The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule

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Jumpy

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The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« on: February 06, 2019, 01:00:29 PM »
So I decided to jump here from the welcome mat. Here is my intro for anyone interested:

https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=78131.0

The details are there, but here is the very brief summary – my uPPDw has kind of shut her life down because lots of people are out to get her. There has been a price for her, my kids and me. I struggle and worry. She told me, recently, she was going to get a lawyer to put a stop to all the attacks.

Last night she told me that she met with a Crime Victims Advocate, and it sounds like she will work with my wife’s case.

The whole thing sounds like:
a)   A great way to blow a lot of money
b)   A great way to pick fights with decent people and make enemies.
c)   A great distraction from the real mental health issue.

As frustrating as I find it, somehow, I kept my cool and reminded myself of the Clean Up Rule (from the toolbox), and that this was her stuff, not my stuff. I was chill and thanked her for telling me. I suspect that this will be a mess, and I will be in it to some extent, but not last night. After the discussion, she tucked the kids in, and I went for a long walk. At no point did I actually feel angry. It felt like a huge step.

That said, I feel this path will not be positive and I am strapped in for the ride. It should be interesting.

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openskyblue

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 01:35:33 PM »
So...are there really people attacking your wife, or is this the interpretation she gets through the lens of her PPD?  If it's the latter, I would predict that the crime victims advocate will likely catch on to that fairly quickly. The advocate may also caution your wife to not bring spurious charges against others, something that the court system does not look kindly on.

It sound like the power of your wife's paranoia has tremendous control of your family life. This must be very difficult to cope with.

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coyote

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 03:18:15 PM »
Wow Jumpy, so sorry to hear this. Not sure sometimes if my W is truly PPD or she just picked up a lot of fleas from FOO. My dealings have mostly been around accusations of cheating on her. Nothing like you are dealing with. I do agree with your course of action. Keep us up to date. I hope you don't get caught too much in the middle.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
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The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been. -Marcus Aurelius

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 04:54:29 PM »
I have some experience with this although my ex is BPD, not PPD.
She exhibits a lot of paranoid and narcissistic traits as well, but BPD is the main one.
One psychologist described her as just "Cluster B" personality disorder and another said Borderline.

She believed that everyone at her workplace was out to get her.  Up to the point she believed that they would come to our home to attack her or our children.
At her workplace she had an independent internal investigation launched against her supervisor and human resources department.  Not surprisingly they found most of her claims to be false and placed some of the accountability on her for her disruptive behavior.
This only fueled her theories that everyone was out to get her, as she now believed that the parties doing the investigation were against her too.

So then she went to the human rights commission and claimed discrimination against her disabilities.
They were very understanding and empathetic towards her struggles but in the end they didn't find anything.
And of course this made it even harder for her because now she thought that everyone was retaliating against her for initiating a human rights investigation.

In the end she went off work and onto disability because of her mental and physical illness which she claimed was caused by her employer.

She did look into getting legal representation in her fight against her employer and also talked about taking her story to news agencies in order to get vindication.
She never did launch legal action, I was able to talk her out of it.

She also believed that people held grudges against her for years and would do things just to get back at her.
One of the things was friends sent us a Christmas card that she thought was tailored for the purpose of "sticking it to her" for something that happened 14 years ago and was only a problem in her mind in the first place.
Or social media jokes shared by friends that she thought were actually "masterminded" by her ex employer intended to target and intimidate her.

Your outlook on this is good, hopefully it doesn't cause too much disruption in your life.

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openskyblue

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 12:12:04 PM »
I think I stopped breathing about halfway through your post. How do you cope with the uncontrolled paranoia that your wife seems to have? I can only imagine that it must be incredibly exhausting.

As an aside, my exhusband (sociopath/NPD) would cook up stories about how someone was out to get him, disloyal, untrustworthy, probably breaking the law, etc. He used these accusations (in private and more publicly) to smear others and/or triangulate colleagues and family members in order to get the upper hand in relationships. It was never clear how much of this he believed or just used as manipulation. Nevertheless, his paranoid accusations made me paranoid and unsure of who I could trust for years. I lost some good friends to that.

