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    • #134706
      SingleMomSurvivor
      Participant

      Horrible recent encounter with abusive ex where he launched into a verbal tirade against me, called me all sorts of names & encouraged his family members to do it also. When I’m alone I often rehearse what I’ll say in response to his verbal abuse but then when it happens I guess I’m like a deer in headlights & I end up not saying anything I want to say. Also I think of my kids & how if I say much of anything back he’ll try to use it against me. Now I’m just beating myself up for not telling him off. Just having a really bad day and feeling pretty low. I wish I was one of those people who was really quick on her feet with the verbal comebacks. I spend a lot of time after the fact thinking about what I should have said. Just, not a good day for me.

    • #134707
      KIP.
      Participant

      I used to feel the same way but arguing with an abuser is pointless. You’re absolutely doing the right thing by not replying. He wants you to reply so he can justify his abuse. What he’s doing is illegal and the best thing you can do is to have absolutely zero direct contact with him. Using a third party for all communication and hand overs or a contact centre. He’s given you plenty reasons why this is the best route for you and your children. There’s absolutely nothing you can say that’s going to change his behaviour and nothing he won’t respond abusively to. Encounters like this are extremely detrimental to your mental health too. You don’t have to allow this in your life and that of your children. Keep a journal of his behaviour and if you can record the abuse. I’d be reporting him to the police because this is the most dangerous time for women post separation. How dare he. No experience is wasted if we learn from it, so this lesson is that contact brings abuse and hands him the power he craves and thrives on. You’ve tried it this way and it doesn’t work. Thinking of you ❤️. We get good at picking ourselves up when we shouldn’t be down in the first place x

      • #134712
        SingleMomSurvivor
        Participant

        Thank you KIP ❤️. I really appreciate you saying that. The whole experience was incredibly draining & traumatic. I feel like I’ve taken 3 steps back mentally and now I have to build myself back up. I guess one way I can look at it is that when he & I were together he would abuse me like this & I would try so hard to figure out how to make the relationship work. At least now I’ve gotten away from him & when he acts like this I have no desire at all to be with him again. If anything it just motivates me more to figure out how I can protect me & my kids more.

        Thank you for saying I did the right thing by not responding. I’m always trying to think of how the court would view my actions & want to make sure I’m behaving in a way that shows I’m a levelheaded responsible parent.

        I absolutely do need to look into changing the current pickup/drop off arrangements because it’s not working. All I did was try to confirm some basic info re: our kids and he went ballistic.

      • #134725
        KIP.
        Participant

        He came to you already knowing he was going to go ballistic. He’s not losing control when he does this he’s absolutely in control of himself. It didn’t matter what you said or did he’s going to do this because he enjoys it and he will have a big smile on his face for the rest of the day while you’re destroyed mentally and pushed backwards. It took me some time to realise this but it was such an important discovery. A saying I remember is that abusers only want contact with us so they can slap us again. Not so much a physical slap but the mental is just as destructive. If your children witnessed it then it’s child abuse and you need to make sure it’s logged somewhere as if you’re concerned about court then they need evidence so a journal or confiding in a close friend or family member who will support you. I wouldn’t advise bringing it up with him directly but if and when you change the hand over arrangements you could mention the date and time and what he did to you and said to you in front of the children and that for their welfare you’re changing contact arrangements. Please contact your local women’s aid x it’s a lonely journey doing this alone so keep building a support network x

      • #134770
        SingleMomSurvivor
        Participant

        This is really helpful Kip! You’re right he’s not losing control because this is exactly what he wanted to happen. No matter how calm I tried to remain he turned every statement into an argument. It was maddening. I now know that the only path moving forward is to go grey rock and say absolutely nothing to him. All communication regarding the kids will have to be written/documented or go though a third party. It’s the only path moving forward. I also think he’s baiting me & trying to get some large reaction from me. He’s such a horrible horrible person.

