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Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3396
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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I have been divorced for almost 6 yrs from an abusive, alcoholic

Customer Question

I have been divorced for almost 6 yrs from an abusive, alcoholic man. We had 3 children together, in which, he was never around to help raise. I have 2 daughters 16,14 and a son age 12. He hasn't been in their life since the divorce much either. I have had many problems with the oldest child, very abusive to all of us, has starteddrugs, have sent her away 2 times. She is on probation now and lives with her paternal grandmother with her father, hardly speaks to me, blames me now for all her problems (before she'd go months and would not speak to her father, outa of anger towards him for his drinking, empty promises, missed b-days, Christmas's, etc., other two ( which I have full custodyof ) go overnights on Mon., & Tues.nights, the pro
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Another expert will gladly assist you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What do you need to know? Or are you saying you cant help me?
Expert:  lifecoach28 replied 5 years ago.
I understand that your children have diagnosis but adhd and bipolar have nothing to do with whether your children choose to respect you. Your daughter has been sent away twice and has had treatment for drug addiction. How did the family counseling work for you? Usually individual and family counseling are provided in these situations. Also, counseling and support groups are often provided for families dealing with bipolar disorder. Have you all attended any counseling or support groups for your oldest daughter?

One thing that may be going on is that you are overwhelmed with your situation. Being a single parent of several children is difficult. It has to be done with the support of friends and family members or help from a social service. Do you think you get enough support from friends and family? Also, have your children ever said why they might prefer their father over you?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Just wasn't the answer I was looking for and not enough detail, it's taking way too long for me to get an answer. Im not real happy so far.
Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 5 years ago.
I would very much like to help you with your question. It is difficult to get to an answer that will help you without being in a dialog. If you respond to this message I can chat with you on line.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
You are in a very difficult situation and sadly one that is quite common. the one who has usually done all of the care-taking and the good care taking is the easiest one to blame for all of the problems however inaccurate that may be.
I know you are not desirous of losing your children and I am not suggesting that, but you may need to take a step back and let your ex handle all of it so he can begin to take some responsibility and your kids can see that things with Mom weren't so bad and your love and care for them has been wonderful.
Things are very out of control now and counseling and additional support is definitely recommended but in the here and now you need some time to take care of yourself. You have had no support and you are wiped out...who wouldn't be.
Be clear on your rules in your home and be consistent and if they don't follow YOUR rules then there are consequences. If non of this works then maybe some time living with Dad is the only way to go. Things will spiral out of control I am sure, but maybe everyone needs to see this in order for some real change and desire for counseling can take place.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How could I just let them go with an alcoholic, abusive man. Now, may I remind you that he is living with his mother along with my oldest daughter. This is getting very hard I do agree with you on that but, to let them into his complete care, I feel like I would be throwing them out to the dogs.

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
I agree with you on that and it would be putting them in a bad situation I am just trying to figure out how to get you the support you need. You are in a horrible spot and I would petition the court for full custody if that is an option although that does not help with the other issues. You are dealing with. I know this may not be helpful but as bad as things are right now I do think they will come around at some point and not see you as the terrible one that they do now. Sadly all of you will be in this horrible space until either counseling happens, or they come around as you remain consistent and loving.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I already have full custody of my 2 youngest children. As for counseling, I have been in with my oldest a few different times. I am at loss for what to do.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
I will be as open and honest and direct with you as I can. I am at a loss too as this is a very tough situation and the thing I am feeling about it is to continue doing all that you can and set the boundaries as to what is acceptable in your home. They break it take away their whatever is important to them. You will be the bad guy but you already are. I really believe that at some point they will realize that you have done well by them and they will come around. I would also suggest more counseling and for all of you together. you need clear and ongoing support here. A few times is not enough as this situation is spiraling out of control.