He Doesn't Have a Clue...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WSM, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. WSM

    WSM New Member

    ...And doesn't want a clue either.

    So last week is difficult child's first week back from boot camp. Monday he has court. Tuesday he is home alone with my son 15. He has to stay in his room with alarms and there are cameras set up. But difficult child has torn, broken or thrown away just about everything he owns. So he has nothing to do in his room until 3 when I get home and let him go out in the backyard. So husband gives difficult child a book, one of my books. Does he asks me if I want to risk giving difficult child one of my books? No. Does he tell me he gave difficult child one of my books? No. He just gives it to difficult child because difficult child is bored and asked for it and he thought difficult child would like it.

    Thursday night my son17 goes late to the ER, advanced appendicitis. I spend most of the rest of the week at the hospital. Friday husband is running around from hospital to dentist for stepdaughter, etc... But Friday and Saturday night difficult child is not watched and gets run of the house. Today he's left alone in the family room from with stepdaughter about 9 am until I get wind of it and come home at 2 pm and husband puts him back in his room. The CPS lady would have a fit if she knew. I call my husband a sneak. He calls me controlling. He claims he was watching, difficult child and stepdaughter had a good time, nothing happened. I'm just controlling.

    If difficult child is not removed from the home there is no way in hell this marriage can survive.

    Doesn't help that Friday his brother called him and reamed him out about family issues and also criticized him for how mean he is to difficult child. I'm just another person criticizing him about his parenting. Hey, if EVERYONE is criticizing you about your parenting, then....maybe get a clue? (Of course we all criticize about different things: his family wants him to divorce me and turn over childrearing to them, I want him to clamp down on difficult child and play it straight and consistent, social services wants husband to put him in expensive hospitals and rtcs, the school wants him to be more understanding and give difficult child the benefit of the doubt).
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sweetie, I am sorry you are still in the midst of all the drama. someday you will end up seeing that he is NEVER going to buck his family and do the hard work that parenting a difficult child requires.

    Your husband knows how you feel. At some level he knows you are right. But he will ALWAYS and FOREVER blame you for whatever happens from this point on.

    Either you "made" him give up his child, or you "drove" difficult child to this stuff, or any of a million other things. Just where do you thing difficult child LEARNED that it is never his fault? He learned it from his dad.

    This entire family is so mentally ill it is scary. I have already expressed the opinion that your husband sounds as mentally ill as difficult child does.

    The only reason you are there is because he is still getting mileage out of making you the "bad guy". If the courts send difficult child to juvie or an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or difficult child ends up in boarding school or foster care it WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR FAULT IN YOUR husband'S EYES.

    I hope at some point soon you can rescue yourself and your children from this mentally ill family that does not want your help, caring, common sense, sanity or love.

    Why do you insist on staying when your husband does not even value your possessions enough to keep them away from his destructive vicious scary sociopath of a son?
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    With all respect, I agree with Susie. I would want to know if the book he gave difficult child was a real expensive one or just an old one. Many of my books are so old and worn/torn that I would just let it go. But then I know my husband is as mentally ill as my difficult child, and there are certain things I just deal with because of that. Albeit they are different things, and my difficult child is not as destructive to items as yours has been.

    I hope your situation resolves in a good way for you.
  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I totally understand how difficult it is living with someone who is clueless and really prefers that state of mind.

    What I don't understand is WHY social services isn't comming in and removing this child from the home, and forcing the issue in getting him some help before its too late to do so. Not via "jail" but via mental health.

    He has some pretty severe diagnosis's - but at the end of the day, he is a 12 year old child that deserves assistance and a warrior dad to fight to get him some. I can't even imagine a life being relagated to a room with nothing but alarms, cameras and never being let out unless someone is there to watch him.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Guys - WSM stays, because her STEPdaughter doesn't know any other mother. Stepdaughter is NOT safe with difficult child on the loose but also will never see WSM again if she just leaves. And H has already demonstrated he is not taking care of his daughter, because his son comes first.

