difficult child's dad and stepmonster are at it again!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    So my ex ends up taking the kids for the weekend but all did not go well. I get a text from difficult child 1 on Friday night after midnight telling me she can't sleep. She told me she overheard her dad and stepmother talking about her earlier that evening very loudly where she could hear. I asked her what they said. She replied, "They are making fun of me and saying I'll never be normal. Said that I will never be able to make it on my own and I am fat and will never be skinny." Her evil stepmother has been making fun of her for years. She knows difficult child 1 has a disability which makes her immature for her age.

    She does not put on deoderant or wash her face like she should. I am having to constantly remind her to do these things. I know part of it is her disability and right now in her life she doesn't really care if she smells bad or has dirty hair. I try my best to help her but she's a stubborn one. I buy healthy stuff for home but she over eats at home and at school and has a weight problem. Her dad is constantly showing her pictures of when she used to be thin and asking her, "You used to be thin. WHY are you so fat now? Why can't you be thin?"difficult child gets really upset about this but she refuses to stand up for herself. She is also into the chipmunks, like their movies, music, and she loves to draw them. She is a very talented artist. Instead of praising her, her stepmother says negative remarks like, "You do KNOW that the chipmunks aren't real, don't you? They're stupid. Why don't you snap back into reality?"

    She badmouths me in front of her and tells her "You have an attitude problem. You're just like your mother." Both my kids hate when the two of them trash talk me in front of them. I ask why they do not just tell them it bothers them, but they both say they are too afraid of their stepmom. They both say she yells and screams at them and sometimes threatens them. She threatened difficult child 1 that she will kick her ass (all for not shutting the door all the way) and she is gonna slap her. Has pulled on her ear hard when she left the car door open part way. Yelled and screamed at my son when he got an answer wrong on his homework and she knows he's ADHD and has a hard time focusing. Heaven forbid my children ever say they miss me while they're there. Stepmonster will scream at them and tell them they are disrespecting their father by bringing me up. Their dad backs her up by telling them they are absolutely NOT supposed to bring up my name while they are there. They are not even allowed to call me.

    Ex told both my kids they are going to have so much "fun" when they eventually start living with him. I don't know where that came from. He is desperate to not pay child support so he has threatened in the past to take the kids away from me for being bipolar. As of now I have full physical custody and he is threatening to fight me on that. difficult child 1 got paranoid and told me she doesn't want to leave me, her friends, and her school, and she hates it there. I assured her that no court will possibly give HIM custody after hearing the way they are treated there. Plus the are old enough to make their own decisions. I just get sooooo mad everytime I think about how my kids are treated. When I mention things to ex he tells me it's none of my business what goes on there! Of course it's my business. I'm their mother. I don't know what else to do right now. It's court ordered that he sees them every other weekend but they hate it and there's nothing I can do about it.
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Save those texts. Send them to your lawyer if you have to, or send to your email or print or whatever you can. Those are legal evidence over and above anything "said" in court.

    Encourage the kids to DO this... you aren't telling them what to say, just that they are free to keep you up to date on what is happening whey they are with Dad.
     
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Just FYI -- there is not a state in this country that a child under the age of 18 can choose where they live. In an intact family, the children live where the parents say they live. In this type of case, they live where a judge says they live. In some states, judges have the option of speaking with the children. (Of course, without a change in circumstances in the children's lives, he doesn't have a chance in hades of getting custody. Your bipolar does not matter. It didn't matter to him when he chose you to be the mother of his children and it isn't going to matter to the courts now.)
     
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH my word, those poor kids. Your ex and his wife are bullies and abusive. I wish it was easier for you to allow them not to go there...but I realize it is just not that simple.

    For sure figure a way to save/lock those texts and print them out. Ask your lawyer what kind of data to keep. A diary saying difficult child 1 called and said she is very upset because of x, y, z.... every day write something so that there is some form of documentation that is ongoing. ( I remember a case where a boss had kept notes on her calendar of words her co-worker said, days she wore dark glasses to work, etc... that bit of on going journaling got this woman out of a very abusive situation and her ex is in prison for what he was doing...different situation but even with pictures and video...it was the journal/calendar that tipped the case)
     
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Save all of the texts and have your kids write down what is said to them and when it was said. I know that your ex and the step mother are going to deny everything, but the more evidence you have against them the better off the kids will be.

    If your daughter likes to draw and is good at it, encourage her, even if her subject matter is the chipmunks and may be a little immature for her. Tell her not to listen to her father and step mom. I believe that difficult children need to be encrouaged to find things that they are good at and when they do they need to be encrouaged to stick with it.

