This court battle is making him sick

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOutThere, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He called telling me he was so sick yesterday he couldn't even stand up, thought he was dehydrated and shook. He had his son. He didn't want his son to know.

    Bart is only 40. He has been brought to court by his ex three times as she tries to take his custody away in any way she can. She even moved and is now fighting over school. Judges won't pull kids out of school, but she uses this as a reason to go for legal custody. My son values having 50% legal custody very much.

    Until now Son was not losing anything. Now his Judge, because the two of them can't "compromise" (son DOES try to compromise, but she won't so he is blamed too) appointed something called a parental coordinator who has some legal power. She is the first legal professional who is blatantly siding 100% with the ex. Son feels helpless and hopeless and is afraid he will lose legal custody. Ex makes decisions for their son that he feels are inappropriate and they are. Grandson hates going to ex when he has to. But this is about my son, who loves his son more than life itself but who is difficult.

    He won't, claims he can't, get therapy. And when he is very sick, like yesterday, he doesn't see a doctor. At 40 he has sky high blood pressure. This does NOT run in the family. At 64, mine is still low. Maybe bio Dad? I think he already has high cholestral. He has stomach issues that are daily. He can't eat. He can't sleep. Anxiety is making him sick, like a 60 year old in bad shape. He is more hyper since this parental coordinator has been appointed. He has never taken ex to court for any sort of custody. He just wants 50/50, like it is.

    His lawyer told him that ex is rare and very disturbed and to expect himself to be in court until his child is eighteen. Lawyer thinks she won't stop.

    I agree, although I don't think his lawyer is trying very hard. Yet he is such a good lawyer that other lawyers and judges hire him. He probably tries harder for his friends. Or maybe this is all he can do.

    My son is a mess. Of course there is nothing I can do. And Son doesn't do what is most important...go to mental health professionals and his regular doctor. He does take his blood pressure medications.

    I am both very sad for my son and very exasperated and, if I am being honest, tired of him asking me to make decisions for him about how to handle ex, considering the new changes in the parenting plan. I don't want to make decisions for him, no matter how frazzled he is. I don't want to be his only support. I want out, I want out, I want out! Yet I feel badly because he didn't ask for these crazy lawsuits. So I have been close to telling him that I can no longer do this, but I can never get the words out. They seem so cold. He calls and sounds so rips at me.

    Any way, it will continue. My hope is that he can find a girlfriend to lean on for a while. I want a break and girlfriends sometimes help until they get tired of hearing about his troubles and they leave. And then back to me. And, trust me, he basically doesn't like my suggestions, but that doesn't stop him from asking me what he should do.

    Three other kids I have, one autistic, and not one even close to being so needy and unwilling to get help for himself. They are go getters. They seek help, and do for themselves. They ask for advice but often take it. They are much younger than Bart. They are all more well adjusted by a long shot. I hate to compare. It is impossible not to.

    I am angry at me for not telling him I can no longer help with the lawsuit (s). Seems too cruel. I just can't do it.

    Thanks for listening.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    What a predicament SWOT.
    Sending a big cyber Hug your way.
  3. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    SWOT, Maybe send him an email just to keep in touch but not let him drain you over the phone. I had to cut all phone talks with my daughter because she drained my soul dry. It has helped settle me. I actually feel better not talking on the phone with her. It always felt as if she had a plug that she would plug into me over the phone for no other reason than to suck my life force. Do not answer your phone. Good luck with all this, I know it is hard.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip. I pick and chose when to talk and if he gets abusive I end the call. But I don't have the heart to just leave. This whole mess is not his fault. He didn't start it, didn't even want a divorce. I feel more at peace lf I do my best when I am up to it. I don't always feel able. And I can't help him...i know that. He won't do the things that could make things easier. And some days it gets to me, like today. But I can usually busy myself and blow it off after a while.

    It helps that he lives far away and can't just pop in on me. That would be horrible...I do t think my husband could handle him dropping by. I couldn't blame husband.
  5. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    He is your son in the end and you love him it will be nice if interactions with him will be nice but you do not choose your family you just have to breathe and continue loving him and keep contact to him and forgive him.
    Any other person that is not part of your family does not deserve this but he is and its my personal opinion that we have to have far more tolerance for our family far far more.
    Find ways to recharge if you do not have ways already. Take the sugar you get from others sides to recharge for the sour your son gives you.
    We have to take the suffering also that is what I mean.
  6. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    So sorry to hear this. How it can drain you so. I relate so well since my Difficult Child son had marital problems (granted, many exacerbated by his Difficult Child issues) and it led to divorce. (The ex-wife was not so nice and quite vindictive to him, which in turn spurred my son go down more quickly.) Son also had no one else to talk to but me. I felt the same way as you are stating here -- I didn’t know if he was just venting or fishing for advice from me on how to handle it. And all the while he was having his own issues to. Wife was demanding everything. But son stood his ground for 50-50 legal custody at least. That was the one thing he wanted to keep, since he was losing most everything else about the kids.

