Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Am I going to far?

(44 Posts)

I've posted before, but need to air my thoughts and if anyone has any feedback I'll be very grateful.
my P was arrested 2 months ago because he tried to strangle me whilst I was carrying our young child in the stairs. When the police arrived and took a statment everything spilled out of me regarding abuse happening over a long time, sexual abuse also. He was charged and wants to go to crown court. After I went to give supporting evidence last week, the police have come back to me and said what I've told them and given evidence for warrants two more very serious charges.
I don't know what to do. He is the father of my children and if found guilty will be sent to prison and have great difficulty ever finding a job again. I never wanted this for him, I never wanted this ending, though I did want us to separate as it all took it's toll on the children also.
His family think I'm after vengeance, but last time I did apologise to them for him abusing me and attacking me and me subsequently running away with our children for 2 weeks. It was very hard for them and him that I told other people what had happened!
Now I wonder is it just me enjoying playing the victim? I want him to understand once and for all that he cannot behave like this to me. But, I feel so lost in all this, and trying to care for the children who miss their dad and just wants us to be happy family again.
I have friends but my family all live abroad.
There's things I don't want to tell my friends about, because it's very personal.
I don't know if I'm doing the right thing in allowing the CPS to charge him.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 08-May-13 17:49:50

Yes. You are.

Nobody has the right to attack you.

The person to blame for anything that may happen job or future wise as a result of attacking you is HIM!

Do not apologise to his family. You have nothing to apologise for.

Do you think you would benefit from some counseling?

You are definitely doing the right thing and don't ever think otherwise. He is very dangerous both to you and other women.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 08-May-13 17:53:38

I am sorry but your ex deserves to be in prison where he can't do this to anyone else and quite frankly, your children are better off without him, AND his family, do not let him control you through them because this seems to be what is going on here. Do not have any further contact with them, other than via the police or solicitors. The most important thing is you and your children stay safe - You haven't done any of this, this is all his own doing, he chose to abuse you - now he must face the consequences. You have been so very brave up until now - please ask for further support from the police or social services if you feel intimidated. And in answer to your question, no, you did not go too far, you did absolutely the right thing and you should be proud of being a good and protective mother.

Well, the thing is the boys have phone contact and txt and he is all great now. He's detoxed, lost x kgs and wants to send them lots of presents. he's always bought them tons of stuff and is very creative.
I don't know how to talk about the things that have happened, because I feel ashamed too. And he was constantly pointing out how I over reacted, was over exaggerating, over sensitive. And I just want to cry all the time, because it is so sad that it went like this. Would he really strangle me rather than separate amicably? He said I would never manage without him, I even offered to leave the children with him and I would move out, but I didn't have a job and he said I would just run home to my parents and never take responsibility, and so on. His family called me a child woman.
But I tried to work, and I have just started a prep course to study science at Uni and I'm doing well. I can't be that irresponsible, even if i'm a crap housewife?

LEMisdisappointed Wed 08-May-13 18:19:06

Oh honey, he has really done a number on you hasn't he - but you will grow stronger and move on from this monster. ARe you having any counselling at all? Could you go home to your parents for a while actually?

Could you give women's Aid a call? He is just trying to control you mentally as well as physically. He has made you believe that you are worthless and incapable, but you are not, you have stood up to this bully and should be proud.

Brilliant about the uni thing, i did science at university as a mature student so if you need any help send me a message x

SugarandSpice126 Wed 08-May-13 18:21:42

You're not irresponsible or a "child woman" - you are extremely strong, brave, and doing the right thing 100%. Please never doubt that. HE did those things, and now HE will pay for them. That is all there is. There is no blame on you whatsoever, just as a victim is NEVER to blame for things other people do to them.

Regardless of whether you think he's changed and doing a lot better now, that does not mean those things did not happen in the past. People don't change overnight and he has to pay for what he's done.

If he didn't go to prison, what would happen? He might come home, things might get bad, and your children would be severely psychologically damaged for the rest of their lives. You are protecting them from that, and for this reason, you are a brilliant mother - don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Sometimes just a father being around isn't good enough - that father needs to protect his children and respect and be good to the mother of his children. Your children, as unfortunate as the situation, are much better off without a 'father' this.

