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Man shocked when his mother SUES him to see his five kids; 'She's off the deep end.' AITA? UPDATED

Man shocked when his mother SUES him to see his five kids; 'She's off the deep end.' AITA? UPDATED


When this man is furious with his mother, she asks the internet:

"My mother is suing me to see my children. I'm fed up! AITA?"

I am a 41 year old, happily married father of 5 children. My wife and I have been married for 20 years and both of us came from fractured, chaotic families. My wife's parents divorced and were both alcoholics.

Her father died of liver failure and her mother has cooled off a bit and has retired. My parents went through a vicious, violent divorce when I was a child. My father moved 10 states away to get away from the craziness and my mother has never changed.

Because of our experiences with violent and unstable families, my wife and I have worked extremely hard to be picture-perfect parents and spouses. We've done everything you can think to have a perfect life for our kids.

My wife is a sports coach and I'm a scoutmaster with the BSA. Our kids are healthy, engaged, and have everything they need physically and emotionally. This has been in spite of our families, not because of them.

My mother is a terrible woman. She systematically abused me throughout my whole childhood, and continued to be a violent, bitter, mean and aggressive person to me throughout my whole life.

I could sit here for hours and write about the things that she's done. She used the courts to destroy the life of my father for decades. Once he was out of the house, she turned her anger at me with physical and emotional violence.

When I was 16, she expelled me from the house and left me homeless. I had to go from house to house, figuring out where to live, and try to graduate high school. I ended up living with an older boy that was about 4 years older than me, and I had to engage in a se%ual relationship with him in order to secure that housing.

I was not gay, I did not want to be gay, and I had to endure something that destroyed me in order to not be sleeping on the street. When I turned 18, I was able to start working at a better job, and was able to get out of that bad situation and start my life from scratch.

My wife and I have scratched and clawed our way into a stable, middle class lifestyle. We both went to college at night for years and years, and we have good jobs and a house in the suburbs.

Out of a sense of duty to our family, I sought to include my extended family in our lives, and permitted a relationship with strict boundaries between my mother and my children.

For the most part, she has been fairly stable for about 20 years. I say stable in that we could have routine contact about once per month for that time period, with a minimum of disruptive behavior. She has never acknowledged her abuse to me as she is an extremely selfish person. Everything about our past has been left unsaid.

My mother, over the last 2 years, has become completely unraveled. Her second husband decided to leave her for his own health and sanity, and she has instantly reverted back to the most cruel and the most bizarre behavior imaginable. All aspects of her life have been affected.

She is calling the cops, suing him in family court, alienating large parts of her family from one another, all while trying to tell my children about why their grandfather is a bastard for how she feels about him. Once I saw this happening, I said "that's it, not again" and took some action.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a very courteous note to my mother asking her to re-evaluate the way she's been behaving to me and my family. When I tell you it was neutral and courteous, I really mean it - I checked it like 5 times.

She responded by calling me terrible names (ungrateful piece of shit for example) and screaming bloody murder on the phone at me. I blocked her from my phone, then she did the same thing to my wife.

So I informed my mother by email that I'd like to maintain distance until she works on herself in therapy or with her divorce mediator. Things lay still for about 6 months.

This morning, I wake up to a series of bizarre emails from my mother asserting that she wants to see my children for their birthday which is coming soon, and that she is giving me 24 hours to provide acceptable dates for permitting visitation or to be prepared for a legal summons to family court.

I'm like, wtf???? This woman is the equivalent of a schoolyard bully, following me around in life, tormenting me non-stop until you just want to cry! The worst part of a bully is that when you ask them to lay off you for even 5 minutes, that they just take this as a cue to keep it up even more!

I took one look at this and I was like, holy shit, this woman is clearly out of her fucking mind. Now I know in the post title I said she's suing me - I work in the legal field and I know that until I've been summoned to appear, that I have not been sued.

So, no, she's only threatening to sue me right now. Sorry for using the hyperbole. But I'm finding myself in the same bizarre, out-of-touch reality that everyone in this person's life finds themselves.

