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Ex reported to DFS...waiting for the fallout
August 23, 2007
2:13 pm
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readyforachange
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My ex has vile, awful and abusive to my daughter for the past 10 months. He goes through periods where he will not speak to her, doesn't see her for weeks on end as a punishment, calls her names (f**ing bitch, etc), tells her he never wants to see her again, drinks excessively in front of her, and purposely makes plans to do things with our son while she is present, and excludes our daughter.

I have done everything I can to make the situation better...talking to my daughter, talking to her teachers, putting her in counseling at school, taking her to a pscyhologist, refusing to allow her to see him, pleading with his family to intervene on my daughter's behalf, and even asking my ex to please consider what he is doing to her.

Nothing has helped.

My daughter's friend's mother recently called me and told me something that shocked and sickened me. It seems my daughter borrowed her dad's cell phone to call me a few weeks ago when he was drunk and she didn't want to be there any more. While she had his phone (for over an hour), she went into the pictures and found a picture of her father's GF performing oral sex with him. She told her friend, who told her mother, who called me in shock.

I confronted my ex about this by calling him and letting him know that our daughter had told her friend, and that as a concerned parent, the friend's parent had called me. I told him how inappropriate I thought his behavior was. He of course defended himself by saying that she shouldn't have been snoooping in his phone. I told him that may be true, but he should never have allowed her to use the phone knowing that that picture was there, nor should he have condoms laying out on his dresser so that my daughter can identify his brand when we are shopping at the drugstore.

I shared this information with my sister-in-law, who in turn felt she needed to call DFS and report him. I agreed, especially given that this man is a 6th grade teacher and is exposed to other people's children on a daily basis. I know what he did was not illegal; however, if he cannot protect our daughter, I don't think he should spend time with her.

As soon as he gets the call from DFS, he's going to call me and accuse me of making the report. I am afraid that he will be so angry at me that he will take it out on our daughter. She is supposed to go to his house for a visit tonight, and I am afraid to let her go.

I'm just at a loss as to what I should do...

August 23, 2007
3:35 pm
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feelingfree
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Ready~

I don't know that I'd be comfortable with your daughter going over there tonight. I think I'd wait a bit if that's possible..

August 23, 2007
4:23 pm
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I am totally uncomfortable with allowing her to go over to his house. Because she is almost 14 years old, I allow her to make the choice as to when she wants to see him...but now I'm not sure that's a good idea. I'm hoping to give her a reason to call and cancel with him. That shouldn't be too hard, because she usually doesn't really want to go anyway.

August 23, 2007
4:39 pm
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fantas
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Hi Ready,

Wow, what as ass your father's daughter is. It sounds like he just doesn't get it! He is causing a great deal of emotional harm to your daughter with his behaviour. I cannot believe he is a 6th grade teacher. I am so glad your sister-in-law called DFS.

Have you let your daughter know that you are aware of what happened? I think you should let her know if you haven't and then tell her that her dad was reported and you do not want her with him until this is settled.

He is definitely unfit to have her with him. How does she feel about her dad and how he treats her?

Keep us posted!

August 23, 2007
6:01 pm
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atalose
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I would keep your daugher away until this whole situation with DFS is addressed. You and your daugher and son may be interviewed before your ex-husband is. It may be days before he is interviewed so be prepared that this may not explod as quickly as you thought.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

August 24, 2007
12:57 am
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litterbag814
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is your x's name Alec Baldwin? Sorry not to joke at your daughter's exspense. But there are way too many Alec Baldwins out there, I wish they could all be exposed like he was

August 24, 2007
9:58 am
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thank you all for your responses...I am a wreck today. Didn't sleep much last night, and now my head hurts and my stomach is all in knots.

My daughter did go to her dad's last night. He doesn't know about the report yet, so all was calm. She did her homework, and watched a movie. She only stays with him for 4 hours. I tried to offer to her that she should stay home since she had a lot of homework, but she wanted to go.

I did talk to her about what she had seen on his phone, and told her my feelings about it. I debated about telling her of the investigation, but knew she would be scared to death worrying about case workers coming to school that she would literally make herself physically ill. I decided it would be better if they just had the school counselor bring her to her office (she is used to being seen by the counselor) and they ask some questions. I didn't want to scare her. Now I'm worried I made the wrong decision.

