.

    A GOOD lawyer is a MUST.
     
  5. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Don't have any advice to add that you haven't heard before, but I just want to tell you that I have an idea of what you are going through. You are doing the right thing to protect your 12 year old.

    My easy child is 13 and she is going through a lot of emotional turmoil that is left over from her older sibs' behavior. I'm trying to save her sanity and it's a lot of work. Had I known years ago just how much she would suffer because of her brother and sister's drama I would have fought much harder to get them out of the house.

    Good luck to you.
     
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm going to come across rather harsh.......but honestly I don't mean for it to. So please keep that in mind.

    Youngest needs therapy in a big way. I'd drag her into a therapist for every appointment if I had to. I know what you're thinking, and yes, when Nichole first began treatment I actually had to drag her there. She knew I had sister in law to back me up if need be but she was going regardless of how she felt about it. Why? Because as a child she simply wasn't able to make such a decision for herself. And after a few weeks she began to warm up to the therapist and actually talk to her.

    At 12 she is able to enter the chaotic drama filled teen years. Add in the past and current situation and you've got a recipe for utter disaster. She needs help now.

    Plus the therapist can back you up in court to protect her from the dad and those who have the potential to cause her more harm.

    ((hugs))
     
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I have some questions, and some suggestions. I'll try to put it together in a way that can be understood.

    Who lives with you, and who does not?

    You list your children as

    difficult child 1-M18, Learning Disability (LD), still in HS (?), long criminal record, IEP,
    easy child-F17-HS grad as jr...
    easy child-F12-Great kid...

    I take it that you are talking about your 12 year daughter old having lunch with your 17 year old daughter? Is your oldest a boy or a girl? What was so unbearable about the situation?

    Don't you think that your daughter ought to feel comfortable about mentioning her father? If she doesn't even talk to you about him, that's a big red flag that she doesn't feel comfortable with you where her father is concerned.

    Unless your other children or their father assault your daughter during visits, that's not ever going to happen. Ever. The court will work with you to be sure that the children are safe during visits. Period.

    Have you been in therapy regarding how to help you and your children have a safe and open line of communication with you about their father? If your middle daughter is not physically or sexually abusive, there are no grounds for an OP. Have you tried to involve yourself and your middle daughter in therapy so that you won't feel so threatened about what she might say to your youngest?

    Since he is requesting that the court enforce the visitation order, there are no grounds for abandonment if you refuse visitation. There are grounds to have you charged with violation of court ordered visitation, and probably contempt of court. He could probably get custody based upon that. You would be well advised to work out a visitation schedule with him now rather than make the judge tell you that you have to do it his way.

    When you say he is unfit, what do you mean? The court usually considers a parent who supplies a child with drugs or alcohol unfit. Also, if they use the child in other illegal activities such as shoplift or commit fraud for them; if they force the child to live in squalor; if they withhold basic living needs such as food, clothing, a bed, etc. from the child; if they personally beat or sexually abuse the child. Is this what you mean? Differences in parenting styles, or having new girlfriends is not being unfit. Does your family court have parenting classes that you might go to so that you can understand the legal requirements for termination of rights and visits? You seem to not understand the level of depravity required to terminate your ex husband's rights. Terminating your child's relationship with her siblings is all but unheard of. I've never heard of "reserving visitation". What does that mean? I've searched and searched the statutes and can't find it anywhere.

    Honestly, I don't blame her for not wanting counseling. She's 12 years old and wants to be normal. Maybe you and she could attend counseling and find a way to work this out between you? I don't think that you can convince the court that you are only protecting if your husband "is non-abusive, just irresponsible and immature" and you want to prohibit him from seeing his children. It's incumbent upon you and he to figure out how to allow him to see these children and be good parents to them. If he's not a danger to them, and he won't change, then you have to figure out how to deal with the consequences to your children of his parenting style. Be ready to explain without judgment why you have different rules than he does. Be sure that they know that you both love them and that one parent's love isn't any more or less valuable than the other's, you just have different styles of parenting because you're two different people and you disagree. Be sure that they know that you have confidence that they are good people who will be good adults and that they can come to you for advice any time and you will not judge them or debase their father to them.

