Let the Games Begin!

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Whiteheron

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Let the Games Begin!
« on: February 16, 2018, 07:17:41 PM »
I was finally, after a year, able to move out of the house and into my new place. (YAY!!!) We had a psych eval done late last year, the results came back less than favorable for stbx. There was also a temporary custody recommendation attached.

During our last court date, the judge's clerk came out and told all of us that if we were there regarding custody, that the forensic psych eval recommendation would stand so there was no point in arguing about it. Of course, stbx tried to argue. His L shut him down as best he could. Then stbx came up with all kinds of stipulations involving activities, demanding T with DS, since that's the child he has "issues" with, school vacations, etc. I agreed to most, but put my foot down at his T demands - didn't say no, but my L put a lot of restrictions in place.

What really gets to me is that the law guardian says stbx gets too much time with the kids, as does DS's T. I've been told that the custody recommendation was likely made in an attempt to placate stbx. Gives him more time than he should have, but not so little time that he will fight tooth and nail and never sign an agreement.

Which beings me to my next point - his L rushed my L to get the agreement out...and stbx hasn't signed it yet! It's been almost two weeks! My L was initially worried stbx would use that as a way to claim I violated the order barring me from leaving the house with the kids, but he's sent enough texts to me about my moving out asafp that she says he'd have a hard time making a big deal about it.

Now that I'm mostly out of the old house, I can't help but feel uneasy about how he will behave with the kids - superdad on steroids. He will be in massive hoover mode in an attempt to sway the kids to tell the judge and law guardian they want 50/50.

This is his first weekend with the kids. The kids' first time away from me, with stbx being the only adult responsible for their care. DS told me this morning he felt sick, something he hasn't complained about since we moved to my place. DD was worried about seeing her pets and making sure stbx feels she missed him. And so I worry. I worry...what if they have a great time and he's being superdad and they fall for it and I lose time with them because of his manipulations...then I swing to, what if they need me and I'm not there...what if stbx can't control himself and the kids get scared. I'm making myself crazy.

How do you deal with this?


***I knew I was forgetting something - as soon as the kids' law guardian informed them of the custody arrangement that would be taking place, stbx left town. He had a one day meeting in a nearby city, was going to stay one night, but then one night turned into four...so instead of being there for the kids, he left. Leaving me to deal with the kids' emotional reactions to suddenly moving out of the house, and increasing the number of nights he wouldn't see the kids - initially he wasn't going to see them for five nights, because they'd be with me at my place...instead he didn't see them for nine nights. How is this an involved dad??!!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 07:40:51 PM by Whiteheron »
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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cant turn back

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Re: Let the Games Begin!
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 09:41:32 PM »
I dont think there is any way around it, you just gotta go through it.  He probably WILL be in super Hoover mode and FOTY.  You have had a solid 9 nights with them.  That is great, getting them settled, showing them life is going to go on and you guys will be fine.  You have what I can only assume is a very strong psych evaluation.  The kids have their therapy.  I would just take copious notes, ie after Court he didnt see them for 9 nights, etc.
But yes, it is awful when they are away with the STBXH.  Wondering how they will be when they get back.  I have noticed the 24 hours following return of DD14 from STBXHs house she is a little tense and standoffish.  I just try to give her space, she typically bounces back the next day. 
It does seem that with every forward  step there are new things to worry about.  But the quiet peacefulness and absence of eggshells in having your own place is truly remarkable.
 :fireworks:

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redfish

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Re: Let the Games Begin!
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 05:59:55 PM »
Congrats on finally having your own place! That's awesome, I'm so happy for you and your family :-D . What a relief!
Your ex will probably keep doing what he has been- foty for a while, then neglectful, then foty, and so on and so forth. That's gotta be horrible for the kids and it will probably desensitize them after a while, if they aren't headed that way yet.
I'd say keep documenting everything. I'm crazy about documenting :p Kids are smart, I don't think they'll fall for all (hopefully none) his manipulation, especially if he continues the way he has and can refute anything he tries to twist by showing supporting texts/voicemails, etc when you absolutely have to.
I bet you and your kids are going to do so much better and grow even closer now that you have your own space :-)
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MoreFromLife

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Re: Let the Games Begin!
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 04:00:21 AM »
Keep busy!

I can't really read or watch TV when kids aren't here so I either try to see friends, walk the dog, clean out cupboards- anything that stops me sitting still.

And I try to enjoy the peace and quiet. The irony is I craved solitude and peace for so long, now that I have it so often I don't like it!

