The girls haven’t seen their father since the last incident which ended at the local police station. We hadn’t really talked about this week’s visitation until last night at dinner. My oldest daughter, Piper stated that she did not want to go to her father’s house this weekend. She was more firm than she’s ever been. She said that she is afraid of her father and does not feel safe.
After dinner, I promptly called and notified Seth of my plans by voice mail and by email- while I am required by law to be at the pick up location, I refuse to make my children get out of the car and leave with someone who makes them feel unsafe.
I notified the local police department at 10:15am and asked them to meet me at the drop-off location at 11:00am to keep the peace. I explained to the girls that they could talk to the police officer and explain their fears or concerns about their dad. Because we have friends in law enforcement, this is not scary to them and they both stated that they wanted to speak to the police. If a police officer could listen to these little girls and still insist that we follow orders than it was out of my hands at that point. My hands are tied by several aspects of this broken system.
We arrived and parked in the parking lot and quickly saw Seth enter. The police followed shortly behind him. I saw him driving towards us and motioned for him to park further away but he parked right in front of my car. The girls had asked before-hand if they would have to speak to their father and while I hoped the police would protect them from that, I couldn’t make any promises. He was pacing at the front of my car and I was extremely intimidated even with the police present.
I explained to the first female officer that we had a court order for visitation but that my daughters were afraid of their father due to recent incidents that were currently under investigation with child protective services and the DA’s office. The officer opened the door to my car and began talking to the girls. I moved away from the car as she requested. While that was going on, Seth was ranting under his breath- loud enough for me to hear but quiet enough that the officer couldn’t hear him. His rants involved parental alienation syndrome and accusations that I am severely damaging our children. He was videotaping me during this exchange so I looked right into his camera and reminded him that HE was the one damaging our children by hurting them constantly. He promptly turned the camera off.
Another officer arrived and she was less than pleasant- she was horrific. I have never in my life been treated that way. I was ordered to stand by the patrol car while the two officers interviewed our daughters. I was told not to even look at my daughters. Meanwhile Seth was videotaping me and the officers. At one point he pointed the camera straight at me and said, “This is what parental alienation syndrome looks like”. He went into several diatribes about PAS to the officers and made them watch videos of he and the girls playing together at a recent visit. I would be ecstatic if a video camera were on him during visitations- sadly, he turns the camera on for staged moments.
After about 15 minutes, I watched as one officer escorted Seth to the car where my oldest daughter promptly began to cry. According to my daughters, Seth said that he promised that he wouldn’t hit them or squeeze them anymore (?!?!). He also lured them by saying they would have a playdate with a family friend who doesn’t even interact with him anymore– but Seth knows that the girls would be excited to play with their friends. It’s sick and disgusting. Meanwhile, I was ordered to remain standing behind the patrol car during this entire process and couldn’t see what was happening. After a while the first officer came back over and explained that she can tell he is a Type A personality and that some people consider hitting as a parenting style. Speechless.
She then went onto say that the girls would stay with me for today but agreed to go with him tomorrow– and that she would be at our drop-off location at 11am to oversee the transfer. She then instructed me to go home and be happy about the transfer and encouraging about their visit with their father. I looked right at her and said, “Do you have advice on how to be encouraging and positive if forced to send your children into an unsafe environment?” and her reply, “You had children together and he is their father”. Speechless.
Normally, I am positive and encouraging about visits. Sometimes it takes everything in me to do so but I do it regardless. When my daughters are asking me to protect them from someone who is dangerous, how does one act positive and encouraging? I walked back to my car and climbed in. As I started my car and pulled out of the parking lot my oldest daughter began to cry and said, “Mom, I said I would go tomorrow but I don’t want to. I am scared of him.”
Today was one of the worst days that I’ve had in this entire battle. Does this system really expect me to discount my daughter’s feelings about being afraid and act gleeful? That sounds incredibly damaging and harmful to me. I don’t understand what this system wants from me 🙁
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