Projection?

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Whiteheron

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Projection?
« on: August 14, 2018, 08:38:59 PM »
Had a court appearance today, not custody related. My L tells me that as soon as stbx's L sits down he starts going on and on about stbx requiring 50/50 custody. My L tells him they are not here to discuss custody, that has already been discussed at the last appearance.

Not sure how it comes up, but stbx's L also tells everyone (L's, stenographer and the clerk, no judge today) that DS's mental state is deteriorating. I guess this is why he needs 50% custody? As in he's the expert and better equipped to help DS through this?? I don't know. His L went on to describe schizophrenic symptoms that DS is allegedly having.

Funny that after DS's T session yesterday his T was happy with how he was doing and reported lower stress, less anxiety, etc (we'd just gotten back from a very relaxing vacation).

I'm wondering if stbx is projecting his issues onto DS? Wouldn't be the first time.
He's already suggesting to DS that DS is mentally ill (just like him). I'm at a loss. According to my L, the 'proof' I have isn't enough. She said it's very strange, but that he doesn't come right out and say it, therefore it's not helpful.

I guess I'm just venting. I don't know what to do anymore. stbx doesn't care about the well-being of our son. He just wants a buddy, someone to be just like him. If DS is damaged in the process, oh well.  :'( >:(

Has anyone had to deal with something similar? What can I do?
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athene1399

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Re: Projection?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 09:26:51 AM »
Can you have DS's T tell the court that he is doing better in therapy? And how old is DS? Early onset of Schizophrenia (in children) is not common. But what are the supposed symptoms? I would track DS's behavior when you have him. If they are trying to say he has schizophrenia, both of you would see it, where if it's just happening at your ex's, something else is going on there. But leave that to the T to discuss in court if he/she will come in to talk about that.

And I would focus on how DS is doing. If he is improving, focus on that. Like tell the court, "Regardless of if my son has or does not have this disorder, his T tells me that he is doing much better and is improving greatly. I suggest we keep custody as it is for this reason." Or something like that. Neither you or your ex are therapists, so focus on what you are qualified to prove. If your ex feels he is "certified" to tell the judge that DS has this disorder, that's his problem. So instead of fighting in court if DS has or doesn't have this disorder, focus on how well he is adjusting. You are helping him currently, so why change the custody arrangement?

Worry about DS's mental health with his T. I woudln't try to fight it in court. As long as DS is getting better (lower stress and less anxiety), then that's all the court needs to know. If you can't prove that your ex is projecting his symptoms on DS then don't. Just show how regardless of his "mental health issue" that DS is flourishing under your care since he's been seeing that T (or whatever else you are doing to support him through this).

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Whiteheron

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Re: Projection?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 09:48:37 AM »
Thanks athene. That helps a lot. I will speak to DS's T, hopefully this week. My L is the one who used the term schizophrenia, because stbx's L told the room that DS14's mental state was deteriorating and that he was having hallucinations. I told my L that stbx needs DS to be just like him, a "we're in this together" kind of thing. L looks at me and says stbx is bipolar, why isn't he telling everyone DS has bipolar symptoms, why is he telling everyone DS is exhibiting schizophrenic symptoms? I told her that it's unlikely stbx is actually bipolar, that after one on his breakdowns he admitted to visual and auditory hallucinations. I also told her that stbx had said to me that if anyone actually knew what was going on in his head that they would lock him up. I admitted that I didn't know if this was a moment of honesty or if he was trying to scare me.

DS has improved greatly since we moved out. The only panic attack he had was while on vacation with stbx. Other than that, some test/school anxiety and that's about it. He's still a little depressed, but with all those teenage hormones and stress from his dad, I'm not surprised.

