Friday, January 19, 2007

I Wish I Could Change Things

D always stays at his dad's house on Wednesday and every other weekend.Last night when I picked him up at his grandparents after I got off of work his grandmother gave me a cryptic message. After D had gone to the car she told me to ask him what happened this morning at his dad's house.
Some of you may know some of this situation if you have read my blog for a long time. If you are relatively new go read this: (sorry about the funky link but blogger is being wacked out today)
Now that you know the back story I will tell you what happened yesterday morning.
Nick, age 14, is Step-Monster's oldest son. He has a bi-polar disorder and HATES Butthead.
Yesterday he was looking for his belt and couldn't find it. He mouthed off to Step-Monster and Butthead told him to knock it off. Nick went off the deep end and launched himself at Butthead, assaulting him. Butthead wrestled him down the to the floor to prevent Nick from hitting him. Step-Monster tried to pull them apart and Nick hit her in the process. I guess that the police were called and Nick was arrested and taken to juvenile hall.
During this episode, D was sitting on the couch with a blanket over his head.
I asked D what he thought about what happened and he said "I thought it was cool."
After questioning him further I found that due to his fear he was trying to corrolate what had happened with mild violence in a video game. I explained to him that any kind of violence, videogame or otherwise was completely unacceptable.
I am pretty strict about what games D can play but his dad allows him to play games that I would deem inappropriate.
As we have shared custody and visitation time filed with the court I have no recourse as Butthead makes the day to day decisions when I am not there.
I am so frustrated. There are so many little things that happen while D is there that I don't want him exposed to but because nothing has happened that enables me to file a restraining order against anyone in the house my hands are tied. If Butthead chooses to exercise his visitation rights (which he does every week) I am legally obligated to abide by the court order.
I am at a loss on how to diffuse the negative influences that he receives when he is over there and it is breaking my heart that he has to see these things.


Tara said...

If possible, that would be the first solution, to be able to take D away from that environment. Does he have his own room when he goes over to his dad's? Or does he have his own area at least?

Ashburnite said...

Oh my god, I'm so sorry you and D are going through this. I guess the best thing you can do is what you're already doing- explaining the difference between right and wrong to him.

And what kind of woman calls a child stupid. That b*tch makes me want to hop in the car and drive to Michigan- just to smack her.

reformattingmybrain said...

Why do people have to put children in these situations?! Oh that makes me so angry. OMG, I was a newbie that hadn't read that post, that's unreal. Who the hell does she think she is - calling a child stupid and saying the other stuff. I'll never understand why some people get off on belittling a child.

Rachel said...

Tara ~ He does not have his own room. They bought a house with the intention of finishing the basement with bedrooms for the older boys. After 2 years it has not been finished so every time that D is over there he has to sleep on the couch.

Ash ~ If I can get a posse together it could be a fun evening out. LOL
She is a total bitch and does things to D that I would never do to her kids.

Reformat ~ She also tells him that she wishes that he was never born, that the child support that Butthead pays is putting them in the poorhouse and lots of other things.
I wrote another post about it a while ago called "Cleaning Out My Closet". I think I wrote that in August or September if you want to check that one out too. It has more info.

Rachel said...

Here is the link for the other post in which I refer to Step Monster as Bitch.

Moment said...

I wish I had a answer for you. The only thing I can think of is to make sure you keep communicating with D. Make sure he talks to you about what he is exposed to at your ex's. Atleast that way he'll know what is right and wrong; also that he can tell you anything. I think that's important.

Countersteer said...

Rachel- just came across your blog the other day and couldn't stop reading. I grew up like D. Over here then over there, living two lives two houses, two sets of rules and morals. With a StepMonster. Not to be alarmist, but start some regular therapy for him - I wish I had. Keep writing and I'll keep reading!!

reformattingmybrain said...

Man-oh-man Rachel - yep I was surely behind... just read the other post you left the link for. It's so sad when grown adults use children to carry out their evilness :-( Jerk!

Dennis said...

I think that the first thing I would do is see about counseling for your son. Then I would make sure and voice your concerns to Butthead and the step-monster. This maybe the toughest part of it all. Then write everything down and talk to an attorney who specializes in family law. I would never recommend taking a child from his father in normal situations but this does not seem normal. If D does not want to talk to you about it then you need to get him to someone who can help him deal with it from a removed point of view.
I think you letting him know that you think this is unacceptable behavior is a great place to start.

laughingattheslut said...

I'm tired of the second wife (or third wife, or whatever) complaining about the first wife and her children putting them "in the poorhouse." She knew Butthead had a kid, right? The kid was there first, get over it. If you can't deal with it, don't date a guy who already has kids. You chose that life, deal with it. Try to act like a grown-up.

Wonder who her and her special needs kids are putting "in the poor house?"

