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    • #119689

      My daughter has been getting upset that her dad (my ex) doesn’t live with us. It breaks me everytime I hear her cry or say she just wants her daddy back. It’s not that I’ve stopped her seeing him, she still does. Does it get easier. Will she grow up hating me for splitting up her family.

    • #119692
      GreenSapphire
      Participant

      How old is your daughter? We can’t reveal ages but are you able to just specify nursery or primary or secondary or college age?

      I’m from a broken home and my father was an abuser. I think it’s down to age, what they’ve experienced, how much they understand and other dynamics as to how children get through it and how it goes on to shape their mindset. There wasn’t any support out there for me as a child but boy times have changed. I went it alone but child counselling and therapy play groups etc are available now.

    • #119693
      GreenSapphire
      Participant

      There is another thread running called ‘Recovery programme for kids’, it’d be worth checking that out. Lots of great info on there for helping children through their grief and emotions x

    • #119694

      She’s just started (detail removed by moderator).
      I do try and support her by saying that daddy still loves you even though he doesn’t live here anymore and that she can still see him etc. Is it possible she thinks she might have lost him forever? She gets so upset when she comes back from his. I don’t know how to help her. I thought I was doing the right thing but splitting up with her abusive father but now it seems she’s even more upset this way

      • #119696
        GreenSapphire
        Participant

        Is she herself when she comes back from seeing him? What’s her behaviour like?

      • #119704

        Her behaviour hasn’t changed at all. I’ve even spoken to her school who have said there’s absolutely no change in her behaviour there either. She just gets these sudden realisations almost that her dad isn’t here in the house anymore and it makes her sad. I’m going to see if there’s any books I can get on the topic but I don’t want to upset her even more. It’s so hard.

      • #119707
        Hetty
        Participant

        Talking through how she’s feeling and sharing any story books won’t make her worse. What you are doing is giving her an outlet, showing her you can support her emotions and that it’s ok to feel sad, scared etc and that she can let it out. It’s all very normal and it will get easier. She’s going through a process as you will be too and you will both grow stronger in your relationship as a result ❤️

    • #119695
      Hetty
      Participant

      You have done the right thing. Children don’t understand, they love their parents regardless and she is too young to get what’s normal and what’s abusive. Don’t ever think getting her out was the wrong thing. Don’t berate yourself. Your ex broke up your family, not you. That’s on him not you.
      My son was a bit younger than your daughter when I left his dad. He used to cry coming home etc.it does get easier when they get older and establish a routine. Please be mindful and careful as your ex may be saying things to your daughter. I’m not saying he is, but my son’s dad used to say things like “your mum is going to stop me seeing you” etc. Remember these men will continue their abuse through and with the children if they can.
      It’s heart breaking to see your child suffer. Let her have her emotions. She’ll be grieving too, as you might be. I encouraged my son to cry it out with me. I never told him to stop. Validate how she’s feeling “I can see you miss your daddy and how sad you are”. You’ll probably be able to find some story books online. Talk to her. If you think she thinks she’s lost him forever then ask her “ mummy was wondering if you think you’ve lost daddy forever”. See what she says then go from there. These are just some things I’ve done with my son. Don’t be afraid to talk to her. Young children can’t say how they’re feeling so we have to gently enquire and instead of asking how she’s feeling start with “ I was wondering if you’re feeling… “
      It’s so so hard but you’ve done the right thing. You’ve saved her and yourself ❤️

      • #119705

        Thankyou. I think I just expected her to be fine but now I think she’s slowly realising that we aren’t getting back together it’s hit her hard. Yeah she’s only (detail removed by moderator) and she’s one of the younger ones in the year so she’s very little and doesn’t have much idea of what/why/how. I guess I just thought that because she still sees him that she would be fine. I am hoping it gets easier because it’s heartbreaking to see her so upset. I don’t want her to grow up with abandonment issues or anything like that because of it 🙁

