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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 09-15-2014, 12:20 PM
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From what I gather, your Ex seems to be a very impulsive person, (act now think later). That would explain a lot of what has been happening with regards to your children.
You need to act with caution with a person like that. Push too hard and she's likely to accuse you of harassment - though her behavior is far from appropriate.

Before going the legal route, try to set up some counseling for the kids via their school - it would be less of a battle with the Ex and certainly would minimize the children's anxiety.

** another thought, you could explain it to the Ex in a non threatening way. "I think the kids need to express their feelings about our divorce ect. not I think you are a crazy-knife-throwing-idiot and I want to prove it''. The best way to get her to agree with the idea is to not go behind her back.

Last edited by Janibel; 09-15-2014 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
another thought, you could explain it to the Ex in a non threatening way. "I think the kids need to express their feelings about our divorce ect. not I think you are a crazy-knife-throwing-idiot and I want to prove it''. The best way to get her to agree with the idea is to not go behind her back.
As much as this angle might work for your ex-husband it would work for my ex-wife - the only difference is I'm double her size and she can't physically hurt me.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Links17 View Post
As much as this angle might work for your ex-husband it would work for my ex-wife - the only difference is I'm double her size and she can't physically hurt me.
That would depend on how proficient she is at knife-throwing .... size does not matter.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:23 PM
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She turned down my suggestion for a few counselling sessions she said kids are perfect and it would make they feel awkward.... Should I pull the "you crazy knife throwing bitch my kids need to talk to somebody about your psychoticness?"
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:50 PM
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Should I pull the "you crazy knife throwing bitch my kids need to talk to somebody about your psychoticness?"
I think you know better than to do that. Besides, your children already DO have someone to talk this over with -YOU. If things don't calm down the next time you see them, then you will have little choice but to seek some outside help with this problem.

Just bare in mind, as others have warned you earlier, this could backfire and make things worse for the kids - for sure it will do no good as far as cordial communications with your ex. Tough job being a parent ...

Another thing to consider (and I'm not implying that this is the case here) but many kids will pit one parent against the other, or try to cause drama if they think it will change things. Divorce wreaks havoc with our perceptions .... especially children. Be mindful of how you react when they tell you about stuff like this, they pick up on your worries and may exaggerate.

IMO wait and see what happens - for now at least. Maybe Crazy Ex will get with the program and simmer down.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:19 PM
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I don't agree with a few things:

You don't have to prove she threw the knife and/or screams at the kids. You simply advise what the children told you and CAS will decide to investigate or not (they will). THEY will determine if this took place and the remedies and consequences associated with the behaviours if any.

If you speak to the teachers or a doctor about this they are legally obligated to contact CAS.

If you take kids to a doctor your ex will know it was you that took them. But if you contact CAS you can remain anonymous or you can give them your name but CAS will conceal it was you that made the referral.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:58 PM
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Links:

When I told you that you need to send an email to your ex informing her that you are concerned based on the children's anxiety level, that her behavior may be bordering on abusive...I wasn't saying it flippantly.

I went through a similar circumstance and its the tactic I used.

My kid came home crying and so upset that she could barely go to school one day. This type of thing had been going on for some time and I had been trying to help her avoid his anger...I finally got fed up. It was my ex's evening with her this particular night and I kept her at my house and didn't let her go with him and let him know that I was concerned that his behavior was bordering on verbal abuse.

I don't need to elaborate on the email that he sent back to me. Needless to say it was full of expletives directed at me and how my kid was turning out like me...blah, blah, blah. I responded in the same calm manner from the 1st email I sent and ignored his inflammatory nonsense...basically repeating myself that I was keeping her that night to let the situation calm down and if it escalated, I would take more serious action to ensure that my kid wasn't verbally abused. I copied my lawyer on the email so he could see I was serious.

I was extremely concerned that in the short-term he would flip out on my kid for telling me so when she went back to his house, I gave her a couple different avenues to contact me if she felt that his behavior was out of control and I'd come pick her up. My ex...like yours...has extreme anger management issues. He's angry all the time and yells for hours and hours.

I was sick of trying to protect my daughter by not saying anything and tolerating the behavior...it wasn't working. So I changed my approach, I made him aware that I knew what was going on and it wasn't going to be tolerated any longer. I also explained to my daughter about verbal abuse, told her that I'd take her to someone to talk to whenever she wanted (I can make medical decisions alone per my custody agreement), and I made sure that she could contact me with a phone, tablet and the next door neighbor in the event that there was an issue.

It sucked but it has worked for about the last 6 months. My ex seems to be doing a lot better and my kid hasn't been coming home miserable and leaves on access days with her dad on a much happier note. My kid is older than yours are which makes things a bit easier because my kid is more able to speak up for herself so it may be more difficult for you but I still recommend the tactic.

I took the risk that if my ex escalated the behavior, it would give me more of a basis to take him back to court to have the custody decision altered. It was an emotionally tough decision to make but the at the root, angry abusive people are cowards. They pick on the weak and the people that play their game. If she really is engaging in this type of parenting, you need to make sure she understands that your kids are keeping you in the loop and its not going to be tolerated. Ignoring the potential abuse of your children to coddle your abusive ex really isn't an option. Think about it.

I think you need to consider sending her a polite, concise, strong, well-worded email and put her on notice. Copy your lawyer too.

Last edited by Pursuinghappiness; 09-17-2014 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Another thing to consider (and I'm not implying that this is the case here) but many kids will pit one parent against the other, or try to cause drama if they think it will change things. Divorce wreaks havoc with our perceptions .... especially children. Be mindful of how you react when they tell you about stuff like this, they pick up on your worries and may exaggerate.
Janibel: I've personally seen this dynamic happen with younger kids in high-conflict situations. It really depends on the kids and how they gain favor with the warring parents...some are more likely to do this than others but its definitely something to consider.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2014, 12:13 AM
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One additional thing. I called the therapist that we used for our custody arrangement and asked some questions about what to look for when kids are suffering from high anxiety in these kind of circumstances.

Things like changes in eating habits, sleeping habits, bathroom habits (ie bedwetting), regression, problems in school, and problems interacting with other kids.

Those are some things you should watch for. I'd keep a diary on any stress or anxiety symptoms you notice and when they appear.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:25 PM
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My kids aren't anxious - its their "life" with their mother. She acts loving and is loving to some extent but the reality is she is a volatile personality and you basically have to walk on eggshells around her - you never know what will set her off. I did that, now my kids have too.

I spoke to child services they said unless the kids are scared to go back and that they didn't actually get hurt they didn't think it was a good idea (the person had the perspective that it was overkill).

They suggested I speak to a public service type psychologist with the local clinic about what to do (which I will do).

My kids around me are ok, they're pretty mature and they see things for what they are and they know her behavior is inappropriate but at the same time I feel like they sort of feel stuck, they love her but they don't like it and the reality is I can't do anything about it....

I can't say the kids are doing anything major that I'd consider a sign of problems but if my kids complain about something, I take it seriously, analyze it and check it out.

My kids manipulating me - I doubt it; they actually don't want me to do anything. They also gain nothing from me from talking about their mother... I have a pretty strict non-involvement policy unless its something i consider major (3 weeks kids being cared by uncle and grandmother for example, or knife throwing). I also don't comment on her, or what she does as a matter of course.

My kids know I don't like her and vice versa (which I think is actually important) but they have no idea to what extent or why and I won't pollute my time with the kids by talking about their mom.etc....

I'll consider speaking to her soon on the topic. I will speak to my kids about her screaming (or not) and I think I might give them some strategies for dealing with it.

Last edited by Links17; 09-17-2014 at 12:32 PM.
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