However...There is one thing that will cause me to lose my shit every single time. One thing that will have my claws coming out, causing me to be ready to attack. That one thing is messing with my kids. We all know that Mothers try and protect their children from everything possible, whether it be the stranger offering them candy or bullies on the playground.
But what happens when that bully comes in the form of a parent? Then it becomes a little tricky. You see, I got married way too young to a man who ended up being an abusive tyrant. I won't go into specifics here, as it really doesn't matter. I am away from him and have remarried to a wonderful man who is a great husband and amazing father. The ONLY good thing that came out of my first marriage was my 12 year old son.
As many of you know, we're moving to Ohio this summer. There is a ton of family there, and my husband has been offered a fantastic job opportunity. Not to mention, the prices of homes are far less than they are here. My 12 year old is very excited about the move, and can't wait to get a fresh start in a better area. Initially, my ex agreed that this was fine and he would not object to it. Initially...God forbid this man, and I use that term loosely,make anything easy.
For the past few weeks, my ex has changed his tune dramatically, and is emotionally and mentally tormenting my child. He sits him down and interrogates him relentlessly, making him answer the same questions over and over again. He refuses to believe that my 12 year old child could possibly have his own opinions and desires, and keeps insisting that my husband and I are trying to influence him. (Which is not at all the case. We have told our son that he is free to make his own choices about who he lives with and where, and that his opinion matters.)
My ex-husband is telling my child that we're all causing him to be "crapped on", and that Kyle is wrong for legitimately wanting to move. These are NOT things you say to a child. A child is not a pawn. You don't try and guilt a child for expressing their feelings, even if you don't agree with them. This, in my opinion, is a major parenting FAIL.
He even stares at him and makes him very uncomfortable. I am sure you're all familiar with Luka Magnotta, the cannibal murderer in Canada? If you've noticed, he has a cold, icy, "dead" looking gaze....Like he is soulless and there's nothing even remotely human behind his eyes. Well, that's exactly the stare my ex has. My son feels very uneasy, and even frightened, when his Dad stares at him like that.
The past few times my son has gone to his Dad's for the weekend, he has snuck away and called us, often in tears, telling us how he is being treated. He expresses that he is upset that his Dad won't listen to him, and that he is trying to manipulate him. I am tired of my son always being upset. I am tired of seeing him cry and hearing him protest his visits with his father. He has even begged us to make his dad sign his rights over and let Dan, my husband, adopt him. My ex has major control issues, and of course would never allow this to happen, even if it would be in my son's best interest overall.
For a long time, my son had a "Countdown to 12" going, as 12 years old is when a judge gives real weight to a child's desires and kids can often make choices about whether or not they would like to continue seeing a non-custodial parent. 12 has come, and my son STILL rarely really wants to see his Dad. We encourage him to, anyway. We tell him it's okay to love his Dad, and that he should go and have a good time. (Which almost never happens.)
What I am having a hard time understanding is why my douche-bag ex would give his blessing on our move one moment, and then when we actually set plans in motion, begin emotionally and mentally tormenting his own child. We have offered to fly or drive my son back to VA on our own dime to see his father. We are reasonable people here, and have always been more than cooperative with this man.
You would think a parent would actually listen to their child. You would think a parent would be supportive of their child's desires and needs. You would think a parent would understand that a child of 12 is quite capable of forming their own opinions and that these opinions matter. But no...My psycho ex husband is doing nothing more than pushing his child away.
Am I wrong to think that using interrogation and intimidation tactics on a 12 year old child is completely unacceptable? Should my child be put through this emotional and mental torment every time he sees his father? Unfortunately, there is nothing I can really do about it. I am still very much afraid of this man, so my husband has graciously offered to deal with him in my place when discussing our plans to move. You see, like most men of his character, my ex won't bully another man...He reserves that for women and children.