Confrontations

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2019, 09:01:17 PM »
It's been a while, so here's an update. The excitement never ends with a PD!

This week, stbx is demanding increased visitation or he will go directly to the judge. Exactly how is this easing back into the schedule?? He demands a 5.5 hour dinner visit one night (as opposed to 3 hours), a 6.5 hour dinner visit another night (as opposed to no visitation), and 11 hour weekend visits each day (as opposed to 7 hours each day). This is after only one week of trying out the new visitation schedule, which isn't official.

I don't like being threatened, and that's exactly what he did.

Also, both kids are struggling in school. He's demanding to suddenly get involved, requesting copies of every failing assignment post haste...so he can gather his 'evidence' and send it to the judge. What's he trying to prove? I know him well, so he's likely trying to prove that time away from him is detrimental to their grades. I guess he forgets that the week before school started, he terrorized both kids on his week long vacation with them, which resulted in this reduced visitation schedule and which has caused great anxiety and stress in the kids.

The kids can't even get into a steady routine because we are playing it week by week.  >:( >:( >:(

The depths of his illness never cease to amaze me. He is utterly blameless.
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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Poison Ivy

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2019, 09:17:52 PM »
I'm sorry to hear this, Whiteheron.  How frustrating and sad for you and your children.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2019, 10:23:07 PM »
Thanks Poison Ivy.

I'm actually not sure how much more of this I can take.

It's another day, and they sent another letter (yay!). stbx is playing the victim card big time. According to him, over the last few months he's only seen the kids for less than 24 hours, which is complete BS. Does he forget his vacation week? The week where he couldn't help but confront DS about speaking to the GAL? Apparently I am also to blame for both kids not doing well in school. If only he had been there to 'get involved' their grades would be top notch. So my guess yesterday was correct.  :roll: It's all my fault. He is blameless (typed with heavy sarcasm).

The letter they sent today was reminiscent of the affidavits stbx was so fond of filing last year...or was it two years ago? Or both? I honestly can't remember. The letter was filled with fluff and loving, caring father crap. I responded to my L regarding the letter with facts and a timeline, which she forwarded on to the GAL.

My lawyer did tell me today that the kids would have to spend more time with stbx unless they spoke up against him. I reminded her of what happened to DS when he did, and that DD saw this and will not say a word to the GAL for fear the same thing will happen to her. I reminded my L how hard it is to tell people this kind of thing, and that it had taken me years to finally tell people. And the court is expecting the kids (kids!) to stand up against him? The court can't do anything unless they hear exactly what stbx is doing and why they want less time with him? After all that's transpired? Really? FTS

My lawyer tells me that if we go to court, overnights will be reinstated, so it's best to try to settle. WTactualF?!

I had to have a talk with both kids today about the realities of their situation. I had to tell DD that she is too young to simply say she doesn't want to spend time with her dad unless DS is present. That she will have to explicitly state to the GAL why. I also had to have a talk with DS about giving more details to the GAL and to continue telling his story. To talk about the behaviors they are having issues with. I hated every minute of it. Which is the lesser of two evils - dealing with an unstable father, or dealing with an unstable father for less time, but with repercussions?

There is nothing more I can do. I will continue to be stable and to help the kids in any way I can...but my hands are tied.

Why does it always seem to feel like stbx gets his way no matter what? Now stbx and his L will go to the judge, since I won't agree to his demands.
Why won't anyone stop him? Why won't they demand that he get help? :unsure: >:( :-\
I feel like I'm in bizarro world.
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: Confrontations
« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2019, 08:58:36 AM »
WH:

I'm so sorry there's no better choices. It seems like we've lost the thread on caretaking the most vulnerable members of society in this system.

The people who like, cheat, and steal will always have a leg up on us in the courts. At least the first years, and sometimes getting to that final courtroom is too costly, too traumatizing, and too late.

You should consider having a frank discussion with the kids, their Ts, and the GAL to come to the least harmful decisions going forward.  The kids have to be honest, even if they do it off the record, IMO.

TO SPEAK their truth, and feel heard, and validated.  To put their reality OUT THERE, and know what's ahead sans good, better, best outcome.

These years can be about learning to be resilent, and managing their emotions for a lifetime.  That's the best you can aim for, IME. 

