A Cautionary Tale

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Those of you who read Parent Emeritus know what's been going on in my life lately with my daughter, so I won't re-tell the tale here. But, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have been supportive of me the last few days. I spend most of my time asleep, or awake and crying and wishing I were asleep. I have cancelled everything in my calendar for the next week because it was "happy-go-lucky share my good times with me" type stuff and I feel neither happy nor lucky and these aren't good times. I've looked up my long-ago therapist who saw me through all of the stuff when it was actively happening, and hope that she has not retired and can see me. It would be far too difficult to start fresh.

    The particular incident of brainwashing of L by her dad and late step-mom and the psychiatrist they brought into the situation is only one of many horrific things they did to systematically break the bond between L and I over the first 7 years of her life. Any one of them on their own would have been enough. I did talk to her dad the other night and he admitted to me that from the time she could talk it was their purpose to undermine my relationship as a parent to L, and that although he regrets it now (big whoop) he realizes that this is what has made her into such a cold and uncaring human being. He "wouldn't do it again" if he had the chance to do it over. FWIW, I told him that as they watched the next few months unfold with L having officially displaced me I hoped that they all feel bad. Yes, in those exact words because foul curses hold too much anger, and I won't give them that much power in my words. It's just a fact. They should feel bad about what the end result of their acts is, and I hope that they do.

    There are a lot of you who don't read on PE, and I know you read here. What I'd like to say to those of you who are not with your child's other biological parent is that they may or may not be a good parent to your child. I know how hard it is to watch them go off with someone whose values don't match yours. Sometimes he or she or their boy/girlfriend du jour is awful and you have to protect your children from them and we all know that there are ways to protect our children from those people without destroying the image our children have of them. I beg of you, please don't make threats to take parental rights away if there is no real threat to their well being that can't be stopped some other way. Please don't tell your children that the other parent is a "sperm donor" or an "egg supplier". You'll warp your child. Your child will wonder why it is that the only person who seems to really want them is someone who is unworthy which must make them unworthy. These children are not prizes that go to the victor, only to be paid great amounts of attention when someone else wants them. Keep it to yourself. Keep it amongst the adults in your life who are able to contribute to your child's well-being. These are not things that your child needs to hear or be aware of. Your child will know who is good to them and who is not. They don't need you to explain it to them.

    I'm saying this because I know that there have been times in the past when I have come down hard on some of you because a visitation exchange went poorly or a rule of your home was disregarded elsewhere and you spoke of taking away that other parent's rights. Please, if you really love your child, if you really want them to grow into a warm and caring adult, let the small stuff slide and deal with the big stuff amongst the adults.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Witz...that is exactly why we are trying so hard to keep everything with Keyana so above board and never say a bad word about her mother, her step-father or any of her mother's family when she is visiting us. I cant say the same for her mother or her mother's family however. I know they have told Keyana lie's about her father. They told her that her new sister wasnt her sister! Truth will win out though. Children need all the people they can have in their lives who will love them. I really believe that.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree, Witz. I read your thread on PE before but didn't respond- I'm not feeling overly welcome in some areas these days. But that's beside the point. I whole-heartedly KNOW my own family tried to undermine my efforts with my son and encourage, if not down-right cause- parental alienation. My son's father has never cared to even lay eyes on him once, much less be a part of his life or help take care of him. But I have never referred to him to my son as a horrible person, sperm donor, etc.

    I know our situations are very different but I completely agree with you that taking the high road and keeping adult conflicts as adult conversations is the way to go. Otherwise, it not only harms the relationship between kids and their parents, not only does it hurt the parents, but it seriously damages the self-identity in the kid as they are growing up.No matter how much a person might despise a bio-parent, they are still a parent of that child and unless they have honestly been unfit, they do have some rights. But more importantly, as I said before, the child knows he/she has half the genes of that person that one might be degrading so it most definitely effects their own personality and ability to trust and have relationships with people to belittle any parent in fornt of or to a child. And for whomever is dumb enough to think it's going to make a child be closer with the one doing the belittling- well I don't know- in the end the kid doesn't think too highly of them or have a good relationship with them either, in any situation I've been familiar with first-hand.

    After reading some of your posts on PE, including some details about that 1st step-mom tthat he married when your daughter was barely born, I wonder if he planned that all along. What a travesty. It wasn't you- perhaps he just was looking for an egg-donor, whether you were trying to be more or not.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Hugs}}} to you, Witz. And to L too. How heartbreaking for both of you.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Considering what you have been through I am very impressed with your outlook. All parties need to respect each other as an important and vital part of the child's life. It isn't fair to make a child feel like she has to choose, she should have the freedom to love both her parents equally.

    I am so sorry that you are so depressed about this. I hope you can get into your therapist and get a different perspective. I have a very hard time understanding how some people can sleep at night or look themselves in the mirror after the cruely they show other people.

  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    ((((Hugs)))) Witz. I haven't been in the loop, and I'm so sorry for the pain you're going through.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I can tell you that when bonehead and I decided to separate, the first thing I insisted upon was that he read a co-parenting book. It was vitally important for him to stay tuned in so our children would know that our not being together did not change the love their mother and father had for them. While he gave the co-parenting great lip service, it was left to me to assure the children that their father loved them, that he was busy working that's why he wasn't visiting, that he had client meetings on Saturday and that is why he wasn't having them over, and on and on. It was tiresome, tedious, but absolutely necessary to not defame their father when they were young.

