To feel uncomfortable about DD being at her dad's this weekend after incident at preschool?

(61 Posts)
BriAndLottie Fri 08-Mar-13 20:55:16

Apologies if this is a bit of a mess, please bear with me, I'm still trying to make sense of it all myself but really need some advice.

Ex-bf and I met at school and were on/off for a few years. During that time we had two DCs together, one who was stillborn and a DD who is now 3. We haven't been together since before DD was born and for various reasons ex-bf hasn't really seen DD on a regular basis until recently- for about 4 months he's been having every other weekend with her, those weekends he picks her up from preschool on Friday afternoon and brings her back on Sunday afternoon.

One of my close friends works at DD's preschool, I had a phone call from her late this afternoon, she asked to come round as she was worried about me. Apparently when ex-bf came to pick DD up from preschool this afternoon, he asked to speak to her and told her he was worried about DD and me as he has reason to believe I'm taking illegal substances and fears for DD's welfare. It is true that when the two of us first got together I was taking illegal substances, it was a difficult period of my life in which I lost my way and I'm not proud of it, however, this has not been the case since I was pregnant with DD and I would never do anything to compromise her wellbeing. My friend is now in a difficult position as she is obliged to report any concerns given the history but doesn't believe there is any truth in it thankfully, she was very supportive.

Ex-bf has hinted to my mum recently that he wanted to push for more custody, ideally 50/50, but nothing has been said to me about it and I naively assumed as it hadn't been mentioned for a few weeks it wasn't serious.

DD is now going to be spending the whole weekend with this man after the episode at preschool. AIBU to feel really uncomfortable about her being there with him given what's happened or do I need to just pull myself together and treat what was said at preschool pick up as a separate incident?

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 21:01:40

One of my close friends works at DD's preschool, I had a phone call from her late this afternoon, she asked to come round as she was worried about me

Your friend needs a bloody disciplinary - tittle tattling between parents and causing grief. Your friend should have passed the concerns your ex has to the CPO and kept her mouth shut. She's nothing but a gossip monger I'm afraid.

My friend is now in a difficult position as she is obliged to report any concerns given the history but doesn't believe there is any truth in it thankfully, she was very supportive.

What she believes is neither here nor there.

I do apologise, all that is very unsympathetic, but I am really annoyed that an employee with a duty of care would tip off a parent the concerns had been raised.

Snoopingforsoup Fri 08-Mar-13 21:02:33

You poor thing, you must feel awful.
I think he's playing dirty in the hope of getting more time. I would speak to him directly, and as calmly as you can and categorically tell him that you do not take illegal substances and that his claims are actually damaging for your daughter.
At the end of the day, you have done nothing wrong. Your past is your past and has no bearing on your parenting skills as a Mum now.
Maybe take some family law advice ahead of him pulling any more stunts such as this. If he was genuinely concerned, should he not confront you first? His story is a bit random if he's not mentioned this before now.

brainonastick Fri 08-Mar-13 21:02:52

Do you have a formal custody agreement in place? If not you need to go and speak to a solicitor next week.

Snoopingforsoup Fri 08-Mar-13 21:05:08

And HollyBerryBush is right, she shouldn't have told you. I never thought of that side of it...

BriAndLottie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:12:57

HollyBerryBush in all fairness I think you're right, the thing is I do know about it now though and I'm panicking sad

There is a formal custody agreement, every other weekend, though he can still apply for more though can't he?

He's claiming that I've relapsed and am not yet as bad as I have been in the past but he's worried I could get that way. I have relapsed once before a few months before I found out I was pregnant with DD, there was a period of about 2 years between me giving up the first time and the relapse, he seems to be going down the 'it's history repeating itself' route.

I feel so uncomfortable about DD being at his for the weekend now, don't know if I'm overreacting sad

brainonastick Fri 08-Mar-13 21:25:36

Hmm, this might be a crazy idea, but is there some kind of voluntary drugs testing you can get done to prove that he's 'mistaken'? I would try to have a quick chat to a solicitor to find out the likely position if he does want to take the story further, and also to your gp to see if they can help on the proving-your-story front.