    My son is not in a place to be able to care for or support his kids at all (he can barely support himself), and he knows it. He sees his 2 kids now and then for a day, when they stay with me two weekends a month. They are always glad to be together and he understands he is not is a position to do more with them. But the 50-50 legal custody is the one thing he holds on to.

    I do hope it works out for Bart. I believe the emotional issues do take a real toll physiologically on a persons health. But I know you dread to hear of his problems with the ex and asking you how to handle it - ugh ugh. Don't let it get you down too bad. It is just so hard when we feel that we are their only support. ( I still feel this now.) And like you, I wish I had a way out. All the detachment learning here is helping me to stay out of the marital and ex marital battles also.

    Take care. Vent all you want. We understand and stick with you.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    He has to learn to save himself first to save his son...that is why you put on your oxygen mask before you help others.

    I hope he realizes how important self care is... Ksm
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. True. He doesn't practice self care.
  9. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    This is all he can do. SWOT, maybe I'm prejudiced, but lawyers get a bad rap. Even good lawyers can't win them all. A good lawyer does his level best for his client and truly wants what is best for them...but you can't win them all...and when you don't win, then people assume it's the lawyer's fault in some way when it often just isn't. I believe you when you say she's a bad mom and Bart's a great dad...but you only hear Bart's side of this and maybe there is a reason that the parent coordinator seems to be leaning toward the mom? Maybe she isn't seeing what you see in the mom...but maybe she is also seeing something you aren't seeing in Bart? It's very hard to tell because there are two sides to every story and usually the truth is somewhere in the middle. In most cases I've found that if neither side is happy, it's probably the fairest outcome possible. In every single case, there is a winner and a loser. Sadly, in child-related domestic cases, the only real loser is often the kid.

    This is the worst part. You are not a therapist. You can't help him cope. It's unfair of him to expect so much of you when he won't seek professional help...if not for himself then for his son. His lack of coping skills has to leak over into his whole life and that can't be good for anyone!

    Of course you can't...and I'm so sorry for you. He's put you in just an awful spot. And you can say, "I wish I could help, but I'm not a lawyer, I don't know what would be best, so all I can do is listen and pray." and from what you've said, he'll just be nasty to you.

    All of us wishing we could help you...all we can do is listen and pray as well.
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  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Lil

    I have no idea what parental coordinator sees. Not much, as she has only seen both for an hour. She is the only one who who has not been 50/50 in decision. I am not her. I can't guess her thinking. And I am tired of trying to do so with Bart. I am not a mindreader. And I don't think she is a big, bad wolf who means harm.

    I am dead exhausted from playing therapist and am taking a few days off. From his expectations of me. I can't be his mother, his lawyer, his therapist, his psychic regarding the future, etc.

    I have told him "I can't know what is next. I am not a lawyer." He says "so do you think *I* am?"
    This goes on and on. "I am not a thetapist." "Do you think *i* am???"
    An answer for everything but no move to go to real professionals who may be helpful.
    This probably is not as awful as drug addiction, but I think this anxiety can kill him, just like drugs can.
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Bless your heart. The answer of course is, "I know you aren't, but there ARE lawyers and there ARE therapists and THEY are who you have to talk to because THEY are the ones that can help you find the answers you want!"

    Which will get you no where fast with Bart it seems. :(

    I wish I knew of some way to help.

    You are right, whoever this "parent coordinator" is, I'm sure that she has Jr.'s best interest at heart. But she's probably seeing that these two can't agree. They can't agree which school is best, they can't agree on what activities he should be in, they simply can't and when that is the case one of them has to be in charge of the basic decisions like that. I'm not going to tell you that people don't tend to look to the mom seems to be human nature. Maybe she sees a house, husband and sibling and therefore a more stable place than a single dad in an apartment. Maybe she thinks the new school is "better" or that mom's desire to put him in sports/scouts/clubs is better for him (I don't know what either think of extracurricular activities, that's a for-instance). SO many things could enter into it.

    But on the up side, they don't need 50/50 LEGAL custody to have 50/50 PHYSICAL custody. They could keep even week to week, with the decision making with one or the other about schools, etc. Not ideal. Takes some bending on the part of the one without legal custody. But it's better than every other weekend and alternating holidays and 6 weeks in the summer - "standard" visitation.

    Hang in there SWOT. No matter what happens, he'll still be Jr's dad. He'll still have his love and his affection and he'll still have time with him, maybe less or more than he wants, but that is life when a relationship ends.

