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Nightmare with SS's mother

(18 Posts)
guaranagal Thu 02-Jul-09 11:11:25

I've been with my partner for 4 years nearly and his boy is 6. I've known him since he was 2.5 and have got along v. well for the most part. We have him about 40% of time.

Prob is DOH's ex is v. bitter. She doesn't seem to want him back but is full of hate eg. 20 phone calls/texts a day full of "I hate you/you're a crap dad (he's not and she knows it)/ i'm moving so you can't see your son" etc etc etc it just goes on!

She tells DSS that even though we are engaged to be married he will never be part of my family/he doesn't have to behave for me/ do what I say etc etc.

She has assaulted me and is awaiting a court date for that and she is also on police bail for a year's racial harassment against me. I think racism is incidental i.e. it's not my racial background that she hates as much as me and my DOH.

So I get DSS being rude to me/not doing what I say etc. He only does this when his Dad is around, if it is just me and him he is sweet as pie.

He says things like "you'll never be part of my family/ i hate you/ I only listen to dad's rules" - three guesses where he's getting that from!!

He has also repeated racist insults his mum has taught him although I always tell him why he can't say that.

She has started emailing me saying that she doesn't say the racism to my face and it's just her opinion and she can say what she likes to my partner when he comes to pick DSS up. Police say otherwise!!

But I am getting very frustrated and depressed with DSS he seems to always hit me when I'm down and say the nastiest things his mum has taught him. We have tried naughty step - largely ineffectual.

We have tried explaining bullying and nasty language - he just laughs and seems to find it amusing.

He won't give me hugs and kisses any more.

Please and thank you have become a struggle unless there is a treat involved.

In fact the only time he is nice to me is when there is a treat eg. cinema or day out or choc etc!

Am very fed up and even said to DOH the other day that I hate him. I'm not even sure that's not true.

Anyone help?

sunshine13 Thu 02-Jul-09 11:50:44

I reeeeally feel for you guaranagal.

She sounds like she isnt over your OH & is jealous of your relationship with OH. OH's little one will be listening to what BM says. SOme nobby term they called it is called transferance.

I am getting to grips with the mad-ex-syndrome & I guess I will, sadly, have to prepare myself to hear some of the things that your OH's son is saying to you.

What's the relatinship like with your OH? what's his take on this? i mean, taking his ex to court- that's pretty serious! Maybe it would be worth your OH having a word with his ex?? A harsh word? I know he loves his son but you cant be expected to go through this.

The answer? I dont know. I keep my distance in lots of ways (rightly or wrongly) from giving an imput with regards Oh's little one.

Mad ex's motive? To split you 2 up- i really do believe that. If she doesnt love him then she wants no1 else to have him. She would be happy probably to see your OH sad & on his own. This will make her feel better. She probably also resents the fact that she feels she is being replaced by you.
Either way... she's messed up. YOu probably didnt need me to tell you that though. grin

You need someone fighting your corner too. This situation cant go on. It will really affect your health and your relationship. If it were me I woudlnt let the mad ex come between OH & I.

guaranagal Thu 02-Jul-09 13:04:38

Yeah, I took her to court. She held me on the floor by my hair and punched and kicked me in the head and stomach :-( OH and witnesses so I pressed charges...

sunshine13 Thu 02-Jul-09 13:50:03

You're kidding!!! OMG!! Good for you taking her to court. I would have done the same thing!

Fruitysunshine Thu 02-Jul-09 13:58:26

Hi there - I'm really sorry that you are experiencing this. It is a horrible situation. I believe the only way to fix this, as it happened to me at one point when things got fraught with the EX, is for you and your partner to sit down with his child and for your partner to lay down the rules so that he knows that you BOTH see how he is behaving.

My DH sat with me and the elder one and explained to his son that I was his partner and there was no excuse for him to be rude to me and that he is not to take any of his bad behaviour into our home as it is not acceptable. He was firm without being angry but sweetened it with the fact he realised that his son is unhappy that mummy and daddy are no longer together but that everyone needs to get used to the new situation, all the adults and the children. He made it clear that his son could talk to him and me about his anything in his life and it was not a problem but he was to "say" when he felt unhappy about something rather than be nasty to me.

I don't know if that is something you and your partner could do? It basically shows the child a firm united front whilst telling him that you both care about him and how he is coping with things. Most children struggle at some level with being introduced to a new step parent (whether married or not) it is how they are supported through it that determines if the family will succeed or not. It is not nice when your step child is nasty to you but you have to remember that YOU are the adult and have to manage the situation. You cannot control his mother but you can control what goes on under your own roof. She sounds like a vindictive, jealous, bitter woman and sadly some try to justify their behaviour under a guise of "parental concerns". Ignore her and work on enhancing your relationship between your partner and step child.