You shouldn't feel guilt for any of this - it is all his doing and none of yours. You are doing everything possible to protect yourself and your children.

Also well done on studying science at uni - congrats for doing well - it's not easy! You definitely have the strength to do all this without him

mummytime Wed 08-May-13 18:23:37

What help have you had? Are you in contact with Women's aid? Have you done a freedom course? Have the police offered you any help?

Please contact Women's aid and keep phoning until you can talk to someone.

It is a good thing if someone that violent goes to prison. If the police and CPS think they can get him on 3(?) serious charges, that means there is enough evidence that he is a very dangerous person.

Yes he may have cleaned up his act for a bit now, but that is unlikely to last. Anyway he needs to be punished for what he did in the past.

Stop all your contact with him or his family. Ignore their judgements on you. Get advice as to how much contact he should have with your children. You may also want to get them some counselling help (the GP, school or police may be able to point you in the right direction).

Thank you Lem, it's early days but it's keeping me sane.
I was doing quite well, but the last few days seem to have fallen down like a house of cards. Most of what he's said is on autorepeat in my brain and I feel useless. I know I'm not, but it's not going well. Yelling at the kids and so on.
The boys wants to be with daddy, as he is more fun...Not always of course, but it gets me when they say it. I just say that they will see him soon, and that it's lovely that he's sending them presents (even if none have arrived yet).

I don't have contact with him, and I had to stop with his family as they were not being apropriate trying to push me to withdraw the charges and so on. That was right at the beginning and I was wobbly but had my family to support me. Now things happen with the children, they hate school, I have no-one to talk to about it and the case with the police is even more serious. I feel I may not be strong enough to stick it out.
Thank you for very helpful posts, I know this is right, it's just so heart breaking.
Am also really angry at his mad dad and deluded mother, they are both professors in a and b (but divorced because of drink and domestic violence) His dad is a nutcase, but his mum left her children behind and got a new man +family. I'm so angry with them because it damaged my xP so badly. Rationally I know I have no right to judge my xmil, but the way she behaved to me saying she hopes I never have to experience that one of my sons are charged with these things...It was surreal. SHe should have protected him from his mental father! she did not. ANyway, maybe that's just misplaced anger...

mummytime Wed 08-May-13 21:13:33

Have your sons always hated school?
If it is a recent thing, have you spoken to school about the other things happening in their lives? It could be that the school can help, maybe refer to a home-school link worker?
If not it might be worth talking to your GP.

What help have you got for yourself? Do seek some.

Pilgit Wed 08-May-13 23:26:04

You apologised to his family for him abusing you? oh sweetie he has done an absolute number on you. You are not to blame for his actions. He is entirely responsible for his own actions. He has done all this to his family. He has committed criminal offences against you. I am sure other much more experienced and knowledgable regulars will be along soon to give you much more sound advice than I can give. you are not to blame. You deserve to be treated with respect. You deserve to never be abused. You have nothing to apologise for.

DreamingofSummer Wed 08-May-13 23:50:03

You are doing the right thing - stay strong

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Thu 09-May-13 00:01:47

You have done the right thing. NONE of this is your fault, he CHOSE to do all those things. You now need to protect your children.

TisILeclerc Thu 09-May-13 00:45:25

You have done the right thing. You really really have.

One day (hopefully sooner rather than later) you will realise that you have done the right thing and you will look back at this current do I/don't I turmoil and wonder what the fuss was about.

Stick to your guns honey. smile

TisILeclerc Thu 09-May-13 00:46:07

wonder what the fuss was about As in wonder why you even wavered. Not that you are making a fuss. Hope that came across right! blush