I say this, while I was dealing with a somewhat different situation, I can appreciate how invasive a skewed, paranoid worldview of one's spouse can really upend your way of seeing the world. How do you deal with it?

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1footouttadefog

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 12:35:27 PM »
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  This sounds like it will get messy.

Perhaps you can adjust your finances to a more defensive position to protect them.

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Jumpy

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 02:53:25 PM »
So...are there really people attacking your wife, or is this the interpretation she gets through the lens of her PPD? 

Well, its the latter, but yes her paranoia has tremendous control over our family. How do I deal with it? Poorly. But improving. Each time I keep my emotions more in check, I am more proud of myself. The therapy has helped. Frankly, for whatever reason, this issue with the lawyer doesn't bother me so much, because she is at least trying to change the situation, and it really doesn't involve me or the kids (yet.).

We discussed how my one child's C grade in 2nd grade is due to the teacher being out to get him, and that we need to deal with it. That really stresses me out. The last time, (a year ago) I went with her to the principal as she demanded things to change the issues around my 1st grader. It was quite stressful. I've already decided that I'm not doing it again in this case. That will be a stressful conversation with the w but I'm not doing it. It will be interesting to see if she does it anyway.


I think I stopped breathing about halfway through your post. How do you cope with the uncontrolled paranoia that your wife seems to have?
So how do I deal with it? Here is the list from another post I just did:

1) meditation
2) increase in exercise (still not a lot, but more)
3) social interaction with mentally healthy people
4) Therapy
5) me time - I have made a point of a couple of nights a week staying up and watching a relatively mindless TV show by myself.
6) medicine - as I mention in my posts here, I asked for and received a mild sedative for when it is really bad. I've used it twice in the last two weeks and it seemed to help.
7) This site. It's hard to say why exactly, but the support and the wisdom, help me to feel less stressed.
8) Sufficient sleep

Frankly, it is not enough. I've struggled with blood pressure for a while, and recently have been having heart issues. You cannot draw a straight line from my health issues to the stressful situation at home, but I believe it is pretty well understood that stress really harms your health. I worry a lot. Top of mind - I cannot die. The kids cannot be raised by just their mom. It's a pretty compelling reason to take care of myself.

In addition, my work is suffering. I spend a lot of mental energy on the issue at home, and it is really hard to turn it off.



I can only imagine that it must be incredibly exhausting.

Yep. It is exhausting and it is causing damage. God knows the effects on my children. The status quo cannot continue, but the path forward is not clear.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 02:57:33 PM by Jumpy »

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openskyblue

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 04:54:54 PM »
This all seems hard, but the issues/interactions with your kids' school life has potential to snowball in ways that might not be apparent now, but you might want to start preparing for. If you wife is making it a habit to go to school conferences loaded for bear about how the teacher or principal has it out for your kids, well, that isn't good for your kids. Over time, if it hasn't happened already, the school administration and teachers will distance themselves from your family. This isn't good for kids - especially when they need extra help or there's a conflict to be sorted out.

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Jumpy

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2019, 06:59:22 PM »
If you wife is making it a habit to go to school conferences loaded for bear about how the teacher or principal has it out for your kids, well, that isn't good for your kids.

Well, it happened today. There was a second grade event today where parents come in to admire their kids' work. It is a celebration. I walked in a little late, and the teacher immediately came up to me and apologized to me, saying that my wife is pretty upset, and that she was very sorry if there was a mix up. I really didn't know what she was talking about, but obviously I know my wife.

As it turns out, my wife thinks the teacher presented work that wasn't our son's as part of a twisted plot to harm him. Someone had very carefully tried to mimic my son's handwriting but made it slightly sloppier, and with some spelling mistakes. She apparently went straight to the principal to complain about the pattern of abuse. What a mess. What should have been a celebration of these kids' efforts was a scene, and as stressful as it sounds.