Hope that helps.
Fruitysunshine

sunshine13 Thu 02-Jul-09 14:30:24

I have to agree with fruitysunshine. Very well put.

OH's mad ex justifies her bizarre behaviour under the guise of "parental concerns" and I too think she's bitter, vindictive & jealous.

Communication is key in this situation. I do believe that you have to be strong and not take any crap.

ALl of her actions is HER problem, not yours.

guaranagal Thu 02-Jul-09 17:02:27

You guys are so insightful, cutting through it all!

I will sit down and have the chat about how he should 'say' he is unhappy rather than taking it out on me.

You are right, I can't control her.

My partner says to me 'you are the adult' but somehow from him it sounds like a ticking off. From you guys it makes sense. Thank you.

snigger Thu 02-Jul-09 17:22:24

It's like the old saying - living well is the best revenge.

The more balanced and careful and steady you are with your DS, the more, as he gets older, this will be a quality he acknowledges in you.

He's going to be an adult for a lot more of his life than he's going to be tiny and he'll see the truth for himself - you can spend forever fighting to get people to appreciate how hard things are for you, but being yourself, doing what's right, will in time pay off.

ElenorRigby Thu 02-Jul-09 18:27:24

guaranagal...
life is lonely on the high moral ground of a responsible loving step parent forsure

In your case I am really quite disturbed by how your DSD's mother is behaving. In fact I think her behaviour is despicable not only of her abuse of you but also to the abuse of her son. Her son cannot protect himself as he is a child so some one should imo be standing up for him.

I found this on NSPCC website : Protecting children from racism and racial abuse: a research review In the section, Social services response to racial abuse I quote: "intra-familial racial abuse which is a form of emotional abuse" which suggests to me your DSS is being subjected to emotional abuse by his mother.
A case of abuse of children by racial indoctrination (in Canada) which was discussed here on Mumsnet

What are the current living arrangements for your DSS. I know he is with you 40% of the time but how is that facilitated ie which days roughly? Are there any court orders in place? Does dad have PR? How would you and your DP feel about having your DSS for most of the time? How is DSS's mothers parenting aside from exposing him to violence and racism?

guaranagal Thu 02-Jul-09 20:37:28

Hi Elenor, thanks for your email. We are looking to get SS involved. They have already done a report which we haven't seen yet, but that was pre-racism. I think we should inform them of the delevopments

We have talked about having DSS full time and we got PR last week as a precursor to possibly going for custody.

OH is worried about going for custody as he says one side will be a clear victor and he doesn't like the idea of risking only getting every other weekend.

Currently DSS has every other weekend with us and every evening from 3.15 after school till 7.30 when he is dropped home for bed.

Obviously it's quite a lot for a non residential parent.

Her parenting in general is ok I think, SS said they thought she was erratic and had no concept of the consequences of her actions (she initially got them involved because DSS had said he slept in a bed with us one night and she told the SS she thought I had touched him up!!!!) According to the SWorker she came off a lot worse from the report as a result.

I feel sorry for the kid we never pick him up or drop him off without him seeing her either give us physical or verbal abuse.

Whenever we confront her about her behaviour or language she claims that everything she does or says to us is a reaction to something bad we have done to her.

Which boils down to my OH leaving her. Although she dumped him!!

But apparently she expected him to come running back.

But that's a risk she took. In case he grabbed the opportunity with open arms (and who wouldn't, she's awful!!)

yerblurt Fri 03-Jul-09 08:07:32

She sounds like a lovely woman.

So lets get this straight;

1. Child's mother has seriously assaulted you (actual body harm probably) with witnesses (did the child witness this?). This is quite rightly going to Court and you should get her prosecuted (she will probably be given a slap on the wrist). Ask for costs and damages/community service.

I would also in Court bring in the racial abuse angle - and ask for an undertaking from the ex not to racially abuse you, to talk about such matters in front of or with the child, to not emotionally abuse the child by using him as a conduit to racially abuse you.

If I may ask, what is your "racial" heritage (I hate the term personally, being mixed race myself I used to suffer years of this shit at school)

2. The child is now using adult language (racial abuse) which is clearly learned from mum. Mum is not acting in the child's best interests by using him as a vehicle to off-load her issues.