    THAT is why WSM stays.

    That is what makes this so very messy.

    As for the book - it's a symptom of H's total inability to 'get it'. The lack of respect for WSM is shown in the total thoughtless handing over of the book.

    WSM, how long before court again? Are you counting the minutes? I do hope you quietly tell the CPS lady what you're going through here. She needs to know, if only for Stepdaughter's sake.

  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    WSM - any chance you can adopt stepdaughter???
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    WSM, I don't know what state you are in, but in some states, if a child has lived with you for a certain period of time, you have equal ground in filing for custody as a bio parent. If you have questions, PM me. I got into this extensively when DEX left and left difficult child 1 behind (he was my step-son from DEX's first marriage). Ended up neither bio bothered to come back for him, but we were ready, anyway.
  8. WSM

    WSM New Member

    I cannot adopt stepdaughter, when we divorce I will not see her again. I will have no visitation, and if he forbids me to contact her, I will be in violation of the law even if she intiates the contact.

    The book was a new $12 paperback on pirates. I like pirates.

    Social services/CPS knows how difficult child lives, has seen his room, and has made suggestions to make it harder for him to go out the window. Court is Sep 10.

    This story gets worse. After I wrote the below, I went back to the hospital to visit son17. I waited until after difficult child's regular bedtime. He showered and I stood on the front lawn and looked up at difficult child's window and saw husband standing in difficult child's door saying good night. He turned out the light. Through the living room window I saw husband come downstairs. I went to the hospital. The webcam was on.

    The first thing husband did was go to my son and yell at him, pointing fingers, waving his arms, gestulating. Then he went upstairs and got difficult child and brought him downstairs to play video games with my kids.

    I am outraged. When I got back there was a huge fight and husband tried involve my kids telling me they thought I was abusing him and they liked difficult child, and wanted to play with him. I reminded him that the CPS lady insisted that that the first priority was protecting to protect the other kids, particularly stepdaughter. CPS said specifically she was not to be alone with difficult child. husband--the ****** idiot--that he was going to call CPS and tell them it was unacceptable, he was not going to separate a sister from a brother, they had fun together.

    How fast can you say foster home for stepdaughter? Fricking idiot.

    He then tried to blame me again for difficult child's problems, and I said, "The CPS lady told me you'd turn on me. SHe told me you'd blame me."

    husband said, "You aren't to talk to her anymore. You are not the parent. You're just the stepparent. I'm going to call her up and tell her she's not to talk to you any more."

    Double fricking stupid idiot. You do that, you call up a CPS investigator and tell her whom she can and can't talk to. Yep, smart move, buddy, just go ahead and take control and tell the CPS investigator that she can't talk to someone who's in the home of a child who's well being is at risk.


    Well, tomorrow there's going to be a come to Jesus meeting. I'm telling him straight out, if he ever pulls a stunt like that again--going behind my back to mix stepson with my kids, I'll be filing for divorce with atty A.B. (his first wife's divorce attorney who ran husband through the wringer). And step one will be an adhoc request for his son's removal from the home (and his) for the safety of the other children, with a garnishment order for 1/2 the mortgage. And two will be a call to CPS to ask that they support this motion for the safety of the other kids in the family.

    Does he want me calling either Atty A.B. or CPS? Maybe he doesn't want this marriage any more, but he damn sure doesn't want it to end this way.

    Secondly, I'm going to repeat to something he's always whining about: "Everyone thinks I'm a bad parent. Everyone criticizes my parenting." Waaaaah, waaaaaah, reassure me, boo-hoo-hoo.

    Well, there's no reassurance coming from me. Yes, everyone DOES think you are a bad parent: me, your mother, your brothers, the school, CPS, the psychiatrist, the therapist, ex-therapists, neighbors, people who dislike difficult child, people who like difficult child, people who support you, people who don't support you. Everyone has a different opinion on what you are doing wrong, but we are all united in one belief: you are a poor parent. Get a clue.

