Thank you so much for your reply Terry. Yours is a perspective I'm very curious about. I'll answer some of your questions and ask you some of my own
Terry E. wrote:the world will not come to your aid unless she threatens to burn down the school, so be as nice as you can and play her, it may make you feel very uncomfortable inside but this is all about best outcomes in an imperfect world
You are telling the sad truth here. I can't believe how no one seems to take this seriously, or even if they do they wring their hands and tell me there's nothing they can do. Your advice is the same I keep getting from my lawyer. Just let her have what she wants and hope for the best. That isn't good enough for my daughter. Her long-term mental health is at stake here and no one seems to care. But with no one having any authority to help that appears to be my only option.
Terry E. wrote:who is the focus of her attention... was she trying to make your life miserable by her actions or was this just her general behaviour you got caught up in, .. were you the focus of her life ???
That's easy and difficult. She is always the focus of her own attention and she needs attention from other people. She's obsessed with what other people think of her and has 2 or 3 different characters she plays to different crowds for maximum attention. When those aren't working or the facades begin to crack she fakes illnesses, both to get sympathy and to escape responsibility.
I wasn't the focus of her life, but she relies on me to take care of our daughter, finances, and social obligations so that she can live in her fantasy worlds. She seems to basically view me as a tool (literally and figuratively I suppose). Although that may have been different back when I actually believed her illnesses were real so she was getting that attention from me also at one time.
Terry E. wrote:(Dad had been driven out)
I see this a lot in these stories and it angers me a great deal. I understand being driven out, as I'm there myself, but I have no intention of leaving my daughter to fend for herself. I just can't understand why there are no mechanisms in place to protect children from the bad parent when it wouldn't be that difficult to prove. If a parent has credible evidence (via family doctors, dentists, etc.) it should be possible for them to take their children away from an unfit parent, but it's seemingly impossible. There's also a double standard at work here, but that's another topic.How old were you when your father left?Did you think your father should have stayed to help you?
Terry E. wrote:most adults saw her for what she was as did family, doctors etc.
This is something else that amazes me. How quickly everyone around us figured out she was faking these illnesses--long before I did. But I've seen "that look" so many times. When I go to a family or neighborhood or social event and they ask me, "Where's your wife?" And I shrug and say, "She's sick." and they give me this quick downward glance, as if to say, "Come on, seriously." I wonder how many times I saw that look before I knew what it was.
Terry E. wrote:but it was through her children she got attention, from her father (who she desperately battled with her mother for primary love) and from doctors.
This is probably the one thing I have going for me right now, but it isn't far away. Right now she wants attention for herself by herself. In a way, it may be a good thing that she has shown so little interest in our daughter to this point. But she has already talked about getting our daughter into children's theater when she's a little older. Once my wife gets her stage mom going, and starts getting attention through our daughter that way, it's probably all over.
Terry E. wrote:love you daughter and be the rock that she grounds herself on.
I can assure you I will do at least that, and more if I can.