He sounds like a delightful man hmm. If he wants more access why wouldn't he just talk to you about it first?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 08-Mar-13 21:30:16

Its obvious hes going to try to lay a path that causes you issues and its likely to be contact related.

Take legal advice and get drug tested.

I wouldn't send her because I would be expecting him to refuse to return her and citing that as a reason

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 08-Mar-13 21:31:04

What drugs are we talking about?

BridgetBidet Fri 08-Mar-13 21:31:49

Are you sure that what your 'friend' is telling you is correct? Possibly even if it is then it might be that other 'friends' have been spreading untrue gossip and it's got to his ears.

I would be careful about going off the deepend because this could all be as a result of hearsay or chinese whispers. I would be careful if I were you. This is all second or third hand and could be unreliable.

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 21:34:59

Things to look at objectively - does he want full residency/more residency/playing mind games?

Once you discern whether he is really being concerned and not trying to pay less main/play mind games then you can take the appropriate stance.

If you were dabbling again in narcotics, trust me, school would know about it... kids gossip, parents gossip, everyone knows the local drug dealer etc..

I'm all for the 'up front' tack as advised. See your GP, document and highlight the issues.

Do you mind me asking, recreational drugs or more hard core where you had to seek help to get clean before? Do you have a social worker etc who saw you through the bad times?

But again I would really urge you not to engage in conversations with the 'friend' at your childs nursery about the situation

yellowbrickrd Fri 08-Mar-13 21:35:46

What evidence did he give your friend to back up his allegation?

I wouldn't tell your "friend" anymore about the situation. Just quietly go about contacting your GP on Monday morning, and your solicitor. If you have had a social worker in the past I'd call them too and let them know the situation.

Was the every other weekend court ordered? Do you currently have a residency order? Are you uncomfortable with her being there this weekend as you are worried he won't return her? (If you have a residency order already this will simplify this matter).

BriAndLottie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:43:31

sockreturningpixie he already has her, he picked her up from preschool after voicing his 'concerns'.

We're talking class A drugs. I'm not proud of it, what I will say is that I was a young, stupid teenager and it's a period of my life I've put firmly behind me, with the exception of a relapse at 17 after a bad break up with someone at the time I stupidly thought was the love of my life. However, I've been completely clean since I found out I was pregnant with DD and that's all very much in the past. Ex-bf has a similar past himself.

brainonastick I don't know actually, but brilliant suggestion, I'll look into that.

I don't know whether to go and get her but I wouldn't know what to say to justify it sad

Goldmandra Fri 08-Mar-13 21:43:33

I am not sure that the friend did do the wrong thing. As an Early Years practitioner she will be expected to inform parents if concerns have been raised about the welfare of their child unless to inform the parent of that concern would put the child at risk of significant harm.

OP, you know whether your child is well cared for or not. If you are meeting all her needs and not putting her at risk of harm his mutterings will mean nothing.

You have a strong history of being your DD's primary carer and her father has only been a significant part of her life for four months. That speaks volumes.

You need to go and get yourself some legal advice next week just to make sure you know exactly where you stand but in the meantime I don't think you should worry too much.

I can see why this makes you feel uncomfortable about her being with him but you need to try not to worry about that too. Just keep a note of anything she says or does which concerns you after she's been with him.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 08-Mar-13 21:52:23

If he is lying, and can be shown to be lying, he will not help his case one bit.

If you have not taken drugs, he can not prove you have, you can prove you haven't.

Get legal advice on Monday.

Leave your dd where she is, don't let him know you know what he said. No point havng a go at him anyway.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 08-Mar-13 21:54:10

Is there any possibility at all that he might either harm your DD or flee the country with her?

If not then the fact that he's behaving like an arse is not a good enough reason to withhold contact, and it will put you in a bad light.

And do you think he might believe what he's insinuating, or are you sure he's shit stirring?

idiot55 Fri 08-Mar-13 21:55:19

many hugs, all I can suggest is legal advice on monday

BriAndLottie Fri 08-Mar-13 22:01:44

LadyIsabella I don't see how he could believe it to be perfectly honest, he's claiming to have seen me 'stoned' himself, there's absolutely nothing that springs to mind that could have given him that impression. I think he's stirring to try and get more in the way of custody, I think he'd go about it legally though.

