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Feeling like giving up. ExP won't support me at all and even blames me

(38 Posts)
itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 16:19:15

Hi all,

I have had my first formal meeting wiht ExP and the health visitor. Things went ok I would say up until the end when we were living and DD wanted to go with her dad which it is completely normal. He said that he was going back to work but could give us a lift. I told him that it was not necessary as previosly he has always through it to my face when he has done something for me (even before we separated and after separation) and then while he was having DD in his arms he told her "mum does not want to get in the car" shock. I told him that his coment was not very helpful and he replied that I am not helpful at all. As always anything I say he transferes it to me.

When we arrive to the house (my house) DD was not very happy that dadda was leaving and she started this big tantrum, hitting me, pulling my hear, throwing things on the floor, and he left without saying anything to her or me. He has previously said that DD never has tantrums with him and she only has them with me.

I am feeling very low at the moment. I do not believe we will ever be able to co-parent together and everytime I see DD go running to him and huge and kiss him my heart breaks. Would she be better with him? Should I just say you can have her and I am the one with the visiting rights? I know at the moment I am very hurt with his behaviour this afternoon but I do not have any energy left for this fight. Too many things going on and nothing seems to go in the right way for me at the moment, everything is problems. I knew that it would take a while before things would start improving but I never expected him to do hat he is doing. How can he leave without even mentioning that the behaviour DD was having is not acceptable?It makes me think that he makes comments in front of DD hat are not very appropiate and maybe that is why DD always comes back from his house when she stays over so angry with me.

Thanks for your time reading

Kladdkaka Thu 28-Jul-11 16:44:22

Sounds like he's playing games. He using her to wind you up. No very pleasant and ultimately he's hurting her.

SirGin Thu 28-Jul-11 16:57:04

If your dd never has tantrums at dad's place, he must put her in the deep freeze or something. Blatant lie IMO.

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 17:05:10

SirGin that it is what I thought. I know DD very well and cannot believe that she has not tantrums whatsoever at his house. She will be 2 years old next week and we are on those "terrible twos" so it is impossible. I is just at moments like today that I do not know why I believe what he says and makes me mad to think that she only has tantrums with me

SirGin Thu 28-Jul-11 17:18:32

I'm sure she does have tantrums. If she didn't I'd really wonder what was wrong. My dd started staying with me when she was two and as happy as she is visiting me she had some hum-dinger tantrums. Your XP is trying to undermine you. You need to separate truth from fiction.

I'd add, just for future ref, that even at two children can be manipulative. Mine used to say 'daddies house bad, want mummy' when ever I told her she couldn't do something or when it wasn't going her way. Almost had me in tears as I'd put so much effort into making my home her home too.

So be prepared to ignore some hurtful comments from your dd.

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 17:32:33

she said after her DD left that she wanted to go to live in his house which really hurt me sad. It has only been three months since we separated and I am finding it very hard at the moment. I knew it was going to be hard but right now it is just too much. I would really like to have a good elationship with her dad and be able to work as a team but the reality is that even when we were together we didn't manage to achieve this so I guess what I expect is an utopia.

I have asked me to respect me a bit more and he has told me that "respect is a two way street and it is not given it is earned" (exact words).

Just feeling very low and reality is hard. Realising that we cannot even talk it is very painful for me. I have very good relationship with all my Exs and do not think I am as bad as he says and tries people to believe. He has said really bad things about me that they are not true

Kladdkaka Thu 28-Jul-11 17:50:40

My daughter was the same at that age but over staying at Grandad's (no contact with her father). It was because I was being a parent and setting boundaries and rules. At Grandad's she was the boss so of course she wanted to live there. Could this be what is going on? Are they no tantrums because she's in charge?

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 17:57:27

I do not know what goes on his house at all but it may be the case. He hasn't been honest in the past so I am not sure if I can believe what he says anyway. I guess somehow I need to learn to live with it. Anyone has any idea how to stop these things affecting you? How can I stop doubting of myself if what I am doing is the correct thing? I think it will be easier if I learn to control all this and just ignore what he does or says. It may be the solution to my problems.

I just to be very confident and in the last two years he has manage to destroy my confidence completely. I need to get it back. How do I do this?

SirGin Thu 28-Jul-11 18:00:26

itsnotpossibleisit Yeah, she'll say stuff like that. It is hurtful but she doesn't really mean it. This happens a lot honestly. Last time my DD was down, at bed time she said.

dd - want to sleep in daddies bed.

me - no sweetie, you have your own bed

dd - mummy said I can't sleep in my bed.

me - ( laughing ) really did she.

dd then spent a few minutes acting out how mummy was on the floor crying about the bed. Complete fantasy. I told her mum about it and we both had a good laugh.

Hopefully you're relationship with XP will get better, it's early days. Just keep your chin up and stay positive.

You may find communicating via email helps for a bit.

Kladdkaka Thu 28-Jul-11 18:02:27

If you are doing the very best you can for your daughter, then you are doing the correct thing. Even if you get it wrong.

