How do I fix an impossible situation?

(32 Posts)
MrsDowneyJunior Mon 21-Jul-14 12:40:34

Very long story short exDH and I need to agree on ferrying DD between us. I'm very scared of him, have PTSD because of him & don't want to be anywhere near him. Police or protective orders are not an option. I have to agree to be alone with him for handovers and have him at my house for pick up & drop off or go to his and see him at school events etc. The thought of it alone petrifies me. It's not so much that I think he will say or do something there and then, frankly I'm more likely to given how I feel about him, it's just the thought of being anywhere near him sends me into panic, I can't eat, I can't sleep, I suffer hysterical panic attacks when I think of it, I start catastrophising and thinking terrible black thoughts and having nightmares, I start wanting to escape any way I can... its not good. But I have to agree. How do I do this? Solicitor suggested meeting "outside a police station or McDonald's or somewhere public" - that's not the point! It doesn't matter that it's public, it matters that I'm scared to be near him. He suggested asking for an undertaking but what the hell does a piece of paper do?? We've had them before and he still breaches them constantly and the police say it's a civil matter and the courts do fuck all. Help!

chicaguapa Mon 21-Jul-14 12:49:22

Can someone else be there with you for the handovers or even carry out the handovers for you with you in another room?

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jul-14 12:52:08

Why are police and protection orders not an option ? That's your problem, right there. Those agencies are for your safety and wellbeing.

Please ring Women's Aid as a matter of urgency, this is an unreasonable situation to put yourself and DC in.

MrsDowneyJunior Mon 21-Jul-14 13:03:26

Fucker I've done all that, I've been doing it for 5 years. I have exhausted every option. The DV support teams do what they can but it's down to the courts to make final decisions at the end of the day and they are the problem. I'm not going to be awarded any more orders and applying just makes me look worse now. They are not an option. The only option I can see is be unsafe and make myself ill with the stress and fear and let DD pick up on it at every handover. I can't guarantee a friend present for every single handover and it's too much to ask and regardless it's not a solution to the 3 day panic attacks I currently have when I have to be in the same vicinity as him. sad

MrsDowneyJunior Mon 21-Jul-14 13:04:40

It also isn't a long term solution. She's only 8 & this is going to be a problem till she's 17 and driving herself between us. sad

AnyFucker Mon 21-Jul-14 13:04:56

You need to go back to them and explain again and again

Have you consulted with your GP and got documented help with the panic attacks ? Has no one suggested a contact centre for handovers ?

NannyBeth Mon 21-Jul-14 13:20:12

Do the handovers happen at regular times? For eg, every friday afternoon and sunday evening or something?

I saw a role advertised back in Australia for a nanny to ferry a child between her seperated parents - literally a 15min job collecting the child from one parent and delivering to the other, and vice versa. Is this an option? You could offer pay for the hour (ie £10 if in london) plus travel costs to sweeten the deal? Could be a useful bit of extra income for a nanny who has the necessary hours free and lives nearby??

MrsDowneyJunior Mon 21-Jul-14 13:37:32

Fucker it won't help. You're right that's what they're there for but it's not always what they do when faced with a charming, polite, educated middle class doctor with loads of people around him saying what a lovely and innocent guy he is. It is not an option.

I have asked exDH before to agree to use a childminder for ferrying & he refused. I can't afford it and Mr £60k per year is so tight he shits diamonds.

Contact centres are an option I guess but they're so grim round here, seen a few and they're horrible places. And I wouldn't want to take her there, leave her with a receptionist and walk away then he arrives later to collect. Plus we had a similar system before and he'd hang around round the corner to spy on me and would purposefully be late/early regardless of orders at the time. sad

FidelineAndBombazine Mon 21-Jul-14 14:15:39

What is the agreed contact?

Is pick up/drop off from/to school an option?

Primafacie Mon 21-Jul-14 14:28:33

I think you need tx for your PTSD. Anything else will be an inadequate solution, treating the symptom but not addressing the root cause.

MrsDowneyJunior Mon 21-Jul-14 14:40:56

Well unfortunately there is not miracle overnight cure for PTSD and even if there was it may stop the panic a nightmares and flashbacks but it will never make me comfortable being alone with him again or willing to do so unless you can somehow give me selective amnesia for the last 16 years in which case I'd still be with him and in love with him.

Term time is easier but the holidays are the problem.

