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Ex sent DD a present....


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  #1  
July 9th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Ok for those that don't know... My ex gave up his parental rights last summer & DH adopted her. Ex sent DD a present at Christmas. DD liked it but still had no interest in talking to Ex - he lives in another state btw (or at least last we knew). It was upsetting for DD to get the present though...

Anyhoo, DD's birthday was June 16th (yeah almost a month ago now) and we got nothing from the Ex. Now today I see in the mail box a not from the postoffice. He sent a package that required us to sign for it. Ok so he knows I work (I'm home now but he doesn't know that). So anyway - I know his mind - he's thinking that we must not have gotten the package at Christmas otherwise DD would have called him .

So now I'm left to debate whether to give DD the package or not.....

Now before anyone jumps on me.... the Ex put DD and me through hell. It was a nighmare. He was never a father to her. I had her in therapy for over a year - weekly to deal with the fallout.

DD is so happy now. She's doing well in school, gaining weight (way to skinny before). We have very little behavioral problems with her now that DH adopted her. She's very secure.

I'm afraid that giving her the package will open wounds that have healed and need to stay shut. But I don't know that I can keep this from her. We are so close. Ugggh!!!!! I hate this.

BTW - she's only 7.
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  #2  
July 9th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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This is hard but I can give you a story to relate.

When I was 6-ish, I was given a ring, w/ my birthstone in it. It was from my father. Who by the way, I've never met, even to this day, he could be dead & I wouldn't know it. I kept the ring for years, and 4 year's ago, pond it in for $$$ b/c I realized that I was holding onto something that meant nothing. False hopes I guess.

As far as if you should give it to her... that's up to you. It's a gift, not like he wants to see her. I would, however, perhaps make some sort of contact w/ him & ask him "why" the gift & "why" late/now? See what he was thinking behind it. If he sounds sincere, perhaps give it to her & say it's from him "or"... if you really don't want to put her through something you think she cannot handle (and only you know that answer), then maybe give it to her & say that someone else bought it? I know it's lying to her, but sometimes telling a child the truth (like your father went to jail for physical abuse) isn't something you want to be honest about, unless they are old enough or ready to hear that stuff. You know what I mean.

I wish I had a better answer for you but I was trying to think about how I felt when I got that ring from my dad & how that's all I had from him. It gave me "false hopes"...it made me think that one day he'd be in my life. At least that's how I view it now b/c God knows what I was actually thinking at the time when I was 6-ish, KWIM? I can't give you a child's view/answer but I can tell you as an adult looking back.

Sorry I wasn't more help. KUP on your decision, I am curious.

HUGS to your DD doing better. That's amazing & wonderful to hear.

~C
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  #3  
July 9th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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I don't want to contact him. We haven't spoken in years. His sister facilited the whole giving up his parental rights.

The problem with my ex is that if you give him an inch - he'll take 65 miles. He will expect to see her or at least talk to her. He will get angry & threaten if things don't go his way. He is emotionally abusive and potentially dangerous.
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  #4  
July 9th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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Sweetie...(hope you don't mind that I called you that)....you just answered your own question. There is no way you should give that gift to her, don't go there. If he's manipulative & will hurt her more, why do that to her? She's a child, let her be a child for once, you said she's happy & that's on the road to a good thing, why even make waves in her life at the moment when all is well? Don't give it to her. Either send it back, give it to her from YOU or give it to one of her friends as a gift (re-gift) when she has a B-Day party to attend.

JMHO


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  #5  
July 9th, 2009, 01:22 PM
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Thanks Chantelle. And you can call me sweetie anytime You are one of the few people anywhere that understand.
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  #6  
July 10th, 2009, 06:03 AM
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Good to know , and to think we didn't get along that well in the beginning , people who often think alike, usually have a hard time getting to know each other, then...well... the rest is history.

It's so sad that you're daughter has had to endure what she has in her small 7 years of her life, I often think of my little Dominic when you talk of her. Then you mention how this present appears, and for what? to make your ex feel better? he's not even considering the reprocutions that could happen to his daughter. It's no longer about HIM or how he wants to be in her life, it's about HER & how she can maintain her life as a child & let this man who's caused her enough pain to stop. Sending gifts can often bring up memories that we don't want, or remind us of that person, when we don't want to be reminded. It's like a small jab telling her that he's still there etc., that makes her think about adult issues, hard times, and emotional trauma, no? I mean, seriously. He is not thinking of her, only of himself.

We could toss this issue all around & say it was a nice gesture..yadda, yadda, yadda...but in the end, if was meant to be her BDay gift it would have arrived ON-TIME....but still, as you said, you give them an inch, they take a mile & don't bother to realize that there is this child who needs a "break" to just be a child.

