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I'm scared. Hand holding needed

(22 Posts)
MsNobodyIsOrangeAgain Wed 12-Sep-12 12:29:40

I am not being directly threatened. Just wanted to make that clear.

My ex-h has MH problems, has had very sparodic contact with the children and after he let them down 4 weeks ago, I thought 'that's enough' and I sought legal advice.

There is nothing in our Consent Order that details access to see the children. He has been arrested by the Police, detained in a MH unit, allsorts. He has dipped in and out of their lives for the past 4 years. I cannot have this anymore.

He has just texted asking to see them and it is the first time I have said no. I am shaking.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Sep-12 12:50:44

Here to hand hold.

I remember the first time I did this, and my XP had none of the issues you describe. It was utterly terrifying and I was nearly sick with anxiety, you have my sympathy.

Do you have a friend or family member who could come over to keep you company? I think tea and biscuits are on the menu smile

Is he likely to turn up? If so, another reason to get a big and burly friend to stay with you.

MsNobodyIsOrangeAgain Wed 12-Sep-12 12:55:30

Thank you for replying.

I honestly don't know if he will turn up. He has always been respectful, and even in his darkest (ambulance absconding) days, he never came here.

Everyone I know works so I'm alone. I just a bit freaked out. He can lose touch with reality. I don't need this right now. My minds running into overdrive. Every car door slam makes me jump.

Fuck. What a mess.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Sep-12 17:18:44

How are you now? Hoping that he's stayed away?

MsNobodyIsOrangeAgain Wed 12-Sep-12 17:51:26

Thanks for asking. I have been out to a meeting at school.

He hasn't turned up here. I had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction earlier and I have changed my mobile and home numbers. That might not be a good idea in retrospect but its done now. I just didn't want to get into a text war with him. I'm done with him. Truly done. So he can either turn up here (hope he doesn't do that), or contact me by letter (via his solicitor maybe).

He told me I was a 'nightmare' and that 'this is going to cost you a lot of money'. Whaaaaaaaaaat? This is from the man that has chosen to see his children 26 times in 3 years. And now I'm putting my foot down I am the nightmare. hmm

What a load of tosh.

EdMcDunnough Wed 12-Sep-12 17:57:52

I feel for you so much, I really do. I know that fear.

Please know that if he shows up, you do not have to answer the door - you can shout through it asking him to please leave. You can ask him to keep everything in writing, and contact you by post, preferably through a solicitor, as you don't believe it is feasible/feel able to sort it out between you.

If he will not leave, you call 999 and someone will come and make him.

I know you will still be afraid of what he might do, but as the hours go by and then the days you will start to feel safer again.

Very gradually it will get closer to normal again.

Call the police on 101 if you feel like it - especially if you know he has a record - they will tell you the same, and might even be more help to you in your circumstances, if he has previous etc.

Thinking of you x

OptimisticPessimist Wed 12-Sep-12 18:09:21

Glad he hasn't turned up.

He's reacting like that because he's angry that he's lost control. The time with my ex, he had been refusing to see the children because when he had them, I worked and he'd found out I was seeing someone I worked with. He text me and said that he'd come and get them at 12 and he'd bring them back "when they're ready". I said no, he could come and get them at 9, bring them back any time after 6.30, and if he wasn't there at 9.30 I would be taking them out for the day instead. It was a stand I had to make, that either he had them for the whole day or I would have to arrange childcare and he wouldn't be able to see them at all. He was furious, said I was a bitch and hoped I was going to tell DS1 how he (XP) had really wanted to see them but that I had stopped him hmm

Hopefully he won't turn up at your house. If he wants to contact your solicitor, let him. It takes the pressure off you, your solicitor won't stand for the kind of behaviour he would try and use towards you.

Eventually I told XP that I was no longer willing to discuss contact with him at all, because every time we did it would result in him making personal attacks on me. He didn't respond to any of the letters my solicitor sent to him - because it wasn't about seeing the children at all, it was about him controlling me and I took that incentive away from him.

What did your solicitor advise when you saw them?

