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Skid documented her summer visitation - then gave it to DH

momjeans's picture

The title says it all.

Skid has been documenting this summer’s visitation, detailing her interactions with DH. Gauging her thoughts and feelings by what made her “uncomfortable” and “comfortable.” These are the keys words she uses in her poorly spelled, psychobabble journal ramblings. It reeks of therapist led - which is fine. Skid gave it to him before leaving for the airport yesterday. 

I’ll preface this with the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of therapy. I’m just a little worried that skid is possibly seeing a poor COD centric one, though.

Anyway. Skid hands this spiral notebook she journaled in over the summer to DH. Later that evening he reads it. I read it right before bed. Every entry is dated and there are details of how much or little attention was paid to her, who DH spoke to (instead of her), and what was said in her presence. In one entry skid points out that DH said “What the hell” in conversation with another adult and how “he shouldn’t be using that language around toddlers and an 11 year old.”

She wrote how she wanted to spend more time with him this summer, but he’s “always working (scribbled sad face).”

“I saw Daddy at work today. I could tell he was sad/mad about his grandmother passing away. He wasn’t acting weird, though, he just seemed very busy because it was kind of busy.”

Huh!?

Also, Daddy works 14+ hour days, running a high volume restaurant, so there’s that.

This one, dated the 4th of July, stood out to me. “Daddy came in and said ‘Can you do me a favor?’ and I said ‘Yes!’ and he said ‘Can you make sure you don’t talk about your mom or her baby? It makes me feel icky inside, so just make sure we don’t talk about her. Okay?’ I talk about Daddy all the time, and whenever I want, and my mom doesn’t get upset or mad about it.”

Skid included the therapist’s info. DH stated he called months ago, but never received a call back. Okay, dude...

If this is the new NEW with how visitations are going to go, I... just don’t know what to think. 

I’m sure MIL is lapping this sh*t sandwich up with glee. She loves drama and discourse in her family. 

Oof.

 

Comments

futurobrillante99's picture

Oh yes. Let's just let the poor COD of divorce think that life is ALL about how much attention everyone gives her at any given time.

No introspection on herself? No speaking up and voicing her need to spend more time with dad? Where does this young lady own her voice and behaviors?

Sorry, but if the therapist is encouraging her to be an attention hungry victim, she's not gonna have a good life.

barbKarin's picture

In a way I sympthatize with the child because she came to visit her father but she doesn't even live with him, let alone see him.

I would be glad your husband got the journal and not the BM. But I htink your husband should talk to his daughter about her feelings because to me, they seem like valid feelings.

momjeans's picture

I sympathize with skid. I do. And I’m happy that she’s in therapy.

But, 1) DH is a very approachable and attentive parent, and 2) There’s no need or place for an 11 year old to be trivializing or over analyzing what an adult is feeling at any given moment. This is just opening up a can of worms, allowing BM a platform to say “See! Your dad is a sad and mad man.”

barbKarin's picture

I agree with your point #2 completely. ThHat part is wrong.

But for the first point, I think she is still craving more interaction with her father. Does he only see her on weekends at this point? And he only gets her regularly in Summer (sounds like long distance custody)? Since she isn't staying at home with him she is missing out on evenings too.

She is vocalizing a desire to see her father more and he should be facilitating that. She is 11, he is the adult who can drive.

Sorry, we have dealt with a lot of alienation and I wish my stepkids said they wanted to see their father more.

SteppedOut's picture

It sounds like SD isn't staying with dad for summer visit becuase dad works 14+ hours a day and OP does not want to care for the child, thus at gmas.

It would be nice if he could take the whole summer off, but that likely isn't feasible. Not many people could do such a thing.

barbKarin's picture

Then OP's husband should be spending time with her in the evenings as well for a little bit. This is how parents lose their bond with their kids, which a cruel BM will use to her advantage when she starts alienation.

I don't have a problem with the living conditions. But a 11 year old child is making it clear she is not seeing her father enough and the father should be addressing this.

Imagine when she turns 13 and hormonal and she directs her resentment at her half-siblings? This needs to be nipped in the bud now.

 

ndc's picture

My guess is that he doesn't have time in the evenings to spend with her.  If he's running a restaurant, and working 14 hours a day, he's probably working until late at night - past the bedtime of an 11 year old.  It's unfortunate, but when you own a business there are times when you don't get to spend a lot of time with your family.  I'm guessing he's not getting to spend a lot of time with his little children, either, but they have their mom there picking up the slack.

I'm guessing the therapist told skid to do this.  I wonder if she made two copies of the "journal," so that BM or the therapist will see it, too.  She certainly does sound like she's crying out for more of dad's attention, with her journal and with her behavior.

barbKarin's picture

Yes, I didn't consider that regarding running a restaurant. I still think OP's hisband should talk to his daughter and not just ignore it.

I hope to god there wasn't another copy of the journal. Can you imagine what a vindictive BM could do with it?

momjeans's picture

barbKarin - I’m pretty sure BM will get the verbal version of it from a teary-eyes skid when she’s asked how summer visitation went. At this point, I’d be shocked if BM doesn’t contact DH in an attempt to rip him a new one. 