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Wow..same with me and my 22 yr old son...." I stopped talking on the phone" My blood felt totally drained after the call and my body numb...they are energy zappers ! I only take his text or emails and maybe once a month it's a quick phone call I may take and if it gets negative, I say " let's talk positive , or I have to go" seems cold and distant, but better than before, listening to a million problems and they don't even take our suggestions? So what was the point?
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    THEY vent and feel temporarily better. Until next time,

    WE don't care as well.
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  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    by the way, I call him an energy vampire. Called twice today and I could not answer.I need a rest from the circular babble. I took care of ME today...bubble bath, walk, meditation, TV with dogs. I have three late nights of work starting tomorrow and I deserve to be lazy today lol. (Bart tires me out more than three seven hour nights running in restaurant from 5 to This is the truth too.
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  15. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Suck the life right out of you!
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You bet. More like a vacuum cleaner though!

    I know this does not sound as serious as drug addiction. It's not. me, this could kill him just like drugs. He is never calm, overly obsessed, very high blood pressure at 40, high cholestral, suicidal at times, a walking heart attack. He eats horribly and doesnt exercise. And he is not a happy man. And at 40, he is a full grown man, middle age. He is not changing anytime soon.

    Sometimes I wonder why I don't cut him to one day a week. Honestly, my own mother hated me and was never there for me and it broke my heart. I can't go that far. I am no longer sad about my mother, but I don't have it in me to make him feel like I felt. I do often hold the phone from my ear when we talk and I limit time.

    But I will never cut him off unless he is a physical threat to me or a thief and he isn't. So I soldier on and enjoy life between his tiring calls.

    It is a great relief to know he has to stay in Missouri because of his son. He would never leave his son.

    by the way for ten years of his life, during his entire marriage, I barely heard from him. His wife also kept grandson from our family. Bart didn't try to get her to let us know this grandchild. He went along with her...i spoke to him maybe once a month. Any time our family visited them to see my grandson, ex whisked baby rudely out of the house without an explanation. Funny thing is, she didnt like HER family either! She ran off to friends homes, Bart told me.

    A few times she called me to swear at me about really odd things and Bart was fine with it. Again, "she is my wife."

    So he did not really talk to me much until ex ran off with her man during their marriage, leaving him alone with a three year old son and no forwarding address for a full month. THEN the calls began in a frenzy.

    I never did get that attached to grandson. He is like a stranger. I have seen him maybe six times and he used to live in Chicago so I could have easily seen him. I lived in Chicago too at the time. But we were rarely invited and ex never wanted to see us, so we saw none of them. And got used to, say, holidays with my husband and three other kids. We enjoyed our holidays and family visits without Bart, ex, and Grandson. They were not part of us.

    Now, in 2017, Bart gets angry that I always see am off to see my granddaughter. Well, guess what! I have seen and known her from Day One. She loves Grammy. Grammy loves her. You can't feel close to a child you don't know. And Bart will not drive to Chicago. I am not sure Grandson even knows who Sonic, Princess and Jumper are. I think Bart wants ME to keep running to St. Louis partly to keep grandson from knowing he has aunts and an uncle. Although my other kids don't like him (and he knows it and it is due to his behavior) all of them would be loving and awesome to his son and cordial to him. It would benefit Grandson to know my hub, me, his amazing aunts and sweet uncle. But he only knows about me and Bart' s father. I think Bart is rmbarassed at how he abused Princess so he keeps away from all his siblings, but who knows? He doesn't like to discuss it.

    It's a mess with him. No wonder HE is a mess. It's like I have two families. I have a normal, loving family and separately there is him.

    Well, I am sorry for whining. I am done. Thanks for "listening."
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  17. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Vent away SWOT. It is the only thing that keeps us sane sometimes. Your a loving mother with a good heart.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I think I need to hear that. I sometimes feel like a sucker. My other kids don't get why I still talk to him.

    I think we are all loving mothers here. You are the best. I hope things go well in rehab for your son.
  19. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Man oh man. The term roller coaster has taken on a whole new meaning these past few months. Sunday my son what off his nut, attempting to extort money from us. Trying to live in the Normal realm while he is in the upside down realm. We did not budge on the no and behave yourself or else. Since then he has been calm and compliant and today very affectionate. Up and down and around we go.

    You still talk to Bart because he is your son. That what mothers do.

    Rehab .....still waiting. It’s so frustrating.
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Vent away SWOT...any time, all day long. We're here for you!

    I can't help but feel that Bart's very solitary ways are a part of the problem with his court case. It does generally earn you points, so to speak, if you have a support structure in place for the child, extended family and friends, etc. In this, he may be his own worst enemy.