Limiting the chaos and trauma.

Teaching the kids how to deal with their COWs... their crisis of the week, and there will always BE a COW. 

Right now it's a PD parent, which usually disrupts childrens' lives, and emotional stability for a lifetime.

How can you turn this into growth, and wisdom for your kids?

A real trauma therapist would be my very best recommendation.  They're different than other Ts, and I know this bc I've found one that's amazing.  She's different, and super focused on teaching all the skills needed to overcome the trauma, and learn to deal with a lifetime of trauma to come.

Shame on the court system, and court officers involved in putting our kids at risk.

The thing is.... it's likely they're as ignorant, and  flawed, and overwhelmed as most people.  We don't learn basic life skills in this culture . We don't like to believe PDs DO the things they do. 

Your kids are lucky to have you for a parent.  You're advocating for them, and you'll find a way to enrich their lives bc of this struggle, not just in spite of it, IME.

I wish you the best possible outcome,


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 #44 on: October 10, 2019, 01:35:05 PM »
I'm so sorry WhiteHeron.

I just don't understand how the GAL and the judge aren't beside themselves trying to protect your kids! They disclosed abuse, their dad retaliated ... to me this seems like such a black and white situation.

But, you have to deal with realities, not what we know to be right and wrong.

From everything you've said it sounds like you've raised two smart, strong, resilient kids. It's not fair that they have this burden, but I think they have it in them to rise to the occasion and protect themselves.

Hang in there. Often I've found with our BM that when she does something like this, it's an extinction burst before she will settle/be reasonable (as much as she ever is  anyway). Hopefully that's what's happening here too. But if not, you will just keep doing your best. Things won't always be so stressful.

 :hug:
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 01:41:55 PM by Penny Lane »

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2019, 02:24:17 PM »
Hi WH,

Your situation is a true demonstration of a broken family court system.  It is mind boggling that the PD can be so openly destructive, and yet there is nothing that can be done to help the kids. We have experienced that same horror, it is like the PD is made of Teflon and no bad behavior sticks, and there are no consequences.  The only explanation that we've been able to get for it, is that the PD is willing to "go there".   Officials/Professionals just aren't willing to do what is needed to protect the kids.  I know for us, the professionals that have stood up to BM, have risked destruction of their career.  When BM senses a professional is seeing behind the mask, she cuts off their involvement, and if she is unable to do that, she makes accusations to undermine their ability to move forward (malpractice, etc).  As non's, we work within the framework of the custody order, morals, laws; as we should.   

I say this, because we all still need to stick to doing the right thing, but DH and I have discussions about what we can do that is not just following the regular path and continually slamming into a wall of a failed system.  We haven't successfully figured this out, but, DH likes to use the philosophy of the strength and flexibility of water, "Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”  When water runs into something that stops it, it either pushes through or changes direction. 

Can you get your kids their own attorney?  I say this hesitantly, but it's just a thought to throw out there.  BM did this, and this is why she currently has full custody.  It required judge approval, and it's different than having a GAL.  There was a group locally for us that does this pro bono.  The difference between the attorney and the GAL is that the GAL is navigating both parents, trying to figure out "what's best".  For an attorney, your kids would be their client, and they would fight for what they ask for, not what is deemed by the court to be "in their best interest" (which never seems to work out that way).  Their conversations are privileged with the attorney.  This went so badly for us because BM drove the process and the kids were SO young (8/10) with documented alienation happening, they were scared not to pick her.  They actually thought if they picked her, it would make her happy and she would stop being mean.  Once that didn't happen, and we couldn't undo it...they were devastated.    Your kids are older- so it could be something worth exploring.  You may  still be able to have the GAL testify in addition to the attorney fighting for the kids. 

These situations just suck, you get to this point and you basically have to bravely go "all in", or you have to change tactics.  It's never easy or a sure thing.  Obviously you have a village behind you on these boards, and we are emotionally rallying for you and your kids!

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cant turn back

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2019, 08:22:14 PM »
I am so sorry for all that you and your kids are going through WH.  The lack of understanding of these mental health issues at the Court level and the repercussions on children is mind-boggling and shameful.  The fact that your circumstances and the kids’ safety and well-being is dependent on them being strong enough to speak up REPEATEDLY when there is so much manipulation and emotional abuse occurring is beyond reprehensible. 
I wish I had something productive to contribute, I just feel for you so much.

