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What Strategies Do You Use To Counteract a Mentally Ill BM Who Defies Court Orders and Mentally Manipulates the Children?

erasec63's picture

I am curious what strategies other women are using to fight the psychological warfare of a mentally until BM. How do you outmaneuver her? How do you counteract the lies she tells the children? How do you deal with her victim act?

Journey Perez's picture

DISENGAGE. It's really not your battle to fight and you wont win unfortunately. I would fair to say that 95% of stepkids will always get sucked in to BM's mind games and feel sorry for her/be on her side no matter what. Do yourself a favor and don't let her suck you in too. Just cuz she's mind fking everyone doesn't mean you have to participate. Just worry about you, DH and your household. Do your best to help DH instill values and create healthy boundaries. I know its tempting to try to outmaneuver her and counteract her bs, but trust me, put your energy elsewhere because you will be disappointed taking on that beast.

BM did the same ish to her kids. Totally tainted them and had them acting a fool at my house, tried to turn them against DH and I, the whole enchilada. Even when the kids knew their mom was dead wrong for her lies and behavior, they still sided with her in their own way. To this day, the steps want nothing to do with me and they only come around their dad and call him when they want something. DH literally has to entice them with gifts and food for them to agree to come over and visit. Its sad. They all know that their mom is the mentally unfit parent and that their dad is the mentally stable parent. The problem is they feel pitty for their mom because she's such a loser and they don't ever worry about dad because he's got it together and he has me. BM loved to cry about how she has no one. BOO FKING HOO!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

^^^^Excellent, practical advice.^^^^

The reality of steplife is that we have little to no control, and very little ability to influence the outcome of a situation such as the one you describe.

UGH. I started writing a summary of what DH and I went through dealing with BM2, who is currently institutionalized, but it would take too long and give me anxiety. Suffice it to say, we spent, no, WASTED several fortunes on the biased family court system, cs, multiple therapists, etc. Then, I raised the damaged, feral kid who turned up at fourteen for five years without receiving a penny in support. And despite all efforts, SD is just a more sophisticated version of her crazy mother, in her thirties, and still cutting a swath of destruction wherever she goes.

You can't beat genetics, patterns formed in early childhood, or the siren call of the first and primary relationship in a child's life. All you can do is try to mitigate the impact it has on you personally. The reality is that this is not your battle to fight, and the war is likely already lost.

BonusMom15's picture

Yes, disengage. Practice lots of self-care and healthy boundaries. Accept that things are the way they are with her. Don't expect her to change.

erasec63's picture

She is really messing with SDs mind. SD knows she has it good with us, but she feels she has to protect her crazy BM. BM is telling her that she and DH are still married and showing her wedding pictures (after 7 years with me). SD is confused, she doesn't know who is telling her the truth. She is bright, but it is hard for her to think her mother is lying. She sends her out to the car to ask DH to come and eat with them when he goes to pick her up. She knows a no will upset her. He says no and SD wants to know why he can't eat with them. She is really f-king with her mind. Obviously that's just a little taste. She is a master manipulator and has the court on her side. We are out of court now and not eager to go back, but SD is in danger. BM just lies her way through life according to her. 7 years ago she was violent, tried to kill herself (fake, I think) in front of them landing her a DCFS indication, faked a garage break in, faked a miscarriage, she is full of tricks. She tried to cause a car accident with us. She made false DCFS reports against me. Now, her aim is SD. She still wants DH back and that is her aim, one way or another. SD suffers because of this. She is overweight, depressed, argumentative. She is beginning to lie also. It is heartbreaking to watch. I, too, want her to stop. She knows I call police and fight her right back, but after a lull, she's at it again.

Maxwell09's picture

You fight lies with truth. If BM is showing SD pictures of their wedding saying they are still married then your DH needs to show SD their divorce decree. Document everything and ignore the whore. So far those are simplest things I have been doing to make sure SS doesn't get swept up into BM's delusional world. I remember one particular incident where BM got SS5then3 upset telling him that she was so sad when he leaves her and she just sits at home and cries...yeah I drove him by her apartment and asked him "do you see her car?" Of course he didn't because she was at work at the time. So I explained to him that even though she probably does miss him, she is not at home crying because she has to go to work just like everybody else. He stopped all of that. Recently he asked why he had to go to BMs and DH told him very simply "Because when a mom and a dad decide not to live together anymore, they can go to court. A judge is the boss and he makes up the rules; the judge says that you will go to your Mom's on Friday and one back on Sunday-that is the rule and we follow the rules until you are a grown up" Of course BM likes to ask and prompt SS if he wants to live with her (Disney mom, of course he says he does when he's in the moment) but there isn't much you can do to change what she says on her end.

