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DD dad has disowned her - she's 9

(127 Posts)
onemoredayplease Tue 26-Feb-13 09:38:46

Long story but my ex has disowned our dd (aged 9) he literally sat her down and told her he never wanted to see her again. He also told his wife that she can't have any contact with dd. dd loves her
step mum.

Have tried to support her through this but it's very hard. Step mom wants contact so dd has had contact a couple of times in secret. She saw her yesterday and returned with 2 books and a teddie he has thrown all her other toys. She also told me that step mum had told her that her dad says dd doesn't exist and is not part of his life. She has told dd this before and that ex is being horrible to step mum.

Not sure what to do. Can't change ex and have been trying to maintain contact with step mum but dd was very upset yesterday. Talking about contacting her dad to protect step mum. Feel step mum is treating dd as an adult.

HappySunflower Tue 26-Feb-13 09:42:24

Well I'd be thinking twice about contact with Stepmum tbh. Telling your daughter things like that is only likely to exacerbate the feelings of rejection sad

Why has he cut contact?
He sounds a a cruel and heartless human being actually. In the long run, she will probably be better off without him, but for now, she will need help and support to process this loss and deal with her feelings of confusion.

ZZZenAgain Tue 26-Feb-13 09:42:28

what reason has he given for doing this?

lalalonglegs Tue 26-Feb-13 09:42:55

Is there any reason that this has happened? Has he rowed with you and is using your daughter to punish you?

NicknameTaken Tue 26-Feb-13 09:44:56

God, your ex is absolutely evil. What a nasty, nasty man.

I do think it's positive that she has such a good relationship with her stepmother (and well done to you for being supportive of it). Why does she have to see stepmum in secret? Surely that is about protecting stepmum rather than dd, as if your ex has disowned dd, there's not much more he can do to her. Your dd shouldn't have to feel that protecting her stepmother is her responsibility - that's a heavy burden for a 9-year-old.

I'm not sure how to translate any of that into practical advice. Is there a neutral third party that your dd could talk to about all this, so that she can become clear in her own mind what she needs to do in relation to her stepmum? A fuzzy sense of responsibility with no clear idea of what to do about it is a very tough position to be in.

onemoredayplease Tue 26-Feb-13 09:45:08

He's always been selfish but basically he feels dd doesn't share any of his interests and is more interested in step mum. He's always been a bully.

Lueji Tue 26-Feb-13 09:46:56

So sad for your DD.

To be honest, I'd explain to her that he is not worth it.
It's not about her, but him.

I agree that step mum should not be saying all that to your DD. Have a chat with her?

Feeling sorry for step mum too. It sounds like she should be getting rid of twat.

onemoredayplease Tue 26-Feb-13 09:47:23

Step mum says he has threatened to throw her out if she has contact with dd. he checks her mobile bill to see that she hasn't phoned dd. so we have done secret contact.

onemoredayplease Tue 26-Feb-13 09:50:29

Have told step mum to be positive around dd as she has enough to deal with without worrying about step mum. She's in an abusive relationship from what she tells me but seems to be leaning on dd. don't want to stop contact as dd loves her however I'm not sure it's good for dd in the long run.

NicknameTaken Tue 26-Feb-13 09:53:07

I wish I could just tell the stepmum to leave. Why put up with that abuse and control? Anyway, that's not your priority - obviously your dd is. I do think she needs help to work through what she can realistically do about her stepmum, as well as her grief about her father. There is potentially a risk of her grief becoming buried under the need to "rescue", which is not a great template for later relationships.

I'm not saying that to scare you or say that there will be problems down the line. Don't underestimate the power of your compassion for your dd and clarity about what is going on. In a fucked-up situation, a child can still be okay once there is an adult who is on her side, understands what is happening, and helps her make sense of it.

firesidechat Tue 26-Feb-13 09:55:41

Ok, that is terrible thing to happen to your poor daughter. I won't comment on ex because anyone who can do that is beyond help.

Is it really in your daughters best interests to have a secret relationship with her stepmum. I appreciate that the stepmum may want that, but will it be good for your daughter. If I understand your post correctly, she is passing on some very painful info to a child that would be best unsaid. That would worry me more than trying to maintain a relationship in difficult circumstances. The stepmum seems to have a slightly inhealthy need to confide in a little girl. It's not really fair is it?

mummytime Tue 26-Feb-13 09:58:17

I would monitor the step Mums meetings, to make sure they are healthy for a 9 year old. Give the step Mum the phone number of Women's aid etc.

I hope you have let the school know what is going on, you may want to ask them or your GP advice for getting some counselling support for your daughter.

He really is a horrible little man, and you have done so well for getting away from him.

I think it might be worth contacting a counsellor that specialises in working with children to help your DD with this. Can you afford this?

Being rejected by her father is a huge thing and she'll need support in processing this and coming to terms with it. You don't want her thinking it's because there's something wrong with her, as that will have long-term psychological and behavioural effects. My father did something similar to my sister when she was 10/11 and it was not good. (He insisted on continuing contact with me, which was also terrible but in different ways). Some proper support might have been useful in preventing my sister spending her teens and twenties doing risky things and generally sabotaging her life.

