Once again, bio Dad derails difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I<span style="color: #003300"> mean, this has been going on since mat was born - his dad promising things, that are never delivered. I left him when mat was 4, and that was the beginning of the end. His dad had no desire to form a serious, long term relationship with mat. He completely disregarded visitation, and would just call as he chose. Usually about once every 6 months. Then he would promise to visit mat - and never show. There was my little 4 year old, staring longingly out the window, telling me that "Daddy promised! He said he would be here!" I would just turn away and cry, how could a parent crush their child so deliberately, so foolishly?

    By the time mat was 6 his dad was in jail, then prison, and mat went years with no contact. Maybe a phone call every now and then. Then he swooped in as super dad of the year when mat was 10, apologized a river, and attempted to reconcile with mat. His dad spent 4 months visiting every week, and trying to make up for lost time. Mat, unfortunately, soaked up every millisecond of his dad's time, and absorbed every thing he said as truth - only to have his dad completely disappear after the 4 months. No call, no announcements, just vanished. He did this again when mat was 12 - same exact scenario.

    Now, it has happened again. This time a bit longer, with a different twist. This time his dad has been around 8 months. Again, being a superdad, sorta, at least to mat - and promising that he won't ever leave - this time. But about a month ago, his dad called me screaming, yelling, and cussing, demanding that I loan him my car and some money. If his demands had not been so completely crazy, I would have bust out laughing. He must have called the house until 2am, harassing me. I told him off, and he disappeared from mat's life again - for another month.

    This last month has been horrible. Mat has cried himself to sleep almost every night, devastated. He has been depressed, anxious, and beside himself - and my heart has just been breaking for him. Then, out of the blue, his dad called yesterday telling mat that it was my fault he disappeared - and that of course he would never leave him.

    Now mat is so confused, angry, and upset - but he is taking it out on me. Because, of course, "I am the one that always makes dad leave." I am beside myself with rage - and I mean that literally. I don't think I have ever been this mad. This bum has never paid me a dime in child support, jerked my kid around from day one, does not care that I am always the one picking up all the pieces from his aftermath, (i.e. dealing with mat's rage over his father's negligence, loving mat through his abandonment issues, working my :censored2: off to pay the bills, and in general scraping up the piles of doo doo he leaves in his wake), and then he blames me for his problem of not being a good father!
    I am so angry - I don't even know how to cope. And then - then there is the fact that I could have him put in jail next week for him not paying child support - but I am scared. I am scared that he will retaliate against me personally. I am scared that he will fill mat's head with more lies. I am scared that having his dad in jail will further fuel his abandonment issues. And I am scared that mat will blame me for his incarceration, which will make his anger towards me escalate even higher. I am SO tired, and I do not want to deal with any more of mat's anger, not even for a second. And I am SO angry at his dad, that words cannot even express how resentful, and vengeful I feel. He has broken mat's heart repeatedly, and he deserves a kind of punishment that is only reserved for the worst of crimes, in my opinion.

    Thanks for listening to my laments - ugh - I know this was long! I just don't know what to do anymore. I want this jerk out of our life, forever....or at least out of mine. But that does not seem possible at this point.
    :grrr: </span>
  2. nlg319

    nlg319 New Member

    I'm so sorry for your son's pain, and I think I would be as ripping mad as you are!

    Does your son see a therapist who can help him process all of his feelings about his father?

    It amazes me how one parent can destroy a child's hope in such a short amount of time...I'm sorry you have to go through this.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Just know this.

    As long as you do not bad mouth your X to your son, one day, he will realize which parent stepped up and which parent punked out.

    Right now, it is safe for him to blame you, because you have always been there. If your son blames your father, in his mind, that might push his father away even more. You have been the steadfast one in his life. It is the same reason that difficult children save their "best" behavior for moms. They feel safest with us.

    My X owes me over $10,000 n child support, and our difficult child is only 6. It is the biggest pain in my b.utt to have to deal with him. He is a no job having loser who cares more about having a girlfriend than he does about supporting any of his kids (he has EIGHT). But I never bad mouth him to Tink. And I know for a fact that he has bad mouthed me to her.

