Confrontations

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Whiteheron

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Confrontations
« on: August 30, 2019, 10:24:50 AM »
The kids are with stbx this week for vacation, they are visiting stbx's FOO. As some of you may have read in another thread, DS finally reached out to the GAL about his dad's abuse. (https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=81051.0)

On Tuesday, throughout the day, I received a series of texts from DS. First one said something about simmering anger directed at him. Second one said something about how he felt a confrontation looming. Third one said "I was confronted."
DD confirms this, as she inadvertently walked in on the conversation. Her walking in broke it up and she said, DS, who had been crying, looked visibly relieved. DD confirms the conversation had to do with what DS told the GAL.

DS refuses to speak to me about this confrontation, saying he didn't want to start crying and that he was trying to hold it together. I told him his dad wasn't allowed to talk to him about any of this and I strongly encouraged him to give the GAL a heads up so that she knows this happened. I don't know if he did.

Yesterday, while I was at the grocery store, I started receiving texts from DD. She said that stbx took DS into a bedroom and closed the door because they needed to have a "private chat." She told me she could hear DS crying. About 20 minutes later, she texts and tells me that they're still in the room and DS is sobbing like she's never heard before. I ask her to get one of her grandparents to knock on the door under the premise that they want to show DS something/DD wants to play with him/whatever. DD tells me that's not possible. DD goes outside with her Aunt, texts me again to tell me they're still in the bedroom and DS is still sobbing. It's been at least 40 minutes.

I am feeling helpless to stop this and was trying very hard not to start crying in the middle of the grocery store. Of course when I go to check out, an obnoxious customer looks at me and makes a comment about how he loves shopping at this particular store because the other customers are always so friendly and smiling. I could have throat punched him. He was being obnoxious in general, some of the cashiers commented on his interactions with other customers. Anyways...I get home and receive another text from DD saying she thinks stbx locked the door and that DS was still in there crying.

I send an email to my L, get an out of office for the holiday response. After some internal debate, I send an email to the GAL. I make it as factual as I can - received this text from Ds on this day, this text from DD today saying...I kept my swirling emotions out of it and in the end, asked if she would reach out to DS to lend him some support (GAL knew how hard it was for DS to reach out to her). I did not smear stbx or say anything negative about him.
I'm not sure if sending her the email was appropriate, but I was feeling desperate, helpless to stop this, and I needed to do something.

Last night, DD told me DS was in that room with stbx for an hour and a half. She said it had nothing to do with the GAL, that DS had said something nasty and stbx said it was "parenting" to have this "chat" with him. I told DD that in no way was this appropriate, that no matter what DS had said, it did not require an hour and a half private talk that resulted in DS sobbing for over an hour. Then DD said, well maybe some of it had to do with what DS told the GAL, but most of it didn't. I told her it didn't matter.

Then DD texts me that her dad said something afterwards and she wanted to know what it meant. I will paraphrase as best I can: "if only we could control the things we thought and wanted to be in control of..."
I told her I had no idea what that meant.

I don't know what to do. Holiday weekend coming up, I fear the GAL is also on vacation, since she didn't respond to my email. Then again, I didn't ask her to respond to me, just to reach out to DS. I won't get the kids back until Monday. I am afraid of what will happen between now and then.
Someone needs to stop this. Stbx is repeatedly violating the judge's orders to not talk to the kids about court related issues. I really hope someone in authority will step in and put an end to this...but I won't be holding my breath. It needs to stop. He is breaking DS. (I will also give a heads up to DS's T)
Thanks for reading.
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Stepping lightly

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 11:11:53 AM »
Hi Whiteheron,

Your post broke my heart, I am so incredibly sorry you and your kids are dealing with this situation.  There is nothing more terrifying than knowing this is happening, and not being able to do anything about it.  I would definitely screen capture DS' texts, and if you haven't already, make sure the GAL sees them.   I guess stbx's family doesn't see what was happening?  I simple knock on the door from a family member with a "I just wanted to make sure everything is ok in here" would likely have stopped, if not at least, shortened the ordeal. These things always seem to happen over holiday weekends when there are no resources available to help!

I am so glad SD is reaching out to you and supportive of at least wanting to help her brother.  In our situation, we know those situations are happening because we hear about them months later, but the kids are so terrified to tell us when they do happen.  As terrifying as it is to hear it in progress, you have the knowledge to at least be able to call the police if you have to!

