31st March 2016 at 5:23 pm #12606
hi there, can anyone help me. has anyone ever experienced depression in their older children due to domestic abuse they suffered within a marriage.
31st March 2016 at 5:57 pm #12608mixed-up mumParticipant
My daughter almost had a breakdown knowing what he was doing to me, she tried to protect me from him, and she was terrified of me being alone with him, she wouldn’t go out with friends or go anywhere for fear of him getting to me – if he was going somewhere with me, she came too – she was at her witts end – that is what finally pushed me to get us out of the house.
The night before we left I lay beside her all night, she was crying and shaking with fear all night – we had to get her away from him.
Even after we left him she was not her normal self, and it took a year and a half of support from the children’s worker at Women’s Aid to get my daughter back – she was unrecognisable from the loving, caring, daughter I loved so much – it was a huge relief to get get her back.
Ask for support from Women’s Aid. It’s what helped my daughter.
3rd April 2016 at 8:48 am #12811Escaped not freeParticipant
Hello mixed up mum.
My children also suffered by living with my ex. We were living together for a short period of time but he managed to create such a hostile and intimidating atmosphere that my children couldn’t help but pick up on it. My (detail removed by Moderator) year old don became so anxious and stressed that he was hearing voices telling him he was worthless and stupid and did everything wrong. He would have horrendous nightmares also and started having temper tantrums whenever anything worried or stressed him. I was hugely concerned but at that time thought I my delusional state I was hiding my partners behaviour and taking the brunt of it to protect him. I took him immediately to the go who referred us to a counselling service. He told me very plainly he’s not schizophrenic or psychotic, he’s extremely stressed and anxious…..at age (detail removed by Moderator)! Before moving in with my partner he was a lovely happy boy, sensitive but that also made him very kind and nurturing. My partner saw this as a weakness and of all the children belittled and scared him the most. Saying he had to man up and get a sense of humour. If my son walked awYwhen he started on him I would get a torrent of verbal from him about how disresrrspecrful he was. My children are the most respectful socially conscious children ever. Each one of them have been awarded citizenship prizes at school for their giving and caring nature. The counselling the go referred him to was helpful although I had to pay and it was expensive. If you wait for a free place it can take four months apparently. His counsellor helped him deal with the feelings that were overwhelming him but did no make him talk about anything he didn’t want to.he wouldn’t talk to her about (detail removed by Moderator) just his stress feelings. After a fed weeks though he would talk to me more and told me how much he disliked him and how he was scared of him. That was a turning point for me. I tried to talk to my partner about the way his actions impacted on us all and his reaction again was intimidation and threatening behaviour. That’s when I knew I had to get them out. I had a very frank discussion with my boys about how I knew the way he was behaving and it wasn’t right. I told them we were a team and no matter what we would stick together and I was getting us away. I told them I will stand up to him and nobody should be allowed to treat them that way. Of course as soon as you stand up it gets worse so I removed them to my mums. My children know now that we won’t go back while he is there and that it is never ok for another person to make you feel that way. My younger son is much happier now although still gets nervous and has at times bad nightmares but he is getting better. My daughter who was becoming tearful all the time had been happy and smiley. My older son is quieter, wants my ex to be punished and finds it extremely frustrating and unfair that we are all sleeping on sofas and floors at my mums while my ex stays in our house as the police bailed him back there. They want home and at the moment that’s the thing holding them back. I would def advise counselling and maintaining as much of a routine as possible. It’s the most heartbreaking thing of all when your children are suffering and you can’t help. I really do sympathise but I do think it will get better with time. X*x
3rd April 2016 at 1:29 pm #12828
Thank you for responding. Although it’s sad to hear what you’re going through it is reassuring to know I’m not alone. Getting out of an abusive relationship takes great courage. Although it’s obviously very difficult for you I’d like to say ‘well done and keep going’. As I’m new to this site I’m not sure whether to reply to each person who’s responded or just to do what I did yesterday which was to send a general ‘thank you & stay strong’. Whatever it is good to know there are others out there who do understand what this is like and maybe through connecting we can do something about what I know now is a common and worldwide sickness.
4th April 2016 at 3:19 pm #12978mixed-up mumParticipant
Hi again Escaped not free – yes the kids and me lived in a very intimidating atmosphere – constantly dreading him walking in the door from work – dreading weekends when he was home all the time – treading on eggshells – knowing what we had to do to keep him happy – knowing what we couldn’t do – or were not allowed to do – its amazing how you learn and adjust – because you have to – its the only thing you CAN DO to survive.
I’m so sorry you son had such a horrendous time – but it’s great he got help.
Abusers think they are begin funny or smart and we don’t think it’s funny – to tease and make light of the situation.
My daughter had no time for her father – hated him then, and hated him still – she would always speak up for me and defend me – when I was too affraid to do it myself – this got her in so much trouble with him – daring to speak her mind and speak out against him – he hated this.
