Tuesday, October 5, 2010

If I knew then.....

Parental Alienation” or “Hostile aggressive Parenting”

...Is a form of child abuse. Alienation or Hostile aggressive Parenting is a group of behaviors that are damaging to child's mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent. These behaviors most often accompany high conflict marriages, separation or divorce. The behaviors whether verbal or non-verbal, cause a child to be mentally manipulated or bullied into believing a loving parent is the cause of all their problems, and or the enemy, to be feared hated and disrespected and or avoided.
PA and HAP deprive children of their right to be loved by and show love for both of their parents. This for of abuse, not only can occur from that alienating parent, but a third party as well.

If I knew then what I know now about PA or HAP, that definition could have made a huge difference in the outcome of the custody decision. Or maybe not. Most Judges and attorneys know of the term, they just refuse to believe that it happens. In Illinois, it is not recognized, nor is it a law.
Only a few States recognize, PA or HAP as a form of child abuse. So, then I guess that wouldn't have helped me. But I still wish I knew about the term, the definition and the symptoms of it.
much. For the most part they were good kids. Which I am thankful for.

As a parent, I made sure that I had all the contact information I needed for schools and teachers.
I would order school pictures every year. But that wasn't always easy. Since the schools gave the kids the order forms to bring home, I never received one. I always had to call the schools and ask them to mail it to me. Every year I would have to go through the same thing. “I don't live with my kids and their dad won't make a copy of the form..can you please send it to me.” They would, eventually send it.
I would order the pictures and make sure they came directly to my house. Same with news letters and report cards. I received a school calendar as well to keep me updated on events that were going on. I made all contacts with teachers regarding progress reports, and I would schedule parent-teacher conferences over the phone due to the travel. Each one was happy to accommodate my request. I took it upon myself to be involved as much as T would allow. However, whenever I did go to the schools for anything, I would always be stared at. They would whisper as I walked by. It wasn't just my imagination, this stuff was actually happening. I would also be followed. They would try not to make it obvious, but I am very observant about my surroundings, and I paid close attention whenever I was at the schools.

I highlighted the days the school is closed for cleaning day, or teacher in-service day. Hoping that one of those days fell on my weekend so I could keep them that extra day. But when I would ask T about keeping them, his answer would always be NO! His answer was always no. I got pretty tired of it.

Sometime between Christmas 2002 and Spring 2003, T's girlfriend moved in with them. She, was a divorced mother of one, a daughter. She was also the same age as Brandon, older by a few months.
From what the boys would tell me, they didn't like her. They would make fun of her. They would tell me that she would scream and throw fits, and punch the walls. I would tell the boys, that its hard for kids to adjust to new surroundings. This is probably a hard time for her. Hopefully she will get better over time. They didn't care, they just didn't like her.
I don't know much about the size of the home they all now lived in. According to the kids, the twins shared a room, Brandon and Cody shared a room, she had her own and T and his live-in-secretary (that's what I started calling her) stayed downstairs. The house is old, its visibly noticeable. The kids said its full of mold in the basement. That worried me. Mold can kill you. But figured if I made a call to have it checked out, then that would just be opening a whole can of worms for me. So I let it go.

Once she established herself in the home, she took over the communication between me and T. She became his “live in secretary.” I hated this. She was now making all the calls about everything. But this is what he needed, someone to do all the work. Between her, his mother and him, I became a target. It was there job to make my life a living hell. With each email I sent asking for an extension for my visitation, I would always be told NO. When I finally found out she was behind all the responses, I asked that T be the person responding to me. So at the end of each email it would say “PER T.”
Give me a break! Now, I know that I can't prove that she was the one that responded to me all the time, but come on. But later I would find out in court, that she in fact was not even allowing him to see the emails that I sent and was just responding to them herself.
She stepped right in a made her self right at home. She was a spitting image of his mother. She was just what he needed. She fit right in with that family too. Scuzzy, nasty fat ass bitch. (sorry) She fell right into the same game with T, keeping me a step behind them and brain washing the kids. They were a match made in heaven.

When the kids starting participating in sports, T knew that it would interfere with my visitation time. Most of the soccer games fell on a Saturday morning. My time started at 6pm Friday nights. So either I could attend the kids games on Saturday or I could make them miss the games and pick them up on Friday nights, or I could pick them up on Friday nights, drive them back up north for the games on Saturday, then drive back to my house after the games then drive them home on Sunday's. That is a lot of dang driving. So I chose to forfeit my Friday night pick up time and decided that I would attend the soccer games. To them it was one less night that I was going to be with the kids and vs. versa. But to me, it was a honor to watch my kids play soccer. I would take pictures and cheer them on. But no matter where I was, I was always being watched.

