This topic contains 31 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  [email protected] 1 day, 19 hours ago.

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  • #107877
     ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
    Participant

    I spent a long time trying to write a post here on Father’s Day… it was a bad day full of guilt for me as my child should be enjoying spending time with their dad. But wasn’t. Anyway after half hour of typing I put the phone down to go make a coffee and when I came back, the page had reset itself and I’d lost it all..! So I started again on the laptop… and I’m still going. It’s turned into some kind of cathartic exercise and the more I write the more I remember. I’m questioning everything now and it’s so stressful realising things were that bad. I’m 11 pages down And I realise that’s a lot to ask anyone to read. So I thought I would try again and keep things simple. My biggest concern is my child. I need to keep them safe, but I’m not sure if I am over reacting or not.

    We were together for a long time. The better part of (detail removed by Moderator). I wasn’t completely oblivious to the fact that there were things that weren’t right in our relationship, the sexual assault was a definite no no, but it fell at a time that I had had a mental breakdown, I had done some silly things and I had hurt him. So I deserved it. At least that’s what he told me and I believed him. I spent years paying the price for my mistake, taking the punishments because I felt guilty, but in the end I realised that I wasn’t just feeling guilty over it, I was also traumatised. But my feelings didnt matter. I had no right to feel that way as if I did I would be invalidating his feeling of hurt.

    The truth is his control predated my mistake. But it was subtle. By all appearances he was the hero of my life. A guy that would help me and I could depend on. People didn’t realise that it had to be on his terms. I didn’t realise. He would always move the goal posts. So one minute it would be ‘if you need anything let me know’ and the next ‘no I’m not doing that for you’ and the next ‘why didn’t you ask me for help’ it was impossible to navigate. My mistake only gave him the opportunity to ramp up the control more as he had a ‘reason’ to treat me like a door mat and I would let him get away with it.

    Since then I haven’t made any of the decisions except one. He decided where we would live, moving us around as he saw fit, giving me little to no chance to find my feet or make friends or even get a job, all while complaining that I was only with him for his money and because I couldn’t live without him. He decided when I could see my family which wasn’t very often, and in my mums case stopped me seeing her altogether. It’s only recently I have discovered that the argument that ended our contact was manufactured by him.

    I gave up everything for him. University, I sidelined my business to help him build his. Anytime I tried to do anything for myself he had something that he urgently needed help with. Yet you ask him, he will say that I didn’t contribute in any way, that he was the one that paid for our holidays and got me my first bike etc.

    The only decision I ever made against his wishes was to keep our child. They weren’t planned, and despite knowing he didn’t want kids I couldn’t face the idea of throwing away a child I never thought I would have. Even when he asked me too. When I told him the first thing he said was that he wasn’t planning on being with me after (detail removed by Moderator). Then he asked me to get an abortion. Wasn’t going to happen.

    Then he’s the hero again. He stayed with the girl he knocked up. But again it was on his terms. He moved us miles away from anyone I knew when our child was (detail removed by Moderator) weeks old. He isolated me and told me I should be grateful.

    There was always something I’d done wrong. The house was messy. We weren’t having sex enough. He worked all week away and complained that I would ask him to hold his child for 5 mins so I could take a shower. It was so very draining and my anxiety levels were a mess.

    Throughout all of this, since my mistake, he had never told his friends that we had got back together. Years he kept me and then our child a secret. It was only after our child’s (detail removed by Moderator) birthday that he had an epiphany to say something, but instead of telling them the truth, he told them that he had a child, that we’d had a one night stand and I hadn’t told him he’d fathered a child until recently. And on top of that I was now living in his house. I was so angry. Lying about me was one thing but to totally invalidate our child’s life is another. Yet when I questioned him he said he thought I would be happy and that I had no right to be angry as they were his friends and it was up to him what he told them.

    During our next argument over nothing, when he proclaimed that he was leaving as he always did, I didn’t beg for him to stay as I always did. I let him go. And when he begged to come back a few days later I said no.