Thank you for this, I am going to keep it together until my family comes visiting today. They are here for a few days.
Tis, I did understand what you meant with fuss smile
The boys are up and down with school, there's been a lot going on in their little lives, and I just wish they could be happy and safe. They are very different and act out differently. I'm thinking of home schooling as a stop gap measure, but after the last few days don't think I'm strong enough for that yet. My head is spinning and I can't focus, so they need something a bit more stable than that!
They have told me how much better it is without the arguments. The middle one spoke to me about how his head is full of thinking about when daddy strangled me, but how he still misses him. They are torn, poor souls. I'll concentrate on calming down, so that I'll be calm and collected around them. Normality will eventually creep up on us, I hope.
What is disturbing also, which maybe others have experienced too, is how scared I get when I see the police and other people take so seriously the things that have happened. They were everyday fare for us, so to see people with shocked faces is disconcerting too. Makes you wonder how skewed your perception of a normal homelife is.
It helps to read on here, because when other people describe bad situations I can recognise them, and apply them to us. It's partly why I post, because maybe someone else can recognise and get away from a bad relationship from this too.
MOrning rambling over.

cory Thu 09-May-13 07:47:34

"What is disturbing also, which maybe others have experienced too, is how scared I get when I see the police and other people take so seriously the things that have happened. They were everyday fare for us, so to see people with shocked faces is disconcerting too. Makes you wonder how skewed your perception of a normal homelife is."

Hang on to this. If you left your sons to grow up with this man, that would be their lasting perception of what a normal homelife is like. And you could well find yourself in your MIL's shoes one day. Instead, you have found the courage to make the strongest possible statement to their sons that this is not what a home should be like, that this is not acceptable behaviour, that this is something that everybody has a right to be protected from. I can't think of anything that you could do for their future that would be more valuable than what you are doing now. Stay strong!

sadsong Thu 09-May-13 08:10:01

In all honesty I think you are doing the right thing. I didn't have quite the same courage or convictions years ago I just wanted to be out of it. I divorced on grounds of unreasonable behaviour to which ex h didn't contest. I sighted various incidents (one a strangulation with dd a few days old in my arms). It brought it all flooding back when I read your thread.

At the time there was so much going on i basically ran off with the dc and filed for divorce a few days later. In heinsight it was only a passing thought about having ex charged that my solicitor asked me. Nobody around me suggested it. At the time I didn't think about the ongoing manipulation 10 yrs later. I didn't need vengeance or revenge and I was terribly ashamed as no body had known. The only thing I have that helps me years on is the divorce petition. It did happen and it was wrong and it wasn't my fault. Perhaps if the police had been involved at the start I'd have had an easier life after leaving as he continued to manipulate for a long time.

Good luck on your new journey. I promise you it's a better life not walking into uncertainty every day. I used to put the key in the lock and be terrified in doing so. Now I walk through the front door and just fall over a million shoes... Much more normal. It's a far happier life. My dc do love their dad but they are very glad I left.grin

sassy34264 Thu 09-May-13 08:26:50

And he was constantly pointing out how I over reacted, was over exaggerating, over sensitive.

Pressing forward with the charges will may make him realise how serious it was and how it wasn't you over reacting.

As for your MIL, i'm sorry but i would fight her with low blows. When she asked how you would feel if one of your sons were to be charged with similiar, i would have said, 'i would never ever abandon my sons, like you did, so it will never happen'

Stupid, selfish, cow that she is. So angry on your behalf.

You really have to find the strength to go through with it. He needs to understand the seriousness of what he has done. He will just minimalise it otherwise and possibly smirk in your face.

Definately call womans aid. You need some support to help you stay strong.

And bloody well done on the uni science course!

How can you be even a fraction of what they have said about you, when you are capable of studying at university confused and a bloody hard subject at that.

You will start to grow in confidence soon i promise. It's just unfortunate that you have to go through all the terrible emotions beforehand, but it doesn't last forever.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 09-May-13 09:56:14

You're doing the right thing. There are too many violent men roaming the streets, looking for women to terrorise. Your kids are traumatised by what happened as it is. Imagine if they were visiting your grave instead.

Courage.

You have not been being over sensitive or over reacting. You have done nothing wrong.

You are being really brave and I hope you continue with the going to court, even though it is a hard road.

Please remember that all the time we are reading in the papers about men who kill their partners and children. Please don't let this be you. You need to be safe, even if he is on good behaviour now, there is no "happy families" to return to, only "scared, with good reason, families".

Also you are doing this for other women, if he doesn't go to court now, what if some years down the line he has a new partner and starts trying to strangle her?

