Single Dad, Shitty Mom

Or: How I Learned that Parental Alienation is REAL


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The Here and Now #7: With Prejudice

After MONTHS of waiting, the first round of court cases has FINALLY been settled! And the results were just as I suspected: JUSTICE has been served, and it is good!

As of today, both of the matters that had be brought against me, regarding a money-grab AND a bogus Order of Protection, have been settled and resolved without a trial. I signed the agreement last week, which I then delivered to “the plaintiff’s” lawyer, for her to sign; reluctantly…for her. Both cases were bogus from the start.

Granted, I DO owe her a little bit of money– that is the truth. It wasn’t for a lack of desire to pay it. My biggest issue was the fact that I did not trust her math, and wanted documentation to back up her demands– which she flat out refused to provide…until I was served with a petition to go to court.

The thing is, 70% of what she was asking for she was not entitled to, and was IMMEDIATELY shot down by the judge. We had a previous financial agreement, but for SOME reason she chose to ignore the simple facts expressed in it: that I was ONLY responsible for child care and medical costs.

Not only did not confer with me on these issues, she was hell bent on overspending on things that she (or I, for that matter) could NOT afford! It was HER decision to send Maya to a private school– not mine…because WE CAN’T AFFORD IT! On top of that, the judge made it clear that “private school is not ‘child care'”…therefore, I am not responsible.

I wanted to get my daughter music lessons– she has a true proclivity for music, particularly the drums. “Crazy”, instead, wanted things like dance class and other extra curriculars that, for one did NOT speak to her talents…AND cut into my visitation time– she flat out refused skipping these things, and threatened to keep Maya from visiting me if I refused to take her.

She also claimed that I owed her for 6 years of child care, even though 5.5 of those years was under her grandparent’s care. When the judge asked her if she had documentation to prove this, she lied to him IN COURT telling him that she DID! When it turned out that she could not prove her claim (lies usually do that), her claim was rendered moot.

Finally, she claimed that I owed nearly $10,000 for two years worth of summer camp. She naturally found the most expensive camps in her area, and hadn’t told me that she was doing this. Keep in mind that “Crazy” has NEVER allowed my daughter to stay with me for longer than 2 nights; in 7 years, I have NEVER had more time with my daughter than that. Because her recent alienation behavior began last summer, and because “crazy” has NEVER allowed Maya to spend summers with me…I was not responsible for last year’s $5,000 camp costs. As for this year, “crazy’s” lawyer asked me to find another camp that was cheaper that the current camp…which my fiancé was able to find after 3 minutes on the internet…$3,000 cheaper. So I am only responsible for paying 65% of $2,000, which “crazy” has to pay the remaining balance.

So, I owe for this year’s summer camp (which I paid for when I signed the new agreement),  and the previous 1.5 years of child care I can pay in monthly installments over the next 12 months. That’s fair; to me. “Crazy,” on the other hand, is NOT happy. She was expecting a HUGE payday. But that’s her– building up a fantasy world in her own head that, when reality crashes down, she blames EVERYONE ELSE for her failures. But these financial issues were of no concern to me. The thing that I was REALLY interesting in dealing with was this RIDICULOUS Order of Protection that she wanted to have enforced. But that didn’t happen.

As part of the deal, she had to agree to withdraw the Order of Protection with prejudice:

“…dismissal with prejudice, in which the plaintiff is barred from filing another case on the same claim. Dismissal with prejudice is a final judgment and the case becomes res judicataon the claims that were or could have been brought in it…”

In other words, once this Order is withdrawn, she can NO LONGER make this an issue in any court case at any other time:

“This signifies that the court has made an adjudication on the merits of the case and a final disposition, barring the plaintiff from bringing a new lawsuit based on the same subject. If a new lawsuit is brought, a defendant can properly invoke res judicata as a defense, because a court will not relitigate a matter that has been fully heard before. Often a court will enter a judgment with prejudice if the plaintiff has shown bad faith, misled the court, or persisted in filing frivolous lawsuits.”

According to my lawyer, this was the issue that she was the MOST resistant to comply with. And I can understand that– it’s something that, if she was successful in enforcing, could have jeopardized my visitation with Maya. That was her goal, after all– to corner me and make it so she could legally have TOTAL CONTROL over access to my daughter, via “supervised visitation”, for example. The thing is, not only was I TOTALLY prepared to go to trial on this bogus claim, but I had plenty of written (texts) and video evidence to debunk her claims. Not only did she file this order, but she had a social worker AND Maya’s lawyer buying into her narrative– which I didn’t fully understand, because neither had MY SIDE of the story, OR the evidence that disproved it; granted, that would have been presented during a trial. She told these people that Maya was HORRIFIED of me…which, of course, was a lie.

