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Third month of no shows

Jcksjj's picture

This weekend was the 3rd weekend SD didn't show up. At this point I think its safe to assume that she's not going to any time soon.

It feels a little...weird. Just because it's not normal for a kid to have zero contact with a dad that was previously very involved. But honestly, this is the most peaceful my adult life has ever been and the most content I've felt. No drama with SD, no contact from BM, very little contact from the inlaws. DH and I very rarely end up arguing now also. It's nice.

Comments

tog redux's picture

I'm glad you have peace - but does your DH not intend to do ANYTHING?  I don't blame him for not wanting to go to court, but if he's going to accept that he no longer gets time with his daughter, should he offer to help BM with expenses? 

This is such an odd situation, with no one even talking about what's going on. 

Jcksjj's picture

I doubt he's going to just send her cash, but if she were to tell us SD needs something we'd gladly buy it. We are still covering her health with DHs work insurance, so he is providing something at least.

I agree it's odd. To me the oddest part is that SD just flat out doesn't care. Usually kids that age are so attached to parents even if they're absolutely terrible. It's hard to really convey over the internet, but her attitude about not coming here often was so bizarre. There wasn't any anger or sadness, just eyerolls and indifference.

tog redux's picture

Well, that's typical for an alienated kid. Their normal attachment process is pushed down by the alienation.  Has he even asked BM what the plan is?

ESMOD's picture

I have to say, I think it's a bit off for a parent to just shrug and say oh well.. even if the kid is Pas'ed by the other parent.  I mean, the girl is what.. 10 or 11?  It seems like that's still pretty young to just let them drive the bus on what they want for custody.

I kind of get it with older kids... teens.. that may have active work/social/school extracurriculars that make visitation difficult but a 10 year old?

I mean.. yes.. it is peace for you.. but I can't believe your DH won't mourn this in the future and possibly make it a point of resentment.   

And.. I think you say it's odd that SD isn't grieving.. but it doesn't seem  your DH is either.. could that be some part of both their emotional makeup?

To not even get to the bottom of the WHY.. (though it likely has something to do with him trying to take her electronics before)..

And... to an extent, I think that people do need to understand the addiction/reliance on these electronics that kids have.  It's their connection to the world... it's no where near the same thing as a TV was for us growing up.   It likely seemed to her a punishment right out of the box when she "hadn't even done anything wrong".  But, it seems like communication between her and her father has never been that strong.

Like Tog said.. I mean, it's nice you have peace.. but the kid is so young.. is this really what he intends to do.. completely drop the rope because she acted like a bratty preteen?

tog redux's picture

Yeah - I mean, I completely get the desire to not go to court. But seems to me they have no CO and BM is afraid of court, so just threatening court might make her start sending SD over, or at least allowing your DH to come take her out.  And she's only 10 - no court will let her decide this.

I dunno, I hate court, but just doing and saying nothing doesn't seem quite right, either. 

Jcksjj's picture

I think he's been grieving in some form or another since the very beginning. Based on what I know now it sounds like the alienation started on day 1 so it wasn't ever really a normal parent/child relationship. I did notice from the beginning of knowing DH that there was almost a desperation and fear in regards to his relationship with SD and that he seemed to know if she wasn't happy at all times that would be the end. I had no clue about parental alienation until I came on here though so I thought he was just being dramatic, tbh.

I dont think he's dropping the rope because of SD acting like a brat. She's acted like a brat for years and he never dropped the rope. I think there's a hopelessness because any previous efforts for 10 years did nothing, combined with being ganged up on by his family (amd anyone else who will listen) if SD isn't worshipped, combined with the guilt that it's starting to affect DS3 when he's witnessed some of the drama. 

 

WwCorgi7's picture

My situation is similar she was 12 though. According to the court that is an acceptable age to decide whether they want to come have contact with their parent or not. We got absolutely nowhere and couldn't force her or BM to cooperate. Dh just let it go. What else can they do? SD didn't grieve and had nothing but hatred for a fully involved father. It was building starting around age 9 and then at 12 no contact. Dh grieved and went through some serious depression. He eventually got closure and does not intend on trying to rebuild a relationship with someone he can't trust. It's unfortunate but he has to move on. 

