How can you respond reasonably to an unreasonable person? It would seem that is the lesson my son is bound to learn from this summer as we continue to struggle through things with his dad.
Dear Amebic Toad,
Once again, you have put our son in the middle of communications that should be occurring between us.
When I had him call you to discuss his desire to switch his weekend with you from this weekend to another, it was because he is coming to an age where he needs to voice his desires to you himself instead of asking me to act as a conduit. It was not so you could once again try to indoctrinate him into a childhood/lifelong messenger servitude to you.
Plus, given the multitude of miscommunications between the households, it only makes sense to keep the scheduling discussions between the two people who have control over the scheduling.
Not to mention the fact that, as you so succinctly put it, ChaosMonkey is a child. It is not only inappropriate for you to be putting him in the middle of these “discussions”, but it is not emotionally healthy to be submitting him to that kind of emotional stress. He is dealing with more than his fair share of that going between two completely opposite households. Any attempts on your part to communicate through/via ChaosMonkey will be ignored, one reason among the multitude being that he is a child and could easily misunderstand and I would hate to make plans with a child who has misunderstood the situation. *cough cough*
In short, knock it the fuck off, you dickless reptile.
One Proud and Protective Mama
… I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that he did this, and on our dime nonetheless. If you know a dog bites, don’t be surprised when it does. I just can’t get over how he keeps putting ChaosMonkey in such stressful situations. He’s a kid, a KID, he shouldn’t be a pawn in some control freak’s power struggle over money (I’d say time if ChaosMonkey felt like there was time being spent on him).
My son has come home from his dad’s saying things like “I may as well not even exist till after noon”, or “my dad’s probably not going to show up because he didn’t set his alarm”, or “my dad won’t change because I ask him to”. He has gone through heart broken year after year and he is starting to get angry.
Yes, my husband has gone above and beyond to make him feel like part of the family, and if ChaosMonkey’s dad hadn’t requested visitation (read as reduction of child support) he may very well have truly developed that father-son with Hubby, but when his dad interjected himself and created disappointment after disappointment and stress after stress on our son and I and hence my whole family, it puts this terrible wedge between them.
Hubby is responsible, noble (in his own way), driven to be the best he can be. He expects the same, quite reasonably, from his family. ChaosMonkey tries to live up to that and thrives on the expectations to meet. When he comes home from his dad’s… he’s lost, moody, his self esteem drops, he lashes out. It’s always been difficult but we’re getting to some crucial milestones and how he decides to deal with the situation between his practically warring households will steer so much of his life.
I know he doesn’t feel emotionally safe with his dad or discussing how hurt, ignored, angry, and so on with his dad and he has always been fearful of suggesting things to his dad that would require, frankly, effort. He has told me so many things that he has begged me to not tell his dad because he is afraid his dad will withdraw (not the word he used but it’s the word his mind was going for).
For ChaosMonkey to agree to talk to his dad tonight and not just bow out of what he wanted was huge and I was so proud of him for putting himself out there in that vulnerable position and then his dad does this… and I am still somehow surprised. Why am I surprised that in his narcissism he doesn’t, can’t, or won’t see what he’s doing to our son? Our amazing, talented, compassionate, full of a need to be loved and accepted child?
Yes, he is getting older, and yes, he is extremely smart. He is also extremely, EXTREMELY sensitive to other’s emotions and if you don’t give a fuck he’s gonna know it, and he’s gonna internalize it until he feels like he’s analyzed the shit out of himself and where he went wrong to not be worth you giving a damn. He’s done it, over and over again. Like the summer he kept having panic attacks and I found out later it was because his dad had told him he was going to propose to his then girlfriend, now wife. I don’t know how ChaosMonkey reacted at his dad’s but when I tracked the time back, it coincided with the worst panic attack he’d had during that time which had occurred within 30 minutes of him getting home from his dad’s. And his dad has the NERVE to say that he won’t help with any counseling fees because they must be resulting from MY family? Really? It was terrifying, he was out of control, and could have really hurt his then baby sister.
This summer has basically been one big “you don’t matter” message to ChaosMonkey from his dad and it’s like his dad is trying to pull us into said message with these stupid games he’s playing. I have told ChaosMonkey that certain discussions are to be had between the adults, like scheduling, because they can be so complex. I have told him I will do my best to take care of things, he doesn’t have to worry about it, enjoy being a kid, and his dad pulls this crap.