This batshit insane woman forced me to see my own father at a McDonalds when we were kids for 2 hours every two weeks (as per the court order) while she waited outside in a running car. I was only allowed to see him in this fashion because she hated him and didn't care what this would do to her own kids.

There were more than a few times when the clock would strike 8 and she would come screaming into the McDonalds threatening to call the cops and have my dad arrested for kidnapping while grabbing us by the arms and pulling us out of the store. This is what she's capable of doing with family court.

I had a literal, hyperventilating panic attack on the floor of my office this morning. I have sought to be respectful, mature, and use good decision making this whole time. My wife and I have an extremely secure marriage and she is in agreement with me 100% through all of this.

I'm finding myself wishing that my mother would just die already, and just please to leave me alone. She's like this inescapable bully that will never, never under any circumstance leave a person alone until she's proven that she can hurt them. I don't even care what she's experienced in her life. I just need to be away from her!

So that's my true off my chest story. I've been living with this shame and fear and lingering self-hatred for 30+ years, all while trying to be super-dad and a great career man.

I called a local family law practice today to get a referral. I'm going to ask them to send a demand letter to her, to try and get her to back the hell off, but look at what this has come to! I have to shell money out of my own pocket to protect myself and my kids from my insane mother.

I feel like Rodney Dangerfield sometimes. Ironically, the money I'm going to have to send to the lawyer for their retainer is money that I had earmarked for the kids to go to summer camp. So figure that one out. Thank you for letting me tell you my story. Just typing it out helps.

New York does provide an avenue for grandparents to sue for custody, although it would turn into a protracted legal fight that will cost me a lot of money and aggravation if she does.

In general, the process is the punishment. I had to deal with family court and CPS, cops etc when I was 10 and my parents were getting divorced. If you wanted to see me literally pass out on the floor, you'd drag me back to family court.

I've seen this woman use the courts to destroy my father for over ten years. The answer is, who knows? I guess I'll just have to wait for a court summons to see what she will do.

OP, I'm extremely sad to read it. I suppose you know that, would she sue you, this would more likely bring to her 40yrs horrors being exposed in court and her being denied to stay on the same planet of your kids.

So, I suppose that you're here to just get it off and YES YOU DON'T DESERVE IT and definitively yes you are paying for having been a good person. May life repay you and your mom. All my vibes are for you.

Update 1:

I posted this all on Thursday when I was experiencing a serious amount of turmoil. Since then, I've calmed down a lot and also had the good judgement to talk this over with the important people in my life.

First thing's first, I'd like to thank everyone for the words of encouragement and support that were given.

There were some surprising insights from many of the posters, and I found myself agreeing with and appreciating many of the stories of support that were posted by others. I now understand that I am not the only person with a domineering, selfish, easily enraged parent.

To all the people who blamed me for being a victim of my mother, and somehow being at fault for all this: well, I want to use some strong language to you, but I'll just ask you to please think about how fortunate your life has been that you haven't experienced what I have experienced.

So on to the update: As it turns out, only two states in the union have codified grandparents rights (California and New York) and I do live in New York.

Basically, in New York a grandparent does not have the automatic right to have access to grandchildren, but a grandparent does have automatic standing to file a petition to be heard in family court. The petition can be squashed, but they can file the petition. I do want to get back to this later.

I did conference with a family law attorney on Friday, and he helped me to understand the situation and craft a strategy. He was generous enough to not require a retainer unless and until I'm served with legal papers.

He basically explained that the grandparent does have standing to file a petition based on a pre-existing relationship with the grandchildren, but that she would most likely not be able to overcome the desires of two married parents who are both exercising their judgement for the health and safety of their children.

He explained that in NY, our simple desire to terminate a relationship would most likely be overcome in court, however if we introduce some of the specific actions that she's exhibited over the last few years (familial alienation, adult humor near children, uncontrollable anger, hoarding of housecats, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle) that we would very likely prevail in a court setting.

He explained that the good thing is that we had already restricted contact between our children and my mother to about once per month, and that in his experience he had never seen a court order for grandparent visitation for more often than once a month, for one hour per session. I try to be reasonable so I said, ok, the worst case scenario is supervised status quo.

