toddler distress after seeing ex p.

(22 Posts)
pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 09:41:53

hi,
i have been potty training all week with good results, however my dd (2.8) sees her dad on wednesdays and is always distressed and unsettled when she gets back, and the next day is always hell. Lots of uncontrollable tantrums,throwing herself about. She refuses the potty and the toilet and is weeing on the floor and asking for her nappy. I hate this, i am shaking. from 6 am til now she has cried and screamed and rolled around. My nerves are shot. I know that part of my feelings are anger for him, and i am finding it hard to control those feelings in front of her.

I've just given in, after all that hard work, and put a pull up on her, and shut her in her room as i need a couple of minutes to calm down. Help!

pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 10:06:11

Popped up after a couple of minutes and she has fallen asleep with all her teddies round her.

My heart feels so raw for her, i feel like i am failing her. I am worn down and not enjoying her at the moment. We used to have a lovely time together just the two of us. I feel her slipping away from me.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Jun-14 10:09:11

Why is she so upset? Can your ex visit her at yours for a bit til she stops?

pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 10:35:28

He was emotionally abusive and recently physically, she saw it all. I stupidly didn't have him charged.

I won't let him come here now, and i drop her off. He wasn't interested in her for the first year and a half of her life, resented her the attention she got , (he is very narcissistic) and now he is delighted that she brings him a lot of admiration and attention .

I wish i had left town and started afresh. It's a wrong decision i'm going to have to watch manifest itself in the behaviour of my beautiful dd for the rest of her life.

i am looking for a childminder so that i can have a break, but really what would solve it is if she didn't go to her dads.

Fairylea Thu 05-Jun-14 10:38:04

If he was abusive stop contact and consult a solicitor. Say you have concerns about her welfare as she is always so distressed on return. You may be able to stop contact completely or at the very least ask for it to be at a contact centre so he is supervised.

Selks Thu 05-Jun-14 10:41:24

Well it sounds like the contact is being very damaging for her. I would stop it with immediate effect, and only allow supervised contact. Are there any legal orders re contact or is it an informal arrangement?
Her distress is indicative that something is going seriously wrong and that it needs to change, that something sounding like the contact. Please don't leave her in this situation, OP.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Jun-14 10:43:00

Is it too late to have him charged?

Seek legal advice about stopping contact or using a contact centre and no oner nights.

thanks

How shit sad

pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 10:59:13

It's too late to charge him. He befuddles me and minimises everything. I'm scared of getting legal, scared of what he'd do. He threatens suicide if he doesn't get his way. I'm sure like me, you would have the worst case scenario running through your head.

If you've seen my other threads you'll know he uses money to try to control me. I am at the place where i don't want his money, i just want to be free of him.

Trouble is he says all the right things, he says she has a lovely time with him, he has almost fetishised it now.

I have had advice from next link and women's aid. They said i wouldn't have to tell him my new address if i move. But he could look dd up through the school once she's there. I want to home school but being a single parent i don't know how.

pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 11:00:49

Sorry this is getting to be all about me- back to dd's behaviour and how i can help her. Should i back off the potty training? She was doing so well and so proud of herself.

Fairylea Thu 05-Jun-14 11:02:24

If you tell the school you are subject to domestic violence they have safeguards to ensure they cannot release her name. You can also register her as one name and then "known as" on the register the teacher sees to minimise the amount of people who know her real name. You just need to be open with the school.

I'm sorry OP but I really don't think that you should be leaving your DD with this man. Why is she so upset when she comes back? It would be a cold day in hell before I left her alone with him again.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Jun-14 11:06:57

Call his bluff. You can't let him black mail you like that. And even if he did go through with it, it wouldn't be your fault!!!!

Agree with just telling the school about the violence and state that she's not to leave with anyone unless they contact you first or you have warned them someone else is coming.

kalidasa Thu 05-Jun-14 11:13:39

I can't comment on the awful situation with your ex, poor you and poor DD, but re: the potty training - it is normal for them to 'regress' in the face of any stress (illness, teething, new sibling etc etc) so I think I would just treat it like that and try to set your (completely understandable) anger and distress and worry about the future aside for now. Perhaps if you let her be "a baby" for a day or two, with nappies and a bottle/drink on your knee and cuddles and whatever else reassures her if that's what she seems to want/need, you'll both be in a position to regroup and think about the potty more positively again at the weekend or in a week or two. Maybe if she senses that her father is unreliable/manipulative/incapable of real love for her she just really needs the reassurance that you are completely solid and reliable, and wanting to be 'babied' and not do anything more 'grown up' (i.e. independent) is her way of asking for that reassurance. It's also possible that he has said specific things to her - either about her getting bigger/more grown up, or about you - that have upset her but you probably won't be able to find out about that given her age.

