exNPD's rage and instability - help?

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anxiousmom

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exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« on: February 08, 2020, 03:31:40 PM »
I don't know what I'm looking for on this one. Misery loves company? Suggestions? Someone to relate to? I don't know, but I'm just worried and have nowhere else to go.

My exNPD H is diagnosed bipolar and ADD. One of the agreements in our new custody order is that in order to move from supervised possession to full standard possession, we would stairstep up to standard in 4 different phases before reaching full standard possession. Each phase lasts no less than 60 days and he only moves to the next phase when the professionals involved (his psychologist and our parenting facilitator) have a compliance check in to make sure they are in agreement that he can move to the next step up.

Well, he is on his last phase before standard possession, but has satisfied the 60 day period. All that is missing is a compliance check in, but he has not bothered to ask the professionals ahead of time to set one up, which is required. He picked DS up yesterday and I told DS I would see him tonight at 6 pm (per the terms of our stairstep agreement). Later in the evening, I got a very curt-like email telling me I was incorrect, that he had graduated to standard possession and as such, would have him the whole weekend. 

This is obviously not correct, as the professionals have not signed off just like all the other phases. I was driving, so instead of emailing back, I called to explain to him he was mistaken. I was as polite as I could be, but told him that was not the case because even though he had satisfied the 60 days, we did not have an official sign off from the professionals as agreed to in our legal documents.

He became rather irrational and unhinged, cursing at me, berating me, and telling me that I was just trying to punish and control him because I was still mad that he sued me. I attempted to remind him that I was not doing anything other than operating under the terms of the agreement we both signed, but got nowhere with him, as he was already too far gone. I was the enemy and the scapegoat, and there was no acknowledgment of his responsibility to make sure the compliance check happened before his visitation period with DS.

He then told me he had his psychologist's CELL PHONE NUMBER and that he was going to try to get something by today (a Saturday). I told him he was welcome to do so, but if I did not get an email from our parenting facilitator (who, to my knowledge, does not work on the weekends) indicating he is ready to move forward, I would be picking our son up at 6 pm tonight.

I later emailed him back with the applicable parts in the new order so that I would have written documentation of the conversation. I also added that I did not appreciate him cursing at me and that I hoped we could have more productive conversations in the future.

He responded by telling me that "we both" cursed and things got heated "on both sides," but "let's try and be kinder to one another in the future."

I mean. Gaslighting at its finest. He just attempted to manipulate our written documentation with a HUGE lie that I engaged in any kind of unkind or belligerent rhetoric, which I did not even come close to. Unfortunately for him, I had the foresight to record the conversation, so I responded to him in writing that I DID NOT engage in any of that, that I had the documentation and could prove it if necessary, and that I was DONE communicating with him on the issue. Perhaps I should not have shown my hand there, but I think there is some benefit to him understanding going into this that he will not be able to engage in a he said/she said without his lies being exposed.

So, the plan is to pick my son up this evening, unless I hear from our facilitator, which is unlikely. But I'm concerned about his stability/mental state, as he not only became quickly irrational and inappropriate, but he also indicated he had no recollection of the process the way it has played out for the last 9 months. I told him we always had a compliance sign off from the professionals and he told me that wasn't true, and that he had never received a compliance sign off from them when moving to the next level. It doesn't even feel like he lives on the same planet at times.

I of course have sent to my L and will bring it up to our facilitator, but it is agonizing and terrifying to feel truly concerned about his mental state and also know there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop him from having possession of DS in the meantime. The anxiety and terror are both eating me alive.

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anxiousmom

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 05:28:33 PM »
Didn't realize I'd have an update so soon, but I just got another VERY aggressive email from him accusing me of manipulation and alienation. He also made the comment that our facilitation arrangement "isn't working."

This is, again, all because I am operating under the terms of our agreement that we JUST SIGNED FOUR MONTHS AGO. And now all of a sudden, it's not acceptable anymore? I have a documented record of being accommodating to him both before and after he sued me, as recent as YESTERDAY when I agreed to let him pick DS up early, yet he accuses me of having "control issues" simply because I am not going to deviate from the stairstep agreement.

The way he said "it is clear facilitation isn't working anymore" sounded like a veiled threat to take me back to court. Our order dictates that we go to mediation within a few weeks of one giving the other notice that mediation is requested, and if we don't resolve in mediation, the party is free to file suit with the court.

I have to believe that, if he DID follow through with it (though I'm not sure what he would sue me for?), the suit would get laughed out of the courtroom being that we just agreed four months ago that our current arrangement was in the best interest of our child.