      • #119708
        Hetty
        Participant

        Children are very resilient and adaptable. In time this will be the new normal. Remember being in school will be a big thing for her too and then we have the covid situation on top so she’s probably feeling unsettled about a lot of things. Lots of cuddles and reassurance. Plenty children grow up in this situation and are fine. You are her safety and you can help her make sense of how she’s feeling. Remember she won’t be able to tell you so watch for her behaviour and acting out. You’ve done the right thing. How many of us share heartbreaking stories of the damage done to our children by staying. Happy mum = happy children. Be kind to yourself. It’s hard when our children are in situations we would never want them to be in but leaving abuse behind is really for the best ❤️

      • #119782

        Yes you are right. I think just seeing your child completely broken at having lost her dad in a sense breaks you too as a parent. Today has been a better day, she did get upset again but I repeated the same thing as I have everytime. Yeah that is very true and a huge part of the reason I left him was because I didn’t want my daughter growing up seeing or hearing awful things x

      • #119783
        Hetty
        Participant

        I’ve cried myself after I’ve held my son when he’s been crying. It’s awful. I’ve been making a few little new traditions, routines for us. Just little things – picky tea Saturday, long walk together on Sunday’s. You’ll both get there. It sounds like you’re doing a great job. The very fact that you’re showing such care and consideration for your daughter tells me you’re an attuned mother. That’s the best start in life for your baby girl ❤️

    • #119786
      Eggshells
      Participant

      Please don’t doubt yourself for one moment. I can understand your your heartache at seeing her so upset but as others have said, children are very resilient. I’ve worked with kids of all ages and the ones whose parents split up when they were young are so much more settled than those whose parents spilt when they were older.

      I didn’t spilt until both my children were in their late teens and it was a huge mistake. Growing up witnessing abuse did so much damage. It is hard for her now but you really are doing the best thing for her. xx

    • #119787
      gettingtired
      Participant

      Hello, not sure if this helps but I used to cry and feel so guilt ridden and confused as a child when I’d come back from my Dad’s. I used to feel angry at my Mum and Step dad even though they hadn’t done anything. I don’t think my family really recognised it though (I used to cry alone a lot in my room) but if they had I’m sure they’d have tried to help me. Just like you’re trying to help your daughter as you can see she’s sad when she comes back.
      One thing I would say is though, as an adult I know what my Dad is like now and I’m so grateful my Mum left him! He’s affected me negatively but it would have been much worse if I’d have grown up under the same roof as him. My Mum has only ever been honest to me about what he was like (when I was old enough to know) and has never tried to turn me against him or stop him seeing me. He however used me as a weapon at times so I know his nasty side.
      With a Mother like you, your daughter will understand when she’s old enough.
      Please know you have absolutely done the right thing by leaving, it sounds like you’re doing a great job despite her struggling so well done x*x

    • #119788
      GreenSapphire
      Participant

      As women, we cannot fill the gap left by an absent father. The role is left unfilled, whether that be because the father abandoned the child or the father was unfit to be around the child or that he died or that he wants the child but isn’t capable or right in his own self to look after the child.

      All that is open to mothers is to do their very best to bring the child or children up in the best possible way they know how. As women, we are can learn new ways to interact, to be in the present, to teach right from wrong, to teach them balance and fairness.

      I am not a mother, but I look to you who are with wide open eyes and know that you are the ones who make the difference. So be kind to yourself, because if you cannot be kind to yourself, how will or do you expect your daughter to learn what it is to be kind to herself? Daughters learn from their mothers as do sons. So do your level best to be kind to you and your daughter will pick up the same level of care naturally.