    I don't know what it is that your ex has done to make you so angry. I do know that if the two of you walked into any family court I'm familiar with (and I am) you'd both be admonished to figure it out before the court orders you into an arrangement you can't live with, and counseling that the court and the other party will have access to and can use against you in future hearings. It's not what you want.
     
  8. helpme

    helpme New Member

    >Who lives with you, and who does not?

    I only have the youngest with me.
    I hold custody of the middle (until end of June, she will be 18 then)
    and the youngest.

    >I take it that you are talking about your 12 year daughter old
    having lunch with your 17 year old daughter?

    Yes

    >Is your oldest a boy or a girl?

    Boy. Order of protection issued early this year until 2011.

    >What was so unbearable about the situation?

    The lies mostly, the mom bashing, and in general attempting
    to persuade youngest to "join them"/live with them.

    >Don't you think that your daughter ought to feel comfortable
    about mentioning her father?

    Yes, I sure do. I wanted all three to be with him fifty percent of
    the time. We tried it that way for as long as we all could.

    >If she doesn't even talk to you about him, that's a big red
    flag that she doesn't feel comfortable with you where her
    father is concerned.

    She does talk <of> him. Personally, I think she wants her dad to
    help both her brother and sister. I think she wants him to
    help "make their problems go away". She also suffers a
    great deal of embarrassment about it all. We moved few towns
    over and I think that has helped tremendously.

    >Unless your other children or their father assault your
    daughter during visits, that's not ever going to happen.
    Ever. The court will work with you to be sure that the
    children are safe during visits. Period.

    Yes, I understand that. My primary concern has been her safety.
    All of the children figured that problem out on their own and
    as they got older, used it to their advantage. Witnesses
    (medical, school, and lawful) have testified about how their father permitted the children to act with each other and towards me.

    >Have you been in therapy regarding how to help you and
    your children have a safe and open line of communication
    with you about their father?

    No. While middle was with me, I strongly encouraged her
    to see her father and to involve her sister if she desired.
    Middle didn't want anything to do with him until she wanted
    help with the bad decisions she was making herself and
    wanted complete and total freedom.

    >If your middle daughter is not physically or sexually abusive,
    there are no grounds for an OP. Have you tried to involve
    yourself and your middle daughter in therapy so that you
    won't feel so threatened about what she might say to your youngest?

    There has been grounds for an OP with our middle
    daughter due to the fact that she was constantly creating
    phone problems (running up their father's bill on all
    the cell phones, accusing me of doing it, filing false phone
    harrassment phone charges against me and others
    close to me, stalking her sister (to take her), telling lies to youngest's
    friends and friend's parents, etcetera. The family
    court advised me to file for an OP. I declined, because
    in my opinion, she's doing all of this "for" her daddy. Our son
    was doing things because he couldn't control himself and
    had a ton of anger problems even as a very young child.
    Sure middle daughter is angry (at me) also, but it does not
    show criminally, work-wise, or anywhere else in her life.

    >Since he is requesting that the court enforce the visitation order,
    He has not had visitations since April 07. I filed for divorce
    in Feb 07 after we couldn't work things out with a private
    attorney since Jan 06. I offered visitations for all three children,
    in that first order, to expire in March because he was changing
    employment and did not know his new schedule. I was
    completely flexible with visitation over the summer, in
    fact he had them over fifty percent of the time since
    I knew I'd be helping them more during the school year with
    homework. I also made him sign monthly calendars right
    before school started because the oldest two were running
    off on Friday night, without their father knowing their whereabouts,
    and then he'd be mad at me when he had to go figure out
    where they were the next day. IOW, the kids were playing
    him, and quite well I must say.

    >there are no grounds for abandonment if you refuse visitation.
    I've never refused visitation. I have filed visitation (again,
    our personal verbal agreement) interference charges on him
    twice. Once he wouldn't return two of them that I had already
    provided with medical care for strep throat and needed to
    take youngest to the ER (he was having family over, pregnant
    ones at that, heh) and the other when he wasn't sending our
    son to school for finals right after son was released from
    house arrest at his mother's home (son needed to relax of
    course, life at his paternal grandma's was rough-heh).

    >There are grounds to have you charged with violation of
    court ordered visitation, and probably contempt of court.
    He could probably get custody based upon that. You would
    be well advised to work out a visitation schedule with him
    now rather than make the judge tell you that you have to do it his way.

