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xAH told kids they'll be homeless... how to respond???

Old 05-20-2014, 04:58 AM
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xAH told kids they'll be homeless... how to respond???

My younger D has been having toileting issues for the past two weeks which is NOT like her... She's also been melting down over everything left and right and going into frightening tantrums where I am afraid she will hurt herself or someone else. Ive talked to her Therapist about it and done what she suggests to help D6 through this...

But last night, driving to lacrosse D6 asked me out of the clear blue

"when will I have to sleep on a sidewalk?" and D8 told her to be quiet.

My stomach dropped and I asked her what she meant and said she would never sleep on a sidewalk.

Long story short, xAH has been telling the girls when he sees them that because Mommy is making him lose his job they will be homeless and can thank Mommy when they have to sleep on a sidewalk...

I know about 2 weeks ago he said this in front of them bc he was screaming it at me on the phone while he was with them. I hung up and hoped that was the end of it.

But it hasn't ended and D6 is worried SICK that she will be homeless. Suddenly her desire to give away her stuffed animals (telling me she doesn't have room for them), her toileting issues, her tantrums etc... make a LOT more sense.

I assured her over and over and over that whether Daddy has a job or not, no one is going to be homeless and that I am so sorry she's been so afraid and scared and that she can talk to me about her worries anytime at all.

She was crying and asking me over and over what homeless means and telling me she notices people who are homeless over by the grocery store (which is true) and that we should save our money so we can have food when we are homeless etc... saying things like "its good its almost summer so I wont be so cold when Im homeless"...

I called the girls therapist last night and left a message that I need the girls to see her asap bc I don't know how to assuage her fears and my reassuring her doesn't seem to be helping...

I finally told her that Daddy was wrong to say that and it wasn't true and he was making a bad choice by saying scary things that were untrue. Her reply was "Daddy wanted to scare me because why did he say it?"

Im totally at my wits end.

What kind of POS "father" makes their CHILD fear that they will be homeless bc he cant control his rage about the consequences of his drinking causing hi to lose his job...

Anyone have advice you'd like to offer about what I could say to D6 to make this any better?
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:04 AM
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Maybe time for a frank talk with the children about mental illness. I had to do it with DS 12 when he was 6 or 7 because my mom's psychotic episodes due to paranoid schizophrenia were scaring him in much the same way. "Grandma loves you but she has a disease in her brain that makes her see and hear things that aren't real."
I understand there are other issues at play here- custody, DCYF investigation against your H- since the therapist made the initial report this may just be more fuel to that fire.
Hugs to you and your kids. So sorry you're going through this.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:23 AM
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I have treaded lightly with telling the girls he's sick and cant control his behavior but maybe youre right LadyScribbler that its time I have that conversation... I think that's very good advice.. Thanks so much
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:33 AM
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In my past...during our nasty custody/divorce case..a guardien ad litem was assigned..this is an person who is looking out for the childrens best interest in the divorce....you can request this put in place...and also another tool was that the only communication was done thru a notebook that went back and forth. That way there is less chance of the children over hearing mommy and daddy argueing. I must be mistaken but I thought you had said he only had visitation on the drive to school..
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I have treaded lightly with telling the girls he's sick and cant control his behavior but maybe youre right LadyScribbler that its time I have that conversation... I think that's very good advice.. Thanks so much
See if you can get some input from the therapist too. Especially because of the possibility that he has abused the daughter in whom he is now "confiding." Make sure she knows there's no acceptable excuse for someone doing that, even if their brain is sick or whatever.
Ugh, what a mess. Sending double hugs and strength your way.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by involved View Post
In my past...during our nasty custody/divorce case..a guardien ad litem was assigned..this is an person who is looking out for the childrens best interest in the divorce....you can request this put in place...and also another tool was that the only communication was done thru a notebook that went back and forth. That way there is less chance of the children over hearing mommy and daddy argueing. I must be mistaken but I thought you had said he only had visitation on the drive to school..
He drives the kids to school when he shows up and is sober. So not everyday. And he comes one day a week and sees them. It was 2 weeks ago when he was visiting them that he called me asking about homework for D8 and used it as an opportunity to rage at me about his drinking costing him his job.