It seems your situation is at a tipping point, something needs to give- what does your attorney say?  Does DS get a say at some point?  Now that he tore the bandaid off with the GAL, and "it's out there", someone is beholden to protect him!!  This is why my DSS will never speak up, he is well aware that nobody can or will protect him from BM.  He's completely right too....we are suspecting he spoke up recently to his most recent T, and now that T seems to be a thing of the past.  OF course, the T's never do anything about it either.


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Penny Lane

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 11:15:21 AM »
Oh WhiteHeron, I wish I could come give you a hug. And I wish I could tell you it will all turn out OK for the kids even though we don't know for what will happen. I really do think they are on a good track  though and that's why your ex is being so horrible - he's trying to disrupt their healing. All that being said - this is awful to read, your poor kids, I can't imagine how hard it was for you to hear and how hard it is to know they're there until Tuesday.

 :bighug:

I'm so glad you told her it's not OK to "parent" by making your child sob for an hour and a half. The one bright spot in all this is that your kids are keeping the line of communication open with you - they're not hiding the abuse, they're letting you help them through it. That's a bright spot in a very dark storm though.

I think it was the right thing to email the GAL (although I have no court experience with that, just common sense). I can't imagine she will be happy that your ex is trying to undermine her ability to talk to DS.

I keep saying this but - hang in there. Hopefully he can't do anything so bad that it has long-term consequences while the rest of his family is around. The kids (and you) just need to make it through this weekend. They are strong. He is NOT breaking DS. He's trying, but you've made sure the kids are stronger than he is. And they'll come back next week and recover, and once they're with you, you will feel sooo much better. Then you'll be in a better place to decide what to do next in terms of court. I hope you can get them out of there soon. This is all so scary.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 11:17:58 AM by Penny Lane »

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 05:35:51 PM »
Thanks for the kids words, stepping and penny.

I did make a call to DS's T this morning. I told her what I know and that I'd emailed both my L and the GAL about this situation, but that I thought they were likely out of town.

She was upset, partly because DS had just started opening up to her again and fears that now he will stop for fear his dad will find out what else he's saying. She said she would emphasize again that he doesn't have to go to his dad's house. That he can refuse to get out of the car and no one can force him to, not even the police. She repeatedly brought up certain traits and said they were common "narcissistic personality" traits that weren't going to go away. She mentioned that she thought stbx won't want the appearance of having the kids not want to spend time with him, so he will hopefully eventually even out. She brought up "narcissistic personality" a few times, stopped short of calling it NPD, she probably forgets a few years ago she told me it sounded like he had a personality disorder. Either that or she's being careful with labels, since it appears a trial is on the horizon. She again mentioned emotional abuse.

She told me that we would 'fix' any damage that has occurred over this past week. She encouraged me to send kind, loving texts to DS throughout the remaining days he's with stbx. To let him know I'm there and that I care. She also asked me about DD's T, if her T knew what was going on. I told her that I didn't think so. That DD doesn't really open up to her and when she does she's usually deflecting quite a bit. I also brought up that her T is under the impression she's too hard on her dad. DS's T was taken aback by this and mentioned she might ask my permission to speak with DD's T, that she would think about it and let me know. She was extremely supportive and told me to call her if I needed anything. I am so grateful for her.

Stepping - I'm lucky DS's T was willing to speak to the GAL, and together they came up with a modified custody agreement based on what DS's T thought DS could handle. DD's T on the other hand, is not seeing the full picture of what's going on. And I agree - a simple knock on the door would have potentially ended things much sooner.

Penny - I am much more outspoken about what I see as bad or negative parenting from stbx. I'm done covering for him and making excuses. I do occasionally say "I don't think dad has the capacity to x,y,z." I try not to say that too often. I'm working on validating the kids' feelings and asking more questions about their perception of the things they bring up instead of plowing on ahead with what I think. I hope it all helps them in the end. I will be heartbroken if DS turns into a version of his dad and if DD ends up partnering with someone like stbx. I just want happy self-assured kids. I never imagined they would have to go through any of this.
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Stepping lightly

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 06:15:47 PM »
The problem is, there is never a good and safe solution for the kids.  Sure- DS can refuse to get out of the car, but he liley knows he will never be able to get out of the car ever again most likely.  The payback for it might just be too much and too scary....so they take the "smaller" abuses along the way to try to survive.  My DSS has stood up to his mom a few times, the repercussions were severe.

I think Ts are careful with labels because they really can't diagnose someone who they haven't had the benefit of evaluating in person, and only have 2nd hand information.  They could get slammed VERY badly and I think possibly lose their license for doing it.

