AIBU to ask for support from my own parents?(21 Posts)
I was in a controlling and manipulative, verbally and occasionally physically abusive which I put up with for 30 years together - 24 married. After life threatening illness four years ago I finally woke up and decided I had had enough and started to pull myself back together and finally in May this year managed to get him to leave after 18 months of asking him to. He only finally left because after years of being accused of an affair I did go with someone just one day and told him that day. It was only then that I was dirty and he didn't want me anymore. He had been my first ever relationship.
My daughter (now 21) had left five years before, and I had never known fully why, then in September when she found out he had gone she returned and told me he had been sexually abusing her since the age of 11 which I had never known, and had previously broken three of her ribs. She had never told me because it was a very real threat that he would hurt me and her two younger brothers. It was the best and worst day of my life - getting her back and finding out why she had gone. He had always given other scenarios and excuses and reasons and had hidden tracks extremely well. To the outside world including my family he always appeared perfect and supportive, but I had become increasingly isolated - not being allowed out and hadn't seen my family for over two years.
After he had gone I got back in touch with them to try to rebuild my relationship with them, but he had got in first - it had taken me a couple of months to get myself to a place where I could even talk about things - and had also contacted a number of other friends and family - many I hadn't seen for years - and told them all it was my fault etc and I had broken up the family.
At first they were really on his side and gradually we seemed to be making progress, but then suddenly they have turned again against me and are blaming me for the police taking action against him and social services stopping him seeing our youngest son, who has since also told of sexual abuse and known physical abuse. He is 10.
Thankfully I have managed to get back in touch with old friends and some have been supportive - not all but I can cope with that - and have new friends through a club I have joined, which has been a big help, but is it too much to ask for the support of your own parents and siblings?
I cannot believe they are listening to his lies and not believing me, their granddaughter and their grandson, and turning their back on all of us. I don't want anything financially - just to say that they are on our side and there for us with everything going on. The stress has been huge and we still have another year potentially of police investigations and court action to go through. I have had to get a non molestation order to protect us after he tried to break into the house, and he has broken that three times now. I am so upset by their actions. What should I do?
This sounds horrendous. Well done for breaking free.
You are putting yourself and your children first and are being really strong.
Your family are still under his spell and probably in shock.
I think they will come round when court cases etc happen.
Focus on you and your dcs. That is what is important- anyone else is secondary.
Massive massive respect for what you are doing.
How close have you been to your parents/siblings over the past 20+ years? If you've effectively been absent then they may be very cautious of just letting you back into their lives, practically and emotionally.
Forget them for now.
Your children are your priority, save your parents for when they are prepared to open their minds.
I think I would leave them to it for now. You have enough to deal with supporting your DC. I hope the next 12 months are a painless as possible
No wonder you got into an abusive relationship and took so long to get out of it
with family like that OP. Fuck the lot of them. It should not take a court case for them to believe you or offer support no matter how long you were out of their lives. Did they never wonder why you were? You need some form of therapy not only for you but your DC too. You don't need these people in your lives x
It's dreadful that they don't believe you, but I think for the moment you should concentrate on your children and looking after yourself. I hope that they will come round in time when they realise the truth.
Give the non believers space. You don't need to prove anything to them. If you have to say anything, just state that you are disappointed he's pulled the wool over their eyes and when they eventually take the truth on board, please do get back in contact '
I'm really sorry Op it sounds ghastly.
I have recently been through a long and stressful legal case. I strongly advise you to only ever see/ discuss with people who are totally on your side. It's completely awful that your own parents are not on side but honestly, you need unequivocal support.
Get it from true friends and professional supporters and have nothing to do with anyone who can't be what you need.
He pulled the wool over your eyes for a long time, perhaps it will take the court case for your parents to see what he was really like.
I have no advice but good luck op. With scum out of your and your lovely childrens lives things will only get better. Ignore your family and continue to be present for your kids.
Thank you for your comments and support. I know he pulled the wool over my eyes for many years and in other times it was good and that's why you put up with it for so long. I should have left years ago but I can't go back in time and it's so difficult when you are living it day to day to see clearly. He is extremely convincing - I can see it so clearly now. When I was ill I was in hospital for four months and could talk to people and finally had the space to think more clearly. He has certainly been speaking to them so in a way I can't blame them for being convinced by him when I was for so many years. Even when it was bad he would be so apologetic and take us on holiday etc after to make up for it - it never really did but you took the easy option to just get through the next day/week/month and time goes on. I reminded my mum of a time when I went to their house with my DD when I was pregnant with DS - he had pushed me down the stairs when I was five and a half months pregnant. I had said we had a row but never went into detail. They are quite old fashioned and it was you stick with your husband attitude and I was sent back.
Looking back I can see how they helped me stay in that way. Even when I first got away - before I knew about the sexual things (I only knew the physical and controlling things then), my mum had a go at me and said why was I letting the family down by splitting up and I should just get on with it, I had to be different, none of the others have split etc and she blamed me then. But we kept talking little by little and things did seem to improve but then last Saturday's call was just 30 mins of pure abuse before I put the phone down in tears. To them it was all my fault, can't believe what I am doing to him, after all he's done for you - and I said really!! Yes after all he has done to us - breaking my daughters ribs, hitting my son with a belt, having hands round all of our throats at one time or another, plus other scenarios to choose from, plus what DCs have now said separately (DS does not know DD had made allegations before him - I hadn't told him that just that he wasn't seeing his dad at the moment) which both add up and link exactly to times and dates which DD advised when I remember being worst times for us, the fact that she returned immediately she found out he had gone, and things that DS had come out with which were strange previously at school - all now add up completely. I don't know if it's that they don't believe us or they just can't bring themselves to admit that they approved and encouraged this relationship which has now unravelled.