    I will not ever understand how a father can be so cruel to his children. Forget his wife. She's a waste of space, but this is their father, for goodness sake!! I'm so sorry that they were treated so badly while they were there. I know that you needed the break, but it breaks my heart to hear the things that were said to them and about them. Does he treat them badly in front of others? Or does he do it at home where there are not other witnesses?
     
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    This is exactly the reason I hate the term "stepmother". Because there are a few horrid ones that ruin it for the rest of us.

    Sounds to me like stepmother and father are both a waste of space. difficult child has GOT to stick up for herself... This is emotional abuse plain and simple. Unfortunately (I should know, thanks to Jett) - there is almost nothing you can "prove" - unless difficult child says something. And not just to you; your word, because he is the hated ex, is suspect. Hers may be treated as parental coaching. Get both kids to a therapist... They can only help.

    The overeating is probably partially anxiety. Too much healthy food is still - too much. I love, love, LOVE whole grain bread... But will eat and eat and eat if I am not stopped. Especially since I love to bake. Here is an idea, you and both kids can educate yourselves as a family on healthy foods and portion sizes.

    Also - if they are physically afraid of stepmom, the therapist can help them work it through...

    :hugs:
     
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I don't have experience in this area and I'm glad the others have already given you excellent advice. Just want to let you know I'm sorry you have to go through this... Thinking of you... SFR
     
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well difficult child 1 was so bothered by it that she finally texted him asking him if he still loves her. He apologized and said he only wants the best for her and that's why he puts her down so much. As far as stepmom calling her fat, he flat out denied it. Apologized and said he would talk to stepmonster because he's sure she just "thought" she heard it. He will never stand up to her. He is afraid of her. difficult child 1 insists she not only called her fat, but she compared her to herself, saying "I'M not fat, so why is A so fat? She will never be skinny like me." When difficult child hears insults about her weight, she tells me she has anxiety and feels bad for herself. She eats even more to relieve the anxiety. She is self medicating with food. Unfortunately she is bigger and stronger than me so when I try to suggest to her what to eat and I try to control her portions she gets obstinate. I have attempted to take food out of her hands but I get pushed and hit when that happens. I really REALLY wish I had back up discipline support when she gets like this. I cannot tell ex about anything because he always turns it on me and says it's my fault the kids have the disabilities they have. Says they live with me so it's "obviously my fault." If difficult child 1 hits me it's my fault. It's my fault difficult child has bad hygeine. I can only suggest to her that she put on deoderant and brush her teeth. If she refuses to do it I have no recourse. It's my fault difficult child 2 is hyperactive and can't focus in school. It's my fault his social skills are poor (believe me I have tried with this kid but he just doesn't GET it.) I don't have bad social skills. I work at a high school and I work with people all day. Trust me, I have no influence over his poor social skills. He makes me feel so alone when it comes to my kids. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I've had a rough few days.
     
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    He only wants the best for her and that's why he puts her down so much.

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! People don't insult other people to make them look good, they do it to make THEMSELVES look good! You are lucky you are no longer with him. (Bio blamed every problem on husband, even going so far as to say Jett getting stuck in the birth canal was husband's fault... Yeah.)

    Don't try to take the food AWAY - make it unavailable to begin with. Once she has it in her hands, that battle is over. Awesome snack: carrot sticks - they are crunchy, a bit sweet, loaded with Vitamin A and water, and non fat. Celery, too. The dip is what is fattening... But... plain Greek yogurt with onion soup mix, mixed in - much better.

    What kinds of snacks do you have? And what kind of stuff do you cook? I used to have a problem, I could not cook for less than 6 people, so everyone either overate or we had leftovers NO one ate. I'm still learning, but we don't have nearly the leftovers now... One portion per person, and that's all that's available... Might help???
     
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you need to stop talking to your ex. Communicate in writing because he is abusing YOU as well as the kids. That way you have PROOF t hat he is saying awful things to you and about the kids. email and letters ONLY. If he doesn't show up for visitation on time, if he says/does anything other than the court approved agreement, then you keep it in a diary.
     
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    and, while you are waiting for him to show up...send messages so they are time stamped....."where are you? We are here as planned at X oclock and Jess is upset that you are not here....can you please let me know what you are planning???" Do not answer calls, just accept text or email back. I hate this man and I have never met him.... Just such an awful situation.
     
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    To quote Dr Phil, "And how well is that working?"

    Idiot.