    At 21 and 16, my kids now have discovered on their own who their mother and father really are. Certainly their father loves them, but he is not who has parented them since 2003. While he will never win father of year, he never said a negative thing to the kids about me and I never spoke of him negatively in front or within earshot of them. Now that they are older, they know the truth.

    It is much better for children to learn their own truth when they can handle it rather than the words of spite and malice that often comes with messy breakups.

    I often wondered how bonehead could go from living in the same home with the children, to never seeing them at bedtime or first thing in the morning. What a joy those years of stories at bedtime and sleepy good mornings were. They are the memories I will carry in my heart forever. Raising your children to be strong and independent means being strong and independent yourself. No one who defames the character of their children's other parent is strong -- they are weak and vindictive and eventually it will come back to bite them. Life has a way of coming full circle. Children grow into adults who cannot be deceived in the way of children.

    I'm not much of a PE reader since my difficult child is still here with me, so I'm not familiar with what has been happening with you lately. But I offer hugs for your hurt and strength for your stress.

  8. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    You are so right, Witz. I will soon be 63 and I still haven't recovered from my "mother" telling me that dad wanted to watch her have sex with dogs. She was THAT desperate to make me despise him and feel sorry for her. How do you say something like that to a 14 y.o. daughter and then take her to mass every Sunday?
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Amen, Witz, and while I gripe incessantly here about cgfg's mother and DEX's girlfriend? Never to the kiddos. In fact, cgfg is pretty down on her mom right now, and I won't allow her to say things such as "I hate her".

    When difficult child 1 was young, I made one off-hand remark while his bio was in jail. difficult child 1 has never said anything about it. He probably was too young to get it. But I still feel bad about it. I made the comment that she had a job making license plates.

    I've lost my cool once with Wee after he'd spent days carrying on about it being my fault his dad wasn't around, how I kept him from his dad, etc (the vomit the girlfriend spews). I finally lost it and told him to call his brother and ask what kind of dad they had. The example shared was when dad was outright violent to difficult child 1. The sad part is, it got thru to Wee and he hasn't brought up disney dad since.

    And I still hate that I told cgfg about child support, but I still don't know what else to have done. Her mom wouldn't let her bring her roller blades here so she could roller blade with my mom and Wee, as "mom bought them, if I need some here, dad has to buy them cause he doesn't buy me anything". It was an ongoing thing, so I finally explained dad gives mom money to pay for housing, food, clothes, etc. So he doesn't buy her 'nothing'.

    And even in our chat last night, there was some discussion nephew and his previous habit of driving drunk (heck, he still does). Cgfg's mom said she'd told cgfg when she was with nephew recently to call if nephew had been drinking, then felt the need to point out that her dad was pretty good at driving drunk back in the day, too. What point did that serve? But she does it all the time...

    Anyway, sorry...didn't mean to carry on. But yes, I don't get why people can't just get along.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Witz - you are absolutely right. There have been times I haven't been the best stepmom, and I've said things I shouldn't have. There were some horrid things that happened, but still - it does not matter, and no parent should denigrate the other, or alienate the child from the other that way.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Witz, I know you are hurting and it means a LOT that you came here to share how your experience and your ex hurt your daughter so profoundly. You are an amazing woman and L is missing so much. It would be easy to tell us how you were hurt, and instead you are trying to help us not hurt the kids in our lives. If NO other act was known to us, this would tell us ALL what a wonderful, loving and amazing mother and woman you are. I know that isn't any comfort, and that very little exists to help you through this time, and I so wish I could change this.
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. You're the greatest.:crying:There's no one else who understands the way you do.
  13. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Love and respect to you. You are a real lady.
  14. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Witz, you are an amazing woman. I try every day not to speak ill of s2bx, and I am not always successful. I actually wish he was emotionally stable enough to be a part if the kids lives.
  15. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Witz - I just pray that some day L will see the "real" situation. My kids have. I never said anything negative against their father, in fact I've tried to help them "understand" why he does things he does. However, they are now adults and can see with their own eyes how their father is. He's had the audacity to tell them that he may just have to choose between his fiance and them! He also tries to come between my son and his wife at the same time.
    When my oldest was telling me about the latest episode, I stated to him that I try to not say anything negative about their father still, and he told me "oh for goodness sake, say it - we all know he's an :censored2:"."
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Your message may help alot of family members, Witz. Thank you for reaching out to others even though you are in pain. Sure hoping you can reconnect with the woman who knows your history. Hugs DDD
  17. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ditto DDD - I recognize that through your pain you hope to help others never have to know the same pain.

  18. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Witz, I am so very sorry for the pain you are dealing with. I hope your therapist is able to see you. And I want to offer heartfelt thanks to you for sharing your insight. Your advice and guidance over the years I've been a member here have helped me to navigate some very treacherous waters with Little easy child and the toxic relationships among so many of the adults in his life. And I'm certain that I'm not the only one whom you've helped.

    Sending many hugs and much love, and keeping you in my thoughts.