26th May 2016 at 4:10 am #17999
I was chatting to my eldest today, and he tried to minimise my experience.
First, he said that my illness was caused by me having an ‘anxiety problem.’ ( Where on earth did he learn a phrase like that?). I corrected him and said that it was probably caused by stress.
Then, he said to me that he knows I don’t like talking about it, but he wanted to know if he had been a witness or not to his dad’s mistreatment of me.
I knew where the conversation was heading. His dad, I am sure, is now trying to gaslight and minimise his behaviour,many try to plant in my son’s head that it wasn’t that bad, that I am imagining or exaggerating it, etc. He is trying to negate my experience, to make out that I am crazy for saying he is abusive, I know it.
And yet my sons begged me to not have him back when he left…it’s like they are being drawn into his false views. Have they forgotten how he was? How he in fact still is? Is he masking his abuse that well? When my ex left,my son told me that my ex was always dreadful to me.
My reply to my son was that no, he hadn’t always been witness. I sais this as it is partly true ( my ex would be very unkind when there was no witnesses) but also, my ex had probably minimised the abuse towards me that my child did see- so in effect, my son is being are to look at it differently.
How can I stop my ex from making my son think that such behaviour towards a woman is ok, that such behaviour is abuse, that it’s not ok? My ex was so unkind to my son…had he forgotten this? He’s still trying to limit and sabotage his life now! Can’t he see?
26th May 2016 at 10:11 am #18009SuntreeParticipant
So sorry to hear that your ex doing this to your son.
You can’t stop it. What you can do is be consistent at home with fair and firm boundaries.
Let your son talk your ex because he is his father. I found it easier to pretend it was someone mine were talking about that I just knew in passing.
Don’t get into an argument with your son. If there are things that his father did to him that weren’t nice then you can say how did it make you feel when x happened? Was that a good way to treat someone?
It has also helped me have good male role models for mine to see. While their father had such a strong hold over them for so long and they wanted with all their hearts to “make him good, believe what he said” they have slowly learnt that the choices he makes are his choices and they are not nice ones.
It is very hard.
I had some therapy for my kids could you get some for yours?
26th May 2016 at 10:25 am #18012HealthyarchiveBlocked
I don’t think you can stop your ex serenity, you would be met with a brick wall or covert abuse. How about talking to your sons about healthy and unhealthy relationships & showing them some literature & websites on abusive mens behaviour? There is quite a lot of information available, respect.org.uK is one such site. You have said a lot on here about your open & honest relationship with your sons, I think you are doing a great job in raising them, they will make their own minds up as to what they believe. I don’t have children so am limited in my knowledge, sorry x
26th May 2016 at 10:49 am #18014lover of no contactParticipant
yes unfortunately my abuser ex and abuser mum still comes up in conversations (even with me trying to avoid them as a topic of conversation) with my children and my friends. If abuser mum or abuser ex discussed in any way, I am always triggered. Also if comes up in conversation with my children there is always discord in some way or another between us.
Also your eldest sounds like my eldest (except a daughter). Our conversations are fine and we are close on any topic of conversation but if my abuser ex or abuser mum happens to worm themselves into our conversation (yes as you say, probably behind the scenes in our children’s ear..all so innocently…NOT) then my daughter and I are not close and I feel the slight blaming of me coming into the equation.. and that triggers me).
The same with my friends over my abuser mum. I had to go No Contact with abuser mum (my children see her all the time). Even a simple question from my friends like ‘How is your mum?’ triggers me (because I have spent a long time trying to process the guilt I feel for not being in a relationship with a mother).
I can really relate to your post. Remember ‘this too will pass’ between you and your son.
26th May 2016 at 11:00 am #18015godschildParticipant
Hi Serenity, My Son has totally changed his stance on the abuse, he has been married for a few years now and has become very hard hearted towards me and he minimises things. He used to be so loving and caring towards me , I have held him when younger whilst he sobbed about this dads abuse to both him and me.
Yet he has change and says it wasnt all his Dad, he even said I needed sectioning a couple of years ago when influenced by his Sister he refuses to even speak to me about it, he sees me cry and walks away like his Dad.
He shows no concern for me at all and I havn’t seen him for over (detail removed by Moderator) months now. He and his wife insist that we all have to meet all together and I will no longer sit and not be vaildated in the truth of what goes on, so I get ignored.
He knows how low I have been the past few months and ignores it.
I cannot understand why the change my Daughter is the same she didnt see her Dad for (detail removed by Moderator) years as she hated him but now sites me as the problem, its heartbreaking and I cannot understand why they change like this , my WA worker said they have changed the reality for some reason.
It sound like you ex could be feeding him, I dont know. I have asked my son to read literature on abuse and he flat right refuses
My son suffered abuse himself from his Dad in his later teens ans I asked if he was responsible for that he didnt answer, its unbearable when they change like this towards us, its unbearable when our children witness the abuse yet start to deny it or minimise it, sending you a hug of understanding xx
26th May 2016 at 1:08 pm #18020
Thank you, all. Your kind words have really comforted me.