    We kept things amicable for the sake of our child. He would still come up on weekends to watch them while I went to work, but his behaviour was a little strange. Refused to come into the house and would prefer to sit in his van on the driveway despite the cold. People asked questions that I couldn’t really answer. But then other times he would sit in and talk about building a house for our child which of course I would live in and seemingly planning a future that supposedly included me.

    Then after a few months, I went to work one day and left my phone at home. When I got back he started talking about us both moving on and asking questions about whether I was seeing someone. I told him no as partly that was true and partly it was none of his business. When he left he sent me a message to say he wouldn’t be seeing our child again as I had lied to him. Not to contact him. He didn’t answer my calls or messages.

    Turns out he had gone through my phone and seen messages between me and another guy. I figured he would calm down and things would b**w over but no. He called the police. Told them that my house wasn’t fit for a child and I was having unsuitable visitors. They weren’t interested but passed it to social services to cover themselves. Social services called me, having already spoke to the health visitor they knew my child was ok, but I did willingly invite them over which they didn’t think was necessary. They were not concerned.

    Then my ex decided to set up a Facebook account purposely to friend request and message various members of my family, including my mum, to tell them that our child was in danger. He told my sister not to contact me for (detail removed by Moderator) days as if (detail removed by Moderator)! It worries the hell out of me so I went to my sisters for (detail removed by Moderator) days. I reported the strange behaviour and possible threats to the police so they are in file.

    I then heard nothing for (detail removed by Moderator) until I had a solicitors letter demanding custody and accusing me of having many men over to the house doing inappropriate things in front of my child, that if these things didn’t stop they would have no choice but to take me to court. I mean the accusations are laughable at best, but I am really confused as to why he felt the need for solicitors. It’s not like he had actually asked me to see his child, which also means I haven’t actually refused him either. He hasn’t even asked how his child is.

    I am in the process of seeking legal aid. It’s slow and painful and I feel his solicitor breathing down my neck waiting for a response, but I know he has money to throw at this and I don’t want to do this without support. The question is what do I do?

    Firstly, he is not on the birth certificate. He point blank refused to come when our child was born and has refused any subsequent offer. In fact he was angry with me for registering our child at all!

    more or less every part of my being is screaming at me to cut all ties, but I know that is my fear at the realisation of what he has done to me. I don’t want my child to not have a dad because of the way I feel about him. But part of me thinks he is only doing this because it is a way he can stay part of my life and hurt or control me. My child deserves to be more than a bargaining chip. I’m also really scared that if I let him see them then he will disappear with them. He has no permanent address. He lives in a van. And recently (prior to him abandoning his child) he started stockpiling dried goods and talked about building (detail removed by Moderator). If he did that and took our child, I would have no hope of finding them.

    I am so paranoid that when he showed up on (detail removed by Moderator), the toy (detail removed by Moderator) for our child is currently sat in my shed incase he has bugged it to spy on me. I simply don’t trust him.

    Sorry… this was definitely longer than intended, but is still shorter that the dissertation I am currently writing… Thanks if you got this far.

  • #107883
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Hi there, I’d go absolutely zero contact. Bringing in solicitors is designed to intimidate you. My ex did the same. Don’t respond until you have legal advice. He’s is not a fit father or human being and you’re protecting your child from him. Trust your gut x

    • #107904
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Hi KIT thank you for replying. Yes that is my gut thought, to involve a solicitor as a form of intimidation. I haven’t responded aside from saying I am seeking advice and for them to wait for my solicitor. I am still in two minds about contact, I don’t want to deny my child the chance at a father and allow them to make up their own mind as they get older but the complications of that scenario are causing me anxiety…I don’t think he would harm our child physically, I just don’t trust him to not do something to try to hurt me (Like remove them from my care illegally)which would inevitably hurt our child as a result. I believe he would see it as some form of justifiable collateral damage. My child is worth so much more than a being used that way x

  • #107890
     Wants To Help 
    Participant

    Hi there,

    Your situation is absolutely shocking, but as he is not named on the birth certificate he has no legal rights as the father at all. I should imagine he has not told anyone this. Seek legal advice, but I think once the birth certificate is seen and the solicitors see he is not named on there this will change things for you big time.

