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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had so much help from these boards, so once again gang, I am turning to you for your help and any information you can give me.<br><br><br><br>
You know it's funny - I used to tell people that I would never go to a therapist......I just talk to my friends. Now I say - I just go to VB! HA! Funny.......<br><br><br><br>
I am in a tough situation. My daughter, who I have mentioned here before, is a compulsive liar, a cheat and has just been a real pain, has just signed a paper IN FRONT OF A NOTARY giving her ex-boyfriend's mother custody of her children. She came over yesterday crying and whining about how this woman tricked her about it, etc. Now.....I spoke to this woman the other night and she TOLD me she was going to trick my daughter into signing this. I explained that the law would not look kindly on one person "tricking" another into signing custody of their children. But, this woman is not about to let this go.<br><br><br><br>
For the past 4 years, this woman has tried in one way or another to get these children away from my daughter. Her son has NEVER worked longer than a month and has not given her a dime in child support - EVER. He's a dirt-bag and she just supports her loser son.<br><br><br><br>
Yes, in case you are wondering, I have contacted a lawyer and there are a few legal things I can do.<br><br><br><br>
My question is this.....I love my grandchildren more than life itself. But.....I still have a 17 year old child in my house. I work a lot and just now signed my son up for a school (he's out of high school) that is to start in two weeks and it's $22,000. a year! Which means, I have to continue to work to be able to pay these bills. My husband is great and my ex is helping pay this too. But what do I do about the grandkids? Fight the ex-boyfriend and his mother for custody? I mean, this woman lets the kids stay up until 11 or 12 every night - my granddaughter is getting to be a real mouth and there is CONSTANT tension in there house. Not to mention, they already have their 25 year old son living there and are getting ready to have another son, his pregnant wife move in too.<br><br><br><br>
What a mess!!!!!! I really would like my grandkids here with me, but that would mean not only do I have my own son to take care of, but I would have to pay daycare for the two little ones. Something that the courts may not look to kindly on - but I have to work!!!!!! And as for my daughter doing anything positive for these kids......so far, she hasn't done a damn thing to stand up for herself OR her children. She came over here crying telling me to help her. I explained - I cannot help you now. You know what? the bill has come and it's time to pay and grow up!<br><br><br><br>
Please give me any thoughts on any of this. I'm sure to be in court within a few days one way or another<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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well, first, i'm going to avoid all legal advice and leave that to your lawyer.<br><br><br><br>
second, if you want to take care of the kids, then take care of them. Personally, i would take care of them myself, if i didn't trust the other person to do a good job. But, if for whatever reason you don't want to do that, then don't. Currently, they have a home life that is for the most part stable (even if you disagree with the way that they are being raised).<br><br><br><br>
If you decide that you don't want custody of the children, be sure that you have some other legal visitation rights. Your lawyer can explain what other options are available to you.<br><br><br><br>
Also, Go see a therapist (it's good for everybody).
 

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What's the story with your daughter? What's her life like, and why do you think she is so passive in all of this? Do you think she could be capable of taking care of her children? If not today, sometime in the next year or so? Or do have to write her off?<br><br>
To me it sounds as if your work needs to be focused on that daughter, if you want to do what's best for the kids.<br><br>
BTW, I'm a big supporter of yours, so please don't take this as a judgement of your own mothering. I always enjoy reading what you post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Baby - no way do I take it as a judgement in my parenting. My daughter has so many problems of her own. I have helped her out so many times.......I guess I am just tired of cleaning up her messes only to find that she continues to make horrible choices. She is 22 years old and can she take care of her children? At this point, I don't know. I mean, I know she loves them more than anything, but she makes such terrible choices and thinks there are no consequences to what she does.<br><br><br><br>
She has been in and out of therapy for years. This is a child who knows just what to say to get the therapists to do what she wants. And believe what she wants. It's just a sad, sad thing.<br><br><br><br>
I feel horribly guilty because at this time, I really feel that taking the kids out of the home they are in now and moving them to ANOTHER one, is just as bad as giving them to the other grandmother. I feel like I should just step up and take over the care of the kids.....but.....my daughter lives just 2 blocks away from me and would be here stirring up trouble daily. Also, I didn't post this before, but I help take care of my own mother! My mom is not the healthiest and just got out of the hospital this past Wed. So......is my world any more stable? It's so hard for me to actually say this, but I think my daughter is to the point where I cannot help her anymore. She has to help herself. And as for the grandkids???? Jeez - I love them more than my own life, but caring for them right now would be so very, very, very hard with having to work to send my son to school, taking care of my mother and just trying to take care of myself.<br><br><br><br>
Yes, I feel like I really failed as a parent to my daughter. But....I also raised 3 boys in this house and none of them make the kind of choices my daughter does. And - the two older boys have children of their own who really take wonderful care of their kids and treat them like gold. So what happened? It's a question I ask myself daily.
 

