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Am I the aggressor as he says?

(78 Posts)
Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 11:56:29

Please be honest and tell me whether I am as awful as he says I am.

My DP left on Sunday. We have a daughter who is a few months old.

To give you some background, we have been together about 8 years on and off. He is divorced and also has DCs with his ex wife.
When I became pregnant I was on the pill, so it was unplanned. He wanted me to terminate. I went for counselling and as far as booking the termination, but cancelled it the day before as I couldn't go through with it. He decided he wanted us to be a family and we moved to a bigger house nearer our families.
I think I suffered from undiagnosed antenatal depression, as i definitely wasnt myself. He left several times throughout my pregnancy saying I was weird, fat etc. Every time he left he said he wanted nothing to do with his unborn child. I always took him back as I wanted my daughter to have a dad in her life. And I loved him.

I had my DD and he has been a good dad on the whole. But, our parenting styles differ significantly. He says I am possessive and obsessed with my DD. I say he is too hard and rough with her, but there is no doubt that he loves her; he's smitten.

We have had quite a few rows and he has left me twice. I am suffering from PND and am on ADs and having CBT. It is more anxiety-bases about my daughter. I know I havent been easy to live with and have been over protective of my DD at times.

He has called me fat, schizophrenic, weird, said he can do so much better than me and that I am a bad mum.
He has always been critical of people in general, but I am starting to believe he is emotionally abusive. My family think he is... they say I am a shadow of the person I was before I met him

We had his other DCs this weekend. All was good until Saturday night. He wasn't in the best of moods. We went to bed and his children had left the light on by mistake. I was feeding DD so asked him to turn it out. He refused. I jokingly lifted the duvet off of him and asked him again. He turned round, pulled DD off of my breast and told me to do it. Not only did this hurt me, but my DD screamed and cried. Instinctively, I punched him in the arm. I know I shouldn't have done that, I don't know what came over me. I asked him to leave the room and sleep downstairs. He refused and kept trying to pull my DD off of me. I was trying to push him away from us with my feet. He was smirking and telling me I'm crazy. I was full of remorse for lashing out and kept apologising. But I was so shocked that he pulled my DD off of me and was using her to try to get to me.

Sunday was OK, we had quite a nice day, but he was off-ish with me. At about 8pm, my DD was asleep on me and had been for some time. I commented that I should wake her so that she could be fed. He went to lift her off of me by the scruff of her sleep suit. I shouted at him not to lift her like that, but he grappled with me, so I flicked his ear. He punched ne hard in the leg, so I pinched him. He punched me again harder. His DC told him to stop.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jan-14 12:02:25

Of course you're not the aggressor. He's been an grudging participant from the outset of your pregnancy by the sound of it and now he's openly hostile. As the violence is escalating and you are being forced to defend yourself, you should get this evil man out of your life before you get seriously hurt.

LilyBlossom14 Wed 29-Jan-14 12:04:35

blimey - he is awful. Snatching a feeding child from you, calling you names, etc. You need to get away from him. He isn't a good dad at all. Call Women's Aid before he really hurts you or your daughter.

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 12:04:45

Sorry, posted too soon.

I told him to leave. He grabbed all hia things, told his DCs to do the same and left.

His DCs have since measaged me to say they cant believe he was so rough with our DD and that he punched me. I apologised for what they witnessed.

I realise this is a massively long thread, so wont go into more detail.

He is now saying that I am abusive and the aggressor and that he is going to report me as he has concerns about our DDs safety. I am at my wits end, I would never hurt my DD, I was trying to protect her which is why I lashed out at him. I am so worried that I may lose my DD. Please help.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jan-14 12:07:11

Of course you won't lose your baby. Please don't worry about that. To be on the safe side, keep those messages from his DCs very carefully as they are evidence of his aggression.

Dinkel, his own dcs think he was aggressive with you and dd. If he's rough with her he's not a good dad. He's abusing both of you. Get away safely. It will only get worse. He is testing your boundaries and setting you up to blame yourself.

Gigondas Wed 29-Jan-14 12:07:46

I would call the police yourself. You have grounds.

