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Abusive XP back in touch (child contact)(37 Posts)
Will keep this as brief as possible, but could do with objective opinions, please. I split with xp around 3 years ago due to DV (psychological, emotional, financial abuse). Police were involved for stalking etc. I was pregnant and eventually cut all contact, moved house, changed phone numbers etc.
XP is a pathological liar, and has spent some time at her majesty's pleasure for theft. At best, he has a personality disorder, and may well be a psychopath. He and his family hounded me for a while during my pregnancy and around the time they thought the baby was due. I ignored all this and never gave any details about my tiny baby. There has been little contact from them since then, albeit mainly because I've moved and made a massive effort to remain under their radars.
XP has sent an email this week - I do still use the same email address, even though he isn't to know that I still use it. He is full of the usual apologies, has apparently changed , and doesn't want back with me or access to my DC. He does, however, want to help me (cheers!), wants to meet up, and wants to know DC's name and DOB.
It was a bit of a shock to receive the email, tbh, even though it has always been in the back of my mind that he might reappear. My gut feeling was to ignore, rinse and repeat, and ignore some more. He can jump through the legal hoops if he actually wants any involvement, right? It is also likely to be because he has been sacked, dumped or both, and hopes I might have forgotten what a nasty piece of work he is.
However, apart from obviously being a bit shaken by it, I do wonder whether xp does have some right to at least know his child's DOB and name. Or rather, maybe I have a moral obligation to tell him. He is dc's dad, after all, even though he's a complete shit. Should i just let it go and deal with anything more formal as and when it happens? Or reply at some point stating DC's name and DOB? There is also now the spanner in the works that, when the ''why don't i have a daddy?'' questions arise, I won't be able to tell DC that daddy didn't ever even try to make contact after the dust settled.
Sorry if this sounds ridiculous and muddled, will end it here.
i wants to know DC's name and DOB.
I'd be worried that if you gave him your DC's DOB, he could well use this information to stalk you - by getting information from birth registry or from other agencies like doctors, etc. Be really careful.
From what you've said it sounds like you're doing your child a favour by keeping their Dad out of their lives. Remind yourself that your doing it to keep your DC emotionally healthy. You already know what this man's capable of - you don't want him having any 'in' to abuse your child, also.
Your primary duty as mother is to keep your DC safe from any harm - and that's what you're doing by keeping them away from somebody who is a known abuser.
Must have been horrible to get this email though. You should go with your instinct to ignore him. (can you block his email address to stop him contacting you again?)
I was thinking he wants that info to claim Child Benefit, housing benefit etc etc etc
I'd stay under the radar in that situation tbh.
I think you need to consider, most importantly, whether there is a risk of harm to you or your child. In my experience, biological father's who start out not wanting contact, just a few details, usually are not content with just that for long and start making demands about contact soon after. By giving him the info now it might simply get the process going.
U also need to think about what is best for the child. He/she must be about 3 now? Is he or she asking about the existence of a "daddy"? It's usually recommended that children know both parents in order to feel secure about their own identity. But obviously if you think he is dangerous then this certainly outweighs that need I think.
You need to do what you feel comfortable with. I think you shouldn't feel rushed into responding to this guy but very are fully consider your options.
I think any and all ideas of moral obligation on your part are obliterated by him being a dangerous and violent offender. i.e. you owe him nothing whatsoever. Further, I would pass the e-mail onto the police, get them to pay him a visit and warn him to stay well away. This is stalking behaviour and you can't take any chances. Then change your e-mail address.
Had just written a reply to krunk along the lines that my suspicions were also raised by the fact that xp specifically asked for name & DOB, then saw the other replies. Thanks all, you have bolstered my feeling that he has no right to any info whatsoever! Random, that is a good point - the great job he claims he has is probably a blatant lie. Pinkplum, no daddy questions yet, but heading that way. Cogito, yes, I will speak to the police. Friend's husband is a police officer so he might have good advice.
actually, name and birthday, but same difference (he knows my surname and dc's year of birth).
Do nothing love. You don't answer to him!
Your first job is to protect yourself and your baby.
You him nothing, not even a reply.
Meant to say... trust your instincts!
Thanks, hissy, I know you're right. Was just somewhat thrown by the email, and suffer from occasional guilt about cutting off that (xp's) entire side of dc's family. But that's only because I'm a rather more decent human being than is
It's so easy to apply normal people rules to complete psychos, we all do it.
The fact that we always want to see the good in others means we have to keep reminding ourselves of their actions, and it flipping hurts to keep having to relive that.
