Dd accusing me of pushing her dad away(13 Posts)
Dd was 7 when I split up with her dad, she's now 14
He was emotionally and sexually abusive and the reason we finally split was because I started to see EA behaviours towards dd
I've never told dd the reasons why we split, I've always encouraged her to have a relationship with her dad but he turned down multiple opportunities for contact, has never been to a parents evening or concert etc -his choice
She's now decided its all my fault, I didn't try hard enough to keep the family together and I pushed him away after we split
She has asd so very black and white thinking and I don't think she would get it if I told her the truth about her dad
who she never sees
How do I handle this?
she is old enough now to be told the truth, in a gentle way. 14 is a good age to discuss coersion anyway. you can include the line, that is the reason I split with your dad...
Surely you deserve to tell you why she thinks that. Without telling her the true reasons and that it was her father's fault, you could explain that relationships are very complex and sometimes, you come to realise that you are not making to best of eachother being together. You could tell her that she might have not been a very good mum if you'd stayed with her dad because it's hard to be so when you feel trap and unhappy.
See, this is why I'm never convinced it's entirely a good thing to never say anything adverse about the ex.
Now your DD has spent the last 7 years either wondering what the hell happened, or secretly blaming you (and/or herself) for the divorce, and now you're going to have to tell her that in fact he was an abusive shit and THAT is why you left, to keep you both safe.
I do think you should do that, by the way. I think she deserves to know what kind of man he is, and why you DID have to leave - but she doesn't need to know ALL of it at once.
Far too late now to say this bit, really, but I do think that telling children bits about the reality of the situation, in an age-appropriate fashion and without laying too much on them emotionally, has to be a better long-term option than letting them think he was fine
I feel for you - have the conversation about what she knows and what she doesn't, and fill in some gaps for her.
tell her the truth.
But you absolutely must be clear about what is a provable fact and what is your perspective on what happened. because she will get their perspective presented as fact and frankly why should she trust your perspective more than her dad's.
She will start looking for the lies, anything that she can prove to be wrong. When she gets there she will appreciate you making the distinction and trust you the more for it.
so for example what is provable fact is that he has turned down contact time (I presume you have emails and text messages to this effect). However "he made me feel very uncomfortable and unable to be myself" is your perspective on the situation.
you need to be able to give her enough understanding that she can recognise that she is being emotional abused herself. However you need to be careful you don't tip into justifying your behaviour or that you left to her. You left because it wasn't a health situation for you but bear in mind everyone will have a different perspective on that including ex and DD.
I can't even hint at the problem laying with him -she will imeadiately jump to defend him
She knows he doesn't show up to stuff but seems to accept that either that's just him, or he's not going because I can't be civil
I can be civil
She has very fixed views about marriage (obsession with the 1920s/30s and lives the values) and seems to think its the woman's job to shut up and put up -she views me as having given in/didn't fight enough to save our family
Due to her asd changing her views is very difficult
It's easier for her to blame you than to accept her own dad can't be arsed with her.
OK - I can't say for sure this would work but maybe it would be possible to tell her a story about a situation just the same as yours, see if it affects her in any way differently.
E.g: there was this man and woman who were married and had a child, but he didn't treat her well, he was bad and unkind to her, and made her life a misery. The woman coped with that until she started to realise that he was being unkind to the child as well, and then, because she loved her DD so much, she had to leave the man to keep her DD safe. Etc. etc.
And let her ask questions, and also ask HER questions - I'm not for one second suggesting that she wouldn't pick up that it's really about your situation, but just phrasing it in 3rd person might give her slightly more objectivity about it. If she still sticks to the idea that the woman should have allowed the man to do whatever he wanted, then counselling might be an idea, although I don't know how well that would go with her ASD either! there must be counsellors who specialise in patients with ASD somewhere.
My DS hasn't seen his dad since he was 3...When he was 7 as a result of a conversation that came up in class...( Topic was happily families ) Teacher called me in..She explained to him nothing he did made his dad not see him. I had told him this to the point he would roll his eyes when I said it but she said it and he now accepts it.
My point been in there someone other than you that she would listen to. I also agree she is old enough to know the truth.. I actually think it is healthier than dreaming about their fantasy dad she is never going to see,
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