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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.

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 13:15:29

I am taking on board everything you are saying. I dont know why I am not ready to report at the moment, perhaps because it is only now that I am coming to terms with what has happened. I will report at some point, I am sure of that.

Bruno - his other DC are teenagers. He has never lifted a finger to them. I always admired him for being such a good dad. I would never have had him in my daughter's life if I thought there was any chance of him hurting her.

What has happened is completely out of character for him. I know he has been suffering from depression for a while, but I never thought it would lead to this.

I'm sorry for not name-checking you all, but please know that I am grateful for your insights and advice.

Hissy Wed 29-Jan-14 13:18:52

All abusers accuse their victims of being the ones that abuse them. They all tell us that we are crap women/mothers/sisters/humans.

you need to report this to your HV and GP at least. This has to be documented, or he may go on to get unsupervised access. ATM, I don't think that would be in the best interests of the DC.

Hissy Wed 29-Jan-14 13:19:46

depression doesn't do this to you, it doesn't make someone pick a baby up by the scruff of the neck FGS.

Twinklestein Wed 29-Jan-14 13:22:44

What he did with his other children is irrelevant, he's abusive now, that's all you need to know.

But you've not no assurance he wasn't like this when they were little. Maybe that's why his wife got out...

wontletmesignin Wed 29-Jan-14 13:22:59

You could even just report it to womens aid. They will give you a log number. If needed in the future for police or the likes, im sure they could access it.

It is confidential and they are a great help.
Not pressuring for you to report. Just giving you other options.

Im not entirely sure that what i am saying is correct. I know they give log numbers - if i am wrong please correct me

You need to report this man because he is dangerous not just to you but to women. Infact such types hate women, all of them.

Please take heed of the other respondents wise counsel and report him to the Police. Like many abusive men as well he has and is projecting onto you (he is really the aggressor here).

Depression in itself does not cause someone to become violent; he made a conscious choice and that was to hit you. He needs reporting because he needs to face the consequences of his own actions.

I would also suggest longer term that you enrol yourself onto Womens Aid Freedom Programme as this is for women who have been in abusive relationships. Such men can and do take an awful long time to recover from. You could do with talking to Womens Aid in any event.

Pigsmummy Wed 29-Jan-14 13:27:07

Wow, I wish I give you a hug. You sound like a loving mum, I am appalled by his behaviour to your DD. don't take him back

LilyBlossom14 Wed 29-Jan-14 13:31:07

don't use depression as an excuse - and how do you know he didn't abuse his ex and other children?

Eatriskier Wed 29-Jan-14 13:39:32

Please please please report him. Yes you may have given as good as your got, but he was hurting your baby ffs. It may not be deemed the right reaction but I'd lash out at anyone dragging my child off me, picking it up by the scruff of its suit and generally being rough. And then I'd call the police no matter how much I loved them. That baby needs protecting and by not reporting this you're leaving it open for him to have her unsupervised and to do god knows what with her in future. Also someone who won't see their kid however it comes up because it doesn't suit what they want is not a good father.

BIWI Wed 29-Jan-14 13:45:01

He doesn't sound very smitten with his daughter to me hmm

He'll happily walk away from the pair of you, and thought nothing of grabbing her and hurting her.

That's not smitten at all.

And whether he is depressed or not does not excuse him.

You are well rid of him.

LadyInDisguise Wed 29-Jan-14 13:57:30

Sorry but this guy just did NOT want a child with you. He has been bike to you during the pregnancy and after. And probably the reason for your AND and PND.

He just doesn't want another child in his life and gad managed to create a situation where he can leave you and his dd saying loud and clear 'it's not fault. She was abusive.'
Now tell me which parent would leave a relationship leaving their dd to someone they think is abusive and unable to care for her? Who on earth would say 'I don't want to see you therefore I will not see my dd either as I would have to talk to you too'. Certainly not a good and doting parent!

ThinkFirst Wed 29-Jan-14 14:02:50

Depression is no excuse for his behaviour.
He assaulted you and he assaulted your baby. You need to protect her. Neither of you deserve to be treated like that, under any circumstances.
Think about what would have happened if he'd managed to pick her up by her clothes, they rip because they're not designed to take the weight of a child like that, and she'd fallen and landed on her head. What father in his right mind would risk his precious child like that.

IrishBloodEnglishHeart Wed 29-Jan-14 14:05:05

He said that he doesn't want to have anything to do with me, so will reluctantly have to cut ties with her

He doesn't sound smitten with his daughter at all. He sounds like he can't wait to get away. Vile man.

I have had major depression and it has made be think and behave in many ways that I wouldn't if I were well, but it has never, ever made me aggressive or violent. Depression is not an excuse for his behaviour at all.

foolonthehill Wed 29-Jan-14 14:11:34

Report him and let him go, tell your family and lean on them, ask them to keep you strong.

he is vile and abusive and he has no reason to change.

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 14:36:01

Thanks for your replies.

Sorry if I'm coming across as trying to defend him. I'm not trying to excuse his behaviour, nor am I saying depression has caused it. I'm just saying it is out of character for him.

I will always protect my daughter - her welfare is paramount. I know his ex and am positive that he wasn't abusive to her or their DCs.

He has said that he has never flipped like that and that I provoked him. I am no angel, am fiesty and opinionated, but I definitely dont deserve what has happened.

I know that he will want to see our DD, he will miss her terribly, as he has the other times he has left.

I dont want SS in our lives. I will always put my DDs needs and safety first, just as i did at the weekend. If I report to my GP, HV or counsellor, do they have a duty to inform SS?

