Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Emails to FoTB

Over the last two weeks I have sent a series of emails to FoTB. If you wonder why I'm not posting here... I'm too busy dealing with behaviors and/or writing emails. After the latest incident we took a sort of gloves off approach with him in our communications. We are not rude, per say, but we are direct.

For the last two years or so people have sugar coated things for him. No one has told him directly what his actions have done to Zack and no one has called him outright on his BS. Perhaps that is one of the faults of working within the system for as long as we did (we were DHS involved for about 15 months).

After DHS dropped out, it became about avoiding the conflicts. If something was going to become a fight we sort of took a how important is it approach. However, the only thing that got us was compounding problems. What was something minor just sort of snowballed into a lot of much larger problems until, as you have probably figured out, we have found ourselves here. We go to mediation on the 15th to try to work out a different visitation schedule.

Until that point, when things arise we are now addressing them directly, instead of avoiding the conflict. Last Wednesday when we went to pick up Zack he wouldn't even make eye contact with us or speak more than two words to us. I don't think he likes this new way of doing things....

"My question to you is why and how would you allow this to happen? How would you ever think it was ok to act this way at all, let alone in front of your son who is already scared of you because of the domestic abuse he witnessed?"

"We try everything in our power to encourage Zack that he will enjoy his visits with you. That he will have a great time. That said, you need to remember that his first lasting memory and impression of you is that of you throwing a glass at my head and screaming at me. [...] When you become upset like this, Zack assumes that someone is going to be hurt. Zack has yet to develop a sense of comfort and security around you and now this happens. On Saturday you scared Zack so badly that he ended up wetting his bed and had two night's in which he could not sleep. [...] This should not be happening to a 4 year old....EVER!"

"Zack is terrified of you when you act like this and he spends each visit on pins and needles wondering if it will happen again. [...] Zack has said he likes to visit the three of you. However, when he is asked if he would like to have a visit with just you his answer is no. He has repeatedly told us and Dr. B that he would not want to go if it was just him and FoTB."

"We cannot tell you what to do in order to begin building a bond and a relationship with Zack. That is up you. However, the truth of the matter is, no matter what you may believe, nothing you have done over the past 2 years has done anything to foster it."

"At some point, your focus needs to turn to 100% about what is in Zack's best interest as it pertains to Zack."

"You are in a position where you need to create an atmosphere and environment where Zack can begin to trust, respect and love you without fear. [...] Should you not do this and should Zack continue to feel this way about you, he will in the long run, decide by himself, the fate of your relationship with him."

"First of all, I am a bit confused by the recent phone calls you have made both yesterday and this evening. You went two months without calling, texting or emailing me to check on Zack or his well being. [...] On the 14th, and the 19th, I sent you two emails regarding Zack and his behaviors both at home and at daycare since we started visits again, and you never contacted me to discuss his behaviors [...] Then suddenly, we set a mediation date [...] and you start calling two days in a row."

"Look, I am all for you trying to change your life and make things better for Zack but I have to wonder if you are calling because you want to, or because [girlfriend] or [lawyer] told you to. Given the fact that, left to your own devices, you did not call, text or email for almost two months, I am left feeling as if it is the latter and if that is the case, just know that you are not doing Zack by favors by calling him because someone told you to."

"If [...] you really do miss talking to him, then I think now is probably an appropriate time to set a few ground rules for phone calls."

"When you were calling before and he said he didn't want to talk your answer was always why not? I miss you... I want to talk to you. Don't you want to talk to me? It is inappropriate to put a guilt trip on a four year old. He is entitled to his own thoughts and feelings and if he doesn't want to talk on a certain night he should not have to be questioned as to why."

"Secondly, there are certain nights that we are busy or have things going on. [...] it is not helpful for you to leave me messages getting angry that I didn't answer or that we didn't call you back."

"Finally, when you are talking to him it is not appropriate to ask him if he misses you or he loves you. It is not his job to validate those feelings for you and it makes Zack really uncomfortable. [...] He is entitled to his own feelings and he should be able to say what he feels, not what someone else wants him to say."

"Also, as I mentioned before, I have sent you two emails regarding Zack's behavior and have gotten no feedback from you on how you feel about addressing the behavior. [...] Again, I think it would be very helpful for us to get into some sort of co-parenting counseling together to address some of these issues. It seems as if you are not fond of Dr. B because he asked you to get the drug evaluation but right now, he is the most likely choice as Zack trusts him and he could help the two of you work on Zack's trust issues with you as well."

Sometimes the truth is the best and hardest thing you can say to someone. At the end of the day, it has to be about Zack and nothing he has done has made me believe that Zack is his first priority. Unfortunately, in my inability to speak up, I have probably given off that impression in areas as well. That is all changing now......


kbreints said...

Three chears! Way to to go. He has to 'hear' the truth. Until he hears it, and understands it -- he will never EVER change. (which may be a mute point anyway).

Kelly said...

I am so proud of you! ((Hugs!)) This is great. Not only do you have a written record, you are just laying it all out there.

Sometimes honesty is just the best policy. Hopefully, this all gets through to him. Good luck at mediation.

Courtney said...

can't we just beat him over the head with a 2x4?

Jessica said...

I'm with you Courtney! Do they make steel 2 x 4's?

OHN said...

Its great to have all this documented too. What have his responses been?