A selfish, b****y rant
This will be long. I don’t know if you’ll read it all but I’m posting it anyway because I just want to unburden my mind and I can’t say this anywhere else.
I know visitation is important for the kids and parents, but I feel like it’s the dumbest thing ever, and supervised visitation is becoming a unique version of hell for our already stressed out family.
Background: BM has a serious mental illness and stopped taking her medication this summer, which resulted in some questionable situations, some hysterical (chasing people down the street with deer antlers) and some highly dangerous (closing her eyes while driving SD7 and SD12 to school because "the lord is in control of the car"). Though BM's mental illness is well documented, she has (this round, at least) refused to acknowledge the mental health component of what’s happening and believes she does not need treatment, just “more sleep”.
She is currently only allowed supervised visitation by a mental health professional until she can provide 1) a statement from a mental health professional confirming her current level of stability and 2) a treatment plan which 3) she can show she has consistently followed “for a period of time”.
It’s been three months since she basically lost her mind and a little over two months since she was given that order and lost her 50% custody. During the first five weeks after the first court hearing, she didn’t exercise visitation at all. But, she was still getting CS during those first few months because #California.
So then about a month ago, they have the CS hearing, and her CS gets suspended (starting this month; she still gets alimony) and lo and behold! She must see the children. Right now. Every day. Literally 20 minutes after court was dismissed, DH got a call from a supervisor about BM wanting visitation that very same day and every day after.
BM then wanted twice weekly visits and DH agreed at first, but it ended up being very problematic for the kids’ school and extra-curricular activities so now it’s been changed to once a week, but double the time. So here’s where my selfish rant comes in.
I f***ing hate visitation. Each time a visit occurs, SD7 freaks out and gives herself a stomach ache so badly she throws up. She has a giant tantrum about something ridiculous; her clothes are suddenly “too itchy” and “don’t fit”. Her toothbrush is “too pointy” in her mouth. It is flipping exhausting. Of course I feel for her. This is SO hard. I’m having a hard time and I’m the adult. So I can only imagine what’s happening in her little 7-year-old mind, but also ME! I’m tired. This is not how I want to start my Sundays!
SD12 actually does fine in the time before the visit, but she comes back from the visit crying and worked up. She has written BM as series of letters stating (in 12-year-old language) that she is both scared FOR BM and scared OF BM but she misses how things used to be and asking BM what she’s doing to make things “be normal again”. BM does not reply to the letters.
And BM in the visits! Of all the things I am mad about, this is what pisses me off the most. She knows the kids miss her. She knows the kids feel uncertain around her – is she well or is she not? Will she act normal or will she be scary? And BM, instead of having a single kid-appropriate conversation about how she acted or where she’s at or what she’s doing to get better, she brings 12 crafts and 800 sweet snacks and then leads them in a demo on how to create a glitter bead bracelet or the worlds ugliest Christmas ornament! She acts like it’s a f***ing day camp and she’s the arts and crafts teacher.
They do not discuss a single relevant thing to what the kids are feeling or struggling with and when they try, she either lies or changes the subject. She tells them she’s better now. SD12 is smart enough to recognize: hey lady, if you were better, we wouldn’t be meeting in this sh**hole of an office with a stranger watching us. She makes them promises like they can come live at her house soon, and she’ll have them for Christmas. SD12 knows this is a lie, but SD7 does not.
So SD12 comes home devastated her mom is lying and is confused about why BM isn’t trying to get them back, isn’t trying to make their lives normal again, so she writes another letter to BM because “I just knows that if Mommy could really understand how much she hurt us, she would want to fix it. Mommy just needs help remembering what she’s supposed to do and I can help her so I’ll remind her again because I know she cares about us and what’s us to be happy” and SD7 is making plans for Christmas at Mommy’s.
And then DH (sometimes with me, sometimes without me) has to have another age-appropriate conversation about what’s really going on where we say kind things about their mother’s struggle and try to lead them to understand the depth of mental illness in the gentlest way possible while all I really want to do is scream, “YOUR MOM IS A F***ING LIAR WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU BECAUSE SHE CAN’T EVEN CARE ABOUT HERSELF!” Which I obviously do not do.
And I feel confused too. I understand that it’s not BM’s fault for having a mental illness, but it is her fault for NOT treating it. I have factual evidence that she can, has, and is completely capable of managing it. So I do blame her. I blame her for hurting her girls, and selfishly, I blame her for f***ing up the last three months of my life and now apparently every Sunday where I start my morning with one child crying and screaming, lose 4-6 hours with my DH who has to be at the center while the visits are happening, and then end my day with the other child crying and heartbroken.
I am drowning in this. I’m so angry. Our whole family is in therapy, and I’m trying to work through this, but for the first time in a very long time, I feel like a victim. I feel as if I’ve lost the ability to make choices for myself. Now, all I can do is respond to choices someone else made. And when she makes another decision, that’ll dictate what happens next for me too. I have just never had such a hard time with anything. DH and I are basically shell-shocked. Having the skids full time, very suddenly, is a ton of work but that’s not really the problem because it’s not even the daily maintenance that’s so difficult. It’s that the girls aren’t the same kids that lived with us with it was 50/50. They have experienced serious trauma. They are upset, emotional, frustrated, and confused. Having THOSE skids full time is the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. I’m so tired and I’m so angry.
I know it will get better. Eventually. Probably. LOL. But today is a visitation day and I’ve been sick for two weeks and my tolerance threshold is really low so I just needed to get this out. Thank you for reading.