ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 06:57 pm
@hawkeye10,
I almost agree with you, hawkeye, and do begin to grasp your point of view, but I plan to mention it when I see flags. Of course I agree on a good relationship with your kids.

I'm on the other end, with a wildass mother concocting stuff as a way out of being controlled by a husband while she was being a drugged out petunia.
0 Replies
 
alcmommy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 08:07 pm
@ossobuco,
last year Im not sure what triggered it. And Im not positive the visit triggered it this yr also. It may be a coinsidence, since she started complaining shortly after i mentioned the visit
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 08:59 pm
@alcmommy,
So it hasn't been all that many visits? I suppose it could be coincidence, and fear making this seem threatening, but I hated to read that reaction at the doctor's.
I think I'd talk with the doctor again.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 09:26 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I think I'd talk with the doctor again.
only to ask "why did you say that to me?" As someone else said, that he did not feel confident enough in the possibility of abuse to report it then he must not be all that sure. I'll bet that he figured it was slightly possible, and figures no harm no foul because the mom will not report unless she has enough other reasons to go ahead and report.

The doctors words are something to file away in the brain, it is not grounds for taking any action.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 10:38 pm
I'm still trying to figure, how many times has the child been to her dad's? Many? Is this reaction all the time? Twice? and not clear what the reaction was to in that twice?

Big difference (although things can happen once, I still don't like the dr. office thing)
alcmommy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2010 07:01 am
@ossobuco,
My daughter is 5. Shes been havin regular visits since she was 1. As expected she'd scream and cry, which I thought was normal (my nephew did the same thing for a few yrs when he started visiting his dad). I thought once she got used to it shed be fine. Up until last year she scream and cry, Id try asking her (when she wasnt going over) if something was wrong and she'd just say "i miss you" other times she'd start to say something, then get closedmouthed and refuse to say anything. Last yr everyonce and a while she'd say something odd, her father wouldnt let her talk or play with her stepmom, comments about my daughter, me or my family that was deragatory/lies. Now she'll make excuses to prolong gettig into his car, or whisper "please dont make me go over there" as I'm walking her to his car. She wont tell me if someone hurts her or what goes on, not that I interrogate her, but I'll ask how her weekend/visit went. I'm still concerned about the baby mouse in her ear from when she was 3, to the recuring stomach pains. And wondering if there is if any connection. The GI appointment is August. My lawyer has told me to wait till the social study and ask the social worker. She said it may seem I'm vindictive to call CPS now. So I'm just continuing to document comments and things that are made. I know you guys are made about the dr comment, but shes been great with my kids and super helpful with my son. I think she just doesnt have the complete story and doesnt want to get involved in ugly custody battles. But she did say to give CPS her name and number and she'd be glad to talk to them.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2010 05:09 pm
@alcmommy,
Thanks for explaining, alcmommy. And I'm glad your attorney knows about this.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2010 05:36 pm
@alcmommy,
sounds like you are getting good advise.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 09:02 am
@alcmommy,
Quote:
Now she'll make excuses to prolong gettig into his car, or whisper "please dont make me go over there" as I'm walking her to his car. She wont tell me if someone hurts her or what goes on, not that I interrogate her, but I'll ask how her weekend/visit went


Does she talk at all about her visits with her father? Does she tell you what they did together, what they ate, where they went? What is her mood like when she comes home from a visit? Does her father say anything about her behavior when she is with him? Have you asked him why she is not allowed to do things like play with her step-mother?

I'm very troubled by your daughter saying, "please dont make me go over there". Have you ever directly asked her if she'd rather not visit with her father? If she says she'd rather not see him, I'm not sure I would force her to go on visits, but I would ask her why she dislikes being with him. If she doesn't want to visit with her father, speak to your attorney about allowing her to decline the visits. Something, and it could be almost anything, could be bothering her about the visits. If it isn't something going on with her father, or something in his home, it could be that she is overly anxious about being separated from you or is worried or concerned about what is happening when she is not at home . But I wouldn't force her to continue the visits until you have a better idea of what is troubling her, but I also don't think you should pump her for information if she is reluctant to talk to you.

I think you should have her seen by a child psychologist, and you should make sure that this person specializes in the treatment of young children. There are a variety of techniques, both verbal and non-verbal, that child psychologists use to enable a young child to express themselves and communicate information about things that trouble them. A skilled, experienced child psychologist can help a child to reveal their problems rather quickly, so that at least you will have some idea what is bothering your daughter. A therapist is also careful not to lead the child in any particular direction when questioning her, and often a child is more open with a therapist than she might be with a parent (for many different reasons).