I have to keep telling myself that if this had happened to one of my students, I would have reported it. If I knew that one of my students had been through what my daughter has been throuigh...I would feel it necessary to report him. So, my sister in law was right to make the call. Why am I so worried about what he will do to me or to her because of this?

August 24, 2007
10:52 am
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atalose
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I think you do need to talk with your daughter about what's to come and not leave it up to the school to inform her of it. She will resent you in the end because you didn't talk with her and prepare her for this.

Your worry is because you are still allowing him to have that kind of power and control over you. If your fear is not wanting to subject your daugher to his nonsense or revenge for this then discuss that too with the case worker. See what kind of intervention can be done so his visits are either supervised or limited if his behavior is that bad.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

August 24, 2007
11:13 am
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ready- DFS is not on your side or your X's just represents the child. DFS will view you as failing to protect your child because you allow your child to see this man after what she has told you. They will expect you to file at once for a restraining order and to have a court case filed against him in family court to modify the current visitation maybe to supervised contact.

You have all the right in the world to call the police and have them do a welfare check whenever your daughter is visiting her dad. Might need let her use a cell phone while she visits so she can call and tell you if something disturbing goes on. Also instruct her to call 911 if he gets drunk or starts verbally abusing her. I dont think it is a good idea to be broadcasting this info. to his family or anyone else you know. You have to take your daughters feelings into consideration. There is nothing else anyone besides an attorney, the police, a licensed therapist or jury can do for you in this situation. Your X is right your daughter should have more respect for him and his property and have more boundaries than to be snooping in his cell phone. Teach her that. Those that snoop deserve things like that. Condoms are like Kotex it is up to an individual and their values if they want to hide or leave them out in the open. My kids know what both of them are and what they are used for.
Now the fact that you X appears to be under the influence and mentally abusing your daughter concerns me. This needs to be addressed through the courts. I doubt DFS will get involved. But if they do they will hold you responsible as well.

August 24, 2007
1:05 pm
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readyforachange
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well, the case worker called me this morning, and basically told me that her seeing this picture was not illegal and there was nothing they could do about it.

They plan to talk to her about the drinking and the verbal abuse, but I know in the end they will do nothing.

During the divorce, I pleaded for limited or supervised visitation based on the unstable things he was doing and the inappropriate things he was saying to the kids. The judge only ordered that we go to counseling, and only for 2 sessions. My kids told the counselor everything was fine, so we never had ouir second session.

I have involved the school counselor and a private psychologist. All of them know about my ex's drinking and verbal abuse of my daughter. Neither of them reported this to DFS. My attorney has told me time and time again that he is doing nothing illegal, and that a court cannot force him to be a good parent.

So, my hands are tied and I have no recourse. I cannot afford to take him back to court to revise the custody agreement. I'm still paying off the bills from our divorce 2 1/2 years ago. Bottom line, I'd spend a fortune, and a judge wouldn't revise anything. And, since my kids are 17 and almost 14, they make the decision about whether they see their dad.

I understand about her snooping on his phone. We talked about that. She said that there was a picture of her that he had taken that she didn't like and wanted to delete, so she was looking through the pictures to find it.

So, until he physically hurts her or sexually abuses her, the system isn't going to do a damn thing about it. Everything else he does is not illegal, and won't constitute neglect or abuse.

August 24, 2007
1:35 pm
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mj
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((((ready)))) I am so sorry that you are so frusturated by this whole situation with ex. Divorces are hard on the children as well. Is your daughter doing better with her depression?