      They learn almost everything about life from us. So make it a good life x

    • #119841

      Thankyou so much everyone for your replies and reassurance ❤️ Xx it means a lot. I think because he was saying “look at what you’ve done, by limiting contact you’re upsetting her and making her miss her dad” so I questioned myself. I know I have done the right thing by ending it and am doing the right thing by limiting the amount of contact he has with her (not for selfish reasons, purely for a routine for her) Today we had a better day, she didn’t get upset today. I explained when she was seeing her dad next and she took it happily and then carried on with our activity. It’s been a long day of lone parenting (lockdown isn’t helping I feel soo isolated and lonely) but I keep reminding myself that although I feel alone at least I am safe. The atmosphere in the house is lovely and calm. I am so so so looking forward to spring, lighter nights and warmer days, it brings new hope x

      • #119844
        Hetty
        Participant

        How dare he say that! Once again a selfish and entitled attitude. Not thinking about the best interests of his daughter. Don’t let him get in your head. You’re doing the right thing. My son’s dad will still raise his ugly head and blame me for him not seeing our son when the reason is purely because he’s an alcoholic.
        Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing a great job. Be kind to yourself. Being a single mum, especially in these times work home schooling etc, is really really tough xx

    • #119843
      KIP.
      Participant

      You’re absolutely doing the right thing. I stayed with my abuser for the sake of my child. I had no idea about domestic abuse and never heard of Women’s Aid. So I stayed and my son learned how to become an abuser from his father and has the same entitled attitude. We are estranged now and I am victim blamed. The best gift you can give your child for her future is to keep her away from an abuser as much as possible. Any man who abuses the mother of his child is not a good father or role model. Children from an abusive home are far more likely to be abused as an adult. Or become abusers themselves. You can bet your ex will be trying to brainwash her. Children like continuity so once the pattern is established she will be distracted and in her routine. No one likes change. Remember it’s easy being a parent for 10 minutes a week when he gets to play at daddy. You’re doing the real hard work and building good foundations for her and you wouldn’t have it any other way x when daddy hurts mummy, Lundy Bancroft is worth a look x

    • #119967
      Iwantmeback
      Participant

      I was about to recommend the same book. I just read it myself even though my children are adults themselves. I wish I’d known about abuse and the effects on children. Womens aid was only for battered wives when i was growing up, thankfully coercive and manipulative control is included in the remit now too.
      Please don’t go back just because your child is sad, you’re doing as great a job as you can in protecting her from him. Keep a contact diary, if he turns up, if he cancels last minute, if her behaviour changes.
      If he loved your daughter he wouldn’t have abused her mum, that’s child abuse. Be aware he’ll be filling her head with how it’s your fault they’re no longer together as a family.
      The book is invaluable.
      Best wishes IWMB 💞💞

    • #120050

      Thankyou everyone ❤️ I’ve had the same (detail removed by moderator) story (detail removed by moderator) from him. I blocked his number in the end. He then got his mother to message me. Her message was (detail removed by moderator)…etc etc etc” he had rang her and told her to message me telling me (detail removed by moderator). He’s a deranged human being and his mother is a classic enabler. I flick from being angry at her for enabling his behaviour and raising such a piece of work to being sad that she’s his biggest victim.

    • #120065
      Iwantmeback
      Participant

      Block her too, she doesn’t want to see his behaviour is wrong. By showing her the consequences for becoming a flying monkey, she’ll think more on it. All she’s doing is alienating herself from a relationship with her grandchild.
      Do you have a solicitor, let them know what she’s doing. Also your doctor too, the more professionals know how you’re being treated the better it is for you. I’m not sure if all police stations have a domestic abuse team but it would be worthwhile asking or if you can, put a complaint in. I bought a dictaphone to record conversations as I didn’t know how to on my phone. Might be a good idea to invest in one. If it was a text message even better, as you’ve proof ofc what she’s said. I read a few times on here when I first came on that if you inform your abuser and their flying monkeys thst you don’t want them to contact you and they ignore it, request it again. After that block and don’t respond as the police will see it as a t*t for tat scenario. Make up a new email account for any contact and also keep a visitation journal which can be used in court if it comes to that. Details of visits, if they came, cancelled or just didn’t show up, whether late picking up and or returning. How your child is leading up to the visit and after, if anything about them changes.
      Best wishes IWMB 💞💞

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