everything is shit(67 Posts)
Sorry for crap title. I am always weary of being spotted on here.
I am feeling so sad and fed up. Have overwhelmingly feelings of hopelessness. Want to be able to offload massively but afraid of posting too many details.
In a nutshell, my ex bad mouths me to my child and she is now hugely conflicted about her history , her stability and her peace of mind. She is only 9. There isn't anything I can do to stop it so all I want to know is now to build her resilience to it all without resorting to similar tactics.
Do I just let her go though her childhood believing the lies he tells her? To do otherwise would be to burden her with things she doesn't need to know. He talks to her like an adult. She is shattered by it all and angry at me. She wants to know why I've done all the things he said I did.
I feel so low for her
Sorry to read your post, try and stay positive.
She will realise that's it's not true. My kids are much older and they judge on the life and times we've spent together.
Kids hear 'your mum/dad is a xxxx' as criticism of the half of them that's like that parent. So best not retaliate.
I was always very clear that mum and dad issues weren't my kids problem and not to worry about them. She's 9, she'll have friends who fib, exaggerate, say nasty things. She'll have some context.
I hope things get better. Take care of yourself.
Thank you. I've tried to tell her that it's grown up stuff but she's just really down about it all. Wants answers to things that her dad has told her but I just can't bring myself to do it. It would be way more than she could tolerate . Aside from that, it's hard to listen to it all from a personal point of view, the lies and the injustice of it all. It feels unfair not to be able to defend myself against it all
Im so sorry you are going through this
You say there is no way you can stop this! Have you tried to speak to your ex?
Lots of times. He says he can tell her what he likes or just tells me to get lost
Sorry, OP. Is there any way you can correct some of the lies without bad mouthing your ex to your DD? E.g. if he says "we split up because your mother never really loved me", you tell your DD "sometimes people say nasty things about each other because they feel hurt - it's not always what really happened" and not "I did love him but he was so abusive/unfaithful/lazy that I fell out of love".
Obviously this only works if he is saying stuff that is in some way explainable to a 9 year old.
I ended up having to tell my daughter my side things when she was about 12, but we had a rough couple of years from the things he'd said before that, I had to wait for her to be ready to hear it, but the truth set us both free in the end.
What an awful situation.
1. Move away if you can.
2. Do defend yourself. Badmouth him back (within reason), but include explanations that she can make sense of, and explain to her why he is doing this. I know lots of people of people won't agree with this - but I believe in telling children the truth as far as possible - tell her why he is doing this ("he just hates mummy, darling, I'm sorry, I don't know why").
3. Restrict contact if you can, if you believe it to be causing her harm.
I can't think of any other way to deal with this - it is parental alienation, and is causing your dc real harm. So sorry x
Is there a court order OP? If your ex is causing this much distress to your little girl, I would be seeking some help. Is there a family liaison officer at school, a very good starting point. I am so sorry you're going through this, I have a similar issue with my ex and my 4 yo DS. Not slagging me off as such but lying to him and offloading emotional things that he doesn't need to hear at his young age. It's absolutely awful. I don't understand parents who do this at all. I really hope you can find some support with this situation. Your ex sounds like an utter shit.
I know you don't want to air it here, but is there anyway you could see a children's counselor and lay it all on the line and then talk to them about what would be appropriate to tell her? It may be that she's ready to hear more than you think or they may have words for you to use to make 'I'll tell you someday' more palatable.
I don't think you need to just remain silent. And you certainly don't need to protect your ex. And if it's your own 'flaws' at stake (for example, you had an affair but your ex was abusive so you looked 'elsewhere' for love) there are ways to talk about that.
You certainly shouldn't allow your child to believe that you are shit.
Also, you may want to consult a solicitor. I'm in the US and there are definitely things that can be done to 'gag' a bad mouthing ex. My BFF had to get such an order against her ex. He forfeited time with the child if he violated the order.
My post should read "There are definitely things that can be done HERE…" I'm not sure if parental alienation is legal grounds for stopping contact in the UK.
I wonder if some of her distress arises from wanting to defend you, Castasunder, but not having the verbal ammunition (i.e. sufficient information) to do so?
If you think that might be the case, then I'm not suggesting that you equip her with the information and send her into battle, but you could impress upon her that it's okay ... she doesn't have to defend you ... because you don't mind in the slightest (sticks and stones, and all that) ... all you want is for her to be happy.
