ARCHIVE - Leaving an abusive relationship
I currently see a DV outreach worker weekly, due to emotional and mental abuse from my ex-husband. He is using the children to control me and intimidate me. He is maliscious and calls all the shots.
He made huge accussations about someone I am in a relationship with (and have been for over a year) and has told my son to tell police that he had hit him.
He kept the kids from me for WEEKS and I had to take him to court to get them back. Court has given him temp residensy order and my boyfriend is not allowed near the children. I only get to see them 3 days a week now
This is due to police investigations pending that the judge has had to take seriously.
I am doing everything in my power to help them to discover the truth, but I am struggling to make them see that this is emotional abuse, and that he is starting to use it on my eldest child.
I have support from my DV worker who has written a letter to send to court, is speaking to ss and is helping me weekly with my emotions.
But I still feel like the professions who are supposed to HELP my children do not believe me and see his front. They see him as the perfect father, and believe all his lies.
I have zero confidence when it comes to facing him, yet I have to face him twice a week to collect / drop off the children. I have asked that I do not see him anymore, but because he isnt physically violent and never has been it is dismissed instantly.
Why is it so hard to see emotional abuse and the effects is has on me? Sometimes I wish he would turn up and beat me just so that they would believe me (I really do not wish to offend by saying that, obviously I do not want him to do that, I just mean that if I had visable marks they would probably believe me more?).
I am trying so hard to hold it all together for my children, but I am seriously struggling as he is still controlling my life, he is getting all his own way and I am at risk of losing my boys full time.
Created by rainbowfighter on 11-May-12 18:39 GMT
You have a right to a life free from abuse. This is the first thing you need to internalize. Even though the support workers are acting like muppets, they know this too. They know that you have a right to say ENOUGH! You cannot make me do this. You cannot make me see a person who freaks me out to the point of extreme anxiety.
So, you need to find a neutral party - say a relative or friend or paid child minder to facilitate the change over of the kids when you see them.
Once you know you do not have to see him those times, things get a bit smoother.
Then, you need to take a step back. Your ex is an expert manipulator. He will be fooling a lot of people a lot of the time - but not everyone all of the time. You give him enough time, he will trip up on all his lies and it will come out in the end. Trouble is, you do not have the time to wait. There is too much at stake here. So, you keep talking and talking and talking. You speak to everyone willing to listen and even the ones that don't.
You keep your integrity. You do not stoop to his level and try very very hard, to never say a bad word about the dad in front of the kids. There is a very good reason for this:
He is probably saying that you are poisoning the kids against him. This is emotional abuse. The fashion of the courts right now is to pander to the poor father who has been vilified by the ex wife who is unstable/bad mother/ substance abuser/ you name it, he'll make it up. So the spot light is on you. I know it is not fair. I am outraged that he gets to do all this, and instead of him being called into account, you are put on the back foot having to justify yourself. But, this is the way it is and there is no use screaming about it. You have to work your way round it.
Take a couple of steps back and think strategically. You want to create a picture here of who he is and what he has done and what he is going to do. You know what he is going to do, because you know him. So, you need to find a way of trying to prevent it if you can, and managing the situation if you cant.
Remember that through all these processes you have rights - the right to know what they are investigating, where they are going with their inquiries next, what the possible outcomes may be.
Are you taking care of yourself? Eating good food, trying to sleep, doing something nice for yourself every day and finding ways to relieve your anxiety? I ask because his ultimate aim is to get you to crack, so even though you feel you are close to it, if you can, try stop it happening. There are things you can try to help yourself with.
Your path is hard. I have just come out of my process although I will probably be back in court in the next 6 weeks over residency issues anyway. It seems to never end. But. I survived. Look up shared residency which the courts in their imbecilic foolishness have decided is the way forward in residency cases, because there is a good chance this may happen for you and if you have good case to argue against it (with legal advice only) then consider that.
Good good luck.
Posted by Black Horse on 11-May-12 21:32 GMT
Everything you have said makes sense. Its all things I already know, just some things I lose confidence in putting into action.