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My little sister was "tricked" into signing over custody of her son to her sons grandparents when he was about a year old. She was 18 at the time, and they told her it would be best for health insurance reasons.<br><br>
At that time in her life, she was in the habit of making really poor choices in her life. Now she's in her thirties and really has turned her life around. She has a great career, she's has a wonderful husband, a nine year old daughter, and another one due in July. She really has become great, well adjusted person.<br><br>
Her son is fifteen now and has been allowed to have very limited contact with her. His father, and grandparents go out of their way to make sure plans are always screwed up, and visits are short.<br><br>
My nephew Ryan's father is married and has a successful business, so they have been able to offer Ryan a stable home. but my sister Maggie is very sad not to have more involvement in Ryans life. When they are together, they have a great time together, having the same sense of humor, and a similar out look on life. But, she is really afraid that Ryan might feel that she abandoned him as a baby, and holds resentment toward her.<br><br>
I don't know what the right thing to do is, but have faith that your daughter will grow up at some point. Perhaps, the best you could do right now is to make sure you have weekend visitations or something. Just don't let those kids fade away from you.
 

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smaurer:<br><br><br><br>
it's ok for you to say "no, i don't think i can handle this" and/or "no, this wouldn't be the best choice for my family (me, sons, daughter, etc).<br><br><br><br>
you're absolutely right that there's really not much more that you can do for your daughter. Under the "my friend is being abused" post, i have a response about my sister in law. She's 28 years old (nearly), and a complete mess. Why? because her parents keep bailing her out all the time. She's never *had* to hit bottom, so she's never *had* to change.<br><br><br><br>
I'm not saying though that her parents were failures. They were/are human and they do the best that they can. But, they're also codependent, in need of councelling and firm boundaries when it comes to their daughter. These aren't easy to learn, particularly if you're clinging to a false guilt that you somehow "caused" your daughter to be this way.<br><br><br><br>
i once read an awesome book by a guy named John Bradshaw. The books is called "Toxic Shame." I don't remember most of it, but one thing really stood/stands out for me. In it he says that there are some things in life that just happen to us (for example, being molested as a child), and we aren't responsible for that--the person who did that act is. BUT every choice that we made *after* that incident, and every consequence of those choices are *our own* fault.<br><br><br><br>
he doesn't say this for people to feel down or beat them up. When i read it, i found it to be liberating. I discovered that although i had been hurt as a kid in incidents X, Y, and Z. . .i didn't have to be "ruled" by my past. I could actually *heal* my past and move on in the direction that i want to move into. It really was possible to make *different* choices.<br><br><br><br>
This also lead me to the understanding that all of us are working from our own, limited knowledge. Sure, maybe my parents weren't always the *best* one could hope for--but they did their best, and that's an aweful lot. And if, on a day that they made some mistake that affected me negatively, well, i have the choice about whether or not it's going to continue to affect me negatively.<br><br><br><br>
So, say for instance, your daughter says "my mom never, ever made me PB and J sandwiches like all the other kids--that's why today i can't seem to make friends!" And some people do believe this.<br><br><br><br>
The fact is, ok, maybe you shoulda made PBJ sandwiches, but for whatever reasons you couldn't (whether you know those reasons or not). And the reaction/response was that she didn't get to join in with the cool kids' pbj club. Well, that can be heartbreaking, but it shouldn't really inform an adult outlook. . .or cause these poor choices. Your daughter, if she wants to make friends, should stop blaming you. . .and start looking at her own choices in her own life, the consequences that those choices bring, and what other options are available to her.<br><br><br><br>
Basicly, get yourself off the hook here. You were very likely the best mom that you could be. . .giving her all the opportunities that you could. Most parents are. Sure, you may have made mistakes. . .but that doens't mean that you're responsible for the way that she is now. She's an adult--she's responsible for the way she is now.<br><br><br><br>
It's ok to set good boundaries. . .and to have your own identity (apart from taking care of everybody and rescuing everybody). It doesn't meant that you don't love your daughter, sons, mother, husband, or grandkids. In fact, it means that you love them more.<br><br><br><br>
You love them enough to be the best *you* that you can be. . .and in order to do that, you have to have boundaries, alone time, outside interests, and sometimes, a bit of "tough love."<br><br><br><br>
i really do recommend councelling. I was in for two years, so was my husband. it was the best decision we ever made (we each went before we met each other). I recommend it for everyone!<br><br><br><br>
Be well and happy!
 