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2019, 02:36:40 PM »
I do not have any advice right now.  Just solidarity.

This fucking sucks. I am sorry.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2019, 06:57:30 PM »
Thanks everyone for your support. It really means a lot.

All correspondence coming out of my L's office has to do with the mental welfare of the kids. All correspondence coming out of stbx's L's office has to do with demanding what he wants and attempts to portray him in the best light. I hope the judge takes notice of this.

Kids are annoyed that I'm pressuring them, but I laid it right out - speak up or overnight visits will start up again. I'm ok if they're ok with that, but I know they're not. DS's anxiety/stress symptoms have returned. He tried so very hard to stay home from school today (dinner visit with dad last night and again both days this weekend).

stbx seems to be loosing his *stuff*. got angry over text with me yesterday. I may have replied to goad him on a bit  :angel:
He was supposed to be taking DD to an appt, she had an after school commitment. I made arrangements for her to leave the commitment early so she could make the appt, told stbx what time to pick her up from school. He neglected to tell me he'd canceled the appt. DD refused to leave early with him when he told her he was taking her home. He hadn't told her about the appt and was very angry she knew. Demanded to know how she knew about it  (the practitioner had told us) :roll:. Angry with me because I 'misread' his text. Angry with me because DD stayed at the school instead of going with him. Threw a tanty and left without telling her. She was frantic until she remembered that I told her she could call me anytime and I would come get her. It was a mess. Created by stbx and blamed on me. I'm certain I'll be hearing about this through the lawyers.

If it hadn't been for the appt, I never would have allowed him to pick her up earlier than the scheduled time. He knows that. Why did he assume I would? He wants it, therefore he should get it? Feels like he's trying to manipulate me.

When he was trying to convince DD to leave early with him she demanded to know what happened to the appointment, why was he there to pick her up early if he had canceled - he showed her the text thread between him and I. Instead of calling me mom, he called me whiteheron. DD was beside herself. Demanding to know why he keeps trying to get her alone.

It feels like he's escalating. My L says just sit tight and give him the chance to fail. How much damage to the kids in the meantime?
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: Confrontations
« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2019, 09:09:11 PM »
I think dd's concerns about her father's' attempt to get her alone are a huge red flag.

That's not the status quo.... PD isn't supposed change up the plans without sharing that information ahead of time.  Kids do better when we aren't springing things on them willy nilly.  The need to know what's happeing, where they're going to be, and when they'll go back to the other parent's home, IME.

DD obviously has anxiety around visits anyway.  I'm proud of your dd... standing up for herself, advocating for herself. 

Stay calm, and professional.  PDs don't like explaining themselves, or their actions.  They don't like being put on the spot, and forced to explain why they can't be appropriate.   

Remember every word you write and speak will be used against you or help you.

 
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 #50 on: October 15, 2019, 12:59:10 PM »
WH,
I think it's such a great sign that your DD remembered that you said she could always call you. She did amazing, and you have given her the tools to advocate for herself.  The fact that he tried to circumvent the schedule in this way is extremely troubling, to me. I hope your L can lay it out like that for the GAL and the judge. He is trying to go behind everyone's back and get DD alone - and that's after he has gotten into trouble for trying to punish the kids for speaking out against abuse! Definitely an escalation. The silver lining is that your DD handled it SO well. I hope you told her that.

I'm sorry they're annoyed that you're "pressuring" them. But again, I don't see that you have a choice. You can't do any more for them - if they want to see a change they HAVE to act. It wouldn't be fair to them to dance around that information. It sucks, you know it, they know it, but it's still there.

I agree that he's escalating and it's so scary and the best you can hope is that he escalates to the point where the judge steps in BEFORE he does any real damage.

I'm so impressed with you. I know it doesn't feel like enough but you are doing so much and handling everything just right. When this is all over I hope you can do something really, really nice for yourself and the kids.

 :bighug:

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2019, 10:16:12 PM »
Thanks hhaw and penny,

hhaw - after I read your comment, I had a brief moment of panic and had to reread the text thread. I kept it pretty level and not obviously provoking. I could have ignored and said less, but I chose to engage a little bit. Maybe I'm feeling a little guilty because I know better?

