WIBU to try to give my side of the story(29 Posts)
My husband is an alcoholic and drug addict and as a result we have been virtually separated for over 4 years, since our son was a few months old. He currently isn't drinking but he is abusing a variety of drugs, prescription and non-prescription. As a result I have had to impose strict boundaries around his visits to see our son, because he comes down reeking of a cannabis, switching from uppers to downers, he has massive, crazy mood swings and often passes out. I can't risk him having unsupervised access to our little boy, which is why I feel we can't separate officially as I'm terrified of him being awarded unsupervised access of any kind.
He is incredibly emotionally abusive, he tries to be financially abusive, he has been very, very physically abusive throughout our marriage. For a long, long time I didn't recognise the first two types of abuse and credited the physical abuse to one of the two people I told himself he was; drunk husband-the abuser and sober husband-the amazing guy who was somehow not guilty of the things he had done to me. 6 or 7 years ago, he seemed to get sober and after a year of 'sobriety' we decided to have a baby.
I was 7 weeks pregnant when I found out he was taking benzos and had been all along. Some that he was prescribed, others that he'd bought illegally online when his benzo addiction grew. I didn't realise how bad things were at that point and we went to our GP together to discuss my concerns and my husband agreed to quit. Throughout my pregnancy his benzo addiction grew and grew and he got prescriptions from doctors in various countries he worked in. I was concerned but he lied and gaslighted me to the point that I thought I was going crazy at times. I was also extremely sick during my pregnancy and just felt so dependent on him.
I was in labour when I found out he was drinking again. It was like a form of nightmare and I sometimes wonder if it all contributed to my 3.5 day labour and emergency c-section where my heart nearly stopped and I lost massive amounts of blood. On my first day home from hospital he went to work and returned absolutely stinking drunk. Luckily my parents were there to support me but I was honestly sleepwalking through it. My dad drove to collect him from work to try to stop him getting too drunk but on the second night of this he manufactured a massive argument and stormed out. I was barely able to walk and looking after a 5 day old baby so I stupidly begged my parents to try to find him. My mum found him in a pub and turned to come back home to me, he saw her and ran after her, shouting at her. He caught her and twisted her arm behind her back hurting her and leaving her arm covered in bruises. Luckily my dad found them at that moment and my husband ran off. I wish I'd left him that night, but I didn't. He came home the following night, told my parents all about his childhood abuser and somehow, I plodded on for another 3 months, determined to help him through his relapse.
In that time he attacked me on numerous occasions, including times when I was holding our son. And he once kept us trapped in the car while he drove around like a crazy maniac. I realised I needed to get out and I rented a house near my family and moved there while he took a work contract abroad. We weren't separating, I was just moving nearer to family while he was away but in hindsight that's where our relationship ended. He never made it to the new job because on the way to the ferry he drove drunk and crashed his car, destroying it, a wall and shattering his leg.
Since then he has been through many ups and downs, at his lowest he took a drug overdose intended to make me feel guilty and let him move back in with me instead of the rehab his family was insisting on. At his highest he manages a functional drug addiction. At the minute he is somewhere in between, on a downward slope. His behaviour is increasingly erratic and he can lose his temper in very, very scary ways for no real reason. He is deeply in debt including having run up a huge debt in a joint account I believed was closed. He hasn't given any kind of financial support in months. I strongly suspect he's claiming benefits for us as a family and keeping all the money for himself. He's incredibly delusional, telling friends all about cute stuff our son and he have done together, even though it hasn't happened. I'm growing increasingly scared of what he might do next.
And today I've discovered that he has been telling a big group of friends about how awful his life is, blaming his childhood abuse for his behaviour, and painting me as a vindictive, controlling harpy who won't let him alone with our son because he is taking the SSRI medication he has been prescribed. I'm so scared because he believes this, he isn't telling them that he is being prescribed SSRI's from doctors in two countries, neither of whom know about the other. That he smokes an ounce of cannabis a week, that he takes Xanax, MDMA and various other drugs that he gets from at least three drug dealers that I know of. That he is driving drugged, that he has constant small crashes. That he passes out when alone with our son. That his moods swing between hyper to stoned many times throughout a day depending on what pills he's taking on top of his two prescriptions. That I am not trying to control him because to be quite frank, I don't care what happens to him, but I am not going to let him hurt an innocent little boy.
