How do I help ds?

(32 Posts)
inthename Fri 27-Dec-13 08:06:17

Back story - divorced 9 yrs, ds has regular contact, including blocks of time in holidays. Ds now 13 and seems to be clashing with his step mum at the moment, his dad and I still only communicate via email as otherwise ex screams abuse.

Anyway, ds went over to his dads yesterday for a block amount of days. I don't usually hear from him except the odd text telling me what hes doing.

Yesterday I had 45 texts throughout the day and night, basically saying he was upstairs in his room crying, missing me and later couldn't sleep as step mum had taken his light bulb out and his lamp out (hes not keen on absolute dark) and told him to keep his door closed because of a visiting puppy.

I'm at a bit of a loss what to do. All access is by contact order so he can't turn round to his dad and say he wants to change things or vary things (said in text wanted to come home as heard her say she didn't want him there)

Sorry for length - if I contact ex what do I say, or do I leave it and try and communicate with ex once ds comes back next week?

MissMarplesBloomers Fri 27-Dec-13 08:25:03

Your poor DS .....get him home asap. He is now old enough to have an opinion if it goes to court. You can apply for a review of a contact order I think, get an appt with yr solicitor asap to check where you stand.

teenytinypuppy Fri 27-Dec-13 08:29:45

Poor ds sad

I would keep the texts he sent you too, in case you need to show them in court etc.

But yeah, he is old enough to have a say in contact now. How long ago was the court order made?

I would contact exp but I really don't know what you should say. My exp is horrid too and I fear im the same situation he would refuse to allow my ds to come home.

ballstoit Fri 27-Dec-13 17:03:48

Are there any grandparents/extended family who could mediate?

Tbh leaving him with no lights is misguided at best...I'd be on my way to collect him in your position sad

inthename Fri 27-Dec-13 21:44:55

The court order is from 2007.
No, there is nobody in the family to mediate as I have no contact with exes family.
Unfortunately there is no way of collecting him but ds and I are taljing to each other on the phone, I'll have to help him sit it out this time and then be forwarned before there is a next time.

MaeveORave Fri 27-Dec-13 21:48:34

Oh dear. Id drivevup outside house and text "im outside".
His father is not making him feel at home.

starlight1234 Fri 27-Dec-13 23:22:48

poor child...

I would also advise to see a sols..

When is he due home? Can you text Dad,,Ask son to ask his Dad if he can go home ( if this is safe for him to do?)

Must be horrible knowing your DS is upset and you are stuck

Grockle Fri 27-Dec-13 23:35:17

I sympathise. My DS is 8 and this happens to him. I feel helpless - the court order won't be changed... if I raise concerns, it is because I am selfish and don't want DS to see his father (which isn't true at all) so I can't say or do anything. If I mention it to his father, he accuses me of sabotaging his parenting time and will say all sorts of horrible things about what DS has said about me (although I am fairly sure DS hasn't said any of those things)...

Do save the texts (screen shots) & do talk to DS when he gets home. At 13, isn't he old enough to have a say?

inthename Fri 27-Dec-13 23:49:58

Thank you.
Hes due home on Thursday.
Exactly the same as you grockle.
I hear about this 'having a say' but what does it actually mean? Its unlikely ds would repeat these things to any sort of official person.

Grockle Fri 27-Dec-13 23:54:51

Hard, isn't it?

Does he actually want to go to his Dad's?

My DS is beginning to be able to say to his father 'can I spend 3 weeks with you and 3 with mummy (in the summer) so it's more fair?' instead of him having to go to his dad's for 6 whole weeks. He does want to see his dad but he now knows that he doesn't like to be away for long periods of time and that, when he is sad, his dad won't comfort him, he'll just tell him off. Meaning DS texts me pictures of him crying at night. It's awful.

I think our court order states that at 12/13, DS's wishes will be taken into consideration (as to where he lives so, presumably as to visitation too).

mintberry Sat 28-Dec-13 00:11:31

Sorry your DS is having such a hard time. His step mum does not sound very mature and very selfish, but what is his dad doing in all of this? It sounds like he is facilitating her behaviour - he is choosing to be in a relationship with her, and it is his responsibility to ensure his needs are met, which he is not doing. If I behaved horribly to a step child I would expect to be dumped.

From what you have said about him it sounds like he is a bit of a prick, he is upsetting your DS and sitting by while he gets mistreated in his home. I think you should seek legal advice... Perhaps someone else here will shed more light, but I don't see how a court order can possibly be enforced if it gets later to the stage where you have a teenager who refuses to go.

inthename Sat 28-Dec-13 00:13:33

Mine doesn't have anything on it about taking ds feelings into account.
The problem is, ds wants to see his dad and will often say he would like to see his dad more, which he then says his dad misinterprets as he'd like to stay overnight with his dad more, which isn't what he means. He enjoys seeing his dad, or did until the stepmum took issue with things she hadn't before (they've been married 7 years) and ds is now bewildered, says he feels sick when he knows friday afternoon is approaching, but would definitely say to any official person that his dad is ok most of the time.