One time, T wouldn't even let the kids come near me until the end of the games. I thought that was so awful. After all this was on my time.....but again, just his way of being able to control everything. Mainly it was a power trip in front of his new girlfriend and his parents. Because whenever his parents were not at the games, which was rarely ever, the boys would run to me with open arms with excitement. I also think that once I started to bring my video camera his tone changed.
I sat on the opposite side of the field most of the time too. I didn't want to be near them. It was always a very uneasy situation. It made me mad too when people who heard me cheering on the boys, would come up to me and ask, are you Brandon's mom? I would say yes, I am. They would look at me with surprise, and say, “oh, I thought V was there mom. I would say with a smile “ nope, I'm Brandon's mom...” then they would say how good he was, just to change the subject. Things like that made me mad. It just added fuel to my fire. Brandon was a great soccer player. He was called the “little hurricane.” He made me proud. I would rather attend there games and allow them to be kids, then take that away from them for my selfish reasons. But T didn't think that way.
When soccer season was over, and I couldn't make it on a Friday night due to weather, work or other things that may occur, he would automatically cancel my entire weekend. Which was wrong.
When this would happen, I would just drive up there on Saturday morning anyway, since it was still my time, he would be gone with the kids. I would wait an hour for them to show up, then I would call the police and file an “interference with visitation report.” This would happen over 3 times. And each time I would call the police and file another report. Little did I know, that after each one, I needed to follow up with it at the courthouse and file charges. I thought it was after 3 offenses. So after the 3rd one that's what I did. I filed a report and tried to take him to criminal court. He had to hire an attorney, again, but when I was threatened by that attorney to let it go or T would drag me through court with more stuff on my then I could fathom, I decided to drop the charges. Why, he didn't have anything on me. My nose was was just a threat because he knew he was busted and would be in a lot of trouble. After that 3rd offense, he knew I meant business. He never pulled another stunt like that again.
With each weekend that he took from me, I would ask for it to be made up. Each time SHE would deny that request. Which again, was unfair to me and to the boys. But, its what they wanted.
After those episodes, the boys would ask “why didn't you come and get us mom?” I started showing them the police reports that I filed, proving that I was there to pick them up. They never asked again.

Another incident occurred when I was on vacation with the boys in Tennessee. My brother decided that he was going to have a come apart while the kids were there. He tool a golf club after my sisters car while her kids where in it. When she called her husband to come and calm his butt down, my brother decided that he was going to get a weapon and kill him if he decided to interfere with his meltdown. Nonetheless, we let my brother have his little meltdown, but it didn't come without upsetting all of us who witnessed it. I took my kids over to my sisters house that night, so my brother could calm down. I couldn't help but mention to the boys, that I don't need them going back to daddy and telling him what happened. I explained to them what would happen if they did go back and tell T all that happened. But, like most kids, they didn't listen to what I said and they told T what happened.
It didn't take long before I received a letter and motion in mail from T's attorneys trying to get all trips to Tennessee stopped. Stating that “my brother's illness is a great concern for the safety and well-being
of the kids and it's in the best interest if they no longer where aloud to make the trips with me, if my brother will be present.” I immediately sent a letter back to his attorney, assuring him that my kids were not in any danger. The situation was handled appropriately. That it is merely impossible to assure that my bother will not be involved in future trips to Tennessee. Furthermore, if I was to request that I don't want the boys around T's brother because he is not a good influence on the boys either, would he agree to that? I never heard another thing about that.

I wasn't going to let this go. Brian and I talked about this situation, and decided that the best action we can take is to sit the boys down and talk to them about what I received and what their dad was trying to do. So we did. Come to find out, they kept it quiet as long as they could. But T kept asking them questions about the trip. Drilling them about things that we did, who we stayed with. Well, Dalton fell victim to his drilling and said, without thinking, that we stayed with Grammy and then when Uncle J had his fit we stayed with Auntie. That was all T needed to hear. The boys knew the repercussions from
what was said to T. They were sorry, and apologized. Eventually, I found out that although Dalton made that confession, Cody was made to tell his dad the entire story. I didn't blame Cody or Dalton. They had no idea they were being trapped into talking about our trip or anything that went on, good or bad. T was slick, and he used his children as pawns.

I would receive emails requesting that I send underwear and socks to them that one of the boys left at my house. Instead of them wearing what they had on when I picked them up, they just wore the ones from my house. Which is fine with me. I didn't think twice about it really. It's socks and underwear for God sakes. So I an email back, letting them know that I will not send socks and underwear via the mail. That the request was ridiculous and unwarranted. The socks and underwear will remain with me until the next visitation at which time they will be returned when the boys are dropped off that night.
It was petty stuff like this that I was getting sick of.

Phone calls would be denied when I called. I would leave messages and I would never get a call back. I would ask the kids did dad tell you I called? They would say no. I would ask them “why don't you call me?” They would say, “I asked dad and he said not now, maybe later.” I said just pick up the phone and call me..they said “he will ground us if we disobey.” That mad me furious. My child is wanting to call me and they are telling him no. That's wrong. I kept a log of each time I would call and each time I left a message. I called for one week straight one time, all at the same time, and never got a response.
If ever I did get to talk to them, they were always quiet and withdrawn. Like someone was listening to everything they would say. Which I found out was true. I didn't like putting the kids in the position. So eventually I stopped calling. I wasn't getting through majority of the time, and when I did, which was once a year, they would monitor the conversation and I didn't want the boys to feel uncomfortable.
This is what they wanted. If I don't call, then I don't care. But, I made sure the kids knew I called, not only did I have my log of phone calls, I also had the phone bills to show each time.