    If he has money, he can go down the route of demanding DNA tests to prove he is the father, there are things he can do but it delays matters and makes them more expensive.

    Your family can contact the Police individually to report that he is harassing them by getting in touch. Your family need to block him on social media etc and have nothing to do with him.

    You are not being paranoid about the toy. I think it’s great that you have suspected it could contain some spyware, tech savvy abusers are using toys to GPS track people and all sorts of things, so leave it where it is.

    If he is living in a van and is NFA (No Fixed Abode) he will not be able to have residency of your child as it is unsuitable. Have you Googled this firm of solicitors and checked that they do exist? He could easily set up a fake letter and post it to you himself to scare you. That’s why I think he may not have told then he’s not named on the birth certificate, I do believe a genuine firm of solicitors would have needed to know that from the start. I could be wrong, but something seems a bit off about that fact.

    • #107911
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Hi, thanks for your reply. I know he has no legal rights as a father yet. Which means his actions by involving the police and social services can only be aimed at trying to remove our child from my care, not moving them into his care. Which is outrageous that he would try to do that. I honestly think he will draw things out as long as possible, once he gets something in his head he doesn’t let it lie. My anger is that I believe he will do it purposely to stress me out, not because he wants a relationship with his child. He already has (detail removed by Moderator) children (all adults now) that he doesn’t see. If he apples for parental responsibility, I will fight it as that will give him the right to pick up our child from nursery or even take them out of the country. I can’t let that happen. I can’t guarantee that he won’t do something to our child just to hurt me.

      I hadn’t thought about googling the company, but I guess I know his style of writing so well that I knew he hadn’t wrote it. He doesn’t have the ability to word things correctly, his spelling grammar and structure are really poor which is why all his paperwork fell to me over the years… I’m not saying he’s not smart, just has difficulty with writing. I will google just to be sure, but my gut says it’s probably legit.

      Glad I’m not the only one that thought about spyware…

      The question still lies of whether I give him contact. If I do it would absolutely have to be under controlled circumstances. I don’t want contact with him at all. But can I deny my child? The thought makes me feel guilty. He has never hurt our child but then our child isn’t old enough to be manipulated or controlled at this stage. I don’t know what the future would hold but he is not the kind of person who would accept if our child were ‘different’ in some way. For example He would have huge issues if our child ever questioned things like gender or sexuality and I wouldn’t put it past him to tell them it is wrong. He is very much of the mindset that boys are boys and girls are girls. If I ever dressed my child in a way that he felt wasn’t appropriate for their gender I would get an earful. I just don’t want our child growing up with that kind of negativity… people are people and I don’t ever want my child to feel ashamed if they happen to fall outside of certain boxes. X

  • #107900
     iliketea 
    Participant

    I agree with WTH, before solicitors act on your behalf they always ask for ID, proof of address and relevant paperwork for the case. He sounds unhinged to me. I would call 101 and log your concerns again. Just so it’s official. x

    • #107938
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Yes he does sound unhinged, unreasonable at the very best. I have considered reporting everything to the police. I was reminded the other day that coercive control isn’t a crime. A lot of it is probably my word against his, and he is very convincing, but there are somethings that are evidenced. I know he will just say that I am making it up to get back at him, and I know my fear of not being believed is part of the control he has instilled in me.