He wont tolerate any of it, too, as he’s already stressed and pushed to the max with work stuff. 

momjeans's picture

ndc - You’re correct. DH leaves by 8:45am and isn’t home until 10 or 11pm most nights. The kids and I see DH for 30-45 minutes in the morning, if we’re lucky. I’m sure skid sees him more than our kids, some weeks, with as much as the in-laws take skid in to see DH at the restaurant, despite them not really being a fan of the Asian food and all...

moving_on_again's picture

I'd start a journal, too, and start writing in it right in front of her but never show her. 

still learning's picture

What?! Skid has a parent who works and every single interaction did not revolve around her?! Your DH is upset because his grandmother passed away?! Sounds like SD doesn't know what normal life is about.  

momjeans's picture

Sounds like SD doesn't know what normal life is about.  

This. A thousand times, this. 

Skid also journaled about his grandmother’s funeral. “I think I saw him cry a little, but maybe he was just happy to see family.” 

What?! 

SteppedOut's picture

Weird. I think it's a little odd a child this age can't comprehend a "funeral situation". Happy to see family? Weird. 

moving_on_again's picture

He should probably just quit his job so he can be with her 24/7 and quit paying child support. That's what DH sent BM when she said that he didn't pay enough attention to skids. She shut up. 

AlmostGone83's picture

Boo freakin hoo. Her dad works a busy job. So do a lot of other fathers and (gasp) he said the “h-word” in front of her. Give me a break. If this is all the kid has to worry about she’s lucky.

 

edited to add: he should have ripped the journal in half right in front of her and the therapist and said “sounds like a lot of whining over nothing to me”

WalkOnBy's picture

You know what pisses me off?  If these two parents were still married and dad was working 14 hour days, no one would bat an eye about it.  Because guess what? This is what happens in intact families.

Soooooo infuriating that these CODs are being raised to be victims.

When my kids were young, I went to school and worked.  I hardly saw them for two years, as I was either at work or school from 8am - 10pm.  No one told me I should take the summer off or told me I didn't have enough time with them, in fact, I got a whole lot of the "poor single mom hustling to make her life better" sympathy.

Why don't dads get the same sympathy?  Oh, that's right, because penis.

MoominMama's picture

So agree with this! My father worked all hours, never had expectations. Perhaps op's DH should go part time to spend more time with needy SD? Pfffft joking but really, what on earth is going on with COD's these days? 

 

TwoOfUs's picture

Amen. 

As the oldest of 6...I learned how to entertain myself (and my younger siblings) at a young age. Best thing for a kid to learn to do, IMHO. 

My parents loved me...I never felt neglected...but I was in no way the "center of their world" or "their best friend" or "their reason for living."

These poor CODs probably wouldn't have half the issues they have if people would just quit teaching them to be neglected little half-orphan victims. How much time is daddy spending with you? Write it down...

Gross.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

has anyone explained to SD that journaling isnto explore your own feelings and is not generally used to speculate about other people or tattle in a round about way? 

It also helps that you bring up something in a timely manner so it can be addressed.

"daddy were you crying at grandmas funeral? Why?"

"daddy I feel sad that you are at work a lot. Csncyou take a few days off so we can do some stuff together?"

"daddy, I am confused. Mommy lets me talk about you all the time but you don't like hearing about mommy. Why?"

Seems like kid needs a therapist to help her find better words to communitxate. Connotation vs denotation and all that jazz.

MoominMama's picture

This is the same SD that accused her father of physical abuse right?

This whole set up is sick. No child in an intact family would get or expect so much attention. Her father works long hours to pay for her keep (and loads of CS to BM no doubt) he has other children, how can he be expected to find time for everyone to have their bit of him when SD is so demanding ?

This journal was her idea? BM's or the therapist? If it was the therapist I would be getting on her case. What a negative, attention seeking thing to suggest. I thought the idea was ro repair the relationship not hinder it. No way would I have a kid of mine writing such cr*p about me.

Like I said before, she will be and now Is running the show.

* i realise now that this is not the SD I thought it was but I still feel the same about what's going on. 

momjeans's picture

This is the same SD that accused her father of physical abuse right?

No. 

DH’s only “crime” is that he co-owns a restaurant and works 5, sometimes 6 days a week, 14 hours a day, year round. Unlike BM, who waitresses 3 days a week, maybe 6 hours a day, at her parent’s restaurant. 

Steppedonnomore's picture

SInce SD gave the journal to your DH it sounds like she is attempting to start a dialogue with him.  She, apparently, didn't document things for her therapist nor for her mom. Maybe she feels unable to talk to him and this was her way of opening a "conversation."  Even if he is very approachable, maybe she feels she can better express herself on paper than by talking.  

MoominMama's picture

This is a good point, maybe she is trying to use it that way but it just seems so wrong. 