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No offense, but I disagree, with some of what you wrote zoebird. In general I think most parents are just not good parents and therefor screw their kids up permanently. And by that I mean that at 35, 50 & even 80 they are still screwed up. I am not saying most can't live a relatively happy life anyway, but they always carry their childhood pain with them...more so, if the parents do not show remorse.<br><br><br><br>
Say a mother accidentally backs over her child's foot with her car and breaks it. Then the foot heals...yet for the rest of the child's life the foot often aches badly at night. The child - now an adult doesn't sleep well... often tired at work and may miss a job promotion, may be grumpy to their children because of it etc. Their life and the lives of their children are diminished. Of course this all didn't start with our generation...our parents were mostly screwed up, too. (Just my opinion)<br><br><br><br>
."Now.....I spoke to this woman the other night and she TOLD me she was going to trick my daughter into signing this."<br><br><br><br>
Did she tell you this BEFORE your daughter signed it? If so, couldnt you warn your daughter?<br><br><br><br>
This part I agree with 100%:<br><br>
"It's ok to set good boundaries. . .and to have your own identity (apart from taking care of everybody and rescuing everybody). It doesn't meant that you don't love your daughter, sons, mother, husband, or grandkids. In fact, it means that you love them more.<br><br><br><br>
You love them enough to be the best *you* that you can be. . .and in order to do that, you have to have boundaries, alone time, outside interests, and sometimes, a bit of "tough love."<br><br><br><br>
i really do recommend councelling. I was in for two years, so was my husband. it was the best decision we ever made (we each went before we met each other). I recommend it for everyone!<br><br><br><br>
Be well and happy!"<br><br><br><br>
I would also add that you need prioritize. For me, my son would come first because he is your minor child and it is easier to prevent getting screwed up, than to try to fix someone who is.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck.
 