    She's not dumb, and neither is your son. Kids grow up knowing who was there for them. It is a shame that these fathers can't be there for them all the time, it really is. These kids need their dads.

    Fortunately, they have us.
  4. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Can I just say, I know EXACTLY how you feel. Not with my ex, but with my husbands ex. She is exactly this way with the boys. And this is why we finally went for termination of rights. We were fortunate to have an attorney who worked with us for 2 years now. A judge that understood the pain she caused and an Ad Litem attorney who saw it as well.

    Since we have had to deal with this with the boys, we have done our absolute best to explain all of this was because of choices their mother made. It wasn't because of them and it wasn't because of us or the judges and attorneys. I think they get it, but they aren't teens yet, so who knows.

    I understand how angry you are, I read your post and it brought back those same feelings in me. I hated her for what she did to the boys and I still hate her for it. She does get in trouble with the law and as soon as I discover it, I write that counties DA and tell them my story and my sons story. I beg them to lock her away and keep her away from my boys.

    I'm so sorry Mat is having to deal with it all at his age. I hope and pray to God that my boys are done with her by then. It is one thing for them to choose to have her back in their lives once they turn 18, but I want them to have time to heal from all the pain she has caused. I want them to be prepared to deal with her and all she dishes out.

    If you want a recommendation for an attorney, I'd be happy to recommend mine. She is in Frisco. I just love her and she has done so much for us as a family.

    I hope you find a way for Mat to heal and a way to make him understand it isn't your fault. If I thought I could help by telling him our story, I would in a heartbeat. Most teens won't listen to strangers though.

    You and Mat are in my thoughts!
  5. TrishaBC

    TrishaBC New Member

    I feel so bad for both you and your difficult child. This is a terrible spot to be in. Only you know your difficult child, your signature says he is 16, maybe he could handle the truth. Remind him about how hard you've worked to raise him, tell him there was nothing that could have made you leave him while he was growing up. Don't put down your X to him, just state the facts.

    Is Mat in counselling? Maybe a third party that he doesn't have an emotional attachment to would help him work out some feelings.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. It isn't right and it isn't fair. I agree about taking the high road-one day he will get it. I totally understand your anger and frustration. I wish I had some advice. Sending gentle hugs your way.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I haven't dealt with the violence but I sure have lived through
    watching my son get disappointed by his Dad time after time..and
    always it was to get back at me for leaving. It is sick and only
    time will tell how your son sorts through the info. My Ex pulled
    his last stunt when my easy child son decided to divorce his dysfunctional wife. Somehow dear old Dad sided with the wife and
    easy child reunited. Weird. Sending understanding hugs. DDD
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear.
    "Crying himself to sleep" really hit home. I am so sorry.

    then there is the fact that I could have him put in jail next week for him not paying child support -

    THAT sounds like a good plan. If you don't have him put in jail, he'll continue to do what he's doing. (Remember--the defin. of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.)
    Please convince yourself that fear of retaliation is not a good incentive.
    Hope and a plan for your son's future (and your own) are great incentives.
    I know you're scared. And angry. Do something constructive with-it.
    The guy's a bum. Period.
    You know you're the Good Guy. It will be yrs b4 your son knows it. But it WILL happen.
    Many, many hugs.
  9. IMSnoopee

    IMSnoopee New Member

    Sorry to hear the ex is causing so much havoc. I've been there, as well. Through it all I tried my hardest to stay calm. There was an occasional yelling match and one time I did take it out on his car by having it towed.

    I've learned to not depend on my ex for anything; child support, emotional support, parenting, or as a father. I've also been very honest with my kids. I don't bad mouth their dad -- ok, there's been an occasional potty mouth about him, but I'm not perfect. Just doing my best.

    My ex also did the whole come and go, jail, not pay his child support... but through all his stupidity, he loves his kids. And I know that. And I give credit where credit is due. Although I may hate the bejesus out of him and can't stand being around him, I still try to be polite (sometimes even friendly) and I don't put him down to his face anymore. Not even that look we women know how to give.