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MaxPlanck

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Re: Let the Games Begin!
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 02:01:08 PM »
Good for you on making progress. It's very hard when your kids are away, and especially with someone you can't trust, even though they are their biological parent. When things got bad with uBPDxw while DS was with her, I had to make all kinds of contingency plans for him (e.g., a friend's house he could go to if she lost control, checking in with me by test). Having him across the country, where it would take me a day to get there in an emergency that seemed likely to happen, was very hard.

Hopefully, things will be fairly normal, and you will get accustomed to the new arrangement. Keep taking notes, and know that he will likely tire of the whole FOTY thing. Once things settle down, he will probably start to lose interest. My XW did; she has no contact with the kids now and barely tried to keep in touch, even in the beginning. That hurts, too (seeing them abandoned by their mother), but at least there is less conflict and things are more stable for the kids.

You will get there, too.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Let the Games Begin!
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 02:51:40 PM »
Thanks everyone for your kind words and words of support and encouragement!

I did make plans with friends, and carried through, even though I could tell I was coming down with a cold (same one kids have had over the last week or so). Got much worse, so I was able to nap ad binge watch a few shows on Netflix. It was nice and relaxing. although I didn't get nearly as much done as I had wanted to.

DD seemed ok - very upset I wasn't there on the first night, but then was distracted by stbx's constant attention and seemed to be having fun. DS didn't have such a good time. Couldn't sleep, felt sick, was ignored (I received several texts from him telling me he was all alone - stbx and DD had gone off and left him - still at the house, but out somewhere in the yard (100+ acres). He even sent me a text that said "I really need help"  :blink: I didn't know what to do. Turns out he just felt sick and stbx was doing nothing to help - stbx was too preoccupied with charming DD to worry about DS.

Kind of funny (in a PD way) that stbx claims to want to repair the damaged relationship with DS, but then spends all weekend doting on DD and ignoring DS.  :roll:

I don't know what to tell them to do if they really need help. There are no neighbors, nowhere for them to go if needed. They can text me...if it seems serious I can call the police. Not sure if I'm "allowed" to drive out to get them. Good points I'll have to bring up to my lawyer.

I have both kids back with me right now, and they seem happy, smiling and playing together. I wasn't sure what to expect.

This was only a partial weekend with stbx, on the advice of the GAL, the kids are being eased into spending time with him. I'm not sure DS can handle the full 'weekend' (the one night a week buts right up against the weekend visitation - 5 nights in a row).
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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MaxPlanck

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Re: Let the Games Begin!
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 05:34:25 PM »

I don't know what to tell them to do if they really need help. There are no neighbors, nowhere for them to go if needed. They can text me...if it seems serious I can call the police. Not sure if I'm "allowed" to drive out to get them. Good points I'll have to bring up to my lawyer.

I have both kids back with me right now, and they seem happy, smiling and playing together. I wasn't sure what to expect.

This was only a partial weekend with stbx, on the advice of the GAL, the kids are being eased into spending time with him. I'm not sure DS can handle the full 'weekend' (the one night a week buts right up against the weekend visitation - 5 nights in a row).

Having no resources to call upon makes it much harder. I felt the same way. I had to rely on families of DS's friends, whom I had never even met; only other person within driving distance was exMIL, whom I could not rely upon to go against her daughter (XW) to protect her grandson(DS), if it came to that. I had to tell him to call police, if he had to. I was legitimately concerned about her getting out of control in a rage and physically attacking him (she often kicked the dogs and had attacked me a few times). At the same time, I did not want to scare DS about what could happen. I never knew where to find the balance.

Definitely ask your lawyer about this; he/she may have some ideas for you, based on their experiences. When it comes down to it, you may have to decide that you must violate the agreement and deal with the consequences later, if that's what it takes to protect your kids certainly not something I would do lightly or recommend.

Glad things went fairly well, and I think your GAL is spot on about easing into it.

Chalk up a small victory (sometimes just getting through something is victory enough), and prepare yourself for the next times!

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Medowynd

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Re: Let the Games Begin!
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 03:26:31 AM »
Be prepared for the time your DS says that he doesn't want to visit his dad.  My daughter was 11 when she said that she would no longer visit her PDdad on a regular basis.  I told the ex that it was on him to build a relationship, I would no longer force her to visit him.  Fortunately, he was distracted by his latest wife.  So glad to hear you are finally out of that mess.  I admire your steadfastness.  I don't know if I could have done it.