But I am guessing that on the morning drive since then that ranting has continued.

The kids aren't overhearing us arguing bc I am not in the same space with him nor talk to him when they're around for there to be arguing.

Isn't this triangulation stuff? He rants about the harm I am causing him to the girls, makes them feel they have to stay quiet about it and keep their fears secret and then it comes out and I am horrified and shocked that he's doing this to them...

I am waiting for the T to call me back. I am not even going to mention to xAH that the kids have shared this all with me since it will do no good.

I don't think this is run of the mill nasty divorce stuff imho... This is me divorcing a narcissistic alcoholic who now that he cant abuse me, appears to have moved on to his own kids....

Ive suggested to my attorney that a GAL be appointed and my attorney is dragging her feet doing NOTHING at all so I am waiting for the next court date to ask the judge myself to appoint one.

However I think the statements from DCYF, the co parenting counselor and the kids counselor all make it pretty clear that he has issues so I think supervised visits are in his near future...
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:00 AM
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This is parental alienation and should not be tolerated. The legal system NORMALLY is very severe in dealing with a parent who pulls this. However, knowing how stacked the system has been against you, you'd need credible third party corroboration about this. Think about how you could get credible third party corroboration of what he's doing.

I'm so sorry you have been subjected to such terrible things. Your poor children!

Sending support,

CLMI
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by catlovermi View Post
This is parental alienation and should not be tolerated. The legal system NORMALLY is very severe in dealing with a parent who pulls this. However, knowing how stacked the system has been against you, you'd need credible third party corroboration about this. Think about how you could get credible third party corroboration of what he's doing.

I'm so sorry you have been subjected to such terrible things. Your poor children!

Sending support,

CLMI
One would THINK that the legal system would care about a parent harming their kids but it is pretty clear that "parents rights" to have access to and continued ability to abuse their kids supercede childrens rights to be safe...

I don't care one bit whether he blames me for everything on earth BUT using our kids as pawns and hurting them to try and upset me has now taken on a whole new level of low with him and it's horrifying to me that my kids are being traumatized by his rage.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:09 AM
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I am so sorry this is happening to you and your girls. This man's behavior is beyond reprehensible!

I second Ladyscribbler's advice about educating them on mental illness. They need to know what he is so they can protect themselves emotionally when does things like this. It doesn't sound like this will be an isolated incident. Arm them with knowledge.

Ugh, I'm just sick for you. Hugs!
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:23 AM
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I have treaded lightly with telling the girls he's sick and cant control his behavior but maybe youre right LadyScribbler that its time I have that conversation... I think that's very good advice.. Thanks so much
I was really scared of being accused of parental alienation and being accused of tainting the well. Things started to change for my son on two fronts when I stopped dealing with the jerky men in my life like their accusations were real. 1) NPD ex, DS14's dad, used to say all kinds of bizarro stuff, then accuse me of alienating him from DS14 when I called him out. I stopped addressing him, and started telling my son, "Gosh, that's ridiculous. We are fine. Your dad doesn't know what's in my bank account, and I can tell you we are just fine. I'm sorry you were scared, but his story doesn't make any sense. That was very scary and not nice for him to do that" or whatever. Rinse and repeat depending on the situation. 2) Named the problem. I'm a big fan of naming the problem. STBXAH's problem was alcoholism. I wish I'd name it for my son sooner. exNPD's problem is "selfishness." Yes, it's NPD, but "selfish" seems nicer and less scary to DS14, who wants to enjoy some of his time with his dad, who is nevertheless a very selfish and self-centered dude. When something goes wrong or is inexplicably weird, it's easy to point a finger back and say, "Welp, that's the alcoholism/NPD/general unspecified crazy," and move forward without falling into pits of confusion.