DD had a new appt with this professional and they were able to discuss, at length (and in private), what had happened with her dad last week. The more people that know, the better.

penny - Thank you for your kind words. I'm definitely not feeling that I'm doing enough lately. I just about lost my sh*t today. I am feeling extremely overwhelmed, and the kids are leaning on me SO very much. DS is still very depressed, his T is concerned about him. I am feeling a lot of pressure from his T. T is telling me he needs to do more things with kids his age, maybe volunteer somewhere, etc. She suggested taking him to volunteer at a place we like to go to occasionally (because it's an hour and a half drive away). T says, I know it's quite a drive, but if he could volunteer there on saturdays for a few hours... :blink:
So after T, I drive him back to school for his after school activity - which is something he volunteered for and is with kids his age (so it should count for something) - and he's giving me crap about how I just have to drive him back to school for some useless activity, giving me major attitude. I'm ashamed to admit, I gave him attitude right back. I actually told him that if he was going to give me attitude, he would receive attitude in return. I was feeling so completely done. I'm at my limit, I just can't anymore. He's not willing to help himself, how can I possibly do it for him? I can't.

After dropping DS back at the school, I screamed some swear words in the privacy in my car for a few minutes, then went off to run my errands.  :wacko:
After I calmed down, I started to formulate a plan. T said DS needs to be with kids, he's socially isolated (ds tells T he has zero friends - he has a circle of 5-6 he usually hangs with, if he's excluding himself deliberately, that's on him). I decided I will force him to do something with a friend this weekend. Told him to schedule it or else "mommy would do it for him." We will go to the place that's an hour and a half away, but to visit - DS can volunteer somewhere closer. I will get him involved in a physical activity (which he needs for school anyways), and that's all I can do. I am worried he's playing the victim card with his T, I'm worried he's seeking attention, that this may all be an act...but I'm also worried his depression is real...stbx has me so messed up. DS should be acting like a selfish teen. That stbx's behaviors closely align with selfish childlike behaviors shouldn't be a factor. I hate to admit it crosses my mind.

When I picked DS up from his activity, he said "I'm not mad at you anymore"  :flat: But he revealed that he was angry and giving me attitude because he was frustrated with me for telling him yet again, after T, to keep talking to the GAL. That once was not enough - to be persistent so that his story doesn't get forgotten (T agreed with me when I said this today).

In the car ride home, I said to both kids "new rules." Less devices, more schoolwork and socializing. Now DS is happily studying for his two tests this week and DD is angry with me. Sigh. I can't win. I'm at my limit. But I won't quit. I'll keep going, for the kids. They know I care. They know they matter. But man am I exhausted. It's been almost three years.

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 #52 on: October 16, 2019, 12:34:05 AM »
Of course you're overwhelmed. Anyone would be and that's a fact. You are at an extreme level of stress, one that no person could maintain forever. Right now you're going through an insane crisis, worse than many people will ever face in their lifetime. Hang in there, things will get better for you, I promise.

H's court case, especially at the end, was so minor in comparison to what you're dealing with, I'm sure we felt a fraction of the stress that you feel right now. And there were two of us to handle everything else in the household. And even so, the last few months when it looked like he was preparing for court ... I was so stressed that I truly don't remember most of that time. The stress ate away at me in ways that I didn't even realize until it was over. When they settled it was like someone had turned on the lights and I could be happy and have energy and do fun things again. I think that will be the same for you, times a billion. You will have so much energy to pour into your own interests, into facilitating extracurriculars and kids' friendships and whatever else they need.

My point here is that right now everything else goes on the back burner for you. Until this case is over, do what you need to do to survive. I know what the T says but I say ... don't worry so much about optional stuff right now. Encourage the kids to hang out with their friends or join a sport or whatever, sure. But you don't need to be spending tons of energy on it. There is no way in hell you should drive him to volunteer an hour and a half away. Even if that would be good for him. What's even better for him is that you have as little extra stress on your plate as possible right now, because you have a full load and then some with court. Give yourself a huge pass on anything that isn't "holding it together so you and the kids can survive this in one piece."

I'm a little annoyed that DS's T said that to you. But she isn't advocating for you, she's advocating for DS, and she doesn't know that you're about at your limit. The fact that she thought volunteering an hour and a half away is feasible, is probably a testament to how well you're doing. At least relative to your situation.