HUGS to her "and" you...

~C
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  #7  
July 12th, 2009, 01:53 AM
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What is the gift gonna be really? A toy? Just open it and give it to her. It's hers right? Will she question where it came from? If your 7 year old is anything like my 7 year old, she will say "oh wow, thanks mom" and run to her room with it, who cares where it came from?

i guess i'm not sentimental about gifts, esp when it's just a toy or something. now for adults, it's a different story---jewelry, etc. may be a diff situation, something that will remind you of that person.
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  #8  
July 12th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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My 7 year old isn't like any other 7 year old I know. She is nosey & suspicious She is very, very observant & much older than her age.

But anyway, I checked it out & saw that the items were appropriate so I gave them to her & told her they were from her bio dad. I was glad. Her reaction was "He DOES love me"

But of course with the good comes the bad. She's been a little off the last 2 days. Not bad - much better than before but stuff to deal with.

I am glad I gave it to her though. In the end, it's good for her to know that he loves her. I'm going to send him a thank you note & some pictures. Hopefully, he'll accept whatever amount of contact she wants to give him.
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  #9  
July 13th, 2009, 02:50 AM
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I don't know love.....i was 'hidden' a lot of things about my bio-dad and i grew up an angry woman. I would give the gift if i were you and if she decides to throw it away, open it, cherish it, burn it or whatever i'd leave up to her. And i am talking because i hated the fact that many things about my bio-dad were kept secret in order to protect me. They thought it was best for me then......i don't think so now.

PS: just saw the last post, glad you gave them to her
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  #10  
July 13th, 2009, 08:38 AM
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I love my daughter more than life itself. She knows love. She has me, her little brother that worships the ground she walks on & her real Daddy (my DH). The girl knows love every day.

The love she has here is healthy, safe love. The love her bio dad has is toxic. She already has the wounds to prove it at 7. I'm just working through to balance everything. It isn't easy.
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  #11  
July 13th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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double post
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  #12  
July 14th, 2009, 04:20 AM
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Kris, I just saw this. I would worry that he is trying to come back into her life and since he is abusive, that would concern me. I sincerely hope it works out well. I would not have given it to her and would have sent it back through your ex's sister. If they asked why, I would simply say she is stable now and doesn't need her life turned upside down by him. I just worry that it's going to go from a gift here and there to I want to see her. How is she doing now?
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  #13  
July 14th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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My concerns would be the same as Dani's, is there a "reason" for the gift all of a sudden.

As a child... I had a lot of "scars" if you will, as your DD has & b/c of "false hopes"...like "he DOES love me"...reminds me of when I was her age.

As a child you want to believe that everyone is great, you give people chance after chance b/c you are resiliant but at the same time, every opportunity or situation that happens when the child is "let down"...it takes that much more of their love & trust from their hearts. I know this first hand w/ my bio mother & bio dad. To this day, I do it w/ my bio mother & I am in my 30's. I always "try" to think "this is the day, she's changing"...then "PUNCH, SLAP!" I am quickly reminded of how me & my kids are not as important as her dogs or her hair apts or her botox treatments. It hurts me to this day, yet for some reason, I have a hard time refusing.

Year's ago, I had cut all ties w/ my mother, then my ex (Dominic's bio-dad) convinced me into being in her life again. Honestly, I look back, and I wish I had kept things that way. That way, I wouldn't be dissapointed all the time in my adult life.

You may wonder why I just don't cut all ties today, well...I have several reasons, my kids, they know her, and well enough to be hurt if I took her away from them. Then there is my grandparents (who raise me, my mother's parents), when they visit from Canada, they go & stay w/ my mother, I'd have no contact w/ my grandparents if I did that (happened before). Then there is my step-father, a wonderful man...who I adore, he's generous & not at all like my mother. It's weird, but I'd miss him if I never saw him again. I have more to lose than to gain in ending my ties w/ my bio-mother now. My bio-dad, he has no part in my life, never has, and probably never will. Although, I can't say for sure, I have no clue what the future holds. I don't even know if he's alive to be honest. I would like to meet my 2 sistsers, no clue where they are & would LOVE the chance to know them.

I guess I give you my story as a bit of a background on how little presents, false hopes, can truly change a person, their blueprint if you will, and not for the good. The fact that she said "he DOES love me"...tears me to pieces. She thinks it's her fault that he's not around, kids internalize everything to be their faults (even though it's not), I am scared for her, as you mentioned, she's only 7 & has been through a lot w/ this manipulative man, her bio-dad, that worries me for her & I wanted to express the possibilities of her "false hopes"... which you're a smart cookie so I know you know how to handle things.

