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Hello The Band!
This is my first post ever here, I’m very private about personal things, especially having to do with my daughter, but I really need some input or suggestions as my daughter is afraid of her father.
My daughter is a nine-year old, straight A student who has received honor of the Principal’s Scholar Award. Smart cookie; so smart that she is afraid of her father – for really good reason.
We’ve got issues with the people on her father’s side of the family, that make me and my daughter afraid of her father. When I told his family that he was abusing me, it was assumed that I was lying because their Golden Boy would never!
I left him when my daughter was a baby by sneaking out one night through an open window, leaving a note behind suggesting that my ex get help – I was tired of the emotional abuse and domestic physical abuse.
Now, he’s got a new wife and stepson and still has an every other weekend arrangement to see my daughter. Rather than do anything with her, he most often picks her up and takes her to his parent’s house – he actually sees our daughter very infrequently, but boy when he does, she’s afraid of her father.
See, he treats her like she’s in boot camp or something. She told me she was terrified of him and he [alcoholic] drinks in the car. His wife isn’t much better, not only is she unstable like he is, but they fight and scream around my daughter. She’ll frequently use her as a pawn “Get your kid out of here!” He doesn’t spank our daughter since I established a no-spanking rule but she’s scared of her father nonetheless.
She hates the environment they put her in: her supposed protectors spend their time with her swearing, fighting, throwing things at each other, and kicking each other out of the house on the regular.
His parents try to bribe my daughter with money, toys, and clothes if she agrees to live with them full-time, though they have no rights to custody. My daughter is really smart and she’s picked up on the fact that her father and his parents liked to say mean and ugly things about my family – especially me. I refuse to speak ill of her paternal side because I knew she’d see it when she was old enough and formed her own opinion.
My daughter is scared of her father, his temper, and the unhealthy environment where those who are supposed to protect her are abusing each other. She’s explained that she doesn’t want to see his side of the family or go to their houses any more; she’s just too scared of the volatility and is afraid of her father.
I’ve made an appointment with the magistrate to discuss our options; while I am the primary parent, legally I can’t keep her from seeing her father and their abusive family every other weekend. Most adults are afraid to speak in public but my daughter announced she would speak to a courtroom of people about how and why she never wants to be around them again – she’s so scared of them.
I guess I’m just wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation -what do you do when your child is afraid of the other parent
Do any of you have opinions on this?
What age is old enough to be able to tell them how she feels and for her to say NO I don’t want to see you?
What should I do?
Thank you for reading this, The Band.