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Childs Best Interest


Halle Berry has been in the news lately because she is in a custody battle with her daughter’s father.  I do not know all the details in this very personal issue but I personally know about custody issues. 

I got pregnant with my oldest son, now 13, at 16 years old.  As you can imagine I was very afraid.  I juggled between keeping him or giving him up for adoption.  When I finally decided to keep my baby I told his father that no matter what happens between us that I would never keep him away from his son.  After I graduated from high school we married and I joined the military.  My son stayed with his father and my parents throughout my training and part of my first duty station.  During my time away from my husband I reflected on our relationship.  I went through a lot of mistreatment through the years with him and was afraid to experience that with him for the rest of my life.  About a year after being married I decided that I didn’t want to be married to him.  We divorced and I brought my son overseas with me.  About a year after my divorce I married my current husband.  I later got out of the military and my husband was stationed in El Paso, where my family resides.

Through the years my son would visit back and forth with his father.  In the beginning our communications with one another were filled with yelling and sometimes name calling.  We gradually learned how to better communicate to be able to parent our son together.  Our son even stayed the school year with his father during his 2nd and 4th grade school years.  During this time our communication became a lot better.  We would talk about any and everything.  One could even go so far as to say we were friends.  Whenever my ex-husband wanted to see his son all he had to do was call.  No matter if he paid child support or not, no matter if it was his scheduled visitation, anytime, all he had to do was call.  Things were good, or so I thought.

Shortly after I gave birth to my baby boy and was released from the hospital, in February 2007, I was served custody papers.  My son was already staying with his dad for his 4th grade year.  My ex-husband gave me no sign that this was coming.  He changed his numbers and ceased contact with me.  I thought I was going to die, that I would never see my son again.  All these years I thought I was doing what was best for not just my son but also his father who loved him very much, I was being sued for custody.  Unbeknownst to me, when you have primary custody and you allow your child to live with the other parent for 6 months or longer you automatically lose your custody to the other parent.  During this time he even claimed that our home was unstable because of the military and having to move.  Needless to say I was hurt and wanted my son back.  During this time I grew very angry and bitter with his father for being so underhanded to me after all that I had done for him to maintain his relationship with his son and he pulled this.  The judge granted custody back to me and my son returned home in the summer of 2007. 

In the beginning after the case my ex stopped calling our son and asking to visit with him.  My son grew angry and I couldn’t stand to see him like that.  I called his dad and left a message telling him that no matter what we go through he needs to continue to be there for his son. (Something like that, I was still angry with him myself)  His dad gradually started coming back around.  We eventually worked through our differences and he apologized for what he did to me.  Things were looking up.  My son would visit his father when it was scheduled. 

In 2008 my husband deployed to Afghanistan.  It was a difficult time for our family.  My oldest son was having problems in school and was fighting a lot.  In early 2009 we received orders to PCS to South Carolina.  I told our children.  None of them were happy about moving to South Carolina and they all wanted to stay in Texas.  My oldest son was especially upset about this possible move. He didn’t want to leave his friends.  He asked me if he could stay with his dad during this move and I told him no.  I wasn’t going to be sued again, I thought to myself.  He was angry with my decision and really started acting out.  He kept acting out and wouldn’t listen to anything I asked of him.  It got so bad that I had to consider that staying with his father was probably best.  

I finally gave in because I didn’t know what else to do.  I had to remove myself from the situation and put myself in my son’s shoes.  He kept asking me why couldn’t he stay with his dad.  I had to really sit there and ponder that question.  This is his father, his other parent, not a stranger.  Could he really not parent his son just because we weren’t together?  Is living with mom always best?  I called his dad and asked him if it was he would alright with him if our son stayed with him and of course he said it was fine with him. 

 As the summer approached and time grew near for my husband to return, my son grew anxious and acting out even more.  He was staying out passed his curfew and defying everything I said.  I called his father and told him that if our son didn’t straighten up he wasn’t going to stay with him.  My son heard what was said and became furious.  He lunged and attacked me.  At this time he was taller and bigger than me.  I never thought I would see that day that I would have to fight my son.  He finally calmed down and the MPs confined him to his room until his dad arrived to pick him up from Dallas, which was three hours away from where we resided. 

My son is now living with his father and doing well.  He’s not getting into so much trouble and he’s making good grades.  My heart aches for him everyday but I know that he is where he needs to be.  I recently visited with  him and went to his football games, which he is great at.  He is so tall and becoming an amazing young man.  He is a bit on the selfish side but it’s the teen years so I’m sure this is a phase and he will grow out of it. 

