OK, so I've just published one post, but felt the need to get this off my chest because it has been driving me CRAZY for a while now.
Have you ever had one of those friends who shares a dilemma or situation with you and you feel like they are looking for advice? Especially when it's a situation you have dealt with before, have knowledge and experience, so you share with them on how to deal with it and then they just straight up ignore you and then when things don't go well, they come back to you and want to analyse what went wrong? Sometimes the evil part of me wants to shout at them "I'll tell you what went wrong... you didn't listen!"
So, I have been through two sets of very different child custody cases...
The first, for my daughter, was pretty cut and dried, but I still went through some interesting court hearings. Her father tried to paint me as an unfit mother (and failed), I focused on what was most beneficial for my daughter. Judges like the parent who is focused on what is best for the child, not the parent.... (They tend to be able to spot the parents who just don't want to pay any support). I had doctors and social workers on standby to drop their caseloads for the day and head to court in my defense. He had his mother... He then also asked for a DNA test. Needless to say, I won full custody. He still doesn't pay any child support, but for the last 13 years I've raised Baby Girl to the best of my ability and while there are days I threaten to send her back to her dad, she knows I don't mean it. (I hate the teen years and cannot WAIT for them to be over!).
The second, is the more recent debacle with my ex, who also attempted the unfit mother route, but got bit in the ass since he is the one with the Domestic Violence arrest record, and now Stalking charges... I find it amusing, but also annoying at the same time. I actually wouldn't mind having him evaluated for a psychological disorder. I'm pretty sure he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It's the only thing that explains why he thinks that it's ok to have the electricity disconnected in the middle of summer when you know your kids are home, stopping paying child support and telling your children false stories about their mother... And more, oh so much more, but he believes that HE is the injured party!
Suffice it to say that I have some knowledge and experience. I've also done a slew of research on NC family law.
So a friend of mine has a teen who currently lives with her father and step-mother. The step-mother can accurately be described as evil, but I won't go into the details too much. This weekend was the young lady's birthday, and she had invited some friends to her home for a party. Her mother (my friend) showed up with flowers and balloons and received a chilly reception from the step-mother. This is normal. Then she received text messages later in the day from her daughter who told her that she had also had to watch her younger half-siblings (during her party) while her step-mother was on Facebook. Yes, even though she still had friends there! She has also been told that she cannot call her mother, her mother's phone number is blocked from calling their house, all her communications are monitored, and she is used as a babysitter, housemaid etc for her younger siblings... I have seen her journal. Well actually, it was a note she had left in her mother's notebook that was kind of a prayer to God. It was heart-breaking. The poor girl is miserable. I have told her mother on numerous occasions to go downtown and file for custody. That her daughter is old enough to be taken seriously by the court and that she has sufficient evidence of 'cruelty' that she would likely win her case. Rather frustratingly, she has an excuse every time "Well, I just want to make sure that the girl's room is decorated." or "Well, I'm just going to talk to her father first." "Let me just see how things are this weekend..." They go on and on....
My peeve is not just with this situation, but with any. If you come to me with an issue, situation, or problem, expect some advice, input or suggestions. If I have been through it before you and I try to help, but you choose to ignore my feedback and the results are not favourable, then I probably won't be particularly sympathetic... I'm not one to give you "I'm sure it will be ok" because that drives me crazy. It's not helpful at all. If I don't have anything of use to you, then I will let you know. My frustration in the situation above is that her daughter is obviously suffering, and she still hasn't taken any steps to help her.
I had to get that off my chest! Whew! Feel better now :-)