Please someone tell me if I am out of line
I am divorced from my children's father. Over the years the ex and his family has been harassing and abusive. I moved to another state to get away from them. My adult children moved too but still keep in touch with their dad's side of the family. Yesterday the ex's sister wrote me at my business and called my daughter and threatened to have me arrested because I posted a picture online of my daughter and my daughter's cousin who was 16 in the picture (she will be 18 in two days.) This is a person who constantly posted pictures of my kids when they were under 18.
Here's my big problem, I know the ex's family will be abusive, that is why I have limited all contact with them. But, since my kids still stay in touch with them, they try to harass me through my adult kids. I feel hurt and betrayed that my kids won't stand up for me. I know that is their family too, but threatening to have me arrested crosses the line. My kids refuse to respect my feelings about this and hint it is my own fault. Am I being unreasonable that I think my kids should tell their dad's side of the family to leave me alone? I am at the point that I want to cut off contact with my kids because it seems like the are helping to keep this going.
well firstly dont do tic for tac. honesty dnt exist in this world. we all am hurt in some way. feels ur on your own and am point scoring with ur opponents but out numbered. honestly be your self dnt drop to ppls level be ur self yez its hard but d better person is who iz calm. u raised d kids and did ya best. lifes tough so if ur goid hearted smile things will get better. dnt play a game where u need to poiny scoreor prove be ya self
Please don't ask that your children run interference between you and this dysfunctional bunch. Not fair to them, and they probably have no power or control over what happens. Don't see this as them not "backing" you - it's just that there's nothing they can really do.
May I ask why, since there is SO much animosity coming from this side of the family, that you chose to post a picture showing one of the family members?
Staying away from ALL of them, and their family tree, seems to be the best thing.
Ignore her threats about having you arrested. But learn not to get in the ring with any one of these people!
Good luck and take care of yourself.
I hear you. Unfortunately, the only way I can completely keep them out of my life is by removing my daughter from my life as well.
DEECEE, welcome to the 'marry in haste, repent at leisure' world. That was extent of your mild crime, hence your sole punishment, quite mild and temporary at that (until your daughter inevitably ceases feeling she has to keep everyone sweet for typical, fall-out-kiddie "just in case" self-preservationist reasons) (think about if you got run-over by a big, fat truck and where that would leave her), but - you wait: a bigger 'comes-around' for a bigger, longer-meted-out crime (that whole family) takes Fate a *far* lengthier preparation, meaning, takes longer than you'd wish to come in (one big hit or similarly meted-out over decades).
But 'come in', it will. When, not If. Just watch that space and their soon-to-be shocked and miserable faces (and your daughter finally daring to shuffle surreptitiously further and further away from them along that bench until she's in another ball-park entirely). It's how it happens, trust me on this: they get her in a short-term, useless way, you then get her (get her back) when and for as long as you need her in a *crucially meaningful* way (no sh*tty little old folks' or nursing home FOR YOU!).
In the meantime, it's Poker Face and learning to pityingly see everything they do as akin to symptoms of a disease expressing itself (e.g. A-CHOO! all over you - "ugh, Ectoplasm!").
That basically sums it up.
PS, here you go, DEECEE...and ignore any bits that might seem to pose as an insinuation that you're just as much the trouble-making element,  it's a general, cover-all article and  I can see you're not, and how it's that this bully of an ex-husband dropped off the branch of what is a whole 'bully tree'. But it may be that you aren't helping yourself as well as you might (yet):
Dealing With Controlling Behavior After You Leave
....This brings up the kids and how they use them to get to us. This can be very hard and hurtful to deal with. Our children become innocent pawns. They may tell them mom or dad's keeping me away, its mom's or dad's fault, I really want to be with you all the time, if mom or dad would change their mind...
Our children don't understand this manipulation. They want to believe all this, too. They can unknowingly become a partner in the manipulation. Our children may get angry at us, even turn on us - for making mom/dad leave.
Trying to deal with this can be heartbreaking. Our children mean everything to us. We want them to understand and realize all the facts behind our decisions, but they can't. Most of the time they are too young and immature to even begin to comprehend these issues. We as adults, having lived through it, have a hard time understanding. We can't expect our children to either.
Our abuser may turn into the "model" parent after divorce; spending time with the children, either in visits, on the phone, writing letters and a lot of times, trying to buy their way to their hearts. Big gifts mom/dad can't afford anymore - is a favorite with many of them. This can make us feel very intimidated and defeated.
We have to remember money can NOT buy love. Our children will in time, as they grow older and wiser, see through all these games. Then they will appreciate us, even more, for being there and being the constant in their lives. Unconditional love and a good abuse-free home will be the greatest gift they will ever receive from us.
Copied from WomansDivorce.com. Read more at: http://www.womansdivorce.com/controlling-behavior.html#ixzz46U46CeNR
Avoiding the Child Messenger Trap
By Brette McWhorter Sember
Once you're separated or divorced, one of your goals is probably to have as little contact with your ex as possible. But, there are still things you need to communicate about - when the child support is going to be paid, what time you'll be dropping the kids off, whether you can switch weekends, and so on. It's easy to see your child as a simple way to convey a message to the other parent. After all, you're thinking, if it helps me avoid a confrontation, it's got to be good, right?
Wrong. In my practice as a law guardian (an attorney representing children in divorce and custody cases) the most common problem kids had after a divorce was that their parents used them as messengers.
Child caught in the middle of her parent's conflict
But it sounds harmless to ask your child, "Can you give this envelope to Mommy?" or "Could you tell Dad I'll be 15 minutes late tonight?" but when you do this you place your child directly into the center of the conflict. Even when your divorce is said and done, in your child's mind the conflict is ongoing and is a constant part of his or her life. The simple fact that you are unwilling to talk to each other is a red flag that there is conflict. Every message you ask your child to carry has some kind of emotional undertone to it and you're asking your child to be mature enough to handle that.
