I need advice about my daughter

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Casual scribe

I need advice about my daughter

Hello, I’m reaching out because in the last year I have noticed some major changes in my daughters behaviour, she’s 9 years old. She began acting out, not wanting to sleep at my house, not wanting to spend time anywhere but at dads house. It has gotten worse over the course of the last year and I have noticed that he has been encouraging her behaviour and actively discouraging her time with me, especially spending nights. We have shared custody 50/50 for the last 5 years with no issues, all of this seemed to come out of the blue about a year ago. We also have a son together who is 10 years old. Below I’ve tried to list as much detail as I can without making too long of a post.

Daughter:
No interest in anything that doesn’t involve being at his house

Does not want to sleep anywhere other than dads house.

Says he needs her there, he will be sad, he won’t be the same (says he tells her these things)

Afraid to sleep alone or in her own room. Falls asleep easily when I lay down with her and reassure her

Loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed. Says she would rather be at dads house than take part in a fun activity, refuses sleepovers with friends

Does not want to go on fun family trips/outings because she needs to be with dad. Comes up with ridiculous reasons why she can’t come on a weekend trip with mom and siblings

Extreme emotional reactions. Shuts down and cries at the slightest indication of wrongdoing, or angry outbursts at family members for no reason

Tells me she sleeps alone at dads house, have been made aware lately that she sleeps with him (if it is merely a sleep issue, why lie?) her brother told me she sleeps in her dads bed, she glared at her brother and was upset that he told me

Very secretive about her phone conversations with him. Hides in her room, sits in front of the door so no one can come in

Says her dad tells her he wants to move away with her, said that he asked her how she would feel about moving away (her and him) and asked her to keep it a secret

When asked why she doesn’t want to stay at moms, just says I don’t know, there is no reason, I just want to be at dads

Dad:
Gives her 25 mg gravol to sleep every night (I found out in the last month or so, she tells me he gives her a “sleeping pill” every night), told me she sleeps in her own bed when I recently found out that she does not

Overheard him telling her “I don’t want you to sleep at moms house either but your mom for some reason wants you to” gets angry with me when I tell her she can go to a sleepover if she wants to, saying “so she can sleep at a friends house but she can’t sleep at her dads house?”

Tells me I’m making her miserable just to have it my way, that I’m insisting on her sleeping at my house because it hurts him and I take pleasure in that. Constantly talks about how much it hurts him that I make her sleep at my house

Says he feels a connection with her like he never had with another human being, that I won’t understand and he won’t explain it to me

Says she is just such a beautiful person, that he “sees people for who they are, whether they’re his child or not” says that I take her for granted and do not appreciate just how amazing she is

Says he just can’t stand to be away from her, that I don’t have the connection with her that he does and when he feels like that is threatened it brings out a monster in him (in response to me insisting she spend equal nights at my house, as it has always been)

Buys her whatever she wants, expensive computer system, tablets, laptops, while her brother does not get these things

Refuses to let her speak with a counsellor despite my insisting that she needs to speak with someone. (Sleep issues, changes in behaviour, has been going on for the last year)

Called me in a rage because he found out she had spoken with someone without his knowledge. Said I should not bring people in to screw with his daughters head. Says we need to let her work it out herself

Approached me multiple times asking me to sign over custody of her to him, that I could have custody of our son

Extremely possessive of her, wants to keep her all to himself, flies into a rage every time I enforce my time with her, refuses to let her go on trips with me because he doesn’t want to be separated from her, claims I am not going to keep her safe, that she doesn’t do well going to other places

Writes her letters that are way beyond her comprehension and tells her to keep them in a secret place at my house

I don’t know if I am over reacting or over thinking but all of this just feels very wrong.

Community Manager

Re: I need advice about my daughter

Hi @H0210 

 

Firstly I would like to welcome you to the forum. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story with the community.

 

I can hear how worried you are for your daughter and what has been happening with her father.

 

It must be really difficult to have these worries and concerns. Do you have people in your support network that you have shared these worries with?

 

It can be hard parenting across two different households, and it sounds like you are trying to really support your children, but if you are worried about your daughter's behaviour and her safety then it would be best to contact the relevant authorities in your area that can help assess your current situation.

Is this something you have already tried?

 

The community is here to listen, you are not alone Heart

Casual scribe

Re: I need advice about my daughter

Child services have gotten involved, however the kids are not saying much and I don’t really know how seriously they are taking it. I am continuing to reach out to different avenues of support, I just felt that having some input from other people might help
Community Manager

Re: I need advice about my daughter

Hi @H0210,

 

Thank you for letting us know that you are seeking support from Child Services- I can imagine this must be such a challenging step to take but a brave one that could help to protect your children Heart Our community is here to offer support and a listening ear when you need it Heart 

 

I'm hearing that there has been a lot of changes in your daughter's behaviour that you are concerned about. Have you spoken about these concerns with the child services team? Have they been able to offer you some support through this challenging time too? 

 

I can imagine that must be really hard when your kids are not saying much about the situation. Often behaviours say a lot about the experience a child is going through before they find the words to talk about it, so the behaviours you have seen are really important information for Child Services to understand the situation. You've mentioned reaching out to other avenues of support too, can you tell us a little bit more about the supports you have been looking in to? 

 

We are also happy to help find services or resources to refer you to. Our hearts go out to you in the really painful time Heart 

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Check out our community activities calendar for October 2019 here
Casual scribe

Re: I need advice about my daughter

Hello, I am sorry to say but it sounds like he is a pedophile. it sounds like he is trying to groom her and make her believe that he is the only one who really wants her and loves her and that he is the only one that she can trust. I would suggest taking her to the hospital making an appointment and having her examined for any physical marks or even possible sexual assault. His possessive behavior is definitely a red flag you need to get her away from him.
God bless and good luck
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Casual scribe

Re: I need advice about my daughter

Thanks for your reply. I reached out to a family lawyer and filed for full custody and supervised access for him, we were in court fairly quickly and the judge has ordered the children to stay with me, as well as child and family services have recommended that I have full custody. The case is still ongoing but the children are out of his house for the time being.
Community Manager

Re: I need advice about my daughter

Hi @H0210 and thank you for checking back in with us Heart

 

It sounds like the custody discussions moved really quickly since we last spoke. We are very relieved to hear that your children are now safely back in your care for the time being.

 

In such a stressful time for you, how have you been coping? Do you have a support system around you or people you can lean on when you need to?

 

 

 

 

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Check out our community activities calendar for October 2019 here