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SS Went Home... But Wow

CastleJJ's picture

We had a nice weekend with SS10. We hosted SS10's birthday party yesterday with family and friends and had a really nice time. SS did great with DD, although we did alter the sleeping arrangements to ensure he got enough sleep. This morning, SS even wanted to feed her a bottle and did a really good job, which we praised him heavily for. We offered for him to take some of his birthday presents home, but he declined, saying that if he took them home, they would disappear. He hugged us all and told us he was really excited to come back this summer. 

So as many of you know from an earlier post, BM freaked out on DH on Wednesday about having to pick-up at my parent's house stating it was "inconvenient for her", even though it was shorter distance than driving to our apartment. She reminded DH that she does all the weekly transportation for SS to school, daycare, sports, etc. and told him to "keep that in mind when demanding last-minute favors of her." She also reminded him that legally per the CO, she could demand to pick-up at our apartment and make us drive the 45 minutes back just for drop off. After a full-on tantrum, BM told DH that she would pick SS up at a Lowes 2 miles from my parent's house. So DH drives SS to the Lowes at noon today... and BM wasn't there... GF was. So BM threw an unnecessary hissy fit, yet she wasn't even the one doing the driving or picking SS up. Instead, GF did the 8 HOURS ROUNDTRIP! Unbelievable! You know, if someone else was picking up SS on our end, BM would expect advanced notice of the change and demand to know who was picking him up, which honestly we don't think is a big deal as it is common courtesy if someone else is going to be doing pick-up instead of DH. But not BM! DH said she would never document that in writing because it would make her look bad to throw a tantrum about pick-up and then not actually do the pick-up. Just another example of BM not being the custodial parent that she fought so hard to be...


JRI's picture

How aggravating.  But focus on the good visit with SD.  Gotta look on the bright side....

CastleJJ's picture

I was more or less baffled... I don't know why anything with BM surprises me anymore though; stuff like this happens all the time, yet still surprises me. I am trying to focus on the good visit though and looking forward to the next one. 

JRI's picture

Im getting the feeling of a boy who is walking on a tightrope, trying to get along on both sides.

CastleJJ's picture

I agree. We may hate BM due to her toxicity and constant antics, but we work hard to never express that to SS. We encouraged him to take extra cookies from his birthday party home for them, we talked about them kindly while he was here, etc. We do not want him to experience any loyalty binds but I'm sure he still does. We just want him to be happy, regardless of our feelings.

Rags's picture

in the toxic opposition for the Skid's sake and catering to toxicity by serving up the Skid as their eternal victim.

We had to navigate this for 16+ years. Like you, we did not bad mouth the Spermidiot or SpermClan to SS. Though ultimately we chose to keep him abreast of the facts when he would come home from SpermLand visitation either recounting toxicity from SpermGrandHag or with questions about their crap and SS knowing that they lied to him.   So, we tuned him to the facts in an age appropriate manner.   We have always been the ones to ask about them when we are with SS and to encourage him to call them.  As a self preservation tactic, he has little to do with them.  He, his mom, and I are very close. He once told me just after he graduated from HS then went on his final COd SpermClan visitation that he knew who his real family is and where his home is.  Kids are smart. Given the facts they have a chance to protect themselves and to make the right decisions.

We documented everything and when we deemed it necessary, we informed SS of the facts.  We reviewed the CO with him, showed him the specific elements of the CO stipulating visitation times and durations, the required return times for him to come home.  When they lied, we showed him the truth.  Your DH is naive in his avoidance of documenting everything and baring BM's ass in court when necessary.

If he allows the BM toxicity to be burried he is doing his son a disservice IMHO.  CODs need the facts and the truth to be able to protect themselves from toxicity and manipulation.  The side that pratices full disclosure is not the side that tends to manipulate. Not only do these kids need the facts to protect themselves as they grow up as children, they need them to protect themselves as adults.  Toxicity does not end just because a SKid hits adulthood. A toxic opposition parent will in all liklihood continue their bullshit once the Skids are grown.