Okay, I wasn't there, and I don't know who did what to whom, but did maybe Butthead being a butthead have something to do with it? I mean, if Butthead is being a butthead, and he gets smacked as a result, well, there is a bit of a cool element to that. But I don't think that D really thought that it was cool, or he wouldn't have been hiding under a blanket. He just probably thought it was better for it to be cool than it was for it to be scary or for him to look like a crying little kid.

I don't think that you can do anything about the video games, other than talking to D about them and telling him you don't approve and all of that. If Butthead lived with you, there would still be video games, you know?

And I don't see why D has to sleep on the couch. Does Butthead live far away? Cause if he doesn't he just shouldn't get overnight visits until D has his own bed. (Maybe he shouldn't have them anyway.) They could just do stuff during the day. Maybe you can do something about that.

Rachel said...

Moment ~ I do my best to communicate with D. The difficulty is that his dad has pounded it into his head that what happens there is none of my business and has even gone so far to tell him that if he tells me what goes on there that D will get into trouble.
I have had to reassure D over and over again that anything that he tells me will be in complete confidence unless he tells me that it is ok to tell someone.
Of course if it was something really bad I would take action.

Countersteer ~ Devon has been in therapy before and he refused to talk to the therapist. We have tried a couple to no avail. He seems to be able to talk to his grandparents and me. I did call his school and ask that the school counselor discuss this with him. Needless to say when I told the principal what was going on he was very concerned.

Reformat ~ Step-Monster isn't who I would have chosen to be a step-parent to D. Last week D was being really nasty to me on Thursday (he stays overnight at his dads on Wed) and I called him on it. I told him that I notice a pattern that after he goes to his dad's house he seems angry and wanted to know why. He broke down sobbing and yelled at the top of his lungs how much he hates her and that he wishes that she would just disappear. I wrapped him in my arms and let him cry it out. He felt a lot better after that.

Dennis ~ We have tried counseling but it never seemed to work. I am hopeful that with Nick being removed from the home (it sounds like it will be for a long while) that things may improve. Nick was almost as mean to D as Step-Monster is.

laughingattheslut ~ When Butthead would complain about child support and how broke he was that is the argument that I used. He knew he had a kid and chose to marry someone with 2 kids and then proceeded to have another one with her. I don't feel sorry for him at all. He made his bed and now he can lie in it.
I call him Butthead because that is how he acts towards me. His relationship with Nick has always been difficult since Nick was around 8 or 9 and resentful of Butthead. Combine that with bi-polar and it makes for a nasty combination.
If Butthead lived in my household the video games would still be there but D wouldn't be able to play some of the games that he plays currently. They would be restricted to being played when there were no kids around.
Here is the kicker. When they were renting a duplex that had 3 bedrooms they didn't have a bed for D. They had him sleeping on a pile of blankets on the floor. I GAVE them a bed. D had a captains bed frame that I gave them along with a twin bed mattress. This is currently stored in the garage.
Since the court papers do not state that a bed has to be provided Butthead can have D sleep wherever is appropriate.
Obviously what he deems appropriate and what I deem appropriate are two totally different things.

l.b. said...

You are a writer, so I am sure you are keeping track of everything that D tells you about what happens at his dad's house. I know the courts dislike interfering in family matters, but they will if there is enough evidence to suggest it is a bad environment.
In the meanwhile, I think you can only keep doing what you have been doing. Being the stable force in D's life and making sure he understands that he can tell you anything.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

That's a tough one. I know my stepdaughter (who we had custody of but who went to her mom's every other weekend and Wednesdays) saw a lot of shit she shouldn't have. Now she's 21. I think that keeping an open communication with D will go far in helping him. Soon enough, if he hasn't already, he'll start to see the difference between your place and theirs, and he'll appreciate you for your calm and safe environment. And yeah, track what you've heard and seen, just in case. Counseling may be something he's more open to as he gets older. Your building up his self esteem and talking about these confusing and scary things will go far in keeping him balanced and OK.

Good luck!

Lydia said...

I'm so sorry that you, and especially D are caught up in this situation. Not really understanding the legal system you have I don't know if this means anything, but it strikes me that the emotional abuse that D is subjected to might be grounds for getting the custody agreement altered. It sounds like you're doing a good job of talking things through with D and helping him sort things out, but hopefully you could still find a counsellor that he would be prepared to talk to. Easier said than done, I'm sure. I wish I had something more helpful to say, but I really hope there is a way to improve the whole thing for you both.

Erica said...

It's terrible what's happening and I am so sorry you both have to go through this, but it is good that D. then comes home to you and to a wonderful loving environment.
I am sure he knows what's right and what's wrong with a mum like you and all that's been happening at their house will hopefully be offset by your love and principles.
It is so unfair that there is nothing you can do to get him away from such situations when they happen, but from what you told us about him, he seems such a strong and intellingent kid that can overcome all this difficulties and grow up to be a lovely young man.