It has been over six years since the divorce…nearly three years since the AoA kids stopped having unsupervised visits with the dad. It has been amazing (not in a good way), to watch the dad continue to use the gaslighting behaviors and techniques, even after all was said and done, and an agreement was reached to move forward. At this point, he self-sabatoges with the behavior, and all I can do is wait and watch.
Especially precious (not in a good way), is the new attorney he hired (his 9th or 10th one), to communicate with me. It is clear from the communication, that the new attorney was not given all the information from the two year legal process which ended last summer with a mutual agreement which the dad has not completely followed. The dad wants visits to resume quickly, but he resists taking steps himself and working within healthy boundaries to get visits set up. Instead of following clear guidance to set up visits, the dad had his attorney draft a letter/email to send to my old attorney, requesting that visits take place at the office of HIS personal therapist, rather than an agreed upon or child therapist recommended visit center!
Brother’s therapist has been a huge support to re-unifying the dad and Brother. With all of his work, the dad still spends more time trying to destroy me than he does focusing on building relationships with the kids. It is sad for the kids…
The dad has stopped acknowledging or responding to my texts altogether now. The only time I communicated was to let him know when the kids went to doctors or on a trip to another state. He is suppose to pay 24% of medical costs, so I send him those bills. No response…
The dad continues to claim to want to take the kids all to himself, yet is unwilling to take responsibility. It was like that when we were married as well- once we had kids, he wanted someone else to do all the work. It was a repeating statement for him saying,”you do everything with them until they are five or so, then I will take them.” He lived by that….it has been detrimental to Brother’s development.
The first five years of Brother’s life, the dad was his caregiver while I worked. So much valuable time…wasted away. The evenings and weekends, I spent walking on eggshells and “serving the king”.
All of the experiences have reaffirmed a paradigm for me. Only God can change a person. In all of the behavior work I have done over the years with kids, it is clear that while we may see an outward behavior change in some circumstances, the intrinsic motivation may still be lacking. I have learned to practice letting go of things, and stepping back. In my work with kids who have disturbing behaviors, my focus is not only on helping the child learn more effective behaviors, but helping teachers learn to find strengths and interests of the most difficult students, and begin to focus on building relationships.