    And this bad parenting has caused you to make a series of bad decisions that helped put difficult child in the position he's in. Yep, he majorly is responsible for his own predicament, but you held his hand the whole way there. The burying your head in the sand, the DRINKING, the excuses, the blaming, the flipflopping about, the changing of facts to fit your emotions rather than changing your emotions to fit the facts (which is what mentally healthy people do) all have led you to this place.

    It's likely they are going to take difficult child away from you for a while, but they are going to give him back and you are going to have a second chance to do sane reasonable GROWN UP parenting. And if you do not change your parenting style, they will take him away again, and you may not get him back, you may in fact lose them both. Forever.

    So I strongly suggest, as your best friend and staunchest supporter, that you get a clue fast.

    The come to Jesus meeting will conclude with: it's time for AA and for a therapist. You are destroying your relationships with alcohol, making dumb decisions, saying stupid things, just out of control. You will find yourself in your fifties, divorced, underemployed, without your kids, dependent upon your mommy--if you do not get on top of the drinking.

    You need a therapist, you have huge emotional baggage left over from your effed up childhood. Between the alcohol and the **** poor parenting you received, you don't have a chance at improving your life. With me in it or not. And right now, buddy, you ought to count me out.

    I'm going to invite him for a ride in the car and do it there, and I will tell him shut up straight out rude like that, which I never do, if he wants to interrupt. It's my turn to talk.

    I am just seething right now, just seething.
  9. WSM

    WSM New Member

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Let us know how it goes. I'm sure all of us are rooting for you.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    WSM - I would have that discussion in a supervised setting. You need to have a witness to help get you away from him if he flips. If you have a therapist, their office would be great.
  12. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree with JJJ. Alone in a car doesn't sound safe. Keep yourself safe at all times.
  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had no idea alcoholism was in the mix here.. actually that explains a lot re your husband's behavior. I'm not surprised he's in such denial about difficult child; denial is probably a huge part of his own life.

    Keep safe.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    WSM, I think you missed a golden opportunity. When he said he was going to call CPS to tell them to not talk to you - you should have let him. Downplay it, tell him in desperation, "Oh no, PLEASE don't do that!"

    Because you're right - any attempt to obviously limit access to CPS by people needing their support and involvement, is clear interference.

    You know - if H is as bad as this, obviously undermining ANY discipline, ANY instructions and rules (even his own) then it's no wonder difficult child is such a confused mess. It's also no wonder difficult child despises you and obviously disrespects you and anything you try to impose. He can see the chink in H's attitude and is able to easily wedge things in that chink and try to force the crack wider open. Add to this H's immediate attack on you in his attempt to duck out of his own responsibility in the bad behaviour and breaches in the rules that are obviously his own doing.

    I aalso am concerned that you are allowing H to deflect you form the real issues. You get angry (understandable) and H knows how to push your buttons. When you get angry, you play right into H's hands. Instead, you need to stay calm and stay ON TOPIC. The topic here is - you observed H saying good night and putting difficult child to bed. Then after you have gone, H gets difficult child up and lets him downstairs with the others. So if H is doing nothing wrong, why the charade with difficult child's bedtime? Was that for your benefit? If so, it's an open admission that H knowingly broke the rules you had both agreed on (rules I gather also laid down by CPS?) and did it deceitfully in a way to trick you into beleiving H was doing the right thing.

    Then he has the hide to blame you? Hey boyo, who was the one pretending here? You wonder why people call you a bad parent? It's because you send mixed messages to everyone around you and especially the kids, who NEED consistency that he is unwilling to provide.

    Whenever you openly get angry with h, you give him the internal justification to blame you and get away with it (in his own head). You make yourself the bad guy in the dispute and it then perpetuates in this "good cop, bad cop" scenario. Each time your authority gets undermined further. Not only with the kids, but with H himself. He actually believes his own rubbish that he is spouting about you.