I suspect there will be a meeting with the teacher and the principal next week. I am currently stressed to the max on this. Frankly, I don't know if I should skip the meeting, go and say nothing, go and openly disagree with my wife, or something else. I don't know what to do this weekend. God this is hard and I welcome any advice.

My w knows I don't see it the way she sees it. When I disagree with her on these things, it comes back to how I am unsupportive of her. On some level, this is obviously true. I don't support the idea that the school is out to get our kids. I left it at, I am sorry she had such a stressful experience. That is true. I really am sorry that she suffers so much.

When we got home, I just said that regardless of how we see this differently, we both think our son did great work through making a tremendous effort. We need to celebrate him and his accomplishments. She agreed to this. At least there is that. Should be a stressful, but interesting weekend.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 07:11:45 PM by Jumpy »

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2019, 07:28:47 PM »
May I suggest you have your own meetings with the teachers without your wife?

You are fortunate that the teachers are seeing your wife's behaviour for what it is when your child is still young.

But while your wife is present in meetings, neither the teachers or you can comfortably express opinions or needs and therefore nothing productive for your child can come from such meetings.

Most schools are equipped and happy to communicate seperately with each parent.

I realise this may cause more problems with your wife but what is best for your child?

You are in a really difficult spot and I feel for you.

AOD

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Mary

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2019, 10:45:25 PM »
Just letting the teacher/admin know you appreciate them and that you think they are doing a good job will go a long way. No need to involve your wife in this communication.  Don't get dragged into her mess. Schools are used to dealing with individual parents in all kinds of family structures.
Best wishes,
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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openskyblue

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 04:05:11 PM »
I don’t want to sound harsh here, but it sounds like your wife is acting out on her own delusions — and this goes beyond teacher-parent communications. In some ways, you’ve been conditioned to see some of her behaviors as normal, but to people outside the family your wife’s super paranoid behavior is a big red flag. Accusing others of tampering with a second graders project is, well, mighty strange.

 Your wife’s behavior is troubling and, by law, educators must alert authorities if they suspect there may be a danger to a child. They probably aren’t at the point of calling family services, but uou can bet they are documenting her behavior.

You should definitely meet with them — but by yourself. It will help your kids and you for the teachers, principle to see that there is a reasonable parent in the mix.  Also, this would give you an opportunity to talk frankly about what you are dealing with at home and get help for your child.

I so feel for you and your second grader! I really hope your child didn’t have to witness this episode.

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MRound

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 01:46:37 PM »
Jumpy—
So sorry to read about your challenges. You seem to be really thoughtful and doing the best a person could possibly be expected to do.  You have probably read a lot in the discussions about PPD.  My husband is UPPD, and maybe a little bit on the autism spectrum, I think, but seems to have improved significantly with therapy. I don’t know what his therapist is doing, but I am pretty sure she has not named his disorder, and they have focused on concrete steps he can take to reduce conflict and deal with what he considers his terrible self esteem. He has never taken medication (I have—I became depressed and anxious when I came Out of the FOG). He seems to have gotten the message that lashing out at me is not a productive way to deal with his fear and anxiety.

All that being said I am pretty sure he still believes all the terrible things he accused me of.  It is very confusing to live with someone who has such a skewed version of reality.  But I became much better at dealing with him when I realized that there was no magic key to making he see thing for what they really are.  My goal is to live in peace, and we are able to do that right now.   I would be lying if I said that it has not profoundly affected my life.  There is no right answer here, and I think it is generally believed that people with uppd do not really get better, and often get much worse.   

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MRound

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 08:41:10 PM »
Second point—I would definitely consider having a private word with the teacher/principal, and I would suggest that you do that before there is a meeting that includes your wife.  My life got much better once I allowed myself to admit to others that there was something really wrong with my husband and stopped trying to protect him from other’s understanding. I imagine you would not want to go into detail, but you could say that she struggles with anxiety and other issues, that you are on top of it, it is not dangerous to your children, but for your child’s sake and her sake you would ask that they think about ways to avoid or deflect conflict with her.  My H is usually very controlled with others, so I have never had to do this, and it may be a delicate line, but it might serve everyone’s interests for you to let the administrators know that they are not wrong in thinking there are issues with your wife, that you are aware of them (even though you might not admit it to them in her presence) and that you are managing it. 

