28th July 2020 at 11:16 am #111122ultimatelyStrongParticipant
It’s been more than 6 months and less than 4 years since I had contact with my ex. Then recently he’s started having contact with our child. I thought I was going to be ok because I have really put the work in since I left him. But since contact has started I’m slowly going back to how I felt when we were together. Always on edge, can’t sleep or keep on top of housework, can’t take care of myself. I’m terrified of upsetting him by being late for contact or if our child is dressed wrong or doesn’t give him the attention he wants for example on FaceTime calls. Child is very young so it’s really pot luck how she is on the day. He complains about everything to social services who are helping us with contact. I’m a nervous wreck all over again and I don’t know how to navigate this. And I’m disappointed with myself for not being stronger as I thought I would be. At the moment contact is supervised but I have to drive past him after I’ve dropped her off or when I’m going to pick her up and I make sure I keep my eyes fixed ahead but I can see in my peripherals that he is gawping at me. One day he literally stared at me then started singing. He sang a song to my child on FaceTime and the lyrics were like “wherever you go I’ll be there” and I know it’s all to get in my head. I’m sat in a supermarket car park waiting to go collect her and I just feel so….. beaten. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s only going to get worse as he gets more and more contact.
Why don’t the courts/social workers see the effect these men have on us.
28th July 2020 at 1:20 pm #111127SunshineRainflowerParticipant
Hi Strong, I don’t really have any advice but I just wanted to reply saying I’m sorry you’re going through this and how difficult it must be. I didn’t have children with my abusive ex but I can see how that can keep us attached to them long after the day we want anything to do with them.
Is there any way you can detach from his opinion, ie if your child isn’t engaging on FaceTime calls with him then tough, not your problem kind of thing. It’s not your fault or your child’s fault if she’s too young to engage with him on the phone. Maybe she even picks up his character and doesn’t like him that much which is again is his fault not hers. Also, you’re the child’s mother so you get to choose how she dresses not him. I’m sure you dress her perfectly fine and he’s just trying to find a way to make you feel bad.
Do you have any kind of support worker who can help you navigate contact with him better so that he’s not able to use it as an opportunity to manipulate and hurt you further?
I know you feel beaten but you’re not. You’re a survivor and it won’t always be this difficult. Can you find a way to reconnect with your inner strength? I do this with things such as yoga, walks in the countryside, journaling and meditation. Being around abusers is draining and they make us think we are weak when all we are is temporarily disconnected from our light and our inner strength. Once we realise this we can reconnect with it, it’s always there within us and never goes.
29th July 2020 at 9:50 am #111168OceanParticipant
I’m so sorry you are going through this. I have children with my ex and I am continuing to experience abuse because of that. I find that even the best social worker can be influenced by the manipulative lies. Abusers can lie easily in any situation, even in court, to police, and social workers!
Their abuse seems to be tailored to the individual, as they know us well.
The less you allow him to worry you, the more you take away his power. Easy to say, but very hard to do.
I understand children benefit from relationships with their Father. Sadly the negative impact in many of our situations greatly outweighs anything good. And also, survivors aren’t set free when they share children together.
I would love to have an encouraging reply, and I’m interested more replies.
Just know that you are not alone!
I hope for the best possible outcome for you x
29th July 2020 at 10:50 am #111176ultimatelyStrongParticipant
Thank you both for your knowledgeable replies. I feel a bit better today having made a decision about how to facilitate the video calls that will be better for me and won’t affect him. The social worker asked me yesterday if I felt the calls were productive and I said no not really and she said well if they are affecting me negatively maybe it needs to change. So that made me feel so much better even though such a small thing. I’m going to try the new way and see how it goes from there. I understand more how the game works now and know that if I keep trying as long as I can that will go in my favour so that’s what I’ll do.
Sunshine you are so right about them making you feel weak. Just taking back one tiny bit of my power with the calls has given me a bit of strength back again. Baby steps I guess!
Thank goodness for this forum, having women who understand exactly what each other is experiencing is invaluable x
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