MerryBuddha Sat 28-Dec-13 00:16:19

I agree with Maeve. I would be there and give my son the choice to leave.

Why has the SM taken the lamp and light bulb??

inthename Sat 28-Dec-13 00:22:25

I'm not sure maeve, ds said it was because he was reading too late so she took them out of his room. His dad knows that he doesn't like complete dark.
His dad always bows to SM and has told ds before that she comes first, all I can think because he knows that the court order means ds pretty much has to go.

DarkKnight123 Sat 28-Dec-13 00:22:38

Perhaps you could contact the family mediation services, they do good work. They could contact your ex and ask him if he's prepared to meet you. You could both sit down and agree a parenting plan together? Sometimes, separated couples imagine the worst of each (and their new partners).

inthename Sat 28-Dec-13 00:27:56

DarkKnight, thank you, SM is not a new partner. Mediation has been tried previously and deemed not possible due to aggressive nature of ex.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 28-Dec-13 00:35:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

inthename Sat 28-Dec-13 00:39:13

We've tried that before lisa. The response is 'I am the father and perfectly capable of looking after the child' (exact wording)

DarkKnight123 Sat 28-Dec-13 00:42:57

I guess what your son wants is for you to intervene in a way that makes things better for him. Which is a tall order and might be unachievable. He clearly loves his dad, and I guess dad loves his son too. Is it possible to establish any kind of communication with dad?

inthename Sat 28-Dec-13 00:54:08

I have email communication with his dad. If I ask anything he doesn't want to answer he will ignore it, then I'll hear from ds that his dad went on about what I have asked constantly until ds backtracks on anything he feels needs to change.
Spoke to ds tonight, he said his dad had told him to tell me that he was giving ds a torch, then basically went on about the inconvenience of this until ds said it didn't matter. Then ds is again crying because hes scared of the dark but can't bring himself to ask for the torch. Its very manipulative of ex and ds doesn't know what to do as both his dad and step mum behave like this.

DarkKnight123 Sat 28-Dec-13 01:39:23

The dad wanting you to know that he's given his son a torch might be a positve thing? His attempt to let acknowledge there's a problem? His wish to put your mind at rest?

I think the problem is any questioning of his parenting will come across as a hostile attack; but, I do think you both share a duty to try and talk through your son's problems.

How's he doing in school? Are the issues around contact affecting him there? Is there any scope for the school to have a chat with him?

If you have email communication perhaps a start would be to acknowledge that he's getting his son a torch and take it from there....Mentioning some positive things about him and his ptr would be an idea....Perhaps making some suggestions around night lights...

How are the handovers? Do you and him chat and exchange hello's? Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest effects.

inthename Sat 28-Dec-13 01:58:31

Dark - he hasn't given ds a torch.
Nightlights are not allowed as they use electricity
We've been divorced 9 years, way past any hostile attacks etc (please don't think I don't appreciate your advise, but it feels more suited for newly seperated or exes with brand new partners)
I don't speak to him at all. His choice, he waits in his car for ds down the road.
Ds will get there, we've had situations before that we've managed to sort through,

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Sat 28-Dec-13 02:37:28

Op am fuming on your behalf
I had p children to stay and yes they did piss me off leaving the light on all night
But
So do my own children wink
I gave them a torch each to read with and put up led fairy lights so the room wasn't dark
Abusive IMO to take out bulbs ect how fucking petty and mean
If you don't drive I'd be getting a taxi there and collecting him. Bollocks to court orders, wouldn't look very good on them explaining that you collected him due to them emotionally abusing him by leaving a child frightened of the dark in complete darkness hmm
I hope you get this sorted x

Monetbyhimself Sat 28-Dec-13 07:42:13

I agree with Things. I think the nasty, cruel treatment of your son is being minimised. I think it's clear that your Ex won't be receptive to ANYTHING you say and I also completely understand the desire for a child to see a parent even if that parent is bloody mean to them. My eldest is desperate to win her fathers approval.
Your sons feelings and concerns would very much be taken into account at his age. I would make an appointment with your solicitor and show them the texts then take it from there.

MerryBuddha Sat 28-Dec-13 08:39:29

Yes, Ds is receiving emotional abuse, I would go and collect him, sod any court order or the ex. Surely the order can be broken for (mental) health and safety of your child.

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