Friday, April 29, 2011

Who's Best Interest?

When we were working with DHS they continually told us it was in Zack's best interest to have a relationship with and/or contact with his biological father. At the beginning, I somewhat agreed. I didn't have Jim in my life (Our first date was the same day as FoTB's first visit with Zack) and I wanted to make sure he had at least some male influence in his life.

Now, the farther we get into this, the less I believe that may be the case.

At this point there is nothing I can or will do about it. I have said from the beginning that I will allow FoTB to be in Zack's life as long as he is sober and it will be Zack's choice to make up his own mind about him but it still makes me wonder if I mad the right choice.

For Zack, at four years old his mind is already pretty much made up about things. Over the last two or three months we have had several instances in which Zack has told me that something his dad did was wrong or not nice.

Two months ago Zack started not wanting to stay the night over there. Maybe it is a phase. Maybe it is the fact that they do not have a room for him so he has to sleep in FoTB's girlfriend's son's room. Maybe it is the fact that they do not have a single toy over there that is his. (We have one Iron Man we send back and forth with him so he will have something that is just his not J's toy that he can play with when he is there). Perhaps it is a million other reasons. We have asked him and gotten no real answers.

The point is, he didn't want to be there. And he told me so... several times. My only answer to him was that FoTB wanted to spend time with him too and that he would have to talk to him about coming home as I couldn't make him send Zack home. So one weekend he got up the courage to tell them. He was very vocal about it, in fact, and he told them he didn't want to stay the night.

He wanted to go home and sleep and come back in the morning. And do you know what these two lovely people told my four year old??

"You can't go home because your mom will get in trouble if you go home. This is our time with you and if she tells you that you can go home or if she comes and gets you she can get in a lot of trouble."

Do you have any idea what "Mom will be in trouble" means to a child who has witnessed domestic violence?

When we first picked him up he was sad. We asked him why and he told us he wanted to come home and his dad wouldn't let him. I told him that dad did let him call me (twice that weekend and he has NEVER let him call me before or since so I knew something was up) and his answer to me was I didn't want to call you I wanted to come home.

Strike one for FoTB. His answer then was that was not very nice of dad to not let me come home.

Then Monday night he started telling the story of the night FoTB was arrested again. He hadn't told that story in several months and so it seemed odd to us that he was telling it again out of no where. That Tuesday my niece came over to watch him. I'm fairly certain on any given day he would pick her over me... hands down. He LOVES her. And he cried... and cried... and cried when it was time for bed. He was scared, he missed me, etc.

Finally by Wednesday morning I had started to put two and two together and I sent Jim and email. Sure enough, a four year old who has witnessed domestic violence believes that when Mommy is in trouble it means that FoTB was going to come to our house and scream at me and throw things at my head again.

Strike two for FoTB. And Zack's answer once Daddy (Jim) explained to him that was never going to happen again and that he would keep Zack and me safe no matter what. "That was not very nice of my dad to say that."

Strike three was the motorcycle...

And just for good measure we throw in last night. Last night when we picked up Zack he was sitting on the front porch with FoTB while J and the neighborhood kids were playing in the driveway and the front of the house.

When he got in the car he was clearly pissed off. I asked him what was wrong and his answer was that my dad made me sit on the step with him and he wouldn't let me play with any of the other kids. I asked him what he had done wrong and his answer was nothing. (Zack usually cops to it if he is in trouble.) So I asked why he had to sit on the step and his answer was that Dad wanted to spend time with me so he said I couldn't play with the other kids.

Strike four.... "I am very mad that dad made me sit on the step. I wanted to play with the other kids. That was not very nice of him."

So, who's best interest are we really serving here? Zack's or FoTB's??

1 comment:

kbreints said...

So frustrating and disheartening. I am sorry :(