The other thing is, the #1 thing that will help your DS with his depression, I think, is to not face the prospect of having to go back and be abused by his dad anymore. So yeah I mean hanging out with friends is good but if I were you I would focus my energy on what matters the most, and that's the court case.

I hear you that you don't think you're doing enough and probably none of us on this board feel like we're doing enough. And your situation is really peak awful right now. But the reality is that we all just have to take as much of the stress as we can and hope the kids can handle whatever is left. You can do this, your kids can do this and eventually your stbx will shoot himself in the foot so badly that the judge will finally do what needs to be done, I really think so.

 :bighug:
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 12:37:24 AM by Penny Lane »

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hhaw

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2019, 03:24:13 PM »
WH:

Sorry if I alarmed you more than you already are.  Didn't meant to.

About your ds volunteeing and having more friends.   I'd do what I do with my girls, and offer to host social gatherings, or drive for them, but the long distance volunteering sounds unreasonable to me too.

If you can swing it, you might want to find a good trauma T to help you find more peace around your ongoing situation.  We can worry our heads off, or do everything we can, then give up expectation around whatever it is..... with the same outcome, and less worry, kwim?

I've been in a similar spot, and worried my way through it so I understand being stuck in that place.  My odest dd at the time was bent on punishing me, HARD, and both daughters felt morally obligated to fight throughout all the years I was up against the PDs, court cases, and fear, in general.  If one dd said YES, the other automatically said NO, and so it went.  There were days I barely made it through, and that was for years... it's terrible on our health.  It robs us of joy, and being present with our kids in the moment... these days will be over before you know it.  What will you miss when they're gone?

I'd make a list of regrets you want to AVOID, and remember to slow down, breath deep from your belly up... like you're filling  a vase from the bottom up, breath out slowly, and focus on what's around you.... everything that supports you... your sofa, your floors, your walls, your ceiling.. notice the space around you, and breath it INTO the upset places inside you... is it in your chest?  Your stomach?  Your throat?  WHerever the stress is.... sit with it, and breath light and space into it.... then see about attending to your list of regrets you don't want to have.

All this worry is just ONE COPING STRATEGY we can avoid if we figure out how to replace it.  Replacing it is better, IME.  A good trauma T is worth their weight in gold, IME.  Not many specialize IME, and I wish I'd found one years ago. 

The PDs are robbing you of serenity and joy.  What can you do about that?  How can you take control, of how you're feeling, back?

When we're all revved up, with our fight, flight.fawn mode in full swing, we have zero access to our frontal lobe.  Frontal lobe brain function is all aboug logical thinking, creativity, and problem solving skills.  The breathing can ingage your parasympathetic nervous system, which is right in the center of your torso.... when you hum, or deeply gargle, get into a cold shower, or tub, focus on your surroundings SANS JUDGMENT, or DANCE.... you engage parasympathetic nervous system, which shuts off the sympathetic reptilian fight or flight lower brain.... and bc of the trauma... you're default settings are lower brain, fight or flight settings.

It's hard work to build new brain pathways, but well worth the effort, IME.  EMDR, and Tapping can help a good deal too.  Sometimes I think about breathing, try to breath deeply, and push on walls with all I've got, or walk backwards in circles around a trash can or chair to GET MY MIND OUT OF fight or flight, which can be so difficult to stop. Particularly if we're judging ourselves.  Fight or flight engages middle brain Limbic System too, which is where our negative beliefs live. 

So, sitting in a comfortable safe place, finding our curiosity helps shift into observer mode.... dropping all judgment, and focusing intently on the sights, smells, colors, and spaciousness around us helps get us out of fight or flight.

Locating the distress inside our bodies.... place hands on it.... touch nose, and breathe from the bottom of the vase up, in through your nose, and slowly through the mouth..... in for 4, out for 6 seconds.  If it's really bad, start with 4 in, hold for 4, then out for 4 seconds THREE of FOUR times... that's called tactical breathing and law enforcement officers use that.

Once you're paying strict attention to your inner world, sans judgment, begin to breahte space into the discomfort, pain, or tension... whatever is showing up for you.  This can take several minutes.  Notice your peripheral vision..... what's there?

