I may have said too much. Again.

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Whiteheron

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I may have said too much. Again.
« on: March 03, 2019, 11:59:27 AM »
The kids are with stbx this weekend. Last night DD12 needed to use the bathroom and the main bathroom was occupied, so she went to use the master bathroom. As she was washing her hands, a pile of pill bottles on the floor caught her eye. Specifically one that said 'sex' in large letters. She inspected it further, then immediately called me to ask me what it was (it's an ED 'medication'), where did stbx get it, was it a free sample, why did he have it, does this mean he has a girlfriend, etc. I told her that she would have to ask her dad any questions she had about it. She was upset and crying. She wants to talk to someone, maybe her T, but is embarrassed because of the word 'sex'. I plan on calling her T before her next session to let the T know what's going on and that DD wants to talk about it, but is afraid to.

Now this morning,  she is worried and scared, she tells me she'll never see him the same way again, can't stop thinking about his pile of pills and worrying about it. I tried to comfort her as best as I could over the phone. She then asks me about another of the medications and is her dad supposed to have it. It is his mood stabilizing medication. I tell her yes, he's supposed to have that one. She asks me what it's for and I told her it was for his mental illness. She didn't know! I had no idea she didn't know. stbx told DS15 about his mental illness two years ago, and DS has made reference to his dad's mental illness in front of DD, so I assumed she knew as well.

I feel like I really messed up (again). He is supposed to be keeping his pills locked up, since DS is 'in crisis' and it's generally a good idea when mood altering drugs and vasodilators are present in a household with kids. The kids should not be able to find them! It's even written in the psych report that they need to be locked up. And yes, I am mentally composing an email to my L, which I will fire off later today.

I feel like I really messed up, but I'm not sure if that's the fear of how stbx will spin this, assuming he finds out I told her, or if I really messed up by telling her. In hindsight, maybe I should have just told her to ask her dad. But I was caught off guard. I didn't know what else to say. Part of me is angry at stbx for putting me in this position to begin with, by leaving his meds out in the open.

Is there a way I can repair this with DD, or should I view it as an opening to explain some of his behaviors (in an age appropriate and kind way)?
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hhaw

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2019, 03:48:01 PM »
I think the best thing you can do is finishing spinning, then take a fresh look at the situation when you're calmer.  You're in fear mode, catastrophizing.

I'd fire off an e mail to dd's T and list exactly what happened with the meds, where she found them, what she said was on the bottles, and I'd make sure that's documented well.

About telling your dd about stbx's mental illness.... my kid's T had me tell my 4 and 6 year old dd's their father was ill when they were in crisis. 

I think 12 is old enough to know, particularly when she could look up medications the stbx left out in the open, when he's supposed to keep them locked up.

This documents his putting ds in harms way IF there's a chance ds might take any of those meds, bc he's struggling.

Don't let your fear convince you  your stbx can turn this around on you.  He has the mental illness.  He left his meds out.  He told ds he had a mental illness.  He wasn't there to deal with dd's upset and crisis when he dropped the ball, and left his meds out.

That's what this is about.  You can be very sorry and feel bad for the PD IF HE SAYS you shouldn't have told dd about his mental illness.  You can have regret that it happened, just as you regret his failure to secure his medications. 

This is his stuff, not yours. 

Document it with the Therapist, and make sure you get everything in you need in that e mail.

I'm curious, if dd had looked up that medication, what would she have found?
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
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"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
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Whiteheron

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2019, 05:44:27 PM »
Thanks hhaw. As I was typing, a part of me was saying it was all on him, his stuff, but the other voice was louder (the fear voice). I can't email the T, I only have her phone #. But I will call her first thing on Monday to let her know. I will send my L the email after I call her T, so that I can state what time the T was called, and there will be a record of that call on my phone.

About an hour ago I received a text from DS saying "So, dad has *ED pills*, huh?" So DD spoke with DS about what she found. She told me there were so many different bottles. Part of me wants to text him and ask him wtfh he's thinking leaving them out, but it will do no good, and it will cause him to start on the kids. But, you know, the rules don't apply to him. That the psych evaluator told him they need to be locked up, and he and his L keep trying to discredit her - well, I guess he doesn't feel he needs to comply. Even though he stated in a previous court document that they were locked up. Our primary care physician also supposedly told him they needed to be locked up. But like I said, rules don't apply. He knows best and insists the kids know better than to take his pills.  :blink:


*not sure if I can say which one it was
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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Penny Lane

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2019, 12:05:32 PM »
WhiteHeron, it sounds like twice now your daughter has asked you a very direct question and you've answered truthfully and age-appropriately. Maybe not exactly what you would've said if you'd had time to prepare a script, but it sounds like you answered pretty darn well!

It sounds like the kids are more concerned/grossed out about the ED medication. Really, who can blame them? No one want to know that about their dad. That one is all on him, you just tried to help her through it. I'm glad you involved DD's therapist because honestly I wouldn't know where to begin helping her through that.

On the mental illness, I tend to think that it's a good thing that DD found out about it. And although you were the one who actually said the words, I really think this one is on your ex too. Like hhaw said, your daughter could've just as easily have googled the medication and what it's used for. If anything rather than kicking yourself I think you deserve to be mad at him for creating this problem (at best by being extremely careless) that you have to clean up!