I would definitely look into stopping contact but I appreciate this is a long and complex process and will entail more conflict and stress for you before anything is sorted out. For now maybe just imagine she is a year younger than she actually is and try to meet her needs on that level?

pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 11:20:25

Thankyou, i agree her behaviour is looking for reassurance from me that i'll be the solid one.
I've had a few wobbles and really felt weak at times, but usually i let her vent then cuddle and try to talk about feelings, and reassure her that i love her 'no matter what' (we have the book, it's been a great tool). But today and yesterday i felt weak and couldn't give her what she needed, me to be strong for her and the guilt is awful.

pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 11:26:01

Oh, and yes, she did ask to 'be a baby' this morning cuddled up in my dressing gown. Thankyou so much for your responses. x

I think at the very least the contact should be supervised, no wonder she's upset going to him if she saw him hurt mummy previously. He does sound incredibly manipulative, who's to say he's not manipulating her during contact also?

Would you be able to try mediation rather than it being "legal" to begin with? Also the school can use a password that you change reguarly that anyone collecting her must use or she doesn't go with them.

Home schooling is possible, see if you can find a homeschool group and go chat to some of the mums in the group, they exist.. x

Jaffakake Thu 05-Jun-14 20:36:04

Having not done potty training myself yet I've got nothing to add apart from thinking what others have suggested about letting her be a baby & then picking up training again a day or two later sounds sensible. I just wanted to say, please don't think of weak & strong days. Think of strong & strongest instead. You're doing great. You are giving her what she needs by being the dependable one and being brave by moving away from this guy. Well done & keep doing what you're doing x x

pod3030 Thu 05-Jun-14 21:41:42

Thankyou all . I relaxed the potty idea totally, she got to choose when she wore a pull up and when she fancied the loo/potty. I think she just wanted to feel a bit in control, as ex is very directing and intense with her.

I thought of mediation, but i'm scared once i am in it, we'll be 'in the system' so to speak. I long to just fade away and start anew but 'right' and 'wrong' are skewed in my head. It's wrong to keep a child from their father. But it's also wrong to expose them to potential emotional and psychological abuse, it's my job to protect her. In her best interests I would go with my deepest instincts. But the law says otherwise.

I'm keeping a very low profile with him, not being obstructive as he would see it, whilst i think what to do.

She's much more settled now, and will be for the week until that dread day comes again. x

Iggly Thu 05-Jun-14 22:52:31

The thing is, your daughter is suffering every week because you're throwing up reasons for not taking action.

If he threatens you with suicide then it would be his choice to kill himself, not your fault. He wouldn't do it. Of course he wouldn't. This is about controlling you.

Walk away from him.

Selks Fri 06-Jun-14 07:30:35

OP you are dodging the issue of contact in your responses on here.
You don't have to be Sherlock to figure out that this is emotionally damaging for your child. As much as you might want a break you can't subject her to that. Reassuring words with you when she gets back does not make up for it. You don't know what is happening while she is with him. If he was abusive with you what makes you feel that leaving your tiny daughter with him is ok? Please protect her.

OP I don't think it is wrong to keep a child from their father in certain situations.

You have every right to keep your daughter away from him while he behaves in such a way towards you, and (probably) her.

It's possible that if your speaking negatively about her father, that will be upsetting her too and causing conflict in her as she loves you both, so I would try not to say things in front of her about him, keep it simple and spare her feelings, it's not nice hearing your daddy isn't great. (speaking from experience)

You need to take control here, I understand that he's controlled you and that seems very frightening, but it's time to break the cycle. You make the rules - should contact happen? if it should happen still, then how can it safely happen? as Iggly said, the threats of suicide are simply manipulation and control over you.

There are contact centres, i believe they cost if you don't have a referral from social services but anyone can use them.

pod3030 Fri 06-Jun-14 12:46:29

He lives a street away. We have to walk past every day. At the moment i need to let him think all is well. he knows where we live. In the eyes of the law, he could push for extra days, weekends, overnight, which i don't want. I got away so far with one day. He has money, i don't.

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