What you allow is what will continue. 

Sunday my son had a visit with his father.  At the drop off, my son was showing increased fear towards the man who fathered him and it took longer than usual to get him comfortable with staying.  The visits are still supervised, although the supervisor doesn’t take it seriously and typically stays inside and leaves Justin and my baby outside.  

At the drop off, that took 20 minutes, justin became very angry with me.  Our son was scared and didn’t want me to leave, so I was trying to build his confidence, and was helping him pick out rocks and put them in his pocket.  On the third rock, I handed it to the 18 month old and told him, “why don’t you go show it to him?” And pointed at Justin.  Justin flipped out because I didn’t refer to him as “daddy”.  He tried to verbally abuse me for a while, but got no reaction from me.  

The supervisor eventually came outside and our son went to her, so I was able to leave.  When I returned 40 minutes later, I could hear my son screaming for me from the back yard.  It has been months since he’s done that.  Justin met me halfway to the backyard and was acting very strange.  The baby was gasping for breath, and was visibly upset.  Justin told me “he’s been very cranky” and I didn’t think much about it since we have both been sick.  

I discovered, the following day, the reason for my son’s distress.  

I have seen Justin take out his anger on his other child when the other mother didn’t go along with his abuse too.  

He only sees this baby for an hour at a time, and he cannot be trusted to protect him for that hour?  Why would anyone ever let him have this child for longer than that? And unsupervised?  

According to Erickson’s 8 Fundamental stages of development, young children need to go through the trust and attachment stage so they can develop a trust for their caregivers.  This will serve them well in the future if they complete this phase.  Why doesn’t anyone listen?