This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  [email protected] 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #70017
     itwillbeokay 
    Participant

    So I left (detail removed by Moderator) with our two boys, they are (detail removed by Moderator) and almost (detail removed by Moderator). I have lived with and battled the crippling guilt we know all too well but I have done lots of research and work on myself and counselling to understand why I left and our lives are so much better.

    The problem is he is not seeing the children atall for months now nor communicating in any way. He did for the first (detail removed by Moderator) months or so. I facilitated (detail removed by Moderator) handovers although he only wanted to take the older one. He had overnight visits and even double overnight visits (detail removed by Moderator). He “behaved” during handovers and was even “kind and friendly” and we had coffees and took the children to the park etc. There were still out of the blue sly digs and worrying remarks but he was hoovering me basically so it seemed okay. I had sporadic bombardment of drunken messages but I wasn’t too concerned. Then he realised I wasn’t coming back and he literally switched. He lives with his parents now (no job) and they went away for (detail removed by Moderator) as they do. His behaviour and lifestyle choices seemed to escalate, the messages became concerning, he had injured himself, he had no money for food, threatening to come to our address and get my engagement ring to sell it, very worrying messages about his welfare, lots of drinking and whatever else I suspect just based on the times and content of the messages. He’d go completely quiet or bombard me all evening and into the night, rarely a sensible daytime message. Then an email at (detail removed by Moderator) detailing (detail removed by Moderator) because I might need it, (detail removed by Moderator) street name city he lives in etc. (detail removed by Moderator). I saw the email at (detail removed by Moderator) the next day, his phone was off, I rang 999 as I was certain he had taken his life. That’s what he wanted me to think. He hadn’t but that situation all prompted a flurry of gaslighting blaming messages from him and his n**********c mother and brother. I blocked them. (detail removed by Moderator) more bombardment of messages of concerning nature. I rang 111 and reported to the police and sought advice from my outreach worker who said to tell him he has to use only email to talk only about the children and due to his concerning behaviour over recent weeks he needs to arrange safe and regular visits with both children through a solicitor. Supervised visits through contact centre but I didn’t say this in as many words. It was utterly gut wrenching sending that message. I had to do it with my outreach worker on the phone with me whilst I pressed send. Below is what I sent. I then blocked him so he could no longer message me. Blocked on social media (he’s deactivated on Facebook but I blocked all deactivated accounts with his name), blocked on WhatsApp and text so he just has email. And he has my home address. He got it out of me when he was seeming to be nice (hoovering).

    That was months ago. I have received no email. No letter from solicitor. The boys received a parcel from grandparents (detail removed by Moderator) and a passive aggressive comment to me in the card enclosed. My mother in law bought and posted (detail removed by Moderator) separate Christmas cards to the boys, husband had signed the two son ones and they the grandson but all very impersonal but it felt like an attack as I freak at her handwriting. No request to see them at Christmas no email asking for a phone call. Nothing although they could all be regularly calling and texting and I just don’t know it. They don’t know they are blocked.

    My question is what do I do now. Firstly from the point of view it is what I am doing morally and legally right? He didn’t ever physically hurt them or put them in any danger at all. I do believe my mother in law is an emotional abuser hence why my husband and brother in law are the way they are. So a toxic family for sure with father in law the enabler and seemingly pretty downtrodden. Clearer now I have left what the dynamic and history is. But she wasn’t a horrible granny. Cold and callous and unempathetic yes but everyone has a different personality! My two boys are growing up without one side of their family and the older one gets sad when he notices other Daddy’s picking up their children from school (not that his own would’ve done that anyway unless he had to) and his cousins Daddy’s around the house etc. He asks (infrequently but says he thinks about it “all the time in the night”) when will I see Daddy and Granny and Grandpa, I miss them. I try to talk openly and say we live in different houses but we both still love you very much and hopefully you will get to see him soon. I feel like I’m mopping up all the mess and trying to fix things when it was all his behaviour that messed things up although he would insist he is the victim in this whole sorry state and doesn’t get it at all.

    I have a solicitor appointment at the end of (detail removed by Moderator). I don’t know why, I guess just to relay this really and make sure I’m not financially liable for him. I’m working he isn’t I’m not in debt he is I have a bit of money he does not etc.

    x

  • #70020
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello itwillbeokay,
    Sorry I can’t remember whether or not you are still married. This is relevant to legal stuff obviously.

    If you are not, can’t see that you would be financially liable for him.

    It sounds like he has been emotionally abusive to kids and so have his family.

    This is difficult to prove.