I see a parallel between my ex and my son and the moment: I think maybe my ex was stunted emotionally at the age my son is.
It’s normal to an extent for a teenager to rebel against order, want to counteract and contradict; within psychology, this is in fact the ‘narcissistic’ age of development.
Thing is, people are then meant to mature past that stage, to become moral and altruistic. My ex has stayed stuck at the narcissistic stage.
I mustn’t lose hope. I must carry on being a ‘graceful swan’ where possible. My son’s words- that my illness is due to my ’emotional problems’- shows for a fact that I need to fake things with my kids for their and my own good: emotional abuse was and is a great weapon of my ex- like all abusers, he delighted in wiping the smile off my face, weakening and upsetting me, then accusing me of being mad or maybe telling the kids I was?
As I know his game, I shall carry on being calm and firm ( as far as possible- I will allow myself the odd blip, as his abuse is sometimes triggering).
My son knows he can see his dad whenever he chooses- but he chooses not to very much. In a way, the more he saw him, the sooner the mask would fall- or would contact mean negative influence? Whichever is true, my son is at the age where he needs to choose when he sees his dad.
I suppose I need to remind myself to hold on to faith, hope and love. X
26th May 2016 at 1:12 pm #18021
Suntree, Thank you for your advice.
Yes, I never try to prohibit contact between them. I don’t really get affected by the contact itself, only when manipulations are going on and I get attacked about something.
Male role models are important, I agree X
26th May 2016 at 1:13 pm #18022
Thank you. Yes, talking generally about abuse and educating the boys is a great idea X
26th May 2016 at 1:15 pm #18023
Lover of No Contact,
I can sympathise: I don’t badmouth my ex or go on about him, but it is the subject the boys and I end up avoiding- the ‘elephant in the room.’
I need to keep soldiering on X
26th May 2016 at 1:18 pm #18024
I am so sorry to hear about this.
I think we said before in this forum how kids sometimes ( superficially ) side with the abuser, out of fear or enforced guilt or obligation ( the abuser’s manipulative tactics). I think your kids know the truth really- it is just too hard to face. It’s easier to blame the kinder parent. However, you mustn’t let your kids mistreat you in any way. If they do, stick up for yourself!
Keep strong X
26th May 2016 at 1:54 pm #18026godschildParticipant
Thankyou Serenity, they have spoken and acted on the truth in the past, im starting to stick up for myself, its hard and they dont like it but the truth is the truth and I wont be swayed otherwise x
26th May 2016 at 2:05 pm #18027Confused123Participant
Sorry to hear the comments your son made, but on a positive see it as he is processing everything in his head and working out what is right and wrong. Yes your ex is prob brain washing them , again as always just be the positive role model, try and bring positive male role models in there life, its good your son feels comfortable to be able to talk freely to u, I too have conversation with my eldest about how bothg genders should treat each another. Your son knows deep down what ex d was wrong, maybe they just need to hear it confirmed or validated , again maybe ex is abusing him privately and he is trying to work out his dad tatics that if he only abused mum in private that is what he will do to him,
have a good heart to heart with your son and ccheck ex is not doing anything to your children
26th May 2016 at 6:54 pm #18040Peaceful PigParticipant
I agree totally with the advice from everyone else. I wondered whether it would help to know the process I am currently working through in counselling. I have been very angry with my mum for a long time, but the truth is that the cause is my dad’s extremely controlling and violent behaviour. Yet the more I try to face this, the more love I feel for him. I really must be too scared to hate him. It’s difficult and confusing but at least it helps me understand what my children are feeling. My youngest is currently taking his turn for abuse.A child’s need to think well of an abusive parent can’t be underestimated.
Also have you looked at the hideout website and resources?
Keep strong xx
26th May 2016 at 7:03 pm #18041
Thanks Peaceful Pig,
I will look at the Hideout website.
Thank you, yes, I realise that we are often too scared to face/ hate the abusive parent, as they instil such fear in us.
My eldest is back to being loving today, but I think seeing his dad is badly affecting him. He seems depressed and unmotivated with life.
26th May 2016 at 7:06 pm #18042
What you wrote really struck a chord. Yes, I need to be grateful that he is vocalising these things. I do think maybe he is trying to work things out in his own head. Maybe when he was asking about him not being a witness, maybe he us talking about his own sense if being abused by his dad, maybe he is talking about himself. About being aware of the covert abuse that is happening to himself. Thank you for this- you are very perceptive! xx
26th May 2016 at 10:46 pm #18057Confused123Participant
Its ok, your a brill mum always remember that, our kids can say things to us that will strike us as strange, its only cause I observe my eldest so closely that I can releate to your scenario, my eldest actually plays songs to me about how strong bond is between mum and child and how I’m his rock and he cant help the way he is and he only does in private if we two are together . I actually just hug the kids spontaneously now, they are so surprised but u can tell they love the hugs, I actually do a group hug and call it the care bear hug, they think I’m mad but its brought all of us so much closer, try with your kids
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