Your child is clearly communicating some emotional distress to you, about visiting her father, or leaving you, and possibly her stomach pains are related to emotional distress as well. This has been going on for quite some time and you still do not know what is bothering her. Emotional problems should not be ignored any more than medical problems should be ignored. As her parent, you are responsible for getting her appropriate professional help. You don't call CPS to handle problems that are your parental responsibility to address first.

Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a child psychologist, unless you know of one you have heard positive things about. Again, this must be a person who specializes in the treatment of young children. Good child psychologists can often be found in hospital outpatient departments of psychiatry and psychology, but you want a psychologist, and not a psychiatrist, and preferably a child psychologist whose orientation is analytic rather than behavioral.

Evaluating and treating a 5 year old, like your daughter, is not usually a long drawn-out process. Once the problem is identified, and your daughter begins communicating more openly, the therapist will advise you about how you can help your child and continue the communication with her. The therapy should help to improve your relationship with your daughter and it should be relatively brief.

Because of the situation with your child's father, I think you should meet with the child psychologist alone, without your child present, at least for the first session, or for part of the first session. I'm not sure you should voice your concerns about possible abuse in front of the child, but the therapist does need to know about them. And the child must be seen alone for her sessions with the therapist. It is possible that what is bothering your daughter has nothing to do with abuse, or her father, it could be something altogether different. But something seems to be clearly bothering her, about going to visit her father, or about leaving you, and a child psychologist will help to discover what the problem is, and will address it, and will advise you how to handle it.

So, I do not think you should call CPS since you really don't know what to report to them, you have no idea what the problem is. I do think you should make an immediate appointment with a child psychologist. I also think you should ask your daughter if she'd rather not visit with her father. If she says she'd rather not see him, I think you should call your lawyer and ask whether the visits can be suspended until your daughter is seen by a child psychologist to find out exactly what is bothering her.

BTW, why is a social worker making a "social study" now? If your daughter has not been with her father for 4 years, why is custody suddenly an issue?

alcmommy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:46 pm
@firefly,
Thank you so much. I have been looking for a therapist for her too see. I found one, and she does work with children.
She has not ever told me anything overly alarming. Just that she doesnt want to go over there. If I ask why, alot of times she just replies "because I miss you". She's always very excited and happy when she comes home, then later sometimes is in a bad mood because she "had a bad time at her dads" this normally is because she got in trouble for not listening, or he yelled at her or called her a liar (he calls her that alot). I've asked him before about things shes mentioned, and get responses like "I'm lying", it "never happened" or he just doesn't respond at all. He's divorced now, so he has other people watching her alot (from what she tells me). He always tells me she had a great time, and if she comes home sick , he says she never complained.

I can't keep her from going over, or I'd be in contempt of the court order. So I try to keep enforcing how much he loves her and likes seeing her.

The social study is being done now, because he wants custody (to get out of paying support). So our lawyers advised us to go ahead and do the social study, and the judge will most likely agree with whatever the worker says. I'm going to get questions and things to tell the Social worker, and hopfully he/she can request the judge to do something about my daughter
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 08:29 pm
@alcmommy,
So, have you made an appointment to have your daughter see this therapist yet?

Quote:
She has not ever told me anything overly alarming. Just that she doesnt want to go over there.


That she says she doesn't want to go see her father sounds alarming enough. Particularly since she's shown some distress about visiting him for the past four years. What percentage of the time does she say, or indicate, that she'd rather not go on the visit? 25%? 50%? 75%? 100%?

Is there anything positive about her relationship with her father? Are there times she looks forward to seeing him? Does she say anything positive about him, or mention positive experiences she has with him? Does she ever want to call him and talk to him on the phone? Does she act happy to see him?

Quote:
I try to keep enforcing how much he loves her and likes seeing her.


Is that true--does he love her and enjoy seeing her? Does she feel he loves her and enjoys being with her?

Quote:

I can't keep her from going over, or I'd be in contempt of the court order


You can't just stop visitation without good reason, but you seem to have been ignoring your child's distress about these visits for most of her life. Now that you are involved in a custody battle, you are suddenly trying to marshall evidence against her father because it's in your best interest to do so. Is he claiming he'd be a better custodial parent than you are? What is he saying about you?