    • #107966
       iliketea 
      Participant

      It is a crime. I’ll bump a post how the police can help in this situation. Doing now. Xx

    • #107976
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Yes I meant it is a crime. 🤦‍♀️ Phone correction 😂 x

  • #107907
     KIP. 
    Participant

    You’re not denying your child the chance of a father. You’re protecting them from a dysfunctional parent who twist and harm them emotionally and mentally, to,the point where the child is brainwashed and cannot make those sensible decisions. You need to protect and empower your child before the brainwashing begins. You simply cannot co parent with an abuser. He didn’t even want the child. He’s treated you dreadfully and that same person will do it to your child. Do you have good male role models in your life? Those are the ones you need to gather round. Please don’t expose an innocent mind to that kind of evil.

    • #107939
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Thank you. Yes I don’t want my child to be exposed to any of the things I have, and I certainly don’t want them growing up believing that the way their dad acts is ok. I don’t believe my child needs anyone but me. I will of course expose them to good male influences but I have always provided everything they need. My concern is whether I can prevent contact if it goes to court…

  • #107930
     Wants To Help 
    Participant

    ConfusedandOverwhelmed,

    Please make your primary focus on no contact at this time, not about how you will manage contact.

    Clearly I’m reading between the lines of what you have typed, but this man appears to want to live ‘off grid’ and the concerning things are the following:

    1. He wanted you to have an abortion and never wanted the child.
    2. He never even wanted the birth registered at all, so no legal record of this child at all and no accountability for the child if it ever ‘disappeared’ as in the eyes of the law it never existed.
    3. He kept the fact that the child was his secret for a long time and did not want to acknowledge the child’s existence to friends or family.
    4. He has no stability, lives in a van, and wants to live in a (detail removed by Moderator) somewhere.
    5. His other children have no contact or relationship with him.

    If he was to go off with your child then at least this would be a police kidnapping investigation due to him not being the named father and having no legal parental responsibility, so there is a slight difference to fathers with PR taking their children away out of spite. BUT, no matter whether a father has PR or not, having your child taken from you and having no idea where they are is absolutely hell, the bottom literally drops out of your world and you cannot function at all – I know because it happened to me. So you must avoid any opportunity of that happening at all.

    I can’t guarantee that he won’t do something to our child just to hurt me.

    The above lines are your words. So your gut instinct is telling you something. You are trying to ignore that and are trying instead to be ‘fair’. You must trust your gut instinct. You cannot be ‘fair’ in these circumstances. This man is bullying you and abusing you. You say he knows he has no PR so his actions are to take your child from you just for spite, so that neither of you have the child. It’s all very concerning. He is not acting in the best interests of the child in any way at all, so do not let him have any contact at all. Abusive men are known to murder their own children to get the ultimate revenge on their ex. Do not become another statistic of those cases.

    • #107943
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Seriously thank you, I needed to hear a lot of this. You may be reading between the lines but these are all concerns I have had… I just wanted to kind of get an unbiased opinion. I’ve only really talked to some of my family about some of this stuff and as they are my family I can’t help but feel that they are meant to take my side. So for you to come to some of the same concerns as me means I’m not going crazy.

      Child abduction is of course one of my greatest fears (and the possibility of worse as you have put) the fact that he lives I. A van and has more or less zero traceability makes that fear even worse as where would you even start to look? I am sorry to hear of your situation… that must of been so hard… I don’t know what I would have done. Has everything been resolved?

      I have always tried to be fair, and in essence have overcompensated on the fairness to prove it in the past. But this is different. The consequences of my decision don’t just reflect on me. My child And their safety is not up for negotiation Period. I just don’t know where I stand legally with the consequences of that decision. If he were to pursue it I. Court, can I stop him??

      There is always a small part of me that thinks for some reason he doesn’t know that what he has done is wrong, that he just thinks that is the way things are. He was never violent which is one thing, but then I have to remind myself that even if he didn’t know what he was doing in some cases there are some examples like the sexual assault that everyone should know is wrong. Then I think he probably knew exactly what he was doing. But either way, he still wouldn’t be a nice person. To knowingly do that stuff is horrendous, to go through life believing it’s ok is another type of horrendous.