FidelineAndBombazine Mon 21-Jul-14 14:43:36

Maybe invest in holiday club PT to include strategic days of the week?

The whole situation sounds horrible. Do you leave near to each other?

ImperialBlether Mon 21-Jul-14 14:46:21

This sounds really awful for you, OP.

He can't insist that you go alone; he just can't. That would never ever be upheld in court.

I can understand you don't want to leave your daughter at a contact centre if it's as you describe.

Isn't there anyone you can ask to go with you? I would go with any of my friends, neighbours or colleagues if they asked. It wouldn't have to be the same person each time. I agree that outside a police station would be the best place for you. Personally, I would have my phone on record each time.

Whereabouts are you?

ImperialBlether Mon 21-Jul-14 14:47:23

Isn't there anyone connected to Women's Aid that could go with you?

ImperialBlether Mon 21-Jul-14 14:47:57

Is his violence physical or mental? Was anything recorded with the police at the time?

MrsWedgeAntilles Mon 21-Jul-14 15:01:36

OP, what a terrible situation.

In the short term, does it have to be you who takes DD to him? Do you have anyone else who could drop her off?

In the longer term I wonder if getting treatment for your PTSD might help your case against him, in that you would have the damage he's caused you documented in a form that could be pulled for court use and backed up by a independent professional.

helenthemadex Mon 21-Jul-14 15:05:50

I have people with me when I hand over my dd to ex, its not always the same person, is this an option for you? do you have friends or family who could come with you as long as you have someone for moral support it doesnt matter if its a different person every time

Icimoi Mon 21-Jul-14 15:07:00

It seems to me that your only option is to pay a childminder yourself. I know you can't afford it, but if you can't go back to court and can't get a friend or relative to help, what other option is there? Can you get a little financial help from a relative for that purpose?

Is there any social services involvement? Might they be able to help out?

EarthWindFire Mon 21-Jul-14 15:07:23

In the short term, does it have to be you who takes DD to him? Do you have anyone else who could drop her off?

^ this.

hiddenhome Mon 21-Jul-14 16:17:04

I don't see why you can't just remain out of sight, but nearby when you hand your child over. I used to feel the same way about my ex partner, so I used to send my son by an area to wait by himself, then just remain somewhere near in my car to make sure ds was safe. Once he'd been collected by his father, I'd leave.

MrsDowneyJunior Mon 21-Jul-14 17:10:04

Sorry you're just not getting it. I'm not scared of being hit, I'm used to it & if he did I'd have evidence to get him at last. I'm scared of the thought of even being in the same town as him, the thought alone sends me into a 3 day panic attack where I literally cannot function. It's happening now just thinking about it. I have a new baby on the way, no father, how can I look after her and an 8 year old if I'm in permanent hysteria from building up to or coming down from contact with him, any kind of contact - verbal, written, face to face etc. No professionals will help me and all help him and claim my fear is emotionally abusive to DD, rather than dealing with his actions, past and present, causing my fear. In the first place and helping me to be safe from him. Forget it. There's no solution that is good for me and DD and no help to be found that I wouldn't have to pay for and could rely on. It's impossible to advise when you can't fathom what PTSD is like. sad It's not a case of get someone else to do it or be in public. sad

cansu Mon 21-Jul-14 17:22:06

If it is impossible then the only thing you can do is work out the least worse option. So for example whilst contact centre is grim it may well be preferable to being alone with him or meeting in public place. Perhaps knowing that you will not have to meet him will help you to feel less traumatised in the run up to contact. Alternatively you could ask him to collect your dd from a relative's house, allowing you to drop her ten minutes before and leave or wait round corner or wherever until he has gone. These are not perfect solutions but are perhaps ways of making situation more manageable for you.

Any chance he could pick her up from school? When is the contact?

Have you tried EMDR?
www.emdrassociation.org.uk/home/about_EMDR_therapy.htm

If a friend or relative isn't able/willing to accompany you to the drop offs then I think the contact centre sounds like the next best option.

As PPs have said, there is no ideal solution here, there's no 'fix'. All you can try to do is mitigate your distress by reducing the chances of seeing him as far as possible.

SarcyMare Mon 21-Jul-14 17:33:37

Sorry you're just not getting it. some people have got it, suggested you use a thrird party for the handovers, you said he won't accept that, well guess what he doesn't have any say in it, even if you pay for someone to do the drop off and pick ups

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