AIBU regarding contact?(19 Posts)
My ex and I have a 12 month old daughter. We broke up a few months ago - I ended it due to very controlling and verbally abusive behaviour, things like telling me I should kill myself and driving me into debt because he wouldn't pay the bills. It got bad enough that CPS (Child Protective Services) got involved and our DD is now on a child protection plan because by the end of it all I was depressed and things were getting violent.
A couple of weeks ago the ex told me he wanted to try again, which I agreed to but was skeptical it would work out. He insisted he would change and I believe people deserve second chances so I gave it a shot, but after a week of not addressing any of our issues, a counselling session that went horribly (me and the counselor rubbed each other up the wrong way so I ended up telling her off), and a conversation last night that turned bad, I broke it off again. Last nights conversation reached the same place most of our previous ones have - with him telling me that it's all my fault, listing my flaws, shouting me down, and then accusing me of being abusive if I tried to speak. Historically when this has happened it leaves me in tears, shaking, and often feeling like I want to hurt myself, but last night I didn't let it get that bad - I cut him off then firmly but relatively politely showed him out. I didn't swear, threaten, shout, etc. but I did make it very clear that he was leaving now, goodbye.
Since then he's gone from not wanting to see the baby this weekend to wanting to take her out for the day but refusing to tell me where or what plans he has for food and naps. His normal hours with her are all day, but he drops her off here for a few hours for lunch and sleep from about 1:30 until 4:00. Today he refused to do that, so I told him I would contact CPS and ask their advice as they are concerned about a) our fighting and b) his level of contact with her. I called them this morning, explained what had happened and that I was happy to stick with our normal arrangement, and the team simply told me not to let him have contact this weekend and to wait until Monday and speak to our usual social worker, which I agreed to. Since then he's been bombarding me with text messages telling me I'm being unfair to him, that he doesn't understand what he's done wrong, that he's taking me to court, etc.
Am I overreacting/being a bitch here or am I doing the right things?
I would say that you've taken expert advice, so you are doing the right thing.
Ignore him. Your DD is what is important here
He's her dad surely he doesn't have to report what he's feeding her and naps, you sounds as bad as each over in all honestly. In terms of violence is it on both parts or had it been your Ex?
cosmo111 he's renting a room and cannot have her at his home, so he has free reign for the most part but he's always but always bought her back for naps, or taken her later so she can have a morning nap. Otherwise she can't sleep during the day 'cause he can't get her to settle anywhere but in her bed at my house, and her meals tend to be snacks (crisps and fruit) and McDonalds because he can't properly prepare or store food for her, only have stuff out and about, so he's meant to bring her back every day for a proper lunch and a couple of hours of sleep, that's the bit he wanted to change and is the bit I objected to 'cause if he has her out all day she won't be sleeping and probably won't eat properly.
Either he's a good Dad and capable of looking after his child for a day ...or he isn't and there is a question whether having sole charge of her is appropriate .......however just because he doesn't parent exactly as you do doesn't mean the care is inappropriate , nor does he need to report his routine with her to you anymore than you need to report your routine to him. Parents are equal in this (even if it's not always a popular stance here)
Re violence it was him, which is why CPS are concerned about how much contact he has - he comes over several hours a day or takes her out all day on the weekends, and often gets nasty and picks fights when he's here or doesn't take care of her to their standards when he's out.
There must be more to it if SS are involved. It is extremely rare for SS to advise no contact
He's not obliged to tell you what naps and food etc he is feeding his own child. This relationship sounds toxic from both sides TBH. I would suggest going to mediation in order to agree the way forward as you will have to co parent with this man for the next seventeen years. Walking out of counselling because you don't get on with the counsellor isn't the answer.
trafalfargal agreed which is why when we disagree I defer to CPS.
Surely you can't phone them every time you disagree over a parenting issue?
Why are CPS (assuming you mean child protection here) involved?
If the child protection service have advised no contact until you've spoken to the social worker on Monday then you have to comply.