Logg1e Wed 29-Jan-14 14:39:23

OP, He has said that he has never flipped like that and that I provoked him.

You do realise that the second part of that sentence is extremely worrying, don't you?

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 14:40:35

Yes Logg1e, I do. Itold him the same.

Do not be afraid of Social Services or any potential involvement; they do not come in and take children away willy nilly.

How else is he going to face the consequences of his actions if you were to decide not to report him out of some baseless supposition on your part that Social Services may become involved?. Such a stance helps no-one, least of all you and your DD.

All abusive men state that their victims provoked them or made them do it. He is really no different from any other abusive man, such inherently damaged men seem to have a script and follow it.

You may think he wants to see his DD but his behaviour shows otherwise.

Logg1e Wed 29-Jan-14 14:45:18

I'm sorry I can't answer your question about SS. I really don't know why they'd be interested unless they knew you weren't taking steps to protect your daughter from her father's behaviour.

(He sounds almost sadistic, very casual in his cruelty).

foolonthehill Wed 29-Jan-14 14:46:48

yes they do have a duty of care. but children's services will do nothing unless they feel you will not protect your daughter.

however I am concerned that you actually do not seem to be worried about the safety of your daughter...he is not a good dad, he is not really besotted with her, he pulled her off you when you were feeding her...no care for her there; he went to pick her up by the scruff of her clothing...no care or concern for her there, neck support anyone? he continued to try to pull your BABY away from you when she was upset and crying...no concern there; he hit you when you were holding his child...no care or concern there, he could easily have punched her.

He may actually not see the DD as a real person, he is not treating her as such.

so his treatment of you is despicable but his treatment of his daughter is dangerous.

you need to report and you need support to make sure your daughter is safe when seeing her father.

Don't duck this one, you need to protect her, you need to put her first and above his feelings, depression, etc. If his behaviour was ok you would have nothing to fear from reporting, if you think it's a problem to report because SS will get involved in your life...then there is a problem with his behaviour.

^I will always put my DDs needs and safety first^ you need to live up to this.

Eatriskier Wed 29-Jan-14 14:57:52

You also realise that if it were you provoking him then that only excuses him hitting you (not that it does before anyone flames me) but does not explain how he has handled your DD?

Yes, SS may get involved but they don't want to remove children from loving protective homes - they would be more concerned it you did cover things like this up. To what extent they would get involved at this stage I don't know. They will however give you ideas on how to handle this man and any potential further contact with your DD.

Dinkel Wed 29-Jan-14 15:05:40

Ouch, Fool, at your concerns about me not protecting my daughter.

I told him to leave. He has left. I told him he could not see my daughter unsupervised and no way on earth will I allow that to happen. I haven't reported yet, but I know I will.

I don't know what more I can do.

OxfordBags Wed 29-Jan-14 15:28:51

OP, you say this was out of character for him, and this was a one-off, etc., but what you have described is a very obviously abusive man from the moment you got pg. Did you know that the majority of abuse starts when a woman gets pg, or just after she has given birth? Saying that you provoked him is classic abuser language. It is straight out of the drearily-predictable handbook these pathetic excuses for men all seem to have.

It goes without saying that is totally intrue that you provoked him. No normal, decent, non-abusive person would attack a woman holding a baby. As I said above, it is considered one of the most worrying red flags of abuse for professionals. It shows that he is prepared to go to any lengths to enjoy his power and abuse.

You say you think you had ante-natal depression because you weren't yourself. At the same time, you describe how he wanted you to abort, how he kept leaving you, calling you weird, fat and horrible things, keeping your feelings dangling, never knowing if he wanted you and the baby or not. Can you genuinely not see a corrolation between feeling depressed and being treated that appallingly?! You didn't suffer ante-natal depression, you were desperately unhappy because you were being mentally, emotionally and verbally abused, and he made your lifestyle and relationship unpredictable and unstable at a time in your life where you meed it to be as secure and easy as possible.

Then, you describe a man who has been really abusive and unpleasant to you ever since your DD was born. Abuse is not all about being hit. His abuse has been emotional and verbal and mental. Read any interview with women who have been physically abused in their relationship and they all too often say that the being hit was a relief of sorts, because it stopped his emotional abuse for a while. He has been abusing you for ages, and I bet if you talked about your relstionship with him before you got pg, it'd be clearly abusive then too.

wontletmesignin Wed 29-Jan-14 15:32:44

If you dont want him to have unsupervised access, then your best bet is with social services - not avoid them.

They will help and support you. If you leave them out, then if he is going to take you to court it is then only your word against his. If you get SS and other means of support like GP, HV and police - then you have all the back up.

OxfordBags Wed 29-Jan-14 15:33:48

Above all, please get it out of your head that what you did was as bad as what he did, so you have no rights to complain or report him, etc. Flip it on its head and consider this - you would be failing as a mother to have NOT physically done something to stop him endangering and upsetting your baby! What sort of mother would just let a man pull her suckling baby off the breast and do nothing? Or let him try to pick her up by the scruff of her babygro? Or just sit there and let him punch her whilst she held her baby?

Also, all victims of abuse try to justify and minimise what has happened to them by saying they are feisty and hold their own, etc. It's classic denial rhetoric; because our society paints abuse victims as weak and weedy and passive, if you don't fit that category then that means he didn't abuse you, or that you somehow caused it, or you were as bad as him, etc. No, all untrue. He chose his behaviour. Studies show that abusers are far more likely to choose 'feisty' women, as breaking and controlling them provides more of a challenge.

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