You could also teach her a few stock phrases which might help her diffuse the situation ... (and now I can't think of a good one) sort of, "I don't want to talk about mummy, will you show me how to play that new game, so we can talk about that instead". (am sure other mnetters might come up with better phrases she could use ... but you get the jist).
You can talk to her but age appropriate? Similar to what a previous poster said. You could say things like- "When people get angry they can say some hurtful things, which might not even be true" etc etc. I think you need to reassure her/give her something even if it is flowering it up a bit.
Must be really hard And it IS true that they find out the truth in the end. I would try and answer her questions though, good luck.
I may be way off so I hope I don't offend.
Can you use playground fallouts to explain that when people fall out and there isn't a simple resolution, people tend use examples of others behaviour and exaggerate to be seen as the better person?
Your DD is the popular one in this triangle so she is being told things to keep the argument alive. You could tell her that you don't want to do that too, as it is never very helpful.
At 9 she has probably heard plenty of arguments at school that the teacher has intervened in to stop the cycle. 'If you can't say anything nice, then stop saying' etc.
Don't know if you watch soaps for example but there are lots of examples of why he/she shouldn't have said that as it makes matters worse.
Good luck, sorry for lengthy post xx
Adish advice is good. She may feel upset but needs to understand she doesn't need to listen, so stock phrases once she understands he is trying to keep an argument alive are good.
Understanding what has been said so far is tricky, I would take the higher ground, again compare to playground issues and say that although dh said xxxx, I don't want to say nasty things as that's not very nice.
Thanks everyone I appreciate it.
I like the idea of stick phrases although they don't always work with dd as she is clever and says she is being brushed off. He has told her some things that I've apparently done and they are all untrue. I've told her they're untrue so now she says I'm calling her dad a liar and that she can't trust either of us. I feel so furious that he has weighed her down with all this?? Who does this to such a small child?
There is a court order so I can't do anything about contact . I have to send her to that environment. She is sat down most weekends and pressurised to go live there, or to hear some other new version of a story he invented. All the stuff he says is damaging- I mean really damaging
Get her to write it all down, present it to a social worker.
Tell her 'who says that to a child? He has no right to ruin your childhood. Now you know why I left him'.
He is toxic and downright evil. One day she may see through that.
The idea of social workers terrify me when web wake easy been through court. I ended up on tablets and in therapy. It was a straightforward case in as much as it was just to agree a schedule but it was harrowing all the same. To involve social workers just feels massive to me, like a can of worms I wouldn't be able to shut
*when we've already been through court.
Sorry for typos.
Case has only just finished. I don't think I could do it all again yet
OP, if you have a court order and your child is being emotionally abused, you can go back to court. You don't have to put up with this and it is abuse. I strongly suggest you make an application to vary and have CAFCASS involvement again. You can also self-refer to family services at social services. I am currently going down this route. Please start to keep a detailed diary, if you haven't already, of EVERYTHING. Your little girl deserves better than this from her father. I would also strongly suggest contacting Women's Aid. They are marvellous at things like this and will definitely be able to help. If they are busy, they will call you back at a time convenient to you. Please do it!
I don't want to deny her a relationship with her dad, I want him to stop. Can you ask a judge to ask him to stop?
We cross posted. Social workers are there to help you...that is what they are for. I don't know where you live, but we have a thing called the Targeted Advice Service, you may be able to find out if such a thing exists in your area from your health visitor or the local children's centre. I still strongly recommend Women's Aid and there is another organisation to which I will post a link in moment...
If she doesn't believe you when you have told her dad is lying, question her on whether she thinks you and therefore both of you are lying. She doesn't have to take sides. Explain this inability to agree is the reason you are both now apart. Tell her this is the reason why you should all live in the 'now', no looking back as this is unfair to her as the most important person. After that she may be keen to tell dad to stfu. Grrrr, hopefully
Of course you don't want to deny her a relationship with her dad, but he's abusing her...he is causing her emotional distress and that is a relationship she doesn't need at nine years old. If you made an application to vary you could go through all of this with CAFCASS and I imagine she is old enough to be spoken to herself. A Judge may order him to do a parenting course, I have heard of that happening before. He needs to sort his shit out before he ruins her life.
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