    If you were sitting in my living room asking the question ‘what should I do?’ my advice would be, at present, nothing other than be the great mum that you are. Focus on building a new life, with your kids.
    Use this time where there is no contact to get yourself in a better position so that when (and if) you start again you can suggest an arrangement that maybe the least painful for yourself and your kids.

    You will get stronger. It doesn’t seem like it at the time when you are exposed to this behaviour, but the ability to keep contact at a minimum gets easier.

    I am totally with you about the Christmas cards feeling ‘like an attack’ . It can be a difficult time, others have reactions to events too. Please look after yourself, sounds like you are having a tought time and you are holding so much together for yourself and your kids and the future.
    well done for posting
    all best
    ftcx

  • #70024
     itwillbeokay 
    Participant

    We are married for clarification. I haven’t even begun to think about divorce proceedings as I’m too scared to rock the boat, upset, the acrimony etc.

    I’ll read your reply now and be back later thank you so much xx

  • #70025
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Doing nothing is always an option. That’s my recommendation. Work on you and your children. Build strength within you and your children. If either him or his family were remotely interested in productive positive contact, there are proper legal channels open to them. The bottom line is they simply don’t care enough. It’s not upto you to facilitate contact and I would strongly advise you don’t do so. You just have to read other posts on here about the nightmare that contact brings. And you e already seen that first hand. These abusers have a nasty habit of getting in touch just when we have our lives back together. You need to be prepared for that day should it come. You want to be in a strong position to continue to protect your children. Keep building your new life. Many relationships end for many different reasons. Many children are left without fathers. I’m sure your boys have positive Male role models in their lives. Encourage that. I can tell you that an abuser never stops abusing. My son is now a man and his father continues to destroy and stifle his growth and independence. If I could have got rid of his father when he was a toddler, and I tried, I’m certain he would be a very different person. So keep doing what you’re doing. Protecting your children x

  • #70027
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Well said KIP, I would say.
    As far as the divorce is concerned, yes, you may and wish to cross that bridge no doubt eventually.
    But when you do – hopefully you will have all your ducks in a row. And just remember the ladies
    on here, obviously can’t give legal advice, but feelings-wise if you keep posting we will ‘talk’ you
    through all that – either posting or messaging. We have got your back, as it were, you are doing really well. I so much wish I had known about this forum at the time as I’m sure it would have made the whole thing a lot less scary.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #70032
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    hi there,

    It probably is best to do nothing for now, its his responsibility to make the next move. I was told it was detrimental for a child not to see their father which is probably true in non abusive circumstances. The decision of no contact after trying really hard btw to facilitate it came down to this: it is better not to have a father in their lives than have an abusive influence (an irresponsible father). Thats not your responsibilty your fulfilling your end of the deal.Like the ladies say your father will be a male role model and the other good men around you. Thats all they need to become well rounded. see what the solicitor says im sure theyll say let sleeping dogs lie xx diy

  • #70040
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    One further point. Solicitor may say on no account are you to appear uncooperative.
    There have been cases where ‘uncooperative’ mums – in the family court have had their residence granted to the fathers.

    That sounds unbelievable and I don’t wish to scare anyone. But it has happened.
    take care
    ftc
    x

  • #70041
     Flowerchild 
    Participant

    The single solitary thing I’d do, darling, is to journal the dates of his last visit and when you sent the email. You could note and date when your child asks about daddy and what you say in reply, too. That way, if he later tries to claim you refused contact or alienated the children, you have evidence that will stand up in court that you did everything a reasonable person would.

    If you get your solicitor to keep regular photocopies of your journal, it’s watertight, isn’t it?

    They do often try to twist and misrepresent, don’t they?

    You’re doing great, and your children are actually better off with clean-up break no contact than being perpetually disappointed with unreliable contact.

    Flower x

  • #70042
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Would go with Flowerchild’s journaling suggestion. However, still to be aware about being perceived to be ‘uncooperative’.
    Things have gone the wrong way for women in the past regarding this.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #70043
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    and yes, you are doing great. We have to be stronger than the ‘tigers’.
    But sooner or later they will hear us ‘roar’ as the song says…
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #70063
     itwillbeokay 
    Participant

    Just reading your replies ladies thank you, first chance I’ve had.

    Realised I didn’t include what I’d actually sent if it makes any difference.

    (detail removed by Moderator)

  • #70064
     itwillbeokay 
    Participant

    Thank you all so much. Such good advice. I am very worried about seeming like I am being uncooperative or alienating them and the fact that I have no idea what their next move is. I almost see them like a collective pack of wolves now. It could go either way. He literally just won’t bother. Or he’ll seek to exact revenge and how? The biggest way he knows how. Our children.