I did end up having support to get clean, yes, but no social worker, I was 16 when I started getting help and ended up in a private fostering arrangement. Ex-bf has done considerably worse than I was ever involved both before and after DD was born, though I'm not about to start playing that game with him.

Goldmandra Fri 08-Mar-13 22:06:19

A friend's exH tried to tell the courts that she was abusing drugs while trying to get residence of their children. The courts didn't even engage with him about it once they knew that nobody else had any concerns whatsoever.

You are doing the right thing by maintaining the moral high ground, OP.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 08-Mar-13 22:12:43

Seriously, go to a solicitor but do not engage. He may just be trying to wind you up, knowing your friend would tell.

BriAndLottie Fri 08-Mar-13 22:13:09

Thanks Goldmandra, that's reassuring. What I'm worried about is that my previous drug abuse has been recorded; I was excluded from school because of it etc, so what he's claiming might not look out of place alongside those records- that said anyone who knows me now would say he's talking complete rubbish.

I will definitely be speaking to a solicitor on Monday.

Goldmandra Fri 08-Mar-13 22:29:29

I am guessing that there have been no concerns raised about how you care for your DD in the past. If that is the case and there is no evidence that you have started to abuse drugs again I cannot see how your past could possibly be relevant.

Any court would look at what would be best for your DD. To consider taking her away from you they would have to think that it would be in her best interests despite the fact that you have been her constant primary carer all of her life.

I hardly think they are going to do that without more evidence than the word of the man who has ignored her for most of her life then suddenly turned up again four months ago wanting regular contact.

I hope you feel more reassured when you've had some legal advice next week.

hiddenhome Fri 08-Mar-13 22:42:18

Please try not to panic. What he is doing is a very common ploy by a non resident parent in order to either gain residence or increase contact time (often to reduce/avoid paying child support or simply to hit back at the resident parent). Courts will be used to hearing all this drivel and would require concrete proof before acting upon such information.

See your GP and a solicitor as the others have advised and just continue being a good mum. What you did when you were a teenager has no bearing on what kind of person you are now (we all make mistakes). Please try not to worry. He sounds like a prick if he has to resort to rubbish like this. He needs to grow up.

BriAndLottie Fri 08-Mar-13 23:18:24

I've just had a text informing me he wants to push for 50/50 custody. Yes, at this time sad

lalabaloo Fri 08-Mar-13 23:25:33

You poor thing, I wouldn't respond to the text if I were you. When does your DD come home from his? Definitely seek legal advice next week

BriAndLottie Fri 08-Mar-13 23:27:32

Lalabaloo- 4pm Sunday afternoon, not that I'm counting down the minutes or anything sad I haven't responded, at this point I know I'm too worked up and I'll end up saying something I regret.

candyandyoga Fri 08-Mar-13 23:27:46

I would feel like going to get her. There's no way he'll get 50/50 custody. Get legal advice ASAP on Monday and get it out there that he is prepared to lie about you - this immature attitude from him will work against him.

Please let us know how you get on x

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 23:28:34

Seriously, from my POV, sit back, play the game, see a solicitor on Monday. Compromise. He has DD every other w/end - extend it by a day. No big deal.

Start to think ahead. Why should DD be with you? Continuity of school, play dates, after school clubs, and so forth.

There is however the school of thought that parents are equal, and if he isn;t playing mind games and this is born out of a genuine desire for more access, and it isn't going to disadvantage the child, then it should be facilitated.

Only you know whether he is toying with you or genuinely a father who wants more time with his child.

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 23:30:43

I wouldnt respond to the text until you have had time to think. Even then itwould be along the lines of non committal and courteous - "I'm open to discussion" - I wouldn't be even announcing I was taking legal advice.

lalabaloo Fri 08-Mar-13 23:52:27

Such a horrible situation for you to be in. Try and keep calm, if you have to reply don't commit either way, and get legal advice as soon as possible. Would 50/50 split even work practically, with distance and school etc?

yellowbrickrd Sat 09-Mar-13 00:00:32

Don't respond at all to the text, it is probably a ploy to get a text from you that he can use against you. Certainly don't say you are 'open to discussion' if you are not (i assume you are not?). The contact arrangement he currently has is pretty generous for a parent who has never lived with his child and only recently seen them regularly. I very much doubt it would be considered to be in your dd interests to have 50/50.

