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    • #71197
      Serenity
      Participant

      Hello All,

      I haven’t posted in here for months- except a short reply to a post a few weeks ago!

      It’s been (detail removed by Moderator) years since my divorce.

      After I got out, I was elated. Driven by adrenaline, I (detail removed by Moderator) have enabled my kids to continue in their home.
      It was a hellish divorce, involving very threatening behaviour from him.

      On the face of it, I’m doing ok: I am in some debt, but it’s manageable; my oldest son ( who my ex says would never amount to anything ) has come through and is off to university in September. He’s got a part-time job and a network of friends. I recently began to earn a bit more money by joining up to an agency doing what I qualified for a few years ago ( he didn’t like the fact I was qualifying ).

      On the downside, my youngest son still has court-ordered contact, though he doesn’t go as often as it dictates, either because my ex cancels it or my son. I don’t get involved as I don’t want to be accused of obstruction. But my son, who was always gregarious, has been suffering huge anxiety issues. He is on the waiting list for CAMHS but it’s taking ages for an appointment to come through. Luckily, a family worker I know managed to get him into counselling at a youth hub, and it seems to be going ok. I am relieved, since a few months ago he said that I should feel lucky that he’s still here, as he often says he wishes to die!

      I’m hoping the counselling will give him the confidence to say what he ways and to stand up for himself regarding contact. His dad is the same, selfish and neglectful, and my son is of the age just about when the court would allow him to choose contact- but as my son has said, his dad makes him feel guilty and there’s no point in putting my son through anything if he won’t have the courage to say what he wants, so I don’t feel I can act yet.

      Added to this, my ex still pays minimal maintenance. A painful condition I have due to the stress he put me through had worsened a bit recently. I’m hoping it will imoeovrvsoon. I still need to manage my mother, who is incredibly emotionally selfish. When I was going through my divorce, threats from my ex and PTSD, both my mum and one sister were incredibly cruel. Yet I’m meant to attend to her emotions- even her ‘boredom’ with life which really gets me down. My unkind sister doesn’t like the fact that I have distanced myself from her quite a bit, and is always trying to fish for information about my life and moans at everyone how I don’t keep in touch. If I could just be left to my own devices, I would be so much happier. I was always there for my family, but now I feel like moving away. My PTSD symptoms still haven’t completely shifted.

      Sorry for the negative post and hugs to you all, strong and amazing ladies x

    • #71198
      Serenity
      Participant

      I forgot to say that my ex still tries to covertly affect me. Silly things, like asking my son to fetch him something to drink from my house and parking across my drive (when he’s not allowed to even be on my road). Things that aren’t ‘bad’ enough or obvious enough for him to be done for harassment, ab which might mean that au am accused of over-dramatising (detail removed by Moderator). And as my youngest has huge anxiety issues at the moment, I can’t allow myself to get caught up in any drama and so I find myself continuing with grey rock.

    • #71199
      KIP.
      Participant

      Hi, it’s good to have you back as you’ve helped many many women with your wise words in the past. Including me. What I’m thinking is that you’re feeling not in control. For me that’s when the PTSD and anxiety really takes a grip. We are kind by nature and find it hard to put ourselves before others. Our children are our world and when they suffer so do we. However I always remember a great saying about when you’re on an aeroplane and the oxygen masks come down. The advice is always to put your own mask on first. Get your own mask on which means dropping any people who bring negativity, including family. I’ve had to distance myself from close family members. We do not choose our family. We are not responsible for their happiness. Members of my family I would never ever choose as a friend. Somehow we feel obligated because of blood, but it has to work two ways. Think of some ways you can take back some control. Write a letter to CSA. Have a polite chat to your son about your boundaries regarding his father. It’s ok to let him know boundaries are a good thing and keep your safe from mental as well as physical harm. Perhaps when he see your boundaries are important he may implement some himself. It’s good he’s getting counselling. Just keep encouraging him to do things that bring him pleasure. You’re doing a great job. You are his rock. Play the long game. Be that graceful 🦢 swan x

    • #71204
      Serenity
      Participant

      Thank you, KIP.

      I’ve got to just keep going, and reassert my boundaries where needed!

      X*x

    • #71212
      Ayanna
      Participant

      Serenity, it is so good to see your post!
      The perpetrator’s small acts of terror certainly cannot help with your PTSD.
      I find it outrageous that you could be labelled as someone who overdramatises if you did report when he oversteps the set boundaries.
      I am glad your son receives some support. Hopefully he loses interest in his father as he gets the support and learns more about himself.
      Maybe you can ignore your mother and sister and refuse them any participation in your life.

    • #71213
      Serenity
      Participant

      Thank you, Ayanna, it’s so good to hear from you!

