Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Reassure me I did the right thing people...

(38 Posts)
GoddessofSuburbia Fri 04-Jan-13 00:40:44

Though I'm also prepared to be told I didn't, even though this isn't AIBU...

First, some background because I haven't posted about this before, and I don't want to dripfeed. StbxDH and I split up 2 1/2 years ago. It was a mutual decision, and he went to live with his new partner; a woman he'd been seeing whilst we were together. StbxDH was emotionally, financially, and borderline sexually abuse- I'm receiving support from the local DV team for help coming to terms with this. The abuse has continued since we split, resulting in me needing to get my solicitor to write letters to him telling him to back off. He has, previously, refused to comply with mediation.

The issue tonight is that dd2 slammed her finger in the car door as she was closing it. She's 11, and therefore normally very capable of doing this, nothing similar has ever happened before etc, it was purely an accident. Immediately afterwards, her finger was swollen, the nail was bleeding, and as well as obviously causing her a lot of pain, she couldn't bend her finger at all. I wrapped a bit of gauze around finger, and put her hand into a sling (I've done a few courses on first aid), and gave her some painkillers. It seemed to me fairly obvious that taking her to A&E to get checked would be a good idea.

My other dd, during this time, had text her father telling him what had happened to dd2, and said to me, as I was on my way out of the door that I had to call him "like now- quick, before he kills me!". I had every intention of calling him after I had ensued dd2 had got medical attention, I hasten to add, it was just she was my priority at that point. In the event, he phoned me, asking what had happened and why was I taking her to the hospital. He wasn't satisfied with my answer when I told him why, and repeatedly stated he didn't think she needed to go, and if she did, he didn't want me taking her. I ignored him, and took her anyway.

At the hospital, I told the receptionist the full story, including that I was worried he would arrive at the hospital and start shouting at me- he's done that before, when dd1 was ill and he didn't think she needed attention. Whilst we were waiting to be triaged, he and his DP arrived and started questioning dd2, saying things like is it really that bad, can you really not move it, is it really necessary, does it really hurt; it looks alright to me. He told me that me taking her to be checked wasn't necessary, any normal person would have left it until the morning and seen how it was then. I stayed calm, and told him that considering I wasn't a doctor, a didn't feel able to make that judgement, and thus I thought erring on the side of caution was the best thing to do. He disagreed with me, raising his voice and being loud and aggressive. I suggested that bring the case, we could go speak to someone medically trained and discuss whether or not she needed to be seen, but that was what being triaged was for. At that point he settled down.

To cut an already long story short, she was seen, x-rayed, and had a dressing put on her finger. The nurse said that she had been very lucky as it wasn't broken, but that she needs to be seen by the practice nurse to have it redressed on Monday.

Now, my worries. I'm concerned by him telling me she didn't need to he seen by anyone when he, at that point, hadn't seen the injury. Based on the description I gave above, which is pretty much what I said to him, I felt she really needed medical attention. He told her she didn't need to be seen, and it was just an opportunity for me to enjoy an evening in A&E from the time he got there. I'm really worried that his behaviour has developed into a child protection/safeguarding issue. Obviously I'm going to talk it through with my solicitor tomorrow, but I'd really appreciate other people's perspectives. Did I do the right thing? Did I over-react?

Sorry for typos etc. I'm in my phone and even though it happened hours ago, I still feeling rather shaky.

GoddessofSuburbia Fri 04-Jan-13 00:41:13

Oh god it's long. I'm so sorry...

Nanny0gg Fri 04-Jan-13 00:49:51

I would have done the same thing. I don't have any first-aid training and I would have worried. You can't tell if something's broken just by looking at it.
So, A&E or a walk-in centre definitely. At the worst it couldn't do any harm.

Glad you're going to get legal advice tomorrow.

Redflagcatcher Fri 04-Jan-13 00:49:54

You absolutely did the right thing. Without a doubt. It would have been a safeguarding issue had you not taken her to a and e and it was broken, just because he told you not to. Imagine how that would have looked and you would have had to answer any questions about the speed of your response. At which time he would have probably piped up that he told you to go......my other reaction is.....why does he get so nervous about her seeing health care professionals?? It would concern me that he has something to hide....

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Fri 04-Jan-13 00:50:18

I'm really worried that his behaviour has developed into a child protection/safeguarding issue

What does this mean? Sorry to be ignorant... can you explain this to someone who doesn't understand please.

aprilrain Fri 04-Jan-13 00:51:18

'He told her she didn't need to be seen, and it was just an opportunity for me to enjoy an evening in A&E from the time he got there .'

I don't understand this bit.

It doesn't sound like you were being unreasonable to take her to A&E. nor would it have been unreasonable to leave it overnight and see how it was in the morning. So I think calling it a safeguarding issue is a bit much.