Gwynnafaye's picture

I come from an intact family so I don't know what a COD goes through.  I don't remember ever feeling like my parents didn't pay me enough attention.  They did their thing, and I did mine.  They both worked full time, and my brother and I went to school.  In the summers, when we were too old for daycare, we stayed home while our parents worked.  We had chores to do (doing dishes by hand because no dishwasher, vacuum 2x a week, dust 1x a week, keep our rooms clean, and keep the bathroom clean).  When we were old enough, it was our responsibility to have dinner on the table by 5:00 every evening and clean up after.  We still had plenty of time to play, watch TV, listen to music, play the Atari, etc.  Never did I need to keep a journal or psychoanalyze how my parents were acting/feeling/doing.  

I tried to raise my kids how I was raised.  Maybe they didn't have as many chores as I did, but I feel I did a good job - both of my kids are working full-time, one has launched, and the other will launch in another year or two.  The skids on the other hand?  OMG!!  It's all about how they're feeling, their self-esteem.  DH lets them have a choice on every single thing they do, and he says he can never force them to do anything.  Example:  DH - do you want to go to the store with us?   Me - get in the car, we're going to the store.  Now, SD feels she has a choice whether she wants to do anything whether that be learning to drive, having a job, or just getting the frak out of her room for a little while.  If big bad stepmomma tells her to do something instead of asks, she feels pressured and stressed and can't function in that kind of environment.  

UGH!!  Give me a frakking break!   

Simpleton21's picture

I'm a poor COD but still had a similar upbrining where I was expected to do chores and the world didn't revolve around me and my feelings.  My dad worked long hours as a farmer and I never whined and cried about not getting enough attention from him.  I think HCBMs put wrong ideas in some of these skids heads that the world revolves around them when that is just not how it should be.  

Siemprematahari's picture

Gwynnafaye~ I was raised the same way and I don't know what it is with this generation but they need tougher skin. Its like a bunch of weak minded, sensitive children are being raised that break down for any little thing. They are being cottled, enabled, and spoiled. The way I was raised we had chores, we had responsibilities, and weren't given many options. We were raised to show respect to adults, not to suck teeth, or talk back but respect in general but those values seem to be out the window these days.

Unhappysb's picture

This rang bells with me too (as most of these posts do) my SD doesn't keeps notes to be best of my knowledge but she does write her father letters sometimes to tell him all the things she isn't happy about, and how unloved she feels. And he of course responds with a gushing of tears and praise. Now I'm not saying men aren't allowed to do that but wake up and smell when you're being manipulated! 

They're only happy when they're getting because of course both parents want to be the fun one and the one they enjoy being with the most so it's all became a weird kind of competition but my goodness don't the kids know it and play it to full advantage. 

I'm afraid I'm more of a straight to the point this is what we're doing like or not type of person too. It's doesnt go down well here either, my SDs aren't used to being told what to do but I've no patience to tiptoe round anyone. 

Aniki's picture

So... is there any "job" that SD can do at the restaurant every now and then? LIke scrape plate scraps into the garbage? Dirol

I've seen family-owned restaurants with the pre-teen children doing this. Even seating people and giving them menus.

I love dogs's picture

That's actually a great idea! My first job was fast food in high school and it helped with my people skills since I was really shy. BUT, this girl may take advantage of being the owner's daughter and not want to work very hard.

momjeans's picture

BINGO, I love dogs. It would be the skid/my daddy owns this place/I also “work” at my mommy’s restaurant (because that is what skid calls it) show. 

Skid has definitely played the my mom married-up into (her podunk central California town) elite status card. No. No, no, nope. The cost of living is just substantially lower there, compared to here.

All the eye rolls. 

Dovina's picture

An entitled skid "working" at daddys restaraunt. The false sense of empowerment expecting all staff to cater to her, and her now demanding her dads undivided attention at a busy place of work. I can only imagine her new entries in her journal LOL. 

momjeans's picture

Skid has been greeting/seating/handing-out menus to customers at her maternal grandparent’s restaurant since she was 5 or 6 years old and the restaurant has the scathing 1 and 2 star Yelp reviews to prove it. 

Ah, tears. Lol.

Cover1W's picture

OH no.  SD14 is a writer too and I could see her doing this.  She is also likely spinning facts.  Like 1) how truly terrible it is at our house, 2) how mean her dad is - he's always yelling, 3) that Cover really runs the house and her dad has no say, and 4) how boring it is there and she 5) has no friends in our area....

Reality:  1) Her room was decorated the way she wanted and she chose the biggest room availble to her and her sister; we are working on home upgrades and necessary repairs came before 'wants' which was clearly explained to her many times along with the money factor. 2) if she was being b*tchy and talking back to DH and/or having a teenage tantrum and being disrespectful, DH was not taking it any longer and he only yelled when she pushed him too far - how horrible for us to require she clean up after herself 3) yes, I do take more care of the house because DH isn't good at it, doesn't care as much, and can work very odd hours and the house is more mine financially but she doesn't need to know about those adult details right now with her attitude 4) each time we went somewhere DH invited her and 99% of the time she refused to go, unless it 100% benefited her like a movie she wanted to see, we are not an amusement park 5) she has no friends in the area because she declared them all 'mean' and basically not worth her time three years ago and she refuses to participate in local activities.

So yes, it's all DH's fault.