Single Dad, Shitty Mom

Or: How I Learned that Parental Alienation is REAL


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The Here And Now #3: First Court Date of 2013

Court days can be a very anxious, stressful, emotionally and physically draining time. There is always a grand build up to the actual day. There is strong tension, with frustration and aggravation that is built up over weeks, months, and/or YEARS. Sometimes you just never know what “justice” will throw your way. In my case, “justice” was predicted, and expected.

Yesterday I was in court for two petitions filed by “crazy”; one for Child Support Violation, and the other was an Order of Protection. Let me explain:

She filed a Child Support Violation because when I got a new job last September (after being laid off for 3 months, and STILL paying child support through my unemployment), there was a lapse in the support schedule. As most know, when you get a new job, there is an adjustment period so that HR and/or the payroll company of your employer can align with the State to coordinate payment (I have child support taken out of my paycheck automatically– it’s easier that way). The lapse usually lasts a couple of weeks to a month. During this lapse, she had bounced a check (one of many, I discovered) to the private school (that she cannot afford, nor I agreed to send her to…because WE CANNOT AFFORD IT!).  She wanted me to front her money so that the check wouldn’t bounce. I could not, because a week prior I had to get a back tooth pulled– my insurance with my new company didn’t kick in, so I had to pay out of pocket (over $800). So, the check bounced…and a week later, I got a petition in the mail. Not only did she complain about the lapse, she also decided that I owed her money for a bunch of things that she bought and paid for that not only did I not agree to, or were discussed with me…they were also things that were not covered in the previous Support agreement.

The Order of Protection is the most ridiculous accusation of all. This is a LONG story that I will discuss in a later post (and it WILL BE A LONG ONE), but basically this involved the event that has inspired me to start this blog in the first place. To make this long story short, during the summer Maya started exhibiting very unusual behavior. I would go to pick her up, like I have been doing for over 5 years, but this time, all of a sudden, she started crying and freaking out about going back to my home. This literally went on for 6 of my visits (2 weekend visits a month = 3 months), with “crazy” doing or saying NOTHING to help figure out what was going on (obviously). Out of those 6 visits, Maya came home with me twice (the 2nd and 5th incident). Each time, “crazy” made excuses and wouldn’t offer any help. The 6th incident, I finally lost my patience, and my temper. I yelled at “crazy”, and I raised my voice at Maya; I told both of them to “go to hell.” I was hurt by Maya’s disregard for discussions that we had after the 5th incident– LONG discussion with me and Christina, about this behavior. It marked the 2nd time in Maya’s 7 years that I raised me voice at her…and the first time I swore at her. Again, I will present more details in a later post, but this situation concluded with “crazy” calling 911, then filing an Order of Protection against me, siting that I can no longer “harass, yell, hit, punch, strangle….” (yes, they say “strangle”) Maya or “crazy”.

Insanity.

There are many problems with this claims and accusations, aside from the fact that they are not true. It’s the fact that “crazy” and her lawyer have to PROVE that all of these things are true. Yesterday, that had an opportunity to do so. It did not go well for them.

First off, the Order of Protection hearing was pushed back to May, because I was NEVER properly served a summons. The first time I received a summons, “crazy” sent it to me as a snapshot in a text message, two days before the original hearing date (back in November). I obviously did not have to go to that, and she was chastised in court at that time that for doing that. The whole thing about the summons is that it has to be served IN PERSON– has to be put into that person’s hands. The second time she tried to serve me, it was allegedly given to someone in the mail room of my employer; I got a call from someone who claimed that I had been served this way. When I checked with the mail room, they hadn’t received anything from anyone for me. If they did, I would have had to sign in for it– they have a system here similar to how you would receive a package from UPS or FedEx– with a digital scanner. To this day, I have not been properly served.

As for the Child Support claim, her demands were immediately shot down by the judge, including the private school. The original agreement stipulated that I was responsible for paying 65% of the child’s care costs (medical, babysitters). Private school, as the judge and my lawyer both pointed out, is NOT “child care”. I was also not responsible for paying for a 2-week summer camp that she sent Maya too– this was as opposed to having Maya spend 2-weeks with her father. As for after school care, Maya had been staying with her grandmother for over 4 years (they live in neighboring towns). “Crazy” had just started using a day care service in September, which I didn’t know about until December due to the massive breakdown in communication since all of this lunacy started. When the judge asked “crazy” to explain the child care situation…she fell apart. She didn’t cry or anything…she just couldn’t explain herself AT ALL. She had SO MUCH MOUTH outside the judge’s chamber…but when she was asked direct questions…she had nothing. The judge was extremely frustrated. “Crazy’s” lawyer had his head buried in one of his hands, saying things like “Just say yes.” “JUST SAY YES!” “Just say NO.” “Answer him!” “Don’t ask me, ANSWER HIM!” The judge had to ask her lawyer at least TWICE to answer his questions. It did NOT go well for her.

