Would you give difficult child a photo?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child's father is such a nit-wit. So, if anyone is in the mood to do something a little sneaky (but legal and not an invasion of privacy or anything), please PM me. He wouldn't even let me take a photo to give to difficult child and now since difficult child is incarcerated, supposedly DSS is going after him- I guess he hasn't gotten the word yet that he owes CS, too. LOL! I think he's on facebook.

    Actually, I'd just like a little help determining if this really is him- I'm 98% sure already though.

    Ok- never mind about doing me a favor- I figured out how to do it.

    Do you think I should print a photo out and give it to difficult child? He has never seen him or spoken to him.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Does difficult child want a photo of him? If he hasn't asked, I wouldn't offer.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He is old enough to be interested and I am sure he knows that the state will be contacting him. If he wants to know who the man is, I would tell him. Tell him what you know from when you met him, what he was like back then. What school he went to, what kind of car he drove, what interests he had...yada yada. Especially tell him why you liked his father...that is important. You did like the man at one time. Give him some good stuff in there.

    Then you can tell of some things you have learned over the years. Good and bad. dad has remarried. Dad has a couple of other kids. Names. Dad does this for a living.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good point- I'll let difficult child know that I found him on facebook and ask if he wants a photo. I just don't want it to spark hope and fantasies that he'll end up with a relationship with him- I seriously doubt the man will ever be willing to do that. At least not as long as difficult child is a minor. I have told him the things you suggested already, Janet, because I agree that it only does a child harm to hear bad things about one of their parents. The only thing negative I have said about his father is that he made a very bad, stupid decision in not being a part of difficult child's life- I could never agree or condone that.

    I thought it might be nice to send difficult child a photo of him in his Christmas card since that's all I can do for him while he's incarcerated, but I wouldn't want to surprise him with it if it will hurt him or instigate more emotional issues.

    This is probably a bad thing, but I signed up on facebook ynder another name and sent him a friends request- saying I thought I knew him from years back- I mentioned a couple of things that someone who was an aquaintance 10-15 years ago would know. Then, I aasked if he wanted to be facebook friends, would he post or send an older photo than the one he has posted so I could be sure this was him. It will be interesting to see if he accepts the request and puts another photo up. It pretty much has to be him. It's just odd seeing a photo of him with gray hair. LOL!!

    Anyway, I did a google search for him years ago and found that he was still in the general area where we met. He's from there and there was no other person with the same name popping up. Then, when DSS asked me for info on him, I searched him again online. I got the same info pretty much and again- no info about anyone else in that area with the same name. Then, I just happened to pop his name into facebook tonight and several showed up but only one from that area. He only has one photo on it and it shows he would be about the age that would be right and he really looks the same- except the hair style is a tad different and his hair is gray. You know- people look a tad different from being mid-30's to early 50's. And it's a little shocking for me to see a photo of him after not seeing him since I was pregnant. But I'm sure- this has to be him- the facial expression is even the same. I just keep thinking "I have to be ABSOLUTELY sure"- like some part of me can't believe it.

    He wouldn't even let me take a photo of him to give to the baby someday- I tried. But now he has it on the internet?? With all women as facebook friends no doubt, except a couple of male family members. Go figure- yep, that adds up. He looks like such a nice guy- I just look at his photo and think "how could you not care about your child? how could you refuse to even show up at the hospital when he's born and see him at all or talk to him on the phone when he was 6 yo?"
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Honestly, klmno, I wouldn't offer anything to about his father unless difficult child asks.

    My difficult child 1's bio mom was in there area, but very inconsistent in difficult child's life. I learned the hard way to leave that topic alone...I happily chatted it up when he asked, but it was not good for me to broach it. When his dad left 7 years ago, the same things was true...

    Much the same is true with wee difficult child. If me or someone else brings up bio dad, wee difficult child gets him on the brain and all sorts of ugly emotions pop up. If wee difficult child asks about bio dad (and random questions do pop up every now and again), I answer them and he seems more able to move on.

    Just my .02.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I might touch on the subject with difficult child, Shari and see where it leads. When he was very young he was happy getting simple answers to simple questions. When he hit pre-adolescence and asked about it and figured out the blanks in the story, he was devestated and that's when he turned into a difficult child. Odd maybe, but true. The past year or so, he seems to view it all differently and says he wants to do whatever he can to make his father pay CS and anything else to own up to his repsonsibility. I think this comes from getting to know juveniles in trouble legally who have kids and have to pay CS and be involved in their kids' lives. difficult child sees teen boys trying to own up to this and be a part of their kids' lives and now I think he has moved past grief into anger- if these teen boys can do it, his grown father should too. difficult child even told me once that if he had to pay his legal consequences for what he's done wrong, then his father can pay his. Of course, I still see your point- that doesn't mean he wants me bringing up the topic or hitting him with a photo.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    As an adoptive parent the need to "see" bio parents is totally up to the tweedles. I, myself, have no interest in seeing them contact bio womb - she's done enough damage.