The thing with the "hallucinations" - DS started having them right after he attended Paranormal Camp one summer. He never told stbx about this, he did tell me and his T...I had also told his T that they started right after this particular camp (my L is also aware). I firmly believe that DS is talking to stbx about this because he finally has his dad's undivided attention after years of being ignored. DS will talk for 30 minutes, in great detail, about something he glimpsed out of the corner of his eye...He's a great storyteller. The creepier, the better. I keep telling him he needs to write these down to use for future writing assignments.
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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athene1399

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Re: Projection?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 10:56:06 AM »
Hallucinations could be a symptom of a lot of things, and not just schizophrenia. People with bipolar I sometimes get them with the manic phase (so that could be why your stbx has that symptom as well). The manic phase of Bipolar I sometimes brings on psychotic symptoms (delusions/hallucinations). It almost sounds like DS got scared at camp and thinks he's seeing ghosts out of the corner of his eye (who doesn't see things out of the corner of their eye? the camp may have activated his imagination to think it is ghosts or whatever, and stbx now has "something" in common with him). But I also agree with you that this is DS's way of bonding with dad. Maybe tell DS that he shouldn't have to exaggerate who he is to get dad's attention, and that you like him just the way he is. Without putting it that way. You may have to just talk generally about being yourself and not trying to be someone else to get someone to like you. Teens struggle with acceptance, so this could be making things more difficult with your situation (and how DS has found a way to get stbx's attention/acceptance).

Does T have anything to say bout the hallucinations? Or is the main focus the depression/anxiety?

But like I said, if DS is doing better, focus on that when in court. :) I'm glad he's improving!

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Whiteheron

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Re: Projection?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 10:34:46 PM »
stbx has been diagnosed bipolar II.

I spoke with DS's T yesterday. She told me she didn't believe DS was ever having real hallucinations. Does DS believe he saw some creepy things out of the corner of his eye? Yes. Is it a symptom on mental illness? Absolutely not.

She also went on to reiterate that DS is in no way mentally ill, that stbx does not have a degree in psychology and should not be making any diagnoses (but since he's familiar with mental illness, he feel he's an expert  :roll:), and most importantly, she reminded me that DS has a team of people looking after him who are capable of diagnosing a mental illness, should it arise. He's been through a psych evaluation by the top evaluator in our state, he has regular med check visits with his pediatrician, who's known him for over ten years, and he has his T.

DS's T also told me that the more noise stbx makes around this issue the crazier he's going to look. Why doesn't my L tell me things like this? Anyways, I felt much better after talking to her. Although I told her my main concern was that this would cause damage to DS and that I can't protect him from it. She agreed but then told me that DS was a smart boy and he'd figure it out on his own.

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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Whiteheron

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Re: Projection?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 10:41:10 PM »
Also...I was reading through the latest batsh!t thread and it occurred to me: what if stbx is trying to set this up so that there's something "wrong" with DS just so he can be the one to swoop in and rescue him?

He grew up needing to "rescue" his "disabled" sister on a regular basis, so he's been groomed towards this kind of behavior since he was a young boy. Almost like he doesn't know how to be unless he's monitoring what's wrong with one of us.

For years he insisted DS had a kidney disorder because during one of my ultrasounds the technician mentioned something offhand about one of the kidneys. Even though the nurse said the baby was likely positioned in a way that the technician couldn't get a good view...still, years later if DS became sick or didn't act "right", stbx would insist there was a kidney issue.  :roll: As if he needs one of the kids to have a chronic issue.

I feel like I'm grasping at straws though. I just don't know.
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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athene1399

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Re: Projection?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 12:46:11 PM »
WH,

I think that is great news from DS's T.  :) But yeah...that is annoying that you got better advice from the T than the L.

It could be either/or (for motivation of why your ex is saying this about DS). He could be trying to play the "hero", or just wants something in common with DS. Either way it is not right. We have both issues with our BM. She has to show what a great parent she is by saying how not only does she deal with an immune disorder, her daughter does too (Even though she doesn't have one). So it's something they have in common (in her mind, not in reality), and she's a "better" parent by having to deal with this.   :blink: She's very attention seeking though, not sure about your ex.

But it sounds like if the T continues to help DS, hopefully he'll realize he doesn't have to pretend to hallucinate around dad. I would continue to note every time your ex says something about it though, so later (if needed) you can say "Dad keeps bringing this up as if DS has been diagnosed, but per the T there is no problem." It could help to reiterate ex's desire to have something "wrong" with DS (even if you don't say so exactly, but I would hope a judge could connect the dots).