That he has attacked me so viciously in the past that I have passed out from being choked and been terrified I was going to die before I lost consciousness. That he's come at me with a knife. That each time he convinced me that he was desperate to be sober but his childhood abuse stopped meant he didn't know how. And my heart broke for him, for the innocent little boy who had been so hurt that I stayed with him throughout all the abuse he inflicted on me and, through him attacking my mother. But I couldn't stay with him through him endangering our son. That even still in the last 4 years I have given him room to find his own way to sobriety and might have been willing to give him another chance if he ever really got sober. But that I doubt that will be happening and am just determined to protect our son and give him the happiest, healthiest childhood I can.
Ok, so that's insanely long and not really an AIBU at all. It's definitely been enlightening to type out though, to put so much of it together in one place and acknowledge that has been my life is mind-blowing. And I have left an awful, awful lot out. I'm just so scared and hurt at this portrayal of him as my victim and sad that people are falling for it. I try so hard not to fall into any kind of slanging match with him. To tell people how bad my life has been and still often is because I don't want him to feel any more alone and isolated than his addictions already make him. But I'm really feeling like I'm at breaking point.
I didn't want to read and run, it's late and hopefully it helps to know someone is listening. You've been through so much that what others think of you is probably the least of your worries. I wouldn't tell people to try and counter his lies, but I would enlist as much real life support as possible, that is tell those friends who can help you. Put yourself and DS first
Hopefully someone with greater experience of this will be along to advise soon. In the meantime more
Love people know addicts don't tell the truth. I promise that.
Before you tell your friends why don't you ring the Police and report him driving under the influence on a regular basis. He may not care about his own life but he shouldn't be able to take out others with his selfish behaviour.
After all that I fail to see why you still want him in your son's life. He is a lying, manipulative, violent, unstable addict who shows no interest in improving his life. Is that what you want for your son? Cut contact now.
I have made a report about his driving. I'm constantly scared that he will kill or badly injury someone(s). And I accommodate him being in my son's life because it feels like the lesser of two evils and means he is never left in his care.
Fucking hell !
keep your son safe - and yourself.
And before some twats wade in to say why did you have a child with this man, I had a similar - but much less horrific experience - and its amazing how charming these men can be.
sadly - so many people go through this
You need to tell your GP and health visitor everything.
You need to inform the police about his drink/drug driving.
You mum needs to report his assault on her.
You need to get corroboration from reliable people about his drink and drug use.
The reason you must do this is because if anything happens to you he will have legal, sole custody of your son.
Don't cover up for him, don't enable him.
Please speak to women's aid
and seriously consider reporting him for he abuse and violence he has dished out to you.
Divorce him and make sure that the authorities know he must never have un-supervised access to your son.
Gather all the evidence you can of his beahviour, ask women's aid how to do his and what to do. Do not put yourself in danger.
It is awfully tragic he was abused as a child. But he is now endangering you, your son, your mum and anyone driving in the area where yo live.
You owe him nothing except to ensure his son survives having him as a dad and that he gets the help he needs so one day maybe he can have a real relationship with his son.
In terms of telling your friends, yes, I would tell them. If they believe you, they get to stay your friends, if they do not, cut them out of your life.
Do not cover for this man any longer, he may well literally kill you and your son.
Do not speak to him without a safe adult present, do not allow him access to your son or your home.
Imagine, if you need to, that your son grows up and marries a woman just like his father, then think what you would tell your son. Then do that now, for yourself.
Write down exactly what you intend to do and email it to your parents, call your parents tomorrow to discuss how to keep yourself and your son safe.
You can do it, no one ever deserves to live as you have been forced to do.
Cross posted with endofthelinefinally, excellent advice.
In order to get unsupervised access to your son he will have to go to court.
And thats where it will stop. Because going to court, even self repping, will cost money that he will spend on drugs. If he uses a solicitor than it will cost thousands and you know he doesnt have that.
He will soon, sadly, lose interest in your son and that will be that.