    I’m going to go ahead with the solicitor appointment and relay the story so far. I’m definitely going to add to my journal and start documenting when son says anything and what I say in response as it is absolutely not trying to alienate, I bought a book to help with age appropriate answers and say to him to always tell me if he’s feeling sad or confused about anything. Thanks for that advice.

    Kip thank you as well. It’s so hard to get it clear in your head. Our life is better, they have lots of role models and are happy and doing well. I know he will not be a good thing for them really but he is still their father so it’s hard to compute. And as FTC says, I haven’t set out to achieve this situation but it gets twisted all the time. I’m fairly confident it wouldn’t end with them being removed from me to him but I worry that my sons won’t understand because I will be diplomatic with the truth to protect them and in years to come they may blame me. It’s awfully tough isn’t it. Such a worry.

    🙁

  • #70072
     KIP. 
    Participant

    I spent years worrying about things that never happened. Save your energy and deal with things as they come along. Enjoy the peace and quiet and keep building the bond between you and your boys. You have never prevented contact. You simply asked that it be done in a safe, supervised way to protect your children from his dysfunction and dangerous behaviour. I regret very much being diplomatic with the truth. I defended my abusers behaviour for years when now I should have just been totally honest. Especially with my son. It doesn’t mean going into details or bad mouthing him. Maybe speak to wa about that. Time is on your side x

  • #70437
     jackjack 
    Participant

    Can i just say, please do not take on board any of the emotional manipulation from any of them. Break those chains on your emotions.
    Keep a log of everything that happens and if you are unsure of how to react, do nothing until you can work out what the game play is. Never play into thier hands.

    My abusive ex was almost exaclty the same. You think …oh i have left that hell of existing in the same space and im freeee! Hurray….but then you find they still try get at you in other ways….it can be overwhelming and frustrating.
    Its ok. You are free but you must set boundaries.

    But im a few years down the road and they still try to get at you in one way or another.

    My advice is CUT all communication unless its about contact with the kids. Do it through solicitor. Whem contact is resumed id advise supervised at first to build up trust.
    Then if he does get them back om residential stays make sure you have a separate phone number that is only for him to have when hes got the kids. Switch off the phone when you get kids back in your care. That way you dont have to put up with his abusive passive agreessive manipulative texts. Same with grandparents….you keep control of time they can speak to gran on that particular number…you take control of what you are willing to put up with. Youre free to set boundaries now. If they breach them…then you reassess and reset it again.

    Keep reminding the kids both mum and dad and grandparents love them. Keep your cool. Stay beautiful. Do not lower yourself to thier baiting. You can do this lady! You are an awesome mum for leaving and finding a better life for all of you.

    And stop expecting them to react differently from what they were like before. I was recently lulled into a false sense of security only to discover hes not changed one little bit….i could have slapped myself for trusting he was gonna behave. I am currently reseting my own boundaries.

    And for goodness sake(if you are) PLEASE stop feeling guilt for all of this. The only person to blame for the abuse and this sadness is your abuser. His choice to be this way. Do not pay for him anymore either. You are seperate entities now.
    My ex still expects me to buy food for him when hes got the kids! Im self employed and doing ok. He refuses to work. I get nothing from him. Pfft…..give him money? Naaaa……them days are long gone. Good luck lady! YOU GOT THIS!

  • #70449
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Reading this thread, so sorry we have all had to go through this sxxt. However there is strength in it all.

    Would go with what jackjack said particularly about ‘getting at you (or trying to) in other ways’ years down the line.

    There is an advantage to being vigilant (or hypervigilant)..even though it costs energy sometimes…
    I have made the mistake myself in the past of ‘thinking he would behave’ and then finding out to my cost …
    things are different now
    As other ladies say
    ‘We can do this’..

    ftc
    x

  • #70481
     itwillbeokay 
    Participant

    Some very good and very strong advice here, I appreciate it hugely and will be reading this thread again and again. Boundaries boundaries boundaries. I’m working on this with my counsellor at the moment. I must become strong for when he inevitably reappears. I feel acutely aware he must want some sort of revenge on me. It hangs over me somewhat.

    Thank you so much xx

  • #70488
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Thank you also itwillbeokay. Your posts are brilliant for all of us.
    All of us on learning curve, including me,
    Every day on this forum is learning.
    thank you for being
    ftc
    x

  • #70490
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    by the way it is strange metaphor but ‘wolves’ have been misinterpreted.
    Women run with wolves.
    They are more like piranas.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #70520
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Dont be scared to protect your kids appropriately, the courts can see this and you are being reasonable even if in the end your offering supervised contact. The courts are moving forward, have faith everything will be fine. Youve done amazingly well, your one very strong lady xx 🙂 diy

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