I worry he is going off the deep end with a mother who is just as insane, and an enabling girlfriend, and I have no legal recourse to prevent it from happening.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 05:46:28 PM »
I’m sorry this sounds like hell. If it’s not 6 already where you are I’d go to the police, show them the agreement and ask them to escort you. You can NEVER be too careful with men like this. Be safe.

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Penny Lane

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 05:48:37 PM »
Hi,
This is very scary stuff! I popped in real quick to offer some preliminary suggestions for triage today. I'm sure you're freaking out a little - I would be!

First of all, don't be shy about calling the police to have them supervise the handoff. Make sure to bring a copy of the order and any other documentation to show that it's your right to pick up DS. Considering bringing someone with you - maybe your husband, if you think that wouldn't escalate the ex any further. If there's some other neutral third party you can get to help you enforce the order, that's better, but it sounds like the facilitator isn't on call at all hours to babysit an exchange that should be routine.

It's good that you documented this via email. Don't talk to him on the phone any more - make sure it's all done in writing. It sounds like he's not able to handle the current amount of visitation, and you might be very glad you have a record of him threatening to ignore the order.

Longer term, my initial thought is that this should definitely preclude him from moving up to the next level. And ideally he would get bumped down several levels. Depending on how this shakes out and how he behaves today, you might consider assertively addressing this in court. Just something to think about. If he says things like "facilitation isn't working" I think your attitude should be "if the agreement isn't working it's because you're not following it, and I agree that we should address your refusal to follow the precautions we've agreed on by going to mediation." I'm not saying you need to respond to that email specifically today before you pick up your son and in fact I don't think you do. I think it's probably best if you don't communicate with him any further before the dropoff, and if you do only to say "I will see you at 6."

By refusing to follow the order and threatening to take your son on your parenting time, he is making a very bad record for himself. Court can be your friend in situations like this.

Hang in there. H's ex usually backs down in situations like this - I hope your ex does too. For the exchange tonight, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

 :bighug:

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Free2Bme

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2020, 06:20:44 PM »
Hi anxious mom,

Really sorry you are in this position.  PD's are notoriously 'above the law' and resent authority and imposed rules. 

You have done the right thing here by sticking to the agreement and this puts you in a favorable light with the court.  I think your ex is melting down because he never really agreed to the stair step thing internally, he only agreed as to not look bad in the moment when eyes were on him.  His inability to 'remember' correctly or comply with the agreement is evidence of this.  I think you have the upper hand here as he is hanging himself on his own rope.  I am not an aggressive person and tend to avoid conflict, I also abhor the idea of behaving in a manipulative fashion as it makes me feel as if I am behaving like my unpdxh.  However, in a situation like this I think the gloves have to come off and you need to be strategic, don't let a good crisis go to waste.  I would continue to document everything and CYA.  This entire event may result in him losing any hopes for standard and possibly custody altogether.  One thing I learned from my ex, is the advantage of being 'first'.  If you can legitimately demonstrate his instability, then when he tries to claim you are unstable or alienating, or whatever else he fabricates out of desperate need to gain control, then it will only serve to make him look bad. 

Every time my unpdxh would get me on the phone he would exploit, accuse, twist, gaslight, re-write, etc. ,  a phone conversation can always be reduced to he said/she said.  So I stopped responding to phone calls, I will only respond when he texts or emails (unless of course it's a medical emergency with children).  If you are concerned you could request a welfare check on your child(ren)? 

Just make sure you don't give him ANYTHING to get you on.  Make sure your responses are well thought out, calm, and in the best interests of children. 

My T said that my ex was "decompensating" after I left.  I encourage you to learn about this as PD's can become very destabilized during divorce. Scary stuff.

Stay strong and keep us posted here

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hhaw

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2020, 09:06:53 PM »
First... I'm so sorry this is so scary.

Second... it sounds like the exPD KNOWS how the parent coordinator will interpret his meltdown.  I also wonder if his meltdown happened in front of ds.  I feel like maybe it did.  Maybe partially. 

Third.... you HAVE to hold his feet to the fire with regard to compliance with the Agreement, IME.  Once you stop requiring compliance the Court isn't interested in hearing about it next time, IME.  Also, I've found attorneys sometimes side with the PD, just bc they don't want to think about the failure to comply..... you have to stick to your guns.  Calling the police to ensure compliance, get your son and continue documenting..... get it fresh from ds... what did he hear, what did dad say.... how does he feel about it... and how does he feel about dad having him for entire weekends going forward IF THAT WAS THE CASE.

If ds is certain it's a bad idea...
if he's scared or confused..... things might get stair-stepped back more than one level, as I think Penny Lane said.  And maybe the PD takes you to court again.  His behavior puts you in a better position, IME.