    Nope, in the last two years he's never asked for visitation
    on the girls in court. Truthfully, our son was taking up our
    court dates for the divorce. Dad's lawyer was having him be
    seen my whichever family court judge we had rather than
    the juvenile judge.

    He never asked even to see his now 22 yo daughter from is previous
    marriage, and finally relinquished his paternal rights to her when
    she was 12, when his ex remarried. Over a hundred thousand
    dollars in child support might make a person do that with a
    child they hadn't seen since she was 3.

    Granted, on his behalf, it was difficult keeping track of
    our son during all of these missing three years.
    But no Christmas or Birthday presents, no phone calls to
    them on the phone plan he maintained, etcetera, since Nov 07.
    See, he was mad at the girls for their feelings and opinions
    about their brother. And me, I got so caught up trying
    to help our son, I didn't realize the effects at that time
    on the girls, until our son was out of the home (Nov 07).

    I did do a good job of getting middle to go to counseling
    (which even had a few appearance by her dad but not
    her brother) and I did have a Remedy in the OP for son
    to get counseling, which is where I felt we all could
    get help. I went with a civil no contact order first, and then
    we proceeded to the OP, when dad wouldn't agree to
    mandatory weekly counseling.

    But dad said son didn't have a problem, son
    didn't do anything wrong, and WE all didn't need to go to
    counseling and that he didn't have the money to assist.

    >When you say he is unfit, what do you mean? The court
    usually considers a parent who supplies a child with drugs
    or alcohol unfit.
    Yup. There are police reports already admitted into evidence.
    As well as police reports where the police contacted him
    after son broke into the house where me and the girls
    were living with his friends after I went to work at 6 am.
    Son and his friends were actually getting high and drinking
    on the property we were at from 9pm until the next morning.
    Dad had no clue where son was. I could go on and on.

    >Also, if they use the child in other illegal activities such as
    shoplift or commit fraud for them;
    Yup. Bills in the children's names. Misrepresenting
    custody, misrepresenting addresses, lying about car
    insurance, allowing them to drive without insurance
    on his work cars, not notifying me of school absences,
    shoplifting charges and illegal intoxication while driving
    while I held custody (on oldest two since I also held full
    custody on our son until he was 18 but he was not in
    my care).

    It's also important to add that I did not want to keep
    custody of a child not in my car. But dad was never eager
    to take the full responsibility of the kids behavior.
    Especially not financially. I couldn't get Dad to sign
    the paperwork to take custody of the children. For son,
    I did request through the attorneys several times
    that I would sign over custody of son, if he was to
    receive the medical care he needed and was be ordered
    to receive (by the school and by the law). That was too
    much work for any of them. And personally, I don't think
    dad could have found a judge who would have awarded
    custody of son to him. Even with me keeping quiet
    about it all. Because dad tried that a few times. Get this,
    Dad got criminal/physical custody and I kept legal custody.
    Um, its a no brain er that Dad was posting a lot of bond money.

    Now custody was finally granted in May of this year on
    the girls, to me. But before the 30 days were up to validate
    that agreement, I was in family court in front of our divorce
    judge defending myself from an EOP. Dad's motion
    to overturn custody has not been heard at this time.
    Um, I don't know what to say here except that he sort
    of looked like an ass for how he did this stuff. And
    middle daughter telling the judge that her brother
    never harmed her didn't help matter whatsoever for
    his case, since the state prosecuted our son and it was
    her written testimony and tons of bloody pictures
    that got him charged.

    >if they force the child to live in squalor; if they withhold
    basic living needs such as food, clothing, a bed, etc. from the child;

    Oh yea, like letting them stand out in weather in the teens
    to be first in line at a store on Black Friday, without winter
    coats? Let the kids sell line tickets to make money?
    Then take them home and let them invite more kids
    over to a place that does not have heat for the rest of the
    weekend? More parents yelling at me! Call his landlord
    you say? Hell no, at that time he was only 5 of his later
    11 months behind on his $1100 a month rent. I called
    his mom and she went and paid for the heat to be fixed
    Sunday after I got the kids back, after she pleasantly
    cussed me out because she thought he was paying me
    child support. Yea right. And no, I have never called
    DCFS. I probably should have. But everyone knows
    what's been going on. And my children were taught that
    they are always to have heat/food/shelter and if they didn't
    that I would come get them and we'd bump around visitation
    or make other changes.