I think my lawyer had MAYBE suspected that I was being a bit hyperbolic about my descriptions of “crazy”. I think most people might think that I am exaggerating just a little bit. But anyone in a similar situation knows. We ALL KNOW that we can ONLY be honest. You can’t make up this kind of behavior AT ALL. And when he saw it first hand…he was a bit stunned. The first time he saw “crazy” in court was after she checked in. He and I were standing and having a conversation. If you were going to pass by us, you’d either go around my lawyer, or go around me. As we talked, we both watched her out of the corner of our eyes. She walked in our direction, deliberately walked passed me, body-checked me, and kept walking. My lawyer watched this, turned to me and said “did she just do what I think she did?” I nodded. However, I was told that I needed to control myself a bit. I was so outraged by her lies, that I dropped an F-Bomb or two or three– not in court, but in conference. I wasn’t angry, just shocked…but it didn’t matter. “Don’t give her an excuse!” my lawyer said. And, he’s right.

Afterwards, my lawyer sat down with my mother and I (my mom came to support me), to put everything into perspective. And he said it best: “She [‘crazy’] is her own worst enemy.” He’s right. You see, these people canNOT help themselves. They act out in such ways that they can’t help but be sloppy. They have nothing but misrepresentation, lies, anger, and spite. Those things do not mix well. She walked into that court yesterday believing that she would be victorious. She told her lawyer JUST ENOUGH to make HIM believe that they would be victorious. But when you have the truth on your side…bullshit does not stand.

Don’t be afraid of these people! All of their actions and their words WILL BETRAY THEM. You have to be vigilant. You have to be smart. You have to document EVERYTHING. Keep a record of EVERYTHING! She/he may be an asshole, but you HAVE TO KEEP YOUR COOL. I know it’s difficult and damn-near impossible to maintain your composure with someone that is using your child to attack and malign  you. Face it– that’s ALL they have! That is the ONLY THING that they have over you.  Yes, it’s a pretty BIG thing…but in the end, it will backfire, and you will get your life back. But you HAVE TO FIGHT! You can’t be intimidated by their behavior. And if you don’t nip it in the bud in the most SUBSTANTIAL way possible…they will continue to treat you and your child this way.

Don’t let them.

TO BE CONTINUED.

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Origin Story #1: What makes “Crazy” So….Crazy?

If you read the “About US” post– my first on this blog– you read my introduction to the players in this drama– one of whom is the architect, if you will, of all the problems that my daughter and I are dealing with right now. “Crazy” is the nickname that my family and friends have given to my ex, the mother of my daughter Maya. As I’ve mentioned before, the nickname– while to some may be rude or inconsiderate or counter-productive– is the best, and most polite, way to describe this woman, and the things she’s said and done, and CONTINUES to say and do.

While talking to my lawyer the other day (going over one of the MANY court dates of 2013), he asked me how “crazy” and I met. Simple enough– we met on Match.com. I remember her profile picture vividly– she was walking up the stairs of her apartment building, carrying her mountain bike, smiling. I saw that she had a “pretty” smile, and big, beautiful eyes. In fact, the nickname that I had for her while we were dating was “pretty”, because she was surely that.

We dated for about 2 and a half years before I broke it off. I broke it off about 2-3 times, actually. I started seeing the signs that this is a woman with some problems. She was smothering, needy, co-dependent, suspicious, jealous…and beyond that, quite frankly, kind of dull. However, I thought she was nice, and the sex was pretty good…

My first red flag came after I witnessed, for the first time, “crazy” fighting with her mother. We were in  my apartment, and she was on the phone with her. After she hung up, she was RAGING. She said the following, verbatim: “I hate my mother. I HATE MY MOTHER! She’s a FUCKING CUNT! I wish she was DEAD! I wish it was just ME, my BROTHERS, and my DAD– THAT’S IT! I fucking HATE that CUNT!” Once again, that was an exact quote. I know the quote well because 1) you don’t forget someone saying something like this about their own mother, and 2) because she would repeat that phrase, in several incarnations, for years to come.