If ds says he's not afraid....
he's not unhappy with dad....
if ds claims he didn't hear any of his father's abusive meltdown with you....
if ds claims he wants to spend more time with dad and can't understand why you're slowing things down.....
MAYBE there's a confusing hiccup for the pc. 

I think you had to handle this the way you did... calmly....honoring the Agreement and documenting like a BOSS!

You go, and great good luck to 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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anxiousmom

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2020, 09:52:21 PM »
Thank you guys so much for the quick responses. I am sure you could all relate to the anxiety levels.

Good news is that I have my son back safely, without incident.  But, that's not the end of the story.

Previously, we made an agreement in our parenting facilitation meetings that I would meet exH's girlfriend before she was introduced to DS. The court views these agreements made in our co=parenting meetings as binding, though they are not in the court order. Our facilitator spoke of the importance of me KNOWING that he would be introduced, so that when he came home and said "I met daddy's friend X," I wasn't blindsided, and how crucial it was to our arrangement. We, again, both agreed.

Well, because exNPD H was having a tantrum (I guess), he went ahead and introduced his gf without us meeting, or letting me know, which is directly disregarding our agreement. I believe when this happens, the facilitator writes a memo to the court that a parent is not living up to their agreements. I can't imagine this looks good for him. Worst case scenario - my issue with him was a "misunderstanding." (I don't believe it was, but there's nothing to prove ill intention on my part) His? He completely disregarded a formal, binding agreement we made and did not even inform me he was doing so. There's nothing he can say to make that look "better."

I have half a mind to contact his girlfriend's intern supervisor and let them know the girl who is trying to become a full blown counselor perhaps needs some counseling herself, as she is interjecting herself into a sensitive transition with a young child. Pushing off the urge to do so.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2020, 10:06:49 PM »
I would leave his GF alone. There is no way that you come out looking anything other than “the crazy, bitter ex” if you try to sabotage her career.

Courts don’t look kindly on behavior like that. However justified you may feel it is.

Focus on keeping yourself and your son safe. Everything else is noise.

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anxiousmom

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2020, 10:37:29 PM »
I agree. I wouldn’t ever actually do it. But the thought is so satisfying.

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Whiteheron

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2020, 10:15:28 AM »
What a horrible situation!

It sounds like introducing the gf was an act of "I'll show anxiousmom!" The gf may not have known about the terms around introducing her, or she may have, but didn't have say in the matter. Idk. Either way, that one falls squarely on your ex.

My stbx (also dx bipolar) is trying to pull something similar (which I haven't posted about yet), so you're definitely not alone. I wonder if it's an act of self-sabotage. Your ex is getting so close and was at the last milestone, yet completely blew it. It may be that some part of him doesn't want the overnights? He is well aware of what's in the agreement, and followed it for the previous steps. Suddenly he can't? I don't buy it.

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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anxiousmom

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2020, 11:19:24 AM »
Yes - that is what I don't understand at all. He was literally one visit away from getting to standard. All he had to do was confirm the professionals recommended going to the next level. And now he's blowing it all up and burning bridges. Our professionals have to recommend he move to the next phase of possession and I can't imagine they will do that when they see he is not complying with our agreements.

We saw the same behavior when he sued me at the end of 2018. I was working with him to ramp up to unsupervised possession - and he arbitrarily decided the first time I did not agree with him on something that the agreement "wasn't working anymore" and immediately sued me before we could address it in our facilitation meeting. I tried to explain to the professionals that this action in and of itself was an example of his unstable behavior and everyone kind of blew it off. Now I feel like waving my arms and going, "HELLO!! Do you see what I was trying to tell you?? This is not a stable person! He's not going to abide by anything!"

It's truly crazy making.

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hhaw

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2020, 12:46:01 PM »
Document calmly.

Share your evidence without expectation.

Sometimes court officers will actually punish us IF they perceive we're in any way telling them what they must do, feel, think.

We have to share the evidence and let them come to their own conclusions AND manage to not sabotage ourselves by drawing attention to what we're doing...... mostly we have to resist letting the PD trigger us into reacting to them.

Always always always choose your responses mindfully.  This is a game of chess and the PD will sabotage himself, as yours is doing now. 

BTW, what did ds say about his dad's meltdown and meeting the gf?



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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anxiousmom

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2020, 02:32:13 PM »
DS didn't say anything about the meltdown. It was at 9:30 pm when DS was (presumably) asleep. Hoping that means it did not wake him up.