    Feed em you say? Yup, I took over lots of bags of groceries
    and money and bought lots of pizza's. I also borrowed
    money for their air beds. In fact, besides the fact that I was running
    around being responsible for them while they were in
    his care and the homework/school issues, the fact that
    the kids were unsupervised and getting into trouble
    and hurting each other was more alarming than anything.
    I didn't just have a son who was stealing, I had a daughter
    who was being threatened about his stealing, and another
    youngest daughter who's brother was "going out" her friends,
    5 years age difference. I spend a great deal of time in
    the principals office by myself.

    >if they personally beat

    IL does consider allowing your child to be hurt by
    another one of your children as abuse. IL also considers
    permitting a child to hurt his other parent as abuse.

    >Does your family court have parenting classes
    that you might go to so that you can understand the
    legal requirements for termination of rights and visits?

    We have both completed our classes.

    >You seem to not understand the level of depravity
    required to terminate your ex husband's rights.
    Terminating your child's relationship with her siblings
    is all but unheard of.

    The state already terminated their relationship when
    the OP was ordered. Trust me, no one took the situation
    lightly. Everyone knew it would put a strain on
    the father's relationship with his children. But as
    I hope I conveyed, his lifestyle and choices concerning
    the children had not allows been in their best interests.
    Sometimes I was happy my son wasn't given full punishments,
    since I felt that it was actually his father who should have
    punished for allowing son to act in such ways.

    >I've never heard of "reserving visitation". What does that mean?
    I've searched and searched the statutes and can't find it anywhere.

    Reserving the right to visitation means that he can
    later request such. Its just a temporary hold. It can be
    indefinite or definite for a certain amount of time,
    or until certain things are met (such as counseling or
    sentencing for a crime).

    See, one of my worries is that I know their father has not
    been obeying the OP at this time. He had both children
    living in the home at the same time. They are no longer
    in the same home, but son is unemployed now and
    is facing eviction. He is also awaiting trial on gang
    rape charges, and other charges of course.

    >Honestly, I don't blame her for not wanting counseling.
    She's 12 years old and wants to be normal. Maybe you
    and she could attend counseling and find a way to work
    this out between you?

    Um, there isn't much to work out between her and I.
    If she wants to see her siblings or her father, I will work
    it out for her, somehow. She also knows that if she
    wants to be with him, than she may. I told the middle
    daughter the same.

    >I don't think that you can convince the court that you are
    only protecting if your husband "is non-abusive, just
    irresponsible and immature"
    So true.

    >and you want to prohibit him from seeing his children.

    But I am not seeking to prevent him from ever
    seeing her. I just know for a fact that he won't follow
    any court orders as he's shown in the past. And most
    importantly, youngest does not want to see him.

    >It's incumbent upon you and he to figure out
    how to allow him to see these children and be good parents to them.

    Sure it is. I spend more time talking to him that she
    does. I'd bet I talk to him more than he talks to all three of them.
    I offer A, or B, or C, or D. His new answer is that he is
    not agreeing to anything unless it includes finalizing
    our divorce. And my counter offer is...
    He pays for the legal fees for all of this nonsense,
    I'll wipe all debts to me, and reserve visition at this time.
    He can petition the court when she wants visitations
    (I'm sure she will when all the smoke clears, they usually do)
    or when he can assist with counseling for her (he's too busy
    and it's too expensive).

    >If he's not a danger to them, and he won't change, then you
    have to figure out how to deal with the consequences to your
    children of his parenting style.

    I can't deal with his parenting style. No one should have
    to deal with these issues. I wouldn't wish this one anyone.
    Personally, I think he got mad about getting a divorce and
    wanted to get back at me through the children. And
    he did a bang up job alright. But, I will not allow him
    to pass off the financial responsibility of his actions upon me.
    He can thus pay the legal fees for our son's actions that
    he permitted and he can pay the college tuition for our
    middle one, since we were unable to plan things out together.
    (He refused to pay for any tuition assistance) I'll eliminate his
    child support past and future.