    However, this is the age where children become curious about absent parents. Ask your difficult child.

    I tell the tweedles once they are an adult they can do all the searching they want - I also said that I likely will not help given the circumstances.
  9. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    It sounds like the best thing to do would be to back off from trying to make a connection between the two of them for now.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...my answer comes from having a child with a man I actually married but who left me with a baby but my son knew that he had a father somewhere out there his whole life. He knew this man never paid child support and that this man was actually in hiding to avoid child support. He was allowed to go down to visit his paternal grandparents twice and his father happened to be down there at the same time and Billy found out then that his father had remarried and he had 4 step-brothers on his paternal side. I believe he was 8 and 10 the last time he saw his paternal grandparents and step-brothers.

    Billy always knew the basic details.

    His fathers actions filled in the rest.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    This sounds like some strange detective work...

    What exactly are you up to? Fake Facebook accounts?? Trying to sneak pics of difficult child's father? What's the point of all of this if difficult child has not been asking?

    (by the way-- If DSS is after him....they can trace him through Social Secuirty records, DMV records, tax filings, credit reports etc. They don't need to catch him on Facebook.)
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child's and my situation are similar to Janet's and Billy's. My son is not adopted. I found out after getting pregnant by him that he was in legal trouble for not paying CS on his first child- big trouble. Anyway, he refused to acknowkedge difficult child in any way because of the CS issue. The first child (by a different mother) is grown now.

    DF- in theory the law/DSS goes after dead-beat dad's. In reality, it is not that hard for them to go right on with their lives and never get caught- even when they know exactly where he lives. It gets stickier when when the dead-beat dad is out of state. Do you know that until this past year, if the parents had not been married and lived together in this state, they would not go after a father in a different state AT ALL and that was the law?

    There's no "detective" work here. I stuck his name in the search box on facebook. He had a page that popped up with a photo on it. Yep, I admit, I created a fake one and sent him a message. And I copied his photo off his page. If he responds to my message, I will send him a photo of his son and let him know who I really am. I doubt he will respond though- most of us wouldn't if we didn't recognize the name and I just pulled one out of the hat. And yes- he does know difficult child exists.

    difficult child has always asked questions about him and told me he wants to find him someday. I will not encoutage that because I think difficult child will get his heart broken. But, this past year difficult child has told me that it doesn't matter whether or not his father would want a relationship with him in the future, he just wants to face him and "see if he has anything to say for himself". I won't go into detail but I can promise you- the man is not in any way a vicitm in this situation.

    difficult child has asked what he looks like before and other things about him. Anyway, if it was me, I would want to know what my bio-parent looked like, too.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  13. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Honestly, I don't know why you would want to stir this suff up, especially before a holiday. I can tell you from personal experience it is absolutely devistating to a child when they realize they are not/were not wanted - it has lifelong ramifications. Hey, difficult child, here is a photo of your dad - he never wanted a child, and chose to leave when you were born. I thought you would like to have it.

    Being a recipent of having to be involved in the "child support" issue/battle that my mother decided was in my best interest to KNOW at 12 or 13 years old, it was just a constant reminder of how little my father valued me, and it was the cause of some of my acting out.

    I am sooo a big believer in keeping adult matters to ones self and not forcing or discussing this kind of stuff with kids - its none of their business and it can only bring up bad feelings and negative reinforcement.

    Trust me on this, having older kids, there will come a time when he is of age or at a place to mentally handle the abandonment feelings, because that is exactly what those feelings will be. But at his age, and being incarcerated, now is not that time

  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Wow- there is a lot of first-hand experience in similar situations here. I think maybe I will print the photo out but not give it to difficult child until/unless he brings the subject up again.

    He already does know the basic facts- without every painful detail but it was because he asked and was able to fill in the blanks from what I told him. That happened about 4 years ago and that is what most believe led to him turning into a difficult child- the inability to handle it all. Unfortunately- it's not so easy getting a typical therapist to help difficult child with the abandonment and rejection issues.

    Before anyone gets on my case about WHY I told him four years ago, - I went to a psychiatric when difficult child was about 5 yo and had started asking questions about why he didn't have a father. I followed the psychiatric's advice about how to handle it, which was to answer his questions on the level they were asked and never lie to difficult child about it, under any circumstances. This worked fine until I guess he must have been at an age where he had the cognitive ability to figure it all out but not the emotional ability to not blame himself and be able to handle it. (Yes- it was absolutely devestating to him and I saw it on his face.) I can understand that and I took him to a family therapist to try to work on it and help us or help me help difficult child. Four years later, with diagnosis's, medications, many legal charges, and numerous tdocs under our belts, difficult child is starting to work thru this on his own. I don't think a single therapist has helped- they all seem to do the typical, in spite of it being written in his neuropsychologist report and a separate MDE report that the professionals think this is the underlying problem. It apparently is being helped by just maturing some and living with guys who are from all angles with their fathers- some have had it worse and difficult child sees that.