    As for you telling him you're going to file for divorce - I'm sure he's trying to goad you into this and probably knows how you feel about access to stepdaughter. He will use this as currency with you. We already know he will use anything and anybody to get his own way and to win any argument. Who he hurts along the way - it just doesn't come into it. Which then brings us to - who is the sociopath here? The father, or the son? The son has something else wrong here (inconsistency in parenting on top of whatever else, could well be all the poor kid needs to be as unbalanced as he presents.

    Personally, all you're going to achieve by maknig the announcement you threaten - you are trying to wound him (and maybe in doing so, make him pay attention?)
    You know it won't make him pay attention for long. His capacity for self-denial, for reinventing the truth accordsing to hwat he himself can handle and how much he can get away with, will sooner rather than later overcome any nose-rubbing in the mess that you manage to achieve in the short term. And you will be then have tipped your hand. You can't unring that bell.
    I hope in saying that here, you were just venting and you're not really going to say that. It might feel very satisfying, but I think it would be a huge strageic mistake and would frankly lower you to his appalling standards.

    But speaking of his ex-wife's divorce lawyers - what do you know of his previous marital problems? I know you've mentioned things about her in the past, but short of me going back and tracking every post of yours, I'm not sure. From my recollection, difficult child's mother is unstable and has chosen to have no contact with the kids (or has had custody of the kids taken away from her).
    But who has told you this? H? Or have you seen evidence for this yourself, independently? Think - what is this man likely to say about you, after you walk out of his life? He HAS to discredit you, in order to forestall the things he KNOWS you must be saying about him (because saying bad things is what HE would do therefore he would be convinced you would be bad-mouthing him everywhere, "telling lies" and he has to counter this with his own version of events, getting in first).

    He sounds like someone who has to be in control, has to have his hand on the plough (even though he hasn't a clue how to steer). In his mind nobody else is permitted to have this control. Hence he is fighting to prevent difficult child even being put into Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Stepdaughter is not in danger of being taken away (not if she keeps her mouth shut) so he isn't so concerned for her welfare, he's putting his efforts into keeping difficult child at home and safe from the risk of being removed. All his efforts expended there. And again, he's only lurching from crisis to crisis, no long-term planning is possible for him now. Hence his attack on you for telling difficult child's lawyer about previous charges. You did the right thing for difficult child in telling the lawyer, but if you had said nothing, it actually could have sped up difficult child being taken away - it would have come out in court and the lawyer would have had a rude shock and not been as able to defend difficult child.

    H attacks you for trying to parent his kids. He is told he is a bad parent, so he has to shift that blame onto you and say YOU are the bad parent. But it's YOUR kids he's exposing to difficult child, against all agreements and orders. Whose decision is that? He gets upset with you even suggesting anything concerning difficult child, but he is making decisions on behalf of your kids (getting difficult child up to play with them in the living room after you've gone out), and getting angry with you when you call him on it.

    Some suggestions - where your own kids' welfare is concerned, stand your ground. But where difficult child is concerned, let H make his decisions as long as they don't impact anyone else but H. That is important - NOBODY else but H to be impacted by H's decisions/supervision of difficult child. So the surveillance must remain and be adhered to, because YOU need to know you are safe, you need YOUR KIDS to know they are safe. CPS is involved because there are other kids who need to be protected from difficult child. It's nothing to do with H's parenting here. This is between you and CPS on behalf of your kids.

    It will mean you having to choose your battles with H/ Don't have a go at him for inconcistency with difficult child or for the mixed messages with difficult child. But yes, for the mixed messages it sends to your kids, about keeping one's word and about clear deception of you by him, in their presence. ASnd what
    s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander - tell your kids, in H's presence, that what he did was wrong and they must feel free to tell you any time H does this again. After all, H is sending these same messages about you to HIS kids.