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 18:07:39

SirGin, I wish emails could help. It is more his attitude. He has alwasy been the type of person that knows everything and no one can tell him how to do things or even give him an opinion. He took her on holiday recently and I texted him to explain him that DD was struggling with washing her head so just told him some tips to make things easier. His replied was "if you know any tips to peel onions without crying let me know". I was just trying to help. When she came back after 10 days holiday he only washed her head once. It was very digusting and had everything stuck to it. How can you talk or communicate with some like this?

Kladdkaka, thanks for your comment but sometimes I feel like if I am failing in everything nd not doing enough.

Kladdkaka Thu 28-Jul-11 18:19:49

That's the curse of being a parent. It's really not possible to be a faultless parent. All any of us can do is do the best we can. I don't think you're failing. I think you're expecting too much of yourself and feeling overwealmed by a very difficult situation on top of being a mummy to a toddler. Being a single mum is without doubt the hardest job in world and you don't get any training for it.

The one thing I think we all fail at as single parents is taking care of ourselves. Perhaps you need to build yourself up. Use the time she is with her dad to do nice stuff for yourself. Housework and chores will wait. Go for massage, or sit and read in the park, or stay in bed and get chocolate biscuit crumbs in the sheets. Whatever feels nice to you.

Kladdkaka Thu 28-Jul-11 18:25:34

Can I just say, I've been where you are. I've failed miserably as a single parent. The house was a mess, I was a mess, I feel like I dragged her up stumbling from one crisis to the next. My daughter is 17 now and I overheard a conversation she had with a friend. She was asked how she'd like to be if she ever had kids. 'Just like my mum' she said.

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 18:36:45

Kladdkaka you must be a beautiful mum if your daughter has said that she wants to be like you if she ever had kids. I agree that I may not take care of myself as much as I should but even when I am cleaning and tyding up the house it is still a mess. I try to keep things in perspective and I know I cannot reach out to everything and some things won't be done. But at the moment I do not know how to build myself up. I think that this is the problem at the moment. I need to go back to the strong and confident woman I once was but I am struggling at the moment and I do not know where to turn for help. I am alone in this country and do not have great support. I have friends but they do all have children and their own family and even though they do help as much as they can I feel I still need a bit more of help.

Thanks for your comments, it does help me to see things in perspective a bit more and to recognise what I should be doing

SirGin Thu 28-Jul-11 18:37:17

You can call me Gin smile

I only put the 'Sir' on so people would know I'm a bloke.

A lot of men are like that unfortunately, I appreciate it's frustrating if you can't discuss simple things about parenting like your dd's routine and all, but even if you could there will be hic-ups.

For example my Xp told me that she though dd was having more tantrums after staying with me. Part of me thought ' you're just saying that to put me down' , and that was a reaction that was based on our past which had no place in the present.

So I thought about it, and suggested that it was possible that as when dd was with me we didn't really have to be anywhere by any time, I'd always go at her pace. If she wanted to play with the car steering wheel I'd let her rather than strapping her in to her seat, if we went for a walk I'd patiently wait until she's finished looking at a flower or a bee or what ever.

However I understood that when out with her mum, they had things to do, places to be. So if they needed to get to nursery it wasn't possible to dawdle. And that I think was what was upsetting dd as she expected to be able to take her time.

The point I'm trying to make is that even if you could talk to your Xp there would still be things he does that you wouldn't do. If he can take her away for a week and they both survive, dirty hair, as unpleasant as it is, isn't a major problem in the scheme of things.

He obviously took your suggestion as interference. And he's a fool to.

I don't really know how you can improve communications. Massaging his ego possibly. Asking him for parenting tips ? ( I know I know but it might help ) Is there still a lot of bitterness between you about the past that hasn't been purged and discussed ?

I can only hope that over time he'll realize the benefit of good communication.

As for your confidence. Well, if it's been chipped away, maybe try and gradually build it back up. If he's not around putting you down it should come back anyway. Can you treat yourself ? I don't want to sound patronising but can you go and get your hair done, a new jacket, hat whatever ?

That generally improves my confidence.

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 18:55:10

Hi Gin. I think bitterness may be one of the problems. He has made it very clear that he is dissapointed with me because he is missing his DD even though I have been telling in the last year that things needed to change if our relationship had any future. When I told him that it was the end of our relationship he said that all this came out of the blue. In my case I feel very hurt but I can forget very easily and move on which at the moment he is not allowing me. There are plenty of issues that are unresolve. We did couselling before we separated and it didn't help. Again mainly because of the type of person he is. While we were together I always took on board everyting he wanted me to change to the point where I could not recognise myself anymore and he didn't even try to change what I asked him. So I guess there is plenty of bitterness. Even today when we were with the health visitor the way he talked to me was unacceptable (it was already like this when we were together and had an argument anyway) but I think he should control himself in front of DD because she will copy the way he talks to me. Parentint Tips!! Excuse me he has not been a hands on dad when we were together what can he teach me now?