It may feel like you are stuck, but from what you are posting....I see things moving toward a solution for your kids.  Keep supporting them they way you have this far.  We all just want the kids to turn out to be healthy adults, and you have gotten them this far....

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hhaw

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 08:54:41 PM »
WH:

This is how I see it.

The GAL, and Ts should all be communicating with each other.  It's common practice where I'm from.  They call each other.  Speak frankly.  Note the information in their charts, and rely on it to formulate informed opinions.   Particularly documented evidence... it can't be ignored.  Even if the advocate doesn't buy into it, they usually list it in their report, even if they're dismissive, IME.  IT'S THERE for your attorney to point out, and remind the Judge of.  Everything helps, IME. 

These advocates are your front line, and should be protecting the children.   

What you want to avoid is getting punished for drawing attention to the PD's failure to comply with the Judge's Order.  IS it in Order, or is it a suggestion?  It gets fuzzy, I know.

You seem to be doing a good job of documenting.

I want to point out a few things to watch for during this emotional time.

1.  It's good to avoid labeling and dx'ing the PD.  Our Judge spoke at the end of our custody/visitation trial, and put it this way. Sometimes otherwise good people behave badly when they're required to interact in circumstances together.  She didn't say anything negative about the PDs until she wrote her Order.  She said contact between my children and the PDs was detrimental to my children.

So, we avoid labeling. 

We avoid telling court officers what they MUST DO.

We avoid telling court officers what they MUST THINK.

We relate facts we can document, as you have, and we do this without expectation, which is so hard.

When I called the FBI for help, bc we know an FBI agent in extended family, that agent told me I must report every infraction to the police in order to document failure to comply with a Judge's Order.  My attorney didn't say that.  My attorney was wishy washy.... "Call the police if you really think......(insert infraction.)"  But he always made it seem like it would be more trouble than it was worth, and I can see the system punishing concerned parents all the time, bc the PDs tell better, more believable stories than we do.  No one wants to believe PD stories.... they can't understand them, they make no sense, IME.

IF we tell the story in a way that makes sense, that we've documented, and that points out exact failure to comply with an Order on the PD's part..... we're more likely to gain help, and not be punished, IME.

I would contact a Domestic Violence agency, and have a discussion about what's happening with ds, and his father, bc they're educated about more subtle forms of abuse, and their impacts on children, IME.  They might have ideas, and buzzwords to help you formulate solutions.

I would ask my Attorney if filing a Motion for Contemp is appropriate IF I CAN PROVE the PD is in Contempt.  Sometimes a Judge is ignorant, and dismissive in different areas.  I have to wonder what your Attorney knows about this Judge's habits in the courtroom.  DOES this Judge care about people failing to comply with his orders, or direction? DOES he care about parents who involve the kids in the adult struggle to the chidlren's detriment? 

I'm guessing, sorry I don't remember, that the Judge has a temporary order in place requiring both parents to refrain from including the children in the adult struggle?  It seems to me that your texts with the children could be very powerful evidence, particularly if you have the Ts, and the GAL agreeing with you, and advocating for the children.  What really helps is when the advocates get fruatrated with the PDs failure to comply, or when the PD appears to be disrespecting them, etc.  A healthy dose of anger, on the advocate's parts, is where they really go to bat for the kids, but remember that sword cuts both ways if we're perceived to be disrespecting them, etc.   

I know the courts are overwhelmed, and tend to be jaded, and dismissive of what they consider smaller infractions, but darnit.... the rules and laws should apply WHEN WE CAN PROVE OUR CASE, IME. 

My heart breaks for you, and your children. 

Remember, they won't be this young for long.  Time will fly, and they'll be older, more capable, and doing their own thing before you know it.  This too shall pass.

Lighter
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: Confrontations
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 10:55:30 PM »
The problem is, there is never a good and safe solution for the kids.  Sure- DS can refuse to get out of the car, but he liley knows he will never be able to get out of the car ever again most likely.  The payback for it might just be too much and too scary....so they take the "smaller" abuses along the way to try to survive. 

