Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

November 04, 2007

child poisoning access visits

Athena’s ex-husband prosecuted the most humiliating post-separation counter offensive on her by hooking up with another woman, making her pregnant, and treating the new lady as badly as he had her -- and in doing so their little boy's life was ruined during access visits in which attempts were made to poison the child’s mind against her.

"Another woman, a 'stepmother', and a ‘step-sibling’ on the way, would bring more dangerous elements into a separation situation that was already volatile - and it most certainly did," sighs Athena. "From then onwards my child was once again exposed to domestic violence - a situation I had separated from his father in order to protect him from!"

"One time, they abducted the child and refused to return him home to me - necessitating a protection order from the court," says Athena, "and their relentless attempts to poison the little boy's mind against me was horrendous.”

“Imagine how badly I felt when the child came home and said things like 'daddy says you are going to be dead soon' and 'daddy says you are bad mommy' and on one occasion he came home with an envelope of his toenail clippings saying 'daddy told me to give this to you’ – suggesting that I am not taking care of him properly, as if I have time to even cut my own toenails regularly!”

"I never, ever, asked my son anything about his time with his father and his new woman – I refuse to call her a stepmother," says Athena, "but I never failed to listen when he came home upset and wanted to tell me something.”

“Within a few months my little boy came home saying things like: 'I saw daddy pushing her and she was crying' and 'why is she always angry with me?' and 'she wakes me up by tearing the blankets off me' and 'she told me she hates my father and is going to leave him'."

“Then I knew my son was in danger,” says Athena, “but the court had ordered access visits and there was nothing I could do about it.”

"Even when my little boy came home with cuts and grazes I could do nothing," says Athena. "During his time with me I would never let the child out of my sight, but twice in his father's care he had accidents requiring hospital treatment. What sensible adult puts a child on a bike and leaves him unaccompanied to cycle around a public park sharing a road with cars?”

"I seriously believed at one stage that the man – or the stepmother - was trying to kill my child," sighs Athena, "but how can I go to the police or child welfare without evidence, just suspicions?”

"By hurting my son - exposing him to dangerous situations and poisoning his mind against me," says Athena, "that man was hurting me more than a physical assault on me would, and he knew it."

“And by bringing a new woman – a stepmother – into the mix, as well as another defenceless little child – that man was destroying everyone.”

Read more of Athena’s story:

  • declarations of war

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