Beach Runaway Trip?- And Other “Everyday” Worries

Our daughter returned yesterday from her father’s house. She made many interesting comments in the 10-minute car-ride home. First of all, out of the blue, she stated,”Mommy, I don’t think Daddy loves you anymore.” She’s said this before.

I asked her, “Oh. Why do you think that?”

She said, “Because he isn’t very nice to you. He doesn’t think you and Grandma are very nice.”

I said, “Oh, what do you think about that?”

She said, “I think you’re nice.” Then she said, “It’s hard deciding who to live with all the time.”

I said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Daddy wants me to live with him all the time.” She’s also said that he cries when she leaves, most likely a manipulation. The reason I believe this is a manipulation is this: when I called my friend, who I wasn’t “supposed to” call, he was going to leave me. When he saw that I didn’t care that he left and wasn’t going to try to stop him, he decided to take our daughter, the “thing” I cared most about, with him. It was an afterthought for him, and he probably only thought of it because I had taken her when I left the first time. He used her then to get me back. From that point forward, he’s used her.

According to my daughter, he is telling her that she will be living with him full time in the near future. He says they are going to move to the beach together and she will never see me again. This obviously causes our daughter quite a bit of stress. She’s been having nightmares that she can’t find me. I’ve assured her that this won’t happen but I have also made sure she knows my name, grandparents’ names, where she lives, who to contact for help, and how to use the phone, (even though her father’s is different) if she ever gets separated from either of us. I try to make her feel empowered if something ever DID happen but I don’t want to imply by my actions that it is likely either. The truth is, of course it could happen and I wouldn’t be totally shocked if it did.

When she was talking about it one day, I asked her which beach Daddy was wanting to go to. She didn’t know. When she returned this time, she proudly stated that she’d found out which beach he wanted to move to: Florida. So, at least that may narrow it down a bit if I have to search. She says she tells Daddy that she wants to stay with him all the time, “so his feelings won’t be hurt.” She also tells me that she wants to stay with ME all the time. I tell her that she doesn’t need to pick between us. She can see us BOTH. It’s not a decision she can make anyway, so it will stay the same as it is now. For some reason, she is feeling a lot of pressure to decide who to stay with. It seems as if he is priming her to “want” to be with him, even though in our state, children cannot decide until they are at LEAST 13. She is 4. Why is he doing this? I think he’s trying to justify in his mind kidnapping her (or something anyway), or if nothing else, he’s using her to hurt me by her not wanting to be with me. He’s definitely up to something, as all of you who have N-ex’s know. My best friend has had issues with her husband’s ex. Their lawyer reassured her that the kidnapper would have to have nearly a million dollars cash to be able to pull it off, keeping a child hidden for that long, especially with all the new amber alerts that we now have. That reassures me a little, but when it’s your child, it’s still scary. My ex has always bragged about his military connections and when the child welfare services were called on us in our state, he was planning on going to hide out with family until he could get a military flight out of the country. I discussed that they weren’t going to take her away from me (I hadn’t done anything wrong), and wouldn’t he rather her continue a normal life and he could return to live with us as soon as we got it all straightened out? No. It was clearly about what was best for HIM, that he not be away from her. And, he’s always suspected that I turned him in with child welfare. I didn’t. He was most likely trying to get back at me even then, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

When our daughter was speaking of her trip, I asked her when her daddy plans to leave. She said, “tomorrow.” How does this make me feel as a parent? Pretty terrified, I’m gonna be honest. While I doubt he’ll really do it, it has occurred to me that maybe he’s just saying it to her to try to scare me- mind games- trying to “outlast” me. It frustrates me that there’s nothing I can do to prevent this for our daughter’s sake, I just have to let it all play out before I can do anything. Most likely, he’ll leave on the first day of his visitation and I’ll know nothing for days. Is this all part of his mental manipulation? He threatened before that he could outlast me. He doesn’t know the REAL love of a mother (or father). He only knows his version, a sick and twisted game of manipulation, with the only thing he can use his own daughter! Prayers please!

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