16 year old started seeing psychologist

Elizabeth - posted on 03/11/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




I searched for similar posts but I couldn't find anything that I thought related to our situation so excuse if it's a repeat.
For a couple of years, I've encouraged my 16 year old (since she was 14) to talk to her dad about certain things (her feelings mostly, school, boys, grades). Since it never really happened for her (opening up to him) and she seemed really nervous and anxious about talking to her dad, I took her to a psychologist about a month ago (she is visiting every week) to find out why she can't talk to him. The doctor indicated that there are 3 modes when confronted with a uncomfortable or dangerous situation (fight, flight and freeze). She said that my daughter freezes. Also, she said that I was wrong for wanting my daughter to confront him about certain things (not wanting to visit, dating, not being happy at his house) and it was my job to confront him. From what I was told, my ex is dealing with alcoholism and possibly some personality or mental issues (the doctor of course could not diagnose but only went on what my daughter says). Whenever my daughter does open up to him, he doesn't give positive feedback and manipulates or deflates her. For example:

These are typical situations that happens often:
If my daughter says 4 good things she is doing (grades, volunteer work, school newspaper, honors english), he will bring up one thing she is not doing and it deflates her.
If she is excited about something she is doing in the summer, he will bring up the negative and not be excited for her (shows no good emotion).
While she was at his house for an extended period of time over Christmas, he blew up (screaming and ranting and scaring her) and told her she was irresponsible and lazy. (she's a typical teenager - but not irresponsible or lazy)
When he tried to make up to her for the prior incident, he sobbed uncontrollably and said he didn't want to lose her. (this made her extremely uncomfortable and scared).
He uses guilt and gets weirdly irate if she doesn't want to do something with him.
He will get her in a corner (a car or her room) and drill her for information (do you love me, why won't you talk to me).

These are the examples I can think of recently. I recently told him about the doctor's visit and that she is not coming over until he gets help or therapy or she is ready to not freeze around him (through therapy). I also told him that she is not ready for him to come into therapy with her but that his daughter may find comfort in him getting help.

Should I go for full custody? Other opinions wanted....Also, He is not responding to any parental consent requests (for summer field trips and an intl trip).

Recently, I was told that he blames me for brainwashing her and that his daughter will come back to him eventually (i have always encouraged her to visit and talk to him and never said anything, ever, bad about him).


Kristi - posted on 03/12/2013




Custody battles can be viscous. They are expensive. They take forever. Unless, of course, your ex isn't a self-centered, egotistical sociopath and he agrees to settle out of court. Based on your post, I'm thinkin he's not settling.

If he's not fighting to come and get her, I would almost say don't bother going to court. My case took over a year. Neither side ever asked for a continuance or anything. Your daughter will be 18 in 2 years so it's almost a matter of running out the clock. Every state is different and things may run faster in your court system.

If you do decide to file, and you can prove all of the above, that with your daughter's testimony and the shrink's testimony, it should be a done deal.

As far as the consent forms, you shouldn't need his signature for anything she does inside the US. I never did. I do know that both parents have to sign the request for a passport, unless you can show proof why you don't need the other parent's permission. My daughter is going to Japan next summer so I had to check into that as well. My custody agreement grants me full legal and physical custody and granting him visitation when and if I see fit. I'm hoping that will be proof enough.

I would check with your lawyer about everything just to be on the safe side. So far, it sounds like you're doing everything right. I feel for your daughter. It's so hard to really realize and accept that your own father is a douche bag. My daughter went through that, too and every time I tried to be encouraging I wanted to puke. I got accused of the same crap you did but our girls don't believe it because they know we didn't do any such thing. My thoughts and prayers will be with you both. Keep us posted. ♥

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