The risk is in the short term if he kicks off, could you move in with your mum and dad for a few weeks when you withdraw contact just so you feel a bit safer?
He has already tried to kill you & stopped just in time.
You cannot take any further risks with your life.
He is completely toxic, deluded & deranged.
He is reckless to the point of risking his own life, yours & your DC.
His own family have acknowledged this & arranged rehab.
Your GP has his drug use on your medical records.
His financial records will be a mess.
No doubt there is additional evidence to hand to get a quick divorce, certainly a legal order that he does not come into further contact with you. Should any court grant him access to your DC, it will be heavily supervised.
Don't wait for it to get any better, it won't.
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So sorry to hear what you've been through
I agree with pp that you need to get a divorce asap. Call the police about the abuse.
He could be piling on the joint debt, the more you leave it the worse it will get.
Contact the council and claim for benefits, and let them know of separation with H and impending divorce.
From what it sounds like, he may not pursue contact with his son, and if he does, it could hopefully supervised contact agreed with court.
You need to disengage from him completely.
My god OP, that was harrowing to read let alone live through, I'm not surprised you're at breaking point. You've obviously detached from him to some degree already but I think you're at the point now where you need to separate yourself completely. You must be exhausted in every possible way, no one can be as afraid as you must be indefinitely, that's why you feel like you're at breaking point.
You've had great advice already but yy to contacting Women's Aid asap, their lines get busy so you might have to be persistent to get through but it will be worth it, they can help you put a plan together to keep you and DC safe. Do that first and let them guide you, they will know what your next steps should be.
You are going to need to create a paper trail though and you could get a head start on that by making a list (keep it somewhere really safe, preferably away from the house or on a device you're sure he doesn't have the passcode for) of every incident of abuse you can think of along with rough dates if you can remember them. You're going to need to get his abuse on record with your GP and the police when you feel ready. You won't necessarily need to do it straight away, getting you away from him so you're safe is the priority for now but, in the unlikely event he pursues contact with DC, there needs to be a record so they won't allow him unsupervised contact. You can use the list as a starting point when you come to report, showing the GP or police what you've written might be easier than having to say it aloud and it will help make sure you don't leave anything out so they understand how serious and sustained the abuse has been.
I know the 'official route' can seem incredibly daunting when you're as ground down as you must be but you really don't have any other options now I don't think. You've done as much as you're able on your own and he's still making your life a misery, still dragging you and DC into his chaotic life and still frightening you, it's time to get some help.
I agree with everyone here, you should report the abuse if only because having that on the record will help you to control access to your son but, like PyongyangKipperbang, I really doubt that he has his act together enough to bring such a case to court.
Echoing what others say, so sorry you went through that
He will not get unsupervised contact, it doesn't sound like he will be bothered with going to court and even if he found the money and motivation there is no judge who will allow a man who is barely capable of looking after himself to be left alone with a child.
As for your friends, I seriously doubt they haven't noticed the mood swings if he's doing it so often he's constantly crashing his car. Keep yourself safe and stop bending over backwards to facilitate him, you owe him nothing.
It's very easy for me to say this, but you have to TRY and remember that those who matter, know the truth, and those that don't, don't.
That said, if you do want to defend yourself in some way, you don't owe them your life story. I would probably go with either:
1. "if only that was the case it would be easy to fix. Sadly there is a lot lot more to it."
2. "well, speaking of just the SSRI's and ignoring the rest, whether prescribed or not, he has fallen asleep when alone with X, it's very unsafe"
3. "I appreciate he is your friend, and you feel a lot of loyalty towards him, but please know there was a time where I too felt the same and tried to help him but he isn't ready to accept that help yet, and until and unless he does, I need to protect myself and our son".
or you could do with a variation of the honesty:
4. Which prescription? The one from the doctor in X or the doctor in Y? And which meds? The a, b or c? The stuff he buys online or the stuff he buys in the back alleys or whatever? I'm sorry it's just very hard to keep up with his prescriptions so I just can't be sure which ones you're talking about.
How did you find out he's telling people these things? That too determines how you go about approaching it. There's little point in getting involved in a tit-for-tat exchange with friends so I'd probably just go with #1 myself.
