I think sometimes the parenting part of my relationship with M1 is the constant struggle and consequent anger on both our parts of her inability to logically plan and anticipate. Yes she does have a challenge in executive functioning and despite many therapy sessions of trying to help her develop a way to approach things which is clearly not natural for her, she continues to refuse to see how it is necessary. It isn’t that she does not understand consequences, it is that in that moment part of her brain tells her she can get away with it or it will be different this time. She clings to exceptions instead of the norm to firm this belief up in her own mind.
So yes it is a struggle that I think many parents can relate to on some level but today’s conversation made it so much clearer to me. Today M1 came by to let me know that court would not give her a DNA to predator because boytoy’s name is on the birth certificate. M1 told me she filed the paperwork to get his name off so the paternity test could be done. I stopped her and explained if she just let it be then boytoy assumed all responsibility in the eyes of the law and more importantly the child, to be her father. I explained how our custody would remain in tact and that nothing would be remiss if she just left it be. M1 kept insisting she has to “prove” he is the father so I tried explaining again that everyone so far says he is so there is nothing to prove. She claims predators parents are harassing her so I suggested she get a no contact order to make it stop. Nope she is going through with testing.
M1 then looked at me and said “oh yeah they gave me the paperwork to get custody back of Baby K since boytoy can’t make a care plan or agreement if he is not the father.” I reminded her that right now he was whether biological or not so why push this issue. She got aggravated with me and said “No I am going to go to court get his name off the birth certificate and then regain custody of Baby K by myself so I can be the sole guardian.” Again more deep breaths on my end. I reminded her that doing that had some serious down sides and that even if she did that and predator was shown not to be the father, if boytoy was might be then she had to get him tested as well to ensure paternity. She was un-phased. She wants complete custody of Baby K so she can make all the decisions. Reality check in, she has no job, no place to live if boytoy kicks her out, no parenting skills of any type and 2 charges of child abuse confirmed. The over riding factor though, in my eyes, is her desperate and deep need for mental health services which she refuses.
I play it cool because M2 is in the room. I tell her file whatever paperwork you need to file and that unfortunately it would mean we would have to go back to court so again you are going to want to have lawyer present to defend your right to the child alone given among other issues the two child abuse charges. Now please understand both parents have a liberal visitation with their child. She does sleep over there and they come here regularly so it isn’t’ about me preventing her from being in her child’s life. I suspect it is that if predator is the father then they can get child support and her and boytoy will have more money (me I would get a job but whatever).
I contact my lawyer because now I am truly frightened. M1 can clearly not see how these choices are impacting her life, her child’s life and to a lesser importance, my life. I explained things to her in different words, used different examples and tried to get her to put the pieces together on her own. All of this fell flat. She does not have the capacity to logically go through different courses of events on her own and yet if she would listen many of us would help her. As much as I want Baby K to be with her parents I am deathly terrified of her being alone with on M1 as the deciding factor. It rocked me hard and I am NOT one to panic. Good news my lawyer said if she files for custody, which I am pretty sure she will, she will represent me in court (I knew she would but phew). She reminded me that at this point we can argue unfit based on her history (including police reports, hospital reports, child abuse charges and institution evaluations). My attorney also said that based on the fact she is no further ahead then she was a year ago we can argue safety and best interest of the child.
So here we are and I am going to court twice because I have two kids without executive functioning skills. I have to go to court to take down two of my kids and it makes me feel like crap. No I don’t want to do it but what choices do I have? N will continue to assault folks if she doesn’t get her way so lets get the mental health we need before prison is her new lifestyle. M1 has to understand she can’t just wreak havoc and expect all of us to roll over. I have no issues with her seeing her child or spending time with her but sole guardianship….well I am not sure she is stable enough for all the decision making and quite frankly the 24/7 that kids are and I don’t want anything to go horrifically wrong.
I hate that I find myself in this place and yet where else could I be. I struggle with my own issues and this doesn’t help. I try to make light of the situation but deep down it does hurt me. I wish I could have taught them so they would have learned and not had to go through this legal situation.