And concerns about dd is his way getting at you. Get rid of this man now for your sake and your daughters.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jan-14 12:08:36

"My family think he is... they say I am a shadow of the person I was before I met him "

If you haven't done so already, please be with your family. They obviously saw straight through him from the off and they will be very supportive of you.

Yes, definitely keep the messages. They are evidence that he was abusive and not you. SS would be interested in seeing them if he reported (which he probably won't, since they would look at the evidence and see it is him)

Jan45 Wed 29-Jan-14 12:09:53

He wouldn't be getting within an inch of any of my kids, he's not to be trusted and is a complete bully, I have no idea why you want to be with this horrible man.

Twinklestein Wed 29-Jan-14 12:10:27

No you are not. He is abusive and he's dangerous. You punched his arm when he ripped DD from you out of animal instinct to protect your baby.

Please call Women's Aid today, they will help you formulate a plan to leave. I would also tell your GP about these incidents under the guise of asking for advice, as you need to create a paper trail of his actions.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jan-14 12:13:48

BTW to answer your question directly here's the test you should apply. If a random stranger had walked in off the street, snatched your baby off you or called you the names this man thinks it's OK to insult you with, would you be on the web asking 'am I the aggressor?' or would you be calling 999 and getting the person removed from your house?

This man wanted you to abort your beautiful baby. I don't think there should have been any come-back from that.

OxfordBags Wed 29-Jan-14 12:19:53

OP, not only are you not going to lose her, you should ring the police on him. Hitting a women who is holding a baby is a massive red flag to the police and other people knowledgeable in abuse matters and child protection. These people also know that a woman lashing out, or hitting back at a man who is abusing her and potentially risking her child's safety, is a completely different thing from being an aggressor.

Please understand: a man who will grab a baby by the scruff of her sleepsuit, pull her off the breast, or hit her mother whilst she is holding her, is NOT a good father. The fact that you believe he loves her is irrelevant. Men who rape, beat and abuse their children purport to love them. Does that mean they are good fathers? Of course not. Actions speak louder than words.

Please understand that this is not 'six of one, half a dozen of the other', this is you, a victim of abuse lashing out and defending herself and her child out of animal fear and protection for her little one.

Donot delude yourself that this is not affecting your baby badly. The fear, stress, anger, violence, etc., will be damaging her emotionally. It is also v damaging for his other children to witness this sort of thing.

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 12:22:37

Thank you all for your replies, they are helping me see through the fog a little. I know I was wrong to lash out, but, in my mind, I was protecting DD.

He would never believe he was abusive. He is the nicest person as far as most people are concerned. Most of the time he is so loving towards our DD and he really is smitten. I dont think he would intentionally ever hurt her, he just doesn't realise how heavy-handed he is.

I have told him he will need to arrange supervised access if he wants to see DD now. He said that he doesn't want to have anything to do with me, so will reluctantly have to cut ties with her.

The other thing is, I have been financially supporting us as he only got a job a few weeks ago and I am on full maternity pay until Feb. we planned that I would not go back to work for a few months and he will take over supporting us. There is no way I can afford to run this 3 bed house on SSP. I have no idea where to turn.

My life is such a mess. All I want is the best for my daughter and I've failed already.

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 12:28:14

Sorry, cross posted with most of you.
Thanks again for taking the time to help.

He is no longer here, he has moved out, so no worries about mine or my daughter's welfare now.

I would feel like a fraud if I reported to the police. I gave as good as I got.
I just dont want him taking my baby away.

LilyBlossom14 Wed 29-Jan-14 12:29:38

But he is intentionally hurting you - and grabbing her in such a way must have hurt her.

You do need to report his behaviour - you need it on record what he has done to you. Financially if you are not together you need to sort out maintenance from him - CSA is probably your best bet for this. You also need to not contact him at all.

He will try and come back, I am sure of that. Your strength will be in refusing to take him back.

BrokenButNotFinished Wed 29-Jan-14 12:36:24

Tbh, he lost my good opinion when you wrote that he called you fat and weird while you were PREGNANT.