I would then get in trouble for “letting her off with it” & not supporting him – I was “never on his side”.
My daughter was only doing what any loving, caring, supportive daughter would do – defending her mam – but by her doing this I was cought in the middle – being made to ‘support him’ but feeling bad for not standing up for my daughter and myself.
There comes to a point when you just know you can’t put your kids through anymore – over the years you yourself have developed ‘coping strategies’ and you have become somewhat ‘toughened’ to it – but you are the mum and only you have the power to get your kids out of there and it’s your duty to protect them from him – and so in the end – you just know this is something you MUST do.
I think my daughter had been worrying about me for so long and protecting me for so long – that when we did finally get away from him – she just collapsed in on herself with all the stress she had been through – and as I say it took a year and a half of support from Women’s Aid – to get her back to the loving, caring daughter I knew and loved.
I know just what you mean I had to leave the family home too – and so he sat there quite comfortable in a three bed house – while we slept at me m**s – she only had a single and double bed so we were a bit squashed – but we coped – and eventually got a house – and now I dont care about the family home – he is welcome to it – me and the kids have a council house and we are very happy with it – its our home now – and we are FREE!!!!!
You too will find a home one day – and truely move on.
31st March 2016 at 6:48 pm #12611White RoseParticipant
Yes. Mine has depression and severe anxiety attacks and horrendous nightmares where she’s being killed. I’m not sure if it stems from when he tried to strangle her and hit her violently round the head. She is getting more and more introverted at home and swings from darkest depression to almost manic. School is a dirty word and her friends are slowly disappearing.
Her GP is very worried but she will accept no help. I’ve had crisis team round to see her as well as my DA support worker but she will mot even be assessed other than for them to say she’s not suicidal so we’re just waiting for her to either crash and burn, when we’ll be able to step in against her will or hopefully for her to accept she needs help and engage. There are glimmers of her old self now and again but none of her old sparkle. My advice is if you can get help for your children sooner rather than later to go for it.
31st March 2016 at 6:59 pm #12612godschildParticipant
My son had depression which I know was linked to his Dads abuse of me and him. My Mom died as well and his dads abuse to us both at that time was horrible, he spent days in his bedroom , really depressed.
My Daughter was at Uni travelling form home but could not continue her studies as He used to barge into her room ranting when she was trying to study and She left home just suddenly as she said she would have totally cracked if she had stayed.
She also had depression around the time my Mom died but I am sure it was very much linked to what was going on with her Dad.
She now blames me for not leaving ( albiet with disabilities I could not ) and My son has just very much cut me of recently, he now steers more towards his Dad for some reason, but mine have both been affected by his abuse.
3rd April 2016 at 1:41 pm #12829
Thank you so much. I sent a general reply yesterday as I had quite a number of responses. Both my sons veered towards their father’s side for a while. The hardest thing I did was to stand right back, allow them to make their own minds up and just hope. Fortunately they both did see the bigger picture which I think might be part of their difficulties now. Very hard to realise a dad isn’t all he makes out to be but better I believe if they see it for themselves. It’s not easy to stand right back and do nothing but I know now it was the best thing to do. Stay strong.
1st April 2016 at 7:52 am #12635Falling SkysParticipant
My son is depressed and near breaking point, as his father has involved him in the split, but he is saying its all my fault.
I don’t know how my daughter is coping as she will not have anything to do with in.
I worry for them both but there is nothing I can do about it.
All we can do is be there for them.
1st April 2016 at 1:41 pm #12656
They get effected more then we realize, i have been out (detail removed by moderator) months and i am constantly trying to work with different agencies to help my son , its heart breaking to watch them destruct there life as they cant deal with it, i myself am always chatting to ladies on here for advice or trying to get support for him in different ways and just try differnet things , we can only try our best to try and get them help the hardest bit is gettig them to take the help. you just have to be so strong for them and give them so much love, me son even has violent outburst whcih are heart breaking to deal with , i just have to keep giving him the same message violence not acceptable , its so painful for my son to deal with it , agencies have said just keep tryign to get through to him, and he will open when ready , post on here as much as u need to, At times like this i thought i was onmy own and the only one dealing with this scenario, so many people dont come forward out of embrassement, rality is a lot of us who have children have after effects to feal with , please dont feel u alone, u will get lovely support of here
1st April 2016 at 9:22 pm #12689SerenityParticipant
My eldest seemed so massively depressed in the year or two before my ex left. He just hid in his room or went out- he didn’t want to be anywhere near his dad.
After my ex left, he was playing such head games with my sons that my eldest tried to put a rope around his neck, and my youngest gouged his tooth out with a bread knife. Both boys turned furniture over and kicked doors, etc.
I really thought both would need to be referred to CAMHS.