August 24, 2007
2:16 pm
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ready- sounds like you are angry at this guy. I dont blame you. Its hard when you get off the merrygo round and he continues going on that bad ride. He is what he is. Being divorced you also have to set boundaries with your kids especially when it comes to carry stories back and forth and believe me kids will go out of their way to dig up dirt on either parent. Tell your kids that what ever goes on at dads stays at dads you dont want to hear it. You have no control of his life so what if the point. If others want to make comments you might want to set limits to and tell them well maybe he isn't perfect thats why I divorced him but he is the father of my children and I dont want to hear this garbage. Cause thats all it is. Your kid gets secondary attention for carrying all these stories. If him and his gf take naked pics that is their issue not hers or yours, or the neighbors or his families. Please do not associate with the type of people that would actually call DFS on you thats not very supportive. Its not up to the system to raise the kids it is up to you and your husband. He does things his way and you do things yours. Your kids will have to decide for themselves if they want to be around him or not. Inapropriate is about morals not about breaking the law. Your lucky the case worker didnt get involved, like I explained before the case would also be against you. The DFS is not about helping parents only kids. Driking is not against the law unless one gets a DUI with the kids in the car or passes out while the police kick in the door and find him laying there. Drinking is legal. Just tell your daughter if dad is scaring you or passed out call 911. That would take care of the problem. Just keep on going forward with your life and please try not to focus on him anymore. You can not control him or cure him even though you feeling like killing the problem at times. Dont get fixated on his issues. Dont get stuck. Accept him for the drunken foul mouthed pornographic loving man that he is. Accept the fact you cant change him. You can just teach your children how to handle the situation. And like you said they are old enough to decide if they want to be around him or not. I dont know why but it seems so much easier for a man to shove his kids aside when he gets into a relationship than it is for a woman. They arent all like that but this man is.

August 24, 2007
3:59 pm
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I guess I'm a prude.

I feel that I'm trying to raise a decent, moral child in a world that is full of sex, violence and degradation of women. And I'm being told that immoral is not illegal, and that what he does in his home is his business whether it affects our 13 year old daughter or not.

So, he can knowingly give her a phone that has pornographic material on it, and he can openly display his sex life in front of her, all the while telling her that this woman he is seeing is trash and he doesn't really want to be with her.

The message she's receiving is that he's just using her for sex, taking pictures of it, and not caring who sees them. One more testimonial to the fact that women are property to be used and abused as men see fit until they are tired of them and ready to move on to something else.

Same with his abuse of alcohol...illegal, no. But is it healthy behavior to which two teenage children should be exposed? And should they be allowed to ride in a car with him when he's been drinking? Are they supposed to be able to detect when he's had too much to drink? And are we supposed to wait until he gets in an accident and kills someone to intervene?

I am incredibly frustrated by society. Working in education for 22 years, I see this on a daily basis. Children can pretty much be treated any way their parents want to treat them, as long as no one hits them or sexually abuses them...and as long as they are fed and clothed.

Do you want this man to be your child's teacher??

August 24, 2007
4:54 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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ready -

wanna hear something sad?

all the behaviours you listed in the first paragraph of your opening post - was how my dad treated me - while my parents WERE MARRIED - TO THIS DAY.

divorcing him removed him as an influence in YOUR life - but because he is the father of these kids - and until the court takes away his parental rights - he has a right to act any way he damn well chooses.

My mom never left my dad...I am almost 36 years old - only until I was 30 something and CHOSE to detach from him - was I able to heal from all the wounds.

You divorced him - so he's out of daily contact with your children - so he's not an influence EVERY day.

THE BEST you can do is teach your children "a better way" - show them how you expect to be treated, how you expect them to treat others, and the right way to act.

I grew up KNOWING that my dad's behaviour was wrong - I am SURE your daughter knows this as well. Your son? well, he may be influenced by dad - or he may see thru it too.

Your husband does NOT have a right to drink and drive - with or without the kids. PERIOD - yes, it's illegal.

However, how your husband conducts himself in affairs and relationships - is not illegal, and can't be stopped.

How he talks to your daughter, excludes her or avoids her is not illegal - and you can't change him.

Your husband taking porn shots of his sex life on his phone is again, not illegal, and allowing your daughter to make a call on such phone is not illegal either - is it wrong, knowing those pics MAY be seen? sure, in my book too, and I am not a prude really - but then again, she shouldn't be looking...it's his personal photos - she should have used his phone and gotten off of it - had it been his wallpaper - yeah, maybe you have a case.

The fact is - yes, adults CAN treat kids this way and get away with it.

Is it right? HELL NO (can't capitalize that big enough)...it isn't.

The best you can do in this situation is lead your children by example. be there for your daughter to cushion the blows...and try to make your kids understand you are there for them - if they are scared - they can call - perhaps you should get them their own cell phone (prepaid) for such emergencies? teach them to not get in the car if they suspect he is drinking (they will KNOW)...call you if they need a ride, have backups to call if you aren't home.

