No one could have predicted that taking her cat to our house would have created such a freaking disaster. The Mom threatened us with the Police AGAIN, how many times is it now? I would not have remembered all the times if I had not kept journals.
Best time advice ever, journal! Keep records to keep clarity. The biggest mistake we made was not taking the mental instability cues seriously. Here we had a woman multiple times threatening us with the Police. She would freak the F out if the scheulde changed ever regardless if it was the best direction for her child. Ultimately, she flipped her strangling me into us trying to steal her daughter. Not normal. None of it. But we were too close.
The ONLY thing this was about was HER, and do you want to know the worst part about this all? We had majorly stressful situations going with my stepdaughter. She was failing at school. She was crying daily about her deceased dog. She was always needed our help to emotional figure things out with her Mom or Stepdad. She was asking for a different schedule and her mom thought she was just looking for attention.
The worst part is that there was some major problems we needed to help my stepdaughter figure out. We wanted to protect 10-15 years old so she can develop more before she started getting into “things”. All I have to say is parenting a teenage girl at this time in life is hard. All our attention needed to be on getting her to a place where she was happy, thriving and feeling successful.
But because the mother decided to hold the cat higher than her daughter combined with a bizarre hold on reality rather than continuing to help my step daughter grow we had to immediately turn our attention to helping her get past her mother strangling and hurting her step mother very very badly.
We just started with the psychologist and it was with her expert guidance that we made the decisions that we did. We returned the cat however, my stepdaughter whaled. It was completely devastating to her. We were all up all night. My stepdaught didn’t tell us until after everything had happened that she had a nightmare that night which kept her from sleeping agian. It was of her mother floating above her wtih blood dripping down from her neck to her fingertips dripping onto her as she lay in bed.
After returning the cat and getting off a three way phone call between the Mom, my stepdaughter and the psychologist where the mother was suddenly taking the stance that the cat was a family cat and it her daughter’s cat. That she could not move between houses with the cat and said nothing about her daughter not wanting to be at her home anymore.
Not a word. No concern about why she did not want to be at her house again. The only thing that mattered was her not having the cat at our house.
Hi New Psychologist,
We sat for a long time decompressing from this evening. It has taken until 2:14 am. We have never seen her this upset ever; it was sad and borderline scary. Thank you again for being there for her; her pain was primal. As we are trying to continue to make sense of everything, we came across some more information. We feel like we are going crazy, but in efforts to make sense of it, all things got reframed for us.
Since July 2012, she has been requesting to live full time with us, and it came after her trip to Portugal when her Mom’s husband’s parents called her fat, and her dog dies she’s told on her Mom’s birthday.
November 2012 Mom talks about getting her a cat at her Mom’s house, but then it turns out they can’t because her little brother has asthma from what we remember her telling us.
April 2013, she gets a hamster because she really wants a cat. Her little brother is mean to it, and she struggles taking care of it and is instructed to give it baths daily, which can kill a hamster.
September 2013 she gets her first cat and spends an extra week at her Mom’s, we are just coming off trying the alternate two weeks on two weeks off to try and help Jo feel better, she wants to stay at our house longer.
She starts living with us in Jan 2015 for her grades.
In Feb 2015, she was missing her cat, Jet, but something is happening, and it’s not really her cat anymore. It’s becoming her little brother’s.
Early March 2015, her hamster dies, and by the end of March, her Mom gets her a new cat, Nina, to replace her pet hamster essentially and get her to want to stay over there more or so we think.
Here is the reframing…
We gathered more communication, and we started to cross-reference our texts/emails and Instagram regarding the cat and our decision to send her back to her Moms, and it all started with the cat!
At her last IEP in Feb 2015, the teachers felt like they had a different kid.
The only thing that changed was Wednesday lunch dates with her Mom, so we asked to change it to not in the middle of the week because it was too disruptive for her school.
It turned into her Mom, threatening to take us to court and talking to her about it. We finally agreed to every Friday after school, every other weekend, and she would have to take her to acting classes every Saturday. Once the struggle got intense again or inflamed, another cat shows up to get her to stay there, just like the last time.
(note that after her mother attacked me and custody changed via courts due to Domestic Violence, she got her a new dog to get her to come to her house more)
We are the ones that talked Jo into staying a week (first time since Christmas) at her Mom’s house to bond with the new cat because we were fearful that if she didn’t bond with the new cat that she would lose it again. Due to her going to be over there we sent some instructions like make sure she listens to her audio text for social studies every night it has been doing wonders for her getting what is going on in class, which inflamed things and Aurelia telling us her grades are not that great since she started living with us that she is very tired and more rested and happy at her house and that we got her to school late once.
It was the straw that broke the camels back right there, and we just needed a break. She needs a lot of emotional and academic support to just barely be proficient at school and home, we combed lice out of her and her brother’s hair for four months leading up to this we were all exhausted. I started a new job and just worked 54 days in a row and started working from home office for the first time. There was a lot of change going on.
We told her that we need to figure out where she does best for school once and for all. Then the cat started getting beat up by the other cat, and her grades starting bombing, and the urgency to get her back home to our house exploded because she was really worried about the cuts on Nina’s eye and ear…then we found you.
We know there is a happy ending somewhere. Attached is her journal updated and separate tabs for her grades. Also, a voice message from her letting me know what she decided on staying and bonding with her new cat Nina, she was clearly under the impression that she was responsible for the cat and several times said how awesome it felt to have her own pet for real.
We told her she did not have to stay with the cat if she felt she really could not handle it. She was really worried. A week after being at her Mom’s with her new cat, she felt she needed to stay there because the cat was getting hurt by Jet Lag and thrown and mistreated by her stepdad. We said, don’t worry about your grades.
We got desperate tonight and said we would get her another cat, but Nina, without a doubt, is Josephine’s cat, 100%. We have a trip to Hawaii coming up that is now problematic, and we are considering having Jo’s Grandma come, but that is a long shot. So we thought we might take her; we are worried to leave her with her Mom. Would you support her taking two weeks off of school and coming with us and writing us a note, so we are not given a letter for truancy?
Then we are actually contemplating homeschooling for the rest of the year because she will not be able to focus at school anyhow she has been asking us a lot if this could happen. I know in some cases brain-injured kids have gotten home rest, do you think this could apply? I know we can get her caught and at or above grade level at home.
We hope this helps convince her Mom that this is her cat, and she can have it; otherwise, it’s not realistic another new cat is going to solve anything.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Husband and Husband’s New Wife
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