I did mention something similar to DS's T when I spoke with her. I told her that he could refuse, but that stbx would definitely hold it against him. DS has had enough, that's why he agreed to talk to the GAL. He's done. After this past week, I have no idea what frame of mind he will be in when he gets back to my place.

hhaw - A while back when stbx was filing affidavit after affidavit against me, the judge verbally warned us to not discuss any of it with the kids. Next thing that happens - stbx is discussing information I put in a response affidavit with DS. My L brought it up in a letter to the judge, stbx's L got right on it and responded that stbx was responding as any loving, caring, concerned father would (gag). We were verbally warned again.
stbx then tried to get ahold of DS's therapy notes. My L called the judge and had a temporary hold put on the records. This is why the psych evaluator recommended I have final say (essentially full legal custody) and that I be the custodial parent. The judge agreed and put it in the temp custody order.

This time though - stbx is taking the information the GAL disclosed in a conference call with both L's (his L reporting back to him and giving a summary) and using that to probe and put DS on the spot. Idk what the judge will say (we have a status hearing in about two weeks). I can only hope he's at the end of his rope with stbx's behaviors. I hope the GAL is appalled and says something to the judge. stbx is clearly not acting in the kids' best interest.

I can't remember if the order to not speak about divorce related issues was written or if it was just verbal. The judge was very stern with his warning.

The GAL has been communicating with the T's, but the kids refused to give their T's permission to disclose any information about their dad to the GAL. Anything the GAL did learn, the kids would tell her to not tell anyone, so her hands were basically tied. She was not legally able to tell the judge anything about what was going on without the kids' permission (although she did hint at things). It wouldn't have mattered anyways, because the kids were refusing to tell her anything, knowing she would report to the judge and it would get back to their dad. DS opened up to the GAL two weeks ago, fully knowing that his dad would find out some of it. The only good that I can see coming out of all of this is that now the GAL can go directly to the judge and speak to what DS has been subjected to over the years. The GAL now has what DS told her directly, and what DS's T told her. I feel that's pretty strong.

The problem is, everyone is on vacation and I know the GAL is on vacation again the week before our court date. So, we're in limbo until we can get in front of the judge. I don't know what my L will say about any of this, since she is also on vacation.
stbx's L had already peeved off the GAL, she wrote a harsh rebuke telling his L not to tell her how to do her own job (among a few other things). It was scathing. My L was actually surprised at the strong language the GAL used (it was awesome).

I am careful to not label stbx (I took that advice to heart before I spoke to anyone). I am of the mindset that stbx needs reduced time with the kids (as was recommended by DS's T and the GAL) so that he can be the best parent he can be, as he tends to get overwhelmed when he has the kids for an extended period of time (more than 2 nights). I believe shortening his time will allow him to be a better parent and it will be better for the kids as well. I can blame it on his bipolar dx if need be. That label was given to him by a professional. My L and I have avoided making a huge issue out of his dx, but we may need to in the future, since it's clearly affecting his ability to parent.
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hhaw

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2019, 09:08:50 PM »
I think making the dx an important issue will be necessary. 

I also think the GAL, and Judge will be angry over the PD locking son away, behind a closed door, in private, to discuss and intimidate him over things he said to the GAL.  It breaks my heart to think ds tried to stand up and be strong, then got dragged into the bedroom, and made to regret that strength. 

The kids need advocates, and I honestly think you're lining them up, best you can, to do their jobs.

I'd be tempted to ask for an emergency hearing, regarding PD's refusal to leave the kids out of the adult struggle. This is harmful to the kids, was strictly forbidden by the Judge, and is something the PD continues to do, which means he has a history, and apparent inability to control his impulses, which likely goes hand in hand with his dx.  Your attorney should have opinions on this, and any Motion for Contempt.

I'd think about tying the PD's dx INTO his inappropriate behaviors.   

HAVE the children refused to go with their father in the past?

Have they asked you to pick them up from this trip?

I think the next time your case comes up in front of this Judge you'll make the most of your evidence, witnesses, and advocates.  I think this Judge is primed to understand your case, and give you what you want, particularly bc the Judge seems to hate opposing counsel, and the PD won't heed the Judge about discussions with the children.

Keep everything child centered.  Stay emotionally level.  Don't ever ever ever get defensive, and always be prapared to back up your verbal statements with documents and evidence.

Always always always speak about the PD with compassion, and don't judge him.  Leave that to the Judge, bc it sounds like this Judge is primed and capable of doing that one little thing, IME.

Good luck, and document your keester off, WH.

Your PD, and his attorney sound like they'll inadvertantly help you win what you need for your children.

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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Penny Lane

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 01:03:46 PM »
Hey WhiteHeron, how's it going this week?