I have said it's not my decision if he gets jailed for this - it is the police, cos, jury and judge who decide. All I can do is say what I know - and the DCs can too - and then it is up to the authorities to decide. I haven't done anything wrong other than stay with someone far too long. I have to keep my conscience clear - that's what is keeping me going and making sure that he can't touch my kids ever again.
Barbarianmum - I used to be closer to them. We moved 150 miles away 15 years ago and gradually I got to see them less and less - he would always come up with a reason not to visit - say something else was on etc then it wasn't. Or put them down and moan about them so much and tell you that they were no good for you etc and you know how they upset you... all ways to put a wedge between you and them. But with his family it was very different - that was allowed and encouraged. X
FuzzyFalafelz The daft thing is during the last abuse from them they made allegations about what I had said in court which weren't true - so I even sent them over a copy of the position statement to read to prove what had been stated in the court. And then I thought why the hell should I prove what I said to them? Surely they should take my word for it! Hasn't made any difference at all anyway.
Tbh forget my first post. I was envisaging a scenario where they might be nervous of letting you back into their lives in case they got hurt again. But your subsequent post where you describe them abusing you makes me think that they are just toxic-and yes, they are probably the reason you were vulnerable to an abusive relationship in the first place.
Bloody hell thats so shit of them, after all you and your DCs have gone through you'd have thought they'd be begging your forgiveness
DartmoorDoughnut - the one I thought would have hit home the most is my DD coming back like she did - why else would she have run away for five years and only returned when she knew he was completely out of the way - the very day she found out. And the fact that she has now put herself through 9.5 hours of video evidence plus additional interviews. Plus what I have said that correlates with her details - things that no one would have known about what he was like physically - that's impossible without something having happened. Ok if you want to doubt me but are you seriously doubting your granddaughter like this? It's just beyond logic to me. X
OP - from your posts you come across as very believable with a good sense of right and wrong - but at the same time you are trying to justify the truth - dates times etc .....
We believe you! Every word!! Do not justify your decisions or anything else to people not prepared to listen
Also - maybe they are a touch jealous you escaped and they didn't? In a well we're in miserable marriages why shouldn't you be?
Utter crap - take time to recover - lean on true friends - keep talking to your children - re bond - get to a happy place X
for you OP you are so incredibly brave. I'd break contact with the lot of them, block their numbers, social media etc. Concentrate on your DC, they need you right now, and keep building relationships with your supportive friends. You don't need your family's emotional abuse, detach from them. Stay safe and stay strong.
Astro55 I suppose although I have believed my DD from the outset I have also had to question myself as to why I didn't see things before - how did I miss what was happening - I don't think I will ever be able to erase the guilt I feel for staying as long as I did and exposing my children to him for that time to be able to do what he did. The blessing is my DD has been amazing in that she says she doesn't blame me at all - she knows I never knew and she could never tell me before. She knew the risks to her and us were very real - she had already felt it and seen it - to herself and me and to her little brother so she had to take him seriously. I just wish I had known so I could have found the strength to leave earlier. Since September she comes round regularly - she still lives independently - but stays round a couple of nights a week and regularly comes over for dinner and chats and we message and/or talk everyday. It is so wonderful to have her back in our lives and to see her rebuild her relationship with her little brother too.
Perhaps there is an element of jealousy there. I can certainly remember when I was about 14 encouraging my mum to leave my dad because of the way he treated her but she never would. Then she encouraged me to leave as soon as I could. I met my ex when I was 15 and by 18 she was marking flats on the local newspaper for me to go... it was expected that I would move out with him and that was that. I can see now I really didn't have other options at that time and yes it was their encouragement that led me to accept what that situation was.
It is only in recent months I feel that I am becoming who I should have been as me if that makes sense. I can finally dress how I want, have my hair as I want and not be constantly challenged and questioned. I would get home from work and it would be 20 questions - who have you seen today, what is he to you, does he fancy you etc. Literally every day. In the end you would learn not to say anything that would be lighting the touch paper so you wouldn't say much at all. Just enough to get by. Now I feel so much freer and able and hopefully I can give a better example to my kids than they had before.
I just wish my parents could be proud of me for once and supportive. I can see how much I have grown in a short time - but they don't seem to be able to. X
Many years ago an aunt of mine told me about the miserable life she lived with her abusive, violent husband. All her own family, parents, sisters and brothers etc. all thought he was lovely and she was just troublemaking/ attention seeking when she told them what he was like. She left him a few months after they were first married, after he'd beaten her up for the first time, and went home to her parents. They told her that she could stay with them for a week but then had to go back to him as, she'd "made her bed and she must lie in it". In those days, late '50s, she didn't feel she had any option but to do that. There was also a strong sense that she shouldn't "bring shame on the family". They remained married until he died some years ago. (He stopped beating her when their eldest was big and strong enough to tell him what he'd do to his father if he ever touched his mother again).
I'm telling you this because, as a PP has said, its possible that your parents are of the same mindset as my grandparents. And I agree that they probably set you up to fall for just such a man.
However, you sound really strong and you obviously have a strong relationship with your DC's; I wish you and them all the best. I would say don't engage with anyone who doesn't believe you, including your own family. But don't burn any bridges with them either; it may be that they will gradually come to realise that your ex has hoodwinked them and they might at that stage want to reconcile with you. If that happens then its up to you to decide whether you want to reconcile. Of course that might never happen in which case, well, you're better off without. Build and maintain your network of supporters and stay strong! Best of luck
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