      Thank you for your straight-talking advice. I will listen to it!

      I hope that you are ok?

    • #71225
      Eve1
      Participant

      Hi Serenity,

      it’s very good to hear from you. You helped me such a lot in the recent past when I posted more often.

      I think one of the hardest things is trying to protect our children when they still have contact with our abusers. I feel like I’m the only one, apart from people who’ve been through what we’ve been through, who sees a direct link between my daughter’s extreme anxiety and how bad she feels about herself and her dad’s behaviour. He seems so mild mannered and plausible. In fact, he ignoref her until her brother stopped going to see him. And of course all the stuff she witnessed while I was still married has had an affect. So I understand how hard it is to see your son suffer.

      I think your grey rock method will pay off eventually. Don’t feed your ex’s wish for drama. And keeping away from toxic family wherever possible will surely help you. Just this morning I was thinking that friends I thought were near soulmates many years ago were actually n**********c and selfish and I didnt need them.

      Congratulations to your son! He has done well under your care.

      I hope posting on here has helped you. You certainly deserve to reap some reward for all the help you have given.

      Take care, love
      Eve

    • #71231

      Hello Serenity good to see you here again.
      I can only echo KIP’s and other ladies advice.
      I don’t think your average person recognises how draining PTSD can be.
      I also don’t think your average person realises or appreciates how looking after kids on top of that
      can be extra demanding. And you have been doing paid work as well. This is a lot to deal with.
      No doubt the work gives as well as takes energy but it is no surprise to me that with all you have to juggle right now, the last thing you feel you can devote energy to is needy people.
      I really wish sometimes that families would recognise that for people like us our kids are our first priority. After we have put our own oxygen masks on that is.
      all the best
      ftc
      x

    • #71235
      [email protected]
      Participant

      Hi there,
      My daughter was the same when she saw her therapist she ticked the box that she had thought about harming herself. I was really shocked and it really put everything into perspective. I suppose we know ourselves the more we read about boundaries and learn how to protect ourselves, the penny dose inevitably drop. Even through anxiety. Its awful that our kids have to face this. I honestly think your son will come out of this stronger. A man who knows the difference between right and wrong. Even being able to recognise what anxiety is, it being a normal protective mechanism xx I hope things improve for you guys 🙂 all the best DIY mum xx I hope you don’t mind me butting in here xx

    • #71240
      HopeLifeJoy
      Participant

      Hi Serenity,

      Nice to read that your oldest is doing so well, you can pad your own shoulder (and his) for this reward.
      You don’t have to stay in touch with your mother and sister, even if they are your family, basically anyone who zaps your energy intentionally and cruelly are not contributing to your happiness and can go abuse each other instead of taking it out on you.
      I wish you the best with your youngest, I find it terrible that he is obliged to see his father when it affect his health that much. What a shame kids don’t get to voice their own choices.
      Take good care of yourself, sending you strength

    • #71265
      [email protected]
      Participant

      Ur story is what I fear. Court has begun by him for kids and I do fear he using this and will use them in future to continue to affect me.
      I feel I can’t shake him off. That he always been affecting my life and like u it makes u wanna move away etc
      I get anxiety and worry about him turning up (after he turned up with weapon (detail removed by moderator) months ago to try attack me).
      Feels like I’ll never escape it

    • #71268
      [email protected]
      Participant

      You will don’t worry keep all the evidence. If contact becomes detrimental to you and your child sees this or she /he becomes fearful and affected. The court stops it, it gets easier the older they get too as far as the judge listening to them xx 💕 💕 DIY

    • #71270
      White Rose
      Participant

      Dear Serenity
      Good to “hear” you. I’ve missed you.
      I don’t feel your post is totally negative- there’s lots of positives in there too and your strength and logic and ability to get help for your sons shines through.
      Think back to your despair over your eldest a couple of years ago and look where he is now! You’re a great supportive mum your boys talk to you and I’m sure the youngest will settle too.
      Is it the anniversary of any key events around now? I often feel unsettled/unbalanced and mixed up around anniversary of leaving/divorce/birthday/etc as they trigger memories even if only subconsciously.
      Whatever else is going on – that bloke you were once married to has a nerve to park close, ask for drinks (add laxatives to the next one!!!) and I’m sure that all adds to anxiety and stress for all of you.
      I don’t think these men ever give up on chipping away at our self esteem but if we’re strong and try a bit of self care we cope better.
      I hope your youngest continues to talk about his feelings and that the help you’ve arranged helps tide him over till the mental health team can help.
      Much love. Chin up. Believe in yourself you are after all a warrior a swan and a grey rock as well as a fab mum and great friend and support to many. We’ll be here when you need us xx

    • #71295
      Iwantmeback
      Participant

      White rose I Love your thinking (laxatives)🤣🤣 fair made me lol
      💕💕

    • #71331
      Serenity
      Participant

      Thank you, everyone, for your kind and wise replies!