I agree with everyone else: you need to document everything, consult professionals and change the locks.

And you also need to stop thinking you were on an equal footing when he started the argybargy: you were clearly the more vulnerable.

And - I don't think it's generally possible to overprotect a baby of a few months old.

ShimmeringInTheSun Wed 29-Jan-14 12:36:39

Dinkel All I want is the best for my daughter and I've failed already

Actually, you are giving her the best by taking steps to protect her form this man, therefore this is a success NOT a failure. You are NOT a failure .

Take things one at a time, one day at a time. Follow the good advice of others on this thread, and make you and your DC your focus.

they say I am a shadow of the person I was before I met him

^ this is exactly what my family and friends said to me when I found myself in a shocking marriage. I walked out, with my child in my arms, and went on to spend 15 fabulous years with my amazing boy.

Each day you lose staying with that man, you will never get back.

Sending you strength, optimism, and faith that you will find a way through this.

The very best of luck to you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jan-14 12:37:22

If you don't want there to be even a remote chance of your baby having to spend time with him then reporting it is the best way forward. You don't have to prosecute necessarily but you need it on record that he was violent towards you. The police non-emergency number 101 can put you in touch with their DV unit who can advise. Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 are not just for people looking for refuge, they can also recommend appropriate legal help and give other advice on how to recover from here.

I know you wanted a traditional mum/dad set-up for your DD but making her grow up with a man who hates you was never going to achieve that. What's best for her is to be loved, safe and with a mother who is not constantly under attack.

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 12:41:23

I need to digest all of your posts more. It is beginning to sink in just how serious this is.

Cogito - I haven't told my family, or anyone, the extent of what has happened, just that he has gone.

wontletmesignin Wed 29-Jan-14 12:43:43

You are not the aggressor at all. I havent read the replied.

He is abusive and by the sounds of things it is escalating. He is not a good father, at all, in the slightest.

My advise to you would be to call police and womens aid.
Alot of abusers threaten with social services, and many follow through with it. It is all a form of control and still a way of abusing you.

They will not take your daughter away from you.
Please stay away from this awful man

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Jan-14 12:44:31

Time to be honest with someone you trust. Risk the 'I told you sos'. Acknowledge it's over. Burn the bridge. All the time you keep quiet you're protecting your abuser and you are taking a terrible burden on yourself. So tell the truth, shame the devil and you can start to think about the future

muddylettuce Wed 29-Jan-14 12:50:46

Dinkel, you are not alone. Please tell your family and enlist their help. It sounds as if they already suspect abuse, emotional or otherwise. You can report the assault to the police, punching you is an assault, the messages from his dc will be useful here. You are not the aggressor. You were protecting you and your baby. X

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Wed 29-Jan-14 12:58:39

Christ almighty.

YOU NEED TO REPORT.

This is why. Yes, as it concerns the situation between you two, you could argue that 'you gave as good as you got'. But that's not the point - especially as he has gone and you are confident that you will not be living/in a relationship with him again. The point is that in these two separate incidents a part of what he did was to assault, or attempt to assault, your tiny baby. That is horrific, and SERIOUS. You need to report this to the police and to Social Services, because if you don't, then if he decides at any point that he wants contact - maybe in order to frighten or cause trouble for you - then there will be no record of his violence and he WILL get unsupervised contact.

Protect your daughter NOW and for the FUTURE.

You have evidence of his violence both to you and the child.

You need to make sure - and now is the only time you can do it - that he is 'locked down' on contact. You say in your OP that he can only have supervised contact from now on. If you don't report, and he decides on a whim that he's taking you to court for access, HE WILL GET IT, and you then talking about past violence will have limited effect.

Please please call the police. I am worried about his other children too - if he can be that rough with a tiny baby, then he is not a safe person around any child.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Wed 29-Jan-14 13:00:49

Oh and actually your description of you hitting his arm and pushing him with your feet - I can tell you that if someone, DH or anyone, grabbed my baby from my breast in a violent manner then I would react instinctively to protect the baby by ANY means possible. I'd probably have ripped half his fucking hair off. And I would consider that absolutely justified!

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