Now... if this man (bio-dad) wanted to be an ACTIVE part in her life, lived in the area & you were the one pushing him away & keeping the child from him & he was a stand-up man, then yes, I'd say that would be wrong (this is in response to Ellemphriem's post about having things being kept from her)...

Any who... I am happy that she is okay. I am glad that you are sending a "thank-you" note, which speaks volumes of how you are as a mother/person. You are the bigger parent/mother/person, good for you all around Kris.

HUGS
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  #14  
July 14th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Yes Dani & Chantelle. You both are right. But the good thing is that he gave up his parental rights so he can't see her unless I agree to it (which I won't). Also, he lives in Tennessee & we live in Illinois so distance helps. He isn't financial stable - I know because the repo man came to my house a few months ago.

So the challenge is having her feel like she wasn't abandoned, while still keeping her safe. I struggle with this daily.

BTW the presents weren't out of the blue - her birthday was June 16. He apologized in the card for being late - he is an over the road truck driver so he had been gone a lot (probably true). He also sent her something for Christmas. I wonder if he has a girlfriend too. Or if his sister is helping him. The gifts were albeit a little young for her but appropriate and wrapped very nicely. Not his work for sure.
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  #15  
July 15th, 2009, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
I love my daughter more than life itself. She knows love. She has me, her little brother that worships the ground she walks on & her real Daddy (my DH). The girl knows love every day.

The love she has here is healthy, safe love. The love her bio dad has is toxic. She already has the wounds to prove it at 7. I'm just working through to balance everything. It isn't easy.
I cannot relate but i can try to understand. And i can tell it's hard, but i am glad you acted this way. It's to your honor.
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  #16  
July 15th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
So the challenge is having her feel like she wasn't abandoned, while still keeping her safe. I struggle with this daily.
Wow, Kris...I got goose-bumps when I read this sentence, and not for the good kind either.

As a child, my fear was being "abandoned"...to this day, today, as I type this now, I have a fear of being abandoned, and thus far...everyone that told me they'd always be there for me, has left to prove me that they WOULD abandon me. The flip of this (b/c I've learned this over the years in major therapy) was that I realized that I was so scared of being abandoned (b/c my mom & dad didn't play much or any role in my childhood), I would self-sabotage my personal relationships (both w/ gal-pals & boyfriends, and even 2 men that I would have been potentially married too before my current DH). I had to let go of that fear, and it took me 30 years, and as I just said, I still struggle w/ that daily.

This is just my opinion b/c that sentence spoke volumes to me as well as your DD saying "he DOES love me"... I wouldn't let him in at all. He has signed over his parental rights, you don't need him for $ and your DD is obviously well cared for by you & doesn't need this unstable, toxic man in & out of her life that WILL constantly remind her that she wasn't good enough, perhaps it was her that pushed him away, searching for answers through her early adulthood & then some.

I am not saying any of this to be mean, but w/ your last post, I felt as though I was your DD, the 7 year old, struggling to understand what happened. And now, as in my 30's still having a fear of people leaving me. I even feel that my kids will leave me, and they will, once they are old enough, but I am sure I wont be the "a-typical" parent who has empty nest syndrome, I'll take it more personally, as I do w/ other situations in my life. Not b/c I want too, but b/c it's part of my blueprint inside of me. I've never met my dad, or my sisters. I do have a dialogue w/ my bio-mom, but she also constantly reminds me that she isn't there 100% for the long haul. Same as my grandparents, who raised me but at the tender age of 13, once they brought me to the USA, they left me here to be raised by my VERY unstable mother. Then, my mother threw me out at 14 & I've been on my own ever since. My life, has been a LifeTime movie, and honestly, I do hold a lot of my upbringing a result of why I am so insecure w/ people today. I also realized why I allowed men to take advantage of me b/c all I wanted was to feel desired from a male role model b/c I tried to understand it w/ my bio-dad, in turn, I would do things I shouldn't have done. I am surprised that I wasn't a teen mother...really. Thankfully, by the grace of God, I got my chance to grow up & get the right help to understand what happened to me. I used to blame my upbringing on my faults, but today, I take responsibility of my flaws for today, however, looking back at my childhood, I couldn't take responsibility b/c I was only a child.

It's good to hear that you have 100% say in whether or not she sees him, but seeing him doesn't have to be the reason to screw her up. A simple gift, that false hope, could potentially make her try to hold onto something that will never take place. Only hurt her more. I am not telling you to shelter her or deny her of the truth, but at the same time, the false hope of having this man back in her life, could get her on a path of self-destruction. I know it's hard to look at a 7 year old & think that she'd do crazy things, but it's around the corner that she'll be a tween & then a teen & then in her early 20's, when all the actions will be clear on how this man truly impacted her life.