BM lied a lot when her and DH went to court and even to this day she lies to anyone that will listen about what happened that day. She tells everyone, including DH, that he took SS from her when really she told DH that he had better serve her with papers before she served him and said he had a week to file so he did. I still have that screen shot. I keep everything. Everyday that she emails DH it gets written down into a log so that if DH needs it for court he knows exactly when/where it is to use. DH has made it clear that he will ignore BM if she contacts him in any other way besides Email except for emergencies obviously. And even some of her emails will go ignored if there is no point to them. She has a habit of picking a fight, making demands, threatening DH and then coming back a day or two later like it never happened trying to get the conversation up again. You can't play their game, ignoring them is the only way you will make an impression on them AND save your own sanity. At first she will fight back even harder and go even more crazy than usual but if your DH keeps his boundaries strong and ignores her outburst then she will play nice until she can goad him again.

You say that court is on her side, well then he needs to focus on his daughter mostly so that she will have memories that conflict with the lies BM tells her. So in my theory you will have saved dates/times/info along with her coinciding memory of whatever it is BM is trying to delude her of and then she will realize her mom is "mistaken" or "confused" (never say wrong because they will turn on you for using aggressive words against their mother even if they are true).

noway70's picture

This. All of it.
Fight lies by demonstrating the truth, with documents and so on.
Make it clear to the children they are not responsible for their parent's emotional well being (if necessary, do as Maxwell and take the kids to see that BM is not home crying all the time).
Document, document, document.
Make it clear to them that the judge established the rules and they are to be followed.
Limit communication to email or, even better, Our Family Wizard.
Keep your boundaries and BE CONSISTENT.

There are also some resources for PASed children, like the film Welcome Home Pluto. There might be others, this is the one I know of.

That said, all of this might give you, and the kids, a chance. But it is by no means a guarantee that the children will be able to "unenmesh" from a crazy BM. Especially if they are plagued by the same genetic traits.

DH should focus on the children, not on their mother. You should focus on yourself and your marriage. And most important of all: do everything you can to keep your sanity, disengage, leave when they are there, whatever. You have to be your own priority, because no one else is going to do it.

erasec63's picture

Thank you, all of you, for your input. I feel very sad about all of this. BM also tells her she is crying when she is not there, presumably to get her to want to go home. Just a few weeks ago she said "I don't want to go back to that house!" "Nobody talks to me, nobody pays attention to me." She had a fight on the phone with BM because she wanted to take her favorite cat home. BM screamed at her and told her no, she wants a clean house. SD cried and again told her nobody talks to me, nobody plays with me (BM was 38 and DH 43 when sh was born, older kids grown). Since that time SD has changed and is now saying she doesn't want to come to our house anymore, she hates the birds, she hates the cats (cats were for her).

She has it much better here, she swims, horseback rides, every festival, movie, party you can think of. BM does very little for her, they don't even have cable tv. She is told to play with her toys in the basement (she's 10 now). I don't understand this sudden change, i can only believe that BM is filling her head with some nonsense. I've put 7 years into this girl and rearranged my life in order to parent her while she is here. She lived with us for a year when BM was homeless. Idiot judge gave her back. BM attributes everything to religion-I got you back because i prayed to the virgin Mary, that's why she tells SD they are still married, they are still married in "church." This is very difficult brainwashing to overcome. I have showed SD the schedule when BM tries to lie that it is her holiday, but it is a little confusing (odd years, even years).

Now BM is bribing her to come home, I'll let you get your hair colored (I can do it, i'm a Cosmetology teacher). So, all she talks about is how "momma is going to let me get blue in my hair." Yet, in the next breath, she said, "momma doesn't always keep her promises." No shit, sherlock.She's a liar.

I wish the courts were non-biased and these mentally ill women not allowed to see their children. I predict a sad outcome for this girl. She is very bright but last year started to fail classes, not do her work, failed the 3rd grade MAP test. All indications of emotional problems. She lies to her mother about homework. She has been so indulged that now she thinks she can call the shots. Momma did a good job of becoming the favorite parent.

erasec63's picture

I don't know what her school rules are, they live 25 minutes away. Who knows, we've done temporary colors before. As for cable, I wouldn't have it either, but imagine a 10 year old with two brothers over 18 and a mother who spends her time cooking and crying. Poor girl has nothing to do in the house. Winters are hard on her as they can't even go play outside with the other kids. I've done all I can do humanly, and legally. Counseling, swimming lessons, horseback riding lessons. Unfortunate these crazy BMs have so much power. Sucks.

Rags's picture

No tolerance. Each and every time she deviates from the CO or reasonable behavior nail her ass to the wall in court.

Lather, rinse, repeat.