    I don't know what I'm trying to say, but you can't control your ex. You can't force him to be a good dad no matter how angry you get or how hurt your son is. What you can do is prevent things from getting to you or prevent your son getting hurt (to a limit).

    When my ex was on me so much that I could only cry, I stopped taking his calls, and when we absolutely had to talk, as soon as he became beligerant I ended the call. And I never allowed my ex to promise picking up the kids. We would talk about when he'd see the kids, but the kids never knew anything until one to two hours before pick up. (And as for the calling the kid and making promises on the phone, I always told my kids "we'll see, I can't promise anything right now".)

    I also teach my kids that they have control over how they feel. It's ok to be disappointed, but why get so upset and feel unworthy because the dad decided to be a chump? And that's always an opportunity for me to tell my kids that when they are men and have their own children, they remember what kind of father not to be.

    Good luck to you. I hope you take pride in being a good mother and give credit to the dad when he's tried, and explain to your son that it's not his fault. (But you'll still get blamed through the teenage years.)
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Mat has to blame someone because otherwise he has to blame himself. it's what kids do at this age - they take it on themselves. Not good. Now his dad has handed him the perfect explanation - blame mummy.

    The guy is a loser and is also damaging to Mat. Not only is his unreliability sending Mat a bad message in the appropriate way to treat people (you don't want Mat modelling his father's behaviour as an adult, do you?) but this is disrupting everything positive you're trying to do.

    The absent parent is often the romantic ideal. Especially for a younger child and especially when they lie about why they're never around, it's hard for the remaining parent to have to deal with the emotional fallout.

    Mat is blaming you anyway, thanks to his dear father. What do you have to lose?

    I also agree with the others - Mat needs to be in counselling. He will be more likely to accept from a counsellor than you, that HIS FATHER is responsible for his own actions and that blaming you is wrong. otherwise mat is going to grow up with the belief that you can do what you want as long as you can find someone else to blame; that you can abdicate your responsibilities; that fathers don't have to be around to be loved.

    Dob the so-and-so in. I'd also make enquiries about getting this bloke's access cut off or controlled, so you don't have to deal with the damage. This child is being damaged by this behaviour and the bloke has to learn he can't do this to a child, without consequences. I don't think you've successfully consequenced this bloke (probably nobody has).

    The worst that will happen is that Mat will blame you. But he's doing that already.

  11. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Poor kid.

    I'm convinced we use terms of mother and father rather loosely.....

    Regarding child support, register with the Texas Attorney General's office. There is a "New Hire" law (I believe it is Federal) that requires employers to report "new hires" within 20 days of employment. It was designed to help keep track of the whereabouts of those that skip out on child support. It is tied into a national database.

    I am an employer. We report "new hires" as part of the hiring procedure. It's not uncommon to get orders to withhold child support on a new employee within a week. Rarely does it take longer than 30 days of the hire date to get the court orders. I get them from all over the United States.

    It might be worth a shot to get the AG involved. (This doesn't apply to the self-employed.)
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    <span style="color: #003300">Thanks for all of your wonderful insight. Terry.........your little blurb about insanity is doing the same thing over and over, really hit home. This is exactly what we have been doing - going through bio dads insanity with him - to the point it is making us all insane. For 16 years! Arg! It has to stop!

    I know that I will have the courage Monday to sign those papers to start the court proceedings against him. I imagine in the beginning it will be the worst. Mat will find out that his dad is in jail for not paying child support - and Mat will be livid with me. He will have wanted me to "save" his dad, and not press charges. He has heard his dad talk to me enough about this, that he knows that without me pressing charges it would all be dropped. However, he will get over it. I think. (If I survive :laugh: ) It has always just been Mat and me, so it is not like he can turn to someone else as a surrogate parent - he will have to process through this, and learn to accept it. I guess the other caveat is that his granpa, his only other father figure, was diagnosed with brain cancer a couple of months ago. Not that either his granpa or his dad have been the best influences, but Mat does have a relationship with both of them. To lose both of them is going to be a lot. Shoot............it's a lot for me! (It is my dad that is sick)