Bottom line is, her lawyer had to convince her that she really had no case. If she had decided to go through with it, she would have had to go on the stand and endure questioning from my lawyer. She had NO CHANCE of being successful. On top of that, she is not in any position to afford a long trial. I had to pull miracles and call in favors to get my lawyer. “Crazy” was running out of options and support. So…she conceded, and signed the agreement.

All this bullshit. ALL THIS BULLSHIT. For what!? I still don’t know. I’m not a shrink, and can’t really analyze the reasons why “crazy” is so…crazy. And frankly, I don’t care. The ONLY thing I care about is my daughter. PERIOD. On top of that, this is by NO MEANS the end of it. I am working on the NEXT court case right now– the nitty-gritty of this horrible situation; the issue of Parental Alienation. THAT is where my energy and attention are focused on. Over the next few months, we will be moving into that phase.

I’ve been telling “crazy” for YEARS that she would not get away with her behavior– that she would, eventually, be accountable for her actions; for ONCE. She doesn’t believe me. That’s no surprise– her parents have told me that they regret NOT raising her to be accountable for her horrible behavior. And to this day, even after settling these current legal issues, even after TWO POSITIVE visits with my daughter…she has NOT budged. I’m willing to bet you that when she gets the alienation deposition in the mail, she’s going to try to alter her behavior. Too little, too late.

 

TO BE CONTINUED….

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Knowledge is POWER #2: THINK Like a Lawyer

In the overly-litigious society that we live in today, the word “lawyer” is met with its share of scorn and frustration. I think most of these feelings are perpetuated by those who are beaten by “good” lawyers. For those who have ended up on the losing side of courtroom argument, nothing can be as harsh and as ego-bruising as a room full of people who are basically either calling you a liar, or telling you that your accusations or claims are false, unworthy of merit,  and not worth further consideration. These are arguments lost, and won, by how well a lawyer represents your side of the story.

Now, even a BAD lawyer can win a case if the opposing side has little or no evidence to back up their claims. But a good lawyer could lose a case for the same reasons; if their client has no ground to support their accusations, OR if they have no evidence to support their innocence. This could make ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD to those of us who have to spend 5-10-20  years in court, essentially fighting the same battles OVER, AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Personally, I’ve been in court battles since 2008– having to bring in a judge because the opposing party in my case (known on this blog as “crazy”), has decided to TRY to make my life difficult by using my daughter as a pawn in her toxic, emotionally-crippled game. It’s selfish, obnoxious, hurtful, counter-productive…a PURE WASTE of time, energy, and money. The main thing that makes these constant trips to the courtroom so wasteful is that I have collected a pile of evidence and proof that is so anti-thetical to her false narrative that even her own lawyers and the judges presiding the cases grow weary and tired of her.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer. I used to LOVE “The People’s Court”, then hosted by Judge Joe Wapner (back in the good ‘ol 1980s), then later on “Divorce Court” with Judge William Keene, and later than that was “Judge Judy”. I would watch people on these shows make one accusation after another…but when the judges started questioning them…POP-POP-POP! went the holes in their stories. It doesn’t take much to call out a liar. ALL IT TAKES is a steady and consistent line of questioning.

“Crazy” has stories a-plenty, let me tell you! The problem is that when you start asking follow-up questions…she stutters, babbles, folds and falls flat on her face. It’s because it takes A LOT OF ENERGY to lie! Not only do you have to remember the lies you told, but then you have to come up with OTHER LIES to supplement the previous lies– it’s a lot of keep track of. The liar could then be asked a question that they did not consider previously, and will have to then “improv” their lies on the spot. The new lies are NEVER as stable as the other lies that they told before.

It’s EASY for the alienators to concoct their bullshit in the comfort of their own bubble, where they can control the flow of information. Their own bubble is usually their parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc. These are people that either believe the alienator, OR they KNOW the alienator is not being honest, but couldn’t be bothered to challenge them. I know a few of “crazy’s” friends that don’t really come around anymore. Know why? Because they challenged her behavior– the did NOT believe the false narrative. So now, they are useless to the alienator, and they are closed off out of the bubble.