MsNobodyIsOrangeAgain Wed 12-Sep-12 18:18:19

Thank you. x

I know he is 'known' to the police because of his mental health. They were round here questioning me last month because he had been reported missing and they wanted to check his car wasn't in the vicinity! And now he expects me to hand the kids over without knowing why he has been hospitalised, what his diagnosis is, and why the police said he was known to them.

Sorry for the rant. I'm on pins.

Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know if anything happens.

EdMcDunnough Wed 12-Sep-12 18:21:04

Yes let us know. We are here.

If the police know him they might well want to flag up your number so that should you call, they can provide a rapid response.

It is worth asking them about the different ways they may be prepared to help you feel safer.

MsNobodyIsOrangeAgain Wed 12-Sep-12 18:22:49

Optimistic x-posted with you again grin

My solicitor said our Consent Order did not contain any details about access to the children so I am within my legal rights to say he can't see them. i.e. I am breaking no laws.

She said his Solicitor will ask us to go to Mediation. I said I will not go to this due to his controlling/abusive behaviour.

She said he will then be given a form which allows him to take me to Court to get the Consent Order amended to include access to the children, but I could put forward my concerns about his mental health and his involvement with the Police so the Court would then look into that.

mummystudent Wed 12-Sep-12 18:51:36

I know the feeling you are having. I sit in my kitchen in tears receiving abusive texts from my son's father...
Then when I reply I get very scared, almost like a mini panic attack. The best thing is to try to stay calm (says the woman who chain smokes on the balcony with a glass of wine).
If he turns up just ask him to leave. You have time on your side now- it's getting near to bedtimes- so if he turns up now it would be seen as unreasonable.

Keep your wits. And feel proud you've taken the first step to put you foot down. It takes courage!

MsNobodyIsOrangeAgain Wed 12-Sep-12 19:51:11

Ta again everyone. I am calmer now I am not having to jump every time I get a text message. Only my family and schools have the number.

I expect a solicitors letter within the week but I have more mud to throw at him than he does at me. How very sad that relationships end this way sad

mummystudent Wed 12-Sep-12 19:59:31

Sometimes putting on the warpaint and getting ready for battle is the only way sad

Goodluck

mrsmcv Fri 14-Sep-12 00:13:36

handholding here. this will work out in the end. xx

missymayhemsmum Sat 22-Sep-12 00:18:14

My ex also has MH issues (bipolar). When we split he was telling friends he was going to kill me and I believed him. Fortunately so did the police. If he is ill, (and you know him better than services do) you CANNOT put the children in his care. My solicitor advised that if I did so I would be failing to protect them. Insist on supervised contact, possibly at a contact centre, or refuse contact. And contact MH services with your concerns. You are allowed to talk to them (despite what my ex had me believe). His anger (and when things got scariest) was when I stopped colluding with his denial of his behaviour/ condition. But long term, sporadic contact (when he is well) may be the best your kids can get.
I now take my DD to see her dad most weekends, if he's well enough. We spend the afternoon together having fun on neutral territory, building happy memories to blur the scary ones. If he's not well enough he cancels and we make other plans. he doesn't have unsupervised contact. If he's abusive towards me or I don't think he's well, contact stops. He's been depressed so things are easier, but I'm ready to batten down the hatches if needed.
I have told him that if he wants unsupervised contact/ shared parenting then first he has to get his head and life together, and have a support plan in place. He says that's unrealistic. It probably is, so he will probably never have unsupervsed contact.
My other option (recommended by police and health visitor) was to disappear and move out of town.
Good luck!

MsNobodyAgain Mon 24-Sep-12 08:39:09

Thanks for all replies. To update you a bit, I have not heard from him or a Solicitor (yet) and he has continued to pay maintenance.

It's my exs birthday this week and for the first year ever I am not sending a card from the DCs - they are unaware of the date unless I remind them. On one hand I think I could be being petty and this might stir up trouble. On the other hand I think why should I? He didn't even buy his own DD a birthday present this year (and he can afford it).

Missymay. Sorry to hear you are in a tough situation too. Thanks for your advice. There is no way on earth I could face my ex. I've not even done the few drop-offs when he has bothered to see the DCs. He's far too scary and bitter towards me.