You need to be very calm, don't give him any ammunition at all.

Zavi Sat 09-Mar-13 00:33:46

If I were you I would get a hair strand test done now. Get your GP to do it. It will prove whether or not you have been taking any drugs, including alcohol, on a regular basis for the past 2 yrs (if your hair is long enough).

If it proves that you haven't taken any drugs it will look very good on you that you've stopped.

And looks very bad on your exbf for raising malicious and spurious "concerns" about you (you would of course call your friend as a witness to what he said to her).

It would be exceptionally unlikely for the court to go to 50:50, especially as exbf's role in her life so far has been so erratic - indeed absent.

His proposal to go for 50:50 after just 4 months of regular contact will be considered to be fanciful by any judge I'm sure. For instance, he's not really taking DD's needs into account there is he - he's just proposing what suits his own needs.

In any case, such arrangements (50:50) are not generally suitable for such small children who need lots of continuity in the early years.

Don't worry too much OP. He doesn't have a good track record with your DD and he'll just look really stupid if he goes for 50:50.

Catchingmockingbirds Sat 09-Mar-13 00:56:31

Does he know that you and the nursery teacher are friends? It seems strange that if he did know you two were friends, that he chose her to raise his concerns to.

yellowbrickrd Sat 09-Mar-13 06:31:20

Might be a good idea to move this/repost in Relationships - going to be lots of direct experience of this problem on there.

NoTimeForS Sat 09-Mar-13 07:39:42

I know a resident parent who claimed the NRP was taking drugs in court to try to stop access. The NRP's doctor wrote a report and a supporting letter to say she felt the claims were just malicious after the NRP attended weekly testing, hair strand tests, spoke to the GP etc. That was the end of that.

If you don't take Class A drugs, don't worry.

But, 'though 50-50 care might not be what is best for you or your DD, it might be better for DD in the long term to aim for one extra overnight a week with your ex.
If you suggest this, and say something about 'Lets not be petty or argue, just do what is right for DD', you might stop him from going down his stupid path of false claims by you being the (massively) better person to begin with.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 09-Mar-13 07:54:32

Don't respond to his text at all. He is trying to wind you up and get you to respond. He is not very subtle is he? He knew your friend would tell you. Ignore, ignore, ignore him - and get legal advice!

Texting at 11:30pm is the sign of craziness not sensible parenting decisions! Keep a full record of everything, diarise everything for the solicitor.

Tell him nothing. Have a friend with you at drop off time If possible. Do not argue with him. Keepit calm til you know where you stand.

If he is lying about you to people, his is a prat, I agree seek advice on relationships board.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 09-Mar-13 07:56:13

Do not offer any change until after legal advice, not an extra night or anything. He has only been around 4 months, he needs to take it steady for your daughter's sake.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 09-Mar-13 09:11:01

How much of what your friend said do you actually know to be the truth?

NoTimeForS Sat 09-Mar-13 10:08:58

Yes that's true that an overnight right away would be much too soon. 4 months isn't any time at all.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 10:24:02

The poster up thread is correct by saying that concerns should be raised with parents unless doing so places the child at risk same as not doing ss referrals as a agency in secret unless secrecy is needed.

I wouldn't respond to the text just take legal advice and medical advice ASAP. I'm hoping nothing would show on a drug test other that prescribed (to you) medication? If so then you have no worries.

And I know 50/50 comes across as the holy grail sometimes on here and it can appear that is what courts routinely order ect but its not. Its rarely ordered when both parents aren't on board with it and according to gingerbread ( lone parent charity) every other weekend with a additional week day evening for children who want it is more the norm.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 10:29:31

Oh and you were a minor when you were using drugs and havent used as a adult that does make a difference, he however has used as an adult when he had children.

flippinada Sat 09-Mar-13 12:17:39

I do sympathise, this must be very upsetting for you. You've already been given good advice above - definitely don't respond to his text.