In the end - the only other alternative is document all this - take it to court and see what they say....and have your kids decide if they want to be part of this....help them understand that dad is who he is and not going to change...and they Do have a choice - you divorced him, tho you loved him - and they can too if they choose - and it's not bad for them to choose that.

Empower them to know they have a choice.

It took me 30 years to know it was ok to make the choice...many here also struggle with detaching from toxic parents.

In the end - that's all he is - a toxi parent - some of it is "abuse" or neglect - driving drunk - the rest is just plain bad parenting.

DCYS has alot on their plate - I wonder if they will even go very far with this? Many cases are far worse...I hope you get some resolution to this.

August 24, 2007
5:52 pm
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Ready- My daughters dad was an alcoholic and so where his parents. God rest all of their poor souls. My daughter would see her dad drink, and pass out she even got expelled from school for bringing her dads beer on the bus. she would smoke his cigarettes. I swear he would call and tell me he had no idea where she picked these habits up from. Not me I never drank or smoked or did drugs. Neither did anyone I was with at the time. He would fight with her and call the police, get her arrested, get restraining orders on her. But he also spent time with her, gave her money left and right, bought her a car, appliances, clothes, you name it. She even talked about how her and him would sit down and drink and smoke together long before she was legally old enough to do so. This is what they thought was quality time. She also knew that he kept porn mags hidden and did god knows what while looking at them. He was a senior federal agent for homeland security when he died suddenly 6-28-07 at the age of 47 he was remembered by the other feds as a man with integrity they called him (his last name) the smoker the joker (affectionatly). He actually was on CNN with one of his criminal cases. His work made this world a better place. In spite of all of this he loved the hell out of my daughter and she loved him. He was so responsible he made her a beneficiary on his life insurance policy so she would be taken care of. She is in jail right now as of the 21st. She could care a less about my higher level of education, or my morals. There were times he cussed her out and one time smacked her too (for calling him a (c_cK sucker). In her eyes he was bigger than life. He was her dad. Maybe this X of yours is not right but he is your daughters dad. As long as the man did not drink on the job or show my kids his cell phone yes, I think I would let him teach my kids. No I would not want to know him outside of the educational setting.

August 24, 2007
7:58 pm
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you are right...I can't change him, and I have to lead by example. I just lose sight of that when he uses the very few precious hours he has with her each month to prove what horrible choices he can make.

But, I have no control over that. And I cannot do anything.

The case worker came to school today and talked to my daughter. I asked her about it after school, but she didn't have much to say. I didn't push. I told her they called me, and were going to talk to me on Tuesday. She didn't seem upset. Maybe nothing will come of this, I doubt it will. I'll document it like I do everything else, and move on.

August 25, 2007
2:08 am
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Its tough. Especially when you have to deal with someone that has different values. The more you go against a person like that the more they plant their feet in the ground just to let you know who is in control. You did not cause his problems and you cant control them or cure them. I feel sorry for your daughter if his behavior is having a negative impact on her life. In a situation like that she might be better off without him.

August 29, 2007
10:32 am
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readyforachange
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So, the case worker came out to see me yesterday. Basically, he just reviewed the report and asked if I had any other concerns or things to add. I told him what I was worried about, he added it to the report and I signed it.

He said his next step was to talk to my ex, encourage him to go into alcohol rehab, and give him a "warning".

My daughter stayed home from school yesterday with stomach aches. I took her to the doctor, they spent lots of time asking questions, especially about the stress in her life. They put her on Zantac and made some dietary changes, and asked us to get a blood test to rule out ulcers. I knew this would turn into physical symptoms for her eventually.

August 29, 2007
11:16 am
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risingfromtheashes
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Has your daughter stated her wish to no longer be with dad?

At this point - it may be necessary to take the legal steps to remove his visitation - per her request.

She is plenty old enough to tell a judge why she doesn't want time with dad...or wants less time with dad. They do take the needs of the children into consideration and I am SURE she can articulate WHY she prefers to not see him.

The judge can then decide the best course of action based on what your DAUGHTER tells them - cuz in the end - this is between her and her dad.