Her dirty hair is not a problem as such. I can clean it and I do not have any problem doing it. It is everything else like asking me when I am going to potty train DD even though the health visitor has said today that she is not ready yet as she does not show the signs. I don't know. I am having a terribe couple of weeks and I feel isolated and he is not helping at all

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 18:57:51

Sorry gin but I do not need to go and buy clothes or do my hair to improve my confidence, I am not that type of woman (nothing against it). I wish it would work and I could do it. I need to find other ways of increasing my confidence and probably the best wouldbe to find a job so I could feel more useful. I know do not shout at me. Being a full time mum it is useful but I think I am reaching the point where I need to do something else outside motherhood

SirGin Thu 28-Jul-11 19:03:32

Sorry, I didn't mean he could teach you anything about parental tips, I just meant that if you pretended to be interested in his view it might somehow disarm him a bit and be a lead into a two way exchange even if he's talking crap.

For example, if he says ' when are you going to potty train ' ask him what he thinks.. ?

As for the bitterness, yep, that sounds like the problem if it's colouring everything. You have to be able to forgive and move on. Forgiveness in my experience is very cathartic.

I really hope you work things out.

itsnotpossibleisit Thu 28-Jul-11 19:12:26

I will use your approach about asking him. He is a control freak and if I play the game that he is in control things are ok. But sometimes it unbalances me to play that game and I think it is what is happening at the moment. ALso because he would suddenly be very nice to me and then completely changes to be horrible and I cannot cope with this changes. I rather him be always nice or always horrible as it would help me know what to expect. But at the moment is like walking on eggs shell, not knowing what will be next.

Due to previous things on my life I have learnt to forgive very easily as it is the best thing to do but with his behaviour it is very difficult. It does not matter how much I forgive him if he is not willing to do it himself too

SirGin Thu 28-Jul-11 19:17:16

well I think you need to prioritize yourself then, believe in yourself, be the better person.

about2bhomeless Thu 28-Jul-11 19:23:28

Have you talked to Women's Aid at all, OP? Or had a look on the relationships board - there are lots of women who have had spiteful bullying partners like your XP, and some poor women who haven't managed to escape them yet.
THis man's clearly a total knob and won't change, so you need to develop strategies so as not to be hurt by him. The state to aim for is when you can see him as a vaguely annoying relative who you have to put up with from time to time but whose nonsense doesn't matter.

about2bhomeless Thu 28-Jul-11 19:23:48

(Oh cock, sorry, am regular under name change, buggering off now...)

Kladdkaka Thu 28-Jul-11 19:35:26

There are practical things you can do. Here are a few of the things that helped me.

My lifeline: http://www.flylady.net/
This is a free coaching service for women who are feeling overwealmed by house, home and life. It starts off giving you one small thing to do each day to make you feel better and then adds another and another and helps you build up routine and structure. You have to set up an account and then you get gentle reminders (automatics) of things to try and get done today.

Are you in the UK? If so, have you been in contact with your nearest Sure Start Centre? If you don't already know, these are government funded support centres for parents with young children. You can search for you local one on this website: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Preschooldevelopmentandlearning/NurseriesPlaygroupsReceptionClasses/DG_173054

The other thing I have done (am still doing) is sign up for the Open University. Each course I complete builds my confidence no end. I can only do them one at a time (as I still don't think I'm clever enough for a degree) but step by step I'm getting there. Again in case you don't know, OU courses are distance courses so there's no problem with childcare issues. http://www.open.ac.uk/

You can do this. Really you can. I won't lie, it's hard, very hard. I used to cry at the drop of a hat from sheer frustration. Sitting at the top of the stairs exhausted from putting her back in bed for the 40th time that night, giving her weetabix out of a casserole dish because there wasn't a single clean bowl or plate in the house, and screaming at her because she would sit quietly for 5 minutes so I could think.

What do you do to relax? To completely lose yourself in something other than the humdrum of life? I liked to sit on a swing seat in the garden with a coffee and a good book.

Kladdkaka Thu 28-Jul-11 19:39:06

wouldn't sit quietly for 5 minutes. Doh!

slavetomyson Thu 28-Jul-11 19:46:14

It'snotpossible. Hi again! I know you desperately want your confidence back but it will come. The more you do on your own, the more confident you will feel that you CAN do it on your own. At the end of the day you and your XP have now split, you have custody and responsibility for your DC so you have got to believe in yourself that you can do it, even if you pretend that this is how you feel. It's still early days and of course your XP is still enjoying his power games, because he can't quite let go of the relationship and/or is very immature. It's him that has the issues with confidence, not you. He might pretend he's all big and smart, but these sorts of people, who get their kicks from undermining others, are the people who are BIG time affected and need help. And he won't be getting it from you. You will get there in the end, just do what you think is best for your DC and you can't do any better than that. As for confidence building tips, I would say that just getting through each day, day by day, without any dramas, will make you feel better to start with. Start small and aim big. Maybe take DC out somewhere you've never been before and feel a bit anxious about, just little things which you've never dared do before. Eventually you will find that you are surviving on your own, and even though it might not feel any easier day by day, you are growing into a stronger person without even realising it. This is what my mum tells me, anyway!! Hang in there.

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