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#1 Emily

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:46 PM

This Saturday, my STBX will be having his first supervised visit with our daughter. My daughter is two years old. She has not seen her father for 4 months.

I met with the program officer at the agency yesterday, and she went over all of the "rules" with me.

--He cannot socialize with the person supervising (this will be hard for him because he is a MAJOR con artist and loves to socialize with people so they trust him and he can use them and/or push their boundaries to his advantage).

--He cannot use his cell phone (except to take pictures). To give you a little background on my husband, he is OBSESSED with his blackberry. He uses it like a teenager--constantly texting, answers every single call, constantly talking on the phone at all hours. It's really no wonder he is currently dating a 19 year old, as they probably have similar maturity levels.

--He must be on time. If he is late more than twice, this will be addressed in a serious way (i.e., visitation time might be changed and/or dropped.) My husband loves being late. He cannot get to work on time. He cannot get to doctors' appointments on time. He has only taken jobs with flexible hours. Even then, he still does not arrive at his agreed upon time.

--He cannot speak to my daughter in Spanish. This is because their supervisors do not speak Spanish, and they would not be able to supervise what he was saying. He has always spoken to my daughter in Spanish, (although he does know English).

--He must call the day before (a Friday) to always confirm that he will be coming. If he does not call, they will call him with a reminder.


I have no doubt that STBX will be on his best behavior with DD2 at these visits. What I doubt is that he will be consistent.

I don't understand, then, why I am so NERVOUS and terrified about these visits...maybe it's because it's the first time she will see him in 4 months. Maybe it's because it's the first time (since I left 4 months ago) that I will be in a place (even though I am supposedly not ever going to see him) at the same time he is there. Even though everything about it is "safe," it just still feels so unsafe to me and I don't know why.

Maybe it's because I found the programs officer to be unsympathetic. She said, "I am not here to take sides. I am just here to do my job." I was not trying to get her to take sides, I was only answering her question as to why the visits were supervised. I explained it was because STBX had physically assaulted me in front of my daughter on numerous occasions. I also explained that he had threatened to kill me and take her out of the country.

Sorry if this posting is disjointed. I'm just scared. I don't know why.

#2 Lily Bright

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 09:00 PM

QUOTE (Emily @ Sep 29 2010, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry if this posting is disjointed. I'm just scared. I don't know why.

You have every reason to be scared. He's a PROVEN RISK to you.

Will he be able to see you arrive/leave? Where will your vehicle be located? Is the parking lot protected? Enclosed? Security guard/cameras? These are all very pertinent, very real questions that SHOULD be answered...

Have you read The Gift of Fear? Do NOT be talked into "letting down your defenses"...

I'll be thinking about you (((((((((((((((((((Emily)))))))))))))))))))))))

#3 seren

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:22 PM

(((((((((((Emily)))))))))))))))

Ofcourse you are scared!!!! This is contact with him however small. I had the exact same arrangement with my ex and a 3rd party professional supervisior. I had NO contact with my ex. It was arranged that he would get there and go in first about 5 minutes before I would arrive. The supervisor would then come out to my car and gather the kids and walk them inside. I then left and then the supervisor would walk the kids out to the car when they were done (an hour). He wasn't allowed to leave the premisis until I had left. He was not allowed to come near me or my car or even look out the window to see me or my car. It was pretty strict.

It was PERFECT!!! But I was still jittery. It occurs to me that it was straight up PTSD. I mean, logically, I knew he couldn't hurt me again, and I knew he couldn't hurt the kids with the supervisor there. Logically, intellectually, I knew this to be true. But emotionally, I just wanted to run. To avoid the whole thing.

The 2 times he showed up it went just like it was supposed to. His 3rd visit (the day before christmas) he was a no show/no call. That was heartbreaking for the kids.

Our supervisor told me the same thing. That she was not there for me or for him, strictly for the kids. And I was ok with that, although a bit offended at her hard-a$$ness. But she was GREAT with the kids and when he didn;t show that last time, she stayed and talked to me because I was crying and so upset. She was very good at her job and she was human. She saw me hurting for the kids and she was a great comfort. She talked to the kids and gave me some great ideas about what to say to them about the whole sitch.

Emily, do you think he will be consistent with this? Especially given that he will be expected and forced to follow rules? That is why my ex stopped. He sounds so much like your ex. My ex didn't like being monitored and didn't like that he couldn't even SEE me from the window.

You will get thru this and he will most likely stop showing up. If he doesn't then maybe he will learn something and it will be a benefit to your daughter. Well, one can hope....

Just one step at a time. That fear you are feeling is totally and completely justified. You can do this.



#4 app

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:38 AM

You have every right to your feelings, and I don't think anyone can blame you.

It sounds like from what you said? He is going to blow the visits at some time. Sadly, you have to wonder how long they will go on for.

I'm happy that your daughter has protection I will admit.

QUOTE
Maybe it's because I found the programs officer to be unsympathetic. She said, "I am not here to take sides. I am just here to do my job."


To be honest? I have to wonder if these staff people don't have to repeat this for their own good as well. I'm sure they have been trained to keep detached to a point, and the response you got was one of the techniques they have to use to do just that. Them knowing what is going on, and having to place their personal stuff to the side has to be hard on them as well. That has to be a hard position to be placed in. As humans we naturally use our feelings, and they are asked to shut them off.

