Friday, April 17, 2015

Lies and Acting Out

My husband got text messages from his ex-wife while she had the boys. She kept saying the boys had gotten caught in the middle of an argument but they were unhurt. She never would say what happened. Until she dropped them off. The first thing she said was, 'I know you won't let them go back to that house.' And then she told him her boyfriend threatened some of his family with a gun. And she was correct. The boys can't go over there anymore.

My husband is willing to let the boys' mother meet them in a park or at McDonald's so that they can see her. Apparently the boys don't know this because they have been acting like little shits all week.

Both have lied. Both have been in trouble at school. One has been suspended off the bus. One is not doing his homework, the other not doing his classwork. Both seemed inclined to find out how many rules they can break.

I really feel like if a gun was being waved around, their mother should have brought them home then. Of course, that's assuming she told us what actually happened and not a lesser version of the truth or a less frightening story.

My cousin thinks the ex-wife told the boys all kinds of stupid things. She probably told them they'd never see her again. My cousin said her ex-husband used to torment her and when there was nothing he could do to upset her, he started saying mean things to their daughter. Every time she came back from her father's house, she acted radically different.

We are trying to deal with each issue as it arises. It is extremely difficult not to be angry at the boys because they know better than to act this way. Sometimes it seems like we got through to one, like when I told the oldest that not doing his math homework would only result in more problems. And the next day, he brought the homework home, we worked on it together, and I think he doesn't dread math anymore. Of course, on the same day, his brother came home with a very long note from his teacher listing all the things he did wrong that day. I didn't feel like a good parent for very long. Then both boys started being willfully disobedient and I felt like I wasn't doing anything right.

I don't know what to do. This is tiring, frustrating, maddening. We decided to send the boys to counseling but the one we wanted has retired. The one we were referred to doesn't accept our insurance or Medicaid which is what one child has. That's the child we don't have custody of; his mother just left him here. And I don't know, maybe we should take her to court, push for custody, and revoke her parental rights. After all, the school knows both children live with us. The doctor knows we are raising both children. DHR knows, the food stamp office knows (which is why she lost her benefits, she was claiming a child that didn't live with her), and Medicaid knows. Maybe adopting him wouldn't be as difficult as we think.

I have far more questions than answers. All I know for sure is the longer the boys are away from their biological mother, the better behaved they are.


Living in Muddy Waters said...

I know it feels crazy right now, but keep a tight box of control around the boys. It is what they are screaming for. The tighter control you keep, the more they will rebel, but deep down inside the more secure they will feel. I have worked with kids 15 years. It never fails. They want rules. If you stay firm and steady one day they will respond positively.

Anonymous said...

My sister runs into the same problems when her children visit their father and his family. They are horribly behaved afterwards. It's such a shame your boys were in what sounds like a frightening and dangerous situation. I pray they heal and you all draw closer together as a family after the rough spots.

Kenneth Roberts said...

Your last sentence contains the truism. Follow it.