Scared for my kids!?! - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Scared for my kids!?!

I'm 39 years old. Been divorced since August. I have two kids: a boy who is 6 and a girl who is nearly 4.

My ex met someone in late February and by March he (and his two kids) had moved in. The guy has a documented history of bad choices, including abuse and other acts of violence.

He swears he has learned his lessons and has turned a corner and so on. He does share custody of his two kids. My ex and I share custody 50/50 of our two kids.

I have been suspicious of him for a couple of months. Obviously, when I found out about his past it freaked me out. My ex and I talked, I was willing to take a chance.

I then started hearing about him disciplining my kids. He would make them stand in the corner with their heads down. He would make them write lines. I made it clear that he was not to discipline our kids.

Then my daughter started having accidents. She never had them in the past and she never had them at my house.

My ex took her into the doctor last Monday (the 20th) to get checked out (she is convinced there is a medical reason for the accidents). The doctor could not find anything, but suggested that maybe she was constipated so he suggested over the counter laxatives.

She was on those for a day and she got bad diarrhea.

Her boyfriend does not work. I'm not sure why...could be to do with his past...could be because he's lazy...I don't know. I was contacted on Monday night and asked if kids could stay home with him and his two boys instead of going to daycare. I said okay.

I picked them up Tuesday afternoon and everything seemed fine. My daughter still had diarrhea and as I was helping her wipe I mentioned she had a sore rear end and expressed sadness that the diarrhea had done that and she corrected me by saying that "***** spanked me".

I was floored. I asked her to tell me the story and she did so in pretty solid detail...even describing the noise it made.

I had my mom come over and she thought she saw a bruise. It was faint, but it was there.

I immediately called the ex and we had it out on the phone. She went back and forth about how he would never do this and how she trusted him with her life and so on. I even got to talk to him and he calmly explained how he had been hit as a child and would never touch the kids and so on. I told her we'd talk about it in the morning when I dropped off kids.

What I did not expect was the show trial that she put on. She sat us all down, including him, and proceeded to ask my daughter a series of questions: "***** would never do this" and "***** did not spank you" and then she proceeded to grill my son - the whole time this guy was in the room.

I had them back the following day (and then for the entire weekend). I know I should have acted immediately, but I did not.

Anyway, on Saturday evening, my aunt (who is a nurse) saw the bruising and it was much more pronounced. She had my uncle (who is a doctor) come and look and he agreed. As a doctor, he has to report any suspected abuse...which he did on Sunday.

He felt it was clearly a hand print.

I should add that I've heard my daughter tell the story several times over several days and she doesn't really waver in how she tells it. I have video of her telling the story and audio.

I called my ex again on Saturday night and we had it out over the phone. She was all over the place emotionally: sometimes she was crying and almost seemed relieved and sometimes she was defiant and angry...before finally becoming eerily calm.

She called the next morning (Sunday) and was again eerily calm. She wanted to talk to the kids and I kept it on speaker and she just asked them how their night went and it was very, very normal.

I called her later on that afternoon once it had been filed and we had a case number and everything and again, she was very calm and collected (which threw me).

Anyway, here is where I am at right now. My uncle suggested my daughter be taken into her own pediatrician to be documented. He noted that while he is a doctor, he is not her doctor and it could be seen as being biased.

My mom is taking her there right now. I'm freaking out for several reasons. I hate subjecting my kids to this (though I know the alternative is far worse).

I have not heard from child protective services...and I'm not sure I will (at least anytime soon). I've been told by someone who works there (a friend of a friend) and one of my friends who is a social worker/therapist that many cases are simply not looked at. They screen everything and a lot times nothing happens...or it takes a week or two.

I'm not sure if (or what) I tell my ex about today's doctor visit. I know I need to do what I think is right for my daughter. I think this is the right move. It is good to put it all on record.

I'm inclined to not say anything, but I know one of the kids will mention it...so it is a case of being preemptive or having to play defense when she calls and wants to know why she wasn't told about the doctor visit.

This is all so messy and so scary. I really feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I'm so scared.