This is sooo true:
He has the mental illness.  He left his meds out.  He told ds he had a mental illness.  He wasn't there to deal with dd's upset and crisis when he dropped the ball, and left his meds out.

I also think, now that she does know, you have an opportunity to talk to her about mental illness. I vote for what you said about explaining his behaviors in an age appropriate and kind way. You could tell her, lots of people have different mental illnesses and your dad is still your dad. His particular illness makes him tend to do X or makes it hard for him to do Y (whatever it is). But lots of people treat the illness with medicine, therapy, whatever else. And then you could talk about how mental illness is not an excuse to behave badly - I think an important point to protect her from whatever he might say. I think you really got a gift here - if I remember right, he was using his mental illness to manipulate your son, right? Now you get to sort of set the record straight with one or both kids.

If you think you might've overstepped and put your daughter in the middle in a way that made her uncomfortable, you could ask her and maybe apologize. But honestly it doesn't sound like you did that at all - you did the right thing, which was to answer her questions.

Also like hhaw said, I really think you should document that he's not locking up the pills. I have to imagine that his inability to follow the psych evaluator's recommendations even while you are in court will not look good for him at trial.


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openskyblue

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 04:13:02 PM »
Frankly, I think the real issue is why stbx left a puke of medication out for kids to find. Thatís a problem. Also, why was it on the floor? Seems mighty odd.

Psychotropic meds shoukd be secured away from kids. Period. Iíd alert the T and your lawyer.

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sevenyears

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 05:47:26 PM »
WH - your DS asked you. You gave a truthful response - as reasonable parents do. If she had looked up things on the internet, who knows what kind of information she could have found, and how that might have affected her. Her father, on the other hand, is irresponsible and compromising the safety of the children. He should have his meds locked up and out of reach of the children. Can your DS T raise that with him, - without compromising your DS?

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athene1399

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2019, 11:15:46 AM »
I don't think you said too much at all. If stbx wanted it kept private, he should have locked the meds up like he is supposed to. I feel you handled it well. You stated the facts and didn't add anything extra. I would agree to also make your L aware on top of your child's T. See what his or her opinion is of him leaving the pills out where the kids can find them.

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hhaw

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 04:17:08 PM »
Whiteheron:

I wish I knew all the factors involved in your legal case. 

My priority in divorce was to always protect my children.  In order to protect them in the long run, I had to expose them to harm, document it and PROVE it in a court of law, which I did.   Just a terrible reality, but necessary.

What is your goal?

Your kids will be able to protect themselves soon, IME, but they're still young enough that they're vulnerable while visiting the stbx, IME.

Tell me, what does your gut honestly say about the drugs being left out for the kids to access?  DO YOU FEEL ds might take them, try to harm himself with them, or maybe worse? 

That kind of safety issue is worth dealing with, IME.  Worth upsetting the PD, and putting guardrails in place during visitation with the stbx, even if the PD is going to come unhinged, take it out on the kids, and rage through his L.  Some attorneys are unstable individuals too.  They're willing to lie, cheat and put kids in harms way too, but from experience I find Judges have a difficult time ignoring safety issues like this... particularly around drugs.

If you wait to report this issue, the PD and his L will say you must not have felt it was an issue at the time, bc you waited.  They'll frame it as you bringing it up NOW in order to make trouble for the PD.  The PD will whine, and play the victim, likely, and pressure and guilt the kids... maybe get angry. 

::shudder::

That said, you can only do so much to protect ds, and dd. 

You have to listen to that tiny voice, and trust your gut.  IS this a safety issue worth bringing up?  If so, sooner is better than later, IME. 

If it's not, it just gets documented to show the stbx's failure to comply with what the T, and pediatrician say is in the best interest of the kids.

Good luck,
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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11JB68

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 04:41:43 PM »
Sorry this is a very general response to a very specific scenario, but in my experience, pwPD and other 'difficult' people often really dislike the truth. They go to such lengths to tell different lies to different people, and when we nons just happen to state a fact/truth they get upset at us. Very frustrating. I always feel that when dealing with kids age appropriate truth is best.don't lie but don't give more info than they are asking for or ready for.

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openskyblue

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 05:15:19 PM »
 :yeahthat:

Or they crank up the rage machine to distract everyone from the truth. Very effective!

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Whiteheron

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2019, 09:11:32 AM »
opensky and 11jb, I agree 100%. Any time some truth emerges, stbx goes on the warpath. It's all a smokescreen to divert attention from his behaviors or lies.

hhaw - your posts always make me think.
My goal is to keep the kids safe, happy and whole.

Do I think, deep down, that DS will take stbx's meds? Right now I can say no. A few months ago, I would have been worried. A few months from now? Who knows. When stbx's behaviors ramp up, DS's anxiety goes through the roof. If stbx had oxy, I would be terrified. I can only hope his other 'secret' stash of (addictive) benzodiazapene is either gone or locked up.

I sent an email to my L. After multiple rounds of phone tag, I finally spoke to DD's T. I'm not sure what else I can 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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hhaw

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Re: I may have said too much. Again.
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2019, 07:42:18 PM »
WH:

I'm glad your son seems to be out of crisis and danger right now. 

Document as well as you can, bc if you need to go to court, that's how you protect your kiddos, IME.

You prove your case, and you ask the court for reasonable remedies they can put into an Order the Court can enforce.

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt