This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Serenity 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #99643

    My children have spent the morning telling me about how much money and treats thry get at their dads, and how he and stepmum really push the children to do homework and revise between lessons. They are primary school aged.

    I feel terrible. It’s only recently thry went to live with them because I had to flee abuse.

    Behind the scenes I get emails from dad and stepmum criticising me and my mental health almost daily, they were just as bad when the children lived with me and I felt like I had to make everything perfect all the time which was impossible as they’ve got so much more material stuff than me.

    I have nothing, I can’t offer big allowances or tech or treats, and I’m not one for being strict over extra work. I just like spending time with my children.

    They come to see me and it feels like they’re bored and thry have their heads filled with stuff about me before they get here. They tell me they’ve been told it’s my fault I’m in a refuge, that dad and step mum are fed up with me, and they encourage my children to think about not visiting.

    I don’t feel like I have any say at all with my children – the other parents seem like such a strong force in their lives that when they’re here and I suggest doing something, they’ll decide based on what dad and step mum would allow. I don’t feel like their mum at all

  • #99652

    I’m so sorry to hear you feel so exclude, the things the children’s dad and step mum are saying and doing is emotionally abusive.
    Is there anyone at the refuge you can speak to?
    Sending hugs 🤗

  • #99660

    Do you have any evidence of the alienation? Can you record what the children say? This is not on. Perhaps you need a court order in place to protect your time with them that also states any alienation would be a breech of this order.

    If they are being manipulated now, as they get older this can make it more difficult to navigate, because they are not yet emotionally mature, so you end up fearful and not wanting to upset them – which is unrealsitic when you have to say no sometimes or disgaree, it’s especially concerning as you already know these people will critisise and oppose what you’re doing – meaning they will not show support for you or your parenting. So maybe you need to act now. I would call Rights for Women and discuss this with them.

    I would also call the NSPCC and ask for their help. Get some professional support and witnesses. They think they can do or say what they like here – bully and intimidate you, take the high ground, invent the rules, pretty sure they will change their tune if outside organisations also become involved – they will not want the intrusion and will comply to make it go away; think about it, highly unlikely they would want anyone else knowing how they are behaving or what they are saying – they will want to appear the saints, the kinghts. You are in the right here, not them; I imagine they are not really aware of how emotionally abusive they are being to children, how damaging this is – they need someone to tell them and that person is not going to be you is it. Call the NSPCC.

    In the mean time I would try to stop comparing yourself to them – it serves you in no way at all – acknowledge this so you can try to stop yourself from doing it when these thoughts enter your head.

    Your children love you and want to spend time with you, so try to keep it relaxed or fun and this will never change. Your power here is in the relationship you foster with your children – as long as things are good between you and them it will be ok x

  • #99702

    Parenting is not a competition; happy children are loved and supported by many – there’s always room for more support isn’t there x

  • #99715

    It’s so easy to listen to the critical voices of some of those around us, and to believe it to be the truth. We might not be aware of it, but it can cloud our day, our relationships…

    Try to remind yourself often how your critics words come from a place within themselves: it arises from their own issues.

    Please don’t believe what they say. You are a brave lady and have been through a great deal. Distance yourself from those who
    don’t support you.

    Things won’t be like this forever. You will be in a different place. One thing you must not do is to blame yourself for the abuse that was done to you, because they will stop you from believing that you deserve so much more x

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