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athene1399

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2019, 09:43:35 AM »
I am so sorry, WH.  :bighug: I hope everything you are doing makes a difference soon (with the court order). It sounds like you are doing a good job documenting everything. I know you are supporting your kids so much and their trust in your shows. I hope this difficult time blows over quickly and the courts are able to come up with a good solution.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2019, 07:11:19 PM »
Things are not good. DS's anxiety is through the roof. He's terrified of his dad. Apparently while away with stbx (visiting the In-Laws), after the confrontations, DS sent an email to the GAL telling her to not change the custody schedule. The GAL tried to contact DS after this email, but DS hasn't responded. The GAL was concerned enough to set up another conference call between the L's. Not sure what that's going to do. She cites concerns about what's being spoken about with DS and the behavior of the parents towards DS (I know this doesn't mean me - just stbx, but she has to phrase it this way).

I am so very angry. That man cannot see past himself to realize he is harming DS. Perhaps irreparably. Threatening and manipulating DS into doing what he wants is just...it gets me all mama bear and twisted up in knots, is what it does. I have made calls to DS's T, been emailing my L, who is in contact with the GAL. We are near a breaking point. I pray it's not DS who breaks. He is a wreck.

I am extremely worried about stbx's mental state. I am not sure what I can do about it at this point. He's so paranoid that he's installed cameras (that can send/receive sound) throughout the interior of his house. The kids are constantly being monitored. I let my L and DS's T know, my L passed this information on to the GAL.
 I just don't know what to do.

Pre-trial court appearance is coming up soon...with a new judge. Idk what this means for any of this.
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Stepping lightly

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2019, 10:49:51 AM »
OH WH, I know this is such a hard time for all of you, and you are doing the very best you can for your kids!

Did you get any info from DS about the email to the GAL?  Did he do it because his dad made him, or did he do it out of fear?

I imagine the upcoming trial is spurring stbx to lose control more than normal, but wow! 

DS has to talk to the T and GAL, and they need to protect him.  It's really a huge risk for these kids, if they open up and nobody does their job (which is like 99% of the time) they are so screwed when the PD finds out.  Can you get an emergency hearing to remove custody until the trial?  I know that still puts the kids at risk for after the trial, if people continue not to do their job to protect the kids, but it will get DS out of the hot seat so he can heal.

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hhaw

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2019, 08:05:27 PM »
A new Judge means the Judges changed up OR the Judge in charge passed this case on to a baby Judge to get it off his plate. 

Ask your attorney what the new Judge is like.  DRAT!  I can't beleive you lost the Judge who was losing patience with the PD and his attorney! 

Very frustrating,  but that's the game when in court with PD's,  IME. 

Just remember, at least IME, the PDs can't snow everyone all the time, even if they manage to snow someone.  Since theyt're working all all all the time to DO that, they typically get someone to believe them.   That's OK.  Remember you have evidence.  You understand how to play the game. 

That you understood the GAL HAD to write both parents were including the children in adult discussions was important.  If a witness tells the actual PD truth, they're often perceived to be biased.   Witnesses have to appear unbiased in order to be effective, IME.

I'm glad the GAL seems to understand the situation.  The fact ds asked her to leave the Agreement the same, while ON holiday with his father, along iwth the children's texts to you, would seem to back up the situation, IME.

The T should be helpful as well.

I'm so sorry this is happeing, but I'm praying for you and your children, WH.



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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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2019, 09:49:08 AM »
The judges in my area are on a rotation. The original judge operates out of a neighboring county. The trial judge has to be from my county. That's why the switch. My L informs me that this new judge is pro 50/50, but that it likely won't matter given what's been going on. She also mentioned that this judge may not be the trial judge.

DS is not telling me anything. He keeps saying "it's too dangerous" and that he could "get into trouble with the court." I promptly told DS's T and my L, who passed it on to the GAL. I did reassure DS that nothing he could ever say or do could get him into trouble with the court.

Things are to a point where, if this weekend the kids had been scheduled to be with stbx, the GAL was going to have me violate the custody order. Thankfully, the kids were scheduled to be with me this weekend. There will be a conference call on Monday.

Big problem is that the GAL can fight for DS...but DD is remaining silent. I fear the kids may be split - with DD following the regular schedule and DS following a modified schedule. This would be awful. It would further put DS in stbx's spotlight and emphasize to him that DS is in fact the problem, and it will also serve to isolate DD - divide and conquer is one of stbx's specialties. What better way to brainwash his daughter than to get her alone with no one to sand up for her...