I don't see what good it does beating a dead horse. You can try every which way but sometimes you can't change people or the situation. Although the SD here is young, the damage is likely done. At best he will probably only have a superficial relationship with her in the future. It is what it is.

thinkthrice's picture

In our case, Chef was a very involved father...up for midnight and 4 am feedings, diaper changing, rocking sick kids to sleep, going to all the school activities, etc.  In fact SD was completely a daddy's girl from age five and under and would only listen to Daddy and not her BM, the Girhippo.    Once they separated it was as though somebody had flipped the switch.

SD began hating her father for no reason and purposely acting up every time she would come over.  Same way with o s s & Y s s.   They would literally huddle together as though they were being attacked as Hansel and Gretel at the Wicked Witch's House when on visitation.

The PAS was nothing short of scorched-earth which led to a quick PAS out.   Enjoy the peace as a SM.  Too many times fathers blow  hundreds of thousands of dollars away in court battles only to get the same result as you have now.   IMO it just prolongs the agony.  

Jcksjj's picture

Like I said above, I think the alienation here was always somewhat there, but there was also a switch flip when it became more of a benefit to BM to have her fulltime and it all of a sudden ramped up dramatically. And then SIL getting involved made it even worse because she blatantly told SD to be scared of me. The way SD ran screaming and bawling out of our house last time she was here was insane. A kid who used to laugh at us half the time when we were upset with her now acting like she's deathly afraid of us? They definitely got in her head.

Jcksjj's picture

How old is your SD now? 

I do agree with both this and the othet posters actually. Logically, I think you're right. But it does FEEL not quite right. Never giving up on your kids for any reason is a societal expectation, and this situation is definitely not the norm for sure and I think impossible for most parents to imagine. I can't imagine it, but I kind of wonder if at this point it's not more painful to be around her and have to actually see the behavior and attitude from her.

WwCorgi7's picture

She's going on 15. Agree, it is not a normal situation. Dh was embarrassed by it. How do you explain that you are moving on from a relationship with your child? It will never sound right. The parents will always get the blame. When people think of estrangement, especially with younger children, they automatically think the parent is the monster. In some cases that is true but not with alienated kids. Sometimes there is fault on both sides but most of the time it's the product of being fed poison for years against their own parent.

When Dh was going through court with BM for more visitation and a revised order I saw the alienation had really ramped up. Dh was having a normal conversation with SD about the previous visit. She looked him dead in the eyes with zero expression and robotically replied " what are you talking about I haven't seen you in 6 months, this is my fiirst time seeing you in 6 months". It was scary because of how she believed that herself despite having all the proof in the world. About 4 months later she took our pregnancy/gender announcement as her ticket out. 

My SD has this alternate version of her life and their relationship that she whole heartedly believes. There is no fixing that. Why should DH continue torturing himself? He made the best decision for himself and the family in my opinion. It's shocking to those who do not know the situation and could probably never understand it but you deal with the hand you are dealt the best way you can. 

 

tog redux's picture

My SS did come back from alienation, and they aren't close, but they do have positive relationship now. No parent should give up entirely on a kid, without any effort to maintain some contact to let the kid know they are there. 

tog redux's picture

But your DH tried. The OP's hasn't even asked BM what her plan is, much less gone to court. 

WwCorgi7's picture

I mean he could save some time and just flush the money down the toilet now instead or the hassle of court. It likely won't amount to anything. Now if he asks BM what would he expected to happen? She tells him her evil scheme or just puts the blame on him? There are obviously two different parenting styles going on SD is going to choose the one where she gets unlimited use of her tablet and no rules. There is no competition there. 

tog redux's picture

You would have been okay if your DH didn't even make any effort? I don't think I could have respected mine if he didn't. I'm glad he dropped the rope but just walking away entirely would not have worked for me. 

