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Spring Break is Over

CastleJJ's picture

BM's brother came to pick up SS9 today to conclude spring break visitation. We had a really great time and SS shed some light on many alienation tactics from BM. SS left his perfume covered stuffed animal in his closet for the entire visit. When I packed it up with his stuff, he said "I didn't even need it. I dont sleep with stuffed animals at home. BM just makes me take it to your house." I asked SS if he wanted to take home a souvenir model car we got him while visiting a museum this week, and he said no, that if he brings anything to BM's home from our house, BM just throws it out. Whelp there it is. 

So BM's brother came to pick up and made a really shitty comment about the perfume covered stuffed animal, asking SS "Did you bring the stuffed animal to Dad's to protect you?" Wow. Protect SS from what?! Us?! Clearly alienation and narcissism is a family trait.

Just as a backstory: BM's family is really disturbing. There is just a really weird vibe and dynamic between them all. They all believe they are superior in every way, especially in intelligence. BM claimed that her Dad sexually abused her as a child. She told DH this when they were dating; DH even took BM to an agency to report the abuse. When BM made false allegations about sexual misconduct against my BIL during our custody battle, which were proven false, DH brought up the allegations against BM's father. BM then recanted saying she lied and it never happened. Both BM and BM's brother now identify as gay, and both are with same sex partners. To be clear, I have no issue with the LGBTQ+ community. BM's family is very enmeshed. BM's Dad gives off a womanizer vibe (but seems very feminine) and BM's Mom is nice and sweet, until you cross her. I don't trust any of them. BM has bragged to me that she requested that her brother be a sperm donor for BM & GF's baby in the future, and in return GF would carry a baby for brother and brother's partner. It's a little too "all in the family" and incestuous for me and is definitely something I wouldn't be bragging about. SS' "sibling" between BM and GF would actually be SS' cousin. If anything, I don't think it's our family that SS needs protection from. 

We will see SS in about 2 months for summer break. Our CO sets dates for SS to visit for summer break, but it allows BM to change those dates to accomodate sports. BM has to notify us no later than one week prior to the first day of scheduled visitation. DH was pissed when the judge ordered that sports take priority over visitation, because BM has always used sports to withhold and alienate. Plus SS' sport season doesn't start until after our scheduled dates, but BM lied saying his sports are all summer to try to prevent visitation. DH doesnt like that it only gives him a week to coordinate PTO or Childcare if BM decides to stick to the original dates. BM has yet to provide the dates. SS says BM already knows the dates. I'm sure she does but is waiting until the deadline to provide them to make it difficult to plan. DH is just going to go off the original scheduled dates and shift as necessary. 

It was a nice week. I am happy it's over so we can get back to life as normal. Hopefully we won't hear from BM for a while. 


JRI's picture

Your SS sounds surpridingly normal.  He sounds like he has some realization of the dynamics.  He probably wishes he had more time with dad.  Remind me, how old is he?

CastleJJ's picture

He just turned 9. I think he is completely blinded by BM's family dynamics. When DH and I got married, he told us that heterosexual relationships were weird. Well that makes sense given his family dynamics and their identities. He has also mentioned feeling pressure to like boys because most of his family are in same-sex relationships. Also, he finds this incestuous baby thing totally normal and has totally wrapped his head around it. He told DH yesterday that he thinks DH and my families are weird/crazy, which is hysterical given his family dynamics. Both of our families are pretty average. 

I think he notices some of BM's alienation tactics though and works hard to keep his households separate. I do commend SS for that and I can't imagine how hard that must be for him. We never wanted to put him in that position. 

We have asked SS several times if he would like more time with DH and I. The answer has always been "No" for various reasons; can't be away from BM for too long, would miss BM and GF too much, BM says "No", etc. He doesn't question why BM says "No" or question why he can't handle more time with us. He told DH yesterday that DH has 50/50 with 20 weeks of visitation per year. DH corrected SS and told him we have 85/15 with 6 weeks of visitation per year. He argued, saying "No", that DH was wrong because BM said its 50/50. DH helped SS do the math and when it came out to 6 weeks, SS looked confused and worried. His loyalties run really deep with BM and you can tell when it comes to visitation and what SS wants, he cannot think for himself; he is only parroting BM's message. 

JRI's picture

It will be interesting as he matures intellectually.  He sounds bright.

ExhaustedByItAll's picture

It is so nice to see kids who can put the alienation aside and enjoy their time with their parents and family that they don't see very often. Fingers crossed his BM doesn't royally screw up summer visitation.

CastleJJ's picture

She does, yet, she was with DH on and off for two years in end of high school/beginning of college so who knows. She was straight enough to date DH and get pregnant, but DH questions if that was just a ploy to get pregnant and not actually because she was interested in DH. DH believes she was fooling around with women when they dated; he has no concrete proof but just a hunch based on hindsight. BM's identity (not just sexual orientation) changes like she changes her underwear. She is never stable. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

What an excellent way that BM is not only screwing up her son, but potentially screwing up some other poor kid SS tries dating in the future because BM won't accept that her son isn't gay! 

Sweet lord, I just can't deal with that level of stupidity.

tog redux's picture

He'll have to be a closet heterosexual, if he is one!  Very odd family dynamic.

CastleJJ's picture

DH sat down with SS this week and told him that 1) SS is only 9 and is too young to be liking anyone anyway, 2) we will love SS regardless of how he identifies and 3) that he has to be true to himself, that there is no wrong way to love. He can love a boy, like BM and GF love each other, or he can love a girl, like DH and I love each other. Neither way is wrong, but it's up to SS to decide/figure out, not anyone else. 

DH wanted to make it very clear that he can be and love whoever he wants, but nobody can make that choice for him. We played the "Game of Life" boardgame this week and when SS spun to get married, he put a girl character in his Game car. On the flipside, SS' friend was poking fun at him this week, asking if SS had a girlfriend and SS got really uncomfortable and said he doesn't like girls. I couldnt tell by his statement if he just isn't interested in love or dating because of his age or if he is questioning his identity. Only time will tell for SS, but I hope he remains true to himself regardless, knowing we will support him either way. If BM has a problem with his identity, that's on her. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

It's good that your DH had that conversation, along with the 50/50 discussion, with him. He needs to know that BM isn't the wisest just because she has the majority of custody. BM is setting him up for a world of hurt, and I think it's both your DH's right and responsibility to lay out the facts to SS.

My prediction? You and DH will get to see "the real SS" while BM gets her crafted version of SS. He may not even, ever, realize that there are two versions of himself. So long as DH keeps your home as the "safe haven" where SS is loved and not manipulated, there's a chance he'll be smart enough to withstand her and her family's BS.

CastleJJ's picture

It's hard to not know which SS is the "real" SS. He started reverting back to BM's version on Saturday afternoon. We noticed the shift, he was more cocky, rude, and displayed narc tendencies, which we have noticed SS only exhibits around BM. BM claims he is ADHD, but we have never noticed ADHD tendencies, which would make sense if he is acting out for BM to get attention, where here we give him attention. DH and I are certain that the shift occurred because he knew he was going home to BM on Sunday. 

SS is a totally different kid with us. He is kind and compassionate and just fun to be around. Our goal is to maintain a safe place for him to be himself. I just hope he overcomes that PAS and realizes it as lies and games. Time will tell.