I wish you good luck and courage.

Isetan Thu 09-May-13 12:10:37

I was petrified when I went to court, he had his lawyer and parents and I was on my own. I had written and submitted a victim impact statement but I felt the judge needed to see a face not just a name on a piece of paper. When his lawyer tried to spin things trying to paint me as the perpetrator I stood up and called him out on his lies (judge warned me to keep quiet and that any further outbursts would result in my removal). I told the truth and stood up to a bully and I am so glad I did because it was important to me to stand up to him and for him to see me standing up to him (him being handcuffs helped).

I was in a similar situation to you in that ex tried to strangle me in front of DD and was arrested and eventually Inprisoned for two years. I had his mother in my kitchen sobbing and telling me how she hoped that her husband was still alive when her son was released and I really should think of my daughter before sending her father to prison (she was smart but not toxic enough to be more direct).

My family are overseas and I am very private so I told very few people, I was embarrassed. On a subconscious level I thought, wrongly, that on some small level I must have contributed to his treatment of me. Not that I sung it from the rooftops but there were people I needed to tell. DD needed support so her pre-school needed to know and I had talk to various agencies to secure phycological and financial support for us. With every person I told I realised, in part from their reactions, that I had nothing to be embarrassed about after all I did nothing wrong. Yes, I got some pitying looks but the overwhelming response was of shock and support.

I had, and nearly three years later still have the support of a lawyer and a therapist for me and a Phycologist for DD. These three people really made the difference in the beginning as they helped me survive. DD and I have safe places to tell our stories and to be heard. There were times when my brain completely scrambled, despite knowing deep down the right things to do, my head was in chaos. My therapist provides a place for me to unscramble my brain (in the beginning I was miffed that she wasn't giving more direction but now realise that in my case I had the answers I just needed space and time).

I didn't and don't want to be identified as a victim but he did try to kill me in front of DD (he was convicted of attempted manslaughter) and it was important that It was acknowledged by me as well as others.

My daughter saved me, I
might have tried to retract my statement but because I was so angry at Ex for making her witness the attack I let the police get on with it. When I gave my statement to the police they revealed some of the lies that Ex had said in his statement and I knew then for the truth to be known that I had to tell it.

What your Ex did was terrible and what you are doing is simply telling the truth. You are not being vindictive, petty or vengeful you are simply telling the truth. What your Ex did was terrible and a dysfunctional upbringing doesn't excuse him. He is an adult and any maternal feelings that you had or still have for him will only impede your ability to detach from his abuse. If your Ex has any chance of being a better person then he needs to acknowledge what he did, all if it and you can't help him do it.

Even after all the shit, I don't hate Ex but I had to choose and I chose the safety and security of DD and her mother over any maternal instincts i had towards a grown man.

The selfishness and sense of entitlement of your Ex was not of your creation and is not in your power to control or cure.

Disengage from this toxic man and his toxic family, that doesn't mean that you can't support contact between your children and their father in the future but he has a personality that needs very strong boundaries and someone strong to enforce them.

Even after his stint in prison Ex still sees himself as the victim, god only knows what he would have been like had the criminal justice system bought into his delusion.

You and your kids have suffered a terrible trauma and you all need support.

It took me a long time to realise that Ex had serious issues and his behaviour had nothing to do with me. He was and is a man that doesn't take responsibility for his actions and because of proximity I was a convenient person to blame for his inadequacies.

Isetan Thu 09-May-13 12:12:16

F**k me that was long.

Despite your understandable wobbles you actions so far reveal that you know what he did was inexcusable and the crime committed against you can not go unpunished.

cestlavielife Thu 09-May-13 12:21:17

1. you are doing the right thing and absolutely he needs prosecuting
2. cut contact with his family or let someone else faciltiate contact with the DC and thenm. someone you trust. or let them use a contact centre.
3. go to GP and getreferred you and dc to familytherapist/specialistt counselling to help you through this and sort out the conflicted feelings which are completely natural. by talking about them in a safe place with trained people you can all come thru this stronger
4. only consider safe supervised contact for the dc with their dad. it needs to be supervised and monitored. court can recomend and set this up via CAFCASS.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now