With everything going on, and way to much for me to handle, Brian and I wanted to take T back to court to get a few things fixed. For one, the child support was way to high, according to an attorney that we spoke too. For two, I didn't feel the need to pay for the kids extra curricular activities. Nor did I feel that I need to receive bills in mail from them, requesting that I pay for ½ of Cody's band instrument.
When I got that bill from HER via email, I flipped my lid. I sent an email back to HER immediately stating that I not ordered to pay for his instrument. It just so happens that my mother owned that same instrument and offered to send it to me so that Cody could use it, therefore neither one of us would have to pay for it. So, I made that offer to HER via email. No response. Later, when we went back to court, I made sure that was brought up and the judge told T that I didn't need to pay ½ for an instrument since I had offered it to them for free. When T was presented with the letter that I sent HER via email, he said he didn't know about that offer. I didn't have to pay, and he told T if you choose to pay for an instrument that is your problem, but she had one and is offering it so you won't.
Needless to say, T wasn't happy with that outcome and stormed out of the courthouse doors rambling something in Swedish. (Oh, ya didn't I mention, he was brain washed by his mom to think he was Swedish?) This wasn't the only thing that he didn't like about that day in court. But more on that later.

Brian and I knew that if we took T back to court, we would have to make some changes ourselves. We started talking about getting married. It was November 2003 when we decided to get married in December. We would tell the boys during Thanksgiving break. But once again, I would be denied my Thanksgiving with my kids because of T.

The week of Thanksgiving, I sent T an email letting him know that I will be there to pick up the kids on Wednesday night at 6 pm for the Thanksgiving weekend. I never heard a response from him. So, I sent it again. Still, no response. Finally I called his cell phone and what -ya-know he picked up.
This is when he told me that I wouldn't be getting the kids for Thanksgiving this year, because I was being investigated for child abuse. “No one has called you yet” he asked me, I said “no!” “Who is suppose to call me?” He said I guess “DCFS.” He didn't say what for, but I had a feeling.
A few months ago, I was making up my bed in my room, and Austin decided he was going to run out of the bedroom naked. When I saw this, I came up behind him and swatted him on his fanny. I told him that he needed to get clothes on and then told him that we don't show our privates to anyone, not even our brothers. That we are to keep our privates to ourselves. That was it. Nothing else happened and nothing else was said. The day went on as normal. But it turned into a huge ordeal.

When I found out that DCFS was suppose to come to my house and investigate me, I called them and invited them right over. Sine I worked with DCFS, it didn't take me long. We made the appointment for 4pm. Brian would be home at that time and I wanted him present when the investigator came over. When she pulled up, welcomed her in. She, just like me, when we pulled up to a home, we checked out the area. She said, nice house, you have it decorated so lovely. I showed her around, and then we sat in the family room and began to talk. I asked her what was I being investigated for? She told me, and I told her I had a feeling it was about that. So she wanted me to explain what happen. So I did. She said I don't see anything here that indicates abuse. She said I will make my case notes and and this will be closed. As far as she was concerned, this was a waste of her time. I handled that situation appropriately.
I did want to know exactly what the allegation was though. It is stated that the victim says that you hit him in his penis. I was appalled, hurt and sad. According to the investigator, Austin was taken to the Dr. and pictures were taken of his penis. “Are you kidding me?” This is a bunch of crap. “Why would a parent put a child through this embarrassment. What did this do to Austin? How did this make him feel? I told the investigator that I have a feeling I know why T put this in Austin's head and made this allegation. Even though it was my year for Thanksgiving, T knew that I wouldn't let him have them this year, and this was his only way of making sure that I didn't and he did. When I told this to the investigator, she agreed and she she sees this all the time. She also said, that if I don't hire an attorney and stop him from continuing to use the kids in allegations, then he wouldn't stop. I said, so I can get my kids for Thanksgiving? She said yep, I see no reason why you can't, there is no safety plan here so you can follow what you would normally follow as far as the holiday goes. I thanked her and she was gone.

Well with that news, I emailed T and told him that I was coming to get the kids. He still refused until he had the final report in his hand that says that I can have the kids and that allegation of abuse was going to be unfounded. I didn't the kids for that Thanksgiving either. I was pissed. Brian and I wanted to tell the boys that we were getting married, and now we wouldn't be able to share that with them.

On December 20, 2003 in a very small ceremony under Christmas lights and candles, Brian and I were married. It was the most beautiful ceremony. I had no worries, no stress. Everything worked out perfect. The boys were not able to attend, although it was my weekend, it also was T's birthday and the order stated that he gets them for his birthday and it takes precedence over my weekend. I would have loved for them to be a part of that day. But I wasn't going to even try and ask. Being told no again, probably would have set me over the edge. We told the boys on Christmas Day. They were excited.

We waited until February 2004 before we hired an attorney. Now the ball is in my court.

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