    I heartily endorse only having healthy food in the house. Any food she tends to head for as comfort food - eliminate it but provide alternatives. I can heartily recommend tzaziki - plain yogurt with shredded continental cucumber (do NOT use a blender!), crushed garlic, some salt and chopped dill or mint. Serve with vegetable sticks or on those small skinless sausages (chevapi) or Greek meatballs (I'll send you a recipe if you want). She does need to learn about healthy food and healthy living (staying clean, wearing deodorant etc) but I suspect you are not the person to work on this. Hand it over to a therapist to reinforce.

    Marg
     
  13. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the comments ladies. Marguerite, I love Dr. Phil! My daughter and I watch it together (when the content is appropriate) all the time. I tried to tell ex that I am working with her on her weight and hygiene, and his response was to text me "whatever." He knows I'm right and refuses to admit it. She takes a social skills class with others in her SDC classes, and they have discussed hygiene issues there. She still doesn't care about her appearance at this point in her life. As far as healthy foods I do keep those in the house. We have fruit and if I have apples, bananas, etc, she will have two or three of those. It's all about calories. She can eat all the healthy food she wants but if she overeats regardless then she will continue to gain weight. Thanks to those of you who have suggested alternative snack ideas. We're getting sick of the same old same old and I always welcome new ideas when I get them.
     
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Snacks... We found that a good (i.e. 40/30/30 split) balance of carbs, protein, and fat, kills hunger faster and lasts longer. Ditto for meals. Blood sugar spikes lead to blood-sugar crashes... which leads to major carb cravings. It sounds counter-intuitive to be adding protein and fat (calories!), but... it works.

    We also find it really pays to pre-portion snacks - into small containers, baggies, whatever. Kids have trouble with portion sizes.
     
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's not just a matter of ensuring you have healthy food options in the house; you have to ensure that there are NO UNHEALTHY options available. For everybody. Because this is a whole family thing.

    We have a fabulous diet book over here in Australia, put together by CSIRO (a QUANGO scientific organisation). I learned a lot from that book, it helped me lose a lot of weight despite my inability to exercise.

    Some useful easy guidelines -

    1) Swap refined carbs to wholegrain. Reduce total carb intake (although a teen, especially a male teen, can get away with a lot more). For example, brown rice instead of white. I cook it in the microwave and re-heat a spoonful as needed to accompany a meal.

    2) Eliminate added sugar in any form. Read packet labels and simply do not buy anything which has any added sugar of any kind. Treat sugar as a poison. What will happen - your body will begin to recognise what happens in the mouth when you have something sweet; you get that sour after-taste (a by-product of your saliva beginning to break down the sugar while it's still in your mouth) and the fastest way to get rid of that taste is to have more sugar. We do it without thinking. Note - chocolate is an exception, but you MUST keep it to two small squares (four perhaps for a teen) and ensure it is not compounded chocolate. It MUST be quality (preferably dark) in order to get the dietary benefit of daily chocolate. A good dark choc can give you a concentrated chocolate hit which lasts a lot longer than a binge on milk choc.

    3) Restrict fruit intake to two serves a day. That includes fruit juice. In other words, consider eliminating fruit juice entirely, replace it with a piece of fruit. If juice is desperately desired, freeze it and have one serve of frozen juice, as a single dessert per day. It can be the reward. Note - strawberries do not count. You can eat as many of those as you want. Avoid bananas - the opposite of strawberries.

    4) Try to eat at least 12 different plant products in one day. Yes, herbs count. You will boost the natural flavour of what you eat, ensure a variety and this all helps you feel more satisfied with what you eat. A home-made vegetable soup can really push your daily veg intake right up.

    5) Where you can, cook it from scratch. This will result in every meal tasting original. If you eat processed food, it is always the same and therefore is less satisfying.

    6) Take vitamin/mineral supplements especially calcium. Because if you drink enough milk/eat enough dairy for daily calcium requirements, you will struggle to lose weight. Milk and yogurt, even skim, will still put weight on.

    7) The obvious one - reduce ALL fat intake to a teaspoon a day. I'm serious. This includes hidden fat (as in cheese, for example). Also reduce salt where you can, it makes you thirsty and retains water. Generally unhealthy.

    I learned to have a drink of water (or equivalent) before I ate anything. When you have water in your stomach, it's easier to eat less.

    Doing any of these can lead to a beginning in weight loss. Doing all is drastic, but it is how far I had to go. And I cannot relax my vigilance. However, as weight began to come off I felt better about myself (also I felt healthier) and this kept my motivation up.

    Get used to reading labels!

    Marg
     
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