Before the issue of custody is even decided, someone should try to decide whether it is in your child's best interest to even continue visitation if your daughter balks at seeing her father most of the time. Does she resist the visits most of the time? If you gave her a choice, would she ever want to see him?

If your daughter would rather not even have visitation with her father, this should be brought to the attention of the court before the custody matter is decided. You should ask your child if she would rather not see her father, without trying to influence her one way or the other. If she doesn't want to see her father, someone, either a private therapist, or a child psychologist affiliated with Family Court should evaluate the child to find out why she feels that way. This is a matter you should discuss with your attorney.

If visitation with her father is somehow an emotionally abusive experience for your daughter, and you continue to act indifferent to her distress by insisting the visits continue, she will see you as uncaring or insensitive and even possibly failing to adequately protect her. What does she have to do to get your attention? You don't even know what goes on during these visits, do you? Who does he leave her with, and why does he leave her? Why does her father call her names, like "liar"? Why is he calling a 5 year old any names? Is that how a loving parent acts? What other methods does he use to correct her behavior or to punish her?

Unfortunately, your daughter is now in the middle of a custody battle between two parents who have a contentious and acrimonious relationship. It would be surprising if this situation wasn't affecting her in some way. The animosity between you and your daughter's father may have been affecting her for years. For one thing, it prevents decent communication about your child, and also prevents any collaboration between the two of you about what might be in her best interests or the best ways of handling her behavior. Both of you may be too indifferent to your child's emotional needs.

The fact that you haven't been concerned much sooner about your daughter's negative reaction to visiting her father is both troubling and puzzling. The fact that you have been concerned about things--like her talking about the mouse in her ear, as well as some of her other comments, as well as her continuing stomach pains--for years, without getting some professional mental health advice is somewhat baffling. Even now, your focus is on what her father might be doing to her, rather than on immediately getting your child appropriate help, because you are in a custody battle and you are looking for ammunition to use against him. If your concern was solely for your child, you wouldn't ask whether you should call CPS, you would just get your daughter help by having her seen by a child psychologist who could discover what's really troubling her. CPS isn't supposed to do a parent's job for them--they step in when parents don't do their job. If you think your child is possibly being harmed or hurt by someone, emotionally or physically, and the child can't provide you with enough information, you take the child to a professional who is trained to elicit such information in an unbiased manner--and you do that immediately.

I suspect your doctor told you to call CPS simply because she didn't know what else to tell you to do. She examined a child with no obvious physical signs of abuse, and no verbal complaints of abuse from the child, so the doctor has no reason at all to notify CPS. Your suspicions about what her father might be doing to your daughter, based on things like her complaints of stomach pains, are not sufficient reason for the doctor herself to notify CPS. If you were being passive, and just expressing anxiety about your daughter, the doctor might have suggested calling CPS simply as a means of getting the situation investigated by a third party, so you wouldn't feel so helpless about handling the situation on your own--she was simply letting you know you have an option. Unfortunately, I think it is a very poor option to use as an initial way of investigating the possibility of abuse. You are capable of getting an unbiased mental health professional to evaluate your child without dragging CPS into an already bad situation with your child's father.

Truthfully, I suspect that both you and your daughter's father may act in ways which are harmful to her. Part of getting her help may involve both of you in improving your parenting skills. Five year olds cannot alter their environments, they cannot influence their primary relationships. Therapy can enable her to reveal her distress, and its source, but it will be up to you and her father to reduce that distress by both of you becoming more sensitive to her needs and by trying to meet them. You cannot continue to be passive or unresponsive when your daughter exhibits signs of emotional distress--that is a form of neglect. If she really doesn't want to be with her father, why have you been forcing her to go on these visits for the past four years? Why didn't you make much more of an effort to find out why she didn't want to go with him by getting some professional advice from a child psychologist a long, long time ago?

Your child is having those stomach pains in your house, when she is with you--perhaps she is reacting to something going on with you, and her complaints of pain are her way of trying to get your attention and letting you know she is upset. Why assume her problems are only related to her father?

I repeat--Have you made an appointment to have your daughter see this therapist yet?











alcmommy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 08:17 am
@firefly,
Thats alot, and I'll try to anwser everything for you. No I have not found a therapist yet. The one in Allen sounds great, but it will be a drive since we live aways away. I'm not saying thats an excuse so I wont bring her, but since she was seeing someone in Plano last yr I know how long the drives.