I was shocked, I have to say. I have NEVER known ANYONE that had such animosity toward their own mother. I was thinking to myself “My GOD, what the hell did that woman do to her daughter to create such ire?!” As it turns out, that was the wrong question. Sort of.

It took me about 4 years to get this story tied down– no one ever really gave me  straight answers to my questions, but over time they let out enough information so that I was able to form a narrative. I will try to be as coherent with this explanation as possible, as there are a few twists and turns along the way:

When “Crazy” was 16 years old, her mother left the family to be with another man. As anyone could imagine, that was a VERY painful and confusing time for the family– horrible, even. But after a few months, mom came back to the family, she and her husband reconciled, picked up the broken pieces, and moved on. But not “Crazy.”

“Crazy” NEVER forgot that. In fact, she flat-out REFUSES to forget it. Decades later, nearing 40, she is emotionally trapped in that 16 year-old’s mindset. From that moment, she adopted a word and theme that she would continue to use through her adulthood: “Abandonment”. That is EXACTLY how she feels when boyfriends break up with her. When I broke up with her, she would say:

“Why are  you LEAVING me?”

“Why are you PUNISHING me?”

With Maya, it’s:

“You left US.”

“You ABANDONED US.”

“I told her that YOU LEFT US.”

She is pushing unchecked emotional and psychological issues onto our daughter, and using HER problems as a scapegoat to spin a false narrative about how, since I left “Crazy”, that means I in turn left Maya. Those are the things she says to my daughter, among MANY OTHER toxic sentiments– regardless of the fact that I have been there from pregnancy, to birth, and throughout the life of my daughter, unless otherwise interrupted by “Crazy”—which is FAR TOO OFTEN.

These are the kinds of things that you have to be mindful of when you are dealing with an uncooperative ex. Granted, these are things that we should be looking out for BEFORE we either marry them OR have kids with them (I never married “Crazy”– I’m dumb, but not stupid).

The thing about people like this, with emotional or psychological problems, is that they try VERY HARD to mask their issues. “Crazy” is a social worker, with a specialty in Childhood Forensic Psychiatry. She is, in fact, the ONLY social worker that I have EVER KNOWN that does not go to therapy herself. Therapy is like Kryptonite to “Crazy”. She reacts to it like a Meth addict at an intervention. I’ve seen her go to therapy ONCE. Her dad started seeing a therapist, and wanted “crazy” to come with him. She was DISGUSTED by the idea. Maya was maybe 8-10 months old at the time, so I went to the office with them since I was on my way home anyway…I’d just sit with Maya in the waiting room while “crazy” and her dad went in for an hour-long session. Not 7 minutes later did that door swing WIDE open. “Crazy” storms out of the room, saying “…fucking BULLSHIT! We’re leaving! Such a stupid FUCKING waste of time!”

“Crazy” has problems. She has A LOT of problems. The abandonment issues are just a small part of them. There are also several anger-management issues that she needs to contend with, not to mention the sociopathic nature of her behavior. I can’t tell you how many times the police were called– by her OWN FAMILY– because she was raging out of control, hitting, throwing mugs and furniture…and her mother doesn’t help things, either…

Her mother is mentally ill. That’s all I can say, because they have all been very hush-hush about what her problem is. All I know is that 10 years ago when I met her, she was an RN, actively working. These days, she’s bed-ridden on bad days, listless and out-of-it on some, and on others…oddly “normal”. I say “oddly normal” because that woman and I DO NOT get along. She made it clear. I asked her nearly 7 years ago why she had such a problem with me. She said, “You know, Charles?  Some people just don’t like each other for some reasons.” I told her that I didn’t dislike her, but “now, you’ve given me a reason to.” Since then, my interactions with her have gone from combative, to chilly, to mild civility. In recent years, I just avoid her all together, don’t really talk to her– I acknowledge her existence when she’s around…otherwise, fuck her. At Maya’s dance recital last year, I hadn’t seen her in MONTHS. I had my mother and my aunt with me, who are WELL AWARE of all the goings-on with this family (more on that in upcoming posts). When “Crazy’s” mom spotted me, she said “Hi Charles!” and came over, hugged and KISSED ME. I. Was. Com. Plete. Ly. Stunned. WhatEVER medications she was on not ONLY made her friendly, but also anxiously and annoyingly chatty. (My aunt, who sat next to her at the recital, said “That woman was talking a mile a minute, and wouldn’t stop!”