When you ask your child to be a messenger, you're unwittingly asking him or her to be the receptacle for emotional feedback from the other parent. When you have your child tell the other parent you need to change the schedule or remind him or her that the child support is due tomorrow, you're asking your child to send your message and then witness the other parent's reaction. And you know very well the other parent isn't going to just smile and accept whatever you've said. He or she is going to have some kind of reaction to it, no matter how subtle. Your child will interpret that reaction as being directed at him or her.
Age Doesn't Matter
It doesn't matter how old your child is or how smart she is. Children of divorce and separation are highly attuned to their parents' emotions. No matter how many times you reassure them, a small part of them is always certain that somehow, someway, it is his or her fault you got divorced. Because of this, the child is going to interpret any negative reaction as being directed at him or her, not at the other parent.
Prevent the Problem
So how do you avoid the kill the messenger syndrome? Simply do not, ever, ask your child to carry or convey a message to the other parent. Come to the door or car yourself and talk to the other parent. Or call him or her later. Or if you're absolutely unable to do any of that, stick a note in the mailbox or send an email. Adult communication has to happen between adults. And though it might be easier for you to have your child convey a message, in the long run it will do more harm than good. Do whatever you have to do to get your child out of the line of fire.
Thank you soul-mate! I am really trying to deal with this, and trying to look at it like my kids are dealing with a cancer, and I have to feel compassion for their situation. I may have to deal with it periodically, but they have to deal with it for the rest of their lives unless they cut off contact with these people. By the way, I did not "marry in haste". We dated for 2 years. Although I was only 18 when we were married and it took me 18 years to be able to really recognize the abusive behavior.
Yes, but - taking that saying at face-value only, rather than what else it points to (e.g. 'haste' also meaning marrying before you've been enough times around the block) - I'll bet now, with hindsight, if you replayed the tapes you could probably spot quite a few little 'tips' of what you later realised were ruggy great, Titanic-sinking icebergs', right?...Ones that, at the time, had you been as mature and experienced as you are now, might have made you stop and think twice and/or take more time to try to delve deeper? Put it this way, you will with the next bloke, right? But, granted, 18 is - yes, of course - FAR too young to have that kind of wariness and discernment. So what was the point of all this - you being put through it?
Answer: superb training (mental muscles so ripped you're a 'She-Arnie').
Question: Training for what?
Answer: the love of your life (or if he's REALLY diamond-like - *event* of).
Once you meet the love/event of your life and experience the usual bumpy moments (typical 'settling-in' fights and clashes as tend to kick in at the 6-9-month mark and again at the roughly 18-month one) wherein you most badly want and need certain skills for dealing the smoothest and no-fuss-fastest with it, you'll in your mind raise a huge glass to that whole experience with your rotten ex. Trust me, it's how it works.
So it's all good, none of it a waste of time and energy. Just feels like it at the time, that's all.
Plus, it's actually *highly* flattering to you if you think about it: Not only was your ex devastated and bitter at being unquestionably rejected by totally-luscious-you, to the point of 'still is' and still hell-bent on 'revenge', but so were and still are HIS ENTIRE FAMILY, especially the sister ("You were the one who rejected me-I mean, him, so you don't get to act all auntie-entitled-like any more, that's your punishment, so there, mleugh!"). So you see? Your problem is, you're just too damned gorgeous ("thank-you, fans!").
Obsessive Ex syndrome, it's (lay) called - go Google.
Here's another hidden gem: Remember when your kid's kindergaarten teacher at collection time would tell you your toddler - that same little person that would regularly feel at liberty to throw massive sulks and tantrums (*and* his/her sippy-cup) at you and basically drive you round the bend most days - had been a little ANGEL all day long, as had you thinking to yourself, 'WTF?!'. Here's the reason: TRUST & BONDEDNESS. Your kid didn't trust the kindergaarten teacher not to end up wanting to put her hands around his/her neck and throttle the life out of it, so tended not to act-out to that degree/at all to begin with, whereas - with you? Nuff said. And, years later, here we see the same thing (basically) happening, as translates to 'Make it stop, Mum!'. If you feel TO BLAME then you'll feel responsible, and if you feel responsible, you'll feel the power and control for making it stop is YOURS. ('Someone's got to and only Mum is capable; Dad's a chocolate teapot on that score'.)
Not saying the responsibility IS technically yours, just explaining the sorts of thoughts/urges that are obviously in your kids' minds, daughter especially. Because you she trusts. So I repeat: no sh*tty little nursing home *for you*. Wouldn't quite like to be in ex's shoes come that day, though, oo-er.
'She who laughs last, laughs longest'.
It's all just a bog-standard process that you're only however-much way through, still, that's all.
Thank you soulmate! You totally made me laugh and look at this with a different perspective and perspective is everything. Have a good day.
You too! Feel free to come back to this thread if any of them tries to start anything else. Oh, and - a tip for the meantime: do always save screenshots of any such FB messages, plus emails, etc., as well as log the time/date and content of any contentious phone conversations (although, ideally, you should avoid taking live calls so as to them to have to use recordable methods only) ....basically keep a dossier of mounting evidence (harassment). You probably won't ever need to use it, but it's good to know it's there, anyway, because it'll give you greater confidence, almost like having a loaded gun in your pocket, possibly even to the point where you're *glad* each time (as in - Hurrah, another nail in your eventual coffins!).
Even if you don't ever intend to use it - once you've enough of a 'file' and can TELL them of that fact which is usually enough to make such bullies think twice and back off.