She has seen 2 therapist in the past few years. First, after her father lied to CPS about me, and after they did their investigated and closed it, he continued telling our daughter (3-4 at the time) things that weren't true. I put her in counseling so she can get help. Last yr when my ex was going through a divorce I, as well as my daughters teachers, saw a behaviour change in her, I heard things that were alarming from the ex (his drinking and driving), he also wasn't giving her her medicine, which would cause her to have an attack on allergies: which would turn into sinus infections since EVERYtIME she went over he wouldn't give it to her and it always takes about a week before it kicks back in.

She started out probably 100%, and now is down to 25% , with the comments "please don't make me go"

I tried legal, numorous times, as I have done in the past when I feel things aren't right and feel we need to change something. I am always denied because of "funding and not enough attorneys on staff". I even called Mandy Childs, who is out of my jurisdiction, but I was desperate. She tried finding someone in my county, but I guess had no luck. I have been keeping a journal, which I was advised by attorneys to do. And document issues, comments and stuff. I was told once theres a "reason" to go to court I can use that in my favor. But everytime I called Legal Aid, there was no "substancial" evidence to do a modification.

She started visits when she was 1. At first she'd throw a huge fit, scream, cry and cling to me. I was told by the courts I had to make her go, so I'd have to hand her over to her father. I thought once she got to know him and was comfortable she'd be fine. Especially since my nephew did the same thing, until he got used to visiting his father. But she's continued not wanting to go over there. Last yr she finally stopped crying during exchanges, but will "forget something in the house", and try to hide. Right now, she goes with him, but still prolongs going, by playing and not getting in his car. She also asks me right before she gets to her dad "please don't make me go". I was hoping she's finally accepted that she has to visit and has fun (since she'd get in trouble if she cried when she was younger). The only time she seemed to really have a hard time was when I told her she was going to be with him for a month.

She likes going on Thursday, since he takes her to the Dallas mall and she likes the corn dogs and playing in the play area. She doesn't really say anything positive about him, which may be because kids tend to tell the other parents the bad things?? She does want to talk to him on the phone, which may be because when she was younger she'd get in trouble if he called and we didn't answer right away or call him right back. I've heard him correcting her, as well as him leaving me nasty messages OR calling my home, cell and my moms cell phones, back to back. She seems happy on the phone for the most part, and seems upset when he hangs up on her.

I honestly dont know if he loves her and is happy to see her. I believe he does, in his own way. He does have high expectations.

This is not about the custody battle. I have tried for years to get him to do co parenting classes with me, I've ignored his cruel untrue comments, I've stayed positive and tried to let my daughter know how we both love her. I have asked legal aid for years for advice and/or help. I'm always told they are underfunded and under staffed. Last year I went to 2 legal aid work shops, and was told by one attorney how he thought I needed help, and he even put it in the paper work. he was SO mad at how my ex uses our daughter as a messenger, as well as other things I told him. But I still got denied. I have not ignored her distress, theres just nothing I could do.

Last yr I even went so far as to deny him a Thursday visit, because he was in a horrible mood, and since he loves telling her whats going on I knew she'd come home upset. I knew it was wrong and I could get in trouble, but I didn't know what else to do.

About CPS, since my lawyer told me to wait till the social study I will be mentioning alot more to the worker. He/she will be able to decide what they think is best, and they will send their recommendation to the judge.

I dont know why he calls her names, or a liar. He recently called her one, and the next time he came to pick her up I went out and made sure he knew she WASN'T lying. But I was nice about it. I think he is a pathological liar himself, and so accuses her of being one to make himself feel better about himself.

About the stomach pain, I don't know the source and am not saying it IS because of her father. I just read my notes and remembered the mouse, and thought there may be a connection.

I know I didn't answer all your questions, I'm sorry.
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 12:44 pm
@alcmommy,
I am more than a little confused. You say you can't get legal assistance through legal aid, but you apparently do have an attorney at present. Are you currently involved with Family Court?

What you describe, in terms of your daughter's father's behavior, is an ongoing situation of emotional abuse of this child. The child has been verbally assaulted by screaming, yelling, and name-calling by her father. From the locations you mention, I assume you live in Texas. This is Texas Law on that subject:

Quote:
B. Emotional Injury of a Child

The law recognizes the existence of both physical and emotional injury. Physical abuse is almost invariably accompanied by emotional injury to some degree; it is difficult to imagine that a child could suffer “substantial harm” as the result of a deliberate assault by a caregiver and not also be psychologically harmed. Moreover, angry parents who physically assault their children are likely to assault them verbally, too.