That is the case with the SpermClan.  They have tried to get my son to send them money, basically pay them CS to help support his three younger also out of wedlock Spermidiot spawned half sibs by two other baby mamas. He shut that crap down.  They will periodically attempt to guilt them into visiting them when they make zero effort to visit him.  His mom and I have visited him everywhere he has been stationed since he launched at 18 and reported to USAF BMT. Not one member of the SpermClan has visited him. Not once. No one came to his HS graduation, his USAF BMT graduation, any of his promotion or re-enlistment ceremonies. Nothing.  Once he aged out from under the CO, they have made very little effort to even call him.  Though when he is in the states or visiting his mom and her family in SPermClan they will play the full guilt card hand to try to get him to visit them.  When SS is in the states, his mom and I pay for his flights to visit us.  The SpermClan offers nothing but guilt.

He knows the facts, he ensures that when they pull their crap that they know that he knows the facts. He calls them on it, and he rubs their noses in it when necessary. That infuriates them.  SS is very effective at protecting himself from them and their toxic bullshit

CastleJJ's picture

Rags, I have always valued your opinion, but you are also on the opposite side of things compared to many on this site including myself. You are fortunate to be married to the BM, which puts you at an advantage. We have dispelled lies told by BM when we can. At one point, BM informed SS that DH had 50/50 physical custody and that DH was trying to take more than half. DH explained that that was a lie and worked SS through our custody arrangement and the math that equates to 15% visitation. BM once told SS that DH was a literal sperm donor and that BM and GF were his real parents. DH provided SS with proof of the court ordered DNA test and SS' birth certificate, listing DH as father. DH also noted the timeline showing that GF didn't enter BM's life until SS was 5, making it impossible for her to be his "Mom." SS once told DH that his football starts in June according to BM, which prevents us from having summer visitation; another lie, which was dispelled via the official team schedule. 

DH is not naive and he has documented everything. We have a filing cabinet filled with thousands of pages of emails, texts, photos, academic files, sports schedules, court orders (both past and present), etc. all highlighted and color coordinated with proof disproving BM's lies attached to each and every one. We have not gone through our proof with SS as we feel that it is inappropriate for his age. He is already in a forced loyalty bind due to BM, why show him all of that at 10 years old and give him more of a complex than he already has? 

The reality of our situation is that we have zero custody; no physical custody or legal custody of any kind. This is due to BM and DH being unwed at the time of SS' birth, automatically granting BM sole custody by default. DH (and I) have faced so much documented emotional and pyschological abuse at the hands of BM due to BM having sole custody and using SS as a weapon to continue to abuse DH. DH has been through 2 different custody battles with BM, each lasting a year or more, getting him nowhere regardless of proof provided. In 2019, we took BM back to court for joint legal custody and more visitation, since we are long distance and she started abusing the CO again. I cannot tell you how many nights and how many hundreds of hours across several months DH and I spent sifting through documentation and arranging binders of evidence to provide to our attorney, the judge, and others involved in our case. After $30k in legal fees (which we didn't have), a year of court hearings, and a completely traumatic court experience filled with abuse and false allegations, a judge told DH to "pay child support, accept the 6 weeks of visitation you already have per year, and let SS go." Why? "Because a child needs their mother." Case closed, end of story. It never mattered that we provided proof dispelling BM's lies. It never mattered that we had SS' best interests at heart every single time. All that mattered was that DH was the father and BM was the mother, giving BM the upperhand in a biased system. The judge also advised DH that any motions submitted to modify visitation in the future would not be entertained and that the current custody arrangement would stand until SS aged out. So our reality is that DH has 57 days of visitation per year and no legal custody, which limits his ability greatly to stop the PAS and minimize the fallout of BM's abuse for SS. Instead, we have been forced to accept the situation for what it is, through a year of counseling, and we try to enjoy our time spent with SS, hoping that by not putting SS in a loyalty bind, he will eventually see who was there for him and who never made him choose between his parents. 