“Crazy” reminds me somewhat of Mel Gibson. We’ve all seen the stories in the news, about is wild ravings and rage problems. Here’s the thing about Gibson, though– after his outbursts, he always expresses some remorse and is actively seeking help to deal with these problems. “Crazy” not only does NOT acknowledge her crazed outbursts, she will BLAME YOU for…whatever, name it. It’s these rage issues, and abandonment issues, that she is exposing to Maya, and validating it to her by blaming ME.

A sociopath is identified through the following behavior:

1. Charm

2. Inventing lies and exaggeration of psuedo-facts

3. Obsession to dominate and win conflict

4. Incapable of shame, guilt, or remorse

5. Delusional

6. NEVER apologizes

Example– “Crazy” makes a claim– ANY claim. Start asking her questions about it. She will give a bullshit explanation at first. Upon follow-up questioning, it’s “I don’t know.” Upon MORE questioning it’s “forget it”, or “I don’t have to answer to you!”, or “You’re not a lawyer!” OR…the most common one I hear these days…”Stop harassing me!”

This is a woman that SWEARS she is right about EVERYTHING she does or says. It the bubble of misinformation and bullshit that she has built around herself and Maya, she is able to shield from the truth– from things that will bring her little self-imposed fantasy existence to the ground. The bubble is impenetrable by her friends and family, mostly because they don’t want to be bothered with what will ensue when you challenge her. The only way that bubble can burst…in a court of law, where EVERYTHING SHE SAYS will be held up to scrutiny. That is where her short-sighteness is her downfall.

She is the kind of person that will start a fire, and yell “ARSON!” She’s a kind of person that cries “RAPE!” even though she’s never been touched.  She is the type of person that will tell you the last 15-20% of a story, in hopes that you don’t ask about the other 75-80%. She is spinning a narrative representing a world that does not exist, and cannot survive in the real world. It is a world that is, unfortunately, effecting my relationship between myself and my daughter. It’s a world that is toxic and unhealthy for Maya.

When you are dealing with someone that behaves this way, you HAVE TO BE PROACTIVE in making these things known. We ALL have cameras and audio/video recorders in our pockets EVERY SINGLE DAY. Use it! Document EVERYTHING on your smartphone. BACK IT UP SOMEWHERE, either on your local computer or on the cloud, or email it to yourself. If the behavior gets out of hand, CALL THE POLICE. You cannot engage with someone that is not in their right mind. A visit by the cops will SURELY calm all that shit down. Take journals– write EVERYTHING down. Most importantly, as my grandfather would say, “Always remember the 11th Commandment: PAY ATTENTION.” Listen to the things she/he says, watch the things she/he does. Even when she/he is not talking to you, LISTEN. AND WRITE IT DOWN OR RECORD IT.

I’ve used this comparison before, and I will say it again: BE BATMAN. You have to be a detective to put all the pieces together, THEN you have to be a superhero to rescue your kid(s) from this person. It is UP TO YOU.

Crazy is difficult to deal with, for sure. Crazy is what keeps you up at night, it’s what gives you stress and anxiety. You know what else crazy is? Sloppy. Crazy people WILL fuck up. They will slip up. They are so busy acting out, that they are somehow unaware that what they are doing is actually detrimental to them AND, most importantly, the child(ren). In my life, “Crazy” has been doing things that are hurtful and harmful to Maya…but she doesn’t see it that way. Somehow, she sees this as a way of getting back at me for “abandoning” her. She is so wrapped up in it that she has NO IDEA that she has left a trail of bread crumbs that lead back to the fact that she is purposefully hurting her child, as a way of trying to condemn me. It’s a trail that all that pass by, who are not in her bubble, will see for what it is.

The ONLY THING I EVER did to “Crazy” was not love her. She would say to me things like, “Can’t you just say it once?” or, “I love you–isn’t that enough?!” I was always honest with her about my feelings. Somehow, through my very BLUNT assessment of our relationship, she was able to ignore that and focus FULLY on trying to sculpt a fantasy world where I was IN LOVE with her, and we would have kids and live in Los Angeles and live HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

Bottom line, “Crazy” is crazy. There is no mistaking it. When she gets to court, and when the truth is destroying her lies…it will be like a deer in headlights. She’ll protest. She’ll deny. But she will have NO ANSWERS to easy questions. No answers that will help improve her image, that is. And that’s when she will be exposed.

