Friday, December 4, 2009

The Notebook

As most of you know we are, at the moment, DHS involved. I have been reluctant to discuss any details of this on the old blog because of J's family still reading and even now I'm reluctant in case they find me but I will give you a brief update. The more detailed info I am still saving for Through the Looking Glass, just in case.

Basically, in my opinion, he is clean, he is not sober. To me being sober means working a program, getting right with yourself and trying to better your life. It feels very much to me like J is standing still, not moving forward. DHS and I both feel like it is just a matter of time before he relapses. I'm not sure how I feel about this at all. Zack loves his daddy. But I very much feel like it is a love for a big brother or a older friend, not a daddy. If you know me in real life you will know that this is not a slam, it is just that J was gone for the first 7 months of his life then back for a few than basically non-existent as a care giver for the last 18 months. Zack doesn't know him in that capacity.

For that reason, I waited 5 months to introduce him to M. I waited for a reason and that reason is that Zack LOVES him. He's only hung out with him a few times but he talks about him and wants to see him more. M to him is a man with mommy who holds that daddy capacity more than he has ever seen J hold. Again, not a slam, just a fact.

So, as we are DHS involved we have to do some things that normal parents trying to co-parent do not. Like I said, J is clean, but not sober. So he shows up. He does what he has to but his desire for extra time with Zack seems to be limited. His desire to better himself and do everything within his power to get extra time with Zack is also not there. Again, not going to put a lot of it here in case this site is found but it will go Through the Looking Glass this weekend.

Anyhow, because of all of this we now have to pass a notebook back and forth. A notebook which was supposed to be a way for us to communicate better about Zack. The point of it was lost on J and his mom. Somewhere in translation they thought that it meant that they were to write down everything that Zack does in an effort to jump through some proverbial hoop and gain more access to him. A thing that it seems like his mom is fighting for more than him.

This notebook is a big point of contention with me. I'm angry about it, as I am about a lot of things I have to do for DHS. I LOVE our DHS worker and the Children & Families in home counselor that we have. It is not them at all. It's just the general idea that I have to write in a notebook how he is supposed to parent our child. All of the things a parent should know but he claims he doesn't.

The reason we have this notebook is because he said he's never raised a two year old before and so he doesn't know what to do. Guess what, I've never done it either. But if there is something I want to know I read about it, I ask about it, I find any and all resources to use that I can. When Zack started having aggression problems I didn't just throw up my hands and say I've never done this before, I don't know what to do. I started researching it, I reached out to DHS and C&F, I started calling counselors, I did what I needed to do to try to find answers.

Somewhere in all of this it appears as if he and his mom have gotten it in their head that it is their right to parent Zack. That because he donated sperm he should be allowed to see him. Nothing I have said, or nothing DHS has said has ever made them realize that with two founded DHS convictions and one criminal child endangerment conviction he should be damn lucky that he gets to see him at all. But say that to them and they get offended.

I guess I'm not sure where I'm going with this other than to update you on what is going on and give you a little insight into what I'm dealing with. It is hard and it makes me angry a lot. There are days where I take it one moment at a time and keep reminding myself that even if he is never truly a dad, Zack will be better for at least having some sort of relationship with him as long as it is healthy.

And right now it is. He just hangs out with his grandma and daddy and plays. He is in no physical danger, it's just the best parenting decisions may not always be made.


kbreints said...

I would be angry too. Has never raised a 2 year old before?? Wow. That is a really bad excuse. REALLY bad.

I have to say though, that I think that you are doing everything right by Zack-- I mean.... I think you did the right thing by waiting to introduce M, and by doing everything in your power to keep Zack in a healthy relationship with his father. I know that he is a glorified sperm donor... but he is Zacks Blood... and down the road... if you do not do everything in your power to encourage a healthy relationship... he could end up resenting you for that.

Being a mom is not an easy job, but it is the most rewarding of all jobs. You are a wonderful mother...

Jessica said...

I see that Spike gets attached to any male in his life who invests sincere interest in him. Your dad - will probably be his "father figure" until your father is replaced with someone he feels more comfortable with.
Same with Shane....The sun rises and sets in Spikes eyes when Mr Shane is with him.
Of course it will be the same with M.

I think even at Spikes young age he doesn't trust his father. That's huge to have such feelings of uncertainty. Poor little heart is heavy where he is concerned I'm sure!

I think you made the right decision not introducing him to someone that may leave again. That is the last thing he needs right now as you know and we've talked about!

Stacey said...

I know people that, from what you write, are like J. From my perspective it is as if they think they are owed by the rest of the world. Owed that disability payment. Owed the time with their children. Owed everything. To me it seems lazy. I think in theory the notebook is a good concept, but when it comes down to it, is it just another way that someone is feeding him what he wants? Once again, not having to work for something, just taking the easy road. Again, I do not know you. I have a niece with a father that seems to be like J and a mother who has passed away, so I am more involved than I would otherwise be. And I can certainly relate to some of your frustrations. It is not our responsibility to inform my niece's father about events at daycare, when he picks her up just as we do, and can just as easily take the time to look at the flyers on the wall or talk to a daycare worker. It is amazing what you'll do to keep peace for a child. :) Good luck in everything.