Although many physically abused children suffer emotional injury, actual emotional abuse as defined law has occurred only if the child’s “growth, development, or psychological functioning” shows “observable and material impairment.” Emotional injury is more subtle than physical injury, and the fact of emotional abuse is not as readily established. Emotional abuse, when it is not accompanied by some other form of abuse, is not often the basis for an investigation or legal action. Yet it can be devastating. It is psychological and emotional injury that link child abuse to some of its costliest long-term effects: substance abuse, crime, suicide, and the perpetuation of violence within families.

Forms of verbal assault

Emotional injury is inflicted on children by verbal assaults that may take the form of belittling, name-calling, screaming, threatening, blaming, and sarcasm. Other damaging verbal habits are referring to a child only as “it” or repeatedly telling the child that s/he is “worthless” or “bad.” The mere fact that a caregiver verbally assaults a child (e.g., calls the child names, screams at the child) on a particular occasion is not sufficient to establish emotional abuse; the assaults must be frequent, excessive and, above all, clearly and substantially damaging to the child. Because the effects of verbal assaults are subtle and their exact cause is difficult to pinpoint, substantiating emotional abuse as part of a case requires detailed observation and testimony about the abuser ’s words and actions toward the child over a period of time.

Unpredictable responses, unreasonable demands

A child may suffer emotional harm when subjected to extremely unpredictable or inconsistent responses from caregivers. Unreasonable expectations and demands can also be harmful. A child may suffer from being continually surrounded by negative moods and family discord. In some situations a child may be forced to make painful choices, perhaps between quarreling family members. Divorcing parents sometimes use their children as pawns in their own marital conflicts, and this can be damaging to the children. A child may suffer serious psychological harm from being rejected, terrorized, ignored, or isolated emotionally.

Signs of emotional injury

Signs of emotional injury include many general symptoms that could result from causes other than emotional abuse. They include withdrawal, depression or apathy; behavior problems or “acting out;” or a child who is overly rigid in conforming to instructions from teachers, doctors, and other adults. A child’s behavior problems may be a fulfillment of the negative labels the abuser has applied to the child: a child is “no good” or “a slut” because that is what s/he has always been told about him/herself. An emotionally abused child may refuse verbal or physical communication with others, or express feelings of being bad or worthless. Symptoms such as these can be produced by emotional abuse, but because they may arise from other causes, they must always be considered in context.

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse1.shtml


Your daughter's earlier screaming and crying when forced to go on visits with her father was likely indicative of some sort of abuse or neglect when she was with him. Three and four year olds do have limited means of expression, but your daughter's continuing strong emotional reaction to going on these visits indicates she was reacting to a highly aversive situation--a situational which was hurtful to her. To make matters worse, you report that she "got into trouble" for revealing her distress through such crying. How did she "get in trouble"? Was she punished for crying? If so, how, and by whom?

Now your child can clearly tell you, "Don't make me go", but she can't, or won't, explain to you why. She has developed stomach pains without apparent physical cause. When you told her she would be spending a month with her father she became clearly upset. (Why you told her in February about that is difficult to understand, since you just got her needlessly upset. Do you realize what a poor conception of time five year olds have? Do you think she has any idea of how long a month is?)

On top of that, you report medical neglect of your child by her father, who failed to give her appropriate medicine during her visits. That is a rather serious form of neglect.

Then you say you learned things from his ex-wife, such as his drinking and driving. Does your child's father still have a drinking problem? Do you know whether he drinks when his daughter is in his care? Have you ever smelled alcohol on his breath when he picks her up or brings her back? Has she said he drinks when she is with him? Are you sure he doesn't drink and drive when your daughter is with him? Are you sure your child is safe with him?

Courts can, and do, amend visitations with the non-custodial parent, if there are any questions of neglect, abuse, or endangerment occurring during the visits. They can limit visits, suspend visits, require supervised visits, etc. Why your daughter's obvious distress about these visits has gone ignored--for years--seems somewhat disgraceful. Someone needed to make a great deal of noise on her behalf. Your daughter is the one who needs legal representation to represent her welfare to the court--she needs a Law Guardian. Perhaps you and her father have been so busy battling with each other, you couldn't see that she needs a neutral legal party to represent her best interests.

