I am having a rough night.
Today my partner had a meeting, mediated by my stepdaughter's therapist, with SD's biological father to talk to him about co-parenting. He didn't show, which is pretty typical, but we got some bad news related to the custody case while there. I've mentioned this before, but right now he has very little access to SD because of allegations of sexual abuse. But our therapist had talked to the new court caseworker who is responsible for making recommendations to the court and she was totally hostile and against us.
Basically she said we made up the abuse just to get back at her father, and went on to suggest that everything we did, down to the town where we chose to live, was part of a conspiracy to torture him. She accused us of brainwashing SD to hate him and think of me as her real father (we actually tried to avoid that, fearing this reaction, but she made her own judgements about things). What she really got hung up on was the fact that I had a criminal record. It was from when I was a teenager (I'm 27 now), but she just totally lost it and doesn't want to hear anything about the circumstances or our family. She even went so far as to say that she suspects that I may have molested my SD. She is recommending that our SD not be allowed to be around me at all, which is really complicated since her mother and I live together and have another younger child together, not to mention the fact that I've lived with my SD since she was very little and it would be incredibly traumatic for both of us to be separated.
Part of me is enraged that I'm taking all of this heat for someone who is not only a deadbeat dad but abused his own child, while I've been taking care of her day and night for years. Part of me is terrified because if we don't reach an informal agreement, which is really unlikely with her against us, our only choice is to go to trial. Not only would this involve getting raked over the coals for months, but the odds are against getting the judge to disagree with the Family Services recommendation. I feel like there's no way to win. If I stay it could hurt her, if I leave it'll break her heart, and even then this lady will still probably side with the father. There's nothing I can do right now, nothing will probably even happen for weeks, but my mind is spinning and I am not sleeping and I have no idea what to do except collect a million letters of reference and go to court begging for someone to stop being insane and do what's best for the little girl for once.