You're not a bad mom, you're an excellent mom. I am just speaking from my heart, from the damage that MY own sperm-donor...I mean bio-dad...did to me. I'd hate to see your beautiful little girl have the same mental issues that I had to experience when it's not truly about her, it's about this man, that was not responsible enough, not good enough to be an active role model for her, but as a child, you can't explain that to them, they don't understand. We as adults, do...

Sigh.... this makes me sad, maybe I am reading far too hard into this than I should & maybe I am projecting my own life onto your DD & I shouldn't do that, if I am, I am sorry, I don't mean too, I am worried about her wanting to feel "wanted" or the fear of being "abandoned" as you mentioned. That's why I wanted to share w/ you what it did to me.

Kris, to this very day, I allow my bio-mom to slip into my life, and then she reminds me once in a while how she'd rather have nothing to do w/ me, which as an adult, you'd think I'd be able to handle well, but it hurts, and it hurts more so every time that it happens. I am grateful for my life, and I've learned a lot b/c of it, but it wasn't w/ out major mental issues as a child/teen/early adult. I look back & think "what if someone would have stopped her or him from doing this?!?!" I'll never know those answers. I can only move forward & learn to accept them for who they are. Which are people who are unreliable. It does hurt me today, my heart still aches. I wonder if this is my life or if the hurt will ever get easier to handle.



***(hope I didn't hijack your post, I was just thinking of deja-vu when you wrote your responses)... everything I said was w/ out a doubt due to concern & out of my heart. I'm sure you know that of me by now though.***

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  #17  
July 15th, 2009, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Ellemphriem View Post
I cannot relate but i can try to understand. And i can tell it's hard, but i am glad you acted this way. It's to your honor.
Thank you.
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  #18  
July 15th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Thank you for sharing Chantelle. Everything you wrote is exactly what I worry about. That's why I've had her in therapy for over a year. Not to mention that mental illness runs in family. My side including me suffer from depression & her bio dad was diagnosed bipolar (but I suspect he has borderline personality disorder).

What will hurt her the least? I pray to God for guidance. Also I've been very, very open & honest with her. She knows her bio dad is ill. That he loves her but can't be a good dad because of his illness. I also told her that he let Dh adopt her because he loves her so much that he wants what's best for her. (could be true )

So I think it will be ok if he just sends her gifts at Christmas & her birthday. And has no other contact. She has chosen not to speak to him. I respect that and agree. We'll just take it 1 holiday at a time.
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  #19  
July 16th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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I wanted to add, that just b/c someone has a personality disorder, bi-polar or MI, doesn't mean they can't be a good parent. I know in your ex's case, he has allowed his neurological disease to control him & obviously as a result, his choices in life haven't been great. I don't want people to walk away thinking that w/ a MI = poor parenting, I am one to know this first hand as I suffer from MI's, but b/c of medication & psychological treatments/counseling, I'm a darn good mom.

Reason I wanted to say that is I would hate for your DD (or anyone not familiar w/ MI's) to think that MI = bad parenting.
Obviously letting her know that her dad has an illness & that he's struggling w/ it (like diabetes, cancer etc.) is great, you aren't pretending that he's some wonderful man that is off fighting evil or that he's a bad man just because, she knows the truth.
I'm sure you've gone into way more detail w/ her at home than you write on BF's, I just get worried that a child automatically thinks that MI = unstable, it does if you don't treat it, it doesn't if you do.

I'm happy to hear that she is in counseling, no harm can come of it, and only good can, some people think counseling is "for the birds" I believe in it 100%, and it's never when you're actually in therapy saying "why did my dad leave?" it's usually a basic conversation about one's day or week & the next thing you know, you have this amazing breakthrough, or revelation to help you understand it all.

For her as a child, it's hard to internalize adult issues & her dad being off elsewhere & giving the occasional gift, it's that constant false hope in her head but w/ the guidance of an intelligent parent like yourself & a therapist/counselor, I am sure she will receive the answers necessary as the questions come up for her as well as how to deal w/ the false hopes she may have.


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  #20  
July 16th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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Oh yes Chantelle thank you for pointing that out. I in no way meant to imply that someone with a mental illness can't be a good parent.

In this case, my ex has chosen not to accept, acknowledge or treat his illness. At 50, this will not change. Because of that he is incapable of maintaining any relationships including his other daughter who is know 24. It's not the illness alone, it's the fact that he won't treat it. He isn't just a bad parent - he really is very ill and that makes him a bad parent (in this case). I truly fear that he will end up on the streets someday.
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