I dream of disappearing but I have 2 SN children and we are well supported by family, friends, in a great SN school, etc.

I'll have to wait and see what happens.

cestlavielife Mon 24-Sep-12 09:50:43

also with ex with mh issues etc.

agree with Insist on supervised contact, possibly at a contact centre,
speak to the social worker for your SEN children if you have on from disabled childrens team.

log what has happened with solicitor / SW.

make it clear that you would be ok with properly supervised contact in a contact centre (so you nto seen as opposed to contact at all - just opposed to unsupervised unsafe contact)

MsNobodyAgain Wed 17-Oct-12 14:53:15

So the solicitors letter has finally arrived. He wants access every Sunday and wants to pick them up from my house when access has always been at a neutral point.

1) I am scared shitless of him so there is no way I'd let him near my home
2) He couldn't be arsed to see them for weeks at a time (months even) and now he is demanding weekly access

I was invited to phone his Mental Health member who could "assure me he is on the road to recovery and capable of looking after the children"

WTAF? This is a man that ran up and down the street because he had to run to 'stay alive'. The ambulance staff wouldn't deal with him and the police were called. He absconded from the ambulance (once he was carried in there) and was found wondering round the town centre hours later, disorientated.

His father has spoken to me but then said don't tell X (his son) because he has violent rages and he has to hold him down. The police were at my house about 8 weeks ago because he is known to be a nutter and had gone missing.

And I am meant to say - there you go. Have the kids. No probs.

Fuck that.

I tried to speak to the MH team member. I was asked which one as there were several named on his case file.

I rang his solicitors and said no way was access going to happen. Take me to court. Bring it on.

Madness. Fuming and just utterly cheesed off.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 17-Oct-12 15:01:40

In so sorry nobody

You are doing the right thing. It must be so difficult and stressful right now but you are doing what's best for your dc, and if the court has any sense at all then I'm sure you'll be backed up all the way

He might have been expecting you to just give in after the solicitors letter, he might not be stable enough from what you've said to go through with a court case. With any luck he'll drop it

Stay strong, you sound amazing. Your dc are so lucky to have you fighting their corner

cestlavielife Wed 17-Oct-12 15:12:58

my ex's gp has written several letters saying how ill he is (to get out of court appreances at harings) and then how well he is and he should see the dc... his mh worker will prob be saying things to support him...

look; you doing the right thing, let him take it to court, propose supervised contact only.

keep copies of any and all medical reports, police reports that you have and log of any incidents that you have and have not reported.

a factual log of dates incidents, when he saw the dc, when police called you etc will say it all really....

you have enough info i am sure for it to be ordered as supervised inititally for say six months - by which time he may well have gone off again....

MsNobodyAgain Wed 17-Oct-12 15:44:12

Thanks. It's so infuriating to see the words in the letter that state (wrongly) that I wished the contact to be at his Fathers house and they understood we had a good relationship?!

What actually happened was after his last psychotic episode I asked his Father to supervise visits. His father declined due to the violence his son had displayed against him.

Enough said for now. I have dates, diaries and details. I'm sticking to my guns. If we can move to properly supervised access through a contact centre or something then ok. Supervision from his family is not ok as they are as messed up as he is.

The letter also states he would return the children by a certain time, which was agreed mutually. He was always late. When I challenged him, he said "bollocks".

Nice.

MsNobodyAgain Sat 20-Oct-12 14:11:48

Update:

Todays post brings another letter from his solicitor which states "we cannot imagine you have made particularly prolonged efforts to contact MH Team member given that you could only have received our letter on X date"

I did not make prolonged efforts. I admit that. I rang once, was told there were several people in charge of his case and they couldn't really tell me anything.

Did my ex make 'particularly prolonged efforts' to contact his children? No he didn't. He ignored them for months at a time. Even when DS2 had cancer. He was nowhere to be seen.

I have also received a letter to go to mediation. I will refuse mediation as I have been told that will not entitle me to get disclosure of his mental health state. Plus there is a history of sexual abuse, violence and emotional abuse during our marriage.

So I am going to refuse mediation and go to Court.

Still very scared. I feel vulnerable.

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