Dealing with religious zealot?Submitted by Kaim on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 10:16am
I've gotten some good feedback from this site before so figured I would ask if anyone has any suggestions on dealing with a religious zealot who is mentally ill. Truthfully, I think the religious zealotry is just his form of mental illness i.e. how some mentally ill people are obsessed with patterns, etc. He has been diagnosed before with severe depression, and some other thing as well but decided to stop seeing his therapist and taking his medication because "I'm not ill, this is the devil fighting for my soul. I need to pray harder and become more faithful then ever before to beat this". This was 8 years ago, getting progressively worse. Well his views are his own, however considering that he is now interfering with and causing tension in my SO's kid life; it is no longer just limited to him being batshit crazy.
To make a long story short - the teenager was enrolled with a counselor, was making progress, slowly but surely. This was all while the dad was out of the life due to a court order. Well the court situation gets figured out, and supervisory parenting is dropped; a week later the kid does not want to go back to counseling. Knowing that the dad was completely opposed to counseling from the very beginning (remember, it's all sin causing these issues - never mind the divorce, grief, etc), it's safe to assume that the dad has convinced the child not to go and talk to the counselor. So thanks to the final court order, the child needs to resume counseling with the old counselor and it flat out says that it's the court's finding that the dad has been interfering with counseling and needs to stop.
So in the end, it would be nice to think that everyone can get on board but considering that he is throwing a hissy fit about the child not going to his counselor because she's equipped to deal with "sin" while the other counselor (who the child has established trust with) is not. We know how it's going to end, with fights every week to go, and the idiot feeding this religious bullshit and convincing him not to talk to the counselor. Keep in mind, we tried to appease him by finding someone at the practice, but all they wanted to do was pump the child full of drugs instead of addressing the issues.
I'm sure everyone has dealt with these issues, so that being said - any advice on how to make life easier and at least give the child a chance to succeed? Because if this dad gets his way, the kid is dead in the water, and will end up a failure with no high school education and dead-end job (just like dad). How do I know this, well the dad refuses to be a dad and takes the Disneyland/best friend approach - it's already caused a whole host of other issues.