He does sound like an absolute prize twat though.

Redflagcatcher Fri 04-Jan-13 00:51:29

If she stays with him....it definitely is a safeguarding issue. He tried to refuse her medical attention when it was appropriate to do so.

freeandhappy Fri 04-Jan-13 00:53:15

Eh you definitely did the right thing. I suppose you could have left it overnight but only if it was going to be very difficult for you to get to a & e. I can see no reason and cannot comprehend his reaction at all. Why on earth would you go to the hospital for fun? What is he trying to suggest about you? He is certainly trying to discredit you and undermine your faith in your own good judgement. Why? He sounds like an awful bully. What's his problem? I could see if you didn't bring her to the hospital he could accuse you of neglect but being sensible and getting a sore an badly banged finger checked out errrmm just, well done. Did yr other dd ring her dad or did he happen to ring her just at that moment? She should perhaps be asked not to involve him unless she clears it with you. It sounds like he has your dds questioning your judgement too which may e what he is up to. Very unsettling and divisive for your family and fucking undermining for you as their parent who they need to be able to have confidence in. You must have to be very guarded and careful. You definitely did the right thing.

SirBoobAlot Fri 04-Jan-13 00:54:28

Do you mean you're concerned that had she done that at his house, he wouldn't have got her medical attention?

You did the right thing, and am not surprised you're shaken up. Hope DD's finger heals soon, getting it slammed in the door is very painful!

GoddessofSuburbia Fri 04-Jan-13 00:54:56

Redflag, he has weird issues about hospitals. He has, in the past, stopped me from going to A&E or the doctor if I've needed to- I have moderately crap asthma, and have on occasion needed to go if I've had an asthma attack that I can't manage by ventolin alone. He's also, once, not called an ambulance until the very last possibly time when I had anaphylaxis. When asked about it, he always replied with some rubbish about it not being necessary, that he didn't think it was that big a deal.

MegTheCat Fri 04-Jan-13 00:55:55

You absolutely did the right thing. The hospital wouldn't have x-rayed if it didn't need checking out. And your ex is bonkers - who "enjoys" an evening in A&E???
One of my dcs trapped his finger in a car door and I took him to A&E immediately. (It did slam really hard though)

Booyhoo Fri 04-Jan-13 00:56:45

OP i would actually be a bit worried about this as a safeguarding issue too. it seems very odd behaviour to be so keen on your DC not getting medical attention when they need it. most parents i know, including myself are of the mindset of "better to get it checked" . he seems to have a real issue with your DD's not being in hospitals. i would be concerned. do you think he has been hurting them and doesn't want questions being asked? it's very odd behaviour IMO.

aufaniae Fri 04-Jan-13 01:02:26

Turning up and making a scene at the hospital is really odd!

Why is it any skin off his nose if you want to spend an evening on A&E? Why was he so keen to get her out of there, do you think?

exexpat Fri 04-Jan-13 01:02:41

You did the right thing in taking her to A&E - I'm sure most parents would have done the same, and find it very odd that your ex would try and stop you, unless either a) this is a weird way he tries to maintain control over you, or b) there is some history here that you are not telling us - does he think that you are often too quick to get medical attention for the DDs, does he suspect you of enjoying the drama (ie is accusing you of some thing like munchhausen's by proxy or something)?

Also I find it very odd that your other DD texted her dad in the middle of all this. Do you think she was genuinely concerned, or Could she be trying to play you off against each other or something? Has her dad asked her to let him know if anything like this happens?

aufaniae Fri 04-Jan-13 01:03:14

And in answer to your question, you did the right thing, absolutely smile

Sunnywithshowers Fri 04-Jan-13 01:03:18

You absolutely did the right thing, OP.

GoddessofSuburbia Fri 04-Jan-13 01:03:53

Yes, Sir Boob, I think that's what's really worrying me. And why I'm worried it might be a child protection issue.

The bit about me enjoying an evening in A&E was him referring to when he accused me having munchausen's by proxy, after having taken dd1 to the OOH's doctors with what they suspected was a breast abscess. They immediately admitted her to the children's ward for an emergency review and IV antibiotics. Apparently, because I was trying to keep her calm by being calm myself, I was showing glee and excitement, and was clearly loving every second of it all at the expense of my poor, terrified dd1... hmm

ladyWordy Fri 04-Jan-13 01:05:28

Enjoy an evening in A&E??

The guy is barking.

Seriously, your ex is dangerously controlling and irrational. Disregard his histrionics, as you would those of any other irrational person, and do what you have to do as a responsible parent.