    But let H take full responsibility now for difficult child. Next time you're in court and information doesn't get divulged by H - say nothing. It WILL come back to bite him, hard. And he will have nobody to blame, because he has told you to keep your mouth shut. You can be sure that difficult child's previous record will be laid on the table by the prosecuting police. If difficult child's lawyer gets caught unawares because H 'forgets' to tell her, then H will be in the poo. difficult child is MORE likely to be taken away and it's getting to the stage where even a custodial sentence will be preferable to difficult child being left at home with H. Of course it won't be good for difficult child. But as things are, difficult child has zero chance of helpful, effective, consistent intervention. At least in the system he has at least a 5% chance of intervention!

    You need counselling for yourself, to help you cope. You risk becoming caught in the emotional whirlwind of manipulation and getting hooked into H's mind games and psychodrama. He attacks you, you defend yourself (and attack back) and nothing positive is achieved by anybody, for anybody. By allowing him to hook you in, you lose ground.

    You need to get some help for yourself (and maybe for stepdaughter, if you can arrange it and slip below H's radar).

    This is nasty, for everyone. H and difficult child are, I feel, beyond the ability for you to help or intervene now. So stay out. Let them wallow in their increasingly ugly mess. Salvage what can be salvaged while you are still in a position to do something sueful.

    And give some consideration to the possibility that whatever you've been told about difficult child's mother is perhaps sadly twisted, at the very least. Maybe if you could talk to her (or find someone who knows the past history to talk to you about it) then you might have an even clearer perspective (which then helps you in knowing how to save yourself from a similar slandered fate).

  15. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Ok, I did it.

    Took him in the car and took a detour on the way to get a new tire. Started out with "Do you have anything to say about last night?"

    No, he didn't. He didn't see anything wrong with what he did, no harm was done. My kids asked to play with him. He wasn't being sneaky, he just wanted to let difficult child out of his room and knew if I was around I'd not like it. No, he had no idea that I'd be upset difficult child was with my kids. He must not have heard that part yesterday afternoon he said.

    So I told him. I said the CPS lady had said that difficult child was going to take people down with him. ANd I found it an unacceptable risk; he could risk himself, he and CPS could decide whether he risked stepdaughter, but **I** decide what level of risk I was going to expose my kids to, and this was too high. I reminded husband he'd promised to protect us from difficult child and he didn't. husband said he was protecting us.

    I told him not good enough, he was sneaky and a liar and had behaved out of spite last night. And that I intended to call CPS and ask if they would support me in a petition to have difficult child removed from the home, and since that I would also petition the court to have his wage garnished for half the mortgage.

    "You can't do that unless you file for divorce." husband said. "Precisely. I intend to file. Now you tell me why I shouldn't?"

    And I laid it out, no one knows exactly how a judge would rule but if CPS recommends tgfg leaves our house because he's a danger to the other children, it was unlikely that difficult child would be put into the same house as him and stepdaughter. It seemed reasonable that either step daughter or difficult child would be in a foster home. And I said my lawyer had told me that it was reasonable to expect half the mortgage garnishment.

    husband said he'd just quit his job. Fine, I'll garnish social security (the kids get it for their mother's disability about $940 a month, his half of mortgage is $1440). He was indignant. "You would do something like that, that's the kind of a person you are taking money from children."

    (LOL, and he's the kind of person who'd quit his job so he doesn't have to pay a court order, that's the type of person he is. But he won't quit his job, he still has to support himself and two kids, and even if he goes to work for his brother, I can still garnish there...or the soc sec).

    "So is this what you want?"


    There was a lot of silence and anger. He stared out the window. Finally he volunteered that he'd keep difficult child away from my kids. I asked him why, and he was snarky, "To make you happy. We have to do everything your way, I'm under threat."

    When I mentioned that he often complained that everyone thought he was a bad parent, he denied it, he said he only said it because he sometimes gets discouraged. The CPS lady didn't think he was a bad parent, just me and his mother. Well, there's more than that, but I just said, so you just say that out of self pity. He agreed he did.