      Sorry my head is still pretty messed up at the moment x

  • #107940
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    This guy sounds so dangerous. He won’t have rights. I’m not sure if he can have a DNA without your consent. He has no fixed address his behaviour is logged I’d be surprised if he was awarded even supervised contact by a court. I know many women don’t want kids to be fatherless BUT a descent male role model is what’s needed whether it’s grandad or a good male relative or friend. Have a look at Erin Pizzey on you tube she worked with thousands of women and children she Opened the very first women’s shelter. She is a psychologist. From what she saw out of all of these kids theses men do damage their kids. Feelings of abandonment and inadequacy is what they will feel being subject to him. His thinking sounds quite deranged xx love diymum xx

    • #107961
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Thank you diymum. I will have a look on YouTube. Yes I have major concerns about his influence on my son. I don’t want him poisoning him against me but I think that is the least of my worries. My son is so confident and outgoing because I let him be and he knows that I will be there. I have had to fight tooth and nail to be the parent I want to be against his dads wishes. He didn’t want me breastfeeding long term as that is ‘weird’ he hated that my son slept in my bed even though it meant all of us actually slept. He said I was molly coddling my son, and basically denying him sex. He hated baby led weaning because my son would gag. He would s****h the food away because he was ‘choking’ he would s****h his toothbrush away as it ‘wasn’t a toy’ even though my son was 8 months and loved ‘brushing his teeth’ I could see the impact this had on my son even at a small age as he didn’t know what he had done wrong. He felt I should leave my son to cry at 7 weeks as ‘he needed to learn’ all of these things I painfully researched for months before implementing, yet as he had (detail removed by Moderator) kids, he knew better than ‘some idiot on the internet’ and this is just the stuff so far. I don’t want my son to grow up thinking the way his dad sees the world is ok. Because to me that would just be breeding another potential abuser and I would rather die first. His dad believes his opinion is the only right way and if you disagree you must be stupid. He thinks boys are boys and girls a are girls, homosexual and transsexual behaviour is a choice people make for attention. God forbid I let my son play with a doll! I just want my son to grow up knowing he can love the person he was born to love, be the person he was born to be and have respect for everyone else even if it’s different. X

  • #107941
     Eggshells 
    Participant

    Hi Confusedandoverwhelmed, I’m not surprised that you are confused and overwhelmed.

    The ladies have addressed a lot of your comments already. I just wanted to say, please don’t assume that it is the best thing for your daughter to have contact with her father.

    I assumed that for my children and I am now finding out what a huge mistake that was. Their father has damaged them as much as he damaged me. Abusers don’t just abuse their partners, they abuse the entire family and your partner has already proved this by his denial of your daughter to his friends and by wanting her dead via abortion.

    Well done for standing up to him on that. I didn’t. I allowed my ex to bully and coerce me into an abortion I didn’t want. I’ll never ever forgive myself for that or for leaving my children exposed to his manipulations for all these years.

    You are so strong. You know what the issues are and we are all here to support you through your journey. You sound like you are an amazing lady. xx

    • #107963
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Thank you. I don’t feel strong 😂 but that’s because he has made me that way. I am sorry you went through all this. And I am sorry for your loss. I understand the guilt you feel but you should try to forgive yourself. It’s a big ask I know. It took me years to understand that the mistakes I hade made weren’t all within my control. It took me longer to forgive myself. Self forgiveness is by far the worst as when you think you’ve finally done it, it rears it’s ugly head. Instead I found a way to cope and then eventually I’m time things became easier. Despite the abortion being ‘your choice’ it wasn’t. Hate him for that if you need to but not you.