    I have 3 new counselors to call in just a minute for Mat. Some of you remember me posting about his last counselor who was a nuthead - so we are in search of a better one. One that does not ask Mat "so it sounds like you are happy that your granpa is dying?" Grrrrr.....yea, that's it......a 16 year old is happy that their granpa is dying. :mad:

    thanks again for all of your advice.........and understanding. This board has changed my life in ways I never thought were possible. </span>
  13. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Thinking of you and your family....I have no advice, but certainly feel for your situation....tough on any kid to not have a consistant dad around.....
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Of course I dont know your exact situation but I do know a little bit about child support laws and are you sure that you have to take the complete fall as the bad guy here? The laws do state that the absent parent is required to pay support and if they dont they go to jail. Isnt it the state that prosecutes not you?

    I think I would explain to Mat that both parents have the legal obligation to support their kids and that as much as you wish the situation was different, his father has broken this law. There is nothing you can do to stop this because only his father can rectify this situation by paying this support!

    That is the true heart of the matter! You arent sending him to jail because you dont like him, you have alerted the authorities that he has failed to make his mandatory child support payments. Period, end of story. He did the deed. Or failed to.

    Not your fault.
  15. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yea, thanks Janet....I guess the problem is that Matt's dad has told him that the law will do nothing unless I push charges (which is actually the truth). Maybe I can just tell him this is no longer the case - or something. Or maybe I will just have to explain to him that laws are laws - and I would be breaking the law if I kept quiet about his dad - and I am not going to do that. I model obeying the laws to Matt constantly, because he has such a tendency to want to disregard them. "Its ok to throw my coke can out the window mom, no one cares!" That kind of stuff. So, maybe I can just tell him that I am obligated by law to do this as well.

    Anyway..........I am just SO annoyed! At everything and everyone. I wish our life could be easier - and not every time I turn around some new fire to put out. Last night I could see some mania start to flare up in Matt - which seems to be common when he gets stressed. Is that common for bi-polar people? Anyway that combined with his anxiety that is mounting every day - I am getting worried and feeling so discouraged. He was doing so much better since getting out of psychiatric hospital in May................oh well.
  16. mattsmom27

    mattsmom27 Active Member

    Your Matt's dad sounds like MY matt's dad, to a tee. In and out on a whim, broken promises leaving behind a broken child's spirit, twisted reality dished out by dad to make mom look like the bad guy, unpaid support, blah blah blah. I completely understand, right down to the not pursuing support issues as to not create more anger from difficult child directed to you. It is a real sin that parents can do this to their children, and to the other parent.
    I put up with this crap for years. I did not badmouth difficult child's father to him. difficult child had him a pedestal, when he wasn't hating him for letting him down again. difficult child's head was filled with all kinds of lies, and if I tried to fill in the truth for difficult child, it would have created more confusion for difficult child because his father wouldn't have come off in a good light. So I kept my mouth shut. It helped that difficult child moved in with his father 2 years ago. It lasted under 3 months, and that period was horrible for difficult child. He had a wake up call about his father and his inability to BE any kind of father. My Matt is now 14 years old and I am honest about his father. I have answered questions from difficult child about the past and not lied about his father. I do say, even when difficult child won't believe it, that I truly believe his father "loves" him, but I just really believe there are some people who are not cut out to be parents to any degree, and sadly, difficult child's father is one of them. I also assure him that based on that, he is allowed to love his father even if he doesn't like him. And he doesn't have to accept a relationship he doesnt' want to tolerate if it isn't consistent or loving or parent like. He has chosen zero contact. difficult child believes this is HIS idea, which helps him mentally. In reality, his father has made zero effort to contact difficult child anyhow.
    Meanwhile, the support backs up, again. difficult child is at this point telling me to have his father jailed if his father won't live up to even ONE parenting responsability. I haven't bothered because it could bring so much garbage to my door and personally, wether the $$$ would help or not (and it would), I made a decision that the money has never been and never will be worth dragging this man into our lives. So I understand your concerns on that too.
    I sometimes think about him "getting away with not paying support". It burns my :censored2:, and I'm very proud of men who pay to contribute to their childrens lives financially. I hate that this man not only walks away from a loving boy in need of a good male role model, but also won't pay a red cent to help this childs needs be met. But more than caring about what he does or doesn't get away with, the decision to walk away and disregard support arrears completely came because I matter more than difficult child's dad "getting away with something". I don't need harassing screaming phone calls, threats, court drama, difficult child being messed with emotionally again etc etc. I have never and will never fight over money with this deadbeat.
    Please hang in there, and honestly, I believe that at age 16 it is TIME for you and your son to have open honest dialogue about difficult child's father, his past involvements or let downs, treatment toyou, even clarifying lies difficult child has been told, by his father against you, and maybe any you told to protect difficult child (making his dad seem "not so bad", many of us do this so you may have too). It isn't a matter of turning your difficult child against his own father, but it is about helping your difficult child turn into an adult with true knowledge of who is father really is, and the fact that you are still there for him and always will be.
    Good luck!
  17. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    stress causes my bipolar sis to act out more and cycle more.