On a practical note, keep a small notepad & pen on you to jot down current events, & past events as they come to you. No need for long descriptions, just date, time, location & a few key words.
By the nature of the difficult & harrowing experiences you have had with this man, the memories will be pushed to the back of your conscious mind. But they are 'replaying' just the same, keeping your body on alert, sapping your strength & resolve. So, as they come to the surface, get them out of your mind & on to paper.
Jotting these events down will help manage your anxieties & capture prompts for your bank of evidence & timeline.
Keep this note book with you always.
If sending yourself an email or message from your phone works better for you, so be it.
Make sure you back up whatever you write down or record.
Unfortunately I think he very much would take me to court. He's absolutely wedded to the image of himself as a super dad. DS is a great little kid, smart, kind, funny and the happiest, most joyous person I've ever met. My husband looooves to show him off, tell stories about him, act as if DS's personality is some sort of validation of himself as opposed to how DS has grown in spite of him. While he is unlikely to want to spend money on solicitors over drugs, I think that if he went crying to his family they might fund it. They theoretically agree DS shouldn't be left alone in his care but I'm not sure that he couldn't make them feel so sorry for him that they'd refuse to help him.
To clarify, he doesn't live with us. We actually live in different cities and apart from when his mum was dying and his family couldn't cope with him. And a brief period after he came out of rehab we haven't lived together since DS was 3 months old. He visits fortnightly and is a total Disney dad when he is here. He gives DS loads of presents, like maybe 6 in a 30 hour period, and free access to his ipad. So DS thinks that he's the next best thing to Santa Claus. Yet he's sporadic about giving financial support, hasn't replaced our front gate that he crashed into and oblierated, and now it turns out that all the presents he has bought was done so with debt that I'm liable for.
But a PP is right - if anything happens to you, he will get sole custody. He is so absuive that you are in danger with him in your life, even to this extent. His debts could end up bankrupting you.
I'm just so scared and hurt at this portrayal of him as my victim and sad that people are falling for it.
This man has more track record than Brands Hatch. Anyone who falls for his wheedling manipulative claptrap is no friend of yours, so best to disengage from them. Odds are he's burning bridges with people around him & those who remain are invested with him through drink &/or drugs, or no common sense.
I try so hard not to fall into any kind of slanging match with him. Don't bother protecting him any more. It is all at your & DC's expense, also your parents.
He is a functioning addict who is manipulative, abusive & violent. He has made choices not to address his behaviours, the chaos of his life & his effect on the people around him. He is not alone or isolated, he has made drink & drugs his most important friends.
Yes, he is an addict, but he has declined rehab arranged for him, lies to falsely obtain medication & commits reckless/illegal act. All choices he has made.
Sadly, people are abused when they are young & vulnerable, but this is not a reason or justification to become a toxic abusive adult.
Equally, you have choice as an adult. Sadly, he has abused you & he will continue to do so, but there are proven ways to move on away from him, with the help of Womens Aid, the Freedom programme, legal procedures & support agencies.
Please give the NDVH a ring today - 24/7 helpline number on one of my previous posts - as Womens Aid may not be available today. You can get this out in the open with people who really do understand. I rang NDVH on behalf of a relative in a very difficult DV environment to open up the call, & the support & advice from a brief call with her was helpful & life changing.
you need proper legal advice, and you need to start divorce proceedings
In your situation I would stop all contact. He is horribly abusive and not fit to parent.
Get the abuse documented, get it all documented.
Report him for benefit fraud if you think he's using your name.
Take back control of this toxic situation.
Unfortunately I think he very much would take me to court.
Which is exactly why you need everything on record, the court process is designed to put DS's interests first and they will not award unsupervised contact to an abusive addict but they won't know that's what he is unless you report it.
I think you're falling into the trap of thinking the 'official route' won't work for you, that you're better off trying to 'handle' him yourself but the fact that you're at breaking point says that strategy is no longer working. If you want to protect DS (and yourself) you need back up with a man like him and that's what the court process will give you as long as you make sure they have all the relevant information.
Have you given any thought to ringing Women's Aid OP?
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