It’s not enough to KNOW these things are going on. I know I’ve said this a few times in this blog, and I will say it OVER AND OVER again, so get used to it, because you NEED to be…DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Everything? YES, EVERYTHING!!! Every phone call, every text message, every voice mail message, police reports, every visit, EVERYTHING needs to be documented, recorded, and ARCHIVED. I’ve been doing this since 2008– FIVE YEARS. And YOU NEED TO DO IT. And please, NO OFFENSE to you ladies out there reading this blog– there are women who will walk into a lawyer’s office with some sobbing victim story, that they will take to the court room with them, with a lawyer’s help in the spin and courtroom performance. Unfortunately, it is OFTEN IMPLIED that YOU, the male, are IN THE WRONG. You have to realize how POWERFUL and VALIDATING it is to be able to present evidence in court– not hearsay, but CONCRETE EVIDENCE– that proves that she is lying. NOTHING can be as EMPOWERING in these situations to have that stern, cold eye of justice pointed in the OTHER direction!

You have to be prepared, even before you go to a lawyer, and ESPECIALLY if you decided to go into court without one. Whether or not your child was born out of wedlock, resulting from a one-night stand, caught in the middle of a divorce– DOESN’T MATTER. The MOMENT you start suspecting issues, START DOCUMENTING. If this has been going on for years, DOESN’T MATTER– START DOCUMENTING. Go through old emails and texts, DON’T COPY-AND-PASTE, take SCREENSHOTS! Start recording ALL telephone conversations– I don’t care if you’re using an iPad or a cassette recorder– RECORD THEM ALL– good, bad, boring, 15 second, 1/2 an hour, DOESN’T MATTER. You have to CATCH these people in the act– the more often, the better! YOUR JOB is to keep track of, and make records, that illustrate a pattern of behavior that proves your point. Keep a journal documenting ALL encounters with your children AND the custodial parent, so that time won’t interfere with the accuracy of the recounts of events.

The most important thing of all: DON’T LIE. BE HONEST ABOUT EVERYTHING. Warts and all, you have to tell the truth. It’s a LOT EASIER to tell the truth than to keep up with the lies.  You may get to a point when you are cross-examined by his/her lawyer. If you’re telling the truth, that’s all you have to do– TELL IT. Even when they try to trip you up with tricky courtroom games– which is what a lawyer will do when they have NO CASE– as long as you are consistent, direct, BREIF, and honest…that makes your side of the story a difficult one to contend with.

You have to play and replay this situation in your head. You have to teach yourself how to play “devil’s advocate” with yourself– take HER SIDE of the story and think HONESTLY…does she have a point? Is she in the right to keep your kids away from you? BE HONEST. If you can’t, within all reason and personal accountability, if you CAN NOT think of ANY WAY that she has a valid point…you’re in good shape. However, if you DO find that you’re in the wrong for WHATEVER reason…you need to make amends. That may mean that you contact this person, tell them you want to talk, and TALK. Maybe you can find some common ground that won’t require legal action. Maybe you’ve hit a rough patch and you both are able to realize that the kids are more important than this foolishness. But if you’re like me, and you are dealing with someone who is not capable of reason, full of spite, anger and bitterness, and who’s undiagnosed mental illness has not only gotten worse, but has taken control and is attempting to jeopardize your relationship with your child…At that point, there is no amount of discussion or conversation that will change the situation.

Believe it or not, the tide of opinions regarding the implied “truth” of women is changing. In other words, in many cases, it’s not been enough for a woman to play victim and get rewarded for it. What we men have to do is SPEAK UP with FACTS and EVIDENCE. And look, I get it– it’s a PAIN IN THE ASS to have to get the equipment ready, to comb through old emails, all that stuff– I get it…but TOUGH SHIT. These are your kids we’re talking about here. If you say “I’d do ANYTHING for my kids!”…this is when you prove it. DON’T let YEARS go by with no contact because that shrew you’re dealing with won’t GIVE YOU your parental rights. You MAY go weeks, or even months…but DON’T let it go YEARS. Send your kids letters/email/texts, send them a present here and there– AND KEEP TRACK OF ALL OF IT! Receipts, scans, photocopies, snapshots…

You have to THINK like a lawyer in order to gain the perspective you need to make this situation right. You have to look at yourself, flaws and faults and all, and REALLY THINK about whether or not you are a victim of a person who is purposefully alienating your child from you by NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN. You have to be able to SHOW and PROVE that this is happening. You can’t put a criminal in jail without proof…same goes for an alienator: you won’t have justice if you can’t show their lies.

TO BE CONTINUED

“Bob Geldof on Fathers”

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Musician Bob Geldof recounts his experiences with Parental Alienation, along with other fathers. This video is upsetting. It made me SO ANGRY I could do nothing but cry over it. It’s a sick, sick person that is so craven and spiteful that they use children to play out their toxic and destructive games.

I’ve noticed on Twitter that PAS is prevalent in the UK. It’s hard to say whether or not that dads in the UK are just more vocal about these issues than American dads…but there is NO DOUBT that no matter the national flag, we’re ALL dads getting a raw deal from bitter, horrible people.

