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Episode 22: Pushing your kid away literally and figuratively

CantComplain's picture

(Backstory: The Harpy (BM) whisked the Princess (SD15) away from her family to check into a residential treatment castle on the other side of the country. We are not people who can drop everything, pay last min airfare to jet across the globe on a whim. We are legally obligated and budgeted. DH was strongly against this from the beginning but powerless to stop it. Since then, neither the Harpy nor the Princess have shut up about how DH hasn't come to visit Princess in the castle.)

The Princess (SD15) comes home on Saturday. When she found out she was getting released, she asked to stay at the castle for another week. The castle docs are having none of it, even though she's a self-pay patient who hasn't completed the full 60 day program. Apparently Princess doesn't do the work, refuses the personal trainer sessions, hasn't touched her schoolwork, and has started asking her therapists if they've f**ked her mom so that she can get kicked out of therapy sessions. 

(Is there a cautionary tale here about biting the hand that psychoanalyzes?)

Tangent: My original theory that separating Princess and the Harpy (BM) would do Princess a world of good was apparently a hugely wrong idea. They've both only gotten worse. It was my only good idea so I'm feeling rather defeated.

Since Princess is still threatening to kill herself, the Harpy won't hear of bringing her home. She'll have to go to a boarding school. There's one smack dab btwn our house and the Harpy's house, but Princess can't get in there because she's not addicted to drugs and doing crimes. The next closest facility is 260 miles away. 

Harpy set up everything so that she and Princess would get home Sunday night, then get in the car the next day and take Princess to her new school 4 hrs drive away. The school would be ready for their arrival and all would be well. But then Harpy realized she had a scheduling conflict and couldn't drive Princess to school. 

DH said simply: "I can drive her, no problem."

Well. We can't have that, can we?

A few hours later the Harpy is changing her mind about that school because it's not a good fit and maybe one farther away would be better. Wouldn't want Princess around all those kids who are <clutch the pearls> at that school for adoption-related reasons (is that even a real thing? Who publishes data on the mental demographics of the enrollees at that school? I call baloney).

What's your real reason, Harpy? Want something far enough away that you can use your airline miles but that DH will have to move heaven and earth to get to?

Somewhere you won't have to worry about him visiting and screwing up your narrative to Princess?

Somewhere far enough that you would feel less guilty when your little girl tries a "cry for help" and misses?

Somewhere far enough away that you can be a martyr for parenting a mentally ill child but not actually have to parent her daily? 

Enquiring minds want to know.


Survivingstephell's picture

Has DH asked BM why she wants to put SD in a place far away from either parent so that when she accomplishes her goal of death,  BM won't get anymore money from DH and the NEED  to have any more contact is over?   Its seems that if BM wants control over DH, there is a better way to get it, instead of aggrivating your daughter to throw out death threats.  Its just so warped !!  Who's to say that SD wont' kill herself at that school or any school?  I know its complicated BUT its so predicatable how this playing out.   

What if DH said to BM, "you know, I am just so helpless in helping SD, you are so much better at it ,I will bow out of all of it and you can handle it all.,  And then stop all contact.  BM is gonna keep doing what  she's doing, the question is how do you stop it from interfering with your life????  This is getting so ridiculous.  How are you doing through all of this??  How is your marriage doing in response to all this crap?  High drama times are exhausting and you get so caught up in it at the time that you forget to live.   Are finding moments of peace?  

CantComplain's picture

The Harpy's hunger for control is well-documented in family lore. When I first met DH, he was still in the habit of jumping when she shrieked at him to do so. She still shrieks these days but he doesn't jump. He's a quick learner. 

DH has been voicing his preference to have Princess close to home so that her family can support her. The Harpy just keeps repeating that 'it's not about money' and that Princess can go anywhere in the world as long as it's the right fit. 

How am I? I am living the dream. Neither Princess nor Harpy speaks to me (unless she needs insurance docs), my finances are separate from DH's (we're not legally married, just commonlaw), and no one asks me to do or pay for a thing. 

It's an odd dichotomy but one that I am loathe to point out for fear of getting myself involved. I mean, I live with her 50/50 and therefore am 1/3 of the parents in her life, but no one has asked me about our relationship or inferred that I might be the cause or anything. No therapist is interested in talking to me and no one has hurled accusations at me. 

Let's raise a glass to flying under the radar. *drinks*


advice.only2's picture

DH needs to tell Hapry "I will move heaven and earth to ensure my princess is okay and I will spare no expense even going so far as to spending her inheritance to do so!"

justmakingthebest's picture

Can DH file something with the courts to stop this? If he is a joint custodial parent can't he prevent her from enrolling in these schools so far away. I mean, if he calls the school and says I, as her father and custodial parent, am not allowing my daughter to attend this school- I would think that would solve the problem and SD can go to a school closer to home. 

CantComplain's picture

It turns out there is not. DH has met with a couple of different lawyers on the matter. He and the Harpy have joint custody, but that means that the Harpy can take the Princess to any doctor she wants. As can DH. No permission required.

DH could take the Harpy to court to enforce the 50/50 custody arrangement, but since Princess is 15 the courts would give her a say in which parent she wishes to live with. No one doubts that she would choose Harpy; she is actively choosing her now.  

She can't make DH pay for it, but he also can't stop her. 

justmakingthebest's picture

That seems like a load of bull... but in seeing how the courts work... I get it. 

I would though, if I was your DH, have a standard letter drawn up by the attorney for every school that he DOES NOT want her to go to that states that he does not agree with his child being enrolled and that if anything were to happen he will sue the school to the fullest extent possible. PS she is openly stating she is suicidal. While he might not have the ability to "stop" BM, they maaayyy not want to take on that kind of liabilitly.