It's entirely possible he will mention it when he drops your DD off or you collect her in an attempt to provoke. If he does, don't react, just day yes you have received it but you need time to think, or you don't want to comment...anything neutral really.
I had similar from my XP who tried to get residence on the grounds that I was mentally unstable (because I had suffered with anxiety and PND) and had a chaotic lifestyle - non of which was true and which was seen through by the courts.

BriAndLottie Sat 09-Mar-13 18:26:25

There have been no concerns about my ability to look after DD in the past, no, although it was thought that my substance abuse may have contributed towards our first child being stillborn, there were other factors though.

A 50/50 split would most likely involve his mother looking after DD while he's at work, which I would NOT be comfortable with. He lives within walking distance though so wouldn't affect school etc.

Zavi- brilliant suggestion, thank you, I'm going to book an appointment on Monday.

He definitely knows the nursery teacher and I are friends, the three of us were at school together before ex-bf and I went off the rails.

I desperately want to go and get DD but can't come up with a reasonable excuse, going to have to leave her I think sad

flippinada Sat 09-Mar-13 19:10:37

Unless you think your DD is genuinely in any sort of danger or he may not bring her back then don't go and pick her up early.

I expect he is trying to upset you. It's a really nasty, cruel trick to try and use your past against you like this, especially as he behaved in similar way himself. And if he's so concerned about your unsuitability as a mother, where has he been for the last couple of years? hmm

As I said, should it come to it, courts will see through behaviour like this.

I would keep a diary and a note of his behaviour from now on, just in case you need it. Try not to react to any provocation.

WilsonFrickett Sat 09-Mar-13 19:30:35

If he though you were really taking drugs, the normal response would be to push for full residency. He's dicking you around - the courts will know that too. Please try not to worry, keep it together, say nothing, and quietly follow all all the advice you've been given here. And no need to talk to your friend about it either.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 19:44:48

Wilson's right.

If I thought my ex was taking drugs I would not hand the child over to him court order or not until I had brought that info before the court, should I see my ex on drugs whilst dc was in their care dc would be picked up and removed with no doubt remaining as to why.

WilsonFrickett Sat 09-Mar-13 20:45:25

Yy Sock. But the courts are not stupid. If it even gets that far. He could well be doing it for shits and giggles, which is why the op needs to keep her cards to her chest, IMO.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 20:48:27

I quite agree, slowly slowly catchy monkey.

But a drug test from the gp would help should she need to prove anything

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 09-Mar-13 21:09:13

Just another poster who feels the same smile

- don't reply to the text
- don't offer him anymore time with her
- see a solictor on monday
- see your GP on monday
- don't let him know about any of it
- if he says anything when he brings her back tomorrow, just say, we can discuss it later, not now.

If he was a half way decent Dad he would have asked if you wanted him to bring her back tonight or first thing tomorrow so she could spend Mother's Day with you and he'd bring her back with a card and a present - not be sending you stupid texts about 50/50 custody. Git.

In the meantime, try not to worry. He's just being a wanker like many before him - the courts have seen it all. He wont get 50/50.

Small niggle - is there any chance that this friend is seeing your ex and between them they are trying to stir up trouble for you?

If you want something to focus on until tomorrow afternoon - go and buy a diary & a journal. In the diary make notes about what happened today - including his text and note the times he's had contact, anything he's done that wasn't as it should have been (not turned up, brought her back late etc) and in the journal write down what happened from when you found out you were pregnant. It may come in useful and it's very good for you.

You were a kid when you did the drugs - don't let the worry of that rule your life now. You have done really well to stay off of them and bring up your DD yourself - you should be really proud, don't let this asswipe bring you down.

midastouch Sat 09-Mar-13 21:25:56

What a nasty wanker man. Hes using your past to try and get 50/50 custody (at least) i think you are more than reasonable to give him every other weekend given the fact that he hasnt particularly bothered with her up til 4 months ago.
Get advice monday but i wouldnt worry too much about his lies, plus it wont look good on him if hes making things up! He has to remember that your DD will know this when shes older and i doubt she'll be too pleased!