I would think hard before I would go to a meeting and actively dispute her perceptions.  That is not going to bring her closer to reality, and could actually be dangerous.  But perhaps you would want to go to help sooth her—if you think that is possible. I have found that the more drama and conflict there is around a belief or perception, the more it becomes a truth—an immutable memory—to my upppdh. 

I think many schools are adept at handling trouble-making parents, but given that partners have a hard time accepting that PPD sufferers really believe in their own reality, I suspect it will be hard for outsiders to even comprehend.  And that is a problem.

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Jumpy

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2019, 05:53:00 PM »
The support from you, the people that make up this site, has been amazing. A true gift.

We tried talking about it this weekend. It went poorly. When she asked what we should do, I started with saying that I think she should apologize. That went poorly and it devolved from there. Actually, I started with: we shouldn't have this conversation in front of the kids, but I didn't stick to that either. The damage we are doing to our kids is crushing. My poor son is hearing my wife say that the work he did a) isn't his and b) isn't good. It's heartbreaking.

We will try again tonight. She wants to discuss it with me, and wants me at the meeting with the school.  I feel like that last point about the damage being inflicted by us on our son might reach her as her whole response is based on the idea of protecting our kids. But I doubt it will reach her.

I think it comes down to the fact that my wife is an adult who can make her own choices. I think the choices she is making are causing damage, and I cannot do it anymore. I feel like I am an accommodator, but I can no longer accommodate this behavior. I suspect she will meet with the school staff without me, and I will meet with them without her. sigh...


Mround- I went back and read some of your early posts. I feel for you. My children are young and we can both immerse ourselves in just staying busy. I have a hard time picturing a future time of just the two of us. Through some tremendous effort on your part, it sounds like you've gotten to an acceptable place (though admittedly, I only read the first few of your posts, and the last few). I appreciate your wisdom and insight here.

 I don't know if I could say with a straight face that I "am on top of it", but the wisdom of letting the school staff know that I know what is going on, and I appreciate what they are doing is clear.  re: soothing - I am no comfort to my wife.


I'm conflicted and stressed, and the clock keeps ticking. Bottom line - I'd like my teacher to be an advocate for my kid (which is what my wife wants). I currently think a separate conversation with just the school staff and me is the best way to acheive this, but boy is the path murky and unclear.

Thanks again for the support and guidance.



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Whiteheron

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2019, 09:21:02 AM »
May I suggest you have your own meetings with the teachers without your wife?

You are fortunate that the teachers are seeing your wife's behaviour for what it is when your child is still young.

But while your wife is present in meetings, neither the teachers or you can comfortably express opinions or needs and therefore nothing productive for your child can come from such meetings.

Most schools are equipped and happy to communicate seperately with each parent.

I realise this may cause more problems with your wife but what is best for your child?

You are in a really difficult spot and I feel for you.

AOD

 :yeahthat:

I have had to do this countless times when stbxuPDh had created a scene or a mess at the school. Interestingly it happened when the kids were around the same age as yours. stbx would come in and fly off the handle because he felt our child was being unfairly targeted and bullied (a lot of carryover and projection from his childhood and defending his 'disabled' sibling who was allegedly bullied in grade school). What I did was to make a point to get to know the teachers and show them my support. I would talk to them privately when I could, rarely with stbx present.

I was on constant "clean up" mode and putting out the fires he started a few times a month. It felt like he wasn't happy unless he was demanding the school do x, y, or z to his liking. It was exhausting. I did not rally behind him like he expected, I remained calm and lever headed, which the teachers and administration appreciated. stbx did not, but that was his issue. I think it became clear what the real problem was.

In the end, he decided he didn't have time to interact with the 'idiots' at school, therefore it would be my responsibility to take up his crusade. He also couldn't help but have these conversations in front of the kids. DS was hurt and taken aback to hear his dad call his teacher names. In the end, it made stbx looked unhinged. No one at the school blinked an eye when they heard we were divorcing, his behavior at the school was that bad.