If you can get yourself to truly believe that this was all his choice, and nothing to sdo with you.
The main thing is not to panic. You control your life now and who's in it.
Old thought patterns take a while to snap out of though!
Have you done any therapy?
If your child is starting school he might also want to find the school s/he attends an try to pick up, kidnap, change schools or even befriend him/her and show how "good" he is hoping that he can be followed. I have read such stories here
No, not done any therapy Hissy. Some of the things XP said and did were so deranged and awful that, as you say, it's bloody grim to even think about them, let alone delve into associated feelings. And, being completely honest, I'm pretty ashamed and embarrassed at having being taken in by him for even a second.
ninani another good point. Thankfully i just had a 'wobble' after receiving the email, but posting on here has helped clarify my thoughts!
thanks for the link, glad I wasn't the only one that thought it was odd
As the child in this situation, 40 years ago, I would always say "no father is better than a crap father" And I have 3 DS's with a brilliant relationship with my DH, so I obviously didn't reject positive father/DC relationship.
Your child will not benefit from a toxic relationship. I have seen both side and I know what I prefer. x
Ignore ignore ignore. And when your DS starts asking, tell him the kindest, gentlest version of the truth you can: that some people are just not very good at being parents, and that you and your side of the family love DS very much.
It might be helpful to have a word with Women's Aid as well, there may be some additional legal protection you could put in place to keep this man at a distance if he does continue trying to track you down. You would certainly be able to insist (if he were to take it as far as going to court for contact) on supervised contact only, and make him jump through all sorts of hoops, which usually makes such men fuck off and leave you alone.
Thanks, ModreB, that's always been my take on keeping xp out of things. Think I was wavering because he's been quiet for a while, and i've not had to think about it. I'm already wondering why i even contemplated replying!
Solid, yes women's aid might be able to help. And I sincerely hope that if it ever comes to legal proceedings, xp will indeed be unable to keep up his side of the bargain and will fuck off back under his rock.
If it ever comes to legal proceedings it will go in your favour that you got the police to warn him off after receiving this unwanted communication. The bigger the folder they have on his activities, the better it plays out for you in the future. Disengage but record and report... record and report....
I'll let the police know, cogito. Bail conditions for xp to stay away from me are long since expired so police might not do anything, but reporting the email at least keeps me right. Thanks all, I'm really glad I posted!
I know you're worried abput therapy, but this stuff won't go away by itself.
Even if you did just the freedom programme, it'd show you how this wasn't ever your fault, nor even about you at all!
These men are SO alike, it's somehow a comfort to know this, and to understand nothing you could ever have done would have changed anything.
You ARE fee now, and that's all that matters.
Try and do some counselling, it really will help you eliminate the vulnerabilities that exist, so that you won't have this happen to you again.
You're probably right about therapy/counselling, hissy. Maybe I'll bite the bullet this year ... Though I can't imagine wanting to get involved with any man ever again, just seems like too big a risk to take now that I have my beautiful and wonderful DC to protect.
Counselling about your past could improve your confidence and help you better trust your judgement on things like this in future. It could also make you better able to advise your beautiful and wonderful DCs when they start embarking on adult relationships. Getting involved with someone else is always a risk whether you've had bad experiences or not. Learning what to look out for, both in yourself and others, either in intimate relationships or other social situations, can reduce the risk.
Never feel bad for falling for it. These people can be so plausible. I would ignore email and change email address. BUT at some point when your DD is an adult she may wish to make contact and he will be equally plausible (poor me) with her. When you can bear it, write down all the things you remember of his awful behaviour and your feelings. You can give this to your daughter if and when she may need to see it. This could be in 20 years or never, but it being written now rather than you trying to summon up this info up in the future when you have buried it as best you can, may give it more gravitas.
I hope this makes sense - am not great at putting thoughts down but I hope you see what I mean
Dear God! Don't write it down and show your DD FGS! No need for that!
Better to Get therapy, and learn about what happened TO YOU (I have small issues with the 'falling for it' phraseology too)
This man is broken, he could fix himself, but only if HE wants/needs to. In any event, his life/behaviour are no longer any worry of yours.
The ONLY person that matters is YOU OP, and your DD. In that order mostly.
A strong, healthy, self confident mum will do more for HER self esteem, and be more protection for HER against a DV relationship than a scary list of stuff he did to someone else.
We need to lead our children by example. Accept only decent behaviour and respect, so that they will too.
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