Of course you were right to get medical attention for your daughter. AFAIK the authorities don't look kindly on those who neglect children's injuries (and rightly so).

freeandhappy Fri 04-Jan-13 01:06:19

Is he one of those narcissistic types who gets really cross when anyone is sick as it takes the attention off them. I know someone like that. Always accuses other people of putting it on. Often suddenly begins suffering from a competing and more serious illness. my exh who had such a sore throat when I was giving birth that he was actually in more pain than me even tho the doctor who he visited out of hours as an emergency could see NOTHING wrong with his throat

I would be very very concerned that should something happen when they are in his care they wouldnt receive the necessary treatment in time.

Hes abusive, "borderline sexually abusive" so it only stands to reason that he wouldnt have wanted you to see doctors incase you confided that to them.

Its a scary thought, but he might be trying to keep your DD from hospital because theres something to hide.

olgaga Fri 04-Jan-13 01:10:01

Of course you did the right thing! My GM got her hand stuck in a car door, it was horrible - she lost two fingernails and it took ages to heal.

I remember losing a thumbnail when I was 11 and they treated it with antibiotic powder and I had to have regular dressings and a protective dressing for several weeks.

Your daughter may still lose her nail through bruising to the nail bed and will need follow-up treatment.

Your ex is being a complete bastard, to you and her. But I suspect you don't need to be told that...!

I would have a word with both your DDs about talking to you first about whether it is advisable to text him with every non-life-threatening detail of your lives. Especially if it is going to result in embarrassing and unnecessary confrontations with him and his P. What's it got to do with her anyway?

If he had come to your home demanding you seek medical treatment for DD1 if you couldn't be arsed is one thing. Berating you in public for doing the right thing is quite another.

I think you need to discuss with DD2 the difficulties her melodramatic text to him created for you and your sister.

Frankly his response is not normal. He would probably have done exactly the same as you in the circumstances, but simply wanted to give you a hard time.

He's a bully and a drama queen.

GoddessofSuburbia Fri 04-Jan-13 01:11:54

Yep, the dc's have been told that they must let him know immediately if they have to go to hospital. He has told me that he has no confidence in my ability to know when they need medical attention.

Exexpat, I think you're right in both counts. I think he does think I have MSBP, even though it doesn't exist, and I hardly ever need to take the dc's to the doctors. I think the last time with dd1 was about 18 months ago, as I've said above, and with dd2 it was about 3 years ago. They are both really healthy children. smile

deleted203 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:13:54

He sounds an absolute dickhead - a controlling, aggressive prat. Re-read your post. Your dd trapped her finger in the car door and you gave good first aid, and took her to casualty as a precaution (well done!). End of story for most people.

However....because your ex (a man who moved out 2 1/2 years ago!) is a control freak he (without seeing the injury) decided it didn't need treatment and you were NOT to take her to hospital. (Why? And what the fuck has it to do with him?). On realising you were ignoring his demand he turned up at the hospital (with his DP!) and started examining DD and telling her it didn't need treatment and that you were just 'enjoying' an evening in A&E.

He has serious, serious issues and you need to speak with your solicitor about the possibility of supervised access to his children and an injunction keeping him away from you, IMO. What on earth was he DOING turning up at the hospital? What did he hope to achieve? He's not normal, love. He had absolutely no right to turn up at A&E - much less start bullying you and DD and insisting she didn't need to be seen - who the fuck turns up at A&E and then changes their mind and goes home again, for goodness sake? I mean, once you are there you might as well get the injury checked to be on the safe side - did he honestly expect that you would say meekly, 'oh well ExDH - as you are here and ordering me home I will just go, as you are always right'. I find his behaviour totally, totally bizarre and aggressive, TBH.

Yes, you did the right thing. You know you did - and the nurse confirmed it. And the only person 'enjoying' making a scene in A&E appears to be him. It's pretty sad that he siezes on his DD hurting herself as an opportunity to do so. I too, would be very concerned at whether he got my DDs the medical attention they needed if there was a problem when they were with him.

On a side note (this is long, too, sorry) I would have a quiet word, if possible, with DD1 - who is clearly older than 11 - and ask her in future NOT to text Dad if it means he will promptly turn up and be aggressive. He didn't need to know while you were still sorting out DD2 - it would have been perfectly acceptable for her to tell him, 'I shut my finger in a car door' the next time she saw him.

SirBoobAlot Fri 04-Jan-13 01:14:07

I entirely agree with wannabe I'm afraid sad

freeandhappy Fri 04-Jan-13 01:18:28

Me too I think goddess. And with sowornout. You sound like a kind and capable mum tho. I hope you can get to sleep now.

exexpat Fri 04-Jan-13 01:19:46

Wow. So he has serious - and misplaced - issues with you getting medical attention even when it is perfectly reasonable to do so, and he has asked your children to inform on you? I don't think I have any advice on how on earth you can deal with that, but I certainly think you should keep a log of all this behaviour.