Both seem much more settled now- especially my eldest, who had been free to choose no contact with his dad. My youngest had been ordered to see his dad by the courts, and sometimes he seems a bit up and down, but my ex is grooming him with gifts at the moment.
When they were distressed, I did all I could to help them feel safe and supported, but also directed and to know that the house was being run along my rules, of anti-abuse.
I went to speak to significant teachers in positions of authority, pastoral support teachers at the schools, my GP, the NSPCC helpline ( they are great), early intervention services – who visited the house ( when my boys were mimicking my ex’s abuse, I wanted them to know I could access outside help if needed, and wouldn’t keep such behaviours secret).
My ex wanted to keep us all down, and didn’t want us to a have anything, I realise now out of jealousy. He’d even try to sabotage my kids’ educational and sports achievement. That is how jealous and sick he is. He never wanted the kids to have anything- no technology or use of a laptop, even for their homework. I was able to let them use my work laptop, thankfully ( my work bought me a laptop- otherwise I would have just been left with a crashed and virus-ridden, ancient PC- my ex kept me short of money so I couldn’t have afforded another). Yet he’d have the latest technology- which we weren’t allowed to touch. I furnished their room with arcing hand furniture and had to keep secret what I had spent in my boys’ clothes: he would have got angry, even those these clothes were essentials.
So I bought them nice furniture for their room after he left, and a laptop. These things helped them to feel significant, and it’s really helped their morale. Both boys use their laptops loads for homework and revision- to achieve ( whereas he tried to prevent this when he lived at home).
My younger son met with the pastoral worker once a week at school, for a chat. I have encouraged them to be with friends ( even if I end up being a taxi for half my waking hours!) as he tried to isolate us all and make himself the centre of our lives always. I pay for my son to continue his music lessons, just for half an hour a week, and I budget to buy my eldest the right clothes when he needs them, as his image really is important to him nowadays and helps him feel confident. I encourage both boys to engage in sports, to keep fit and mentally well, and to mix with other youngsters, experience the camaraderie of a team and the thrill of achieving. I was a mess when my ex left, but now I try to keep the house warm, comfortable and clean, and encourage an atmosphere of acceptance and peace, where both children feel safe and have the space and privacy to grow, but I try to be alert to their feelings.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that I have tried to think holistically, and to cater for their range of needs, and this seems to have improved their mental and emotional health considerably.
Plus, I think my stance of going no contact with my abuser has helped, in that they see me as strong ( not a mess, as I was)and safe because he can’t come into the home, and with this they feel secure.
2nd April 2016 at 2:04 pm #12756
To all of you who replied to my question I’d like to say a massive thank you. One of the hardest things I’ve found is not being heard or listened to. Talking to someone from ‘carer’s support’ a few days ago she said she wasn’t qualified to comment on my question ie: could my experiences be linked with my children’s problems now. Personally I don’t think it needs a ‘qualification’ to work out that abusive behaviour is going to have some sort of negative impact on a child’s wellbeing. I know it’s not THE cause because depression is extremely complex and not down to one thing. Knowing others have similar problems is an enormous help and I really hope I can offer back as much help and support as I ask for. Both my sons tell me that being strong and here for them is all they need. As this has been going on for some considerable time staying strong has been getting harder but your help & support I know is going to inspire me to keep going. Stay strong all of you and stay safe too. Very best wishes
2nd April 2016 at 5:27 pm #12777
THats so sweet of your kids to say , with support and love fromus hun we wil try to guide u as much as we can, u not alone n*d even though it seems hopeless now the fact that u left means loads to your kids, give them all the love u can , when i first left my kids actually said willu throw us out if u have enough of us, they just as scared, bless i just hugg them and said this is allof our houses and im not going to throw them out like there dad threw us all out
3rd April 2016 at 2:09 pm #12831
Hi and thanks so much. Being new to this site I think I’ve been putting replies in the wrong boxes. Just knowing there are others out there who are having similar experiences is a huge help. What I’d like to do now is offer support back. I’m possibly considerably older than others on this site but I AM a survivor and maybe can encourage others to keep going. My children are getting help (professional and other) but to help them I do need to stay upbeat and strong. Your kind words really help so thank you again
3rd April 2016 at 5:16 pm #12873
Thats so good your kids are getting help, yeah if you can offer us any tips please do, i’ve just put a post on today how im struggling with eldest today
4th April 2016 at 5:32 pm #12984
Hi there, as I’m new to this site I’m having to find my way around. I couldn’t find your post about how you’re struggling with your eldest which is a shame as I would really like to support others as much as asking for help for me. What age is he/she and what are you struggling with today? Can I help? I’d really like to but it’s hard until I know what you’re dealing with. Maybe just knowing you’re not alone and there are plenty of people like us out there who do understand is a starter.
Thank you for your kind words. Here if/when you need.
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