21st January 2022 at 10:24 pm #137527
One of his family contacted me (detail removed by Moderator) and it’s floored me. We were good friends and before I decided whether I’d leave or not we agreed that what ever happened we would keep in touch in the long term.
(detail removed by Moderator) they are questioning how I can keep my child from his family. I am devastated. I feel like they don’t understand anything. I feel they don’t believe the abuse I have suffered.
He hasn’t continued negotiations for time with the child. It isn’t my responsibility to sort it.
I’m overwhelmed worrying about the future. When the child does things where both parents should be there – school stuff, illness, marriages etc. I just can’t face seeing any of that side of the family now.
I will take it day by day, but the future looks horrible. I feel like I’ll be abused forever. I married a monster!
I’m sorry. I try so hard to be positive, but I’m exhausted trying to justify and prove what I’ve been through….
21st January 2022 at 11:39 pm #137530KIP.Participant
Hi, sadly blood is thicker than water and at this time you need to cut contact with people like this. You won’t always feel this vulnerable but until you get stronger you need to protect yourself. You do not have to justify your behaviour to anyone. It’s not their business. I used to worry about the future family events but you will build your own future away from people who support his abuse. You’re right that it’s not your responsibility to facilitate access and I’d be grateful for the time he isn’t spending with your child. Meantime keep his family at a distance and expect more harrassment. If it continues then a message saying for them not to contact you again. You need this time to recover from the abuse and more abuse from his family won’t help. Work on zero contact.
22nd January 2022 at 11:55 am #137548
Thank you KIP. It’s so helpful to have your guidance. You start to doubt yourself. I can see from her point of view I have stopped contact with his family and moved away, which has in turn stopped them seeing the child for now. But I haven’t gone zero contact due to the child – still have email and solicitor. Although, don’t worry, I won’t be responding to his emails myself – I’ll forward to solicitor and escalate if needed. For the time being I am so so grateful he hasn’t been in touch for some time.
She’s a really kind and good hearted family member. I knew he would have brainwashed the family. It’s just this contact confirms it. I’m disappointed she can’t see the reasons for my actions. I desperately want to explain my actions – That I have sought guidance from professionals. That it is him who is stopping contact and it is his behaviour that has led to the breakdown of our marriage. That it is not my responsibility to hold him to account for each poor action, but that he should recognise it isn’t ok to treat another person the way he treated me, repeatedly. I want to share the Lundy Bancroft book with her and point her to the chapter on how the family react and the other comments about the perpetrator playing the victim. How will that help her though? She has to be in a family with this monster and be with those who support him.
Another thing I’ve realised following your post is that she would reply to my explanation. I haven’t the strength. I also don’t want to make promises of contact with her or others in the future.
22nd January 2022 at 1:58 pm #137554Wants To HelpParticipant
You are doing so well protecting yourself and your child from a future of abuse and I can see that you are torn between wanting to do ‘the right thing’ by his family and the right thing for you and your child.
It is very early days for you still and you are still adapting to your new situation as a single mum with a baby, a new home and location etc. The fact that this family member has been good to you in the past and you were friends is a positive. My thoughts on this are purely for the purpose of keeping the peace between you and allowing that positive relationship to stay in tact, otherwise, this family member could turn against you and cause you more upset and hurt.
Personally, I would respond to them with an email saying that things are still very emotional for me at the moment and that I need some time to come to terms with things and adjust and that I may feel differently further along the line. I would thank them for their interest and concern and tell them I’ll email again at some point later in the year.
That way, I would feel that I have not ignored them and have acknowledged their contact, that I have given an explanation as to why I don’t want contact with them at this time and that it is I that will instigate the next contact when I feel in a better position to do so. By saying I will be in contact at some point this year does not give them a specific time frame but allows me another 11 months.
Is this family member wanting contact with your child or trying to get you to let your ex see the child? If the family are wanting to have ongoing contact whilst understanding that HE isn’t to have contact then that may be something that could be sorted in the future. However, if they were wanting contact to facilitate him then going to see your child when they are with them that is different.
After I split with my ex our son still had a lot of contact with his family even though my ex was never present. I got on very well with his parents (still do) and they have actually been a very good support network to me and very loving grandparents. My son has nothing to do with his Dad at all now but has a very loving relationship with all of his Dad’s family members. Just wanted to let you know this is possible. 🙂
23rd January 2022 at 10:47 am #137590
Thank you Wants To Help. It’s good to have contrasting opinions on this and I’m so pleased your son has a good relationship with his paternal grandparents.
I am going to take my time to work out what to do for the best, but I will consider the email. The way you have suggested writing it stops the family member replying, hopefully. At the very least I will not feel obliged to respond to any further contact.
I have reacted really badly to this contact (which I believe comes from a kind place) – sleepless nights, feelings of hopelessness and fleeting suicidal thoughts. This backs up what KIP has suggested – I need time to heal and build my strength and this justifies zero contact with all family members for now/forever.
I suggested to my ex that this family member acted as a 3rd party some time ago. He’s done nothing about this. This family member states that they are upset that the wider family can’t see my son and they can’t understand why not. Equally they have offered to be a 3rd party and mentioned the letter from my solicitor to my ex where I suggest this. Writing that down has made me realise there are 2 issues here – (1) wider family seeing son & (2) facilitating his contact with his son (which he has failed to sort for himself). It doesn’t make sense that I help his family see his son, when he can’t help himself see his son…does it?
This family member is the one with the most insight. Others have sent me back to my abusive ex when I have stood on their doorstep in tears begging them to help me (he had rung ahead and told them not to let me in their house); they have told me he will kill himself if I leave him; and since I have left they have rung me to tell me I should have left sooner (so acknowledging his behaviour), before I had a child and that I have used him to have a child (so much evidence to the contrary on this, including fertility treatment) and I am selfish to take the child away from them. Again, this backs up the zero contact approach.
I suspect I’ll do a combination – email asking for space and then zero contact until I have more strength (if ever). Interestingly, another member of the family, abused by him, has gone zero contact with the whole family.
My head is so full. This forum is so helpful to get my thoughts out of my head.
Thank you KIP and Wants To Help xx
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