I firmly believe that it’s an honor to speak up for others who don’t have the strength or courage to speak up for themselves. Especially when they are minor children.
For the past couple of years, one of my stepsons has really struggled with his relationship with his bio mom. He’s asked on many occasions if he can stop going over for visitation. Now the other, younger stepson is asking the same.
They’ve lived with my spouse full time since birth except for a brief 1-2 year period immediately following Hubs’ divorce in 2008 which was really due to Hubs not having the finances to fund a trial. The kids are now 12 and 15.
Y’all. This is such a struggle for me. I firmly believe that kids should not be in control of their visitation schedules and that the adults in their lives should work together to encourage the kids to build strong relationships with both of their parents (and stepparents if applicable). On the flip side, I’ve personally watched these boys have unnecessary emotional meltdowns, stress, anxiety, hurt, anger, and fear over the continuous mind games and guilt their bio mom puts on them when they are with her. Spring Break this year was a doozy for them. Rather than a 48 hour visit, they were there 9 nights in a row. And they returned beyond upset because Bio Mom is now bullying the younger boy and making him feel guilty for not wanting to live with her full time. He says she “whines and cries” to him to make him feel guilty. Then the 15 year old chimes in that she’s done that MANY times but it doesn’t work on him so now she only talks to the younger child alone.
In 2011, Hubs initially had a TRO and bio mom didn’t have them at all. For the next few years she only had 1 weekend per month and no extended visits. For the past 2-3 years she’s had every other weekend and extended holiday visits and the kids are far more stressed out now than ever. They really don’t want to see her at all anymore. At least that’s what they tell us.
Yesterday we attended the Easter event at Bio Moms church because the 15 and 17 year olds really wanted to go. They love the youth leaders and have friends there and, even though it was our time, they asked us to take them. However, as soon as Bio Mom showed up the 15 year old crashed emotionally and firmly said that he wanted to leave immediately.
We have tried with all of our might to help them, encourage them, and support them to “be themselves” regardless of which parent they are with but … it’s just not going to work y’all.
I’m not sure what the next step should be but we MUST stand up for these kids. Maybe they just need a break for a short period. Maybe counseling. Maybe time. But something must change.
I firmly believe there is nothing more difficult than seeing people you love deal with pain. It’s hard to watch things you know you can’t fix. My little sister is going through that herself with her son right now. It can be a difficult journey.
My note to self is this reminder: Stand up for others because it’s the right thing to do. Be an advocate.
Be a warrior.