    I haven't been in the habit of bringing the topic up so I think it's a valid point to not bring this photo up to him now. I have a paper sealed in an envelope in his baby book that has all info I know about his father written down. I'll print the photo out and put it with that. Thanks, Marcie Mac for helping me see that this could be like scrubbing a scab off and re-opening a healing wound.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    And let me add that I've seen the results of the flip side, too. My bro's bio mom was not in his life after he was about 18 mos old. The family always portrayed her to him as a saint and he never had any worries about her in that regard. Then, when he was about 17yo he learned the awful truth about her. Not only did he feeel just as abondoned and rejected and hurt, he felt betrayed on top of it. He has lived his life hating women and being very screwed up- maybe a narcissist or bitter or wanting retaliation or something- it's obvious something isn't right with him but he refuses to accept that he needs to see a therapist. He says he can't remember most of his childhood and that "everything is fine". Yeah- right.

    There is no way to make things like this easy on a child, unfortunately.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    K...you also have to realize with Billy he did have a pretty decent (or at least I think so) father figure in his life since he was two years old. He doesnt remember his biofather leaving him.

    Billy really doesnt have positive or negative feelings about his natural father. He just kind of shrugs him off. He thinks he is kind of a jerk because of how he has lived his life. Maybe pities him in some ways. I am sure there is some resentment on some level because Billy says he would never name a child after him...Billy is the fifth in that name line. It will die with him. Shame isnt it.
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee difficult child's bio once made an empty promise to take him to the races. I wasn't there, but bio's mom was, and after she got done jumping down his throat about making idle promises he knows he can't keep, we came up with a plan to explain to wee why he couldn't go, if it ever came up again. We tell wee difficult child that his bio dad doesn't know how to take care of him. And that's true.

    I beleive bio dad is every bit as impaired, if not more, as wee is, and I beleive he is just not capable of being a father in the traditional sense to his children. I leave it to the kids to form their opinions.

    One thing sticks out to me, tho, K, about this...you say your difficult child is angry at his father now. Even if he asks, I'm not sure I'd give him any info about the man now til he movs on to a more accepting stage in his grief. He is wanting to make his bio father pay; he's wanting to make the man own up to his responsibilities; he's wanting to control another human being...I don't think that's good to encourage at this point with difficult child.

    difficult child 1, also, at your difficult child's age, went back and forth between hating bio mom and dreaming that she would suddenly become the world's perfect mother. It was hard to keep my opinions to myself, but I did. When his birthday would come and go without hearing from her, I might remind him that it was just like last year, but then I'd just hug him and tell him that I loved him. He still wishes his parents didn't run off and abandon him, but he accepts the reality that they did. That's a heavy load for a young teen to haul.

    I understand where you are coming from, for sure. There are days that my feeling for DEX are things I can't even print, but take my emotion out of it, and the man's a mess, plain and simple. I will go after him some day for support. Some day. For now, difficult child needs stability more than money, and I try to keep that in perspective.

    (and I might add that I'm saying that with an electric bill staring me in the face that I'm not sure how to pay...still...difficult child needs the stability more...I'll figure the bills out somehow)
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Shari, I never went after the man for CS. When difficult child was incarcerated, Department of Juvenile Justice filed for CS from me and dss CS division automatically became involved. The court knows who the father is because the require the mother to tell them- even if there has not been a blood test. (When the legal system is involved here, they list the father and he has to prove he's not- and so far, he has refused to take a blood test.) Being that difficult child already knew most of the facts, I did ask him then how much he wanted me to push for dss to go after his father for CS- or if he wanted to just let it go and not really tell them anything. He said he wanted me to pursue it as much as possible. I tend to think his anger is part of working thru it- kind of like the stages of grief. I don't think he's going to be stuck in hatred or bitter all his life. I have also explained to difficult child that some people just aren't capable of bonding with other people the way most can, when he asked why/how his father could do this to his own child.

    My son is almost 15yo so I think he's at a different stage in this than your wee one.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I agree that he's grieving, and he'll likely move past it. But that's a hard, hard move for a kiddo his age. Actually giving him the man, a photo, a name, a location, whatever, could fuel that angry fire, and that's not what you want.

    I understand where you are coming from. Just throwing out my 2 cents of our experience.

    And so far, difficult child 1 is diong ok as an adult...one day at a time, but so far...
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I beleive my difficult child qualifies for some state aid, but if I apply for it, I have to agree to cooperate with them to go after bio for CS unless I can prove it would be in wee difficult child's best interest to leave it alone. Until I have the custody changed, I'm not applying for the aid...I don't want to take that chance.

    Anyway, all i meant to say was I realize you aren't going after him, the state is. I would let them, but I wouldn't do any digging on my own.

    I will go after my dex for back support some day. He lives in this community, he admits to having the kid, mental illness or not, he has a child that he won't sign over, but he is leaving me and husband to raise alone...when wee is 18, we'll deserve that one good vacation... and I'll be lucky to get that much out of the man...but I will try.