BriAndLottie Sat 09-Mar-13 22:52:50

He's texted my mum this evening to ask her if she has any concerns about me being using again angry So tempted to go and pick DD up now and get her out of there, really don't like the way this is going sad

yellowbrickrd Sat 09-Mar-13 23:02:48

How have you been getting on before this? Has it been building up or has it been amicable and this is out of the blue?

You know if you go and get her now it will probably result in an ugly showdown that he will use against you and your dd will presumably be asleep so you don't want to wake her to witness her parents all upset.

What did your Mum say to him?

BriAndLottie Sat 09-Mar-13 23:15:58

We were on/off for a few years before DD was born, we haven't been together since then but getting on well, yes.

I know that really yellow, it's so tempting though sad

DD and I still live with my mum, not my bio mum, she was my foster carer after I started getting help as a teenager, so she knows better than anyone the difference in my behaviour when I'm using and when I'm not, she knows it's absolute rubbish. She's not replied yet as he's left it so late, going to text him tomorrow morning saying politely that no, she has no concerns whatsoever.

I don't reallly know what he's playing at now if I'm honest, it's a bit scary :/

Illustrationaddict Sat 09-Mar-13 23:18:32

I think your friend should tell your ex that due to your friendship, he should refer the issue to the head. It wasn't faire of him to specifically ask to speak to her about it knowing your friendship. It sounds like he's trying to manipulate her, and the fact that she rang you with her concerns makes it sound like he's a very convincing liar which would seriously bother me. I would call his bluff. Next time he comes to pick dd up, have your friend in the house. Front him on what he's said in front of your friend, ask for dates/ examples of where & when you allegedly took these substances, don't get emotional, remain calm, and make darn sure you have a good think of where you've been, who you've seen over the last few months so you can recall to him on the spot why he's wrong. All this in front of your friend.

yellowbrickrd Sat 09-Mar-13 23:24:54

I wonder where this stuff is coming from then? Is there any chance at all that he believes what he is saying or is it purely because he wants more contact?

It must be a horrible feeling for you but at least you know she will be home tomorrow and then you will have two weeks to take solid advice and get your case together. I'm glad you've got your mum there to support you smile. Try to keep it together for your dd sake, you have proved before how strong you are by getting off drugs and you need to be strong now.

Keep posting on here to air your worries and also perhaps in Relationships as i suggested - people are very knowledgeable and kind.

spiritedaway Sun 10-Mar-13 00:42:48

Gold is exactly right. . although it is scary when people start throwing mud OP the courts see it all every day. The fists question would be why did he see fit to abandon his daughter with such an unfit mother. Ignore. The damage happens when innocent people like yourself spin out and then things can spiral. Believe in yourself. Be strong and answer any allegations if they are made. Unfortunately courts and social services spend much time and resources dealing with people like your ex. Been there. X

spiritedaway Sun 10-Mar-13 00:47:07

Don't go round to get your child. Chances are it will all kick off. You will be emotional and he will be calm because he is trying to play you and that is what he wants. I got arrested under similar circumstances then i learnt. Be calm. Do not fall into his trap and do not show he has got you spooked or he will ramp it up.

mattysmum09 Sun 10-Mar-13 09:27:20

Agree with everyone else on here..some great advice what a nasty piece of work he is poor u having to deal with him and especialy as he hasn't helped u til now and u. 've done it all by yourself then he thinks he can waltz bak in and slag off your parenting abilities:-/ makes me hate some men I tell u! They have no idea and could he even cope anyway...? No way should he get more than bare minimum because thats what some really good dads get. Also defo get proof that ur clean. And maybe support if stress can make u feel like reaching for something. I have my own demons and sometimes wen everyone points the finger it can make u think well why the hell not then? But atleast with u everyone who matters knows its not true. Be strong u will get through this and u can forget about him until his eow access in future xx

BriAndLottie Sun 10-Mar-13 20:33:12

There have been progressions today, I've started a thread in the relationships section here:

Thank you so much everyone for your support so far.

BriAndLottie Sun 10-Mar-13 20:33:47

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