And that is when I will save my daughter.

TO BE CONTINUED


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About US

As of this posting, it’s been over five months since I’ve seen my daughter.

I’ve spent all this time talking to lawyers, doing research, and plotting my next moves in order to take my daughter’s mother to court to rectify this situation once and for all.

The purpose of this blog is to chronicle what will be an extremely contentious, but vital, situation in the life and times of my relationship with my daughter…and the “woman” who is trying to tear us apart; her “shitty” mother. The purpose is to build a community with other single fathers (and some of you un-shitty mothers) that have to tolerate what I have come to learn as being “Parental Alienation”. With this blog, I will share stories of the past and the present, as well as any research and information that I’ve come across in my journey for a “more perfect” relationship with my child.

Now, some of you who’ve happened upon this blog have read the title and thought “well, THAT’S just rude and counter-productive.” Well, I guarantee that the woman that I refer to as “shitty” has pretty much gone out of her way to EARN that adjective. When the only thing that you want to do is spend time with your child…and the OTHER parent does things to screw with that…well, you know what? You’d be hurt. You’d be frustrated. You’d be angry. If you were a human being, you’d be pissed. And if you are like me, you are all of those things, and FUCKING mad as HELL.

My name is Charles. I’m a multimedia artist, born in Philly, raised in Jersey, currently living in New York State. My fiancé Christina and I live in a nice home with our 2 year-old son Ravi. My daughter Maya is 7 years old, and lives on Long Island with her mother…well, I won’t use her real name here. I will, instead, use the name that my friends and family use for her: “crazy”…as in “What did ‘crazy’ do now?” or “Did you have any problems with ‘crazy’ this weekend?” As I tell this story, you will find that the name is as apt and polite as one could be.

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The common notion of divorced/separated couples with children who are in trouble is that the woman is often times painted to be the victim of the horror and terror of the father. You look anywhere, you see stories about what a jerk, what a bastard, what an ASSHOLE the father is…and the woman, the mother, who has to protect her children from this BRUTE.

What you NEVER really see or hear is the opposite side of these situations. You NEVER hear about the fathers, the men who ONLY want to be with their children…but instead are being blackmailed, maligned, disrespected, and– YES– VICTIMIZED by the woman, the mother, who for her own set of insane, irrational, obnoxious and FALSE reasons, has made it difficult to IMPOSSIBLE for these men to see their children.

The stories and information in this blog will be arranged in 4 categories:

1) Origin Story — where I will recount the history of myself and “crazy” from the humble beginnings, to the insanity of the here and now.

2) The Here & Now — means just what it says.

3) Knowledge is POWER — again, means just what it says. This is where all of my research will be discussed; videos, books, blogs, websites, conversations with lawyers, EVERYTHING we need to know to.

4) “Single MOM, Shitty DAD” — because there are some moms out there that are in the same situation.

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As you’ve probably noticed so far, the language in this blog will be “salty”, to say the least. It will be blunt, totally unexpurgated, and honest. This blog at times will convey frustration, anxiety, and yes…ANGER. I am all of these things, and more. I am SICK and TIRED of watching my little girl struggle under the influence of a self-involved, emotionally crippled, bitter and yes, SHITTY woman who claims “custodial parenthood” but acts against the best interests of our daughter. For the longest time, I thought I was alone in this– especially in the beginning. But as time goes on, I find that not only are there thousands, even MILLIONS of other men going through this…but that ALL OF OUR STORIES are eerily similar.

This blog is for the single dads out there, that have tried, and tried, and tried, and tried, AND TRIED. This is also for the friends and families of these dads, who want to help but don’t know how. And finally, this blog is also for the single mothers who have the same “asshole” problems that we do. We are ALL in this together.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Comment on this blog– share your stories, ask me questions. I am also working on a podcast and a YouTube channel where I would like to interview legal and psychological professionals and anyone else that has any insight into the issues surrounding Parental Alienation.

I had discovered that this is a very controversial issue. Some believe in Parental Alienation, others do not. This will be a place where all of these things will be discussed– not clinically…but with humanity. This will be a place where WE can figure this out together.

We will do this because we love our children…and NO ONE is going to get in the way of that.

You’ve been put on notice, “Shitty” ones…

…now let’s get our kids back!

TO BE CONTINUED.