If your daughter has already seen two therapists, what did they conclude or advise? Why didn't she stay involved with either of the therapists, since nothing about her situation really improved? Three and four year olds, and even five year olds, really don't receive "counseling"--a substantial part of the treatment of such young children involves counseling the child's parents, they are the ones who have to modify their behavior toward the child. Were you and her father involved in such treatment? Even if he was unwilling, the court can mandate such treatment, as well as parenting classes, if the parent's behavior is harming the child.

Nothing about the situation with your child appears to have been handled well. She is the very unfortunate victim of bitter parental conflict, and she will show the signs of such stress. In addition, she may be neglected and, at least, emotionally abused by her father, who does appear to behave in ways which are injurious to her. But, when the child balks at being with him, as she has done for years, her clear distress has gone ignored and she is forced to continue visits.

Her father has called CPS about you, and now you wonder whether you should call CPS about him. If either of you were really concerned about the welfare of your child, you'd both grow up and start acting like responsible caring parents, instead of using CPS like an attack dog on each other.

CPS functions primarily in situations where a child is in imminent danger of serious harm, and they must decide whether to remove the child from that situation.

You have no evidence that your child is in imminent danger from her father. You have no evidence that he has sexually abused her. You've had plenty of evidence--for years--that something about her contacts with her father was extremely upsetting to her, yet you never managed to do anything to convince a court to take a look at what was going on, or how it was affecting her, or whether these visits should be modified in some way. You have been apparently ineffectual in terms of advocating on your child's behalf. She really needs a Law Guardian, if she doesn't already have one.

I agree with your lawyer, it would seem vindictive if you called CPS now. You might as well wait until the "social study" is completed and see what they recommend. Nothing seems particularly urgent right now--nothing in the situation seems to have suddenly altered.

But, someone should seriously consider whether it is really wise for your daughter to spend an entire month with her father this summer. Has she ever done that before? Will she be able to emotionally handle that, given the way her father behaves toward her? On that one you really need a professional opinion.

alcmommy
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 06:22 pm
@firefly,
I do have a lawyer now, after I tried legal aid numorous times and then just called random attorneys in the courty. I finally emailed ones from Dallas and surrounding counties and got responses from some, and one of which agreed to meet with me. After explaining some of what has gone one she agreed to help me, and she'd ask the judge for him to pay.

I understand it looks like her father and I have gone back and forth fighting and I've done nothing for her. On the contrary I have contacted lawyers and gone to legal clinics trying to get help for years. I'm always told I dont have enough evidence and to keep a journal with dates. I have kept journals, emails and texts. I was even told by a few attorneys that I can ask the judge for him to take parenting classes and anger management classes, but theres nothing they can do about enforcing it. Which confuses me since isnt that what the written order is for??

I've dont alot of research and tried to find what forms of abuse the courts will step in and help with, and since theres no substantial proof he is abusing/neglecting her theres nothing I can do. I DON'T want to involve CPS, I understand why they are there and know there are physically abused children that need their help, and they SHOULDN'T be used by vindictive people trying to get back at someone, or to get someone in trouble. But the kids pediatrician said I should call, and I had doubts which is why I asked. Considering all thats happened and how I "have been apparently ineffectual in terms of advocating" as you say for my daughters behalf" I thought I'd ask to see if maybe CPS would be the way to go to get help. Mind you, I've also been told by her teachers and the school counselor to contact them in the past....

"To make matters worse, you report that she "got into trouble" for revealing her distress through such crying. How did she "get in trouble"? Was she punished for crying? If so, how, and by whom?" From what she told me and what I overheard from my ex, she'd have to go to her room when she got to his house if she cried. And she'd have to stay there until she calmed down.

Up until last yr he was married and I believed my daughter had 2 people caring for her. Granted she didn't always want to go, but I was told that she was fine after they got in the car and down the road. That wasn't the whole truth since I know she also got in trouble for crying, but with no actual proof I couldn't do anything

"(Why you told her in February about that is difficult to understand, since you just got her needlessly upset. Do you realize what a poor conception of time five year olds have? " Maybe that was poor judgement, but I want her to be ale to prepare for this. Plus I thought she'd have something to look forward to when she can home.

