Raising a Mentally Stable Child with an Unstable Parent

Raising a mentally stable child with an unstable Parent isn’t easy. I

Raising a mentally stable child with an unstable parent.
Raising a mentally stable child with an unstable parent.

was working on my blog one day when Avery (6 ½ years old) was doing her homeschooling. She asked me what I was doing. I just told her I was writing a paper to try to help other kids like her deal with divorce issues. She doesn’t know about my secret blog, of course. That would be too risky and probably inappropriate, but she immediately wanted to help out. I’ve included our conversation below.

Avery says:

“Just go along with everything he says. You might have to fib to him a little bit but it’s okay because it’s the only way he’ll be nice and won’t say you’re doing anything bad, and call you a fibber. It’s kind of hard because you know that fibbing isn’t right.

What if he gets mad?

“Then just… if he just walks away from you, sit there until a while later until you think he forgot, then just walk to where he is. The kitchen, for example, just say “Hi daddy.” The perfect time is half of a half-an-hour later.

If you cry?

He says, ”why are you crying?”

I make up some reason. Not the truth. Sometimes I do, but I sometimes get called a fibber if I tell the truth… if I say the truth when I go back.

What days does he seem to be worse? “Right when I come back. Thursday and Friday (She goes back on Thursday”

Why? “I don’t know.”

How do we get our children to understand that it is not okay to lie when one parent is delusional? I think when he hears something he doesn’t like to hear, that his child loves her mother, for example, something that is perfectly natural and healthy, it is so far from his reality that he just can’t accept it. He can’t understand that his own daughter is an individual and has her own likes/dislikes but sees her as an extension of himself instead.

I explain to her that it is not okay to lie but in her situation with Daddy, if she feels she has to lie, I can understand. I want her to know it is not right but I understand why she is doing it. I myself have been in her shoes. I can’t say that I didn’t lie under the same circumstances at times for my own safety. She has an innate sense that she is not safe with him. She has said many times that he will kill her. I don’t think this is ever anything he’s told her but she’s scared. It’s definitely not anything I’ve said to anyone. However, I can certainly understand her fears. I once thought he might try to kill me. But, of course, the court won’t understand her concerns. It’s not like I can just not send her or she will likely be taken away from me. Then what chance do we have? And for a child to have such fear in their lives (especially coming from their own father) is heartbreaking. And what can I do!? It is so frustrating! I can’t do anything until he’s done something. Call me crazy but, in my opinion, by then it’s too late!

I don’t have the answers. I wish I could find some book for kids in this situation! Opinions? Anyone else have anything that they’ve tried?



March 19, 2016

Hope. Never lose it!

It’s early here. I’m waiting for Avery to wake up. She had a bellyache last night. She didn’t quit talking though, so I don’t know if she just needed attention, dreaded going to Daddy’s, or really was sick.

It’s been 4 years since we separated and sending her back over there has never gotten easy. Now, she’s old enough to be away from me, though it causes her a lot of stress. However, now she’s old enough to have an opinion, and that KILLS him. Worst of all, it kills her! She can’t express her true self. She has to be his little puppet. It is so sad and I hate it. She will only wear certain clothes back. They can’t have glitter, Hello Kitty, be anything that may have been her cousin’s, or a series of other imagined infractions. She just wears back what she wore here. It’s easiest, even if they are too small. He’s thrown away her prized clothes right in front of her if they don’t meet his stringent requirements (he gets her clothes from Goodwill, very used). She can’t have her nails painted or he’ll scrape the polish off with a toothpick (then pick his teeth with it, as Avery says). She can’t wear shoes with a heel, “summer” socks (he thinks they are too small), shoes with glitter of course, or sandals. No open toes or flip flops. He says they aren’t safe. I guess that’s for

I’m still waiting for the next court case to pop up. It’s been about a month since we heard about the Supreme Court case. (He lost, by the way.)

“Family” Photo Shoot

family photo shoot
Family Photo Shoot

I ran in to an old acquaintance (we’ll call him “Jason”) a few days ago. He said, “I have something you’re going to like!”

“What’s that?” I said.

He went on to tell me the story.

A few weeks prior, a co-worker’s wife was going to start working at a local office. Turns out, it was my ex, John. Jason warned his co-worker what my ex is like but the man brushed it off with, “there’s two sides to every story.”

“True”, my friend said.

The woman worked there for two weeks. One week while John was there, and one week when he wasn’t. (He works only every other week.) She quit because she was tired of getting yelled at because she didn’t wash his cup good enough (this was a common complaint of his). However, before she left, he asked her to go get family pictures with him and his daughter. When Jason told me this, I assumed that he meant that he wanted the woman to go along and help him watch our daughter, who is now 6. That was stupid enough, but, no, his reasoning was something even more bizarre. He wanted her to go along to stand in as his wife! (Mind you, he has not even dated to my knowledge since we divorced) And the kicker was, Jason said that the woman resembled me quite a bit.

Why? I can’t figure it out. What’s he trying to pull? Our daughter brought up a lady’s name a few days ago and she said she was the lady that takes their family pictures. I took the opportunity to ask her if they’d had family pictures taken lately. They hadn’t… guess he’s still waiting to find another stand-in.