      Thank you, Eve. It’s hard when we know that their dad has affected our kids, and those who don’t understand dismiss it. Thank goodness we have groups like this, where women truly understand and can see we aren’t dramatising things. Thank you for the reminder that I can set boundaries with my family. It’s funny how certain people, who you have previously managed to distance, creep too close without you realising it! I hope you are doing ok.

      Freedom To Choose: it’s true, it’s a tall order to keep going at times, with our PTSD and other things, and I’m sure we would get on much better if some people left us to direct our life in our own way and appreciated how we need to preserve some of our energy. I think, if we’ve been people pleasers in the past, some people can’t come to terms with us putting our little family unit first! I hope that you are doing well.

      DIY Mum: thank you for sharing and for your encouragement. It sounds like you were as shocked as I was to hear this from your child. Wishing you strength also.

      Hope Life Joy: Thanks for your kind words.

      [email protected] Mum: I hope my post didn’t make you feel down. As KIP said, you get times when things get in top of you, and we may still have certain battles to deal with, but I am definitely a thousand times stronger than I used to be, have found ways of coping and tactics to stop him from affecting us all too much, and you will to. They will still try the same old tricks, but the difference is that, overall, they don’t affect you as much, and you find ways of manoeuvring your children through the choppy waters too! You will be ok. Your anxiety will lessen over time.

      White Rose, lovely to read your response! Thank you for your kind words. Your suggestion about the laxatives made me laugh. My friend suggested tipping water from the fish tank into it, ha ha! But seriously, thank you for encouraging me, as you always did. I hope that things are going ok for you.

      Thank you again, everyone. I feel a bit better today! I’ve managed to reassert my boundaries with family members and it’s onwards and upwards! As White Rose reminded me, I have achieved good things: it’s easy for us all to forget all that we have overcome and to congratulate ourselves for it! x*x

    • #71604
      NewWings
      Participant

      Hi Serenity, Just wanted to say thank you for the advice you gave me in the past. They can’t let go and because of this I don’t think they can believe that we want nothing more to do with them. They’re emotionally r******d and everything is about them. When I read about your sis I thought immediately of mine who has thought all along that it is her god given right to interfere in my marriage. Her sense of entitlement knows no bounds and since I have cut her out of my life shes well miffed. This was the woman who followed me on holiday (detail removed by moderator) to almost the exact spot? Why because my nutjob of an ex told her I was going to abscond I imagine. Even now she fishes for any info she can pass on. My last conversation she alluded to my pension and the financial settlement, why because she doesn’t have one and knows that I will probably lose a lot. She even asked how I afforded the holiday, like it was her business. How can your family delight in your suffering? The drain emotionally on you Serenity must be hard to bear especially when your mother expects you to mother her, to cater to her depression. Hmm she sounds like a closet (removed by moderator) to me. The more I read about these people I realise that they do indeed gravitate to each other. My ex has a friend whose wife said he was physically abusive. My ex at the time kept asking me what I thought. I didn’t think he was but I do remember thinking later there was something very off about him. At one point he kept coming on breaks with us and I found my stomach feeling weird. His first wife divorced him very quickly and didn’t take much financially and has never remarried. His second wife has pots of money and her solicitor commented at a party you’ve landed on your feet. Interestingly my ex has hooked up with a girl whose father is very wealthy and she and her sister are his sole heirs he is elderly as was my father. I wonder, my father had money but it was settled on my brother much to his annoyance. These creatures care about one thing and one thing only their own comfort sexually, financially etc etc. They are parasitical in every way and so cutting off their supply leaves them almost in a blind panic. Once they’ve sourced another sucker they can then turn to making sure their ex is well and truly punished. My mother claims she has no money to speak of and must live frugally, this is nonsense as she made sure she got a huge settlement in the will. As the eldest child I did all the work in the house. She would return from town with the last 20mins of food preparation to be done, while I set the table and she didn’t even say thank you. All of us were packed off to boarding school as soon as possible. At nine I was told to do my own washing of clothes as she wasn’t going to. My sister got off scot free as I was doing enough to satisfy my mother. I would never have had my eyes opened had it not been for him. I do as little with my family as possible. They have always thought very little of me because of my mothers attitude to me, its liberating in some ways as I have brought so much shame to the family with having bipolar and divorcing my lovely caring sharing ex lol, that they want nothing to do with me either, other than to compare their wonderful lives. So Serenity you are free perhaps a bit scarred a bit jaded with your birth family, but ultimately a better human being knowing you did your best and that you were worth more than that. Thinking of you.

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