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED…


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Knowledge is POWER #1: Syndrome or Not, Parental Alienation is Real

In my initial researching of the Parental Alienation issue, I’ve discovered that as recently as September 2012, a decision had been made by the American Psychiatric Association that “Parental Alienation Syndrome” is not to be classified as as mental disorder. It turns out that there had been an enormous amount of lobbying to make this happen, but to no avail. Now, I have ZERO background in psychology, but I can’t say that I would consider Parental Alienation to be a “mental disorder”.

To me, a mental disorder would be something that you were either born with, or obtained in an accident of some kind, that is either damn near insurmountable, or controlled with tons of therapy and medication. Parental alienation is nothing more, to me, than casual and gradual brainwashing. To me, parental alienation is something that can not only be prevented, but can be tackled and defeated. Sure, therapy would be required, but I believe it would be temporary.

As far as I’m concerned, the APA refuting DSM status for PAS is no BFD. It doesn’t at all take away from the fact that this situation is still occurring. What is bothering me are the proponents of PAS, not only against APA recognition, but as a way of attacking fathers who are dealing with this. The absolute WORST opinion in the matter comes from NOW.

NOW makes horrible allegations, like PAS is a way for dads to get out of paying child support, or that it’s a way for fathers to escape child sexual abuse allegations. It is the grand assumption that all men are ANIMALS, and it’s the women and the children that need to be protected from these horrid manipulative BASTARDS! Let me tell you something…men who harm or disrespect women and their children are dirtbags. PERIOD. These men are cretins who are emotionally unbalanced, violent cowards. YES. THEY. ARE. To assume that ALL MEN are THOSE MEN is a foolish mistake, and just flat out wrong.

There are MILLIONS of men out there that are NOT trying to get out of paying child support. MILLIONS of us who NEVER lay a HURTFUL HAND on a woman OR a child– never even crosses our minds! HOWEVER…there are those of us who were in bad relationships, who wanted out because it just didn’t work anymore, or never did at all. Those relationships bore children, whom we love and cherish, and DESPERATELY want in our lives!  We TRIED to be respectful, tried to be patient, through all the yelling and the screaming, the threatening of visitation, the jealousy, the spite, the bile, the bitterness, no matter HOW HARD YOU TRIED…she still got worse, and worse, and worse, until one day…out of nowhere…the kid starts acting strange. He/she cries when you see them. They don’t want to go with you. There mother shrugs, saying “I don’t know what’s wrong…!”

…and it only gets worse from there.

Another stupid debate against PAS is that it will now be a niché market for lawyers and “special advisors” to make money. That to me is just a stupid thing to say. So people make money– does it mean that it’s not a legitimate issue? Does some lawyer making more money mean that the other parent is NOT REALLY taking our time away from our kids? One of the lawyers I spoke to in the last few months told me that “a lot of mothers are losing their kids.” He cited alienation as one of the reasons. Look– I doubt that there are many judges out there that rule based on trends and fads. Maybe I am naive to think that way…but in my experience, judges don’t have time for bullshit. They are going to come down on a person that they feel is not being totally honest. They are going to come down on an attorney that brings a bullshit story with no clarification into their court room.  Women lose their kids when they are BAD MOTHERS– NOT because lawyers and advisors are making more money!

You’re a custodial parent. It is your responsibility to nurture a caring, loving relationship with your child AND THE OTHER PARENT. That is YOUR JOB– the ONE THING that is required of you by the courts. If you cannot, or more to the point WILL NOT, do that…YOU ARE IN TROUBLE. You’re going to have to prove in court, in front of a judge and 2-3 lawyers in the room (opposing lawyer, child’s lawyer, etc) that you had RATIONALE to keep your child away from your ex. When you cannot for any reason that is not acceptable by the court…that’s a problem for you. That will, more-than-likely, result in proving parental alienation. That’s not a lawyer trying to make money, or a dad beating his kids.

If anything, Parental Alienation Syndrome is a disorder of the parent, not the child. What is the mindset of a person that is so filled with hatred that they use their own child to push their agenda? It’s horrible and confusing, especially when you KNOW you aren’t doing anything wrong. They build this fantasy world around them so they can easily manipulate the child and ANYONE ELSE dealing with the child; friends, family, police, lawyers, etc. The key in dealing this problem is IDENTIFYING IT. When you know your enemy, they’re easier to defeat.

It’s not enough to say “she’s CRAZY!”

To learn more about Parental Alienation, get to clickin’ and GET EDUCATED!

StopFamilyViolence.org

Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect it and What to Do About It

Parental Alienation Syndrome by Reena Sommer, PhD.

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.