I would be clear - THIS IS EMOTIONAL ABUSE OF THE CHILD.

The child is using this behaviour against dad's partner who IS going to be a major fixture in his life.

This is a child welfare issue too and I would update social services. No doubt if it is brought up at Court then SS will be updated/involved automatically. I wouldn't wait and inform them yourselves. This is a serious issue and has the potential for psychological long-term damage of the child. How is he going to view people of other racial heritages? Is he going to turn into a little racist boy? What about school - if he goes around using such language to his peers/teachers he is going to get into no end of difficulties with the knock on effect on his education.

3. Consider requesting SS to involve family therapy with a long-term view of the child spending some more time at your house. Even though the boy lives 40% of the time over the year, the week-to-week routine is no different from the so-called "Standard" that most dads get as crumbs from the table. The contact needs to be upp'ed a bit.

Without the child spending a bit more time at your house you may find it difficult to apply for a transfer of residence/sole residence. The emotional abuse angle weighs quite heavy though. Pursue this angle.

Also have you considered taking a non-molestation order out against the child's mother? Not only has she assaulted you but there is a clear pattern of harassment and abuse here.

HecatesTwopenceworth Fri 03-Jul-09 08:13:58

Would your partner consider going to court to apply for full custody? Sometimes the best place for a child is not with mother!

MadameCastafiore Fri 03-Jul-09 08:17:43

It sounds as though you would have a great case for residency - what she is doing is tantamount to abuse!

yerblurt Fri 03-Jul-09 21:59:35

You won't get residency, mum would have to be a drug-abusing prostitute (and all of those at the same time) for SS to consider that. Remember SS will want to "support" mum etc etc it would go against their orthodoxy and anti-male bias to consider that!

I personally think youe best strategy is to relieve the child of the emotional pressure that is being put on him and the transference behaviour of the ex. This should be approached by family therapy, suggested counselling of the ex so she can realise the emotional damage to the child on a personal level and the damage to the child-father relationship, I would also be looking to achieve more of a shared care arrangement and get some more time for the child to be spending overnight stays at the dad's house - preferably say a;
Week 1: fri (collection from school) - monday (drop off at school). Maybe try and get this extended to a fri-tuesday or thur-monday

Week 2: Wed+Thur overnights.

That way the child is spending a good proportion of time at both homes... and cafcass's documents to separating parents now include the phrase that a child has a right to a meaningful relationship with both parents and feel that they have two homes!

yerblurt Sat 04-Jul-09 12:39:05

Have you also considered obtaining video and audio evidence of the child using such racial abuse?

I would suggest leaving a camcorder running to capture any incidents. Video evidence is probably more persuasive than audio evidence if you wished to show it to SS/CAFCASS and/or Court.

guaranagal Mon 06-Jul-09 18:41:51

Thanks all for the good advice.

We would love to have DSS spending more time overnight with us but unfortunately DOH and I both start work at 6am so we would have no-one to look after him until school. His mum won't have us drop him at the house at 5.45 and anyway I can't see him getting up at that time very happily.

It's something we're looking to change in the future but there aren't exactly loads of jobs around at the moment! At least this way we can pick him up from school.

We went to the police about the racial harassment again today and they said they had decided there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute but they were keeping it on file.

I have decided that the camcorder is a good idea and I might give my partner a dictaphone when he goes to the house in case he gets any more abuse from her.

I am Jewish so my 'race' isn't easy to see but the abuse I get is horiffic. I get called things like "Jewish c@nt", "Shylock", "Dustbin Lid" (rhyming slang, apparently!) and "Jewess".

I know it doesn't sound that bad but it's really damaging in the long run.

At least the police have got a record in case it gets any worse.

I would love to get custody to get the nipper out of this terrible environment. When he is there he is basically ignored all day - just left to play on whatever video game.

Unless she gets prison time though (unlikely) then I don't see it happening.

I get so low and depressed when I think that we have another 12 years of having her in our lives.

Fruitysunshine Tue 07-Jul-09 20:32:07

Guarangal - I have already posted my reply but I just wanted to say how disgusted and shocked I am at the things people are saying to you. Stay strong and know that people who really know you love you and that this woman is wholly evil and ignorant.

guaranagal Tue 07-Jul-09 21:04:54

Thanks fruity (and everyone else).

I am holding on as best i can but the CSA thing (see other post) has really knocked me down. It feels like nothing is worth it any more.

DOH and I are meant to be getting engaged but it's not a happy time at the moment and I don't feel good

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