You have the power to move yourself out of reacting, and INTO RESPONDING in the best possible way to bring you more of what you want.

Look up EMDR, and Tapping.  They both help me a lot, and they're at the top of the list for very simple tools that have proven to help vets with PTSD recover. 

The story around your stress isn't important.  Locating the emotion around it, and the place it shows up in the body is.

Attend to it, bc it's going to show up over and over until you can bring attention to it with your frontal lobe engaged.  The brain is a very efficient organ.... it can process stuck emotions in a milisecond.... it just needs the chance to do it. 

It can't while the alarm bells are going off in our amygdala and limbic system.  Since we try to think our way out, we never get out. That's why we sneak up under those alarm bells, with the breathing, and convince our brain we're not really in danger.... we can calm down.

As long as our brain is in fight or flight mode, our entire biology is hijacked, and the chemicals that keep us there continue shooting into our bodies, keeping us there.

We have to sneak up, as I mentioned, from underneath those alarm bells, and convince our brain we're out of danger, and safe to slip back into frontal lobe thinking.  It's sort of like looking at those pictures that don't make sense until we look just the right way, and then they come into focus.

It's something we practice, bc it's not easy... but the more we practice, the more our brain forms new pathways.  The more we use the new pathways, the thicker they get.  The less we use the old pathways the weaker they get.

The brain builds fat around the default pathways... fat makes them fast.  We have almost zero time to catch ourselves before we switch into fight or flight.  That's why we have to sneak from the bottom up, when all our human and animal instincts are from the top down, which is consistent worry worry worry..... alarm bells..... reacting..... no ability to think OR process the difficult emotions so our brains can finish processing, and filing them where they belong. 

Once our brains file those emotions, we aren't tormented by them AND we're building new pathways. The brain is a very efficient organ.  If we practice using the new pathways, the brain will take the fat from the old default pathways, and transfer them to the new pathways, making them quicker, and more available.... giving us more time before we REACT.  Giving us more choice to respond, which also makes us more helpful to ourselves, our children, and our attorneys, etc.

When we're well rested, have healthy boundaries in place, and can STOP the hijack of our biology, or get it under control when we can't..... we're able to live much better lives, and have fewer regrets, IME.

I'm so sorry this is so darned hard, but it is.  There's nothing you can do to change the situation.

All you can do is change how you respond, and that's something we practice our entire lives.  Monks practice their entire lives too.  There's no perfect way, and being gentle with ourselves.... embracingourselves with compassion, and kindness... helps a lot,  IME.

What can you do, when you're spinning and struggling and just barely getting by?  What can you do differently?  Take a warm bath, with a candle, essential oils, Epson Salts in the water.... pracrice your breathing, and paying attention to your internal world, and surroundings?  Simple EMDR in the tub is just waving your hand back and forth, in front of your face about 20 inches out, 18" across, and following with your eyes.... as fast as your eyes can manage.... 10 times back and forth.... (back and forth is one pass btw) then paying attention, then EMDR 10 passes, then EMDR, then gage how you're feeling?  If you were at a 7 for stress... are you feeling the same?  Better?  Tapping takes more explanation, but it's easy enough to look up online. 

I will tell you this... when I was struggling all those years ago, I wish I could have heard these things in a way that I could access.  I tried to meditate, but my alarm bells wouldn't let me focus enough to utilize the tecnique.  This T has explained things so that it ties in to all the brain research, and knowledge of how our nervous systems work..... and most of all learning to trust my insticts, not judge, and to be kind to myself, no matter what.

Looking into a good Trauma T's eyes.... allowing your mirror neurons to wire into your brain acceptance, and appreciation for who you are, and what it IS you're doing...... this is a sacrifice, and a marathon, and your children's entire futures are tied into limiting harm to them.

I will tell you this.....

had I been able to model emotional regulation... which is what the above is all about....

had I been able to model what healthy boundaries ARE, how to put them in place, and gently defend them, without guilt or shame.... I believe my children would have been better off for it.

As it is, they've been through years of therapy, one chose to go to Wilderness Camp, and Therapeutica Boarding school.... that was a 100K year. 

Had I been able to model everything FOR them..... they'd be so far ahead of the game, and prepared to deal with the PDs AND every COW.... CRISIS OF THE WEEK we all deal with on a regular basis. 