    I never wanted child support anyway. I wanted to get two
    teens in the same grade out of high school and enjoy them.

    But no, he refused to cooperate on the court order for
    health insurance. "Ain't no judge gonna make me pay!"
    Okay if you wont make an agreement with me dad, then
    I'll go do it myself and we can work it out later. "I'm not
    paying!" Okay then, get the insurance yourself. "No!"
    Then I'm gonna file for a withholding on your check and
    they will notify your work of the court order and require
    you to sign up for health insurance. "Won't happen!"
    It only took a week for the paperwork to get to his work.
    The kids used that health insurance until he left that job.

    Even better, he notified that job of his "leave". Went
    to the next job and didn't think I'd figure it all out. Sent
    notice to his new work. They declined it. Had to go
    tell his old work about his new work to get the withholding
    to end there and start at new work. Took me a while,
    but insurance was started again. To this day we still have
    medical bills he bankrupted while he was court ordered
    to have insurance and pay 50/50 after deductible.
    I'm making the payments.

    If I didn't have the youngest, I'd take every ounce of it all.
    But I have her to care for, and that just is not fair to her.
    Oh wait, did I add that he filed bankruptcy last year?
    So I have all of our marital bills, while he continues to
    amend his bankruptcy with the tons of legal fees and
    other bills created after he was forced out by legal order
    of the marital home.

    >Be ready to explain without judgment why you have different
    rules than he does. Be sure that they know that you both
    love them and that one parent's love isn't any more or less valuable
    than the other's, you just have different styles of parenting
    because you're two different people and you disagree.

    Yup. I totally agree. But for some reason, without the counseling
    I just can't see this little one getting over the fact that
    her father has "skipped" over her for so long. The resentment
    she has toward him comes from his decisions. I begged
    him to continue a relationship with her, to make sure
    she and her sister understood that he was busy helping
    their brother do better, and that he was not "forgetting
    about them". I begged him to assist in reforming a relationship
    with our son. Not for myself. For our son.

    >Be sure that they know that you have confidence that they
    are good people who will be good adults and that they can
    come to you for advice any time and you will not judge them
    or debase their father to them.

    Agreed. Back to the same problem though. Their father
    judged the girls for standing up to him about their brother.

    >I don't know what it is that your ex has done to make you so angry.

    He really doesn't have me angry. He frustrates me.
    He knows for a fact that these children need him.
    He knows they need their mother as well. Ironically, I'm
    not really sure what they need me for, except for a punching
    bag, verbal abuse, or money. But maybe someday that will
    change. But not with the way things are right now.

    >I do know that if the two of you
    walked into any family court I'm familiar with (and I am)
    you'd both be admonished to figure it out before the court
    orders you into an arrangement you can't live with,

    Honestly, I personally could live with any agreement.
    Agree to what really? I get all the bills anyway, and
    those to come. That's okay, as long as they were for
    the good.

    But youngest won't go with him. I've never pressured
    her to tell me to many details. But I bet she has more
    information than anyone would want to know. And the
    court took her statements on both siblings already, on
    the stand, so I would imagine they will respect her
    wishes in regards to visitation.

    But going without visitations will only create a bigger
    mess in a few years if the oldest two don't settle down,
    or if some form of relationship isn't developed with dad
    before youngest becomes a teen.

    >and counseling that the court and the other party will have
    access to and can use against you in future hearings. It's not what you want.

    You know what, as messy as everything's gotten, I could care
    less what comes out in counseling. Everything needs to come
    out. True or untrue. Because every day the oldest two are told
    more and more lies. I'd rather confront them head on now,
    than try to figure them all out later. That's something that has
    hurt us all along.

    Personally, the youngest is so little in maturity (held back) that
    she will do better forming a relationship with her father in a few
    years or sooner. I say that because she has that sort of personality.
    But right now, she is scared of her brother, and I can't change that
    with the behavior he shows to everyone. Her sister's lies about
    what has happened in the past and what she knows happened
    is a whole another issue. She loves her father, but just doesn't
    want to get caught up in all the drama. And I know he loves her
    too.

    Thanks for listening...I think you guys are right. I hafta find
    someone to talk to, and youngest too.
     
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