With the drop off / collection, I have no family or friends who can help and all childminders are full near me (only know this as have been recently enquiring for eldest starting school).
Plus it is ME who has a contact order that I HAVE to abide by, even though it kills me every week to have to ring his phone to speak to my (age removed by moderator)year old because he is even controlling me to the extent of ignoring the phone.. then texting me later asking why I didnt call. So I then call... for him to tell my son to ask me why I didnt call his as agreed. Today I got to speak to my son for a whole FOUR minutes... his dad them told him to say goodbye and hung up on me.
I am doing everything I can thing off, I have had a home visit from SS that I requested to voice my concerns (though it felt asthough she sees us both as brilliant parents who are just point scoring against each other). I have a fab DV outreach worker who has written to the court for me, and is speaking to SS etc.
I have logs and screenshots that I have sent to the police because my partner has been accused of hurting my son and my son has said he has in a police interview.
But the one thing that is hurting me most, is that it seems that he is now emotionally abusing my (age removed by moderator) year old. He is telling him what to say to police and threatening him. Things like telling him the policeman will take him away and so on. He also bad mouths me constantly to the kids, and confuses them.
I have never, not once bad mouthed their father infront of them. I allow them to talk about him and join in with happy conversations about their dad.
I protect them from the truth (in situations where it is inappropriape to tell the truth), but also try to remain truthful as much as I can to them.
I can see it effecting the kids. They come home and headbutt walls and doors. My (age removed by moderator)year old asks me is he naughty and is the policeman coming for him. Vents his frustration out of his sibling and crys and clings to me when I take him to nursery.
I just want to protect my children. Why cant they see what he is doing to them? Or to me? Why is emotional abuse so so hard to be believed about.
Posted by rainbowfighter on 11-May-12 21:51 GMT
This is hectic! Your ex sounds like a real nasty piece of work. What breaks our hearts as moms is that the damage needs to be done before we get any attention and all we are trying to do is to minimize the impact of the damage in the first place. SS will have records of your concerns. Have you made it crystal clear to them about the way your ex is bad mouthing you and also how he is coaching the kids using threats of removal? This is huge stuff and in my case, the SS had a certain way of asking my kids if that was happening. I am wondering if they have taken that line with your kids, or skirted over it?
Over time, with this sort of behaviour from their father, there is going to be fall out at school, in their relationships with other people, in their relationship with you. It is all the mixed messages he is feeding them and they have no idea what to think or how they fit in the world. There are going to be problems at school. I know it is going to break your heart, but it may be that you have to wait a bit before you have enough 'evidence' to move again.
I scream in utter frustration and horror that we have to do this, to protect our children from the men who allegedly 'love' their children.
Something is fundamentally wrong in our society
Posted by Black Horse on 12-May-12 07:23 GMT
Yes I have told SS over and over, expressed deep concern at the home visit last week. She went to see him to express my concerns. Which I know he will deny and come across as the perfect father. No doubt it will now make things harder on me now he knows what I have told them, but I need to try hard to remain strong so that my feelings and worry's are not shown to the children.
It seems crazy that DV worker is working on my behalf and being a second voice for me. All the screenshots and logs I have provided seems to not have much effect.
His ex girlfriend giving a statement may help with the police, but it will only be the police that see it.
SS have even signed me up to a parenting support home visit thing, because I mentioned the kids are showing frustration with harming themselves through headbutting and slapping themselves in the face. I have mentioned my eldest now having a fear of the police, of clinging to me when I take him to nursery in fear of me leaving him. Of him controlling me.
It feels like the DV worker is the only person who believes me, who understands it all and everyone else, the professionals who are there to protect the childrens well-being are instead listening to his side and ignoring mine.
I am at a loss as to what to do. I am not sure how long I can just sit here and watch my children get damaged for.
Have been in tears all morning over it. I feel like I cannot live my life. I am being judged with everything that I do, and no one seems to see that all that I do is to protect my children and myself.
Posted by rainbowfighter on 12-May-12 09:52 GMT