My L wants me to push DD to talk to the GAL or at the very least her T. She refuses, and I don't blame her.
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hhaw

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2019, 02:07:55 PM »
Ya, if we can't protect the kids from the Pd's wrath and maipulations, we can't blame them for trying to protect themselves with their silence.

Can you use dd's texts to you?  Are those helpful at all?

I hope you can protect your children, in the long run.  Maybe your dd can understand that the short term will be scary, if she talks, but will protect her in the long run, for the long haul?

There has to be an incentive for her to speak against the PD.  If not, she's wise to remain silent. 



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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Stepping lightly

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2019, 03:01:22 PM »
Hi WH,

You and your kids are really being faced with no good choices.  It's tough when you come to a place where there is a decision on whether to only make the change for one child, leaving the other one to deal with the PD on their own.  It seems getting DS out is the first priority, he is the one at imminent risk.  If DD doesn't speak up, you can only work with what you have at that time.  You would hope that the GAL and T's would see what is happening to DS and if it is bad enough to change custody for him, they would want to protect SD too, even if she hasn't spoken up.  They'd be hard pressed if she had issues to explain why they only helped one of the kids.  Like HHAW said, you have the texts she sent you, she's in the thick of it and you can show that.

We came to the same decision place not long ago, we never wanted to think the kids would be on different custody schedules, but it was so bad for DSS and DSD was the GC at BM's.  DSS wanted to get away from BM, DSD is desperate for her mother's attention and would never have wanted any time taken away from her.  Sadly, we also felt that DSD was bullying DSS along with BM, and the time apart would be healthier for him.  We were unable to make any of it happen, and we have had to resort with giving DSS survival skills and how to "fly under the radar" with BM to not incur her wrath.  What a thing to teach a kid right? 

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Penny Lane

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2019, 11:37:57 AM »
Oh WhiteHeron,

 :bighug:

I'm so sorry, this is all so scary. I just don't understand why the GAL would be OK with sending your DD back there more often, knowing how harmful their dad has been to DS. Does anyone really think he's only acting that way toward one kid and he's totally fine with the other???

I would make another run at settling with your stbx for the schedule the GAL proposes. Can you make some kind of concession? Maybe financial? That
might be the quickest way out of this. But then again, he might refuse just to prove he has control over the situation.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2019, 06:42:57 PM »
It hit me that all the GAL needed to hear from DD was what she wanted in terms of custody. She doesn't need to open up and spill out her heart. I gave her three choices and told her she'd need to tell the GAL her decision: More time, same time, less time. Over a year ago she told the GAL she was ok with 50/50. She didn't even know what that meant (thanks for planting that seed stbx).

I arranged for them to speak, DD was more than willing. She told the GAL what she wanted, answered a few questions the GAL had for her (as in...do you think your dad will be angry if he finds out you spoke to me? DD's answer "probably").

Hopefully something comes out of this before the next court date.

penny - I have already made considerable financial concessions, I am not willing to go any lower. He can refuse, but I'm fairly certain the judge will lose his *stuff* when he hears what's been going on. (I made a mistake earlier - I didn't realize I had two court dates coming up, the first is with our old judge, second is with a new judge).
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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Penny Lane

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 07:17:34 PM »
WhiteHeron! Great job. I'm soooo glad you found a way that your DD could talk to the GAL, honestly and in a way where she feels comfortable. One of the things DH and I try very hard to do when it comes to BM is to problem-solve. PDs and the court system don't easily promote creative solutions, and it's very easy to get stuck in black and white thinking. What you just did is like a master class in thinking through a better solution.

How do you feel? How are the kids doing this week?

I hope the judge does lose his *stuff*! The judge should be angry at how your ex is treating the kids (and you) and make orders accordingly.

So what's next? Is your hope that the GAL can convince your ex to settle now for less time? And then if not, what? You bring it up at one of these upcoming court hearings?

I hope that the system can finally move quickly to get your kids what they need.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2019, 08:11:04 PM »
Thanks Penny. Kids are on edge. Not knowing what the custody schedule will look like for the rest of this week. GAL is trying to schedule a conference call between the L's asap. She told the L's they need to discuss the custody schedule asap, that she has serious concerns regarding what's being said, the pressure that the kids are under, and how it's affecting them.   
She knows DS was forced to send her an email stating he wanted the custody schedule to remain the same. She knows stbx is bullying the kids.
I hope this call takes place tomorrow. Being in limbo is hard for the kids.

You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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