He told me they "met a friend" up at the museum, and then confirmed her name. I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable by pushing him, so just asked if he had a good time and he said yes. He didn't seem particularly pleased or bothered by her presence, but I can guarantee you he will not like it when they start forcing GF on him, which they will do purely to spite me and for selfish reasons rather than anything in DS's best interest.

This intro style also goes against what we discussed as far as first intro. It was supposed to be a very brief, casual "bump into each other" quickly type thing. Not an outing together.  And when I say discussed, I mean agreed to in facilitation. As far as the professionals and I both know, this GF knows what our situation is and what we have agreed to (I know this because she has complained to XH that it "isn't fair" and her XH doesn't have to do it), and she is complicit in purposely derailing our co-parenting agreements. Wouldn't be so unbelievable had they not constantly touted the "she's a therapist" line as if she is immediately to be trusted because of it. (She's a counselor INTERN, to be exact) What a professional.  ::)

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GettingOOTF

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2020, 03:00:30 PM »
Your ex is going to date. If he’s as crazy, controlling  and abusive as he sounds from your post then there will likely be many, many girlfriends.

I gently suggest that you focus on being the sane, stable parent and less on controlling how your ex conducts his relationships. He’s going to do what he wants regardless. He and his girlfriend(s) won’t see it as “forcing” the relationship on your son. These women are going to be in your sons life regardless of anyone’s feelings about it. Helping your son develop skills to deal with this will be a lot more helpful to him than you trying to keep your exes girlfriends away from him.

Is your son in therapy? It sounds like this would be helpful for him in dealing with the transitions. I personally found therapy very helpful for me as well in dealing with the reality of life after divorce.

Children take their cues from their parents. If you are stressed and upset about your exes relationship it will make it that much harder for your son to deal with his feelings. Your son didn’t ask for any of this and he will have to navigate these relationships for the entirety of his childhood.

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anxiousmom

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2020, 03:10:29 PM »
Totally understand what you are saying, however, I do want to clarify something I'm not sure I did a great job of clarifying earlier.

Our co-parenting facilitator brings us together to meet and discuss issues that affect our son, which includes XH's new GF, when is a proper time to introduce, what that should look like, etc. That isn't ME dictating to him, or telling him what I want to happen, or trying to control how he conducts his relationships. That comes from our professional telling us what works best for kids our DS's age. Then we can agree to it, or not agree to it, and she documents and has the ability to send reports to the court, or testify in court. So, this comes from less of a place of me "wanting to control" what he does and more from a place of "he already agreed to this in our meeting with our professional" and how do I co-parent with someone who doesn't believe he has to hold himself to what he's already agreed to. Does that make sense?

This is what I have been dealing with since the divorce. He agrees to something in facilitation (which is binding in the eyes of the court- we both sign off on it) and then arbitrarily decides it isn't worth complying with anymore, without informing anyone nor soliciting our facilitator's help. It was the same reason he up and sued me out of nowhere in the first place.

If he wouldn't have already agreed that X was the best way to introduce his new GF, I wouldn't have that standard to hold him to. But our professional told us it was best for our son and we both agreed that was the case. So it's very frustrating that he decides when and if he's going to actually follow through with agreements we both make, and you're the enemy if you dare hold him accountable.

The one thing I feel I am fairly capable of is not letting DS into the reality of things. I'm always positive, always upbeat, always smiling, never say a terse word about his father, always happy that they get to spend time together. So if he picks up on anything, I truly don't think it would be from me.

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hhaw

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2020, 03:36:38 PM »
Echoing GettingOOTF's post.....
calmly documenting PD's failure to comply, and bringing it up, along with everything else you have to present to the parent coord and PD's T.... the Judge... anyone you're explaining this to....
is important.   You're "concerned" the PD isn't following the PC's recommendations.  You're not dictating

It's difficult to keep everything in perspective as the PD pokes you and the system and the agreements and the pc and particularly your shared child, IME.   Let the PC speak to the PD's refusal to comply. 
Always focus on son's best interests.   Alwasy focus on good routines and transitions and appear to be the calm stable consistent parent who facilitates the best possible relationship with the PD and ds.

Judges WANT to split the baby.

Give them calm, nonjudgmental evidence that convinces them you're not vindictive, spiteful or vengeaful.  If you have to speak to any court officer... read the room.   Some care about things other shrug off.  Know when to put down a topic and pick up another. 

Give a little info, then be quiet. 

It seems like you're goal NOW is to get the PC to write a report that helps you in the next court battle, IME.