It is very stressful and I feel for you. I'd say in my case, this type of behavior lasted until the kids were maybe in fourth grade? Of course we have two kids that are three years apart, so when his behaviors surrounding one child subsided, he started up with the other child. The second time around was by far the worst.

I'm sure your school has seen this before, it's amazing what some parents do.

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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openskyblue

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2019, 05:09:00 PM »
The damage we are doing to our kids is crushing. My poor son is hearing my wife say that the work he did a) isn't his and b) isn't good. It's heartbreaking.

I think it comes down to the fact that my wife is an adult who can make her own choices. I think the choices she is making are causing damage, and I cannot do it anymore. I feel like I am an accommodator, but I can no longer accommodate this behavior. I suspect she will meet with the school staff without me, and I will meet with them without her. sigh...

This seems so important to everything that you have described so far. It comes down to what this is doing to your kids and what you can do as a parent to protect them.  This last scenario with your wife in which she questions her son's work and accomplishments would be incredibly undermining to any child's sense of self, much less a young child. I feel for you both.

Is your son or other child in any kind of therapy. It seems like they could benefit greatly from having another adult in their lives that they could speak to on their own and trust.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2019, 11:45:30 PM »
From reading these posts , I am left wondering if this woman is so narcissistic that she creates a false reality because her son's artistic skills are in her estimation normal / typical or less.   It seems this narcissistic injury is so great it causes her to discount her own child and her reality in front of witnesses to the truth. 

If she would dismiss him and his efforts by calling both him and his teacher a liar is very devauling on several levels.

What other false realities will she create, and how terrible might they become if she has devalued and depersonalized her own child to this degree?

Wow, you have a serious issue there.  Perhaps you could engage in counseling as a family.  It might there be suggested that she seek her own sessions.

I am sorry to read that you and your child are living this.

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GentleSoul

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2019, 04:55:19 AM »
Jumpy, I wanted to offer my support too for all you are going through.  It sounds completely exhausting. 

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: The law gets involved/ The Clean Up Rule
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 06:16:02 PM »
Jumpy,
I can hear how hard this is for you.  You are trying very hard to appease your wife, do what she wants / needs from you.
The whole time you are being called unsupportive for disagreeing with her or not seeing her point of view.  That is very difficult.

Can you separate her statements about you from what you and others know about yourself?
Ie. that you are supportive, kind, reasonable, a good father.

Her statements are likely coming from a place of insecurity and part of her disorder, they are not reflections of you or your actions.
Do what is right for you and your child and let her know that is your goal and what you must do.

Same happened for me when our daughters were in grade 5.  ExBPDw made their teacher out to be a villain that didn't recognize them or their work and constantly told the girls that they were being discriminated against.  By the end of the year they truly believed her and there was not much I could do to change their minds.  Interestingly enough my son had the same teacher the previous year and ExBPDw thought he was the best teacher ever.  (son is golden child and daughters are scapegoats)
At the time exBPDw was also doing the same for their coach, our daughters excel in sports and she thought they were not being recognized and only minorities were getting praise / rewards because the coach is part of a minority group in our area. 
You have to work to re-write the narrative, it helps if you can give examples like "remember the time your coach did ......" or "remember the time your teacher asked you to present in front of the class?" etc.  This way you can teach your child to have some sort of grounding mechanism, to develop some reality tests to combat the paranoid narrative.  I do a similar thing by posting sticky notes on the kids bedroom doors whenever they display a positive quality, it helps to combat the negativity and paranoia.  Kids need to know that they are good enough.

I find it also helps to share stories about your own childhood that relate to the situation.  A situation where you felt underappreciated, but explain that this was only a moment in time and that you overcame it and maybe explain some reasons why you might have felt that way and that it may not have been true but that it was only your perception.

I'm sorry I can't give you a recommendation on how to proceed with talking to the school. I'm afraid if you stick to your values and do what you know is right, you will face a bad situation with your wife.