Just keep it age appropriate, but keep it REAL. Your honesty and willingness to weather the storm will let your girls know you are the lighthouse, the port, the boat, and the captain, and they will look to you to get them through the rain. So many hugs, for you and the girls, and for you to your girls.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I was really scared of being accused of parental alienation and being accused of tainting the well. Things started to change for my son on two fronts when I stopped dealing with the jerky men in my life like their accusations were real. 1) NPD ex, DS14's dad, used to say all kinds of bizarro stuff, then accuse me of alienating him from DS14 when I called him out. I stopped addressing him, and started telling my son, "Gosh, that's ridiculous. We are fine. Your dad doesn't know what's in my bank account, and I can tell you we are just fine. I'm sorry you were scared, but his story doesn't make any sense. That was very scary and not nice for him to do that" or whatever. Rinse and repeat depending on the situation. 2) Named the problem. I'm a big fan of naming the problem. STBXAH's problem was alcoholism. I wish I'd name it for my son sooner. exNPD's problem is "selfishness." Yes, it's NPD, but "selfish" seems nicer and less scary to DS14, who wants to enjoy some of his time with his dad, who is nevertheless a very selfish and self-centered dude. When something goes wrong or is inexplicably weird, it's easy to point a finger back and say, "Welp, that's the alcoholism/NPD/general unspecified crazy," and move forward without falling into pits of confusion.

Just keep it age appropriate, but keep it REAL. Your honesty and willingness to weather the storm will let your girls know you are the lighthouse, the port, the boat, and the captain, and they will look to you to get them through the rain. So many hugs, for you and the girls, and for you to your girls.
I haven't mentioned this to xAH (that the girls are deeply upset) and I don't intend to PRECISELY bc when I have in the past, no matter what the issue, it gets twisted and I get told I am filling their heads with these ideas and alienating him.

I will continue to tell them there's nothing to worry about and also be sure their therapist is aware of this (oddly she asked me this last week if they were having any symptoms of stress that I had noticed bc she has to write an impact statement for DCYF about her concerns for their safety with their dad)...

Thanks for your support and understanding just what I am dealing with....

I will name what is happening-- he is an A, he is angry and me and says things that are not true and that are scary and just will keep on telling them it will be okay...

Because even if I can't stay in my house, it WILL be okay... I have friends who have said I can go live with them, my Dad will have me and the girls if I fly out to him and it WILL be okay as long as I stay calm. That's my plan.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:44 AM
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Florence, I appreciate your approach and your examples. AXH tells DS untrue stuff about me all the time.

Why do we tread so carefully not to alienate our children from the alcoholic when the alcoholic stomps deliberately to create fear in our children? Time to tell the truth and name the problem.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:49 AM
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So so sorry. Your poor babies. That is awful.

I would push very hard for the guardian. Question. Could the T hotline him to DCFS? Just a thought as it is very clear abuse. My sister and her husband went through a bitter custody dispute as his children's mother is bipolar and abusive, also living with abusive men. The Guardian saw through all the BS she was telling the judge and her attorney. It was super helpful in their case. That's my only experience in dealing with that.

When I told my girls the truth about their father, that he has a mental illness and is a substance abuser to self medicate for that problem, I think it helped them both immensely. Through my dealings with my kids and the help of the T they are quite open and honest with me about it and this has helped me safeguard them.

My heart just hurts for you and your children. What an awful thing to have to deal with. Maybe he will go to jail soon so you don't have to deal with him. I would think so with the behavior out of control as it is.