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Just before I read Mushrooms response I was thinking that there should be a zoebird gives advice forum. Ive missed reading your heart girl.<br><br><br><br>
I understand what mushroom is saying but there comes a time to stop being a victim and to grasp life with the heart. To evaluate where you are without casting blame. I sang the screwed up parents song for years, it was liberating to forgive them and move on.<br><br><br><br>
Smaurer my son has also made choices that have broken my heart (though I have not ever felt ashamed of him). With the right counsel and support the mistakes and poor choices can evolve into a source of strength. Things do not fix well once they are broken or shattered, they become something new.<br><br><br><br>
Reach out to the custodial grandmother if you can do so without a fight. Cry out your pain to a counselor, and then when you are ready, let it loose and build from there. It takes help to stop looking at a child as if they are still nursing and wearing diapers, I know, it is easy to forget that the time that you need to stop fixing their booboos was long ago. Now they need counsel when requested, a hot meal occasionally and the knowledge that while you can't let them play you, you are there for them.<br><br><br><br>
Hangeth thou in there
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the information. Zoebird - you are AWESOME! Thank you so much for all the information you shared. You MUST write an advice column.<br><br><br><br>
Mushroom.......I DID call her and tell her to watch out for this woman. I told her exactly what she was going to do and warned her to not trust a thing this woman was going to do. She has NEVER trusted this woman in the past - why now? And yes, she did trick her into signing the kids......with the guise that it was for "health decisions". My daughter will go out of her way to make a decison that is awful and then expects the rest of the family to help out.<br><br><br><br>
For all the other questions - my husband and I have already filed an grandparents suit to make sure we see these kids.<br><br><br><br>
I have also talked to my lawyer today and she says if I am willing to go to bat for these kids it will be a long and bloody fight with not a lot of happy people in the end. However, my daughter DID go to the courthouse and file an emergency hearing to be in 3 days and she is going to hire a lawyer and try to get the children back. I am hoping she does just that. I have decided that this IS her fight. I saw the paper she signed and I just can't imagine that she did NOT know what it was all about.<br><br><br><br>
You see guys, she is a drama queen and her and the ex-boyfriend and his mother just seem to THRIVE in an environment of mess and upset. It's so horrible! The other grandmother has even told me of how she comes home and my 4 year old granddaughter has flooded the kitchen because she wasn't being watched by her father. You know what though? The point is moot. They are a bunch of people that thrive in an environment of upset and sadness. This is NOT THE ENVIRONMENT THAT I WILL ALLOW MYSELF TO LIVE IN!<br><br><br><br>
Zoebird - my childhood was messed up......so was yours.....so was yours......so was my mothers........etc. You are SO RIGHT! It's what you make of the lessons you are being offered that matter! I mean, my parents were screaming, mean alcoholics growing up. Does that mean I don't love them? HELL NO! It means that I understand now that they were dealing with their own "stuff" and they did their best with what they could at the time. I am always saying this to my friends.........when I gave birth to all 4 children, NEVER do I remember a set of instructions coming out attached to the child! I loved my children and I made mistakes - they love their children and they will make mistakes. If no mistakes were ever made - how will they ever learn? I love my parents more than anything else and would never hold a thing against them. I would hope my chidren not hold thing against me I did wrong. But if not - I guess I will accept it.<br><br><br><br>
And - if this doesn't make the mess worse...........she got married today. He has 3 children - 9, 11 and 13.
 

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well, smaurer and kamilla--you two really hit on what i was getting at. Parents do make mistakes, as mushroom says, but they're human, right? we can't expect them to be perfect, only do the best job that they can.<br><br><br><br>
from your first post smaurer, to this most recent one, i see a lot of growth and change. It's a long way to come in a short time--for custody of her kids, it is her fight. And if she thirves on drama (a lot of people do) her life will be filled with it. It's sad, but true. until she comes to terms with herself and makes choices that will build the life that she truly wants, she's going to continue to suffer--with or without her children.<br><br><br><br>
So, i think it is wise of you to make sure that you, as grandparents, get to see your grandchildren. I also think that it is important to let your daughter fight her own battles, hire her own lawyers, and get her support from her new martial partner, rather than depending on you now. it's not an easy road for you, but i think that you're coming to some good ideas and decisions that will help inform other choices.<br><br><br><br>
dare i say it? i'm proud of you, and you, and you. it's so great to watch people grow. even if i didn't have a part in it. . .seeing what people are capable of--even in a short time--is amazing!<br><br><br><br>
Be well and happy!
 

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I was going to respond last night but my computer unexpectadly shut off.<br><br><br><br>
"never do for another person what she can do for herself." this is a line from Alanon. I think as long as we as parents continue to 'clean up after' our children, we rob them of the valuable growth experience of learning from their own mistakes and picking up after themselves.<br><br><br><br>
If you have a custody arrangement to see your grandchildren I think that's great and necessary. When you see them, I know you are providing a good example of sanity and stability for them and in the long run, that will be of great help.<br><br><br><br>
Your daughter needs to do this on her own, even if she looses them. She will need some support emotionally from you, but you shouldn't attempt to do the job for her. If she does get them back she will need support in making 'sane' choices for herself and children.<br><br><br><br>
I think you are and have been doing great...and all that is necessary of a grandmother. You're right. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Unfortunately we are all human. I have realized this so many times over the past year, that no matter what a good Mom I am or want to be, in the end I'm human and will have to live with sometimes making mistakes and bad judgement calls. We do our best...and that's all we can do.<br><br><br><br>
After this is over, I'd definitely encourage your daughter to choose sanity, rather than drama (especially as a parent). I think so many people think they need drama to make their lives exciting. But all it really does is rob us of valuable time with our children...and an important focus on our own lives that could really get us somewhere.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, Good luck!<br><br><br><br>
B
 
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