    We drove about a half hour, mostly in silence. I told him this was pretty much the last chance he had to fix the marriage. He was just silent or angry and accusing. Finally I said, "Do you have anything to offer here?"

    And he didn't. So we got the tire fixed. While we were waiting he said, "So are you going to kick out me, difficult child and stepdaughter." I told him I wasn't discussing anything in public and I'd given him a chance to say what he had to say before we got oout of the car."

    He was a bit friendlier on the way back, wanted to know what would make me happy. I said I didn't want much. A partner, someone who didn't lie and play games, who didn't throw me under the bus. Someone who wanted to stand by my side at family gatherings instead of separating me out to please his mummy and brother. Someone I could trust. This wasn't that hard.

    He wanted to argue he'd promised to stop talking badly about me to his family. Yes, he did promise that, about 2 weeks ago. He said he'd told me that he wanted me at family gatherings, but didn't think it was workable the problems with his family were so severe. Well, I wanted to be there, he wanted to be there, everyone was pleasant and civil, what was the problem--oh, his mother didn't want me there. But what did she matter, her problem.

    He said it wasn't a problem, I was making it into one. I pointed out last night, not 24 hours ago, he'd blasted me because he couldn't ever see his family without me supervising him (not true, he can see any of them individually, but if other family members are included, I'm family and I'm to be included too, not compelled to go, just invited), but he was angry last night that I had to be there too. And yet today, it was 'oh, no big deal, of course I want you with me.'

    Lots of silence, with him trying to argue about how bad I am, or controlling or whatever name calling he wanted, and finally I said, "This is pointless" and turned up the radio.

    He's been real nice to me since we got home.

    No go.

    Tomorrow when he goes to work I'll start making phone calls.
  16. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Oh...and I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but husband's computer isn't working and oddly enough difficult child was the last one on it. It can only be a coincidence, right?:surprise:
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I think this is key. I would hire her lawyer to be your lawyer and ask for him to arrange a meeting between the two of you. Maybe she is a better option for difficult child-daughter than husband is. Maybe she can get visitation and allow you to see step-daughter on her time. She may be able to open doors that you can't.
  18. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Oh no, I know absolutely that biomom is a mess. She's always calling from psychiatric hospitals (caller ID), the police have come to our door to tell us she's wandering homeless through bad neighborhoods, I've talked to her when she's been crazy and have picked up the phone when she couldn't do anything more than growl. I know her sister and have talked to her sister about her. I've met all three of her brothers and her father and stepmother.

    She lives in psychosis about 10 months of the year, one of those homeless people mumbling to herself. One time she was committed to a psychiatric hospital and was so dirty they couldn't even wash her hair and had to cut it all off.

    A.B. is a good lawyer--he almost got her 50/50 custody (scary for stepkids, but impressive lawyering).
  19. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    What about her family? Would there be anyone willing, able and appropriate for stepdaughter? Obviously husband's family (mother) would pitch a fit but I don't think a good lawyer would have any problems shooting them down.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A scary but also somewhat flippant thought - could marriage to H be bad enough to cause this?

    I didremember you had said she was unstable. I just wasn't sure if you had personally witnessed this or simply been told the Gospel according to H and his mother...

    He does sound like he's almost asking for someone to control him, even though he then kicks against it. His mother controls him (maybe because it's learned behaviour on both their parts?) and he accepts it (maybe because it's learned behaviour on both their parts, again?). His mother tries to control everything and everyone. If she gets what she wants ie control and custody of difficult child, it WILL be a mess. But of course, she will make sure that you or his mother are blamed for it, since she didn't get to the kid soon enough to rescue him. You WILL be thrown under the bus, at least in their world.

    Ironic that H would quit his job to avoid paying what he needs to, but then attacks you for your lack of responsibility to his kids (as he sees it).

    What sort of compartmentalisation must he be donig in his head, to be able to cope with such constant contradictions in his own logic?