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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 02:53 PM
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

Taking her to her own pediatrician is a good thing to do. For one thing, up to now it's been all you and your family.

If Social Services does nothing, there are things that you can do. For one thing you can get your kids into counseling so that they have someone other than you to talk to about this. And the counselor is a mandatory reporter.

Also talk to the counselor and ask that with you there, they tell your children what is ok and not ok for this guy and his mother to do.
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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 03:10 PM
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

Protect your children at all costs. I do not understand a mother that would move in a man she barely knows, much less have him around her children. She has a screw lose.
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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

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Taking her to her own pediatrician is a good thing to do. For one thing, up to now it's been all you and your family.

If Social Services does nothing, there are things that you can do. For one thing you can get your kids into counseling so that they have someone other than you to talk to about this. And the counselor is a mandatory reporter.

Also talk to the counselor and ask that with you there, they tell your children what is ok and not ok for this guy and his mother to do.
I am in the process of getting them set up with a therapist. It has been on my mind, but the events of last week cinched it. The therapist who was recommended to be was on vacation last week (today we her first day back), but she said she had openings next week and that I should leave her a message if I was interested (which I did)...so just waiting for a call back.

My uncle's concern was that even though he is a family doctor, he's also my uncle...and he felt it would be a good idea to have her looked at by her own doctor. I guess the bruising is fainter than it was, but my mom felt you could still tell it was a hand print.

When my uncle saw it on Saturday, he had no doubt in his mind what it was. He was even able to describe to me what part of the hand caused what bruise.

As I went back and forth with my ex on Saturday, I kept telling her that someone put a hand print on our daughter and if it was not me and it was not her then who was it...and she could not give me an answer.

I also told her - when she would go on about everyone attacking her - that it was not about her, it was about our daughter.

If it had been simply an accusation...I would still have listened. I would still have brought it to my ex's attention (as I have with some smaller things)...but because there was physical proof attached to it, it is what it is.

I don't know if anything will come out of this. I live in a big county. Social services might not look into it, but at the least I've served them notice that this is serious.

...and that is the other thing. The ex just doesn't seem to take this seriously. She went to a theme park on Sunday. If it had been the other way around, I would not have acted business as usual.

The therapy will help. I do feel like the kids have things they want to say, but they don't know how to express them or they do not feel comfortable expressing them for whatever reason.

I just hate all of this. I hate that we have to go through this. I hate that she made such rotten choices that this is what we're going through right now.

UGH!?
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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

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Protect your children at all costs. I do not understand a mother that would move in a man she barely knows, much less have him around her children. She has a screw lose.
She most definitely does. I found out there were dating around the last week of February and she claimed she was taking it slow...but soon there were staying overnight and within a couple of weeks they were moved in 100%.

He and his kids had been living in someone's basement prior to this (I don't know what the situation was). He has been out of work (largely due to his prison issues)...but I also think he just doesn't care to work.

My son has told me several times that all ***** does all day is "play games on his phone, smoke cigarettes, and watch movies".

Another weird thing. My mom sent me a text after she picked them up and she said my kids told her that they had just "found out" that his two kids were their cousins?? What the heck? I know kids misunderstand things, but come on...doesn't that seem odd??

So many weird things going on. It makes my head spin...
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

I just spoke with the doctor. He said he could not say 100% that the bruising was caused by a hand print (they had faded too much), but he felt it was "highly likely". He took additional photographs and measurements.

I feel somewhat validated that he did not refute my uncle's initial diagnosis, though I'm beating myself up for not acting sooner...when the bruising was more pronounced.

He said he did see enough that he also had to report it. I believe he is also sending over photos (he was kind of hard to understand)...so I'm waiting for my mom to call me.

He seemed to think the county would move faster once he had called it in (and I think sent photos)...but they have not moved quickly thus far. I'm not certain this will really change anything.

He mentioned the county would probably want to see her sooner than later as the bruises are fading.

The ex is going to have to be brought into the loop. I am going to tell her the reason for my daughter's visit today...which was basically to verify what my uncle saw. She is aware that it has been reported. My uncle was concerned about questions of bias because he's my uncle.