"On top of that, you report medical neglect of your child by her father, who failed to give her appropriate medicine during her visits. That is a rather serious form of neglect" this wasnt the first time he failed to give her appropriate care. When she was 2 he lifted her by her arms knowing she got nursemaids elbow. Lo and behold her arm was limp and she was screaming her arm hurt. he called me up to tell me, and refused to do anything until after her nap because he thought she was 'lying'. I told him she wasn't and that it was serious and she needs care NOW, but he refused. The following yr he called me up to accuse me of sending her over with a rash, which she was fine when she left. I told him he needs to get her medical care, because he made it sound like a horrible rash that was all over her face and body, and he again refused then hung up on me. I called the police this time, and they went to his house and it was a "mild case of dry skin". The following month he called CPS on me with lies. Case was closed, and they told me they were going to ignore his future allegations. Both times I contacted Legal Aid and told them everything that happened along with these things, and asked what I could do, both times they told me I didn't have enough to modify the order.

About the drinking. I don't know anything more about it. His exwife told me he drinks and shes taken the keys from him when they have our daughter. I tried to get her to put it in writting and she didn't want to. I've tried to see if he has been arrested, and have been told that he hasn't since 2004 been in trouble for drinking. I have no clue if he still drinks and drives. I never smell anything on him, but I don't smell very well due to a brain injury. Since my daughter is 5, I feel shes to young to have too "look out for him drinking" and I don't want to question her, because I dont want her getting upset

I have also looked to see how she can can a Guardian Adelitim. I've even called the Childrens Advocacy, but they have to be recommended by CPS or law enforcement. And since I haven't had "enough reason" to do a modification or anything she hasn't been able to get a Guardian.

"If your daughter has already seen two therapists, what did they conclude or advise? Why didn't she stay involved with either of the therapists, since nothing about her situation really improved? Three and four year olds, and even five year olds, really don't receive "counseling"--a substantial part of the treatment of such young children involves counseling the child's parents, they are the ones who have to modify their behavior toward the child. Were you and her father involved in such treatment? Even if he was unwilling, the court can mandate such treatment, as well as parenting classes, if the parent's behavior is harming the child."
They did play therapy with her. Neither told me what was going on or if anything was said. The first one was also getting comments by my ex, saying how everything I said was lies, and telling her lies about me. Such as how I call him horrible names all the time and always try to fight with him. I don't call him names, hes the name caller, I try to reason with him and that always fails because he is "always" right. She stopped seeing the first one after 6 months. She seemed happier and the therapist kinda made me mad. She started making a habit of constantly showing up late and never made up for the time lost. Between the drive and the lost time I didn't think she was benefiting my daughter. The second one, I really liked. But it was a much longer drive, and due to my sons health, back and forth between drs, hospitals, specialists and testing it became to much. My daughter also had surgery in Jan (tonsils and adnoids out) and she wasn't feeling good for a month.

I was actually hoping they would involve us. But during the times my daughter saw a therapist they just saw her. Right now I'm trying to find another one for her to see, or go back to the second one. Her father does refuse to get help/counseling. He feels all the problems are my fault. I've tried to get him to take coparenting classes with me. He actually agreed to do mediation, but they cancelled at the last minute due to flooding in their building, and he refused to reschedule. I am going to ask my lawyer and the social worker if they can request he get help.

" But, when the child balks at being with him, as she has done for years, her clear distress has gone ignored and she is forced to continue visits." Her distress has NOT been ignored. I have done everything I can think of to get help. I am the one who has to see her go through this and it breaks my heart, and has to do my best to make sure shes okay. I reassure her when needed, and have to encourage her to go there (by court rules) and tells her how much mommy and daddy both love her and want to see her, I also don't argue with him, or go back and forth becasue I refuse to let her see that or be put in the middle. Today I called the Texas visatation hotline, and was told to make sure she goes to her dads, even if he doesnt give me his address. That I have to go to court to change anything.

"But, someone should seriously consider whether it is really wise for your daughter to spend an entire month with her father this summer. Has she ever done that before? Will she be able to emotionally handle that, given the way her father behaves toward her? On that one you really need a professional opinion." She has done it every yr for the past 4 yrs. She has learned to adapt I believe while at her fathers, to help her. She is a very smart girl, and with his high expectations she has learned how to do what he wants the way he wants it done. I will ask the couselor and the social worker. Unfortunetly the study is the 30th, and she leaves July 1st.
0 Replies
 
firefly
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 12:03 pm
@firefly,
If your daughter will be spending the month of July with her father, and if the custody social study will be completed in two weeks, there probably isn't much you can do at this point.