    • #134710
      Plodding
      Participant

      This is all really familiar to me it’s exactly my experience right now thanks for posting this x

      • #134713
        SingleMomSurvivor
        Participant

        Thank you for saying that Plodding. It’s so easy for me to feel alone & like my life is just so messed up & no one else around me is going through this. I appreciate the community I’ve found on the forum.

    • #134726
      N-Survivor
      Participant

      Absolute grey-rock him. Don’t respond, don’t take it personally, don’t defend. He’s doing it for his own ego. And let’s not forget they feed on your negative emotions, too. If you get upset he feels power over you. Don’t give him the satisfaction.
      And to be honest we do struggle to respond to these tirades because they don’t make any sense. It’s word vomit meant to get a reaction from you.
      You’re doing the right thing. If you can just say “ok” indifferently to him in response it will injure his ego the most.

      • #134771
        SingleMomSurvivor
        Participant

        You’re right it is total word vomit! He just kept saying a bunch of ridiculous things & I did reply some but I tried really hard to remain in control & focused on the topic which was our kids. Moving forward I definitely will grey rock him & just give an “ok” response to anything he says. I honestly think he’s gonna flip out again and end up getting arrested yet again. I always make sure I have someone with me when we exchange the kids but now I am going to look into a 3rd party doing it all together. I will keep you all posted as he has another visitation coming up soon.

      • #134893
        N-Survivor
        Participant

        Grey rocking will definitely make him angrier because he won’t be able to upset you. Definitely bring a witness along. Switch your audio recording on your phone. Document everything.

        It will get worse before it gets better. They say narcs are angriest before they give up. I do hope this is the case.

    • #134731
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      I think you did exactly the right thing by not responding to him and his family. If this was all in the presence of your children, all they’d have witnessed is a big argument among the people they love and hearing some nasty things being said. I do understand they have probably heard nasty things being said to you by people they love, but at least they didn’t hear you being a part of it that would have prolonged it.

      Sometimes, a dignified silence and walking away is the strongest thing to do, no matter how much we want to say something or stand up for ourselves.

      If your children did hear what was said, you can tell them it wasn’t nice and it upset you and that speaking to people in that way is not acceptable, however, you cannot be responsible for how their father and his family speak to others. Children soak up so much information and learn by example from others. They learn to understand behaviours that make others happy and make others sad by what they witness in life and what they experience, so as long as your examples are positive ones that’s all you can be responsible for.

      Don’t waste your breath on trying to justify yourself to your ex. Nothing you say to him will make any difference anyway.

      • #134772
        SingleMomSurvivor
        Participant

        Thank you so much for this!! I love the advice you gave about how to talk to my kids about this. Like you said I can’t control him or his family only myself but I was struggling with figuring out how to let them know the way their father acts isn’t acceptable. I love the way you worded it. I’m gonna save this on my phone and definitely refer to it when I talk to my kiddos. Thank you!

    • #134773
      SingleMomSurvivor
      Participant

      I really appreciate everyone who responded! I’m feeling so much better today & reading your words of encouragement & support helped tremendously. I feel stronger already. I’m not 100% back to myself but I certainly don’t feel as beaten down as I did when everything happened. I appreciate you ladies so much ❤️

    • #134894
      KIP.
      Participant

      Just keep taking baby steps. It’s a roller coaster of ups and downs so make sure you stop to enjoy the up days. Do something nice for yourself when you can x keep moving forward x

      • #135011
        SingleMomSurvivor
        Participant

        You are right KIP it has been such a rollercoaster with lots of ups & downs. I am going to start being more intentional about doing nice things for myself, especially when he has the kids & I have free time.

    • #135022
      StartingOverAgain
      Participant

      Good points made by KIP and others.

      Yes it is draining potentially. And it can be positively dangerous to answer back, or even be assertive as I’m sure many others know.

      You can always say silently to yourself ‘I will answer this’…

      And then set about ‘answering’ it in a way that benefits you and your kids…by finding out how you want to live now and then manifesting it…easier said than done I know but may help.

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