How old are the DDs? Do you think you could have a frank conversation with them about their dad's odd attitude to doctors, and how unhelpful it is to get him involved? Perhaps pointing out that the hospital staff didn't think you were over-reacting at all? Or would that be fed back to him and cause even more trouble?

My inclination would be to confiscate phones before you take either of them to a doctor in future.

midwivesdeliver Fri 04-Jan-13 01:28:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

midwivesdeliver Fri 04-Jan-13 01:38:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

olgaga Fri 04-Jan-13 01:38:42

midwives this is such a sad situation for you and Goddess.

I think the NSPCC are right in that there is no proof that the children wouldn't have received adequate care if the same thing happened in his charge. What is difficult is his unnecessary interference.

How old are the DDs? Are they old enough to discuss the appropriateness of his actions and the ability of their mum to decide whether medical attention is necessary?

Frankly I would always take a child for treatment if there was a suspected broken bone - I know from my own experience an untreated broken bone can lead to four operations in ten years!

And I have discussed the difficulty of nail injuries and infection above.

None of this is relevant though, it is the X's harassment and interference which is the issue.

I would seek legal advice to be honest.

None of you should have to put up with this. It's awful for you adults and no doubt damaging for the children.

independentfriend Fri 04-Jan-13 01:40:51

Time for a conversation about Gillick competence with your daughters; ie. at 11 your younger daughter is approaching it and your eldest probably already has it. In this context it means they could seek treatment from a hospital/GP etc without telling either you or their father and some safeguarding issues aside, the health care staff would need to maintain confidentiality. They can use Gillick competence to stop him seeing their medical records, so unless they say something to him, he would never have to find out that they've been to hospital/seen a GP.

And as they're at this sort of age, if they don't want to be in contact with their father, it's increasingly likely a Court would respect their wishes on the matter. Forcing contact for reluctant teenagers doesn't help.

runningforthebusinheels Fri 04-Jan-13 01:46:43

Yes, you did the right thing. I shut my finger in a car door as a child and was taken to casualty (as it was then) and had an x-ray.

You were not being unreasonable - but I totally get how an abusive partner can have you doubting yourself like this.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 04-Jan-13 01:46:51

Go and see a solicitor - you may well be able to get statements from the doctors and nurses at the hospital about this man's unreasonable behaviour - and see if you can get his contact with DDs restricted to supervised only, and any contact between him and you prohibited. He is not a higher authority, he is not a superhero, he's just a nasty little inadequate loser who needs putting firmly in his place. If the DDS are so afraid of him you might well be able to get contact stopped altogether as it is not in their best interests (his interests are unimportant.)

MalibuStac Fri 04-Jan-13 01:48:08

I'm so sorry to hear the stress and pressure your both being put under. He even seems to be controlling your relationship. Would it be worth documenting everything with a solicitor or yourselves in diaries, saving texts or emails?
Hope DD1 is ok and you manage to get something done about him.

ladyWordy Fri 04-Jan-13 02:11:06

midwives.... he wanted to examine his own 12 yo daughter when she had a suspected breast abscess? In fact made her remove clothing so he could?

That is beyond inappropriate, and I think wannabe may have a point.

This man is unstable, dangerous and predatory. Goddess, you are very wise to seek legal advice.

midwivesdeliver Fri 04-Jan-13 02:11:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deleted203 Fri 04-Jan-13 02:22:05

OK...I understand that the DDs want to see their father, but there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why you and Goddess need to. I would be speaking to my solicitor to say that I find Ex intimidating and bullying and that his treatment of me (Goddess) smacks of harassment. Get the solicitor to write him a letter saying that all contact between Goddess and ex should cease and that any communication should be made through solicitors. There are to be no more texts or phone calls and certainly no more turning up and shouting abuse. Arrange a neutral place for him to pick up DDs (friend or relative's house?) so that he does not come to your home. Get the solicitor to add that if he does not abide by this they will be applying for a restraining order against him. Good luck.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 04-Jan-13 02:22:38

Goddess - I can't think why he's your ex?

hmm

If I were you I would get counselling for both of your girls. He is warped and they need someone independant to explain 'controlling' 'gaslighting' & 'inappropriate'.

I'm glad you two have each other, whatever you do, don't let this bastard come between you, will you <not that it sounds like you would!>

MalibuStac Fri 04-Jan-13 02:31:30

Agree with sowornout's post you two don't have to deal with him. Totally understand the girls are at an age they want to see him but why should you both have this behaviour inflicted on you.

Is there somewhere neutral for pick ups/drop offs. For example collect after school drop off next morning?

The solicitor may be able to draw something up stating when he will be contacted in view of a childs illness like if they were being hospitalised any other time he would be kept in the loop but not demanding to self diagnose them.

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