WwCorgi7's picture

I wished he dropped the rope sooner. Dh went through hell again in August. He could have saved himself the stress and headache had he not fallen back into their little scheme. What's the point in trying to reach out repeatedly to someone who hates you? So you could maybe have a positive but superficial relationship when they are grown? Seems like dragging things out to me.

tog redux's picture

Because in alienation the kid is being abused and needs to know the other parent is there for them. If they continue as adults, you can let it go. Would you walk away entirely from your bio kids?

Jcksjj's picture

Nothing good will come from messaging BM. She probably wouldn't even give the actual message to SD anyway. And that's exactly what she's waiting for is for DH to reach out so that she can go off on him, and I'm sure his family will join in, and they can each give their separate demands of DH that need to be complied with in order for him to see SD. 

We did tell SD the second to last time that she was here that she is welcome here and no one tried to make her feel unwelcome. Also that if she wanted we could just go out to eat instead of her coming here.

WwCorgi7's picture

Exactly! She can't wait to tell him what a rotten father he is. Then roll out her list of demands for your DH to comply with or else he won't see SD.

Same this here OP. In the beginning Dh was desperate too and reached out to BM she had a list and at the top was going out with BM. Dh declined the the rage texts began. When SD made contact after a year and a half she was old enough to hand over her list of demands DH needed to comply with in order to be graced with her presence. 

Jcksjj's picture

It's never ending too. It's not like there's one legitimate concern and once that's solved it's all good. It's constantly changing complaints that are either petty, unreasonable or just untrue. She doesn't want to compromise, she wants to hurt DH for going on with his life with someone else.

WwCorgi7's picture

The door isn't locked and sealed on our end but it's barely cracked open. Dh isnt going put any more effort into trying on his end. If by some miracle SD wanted to behave like a member of the family and treat everyone with kindness and respect, not just lay it on thick to scam Dh out of something She may be allowed back in but only if it's a visible change not an act(slim chance). If she wants to keep lying, treating people like garbage, and using people then do us a favor and never contact us again.

You can't win with BM's like that. They are unhappy and will do anything to make you guys unhappy as well. It's jealousy and bitterness. Nothing will ever be solved because they create new problems to keep the drama going. We've been invited to SD's birthday party by BM (going on about how she wants SD to be surrounded by parents who get along and can be around eachother) and woken up to rage texts at 6 am the next morning. BM would go off about issues she has had for awhile when in reality she was marinating in jealousy all night and couldn't wait till dawn to unleash it.

stepmomnorth's picture

We are in a pretty similar situation. My step kids 14/16 haven't been in contact with my partner. I haven't seen them in a few months. My partner tried calling the oldest and he screamed on and on about how bad we were and he had to hang up on him. We also know that attempting to contact their bio mom wouldn't go over well. It's a really hard situation to be in. You want to have a relationship but it's darn near impossible. We won't be seeing them this holiday. My step kids would have to have a pretty huge attitude shift if they were ever allowed at my home again. I'm not allowing kids who disrespect us and scream at us  around, who think they are in charge of our household. 

Jcksjj's picture

It seems to be common with teen skids on here. I'm curious how those situations will be playing out over the next few years as they become adults.

The kids thinking they are in charge of the household is infuriating, I completely get that.

tog redux's picture

I thought it was hopeless too when SS was alienated. But DH keep in touch and he came back. You all may be happier with your DH cutting off his kids, but believe me, mine is much happier having a positive but superficial relationship with SS than none at all.  
 

I'm not saying don't drop the rope. We did that and it's the necessary thing to do. I'm saying don't stop trying to let the kid know the door is open, even if you get hateful responses for a while. Don't fool yourself into thinking your DH is happy his kid is gone like you are. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I agree. As hard as it is I think it's important to keep trying. With the hope that one day things might turn around. 

tog redux's picture

No one wants permanent estrangement from their kid for any reason. Just reach out periodically so the kid knows that Dad still Ioves them and the door is open. 

thinkthrice's picture

When the BM is screening all postal mail; even certified mail and sending it back and blocking all incoming calls as well as getting a phoney baloney RO with fake accusations of abuse.   That and the constant CPS inquisitions.

tog redux's picture

You make some effort at least. It wouldn't be impossible for your DH right now but he chooses not to. Even if they did want to see him again, they'd assume by his silence that he doesn't want to see them.