He said he would not be calling my ex, but if she called he would have to tell her about the visit (which is fine - I'm going to do that on my own).

So...nothing really changed because of this visit...other than the fact that it is now on her medical record.

My head is just spinning right now.

I just want to get home and pick up my kids and take them home. I want to sit down and talk with them and ask them if they have any questions...and then I will text the ex (a far better way of talking to her these days) and explain the visit.

I swear, I just want some stability and some piece-of-mind. My biggest worry should simply be missing them when they're with their mom and nothing more. I can deal with that.
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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 04:05 PM
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

Does your state (WI) have any morality clauses in the Marital Separation Agreement? They do in the South (surprise, surprise) but it may be worth asking an Atty for the rules in WI. If so they you can refuse the kids staying round there is he is there also.

If Child Services are slow in responding and your kids show any more signs then it would probably be worth making a police call. That shows you ex that you are serious about this, gets it logged and maybe even escalated with CS. You would have to explain carefully to your kids that they are not in trouble as they will be scared when the Police come around but in this case you need to act decisively and quickly. A police investigation may also justify you refusing your ex unsupervised access while the investigation is being carried out.
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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

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Originally Posted by WonkyNinja View Post
Does your state (WI) have any morality clauses in the Marital Separation Agreement? They do in the South (surprise, surprise) but it may be worth asking an Atty for the rules in WI. If so they you can refuse the kids staying round there is he is there also.

If Child Services are slow in responding and your kids show any more signs then it would probably be worth making a police call. That shows you ex that you are serious about this, gets it logged and maybe even escalated with CS. You would have to explain carefully to your kids that they are not in trouble as they will be scared when the Police come around but in this case you need to act decisively and quickly. A police investigation may also justify you refusing your ex unsupervised access while the investigation is being carried out.
No morality clause up here.

I've definitely made the decision in the back of my head that next time I go straight to the cops...if for nothing more than to put some fear into them.

My uncle was told when he first made the report that CPS could not override an existing custody placement until they had made in investigation...so I have to allow kids to go back with her on her days. I have made it clear that he is not to be with them alone. If she runs to the store...I had better not hear about her leaving them with him.

I've recorded and documented a ton. I have a diary going back to the day this all started in March of 2015 when she told me she wanted out. It is full of pretty much everything...a lot of erratic behavior.

I also had my daughter relate the story of the spanking to me on my iPhone and I also recorded her discussing it later on.

This is just turning into a nightmare.

I'm sick that my kids (and even myself) have to suffer because of her poor choices.

She's kicked me around the block several times and people keep telling me how strong I am...well...this is the first time I feel strong or brave or anything special. It has taken a lot out of me to follow through on this, but I also know I don't have another choice.

At the end of the day, my daughter has a large bruise on her hand and she said he did it to her. She said it over and over again. Factor in his past and it adds up to something shady.

I'm not trying to destroy her. I want her to move on (so I can move on). I want her to be happy and stable. I'm not doing any of this to cause her pain or because I'm jealous or vindictive or anything.
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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

The other issue that I'm struggling to address is that my mom wants me to tell her sister that CPS have been contacted. I have a good relationship with her sister. My ex has cut her sister out of her life (for the most part). My mom feels that eventually this will get out and that it is better someone in her family hears it from me than from another source.

I'm not so sure. If I knew 100% that CPS was going to follow-thru and that it was imminent, I would maybe say something. I just don't know if they will do anything. I've heard too many stories of cases just not being investigated.

There is just nothing about this that is easy.
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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 04:50 PM
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

I think you need to present a united front to EVERYone involved. "My child appears to be in danger and I am protecting my child." Nothing more, nothing less. Do NOT be afraid of your ex's reaction. BTW, she is acting just like an abused woman; she's afraid of him, too.

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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 05:21 PM
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

It is against forum rules to suggest that a person use violence.

I deleted the posts that suggest violence and those that quoted/discussed it.
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

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It is against forum rules to suggest that a person use violence.