I had to learn that what is best for your child is not always what you want.  What’s best for a child is to have both of their parents, even if they’re not together.  It is really hard on them when their parents aren’t together.  I watched and listened to my son so desperately want his parents together like his siblings.  No matter how great our homes were and filled with love, he always felt and still feels out-of-place.  I don’t know how to help him with those feelings but I know as he gets older and gains a better understanding he will be fine.  His father and I keep reassuring him that he is loved by so many people.  As parents we have to put our feelings aside and do what is best for our children so they can be as happy as possible.  I’m just saying.

Friends With an Ex


Hello Ms. Tangled,
 
I was just thinking about what a shame it is that some people do not know how to be broken up! and I was wondering what your thoughts were on being friends with ex lovers??
 
anonymous

Dear anonymous,

Break ups are usually nasty to begin with.  There are a lot of hurt emotions that must be dealt with, if they were not resolved prior to the break up.  I believe that when a couple breaks up they should take some time to themselves to “regroup”.  There are those instances where an ex just hangs around and doesn’t quit get the hint that they’re actually not still together.  It screams desperate and a bit stalkerish.  I have heard far too often when people break up they use the classic line, “Let’s just be friends” but really.  If you were sexually involved with one another that may prove to be really difficult to uphold because that soul tie will always be there.  Especially if one should move on you really do not want your ex, now friend, hanging around. Talk about awkward.  I’m not saying that it isn’t possible to be friends with an ex.  I think once you are over those feelings for them it is totally possible.  Although I would advise that you both move on.  You don’t want to cause any further complications.

If you have children with an ex I feel that you definitely should try to be friends if not kosher with one another for the sake of the child.  You DO NOT want to constantly be fighting with one another about everything and every time the other calls.  You don’t have to just deal with this person until your child turns 18 but when they go to college, get married and have children.  The two of you are going to have to be in each others lives for, forever.  Why not make it peaceful for the sake of your child.  I feel that those that purposely create “drama” whether the father or mother still have an emotional attachment to the other that they are not ready to get over.  The drama maker only makes it worse for themselves because as that child gets older you may be the parent that they choose to leave out of their happiness because you always bring the “drama”. 

It’s surely is possible to be friends once you have dealt with those emotions and have moved on and know for certain that you don’t want to go back down that road with them.  I’m just saying. 🙂

He Has Put His Foot Down!


For as long as I can remember I have been a night owl.  I remember as a little girl while everyone slept I was wide awake.  To occupy my time I would lie in bed and read or just stare out the window.  I have tried on numerous occassions to go to bed early but by 10pm I am wide awake.  I know that my sleeping habits are a problem.  Last night I briefly told my husband that I have to do better for my baby boy.  As long as I’m awake my papa bear is up with me.  Two nights this week we were up until 3 and 4am.  I know, I feel awful about this.  That’s why I was talking to my husband about it.  The whole point in telling Jeremiah my problem was to confess  and accept that, “I have a problem”.  My plan was to go to the doctor for help.  Noooo, my dear husband took it upon himself to fix my problem.

I usually go to bed with the laptop so if I have an idea all I need to do is reach under the bed and grab it.  Look I know that this is part of my problem. 🙂 Moving on.  So last night I go to bed, not to sleep but to watch TV.  I noticed that my husband had already sent the boys to bed at 9pm, even my baby boy.  My baby wasn’t asleep but as usual he was in bed watching TV, playing.  😀  My show came on at 10pm and Jeremiah watched it with me.  Afterward we watched part of my recording of Teen Mom 2.  At 11pm I pick up my laptop to tend to my city in CityVille.  As I got into my city, Jeremiah tells me to turn off the laptop and go to bed.  What!  Me!  Wait a minute who was he talking to.  Obviously not me.  Oh but he was talking to me.   I tried to put up a fight and he wasn’t having it.  My husband put his foot down.  Meany.  😦 I told him I was going to sleep when Teen Mom was over and he sternly replies, “go to bed“. I even tried the puppy dog face, he always falls for the puppy dog face.  NOTHING! Can you believe he rolled over.  Awful right? Needless to say I was in the bed by 11:30 pm.  I tossed and turned for a few minutes and was out.  I’m up now at 0630 feeling pretty good.  My husband is still a meany.  I guess there’s no need to go to the doctor because Dr. Evans has just what I need.  😀 To put his foot down and give me a bed time.