I did broach the topic of a restraining order, and I was quickly schooled on how that works. Despite the Reddit attorneys who all assured me that I can automatically get a restraining order, well, I hate to say that you're all completely wrong. An order of protection has to be accompanied by some facilitating act of domestic violence.

Because I've only been harassed and alarmed by words, I can't be granted a restraining order period.

However, if my mother causes some disorderly act such as coming to my house and causing a ruckus, that could trigger an order if and only if I document it by having the police come and detailing a report. So, keep that in mind next time you recommend a restraining order. They're not easy to get.

The attorney recommended that I send a private cease-and-desist to my mother via certified mail and email. I decided to write a two-page, brutal takedown of this woman in order to a) blow off some steam and b) document in writing my concerns and try to get ahead of her legal maneuvering.

I decided to take a two pronged approach. First, I send this cease-and-desist to her on Friday at lunch time via email and also certified mail.

Then, I took a page out of her playbook and publicly scorched the earth to apply social pressure to her. I emailed and texted every single member of my extended family (brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, my stepfather, my father) and spoke to several of them to tell them exactly what was happening.

Whether they wanted to hear it or not, I sent them intimate details of my mothers abuse and my decision to cut her off for the welfare of myself and my family.

My reasoning there is simple: my mothers abuse thrives in closed doors and embarrassed silence. For 30 years I've had to hear "oh, you know, that's just the way your mother is", while people just stood by and let her act in the most insane and violent ways you can imagine.

My mother got angry at my stepfather last year, and tried to run him over with her car, then crashed her car into the front door of his business screaming at him and ranting and raving in public.

Do you know what people did? They surely called the police or an ambulance and had her monitored for her safety, right? No! My sister quickly threw her into her car and drove her away so that she wouldn't be arrested.

My stepfather was so embarrassed that he took the crashed car, drove it to a parking spot, and then paid out of pocket for the damage to the front of his business. This is what happens in families that are dealing with a crazy person.

They cover it up, hoping that it will someday get better. Well I'm not comfortable with this anymore. I sought to publically embarrass and pressure her for a change.

Anyway, by Friday afternoon, my mother got the message and sent me emails telling me that I can "stop attacking her" and maligning her to my family. She indicated that she would abandon any legal efforts to seek visitation with my children. This was a relief, but to be fair I was almost looking forward to having a public forum to describe her antics at court.

Nevertheless, it seems like she's backing off for the moment. The fallout and damage to my extended family is most likely severe and permanent. However my wife and I discussed this fully and have decided that this is the direction we're going in. We'll just have to have holidays by ourselves if the family can't be loyal and supportive to me.

On to the last point, and I really want to drive this home. In 1991, my mother conducted an incredibly vicious divorce against my father. I mean, she literally sought to destroy him, and she did.

He was completely beaten by her. One of the things that my father told me about just this weekend, was that at the time my grandparents on his side sought to have guaranteed visitation with us after the divorce.

My mother actually went to court on that specific topic, and specifically litigated that she was the custodial mother and had sole decision making about who the children would be around.

The court ruled at the time that in fact, there was no right for a grandparent to see children, and my mother successfully was able to keep me away from my (very loving and happy) grandparents for years.

I was only able to see them during court-mandated visitation with my own father. The law in New York changed in 2000 so that grandparents rights came into effect, too late to help me unfortunately.

I want to really drive this home: to go to court on her own behalf and state in a court of law that she, as the custodial mother of children, has the sole and ultimate decision on who her children have relationships with...

and then to 35 years later attempt to use the changes in law to assert that she has grandparents rights to visitation - despite the wishes of the both parents - was too much for me to bear. That alone made me say, no way, not happening under my watch.

So that's the update. Long winded, yes, but it makes me feel good to type this out. I'm finally able to unburden the unbearable shame and embarrassment of what happened to me to members of my family, and I won't allow myself to be ignored anymore.

I'm 41 and my selfish, insane baby-boomer asshole mother is in her mid 70's and has no power over me anymore. I'm sick and tired of bottling this up. Anyone who doesn't like it? They can go suck an egg. I deserve to have loyal and faithful people in my life.

Sources: Reddit
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