Had your daughter been in treatment with a clinical psychologist for the past few months, you would have had an objective psychological evaluation of her functioning which you could have presented to the court. Such an evaluation might have been able to address such factors as the impact of her father's behavior on her level of anxiety, or whether her stomach pains were related to her environmental stress, or whether there was any evidence to suggest emotional or sexual abuse. This information could have been used to help the court decide both custody and any modifications in visitation. But, your daughter did not receive such treatment/evaluation, so the court will not have this type of information available. This is very unfortunate because expert opinion on your daughter's best interests, in terms of her psychological/emotional well being, will not be available to the court.

I believe that, under Texas Family Court procedures, the court can order (and enforce) mediation, and they can also provide "parent coordinators", but, because you are already nearing the end of a custody battle, it may well be too late for such interventions.

What you can, and should do, is ask your attorney to request that the court appoint a Guardian Ad Litem for your daughter--immediately. There is no reason for the court to refuse this request since Law Guardians are often appointed for the child in custody disputes, particularly in situations where the parents have an acrimonious relationship. The Guardian Ad Litem will represent the best interests of the child, and that person can consider and try to investigate such issues as possible emotional/verbal abuse by a parent, medical neglect by a parent, possible alcohol abuse by a parent, etc., and they can speak with those involved with the child--her pediatrician, her teacher, her parents, and even her father's ex-wife. They would also be able to make recommendations to the court regarding the need for therapy, parenting classes, modifications in visitations, etc. The Law Guardian is not a neutral party--they represent the child. Your daughter needs to have her best interests represented in court. Just as you and her father are represented by attorneys, she also needs legal representation, and advocacy in court.

I also think that your husband must provide you with his address, particularly since he will have your daughter staying with him for a month. You have a right to know where your daughter will be staying, and who else will be in the home, who else might be caring for her, etc. Your lawyer should be able to obtain such information. You might also suggest that your attorney speak with your daughter's former step-mother regarding her husband's drinking. If your daughter's father is continuing to drink excessively, that would affect your daughter's safety when she is in his care.

I still see no point in calling CPS, you have no clear cut allegations to report to them, you have no evidence of physical/sexual abuse. The fact that your daughter's teacher in the past advised you to call CPS, and her doctor more recently advised you to call CPS, may mean that they were responding to things you said about her father and how you felt he was affecting her. Had these people directly observed, or heard your child mention, anything that clearly indicated abuse or neglect, they would have called CPS themselves--they are mandated reporters. That they did not do this, but, instead, bounced the ball back into your court, indicates there was not sufficient evidence of abuse for them to call CPS. You don't have sufficient evidence to warrant a call to CPS either. Had your daughter had a proper evaluation by a clinical psychologist, you might have gotten some evidence that abuse was taking place, perhaps not, but that would have been the best way to follow up on any concerns you had.
To call CPS now, would serve no useful purpose, that I can see, and it would only escalate an already bad situation with your daughter's father and put even more stress on the child.

In the fall, you should have your daughter seen by a child therapist to help her deal with all that she has been through, and all that she will continue to go through, as a result of the discord between her parents. If nothing else, the therapist will be a supportive person she can communicate with who will not force her to take sides or make her fearful of expressing her true feelings. You should expect the therapist to inform you about what he/she is helping your daughter with, the goals of the therapy, and what you can do, or should not do, to help your daughter.

Good luck with your custody proceeding.


alcmommy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 12:24 pm
@firefly,
Thank you firefly, and everyone else so much. I am working on finding a child phycologist, and someone to see me so I can work on bettering my approch to things. I am also lookong for people who can/will talk to each other so we are all on the same page. I will call and see if she can't get a Gaurdium. Thank you so much for all your time and advice!
0 Replies
 
kawahine77
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Oct, 2010 11:12 am
@alcmommy,
Aloha,

Did you ever get to fix the stomach issue with your daughter? I had a similar situation growing up and was curious of the outcome for the two of you.

Mahalo,
A.
alcmommy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2010 02:41 pm
@kawahine77,
Sorry, I havent checked responses in a while. She was taken off prevacid a few months ago after seeing a GI dr. He thought it may have todo with nerves. She was put back on a stronger dose this week of prevacid. In a few weeks we'l see if its working. If not they will do an exray and check her esopogous.
Thank you for thinking of us:)
0 Replies
 
 

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