I am sure your sons input will count as well - he has seen plenty of crap too.

August 29, 2007
11:19 am
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risingfromtheashes
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mind you - once the DFS worker talks to him AND requests alcohol counseling - there will be fallout - and you and your daughter are bound to bear the brunt of it.

I hope that he goes "silent and absent" instead of ranting at her and hurting her verbally.

But in the end - maybe that's what needs to happen to put an end to this nonsense?

Remember - document all this - and perhaps get her back to the counselor to get a full evaluation and report for court.

August 29, 2007
11:20 am
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risingfromtheashes
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one more thing - maybe you could suggest SUPERVISED visits - so that you don't totally remove his rights - just limit his ability to be abusive...and if he is - they will see it and decide for themselves.

August 31, 2007
8:45 pm
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readyforachange
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rising...thanks for the input.

My daughter wants to see her dad. She is dying for attention from him, and wants his love. Normal, even though he has been awful to her.

It is now three days since the social worker talked to me. I am pretty sure he would have talked to my ex by now, but I've had no contact from my ex. My daughter is supposed to spend some time with him this weekend, and I know that she will hear about it if he starts drinking.

I could also consider the possibility that he took the case worker's words seriously, and is turning over a new leaf. Can't imagine that is true, though.

September 4, 2007
6:40 am
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ready...

I just wanted to add something here..only because I have been thinking about this for awhile...I wanted my dad's approval, my WHOLE life, because he chose drinking over us..(oh and women)....I chose 2 very similar men to marry...and have STILL been working to get that approval.
Please be aware of how this is going to work with your daughter...
because I spent so many years trying to 'get' guys not to leave me, and too creepy similar to my dad.

I will not have my daughter be like that, so her dad (thank goodness) has stayed so far in her life, I wanted him to leave at one point, but after coming across this thought, I was glad he stayed and my daughter stands up to him..which it sounds like yours does too!

life is not always fair, but, we have SMART girls!
I do not want my daughter to end up like me, but you are doing the right thing.
Other people see it...my dad was never abusive..but he drank etc..he married again after my mom...

she was very young and they had a daughter, when they divorced, my step-mom accused my dad of sexually abusing her (for wearing underwear around the house).

he turned very bitter...my step-sister, which I never met, had a child at 17 and when my dad died took all of his money and told us that we did not deserve it because we were 'bad daughters'.

She is a product of her mother.
and too many ugly divorces and such ruin innocent children.

you are not doing that! other people see it..but, at this time in her life, she needs to see what is going on with your ex..and maybe someday he will have a reason to change..because his DAUGHTER and SON think so..it will never happen because YOU want it..

(wow, took me a long time to realize that! )

you are doing great!
stay strong

nvr

September 4, 2007
11:52 am
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readyforachange
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nvr...thanks, I have often thought about that. I believe that I spent a lot of my life trying to gain approval from my father. My two older sisters were gifted, highly intelligent, and did no wrong. My father worked 70 hours a week, and didn't have much time for us. He was addicted to food and a workaholic, I married an alcoholic. I was 17 when I met him, and he was the only person I ever seriously dated. We had a love/hate relationship...he would get angry and I would beg him to take me back. Pathetic.

So...my daughter (almost 14) has a boy in her class that she is "going out" with, whatever that means to an 8th grader. They talk on the phone, and IM, and she has his name written all over her school stuff. Problem is that she's beginning to alienate her girlfriends because she spends so much time and energy on this guy. We've talked very seriously about this...and it worries me. She doesn't see him alone, they do things in big groups. I can't tell her she can't see him or talk to him, because I know that will make her go behind my back and want to see him more. I just worry.

I know the Social Worker has talked to my ex. It's been a week. I haven't heard anything from the ex except that on Saturday, he was supposed to spend time with my daughter, and bailed on her. Called me that morning to tell me he was going to a men's softball tournament (aka beer fest), and a blues concert downtown (aka continuation of the beer fest). He said he'd call her later that night and come get her. No call Sat., Sun or Mon. Whatever.

I know this means that the social worker's encouragement to go to rehab fell on deaf ears. Frankly, I had no hope that they wouldn't. So...she loses again.

Thanks for your thoughts...

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