I deleted the posts that suggest violence and those that quoted/discussed it.
Thank you.
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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

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I think you need to present a united front to EVERYone involved. "My child appears to be in danger and I am protecting my child." Nothing more, nothing less. Do NOT be afraid of your ex's reaction. BTW, she is acting just like an abused woman; she's afraid of him, too.
Most definitely she is acting like someone being abused. I've thought that and others have thought that, too.

Consider this: they have been dating since late February, but he has not been introduced to her friends (they were all VERY close until she met him) OR her sister (who is her only immediate relative in town). That seems odd.

I mentioned it to her on Saturday and she got very defensive. She was NOT being abused. Thing is, I never directly accused him of abusing her. It was more of a rhetorical thing.

That said, there is a very controlling feeling about the entire thing. I've even sensed it. Like when HE wanted to talk to me when I first called her Tuesday. He wanted to present me with his narrative and maybe he is innocent. I don't want to accuse...but there is just so much evidence that something not normal is going on. Small things and big things. Taken together it paints a pretty bad picture.
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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 07:09 PM
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

Joe, this is a bad story. Whenever the well being of kids is affected, it's always serious.

His actions are not only unconscionable they're illegal. He has absolutely no legal standing to discipline your kids. He's the moms boyfriend.

I'd tell both of them this is absolutely forbidden and non negotiable. I'd follow thru with protective services, and continue to file reports should this continue. Call the police and file a report with them, too.

Call your attorney and get him/her involved. Personally, i would withhold visitation until this gets worked out to your satisfaction..which might entail an emergency court order to change the visitation to exclude him.

I'd also tell them in advance of your plans so there's no confusion or distraction from "resentment", this is purely about child welfare.

Take pictures of every wound or injury, and get the pediatrician to take a look and write a descriptive letter of his/her findings. Share these with the police, child protective services, and your attorney.

Lastly, make sure you let the kids know you're aware and horrified, and how unacceptable that behavior is and that you are going to do what needs to be done to keep them safe.
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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Scared for my kids!?!

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I think you need to present a united front to EVERYone involved. "My child appears to be in danger and I am protecting my child." Nothing more, nothing less. Do NOT be afraid of your ex's reaction. BTW, she is acting just like an abused woman; she's afraid of him, too.
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Joe, this is a bad story. Whenever the well being of kids is affected, it's always serious.

His actions are not only unconscionable they're illegal. He has absolutely no legal standing to discipline your kids. He's the moms boyfriend.

I'd tell both of them this is absolutely forbidden and non negotiable. I'd follow thru with protective services, and continue to file reports should this continue. Call the police and file a report with them, too.

Call your attorney and get him/her involved. Personally, i would withhold visitation until this gets worked out to your satisfaction..which might entail an emergency court order to change the visitation to exclude him.

I'd also tell them in advance of your plans so there's no confusion or distraction from "resentment", this is purely about child welfare.

Take pictures of every wound or injury, and get the pediatrician to take a look and write a descriptive letter of his/her findings. Share these with the police, child protective services, and your attorney.

Lastly, make sure you let the kids know you're aware and horrified, and how unacceptable that behavior is and that you are going to do what needs to be done to keep them safe.
All good stuff and I've done most of it. I'm hounding protective services until they do something. I've had her doctor check it over, take photos and measurements. I've put her on notice - he is NOT to be alone with kids - hard part is that in my state they won't override existing custody until they investigate (if they even do that).

A big thing is that I have been constantly telling the kids that I do not approve and that I think it is a really bad thing and that they are safe at my house.

They have their first therapy session on the 7th. I can't wait. I think things will come out.

It is hard being proactive. It is really scary...but also empowering. I think he is controlling and has at the least emotionally abused them (shaming is a big no-no in my book and he has done that on a regular basis).

She is just in such massive denial. "He would never do that" and "I trust him with my life" and "He's sworn to me he has never touched them" and "I've never even seen him spank his own kids" and on and on. She's known him a couple of months and anyone who has seen his rap sheet (and in Wisconsin we're able to simply go online and search arrest records) knows his past.

Bad juju...
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