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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. Good news. I had a conversation with C last night and

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Hey Kate. Good news. I had a long conversation with C last night and another this morning. I'll tell you the deal later. But he has agreed to let me take A back to Albuquerque for a few weeks. And we've made plans for every few weeks after. I am so relieved. :)

Oh Shay, that is great news! I could not stop thinking about A all yesterday and this morning. I hope this is the beginning of something good happening for that poor child. It is so wonderful of you to do this for her. Bless you.

Let me know the full story when you get time. And how you feel about all of this (I have to ask that :) )


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hey. Okay ... So here is what happened: I got tickd off at him because he wouldn't watch A and wouldn't change her diaper and when an extended family member said how cute she was, he said "I wish I'd never had her.". Who says that? I made it very clear to him what I thought. Last night He came an sat down and told me something, and then tried to explain his actions. I don't know why he felt the need to explain them to me. Everyone else was just as mad. He said that he was having a really hard week. He strted telling me that he had PTSD from combat and had flashbacks, etc. I took him outside and told him that I understood a little about these things but obviously had not walked in his shoes. Now, earlier in the day he had gotten really angry and wanted to go to the shooting range. He asked L (his cousin) to go w/ him. It was owed, but L had gone w/ him to try to talk to him. C told him about being in combat and klingon 2 people. l had told me that and tht was the first time any of us had ever heard he was in combat. He was stationed in Korea and then in Germany and got a medical discharge because of shin splints. Nobody has ever heard he was in combat. L, on the other hand, was in the navy and experienced some heavy stuff. P's daughter, S, was a marine. They are all out Now. C told S and L this weekend that he was an army ranger, which is absolutely untrue. So I don't Think I believe that he was ever in combat, but I don't know, so I wasn't going to challenge it. He told me this whole story about how A's crying set him off for certain reasons. I asked what he was doing about it. He said he was on a high dose of Zoloft, but wasn on it this week because I blah, blah ( didn't make sense) and that he had been in therapy but his medical benefits didn't allow him to go back until November. I don't think that's accurate, either. He was full of excuses. I finally told him that okay - I understand the reasons he is giving me, but it doesn't matter. A is what matters most. He can have every reason in the world, but the bot***** *****ne is that he cannot do this to A. I told him w/ his fits of anger, I was afraid he was going to hurt her. He said he would never hurt her. I said "you just told me you had no control over your anger or what you do. Even if you don't intend to hurt her, maybe you can't control it or maybe you will hurt her accidentally when you are throwing things or become irate.". He said no - he just looks at her an he calms down. I said that was BS and contradicted what he had already told me. I said that she seems to enrage him and he seems to resent her. I told him that even if he never laid a hand on her, screaming and cursing at her was abusive. He said he doesn't want to scream at her - it just escalates. I told him she was not even 2 - what did he think this was doing to her. I said he needed to stop coming up with excuses for himself (true or not) and prioritize her, and I'd he was unable to do that, we needed to try to figure out something so that A does not continue to be hurt. He said that p had taken away all his coping mechanisms because she made him put away his Legos and video games (really??) and basically, that if we didn't want him to be volatile, she Gould have let him take over the garage for these thins (despite the fact that there were going to be 60 people eating every meal on there - but he didn't want tot ale his stuff elsewhere - totally weird) and that his other coping mechanism was "blowing things up" but he can't even go to the range because of A.
I also told him I thought he totally neglected her. He just didn't see it at all - thought everyone was being judgmental and didn't like him. I said that wasn't it - we dislike his behavior. I told him that since I've known him, he's been talking BS about how everyone dislikes him and doesn't want him around and I don't know we're he got that to begin with, but it wasn't from them. I told him nobody liked how he was treating A, though. He asked for examples of him supposedly "neglecting" A, and I jut started rattling them off. We went back and forth for a while, and I told him again that he needs to decide what to do. If he has no support where he lives (since wide is deployed) maybe he should move to abq. with his mom for a while. But he said no because his mom won't let him have his dogs there and they mean so much to him. I am a dog person. But I pointed out how screwed up it was that he was choosing his dogs over his daughter. I said then maybe he should let his mom or me or p or whoever take her for a while. He said no.
His mom had offered to take A, but has to teach, and C said no (probably because they were in the middle of fighting and he also knew his mom would not let him forget it and say he pawned A off on her).
I told him last night we needed to figure out something by the end of the weekend - for his sake and A 's.
This morning, I got him alone again and told him to please consider letting me take A for a few weeks - that I would love to spend the time with her and he could get a break, get his meds resolved, and figure out what else he could do to get back into therapy, take parenting classes, whatever. He said he'd think about it. Then he blew up at his sister, his mom blew up at him, and he said he was leaving today after the memorial. He has to go to abq because his dogs are kennelled there, so his mom asked if she could keep A here until tomorrow or mon. I talked to him again about her coming home with me and he started turning around. He decided to let her stay here until we went home, then spend at least a week with me @ p. he kept asking why I wanted to keep her for him and that I'd be sorry. He called her the " devil's spawn.". I just started acting like it would be a huge favor to me to let me spend this time with her , since I've never had kids, etc. he said okay. Then he backtracked and said he needed the ok from his wife. He spoke to her by phone today and she said it was fine.
So he left today. As soon as he had decided to let us take her, he was a different, happier man. So sad. He said, just in conversation about something today, that he got frustrated because A was always taking his drill. He said - you know, she likes it because it's like s toy - makes a noise when she presses the button. I thought "yeah, except a toy won't put a hole in her.". Wow.
Anyway, we also talked to him about plans to have A come every few weeks to abq, about putting her in daycare, etc.
After he agreed to let us take her, his mom stepped up and said shed take her the first half of the week.his sister is in town until then and do the 2 2-year old cousins can be together, and his sister is great with A. Then we will have her the 2 nd half of the week and however long he will let us keep her. I talked to his sister about her considering seeking custody, and his mom is finally seeing that for A 's sake, she needs to go up there more and needs to do something.
I found out that I can call the base chaplain where they live and that they mwi take it very seriously. I don't know if I should do it whole he doesn't have her or when he has her back. What would you suggest? I don't want him to blow up and take it out on A - don't know if that's more likely if done while we have her so he's mad when she gets back , or when he already has her. ??
At least we have some time to figure it out now. Poor kid. Just today, when her dad was supposedly watching her, she fell down the steps , hit her face on the door, and fell down somewhere else. She has marks all over her face. She has a rash because he rarely changes her diaper. (getting better I past several days because everyone else is taking care of it) and she has not even expressed a thing about her dad being gone.
Anyway. - thats how this came about. I'm glad. A needs to get a chance here. Everyone is glad C is gone and that A is still here and that she's going back with us. I am too. :)
How I feel about all of this? Relieved. It will be an adjustment to have a little one around - even I he ends up wanting her back next weekend. Im glad hisom is takin it more seriously (she is pretty lazy and not really wanting the extra work) and that she has decided she will do whatever eeds to be done, and im glad that sltheybare taking her for the first few days so that p and i both can rest a bit, but i would have been totlly fone having her the whole time i will adjust however i need to i told his mom that i was the one who proposed it to him and i would take total responsibility but hisom really wants to keep her while her daughter and other granddaughter are here. But I'm worried about giving her back to him no matter when. But for whatever reason, he agreed when I talked to him to at least letting us take her right now, when he wouldn't consider it when proposed by someone else. I don't know why - I'm not even related to him. So I feel like I need to do what I can.
Meanwhile, on another note, I have been having bad dreams every night. The same as before I left - my not being able to move or do anything an them doing whatever they want. It is so disturbing. Yesterday I went horseback riding for the first time ever. It was fun, but then after, it was a bit painful and made me feel (in a dull way) like it did when the tear first healed. I don't know if it has anything to do with it or just seems like I because of the area. But then last night, of course, my dream involved that whole part. I thought the dreams would go away since I told everything. I guess not??
I read Linda's notes she copied for me and wants to go over. Upsetting. I should have waited until I was with her to read them. Oh well. :(
You are dealing with a very bad situation. Your description of his behavior is very detailed and that is good. I can see from what you said that there is a pattern with his thinking that screams "I am an abuser". He appears to be full of excuses and has no insight into how his issues are affecting those around him and especially is daughter. She is a defenseless 2 year old. And the things he does are definitely considered abuse. She will be lucky to make it to adulthood intact.