    I would go the court route. tell mat that the judge rules have to be followed or you will get in trouble too.

    never bad mouth dad in front of mat. tell mat you both love him but that you both parent differently. tell him what goes on between you adults is not his concern. then go after his idiot dad legally.
  18. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The Texas AG has a web site just for child support.

    From the FAQ page : http://www.oag.state.tx.us/cs/parents/faq.shtml#mind

    It's my understanding that if a custodial parent enrolls in the Child Support Program, the parent doesn't have to do a thing to collect -- the AG's office is charged with enforcement.

    What if the non-custodial parent gets behind in child support payments or refuses to pay?

    If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures to collect regular and past-due payments. The Child Support Division uses many techniques to enforce child support orders, including:

    requiring employers to deduct court-ordered child support from the non-custodial parent's paycheck through wage withholding;
    intercepting federal income tax refund checks, lottery winnings, or other money that may be due from state or federal sources;
    filing liens against his or her property or other assets;
    suspending driver’s, professional, and hunting and fishing licenses; and
    filing a lawsuit against the non-custodial parent asking the court to enforce its order.
    A judge may sentence a nonpaying parent to jail and enter a judgment for past due child support.

    Also: Who can apply for child support services and what is the fee?
    The Attorney General’s office accepts applications from mothers, fathers, and other individuals who have possession of a child. Our attorneys represent the State of Texas in providing child support services and do not represent either parent in the case.

    Applicants do not have the right to select what enforcement actions are taken in their cases. [emphasis added] The Office of the Attorney General is required to provide all appropriate services for the benefit of the children.

    Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) recipients automatically receive child support services, but persons who do not receive TANF must apply for Title IV-D child support services. There is no fee to apply for child support services provided by the Office of the Attorney General.

    AG Child Support Division main page http://www.oag.state.tx.us/cs/index.shtml
  19. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    As Sheila wrote, this is the ONE reason to always let the courts and government do the child support collection, even if you loose a percentage that way. It takes it totally OUT of your hands and into theirs, to pursue or prosecute as they see fit.

    One day (I know it's not really a help to hear it now) Mat will realize the truth. My kids did. Yes, they love their dad, but they know they can't trust him. Anything important (school papers, insurance, buying a car, what have you) they always ask my advice on. In fact, both kids have separately and together asked me how I stayed married to the man for so long. And my daughter-in-law can barely tolerate him.

    Good luck and hugs to you.....
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Amber, I like the idea of saying "the law is the law," which makes it more objective and straightforward. Especially if you say it with-a big sigh, and then change the subject!
    I'd forgotten about your nutty therapist. Ptooey!
    Good luck with-the new ones. It's a pain to try them out but it will be worth it when you get a good one.
    Someone here mentioned how she dealt with-her ex (I can't go back and read it or I'll lose my note on this page), but she ended the phone conversation immediately as soon as he got belligerent, which is a great idea. You CAN take control.
    It sounds like your ex is angry and hurtful no matter what, so you may as well take control and expect him to be angry by your actions, instead of walking on thin ice and never knowing when he'll turn on you. Ironic, isn't it?