These are basic skills that aren't taught in most schools, or by our FOOs, bc our culture doesn't have the information to teach IME.  It has to be mined, and practiced, and valued before we internalize it, and benefit BUT WE DO BENEFIT.

WHen I started to practice, both my girls did better too.  I'm hoping they'll pick up on the tools, and start using them too.

I'm calmer, more responsive, my oldest dd gives me hugs, and puts her head on my chest after years of what felt like aversion TO ME, but that was bc I was trying to so hard to MAKE everything all right.   When I stopped trying.  When I calmed down, and paid attention to what was right in front of me, the energy changed, and the kid's response to ME changed. 

More laughter, and light banter, and joy, and seeking me out, and asking me to do things with them.  THAT's the stuff we'll be glad of when we look back, and ask ourselves if we have any regrets< IME.

I'm sorry there's so much, and this is so long, but I just had to put that out there, and try to give you a new POV, above the stress, and pain, and fear. 

Limiting what's stolen from us, and limiting the harm to our children is something we can adress, IME. 

Learning how isn't easy, but it's well worth it, IME.

Good luck, hang in there.  You're a good mama.

::nodding::.
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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athene1399

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #54 on: October 17, 2019, 11:01:30 AM »
WH,

I can't say enough how sorry I am about your situation. Who would have thought that DS telling the GAL about the abuse would just be the start of it. I would have thought that would be enough to show how unstable stbx is. I completely understand why you feel stuck in bizzaro world. You are doing so much to support your kids and it feels like the system is making thing more difficult when one would think it's there to protect those who are vulnerable.

I felt court with BM was terrible not really for the court process itself (but that was stressful, too) but because of the daily threats. When she felt she may not get her way, she attempted to attain what she wanted the way that always works for her: threats. Practically every day there was a new threat or a nasty-gram telling SO that if he didn't give up custody, SD would hate him forever. It was terrible and it was stressful. I hope I never see that side of BM again. She also said a lot of things like "per my L, you have to do x and if you don't, you're breaking the law." We checked with SO's lawyer so much about this, eventually SO's L received a letter from BM's "L" stating "I a not representing BM and therefore and not giving her any legal advice." She was just claiming he was saying this stuff to scare SO into doing what she wanted.

If you think stbx is going to use "the kids are not doing well in school" against you, can you reach out to the school to see if the kids can stay after for homework help? I think showing that you already limited screen time and are trying to get them to focus on school and friends is good. Obviously court and everything stbx is doing is stressful for everyone, so of course they aren't doing as well in school. That is not a reflection on you. It's just the situation. And you are doing everything to can to make things better. So just make sure you can show that in court if it comes up.

And if he's going to say "I demand more time or i am going to the judge," let him. You're following the current order. Let him bother the judge and complain.

Also, with him picking up DD early from school for an appointment that he cancelled, isn't that super weird? That sounds like "skip class with me"... Or was he picking her up when school ends but she stayed after to wait for you since the appointment was cancelled?

It sounds to me that on occasion stbx is telling you exactly what he is going to bring up in court. BM did this as well. Try to use this to your advantage. At first we were so upset by her accusations, but eventually SO was like "She's telling us exactly what she's going to bring up in court. Let's try to figure out how we prove what she's saying is wrong." That's what I focused on. Maybe you can do something similar. For me, I felt better preparing for court because it felt like i was doing something. Try to find what that is for you. Maybe it's just preparing the kids' favorite dinner to make them feel better. Or putting an "I love you " note in their lunches. Find what make you feel more in control and try to do more of it. It doesn't have to be anything major.

And hhaw has great advice on self-care. Sometimes it so hard to know where to start. Actually, a  lot of my self-care went right out the window during court and nothing seemed to work. Like I meditate nightly to help with my insomnia and I was so stressed I couldn't focus my mind so couldn't sleep. What I normally did didn't work, so I wasn't sure what to do. Try out a bunch of things before you find something that soothes you.  Maybe try to plan a movie night for the kids and a couple of their friends. Like just doing something fun to keep your minds off of everything for a bit to give everyone a stress break.

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Whiteheron

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Re: Confrontations
« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2019, 12:57:17 PM »
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are being reassigned to a different judge. I have no idea what will happen now.
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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