I am so glad he allowed you to keep her for a while. My worry is that people with his type of issues tend to be very volatile. He may decide to come back and get A and take her with him, especially if he has no other outlets for his anger. He seems to take so much out on her and with her being gone, he won't have that opportunity. He may also begin to consider that you have an ulterior motive (paranoia seems to be an issue here) and do a 180 about you keeping her.

There is also the concern about the grandmother. She may be very motivated now while she is picking up on the energy from all of you and the volatile situation, but when she is back home I wonder if her motivation to help this child will stay the same. How involved is she in the child's life if this is the first she has noticed all of this? It took a group of people to point it out to her. That is scary.

The sister of this guy seems to be the best bet for long term safety for A. If she is serious about getting custody it is a long and hard road (I've been through adoption before, not easy at all). But if she stays motivated, that could be a good place for the child.

While you have her, you may want to pursue any options you have for getting her out of that situation ASAP. I think her life is in danger, based on what you have seen these past few days. So getting others involved is a good idea, while she is with you. It is likely once he has her back, there will be few options in protecting her. And he only needs to get angry enough one time or neglect her for a few minutes before she ends up hurt or dead. You may want to contact Childline, Children and Youth Services, Pastors and anyone else who could help find a way to get this guy to lose custody. It is a scary thing to consider doing that, but at this point, this child has no protection.

It sounds like talking through your story has brought up some of your deeper feelings about what happened and made them present to you. It can happen that retelling your story makes the trauma more real and in a way, re traumatizes you. Not that you shouldn't have gone through and told your story, but it can bring it back and stir up symptoms. It may take some time to settle again so you don't have more nightmares. Talk to Linda about some ways the two of you could work on coping mechanisms so when you have the nightmares, you have something to help. Like journaling or calling someone to talk to.

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