PTS and abusive parent co-parenting

Aerica - posted on 06/10/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I left my husband a year ago, divorce finalized this year, and had gotten my son into counseling fairly early in the game. My daughter started having anger outbursts more frequently, so i got her into counseling as well. Her Dr told me that her outbursts are from Post Traumatic Stress. Are there any books I can read about PTS in children? Most of the books on the market are for peole who are still in the relationship, but i'm out (emotionally skewed still) and I dont' know how to help her, other than continuing her therapy. She has been mothering my son and trying to interact with my ex, as her Dr stated was her way of having control of something and talking to ex is to make sure my son is safe to be with him for the day (make sure he's calm so he'll be in a good mood and not go off on brother).



Having said that, I have to co-parent with him. This involves drop-offs and pick-ups, and,unfortunately, son gets daily phone contact. (the 'unfortunate' part is when ex tries to talk to me, threaten me, or calls repeatedly, txts repeatedly, etc) He does have supervised visits, but the supervisors are his parents and i'm not comfortable with them on any level. I am finding it difficult to interact with them (and him) as his parents are also verbally abusive, confrontational people. I'm out of the relationship, but still getting the abuse. What can I do to protect my children and myself? How do you get it to stop? Applying for a contempt of court (calling multiple times would violate divorce decree) or a no-contact order would give him a platform to defend himself and would therefore defeat the purpose of protecting us and getting the behavior to stop.

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I left mine in 2001, finalized in 2003, I have custody. Drop offs/pick ups were at the police department until 2006. Currently in the midst of defending myself against his PAS allegations after evidence of his sexual abuse of his own two children was brought forth by the authorities. There is substantiation, but in my country I have read that women of DV who claim abuse are more likely to lose their children to their abuser. what to do? I am on a campaign, online, to reverse reckless PAS allegations that would incur limited supervised visitation on the parent making the false allegation of PAS for valid claims of abuse to children. Eventually in my community when this is finally over, I will also picket the courthouse grounds and gain media coverage to draw attention to this injustice. Your injustice of course is obvious, having been made to agree to supevised visitation with HIS family members, what the??? I was asked in 2006 to do just that, with his girlfriend, the one who is a teacher and was doubting my words and my childrens' words, backing him all the way. I fought for supervised to only be at a facility with an objective 3rd party facilitating the visits. He would not do it and I just kept the kids away with only recorded phone contact until just this month. He now has begun to gain the upper hand by having a 2nd therapist who is court ordered to reunify the children with him, and of course, the court agreed, since neither of us could find a pro bono GAL for the childrens' sakes. If you do return to court, it will have to be evidenced in such a way that lends itself to further substantiation of his abuse against you, thus affecting the childrens' well being in that process....and this does affect the kids, doesn't it? When the courts recognize this fully, and are held accountable (way beyond my death), it will be a massive grand-scale victory for us all.

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Becky - posted on 06/12/2009

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I hate to tell you this, but the only way you're going to be able to get this behavior to stop is to file a protection order or haul him in for contempt. Where do you live (generally)? Most areas have a YWCA organization, and they will provide free court representation if you are being abused or verbally abused and cannot afford to get other representation to protect yourself. I know - I used them, and my lawyer did a good job. But, you really need to think about what's better here. If he is harassing or abusing you, and if the supervisors do the same, you're going to have to have a judge order them to stop. My in-laws were wonderful, and whenever they supervised visits, were as nice to me as they'd ever been, and followed all the court's orders. You need supervisors that will do the same, and make these visits as pleasant for the kids as they can. I'm sorry that your in-laws pull this crap in front of your kids, but that's all the more reason to change supervision. However, if the court order says that his parents have the right to supervise, you'll have to go back to court to change it, or at least file a motion that includes a suggestion for a suitable supervisor alternative. If your ex is having an agreeable day, you might be able to simply have your lawyer talk with his lawyer, who will then talk with him, and he might agree to allow another supervisor without having to drag it all to court. If not, then you need to do whatever legal thing you can do to get that changed. Supervision is a MAJOR deal, as the quality of the visits for your children is only as good as their supervisors. Your children's therapy progress will also be positively affected by having a supervisor that will make their time with their dad as positive and normal and smooth as possible. Everything that can be done to make the kids' life NORMAL is what must be done in order for them to come to terms with the way life is now.

Aerica - posted on 06/12/2009

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Thank you! :) i have kept all the txt messages and voicemails. ( i got a recorder to record the voicemails on something other than your phone (which only holds 20 messages)) I didn't know what to do with the txt msgs. the photo idea is really good.



I had told my lawyer in court that i was super uncomfortable with his parents, but she said there are no court appointed 3rd parties for visitation (or something along those lines) They have said things about me to his atty who called my atty who called me to elaborate and i sit back going WTF? They had also filed a small claims suit against me in the middle of our divorce; did not notify me that my ex had left the state (yet continued to pick up and drop off my son for his father's visitation, which is kidnapping); did not notify me that my ex had been hospitalized out of state and in our state, etc. They get crappy with me in front of my children. I do try to ignore it. They get in my face and look into the windows of my home.



I would have been down at the court house months ago to file complaints about him, however, that would give him a platform to defend himself, which is not what i want to do, and i would have to pay my attorney fees (and possibly his) in the process. He threatens constantly that he'll send me back to court. It's all the time. He then turns it around to say that *you* are the abuser, *you* are the violent one, *you* are making things difficult. it's wearing me down.

Becky - posted on 06/11/2009

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If his parents are verbally abusive in front of the children, they can help you prove that this is taking place. What you need to do first is talk to your lawyer. Find out where the nearest supervised visitation facility is located, and discuss with your lawyer filing for a change of supervisor. Or, if there is someone else that your ex is comfortable with, and that you trust, find out if they'd be willing to supervise visits. If the current supervisors can be proven to be unfit supervisors (i.e., verbally abusive to the point of interfering for visitation or with drop-offs and pick-ups, or in front of your kids), then the ball will be in your court and you will be able to choose the supervisor or facility.



As far as getting verbal abuse to stop - file a motion for contempt of court if he's violating ANYTHING at all, and in conjunction with that, file for a protection order with your court. KEEP THOSE TEXTS, GIRL! You may not be able to get him recorded verbally abusing you, but the texts are undeniable proof. Get copies of your phone bill from your phone provider to prove how often he calls you. Don't call him repeatedly, don't respond to abusive texts, and make sure that you don't yell or fling verbal crap back at him (in other words, keep your nose clean so that he can't say a word about your behavior or attitude).



Counseling for the kids is a must, and it sounds like you've got that covered. I don't know of any PTS books you could read, but ask your kids' counselor, or inquire with a minister/rabbi/religious or social leader. They are usually very knowledgeable about PTS, and very well-equipped to help someone deal with it.



Any protection order should either put an immediate stop to his behavior, or it could land him behind bars, should he choose to violate it. Just get those phone records, texts (use a camera to take pictures of each text, showing sender, time, date, etc., and load them onto a flash drive or CD that you can give to your lawyer and/or to the judge), and any other evidence. Let your kids state his behavior that they've witnessed on tape, too, or state it to your lawyer so that there is a proven record of their knowledge of his behavior. Hope this helps some. Good luck!

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