While I appreciate your answer essentially being "bar BM's ass in court and slap her with the CO," that answer does not work for every situation, especially the fathers in this severely broken court system. Many fathers like my DH have fought tirelessly and continue to fight, but never have a chance in hell at winning, simply because of the anatomy between their legs. Any disservice done to SS at this point is caused by the family court system and there is very little we can do to fix that while SS is still a minor. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Your poor SS caught in the middle of all BM's nonsense. How sad that he can't even take his gifts back to BM's house?? That is so pathetic.

The fact that BM DARED throw out that she handles all of the day to day transportation and then sent her GF: I would have messaged "It appears that transportation in general is just too much for you to handle. If that is the case and you can't handle being the primary custodial parent, where the burden of transpiration for daily activities falls, please let me know. I think it is even more apparent that you are struggling since you weren't even the one at pick up and gave no indication to me on who to expect. SS is always welcome to live with us, we have no issues with providing the for his care, health and education or regular transportation."  

CastleJJ's picture

BM likes to project in all instances. It is classic narcissistic tendencies. She will always state how much she does for SS, knowing that she does nothing, but then acts like DH does nothing either, when DH does everything he can. DH is a great parent and he has never looked for kudos or praise for being a Dad. Unfortunately, our CO permits anyone to pick-up SS, so if DH emails back about GF handling the pick-up, BM will just highlight that section in the CO and try to bury us in abusive messages again. It's not worth it because regardless of the truth, we are never right according to BM. BM is always looking for a fight and a reaction from us and we are not going to give her the satisfaction. DH documented that GF is the one who handled pick-up and he filed it away with our other documentation. 

As you know through your situation, sometimes it is just better to let it go than to fight BM on every little thing. It is clear that our DHs are never going to win in this flawed system, so at this point, we are solely working to protect our own sanity and limit the emotional and psychological abuse we have to endure. We can't help SS long-term if we are broken ourselves from enduring continued abuse. 

Winterglow's picture

Y'know, it sounds to me as if the one place that really feels like home to your SS is your place He seems happy and comfy and at home there - he fits in. That is one major achievement! From what you say about his other home, he's over scheduled and probably feels that he has to perform all the time, to be the best he can all the time in order to gain any recognition. 

I love that he's excited about coming back in the summer!


CastleJJ's picture

We hope that is the case. SS is drastically different at our house versus at BM's, so it's hard to know which SS is the true SS. I think it's who he is at our house though. We just never pressure him and we let him actually be a kid. He doesn't have to practice sports at our house. He can play, do crafts, build forts, etc. which he said he can't do at BM's. We just embrace the time we have with him and look forward to future visits. 

Winterglow's picture

I actually shudder when I think of what his life has been like with her to date. Kids NEED to be kids, to use their imaginations, to explore, to simply be allowed to play... There's something numbing about the way he's being brought up by his mother. 

CastleJJ's picture

Last summer, SS wanted to build a fort. I took him to Home Depot and bought him like 10 varying size boxes, a pack of sharpies, and shipping tape. We brought it home and I let him go to town. He built a massive fort with multiple rooms and windows. He slept in that fort for like two days. He said it is one of his favorite memories, yet it is so simple. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

BM reminds me of my SBro's mother. SBro could never take any clothes, gifts, money, etc from my SF back to her house because she would steal it and/or sell it. She also pulled the "I am the custodial parent and have to do all the day to day driving!" crap in front of a judge. The judge was awesome and told her that it was her job as the CP, she got paid to do it, she still has responsibilities for half of travel to my SF, and if she didn't like it, the judge was happy to reverse custody.

I'm convinced SBro's BM is a spawn of Satan. Good news is that my SBro recognizes that she's...who she is. He has a lot of mixed feelings about her and growing up dealing with her. He had to learn how to be "her son" when with her and just himself when he was elsewhere. Now he and his mom have no relationship and it burns her up.

Not that I can guarantee you that SS will tell his mom to eff off one day and build a good relationship with you and DH, but I have hope for him since he seems to see the power dynamics already. He'll use it to his advantage when he can, but hopefully he sees that she's toxic for him and he sets good boundaries with her in the future.