      I don’t want My son (I wasn’t clear before 😂) to suffer any emotional abuse at his fathers hand. I’m just not sure how I would justify witholdi g visits legally if he peruses this in court x

  • #107944
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    The Erin pizzey stuff says domestic abuse will desomate a family. This is in your hands now to stop the dysfunction being handed down and so on so forth. I took the decision to stop contact my daughter was floundering at the hands of her dad purely emotional abuse. It’s been a while since she’s seen him (detail removed by Moderator) I see her confidence grow she is flourishing she’s going to be ok x. This wouldn’t have happened with her facing his abuse. I think many women feel it will only be directed and them but more often than not the kids are put through the mill. I see this from two side as a child I was degraded by a parent it’s had long lasting effects on me. I’ve started counselling and they’ve said my inner child is damaged by this. I get so scared and feel lost in difficult situations still to this day you don’t want this for your kid ❤️

    • #107964
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Hi diymum… can you tell me how you justified withholding contact legally?… I’m not sure ‘mum instinct’ is enough (detail removed by Moderator). X

  • #107972
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    It’s a really long storey he was getting contact initially then he started to be awful to me at handovers. I couldn’t do it anymore so I stopped contact. No one has the right to abuse. So he (detail removed by Moderator) some contact at a contact centre as I refused to see him so still upheld the order by taking my daughter along each time. To cut a long storey short he was allowed access to go to his house where he verbally abused my daughter. She presented (detail removed by Moderator) times to the contact centre and refused to go. So (detail removed by Moderator) I gathered lots of evidence and saw quite a few professionals who wrote (detail removed by Moderator). (detail removed by Moderator) it was not in her best interest. It took me (detail removed by Moderator) years xx

  • #107973
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    This was my position (detail removed by Moderator) no contact xx

    • #107977
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Thank you. I’m sorry your daughter went though that 😡 and sorry it took so long. I’m not sure how I can justify preventing contact unless he does something… even if I feel it’s not in his best interests. X

  • #107979
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    You’ll know your ex best my ex couldn’t behave himself not when it came to me. Thank you ☺️ she is doing really well xx

  • #107985
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    These men always trip themselves up with their very strange thinking xx can’t help themselves over time they can’t keep it up xx

  • #107986
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Sounds like it’s time to put you and your child first. He created this difficult situation not you. It’s virtually impossible to co parent with someone who’s out to win at all costs xx

    • #107998
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Definitely putting me my boy first ❤️ The logistics of that are yet to be seen but I will make it work. You are the first person I have come across that has used the term ‘strange thinking’… they really do think strangely… like the world owes them and they are right…and if somebody else happens to think differently the they are the strange ones. X

  • #108357
     iliketea 
    Participant

    Hi @confusedandoverwhelmed how are you doing? x

    • #108365
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Stressed 😥 but ok I guess… as ok as I think I’ll be for a while. My emotions are so close to the surface it doesn’t take much for me to cry. Like yesterday at work, when I got told off for using my phone (I had glanced at the time) I was in floods of tears which is really embarrassing. I’m still waiting for the solicitors to get back to me and still struggling with the decision to let my son have contact or not and how I would even achieve no contact if things do take a legal route. I guess things will be clearer when I actually talk to a solicitor. But so many people are on opposite sides of the fence. The very real fear of my ex imposing his ideology onto my son at an age where he is impressionable is a hard thing to contemplate, so I totally understand why in my mind and the thoughts of others it would be better to protect my son from that. But how do I achieve that if this far my ex hasn’t actually done something that would be considered a risk to him. Then there’s the people that say I shouldn’t stop him seeing his dad, that he will thank me for letting him make his own mind up. What is he gets hurt? I will only blame myself! Sure I can give my ex enough rope to hang himself, but at what cost to my son? So… yeah still pretty confused… and overwhelmed. X

  • #108359
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Look up entitled attitude on Wikipedia xx it says a lot about the weird thinking xx

    • #108367
       ConfusedandOverwhelmed 
      Participant

      Couldn’t find a wiki page for entitled attitude but google has much to say about entitlement attitudes of narcissists. That’s him. X

  • #108425
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Yep it’s clear as day when u see it in black and white xx

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