You simply state what happened, then let her get upset.   YOu aren't upset when you speak to her.  You're likely going to present as sad and dissapointed for ds AND the PD.... that PD couldn't hold it together this short while.  You really had hopes he could do that..... this is very concerning....

no judgemements.... if you judge then there's no room for the listener to judge.

It would be great if this pc finally finally SEES the PD for who he is and steps up her game to protect ds in the best possibel way.

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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Poison Ivy

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2020, 03:46:52 PM »
anxiousmom, I understand your frustration. Unfortunately, I think that almost by definition, people with personality disorders think the rules don't apply to them.  So if  we substituted "judge" or "court system" or "mediator" or "people who write the laws" for "facilitator," I'd guess that almost everyone who comes to this forum has been in a situation like yours:  a person with a personality disorder "agrees" to something proposed or demanded by a "professional" or "authority" and then the person with a personality disorder doesn't do the thing because he or she doesn't feel like it or doesn't want to.

My state requires people to file financial disclosure statements during the divorce process.  My ex didn't file his until just before our status conference, which we wouldn't have had to have if he had filed the disclosure statement on time.  He did not reveal to me or to the court all the money to which he had access.  He didn't pay taxes for a few years (also against the law). 

In situations such as this, we need to pick our battles and then decide how to fight the battles that we choose to engage in.  While we were married, I filed our income taxes jointly and reported all income of my spouse of which I was aware, even when it wasn't necessarily going into our bank account. Our state department of revenue eventually caught up with him about the unfiled tax returns. 
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 04:45:02 PM by Poison Ivy »

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Penny Lane

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Re: exNPD's rage and instability - help?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2020, 12:29:32 PM »
Hi anxiousmom,
I think you're out of triage mode at this point and into more like long term reaction to this meltdown, and I have some more thoughts. First, how are you doing in the aftermath? This kind of thing is really scary, it definitely takes me awhile to come down out of my "fight or flight" response.

I really think the facilitator and psychologist need to hear about this and ASAP. I agree that his violation of the legally binding agreement is a problem, and that they should be addressing it. I think if you can write out a concise, factual but clear explanation of all the ways he violated the agreement, that might get you far. I mentioned this before but is it possible for them to "demote" him, so to speak? He certainly shouldn't be promoted at this point. HHaw has good advice about talking to court. I want to reiterate: The attitude you want to project is extremely worried but helpful and not dictating. It's a fine line to walk, I know. If you keep your focus on being as productive as possible, that should serve you well. Do you have any options re: court to place further limits and restrictions on him?

I hear you about your frustration about the GF. You obviously feel very strongly that your ex was going about this in a way that's harmful for your son. You and he made an agreement, a LEGALLY BINDING agreement, that he would not do it. And then - just to spite you, not to benefit your son in any way - he broke the agreement. It's maddening!

But, I just want to remind you: Your ex is definitely triangulating you with the new gf. I think you can assume that anything he tells you about her is either exaggerated, leaves out important information or is a straight up lie. Similarly, he is lying to her about you, I guarantee it. So, definitely come here and vent! I totally get the urge to retaliate and report her. But IRL - and it seems like you know this - you have to be the bigger person. You can't give the court any reason to think that it's a "oh these two just can't get along" situation, as opposed to a "one parent constantly lies and violates agreements and puts their child last" situation.

I hope at some point you can take some time and energy to explore the roots of your frustration about the girlfriend. The whole situation is absolutely not ideal. But really, nothing about coparenting with a PD is ideal. It seems to me that your ex introducing the gf to DS is by FAR not the worst thing he's done to you or to DS. So, maybe sit with those feelings, and try to figure out where they're coming from. Is your gut telling you that there's something else here that is more alarming than it seems on the surface? Is it possible that you're focusing your (understandable) anxiety and stress about the ramping up parenting time onto the thing with the gf, because that's something you feel like you have some degree of control over? Does it have something to do with feeling like your ex is trying to replace you in your son's life (he won't be able to, but it can FEEL really hard to know that a stranger is going to have even a small semiparental role over your child)? If you can figure out where these intense feelings are coming from, that might help you sort them out and address them.

I suggest this not just because it will be better for you (although it will) but also because at this point your ex knows that he has emotional leverage over you by bringing in the gf. I really hope you can release those feelings - or at least fake it in front of him - so that he no longer knows he can use this to upset you. That way he will lose that power over you and frankly he will probably lose interest in doing it as soon as he knows it doesn't upset you anymore.

All of us on this board have to deal with things for the kids that are not right, that are totally unfair. It's a constant struggle. But at least for me, aiming to always accept that this is the way it is and that I cannot totally fix it - that helps me to live with it every day.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 12:42:26 PM by Penny Lane »