Tight Tight Hugs my friend!
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:50 AM
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I haven't mentioned this to xAH (that the girls are deeply upset) and I don't intend to PRECISELY bc when I have in the past, no matter what the issue, it gets twisted and I get told I am filling their heads with these ideas and alienating him.
Yep, and true NPD crazy doesn't end either, it just kind of ebbs. My DS14 just had a weekend visit with his dad, who parked him at somebody's house for a weekend while he attended a combat training class. Combat training? Good lord. OKAY SUPERMAN. He's obsessed with the idea of saving someone and/or protecting himself from unspecified attacks, to the point where it's really weird, fantasy survivalist combat stuff, more about being a hero than being "prepared" or educated about weaponry and bush craft. He gets to see DS14 every other weekend, and he always ends up parking the kid at home while he fulfills all his fantasies. But if it's not abuse or neglect, I can't do anything. If it was abuse or neglect, I'd have to do exactly what you're doing.

The one thing that really made it better at my house was just calling it what it was. I think part of my codependency was worrying what would happen if everyone knew my A was an A, or knew that my ex was NPD, or knew that I was the disaster that picked two bad guys to have kids with. This doesn't reflect on you and your situation, except that once I let myself off the hook and started dealing with this insane and unacceptable behavior directly as a reality that needed to be addressed in our lives for our peace and sanity, things immediately got better for me and my kids.

You're doing okay, mama, despite his mess. When you are through this, you'll make millions on the book deal ("How to divorce an alcoholic narcissist without losing your mind (mostly).")
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:53 AM
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I might point out a 3 year old having a temper tantrum and throwing themselves on the ground in a fit.
Then I would say--do you think only children do that?
Sometimes adults do that too.
That's what your dad is doing by saying that to you. He's throwing a temper tantrum.
Now you know what a temper tantrum looks like in an adult.
Girls--adults don't know it all, nor are they all grown up in their thinking just because they are adults and big.
Sometimes, a 6 year old is wiser than an adult! Then look at her and smile. (Instill confidence in her and rightly so).
When your dad says that kind of stuff, see it for what it is, an adult temper tantrum.
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:04 AM
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That is terrible that he is harming your children to get back at you. How ridiculous!!. My STBXAH did almost the same thing. He told my kids (8 and 5) that mommy was going to go to prison because he had "dirt" on me and my coworkers. My 5 year-old cried that night asking when he was going to see me when mommy was in jail. I told them daddy was just angry and saying things he didn't mean. Mommy wasn't going to prison because mommy didn't do anything wrong. Its hard enough that they have to deal with an alcoholic parent but to scare them on top of it all just takes the cake. It shows how truly sick they are!
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:31 AM
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I have no advice, but HUGS to you.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:42 AM
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I think catlover's advice is solid -- if the girls' therapist is willing to testify (usually it can be done in writing) that the girls report him saying this, yeah, a court would/should look very severely at that.

And I'm so angry I can barely type. He's proven he doesn't give a rat's ass about you, but to torment his children in this way? Un. Effing. Acceptable. (You should hear the ****** words I'm saying in my mind.)
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:46 AM
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The girls therapist has been amazing and is incredibly helpful BUT there was a case that went to the State Supreme Court here several years ago where a therapist ended up on trial essentially for testifying for one parent over the other. So, the therapists in my state now refuse to testify in any way at all without a court order demanding it.

That said she is writing an impact statement for DCYF and with the information I shared with her today about this my HOPE is that DCYF will be able to get the court to order that the therapist testify. It carries FAR more weight to have someone other than me demanding that so my fingers are crossed.

I can imagine the words in your mind Lillamy bc they're in my mind too.

He has used the girls as pawns for many years in much less blatant ways, but this just takes the cake... And my poor poor 6 yr old is without a doubt totally traumatized by this and I am struggling more than I can describe to keep it together and not just leave work and get her from school and take off and disappear (with D8 too of course)
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:57 AM
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My God, that man sounds like a real prize. Wasn't he sending you "accidental" texts meant for another woman. Then gets accused of possibly being way inappropriate with your girls and then loses his job due to drinking. Now this...Ick.

You are in the thick of it now, but will come out the other side as will your girls.

Why not move in with Dad for the summer? Next school year? Cut back on expenses and have your dad help you out and be a positive male role model for girls. Sounds pretty good. Are you two close?
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