Don't take it personally. The response you received I'm sure was part of the training. It can't be easy to be asked to be 'neutral' especially when children are involved.

I can empathize with you though. I really can.

#5 Emily

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:29 PM

QUOTE (Lily Bright @ Sep 29 2010, 10:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You have every reason to be scared. He's a PROVEN RISK to you.

Will he be able to see you arrive/leave? Where will your vehicle be located? Is the parking lot protected? Enclosed? Security guard/cameras? These are all very pertinent, very real questions that SHOULD be answered...

Have you read The Gift of Fear? Do NOT be talked into "letting down your defenses"...

I'll be thinking about you (((((((((((((((((((Emily)))))))))))))))))))))))


Thanks so much, Lily for validating my feelings. The woman at the visitation center did assure me that there is a police officer who patrols the parking lot periodically and the security of the building appears to be decent. No one can enter or leave without being buzzed in. He is not supposed to see me enter or leave.

I have The Gift of Fear and read it several years ago, and I think I should probably go back and reread parts of it again. Thanks for thinking of me, Lily. hug.gif

#6 Emily

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (seren @ Sep 29 2010, 11:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But I was still jittery. It occurs to me that it was straight up PTSD. I mean, logically, I knew he couldn't hurt me again, and I knew he couldn't hurt the kids with the supervisor there. Logically, intellectually, I knew this to be true. But emotionally, I just wanted to run. To avoid the whole thing.

The 2 times he showed up it went just like it was supposed to. His 3rd visit (the day before christmas) he was a no show/no call. That was heartbreaking for the kids.

Our supervisor told me the same thing. That she was not there for me or for him, strictly for the kids. And I was ok with that, although a bit offended at her hard-a$$ness. But she was GREAT with the kids and when he didn;t show that last time, she stayed and talked to me because I was crying and so upset. She was very good at her job and she was human. She saw me hurting for the kids and she was a great comfort. She talked to the kids and gave me some great ideas about what to say to them about the whole sitch.

Emily, do you think he will be consistent with this? Especially given that he will be expected and forced to follow rules? That is why my ex stopped. He sounds so much like your ex. My ex didn't like being monitored and didn't like that he couldn't even SEE me from the window.

You will get thru this and he will most likely stop showing up. If he doesn't then maybe he will learn something and it will be a benefit to your daughter. Well, one can hope....

Just one step at a time. That fear you are feeling is totally and completely justified. You can do this.


Thanks SO much for your posting Seren. I think a lot of my feelings are PTSD related. Just seeing his empty car in the parking lot is probably enough to make me even feel "triggered" at this point. It's a struggle between my intellect and emotions. As you said, logically I know my daughter will be safe. But on an emotional level, I still feel fear.

I can't imagine what that must have felt like for your kids to not see him the day before Christmas. You have no idea, Seren, how much you sharing about your experiences has helped me get through this. Whenever you are talking about your experiences in your marriage, I see SO many similarities to my own. Our exes are two peas in a dysfunctional pod. As you mentioned about your ex, I will be surprised if my stbx is consistent with visitation. I think he will really resent being monitored and having to follow their rules.

Thanks so much for your encouragement. I am trying to focus on just getting through this first visit and stop thinking about all the what-ifs. hug.gif



#7 Emily

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:46 PM

QUOTE (app @ Sep 30 2010, 09:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be honest? I have to wonder if these staff people don't have to repeat this for their own good as well. I'm sure they have been trained to keep detached to a point, and the response you got was one of the techniques they have to use to do just that. Them knowing what is going on, and having to place their personal stuff to the side has to be hard on them as well. That has to be a hard position to be placed in. As humans we naturally use our feelings, and they are asked to shut them off.

Don't take it personally. The response you received I'm sure was part of the training. It can't be easy to be asked to be 'neutral' especially when children are involved.

I can empathize with you though. I really can.


Thank-you, app.

It helps to hear your perspective about the staff. I think you are right about these staff being trained to detach from the "sides of the story" that parents present to them and to focus mostly on the kids and what they need from the visit.

Thanks so much for your kindness and empathy. hug.gif

#8 nooblette

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 12:33 AM

still please be careful Emily. Something that I've found out is you can't really leave your problems in the hands of the professionals. I know that sounds very "conspiracy theory"ish of me, but really, these people are just paid blokes, not really extremely focused on your safety or wellbeing. (I actually feel this way about doctors offices too after being screwed over on my baby the first month of his life because a nurse was too lazy to hunt up a blood count number at that time and later when he got worse and I INSISTED it turned out he should have been hospitalized on the spot. You can't really trust people entirely for yours or your kids wellbeing, you need to trust your gut and fight for what you know is right!)

My mom does foster care, and they do supervised visitation with the one boy she's got right now. The mother is not suppose to see them come or go either, HOWEVER, there was a logistic mix up last week and the mom ended up seeing them, their car, license plates whatever. This woman is like an emotionally disturbed drug addict and it upset my mom a lot that she now has some of their personal info and she shouldn't have been able to see them. But logistical mixups happen! So, don't ever think you're overreacting and never have too much confidence in "the system" imo. Watch your own back. Don't be paranoid, but be smart and be safe. Just keep that in mind. Don't override your gut fears and try to employ rationale. Trust your gut and always honor it first and foremost.

Best of luck to you. I personally hope he becomes disenchanted and flakes in a month or two though.......


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