WannaBe I didn't walk out of counselling, I told the counselor I didn't like her and we carried on. And I'm pushing for mediation, but he won't go because he "doesn't see the point." As for if there's more to it - I get the feeling anything I say will sound biased, but yeah, there's a lot more to it, just not to this specific incident. CPS have made their choice based on their previous experience with him, yk?
Nicknacky this is the first time we've called them, and it's over a contact issue, not a parenting disagreement. If he was planning to get her a decent lunch and a nap elsewhere or adhere to the agreement we've previously had in place and bring her back for her nap and meal I wouldn't object, but he won't do so, hence contacting CPS who apparently feel the same way or they wouldn't have suggested no contact for the weekend, surely?
WannaBe we actually got in touch with them and requested help 2 years ago 'cause I have a little boy who was showing signs of being abused. Obviously I know it's not me so I went to the police for advice and self-referred to CPS from there. It was concluded that it was through a school and he was removed and things went appropriately from there, but in the meantime my relationship with the ex has fallen apart with him getting more violent, so they've come from the DS stayed for the DD and the constant arguments. Now their biggest concerns are consistent non-compliance on his part (won't take his meds (we both have depression), won't respect contact hours, won't attend meetings or mediation) and the effect it's having on my mental health and DD's well-being. They plan to stay involved until he has a home of his own and a proper contact plan has been put in place with mediation.
I think as you have contacted CPS and followed their advice you are doing the right thing you really don't need it to now be validated by MN and certainly not on the AIBU board. Listen to the experts not the opinions of MNers.
I think you really need to follow the advice given to you. Going against social service advice isn't going to look good for either of you I'm afraid. Sit tight until Monday, keep all his texts in case you need them as evidence, but don't engage. Try to do something nice today or tomorrow with your dc. If he has been abusive then women's aid are great (it's not just refuges, they give great support in the community as well). They can also support your dc. Hope you're ok op.
Thanks ColdTatty I'm doing my best. He gets pretty nasty over text largely because if I don't respond he has a habit of contacting the emergency services and telling them he thinks I've tried to kill myself :-/ I had a suicide attempt a couple of years ago so he knows they have to take it seriously. Mostly I'm just tired - wish I could be done with this all. I never opposed him seeing DD today just wanted to make sure she was getting enough food and sleep, CPS were the ones to say he's not to see her this weekend. So now that I'm getting nasty texts from him saying IBU for "denying him contact" it's draining. I've given the minimal responses to stop him "worrying" (simply stating "I don't want to discuss this further, please contact CPS if you wish to do so") and he eventually stopped. I'm just tired :-(
I will follow your advice re Women's Aid, some support would be worth more than anything rn I think. I feel like my head's so messed up I don't know what colour the sky is without him there to tell me, so trying to stand up to him is still hard. So thank you :-) hugs
Glad you're hanging in there op. So many of us have been there where you are (or at least very similar) but with support there is light at the end of the tunnel. Keep being kind to yourself. x
Doing my best at least. He spoke to CPS himself who confirmed that whilst they advise against contact this weekend because of how hostile we're being to each other, the ultimate decision rests with us. If he wants to take her and we end up fighting in front of her then it's on him, if I don't let him take her and am later proven to have no reason to it's on me, etc. So I've agreed to contact tomorrow (I offered him the remainder of the day today, but he declined) on the grounds that there are no arguments in front of her, he doesn't come into my house and he either picks her up after her morning nap (usually around 9-10) or brings her back for an afternoon nap. He spent hours arguing about it and refused to agree to anything to (again at CPS recommendation) I set out hours for visitation that I thought would suit him best which he immediately changed to a previous suggestion and then agreed to. So I think that's the end of it and then I start getting text messages telling me he still loves me, he's sorry, he wishes things were different....
I can handle him being a jerk, I just feel like I'm being a bitch now and IDK whether he's genuinely trying and failing and miserable, or whether he's saying it 'cause he knows it'll hurt me :-/ so...*hugs the NM collective 'cause damn I need one*
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