You've done well in setting some boundaries with her stepmum and I agree that it's a good idea to continue contact so long as the stepmum can remain within them. She has to deal with (and escape from) her abusive relationship on her own. Your DD can't help her with that.

onemoredayplease Tue 26-Feb-13 10:07:15

I do worry about her. She is a tough little girl but when she lets the front drop she is so hurt. The thought of what this is doing to her is very hard.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 26-Feb-13 10:09:22

I would consider cutting off all contact with the stepmother.

I feel terribly sorry for her, she's clearly in an abusive relationship with your ex, but your dd is 9 and she's the priority.

If her SM is trapped in an abusive relationship, she is not thinking straight. As you say, she's leaning on your DD who is a child, FGS and not able to cope with the ins and outs of a very abusive adult relationship.

The SM doesn't seem to understand the boundaries between adult and child and I think your DD urgently needs counselling to help her come to terms with her father's emotional abuse. She doesn't need to be treated as a counsellor by an adult.

I'd probably tell her that she needs to go to Women's Aid, she needs to leave the bloke and that she'll be able to re-establish contact once you feel that that's in your DD's best interests IE either when it's no longer secret or when she's left the abuser altogether.

Funny how men are allowed to perpetrate abuse like this with no consequences for them. angry

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 26-Feb-13 10:12:16

Family Lives is an excellent charity who offer counselling for free.

There's a helpline which you could call and explain the situation and they'll be able to tell you if they can help your DD and if not, will be able to direct you to someone who can.

She will be OK. This is a horrible thing to have happened but it may be far better for her than years more of contact with her nasty, abusive father.

It's worth going to the GP to see about some counselling for her, or arranging it privately if you can afford it. You want to help her before any issues arise.

And keep loving and supporting her. That's the most important thing.

In my sister's case (and mine) the problem was exacerbated because our mother is also a total nightmare. You are not and that is crucial.

What a hideous hideous thing to do to a little girl. The only good thing I can think about it is that she is of an age to remember, and later realise, what a total cocklodger her dad was, so no danger of her thinking you 'stopped' her seeing him or similar.
Could she meet Step Mum somewhere neutral, with you there, like a playground on the first Monday of every month or something? Not too frequent, no cloak and dagger messages required, you there to supervise that the conversation is appropriate.
I think a bit of a cooling off period might be good too.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 26-Feb-13 10:22:17

Oh yes, just want to say, this is a blessing in disguise - if he's not in your DD's life anymore, he can't exert his toxic, abusive presence.

However - and this is long term- pricks like this 2 or 3 years down the line, can decide they do want contact after all.

So then he swans in again, re-establishes a relationship with your DD and then tells her six months down the line, that it's not working out for him, she's not good enough for him to know after all, he made the right decision first time round when he dumped her. Causing unbelievable pain and emotional havoc.

Be aware that he might pull that one. If you have it at the back of your mind that that might be a possibility, you can protect her from the emotional fall-out of that.

Lafaminute Tue 26-Feb-13 10:28:01

He sounds vile OP - I agree with others, in the long run your dd will be better off without him and without being too graphic/grown up your dd is probably old enough to be told this.

Maybe either you and DD could go out with stepmum together - to make sure things stay reasonably positive ?

Or you could go further and say stepmum can't see DD whilst she's still with ex, and encourage her to leave him as she's in an abusive relationship with a twat Tell her she's welcome to see DD once she's left ex ?!

Good luck with it all. My heart goes out to your poor DD. Ex sounds like a complete * !

NicholasTeakozy Tue 26-Feb-13 10:42:14

What a horrible excuse for a human being he sounds. Tbh, your dd will be better off without him. I hope her stepmum stays safe.

firesidechat Tue 26-Feb-13 10:44:27

I've had to come back to this thread because, while I've been doing other things, it keeps playing on my mind. Some threads do that.

The more I've mulled it over the more I think your daughter may need some distance from this horrible situation. She's only 9 and her own father has coldly rejected her. I can only imagine what that must be like for her and she needs alot of tender loving care and stability at the moment. I'm not sure that propping up a needy woman (stepmother) is what she needs right now.

As we all know from forums like this, living with an abusive idiot has consequences and stepmum is experiencing one of those consequences now. She could probably do with some help, but not from a child. She should know that saying some of the things she has said are totally out of order. Her boundaries seem hopelessly blurred.

Reading between the lines, it seems that you are asking if it's ok to stop contact with the stepmum for now. I would say yes. Apologies if I'm reading this wrong.

onemoredayplease Tue 26-Feb-13 10:53:23

Thanks all. I have been thinking it over and I think I will stop dd seeing step mum for a while. It is adding stress to dd. step mum has made her choice to stay with him so she needs to deal with that.

Keep repeating to your DD that her father has something wrong with him which makes him a rotten parent and some people are just LIKE THAT. Because the most important thing for her to be convinced of is that this wretched man's behaviour is his own fault, not hers, and that it's not a matter of her having done anything wrong.

And by all means let the stepmother know that in future, once she herself has binned awful H, then she can see DD again at some point as there is no such thing as too many loving adults in a child's life.

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