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What to do!?!? - long, sorry!

(15 Posts)
stressedoutmummy Wed 06-Apr-05 02:26:08

Where to start! background: I have a 4yr old dd ex left us when she was 10 months old, he sees her for 1 weekend every month, because he doesn't live in this country and it's harder for him to get over here.
DD has a disability which means she is incontinent and she suffers hugely from constipation, to manage this I am now having to give her an enema every three days.
Anyway ex's family have been to see DD only 3 or 4 times since she was born, when she was younger I used to take her and travel to them regularly as I understood it was easier for me to do that, than all of them to come over here.
But it all got to hard, they don't like me, and every time I was over there was made to feel uncomfortable and unwanted, left out of everything, from conversations to trips out they had planned with DD.
So I decided and told ex, that it was just too stressful and that I wouldn't be coming any more, his family however were welcome to visit whenever they wanted.
Since then we have had 1 visit, and ex is now arguing with me about taking DD over there without me. DD's medication has changed to the enemas she is now having since then, I have had to be shown how to do them at home by the hospital, and it is still horrendous, she hates it and screams every time it is done.
There is no way I am going to let anyone but me do that. Ex claims that his mother is willing to take any training so that she is able to administer the meds, but and this is the bit I feel silly about, she's not me.....I just don't feel like dd could have that done if I wasn't there.
He's now kicking up a huge fuss, and causing a lot of tension and arguments, saying that I'm denying his family the right to see her, because its too hard for them all to come to us, and I just don't know what to say to him anymore, I have tried explaining that I'm not comfortable not being there for dd when she's having her meds, aside from the fact that I'm not comfortable being that far away from her at all! but he just doesn't seem to get it, he thinks I'm deliberately trying to make life hard!!

What can I do!, we're not even able to have a conversation about dd anymore, without it turning into a big argument, and it's getting me down

If you got through all that, thanks!!

Any advice is appreciated

GRMUM Wed 06-Apr-05 05:30:52

My first reaction is that if they have only been over once since you stopped going there they aren't really that interested. Do they live in uk? Or is ex back in his native country? Where does he live? I am in Greece and have seen friends going through similar ie difficulty of contact when parents are in different countries I understand that it is difficult and expensive for both sides. How much do you and your daughter want to maintain contact?

On the matter of her medication i would just say No - either you start going with dd and they act a bit more friendly,or they come to you. I presume this will improve at some time and the enemas will stop? Explain that to them, since they've waited so long to show interest they can wait a bit longer. If the enema is already traumatic for your dd (understandably) there should be NO DISCUSSION about this at all IMO. Can you get your GP or a district nurse to tell him this?

pinkmamma Wed 06-Apr-05 07:09:27

Oh you poor thing! What country are they from? The father of my DS is Italian and his family are a complete nightmare. I did take him out there as a baby but I had to fight to keep a hold of him. Personally I now refuse to take him out there but as you say they can come here to visit.

I think you are TOTALLY within your rights to say no to your DD going out there. You are thinking of HER. They are thinking of themselves. If they thought about her feelings they would realise that she would want to be with you and certainly not have them administer any medicines/treatments to her etc. I think it is appalling that they put pressure on you for this. My DS does not know his family out there(he is 2 coming up for 3), and I always say that when he is old enough to decide if he wants to go and stay out there then he can. Well it buys me at least another 5 years! But I have other reasons for not wanting him to go out there too…

I really really hate to mention this but my ex has threatened abduction and I now have a residence order, and court orders preventing him taking him out of UK. My ex is a complete $^$£%£$ but yours sounds ok if he is visiting every month. I have sat here and ummed and aahhed about writing about that but my heart is telling me to mention it because it is best to just have it in the back of your mind ie. if he suddenly wants your DD passport or birth certificate remember this. Am I making any sense?

Re your DDs problems, have you ever thought of trying reflexology? Although of course I cannot comment on the incontinence etc, reflexology is excellent for helping constipation. It is of course natural and non-invasive. If you were interested in it you would be best to talk to your GP and get his/her approval and then seek out a fully qualified, experienced and insured reflexologist. I would treat your DD for free but I doubt you are in my area SW Wales. If you are interested let me know and I could point you in right direction for finding someone good in your area.

Sorry this is long but I have very strong feelings on the issues of overseas family from my own experiences. Be strong and stick to your guns. Do you have family and friends you can talk to about this near you? You got your DD’s best interests at heart, just remind yourself of that.

Titania Wed 06-Apr-05 07:20:03

Just wondered, were you married? If not then as I understand it then his family have no legal rights to see dd without going to court (if they start getting really awkward)

I would just stand your ground. Don't let them make you feel bad. You are doing a fantastic job with your darling dd. If you aren't comfortable with someone else administering dds medication then thats fine. They have to accept that your dd needs you and that they either have to accept you going with her and they be nice to you, or they come to you and again be nice to you. Take care hun x x

GRMUM Wed 06-Apr-05 07:24:50

pinkmamma makes a very valid point there, about the passport.

Titania Wed 06-Apr-05 07:26:29

oh yes....totally...

Fio2 Wed 06-Apr-05 07:47:26

gosh stressedoutmummy, i would feel exactly the same of you. i would stand your ground. It is not as though you have stopped access at all is it? My mum had similar problems with my dad and his family when my sister went to stay (she had cystic fibrosis, but they did live in the UK) They would never set up her night feeds, were lax on giving physio etc. Everytime she came back from my dads, she would be ill I really think your daughters health is more important than your in-laws feelings on the matter.

No you are not being unreasonable and IMO they shouldnt even be questioning this

saadia Wed 06-Apr-05 07:52:11

I would also be very reluctant to be separated from my dss under these circumstances. Could you perhaps go over one more time, just for a short while, and try not to let their attitude get to you (easier said than done I know). It just sounds as though unless your ex is appeased in some way, the tensions could really escalate, and his family are probably fuming anyway. After that you could maybe say something along the lines of: "Look, I made an effort for them, next time they should come over, but there is no way I'm sending dd anywhere without me."

polkadot Wed 06-Apr-05 08:35:35


General relationship and contact issues aside, I do not think it would be appropriate for anyone other than yourself, as her main carer, to give your daughter the enemas. Giving an enema to anyone is an intimate, invasive nursing procedure and traumatic for a small child. Having said that,this must be an essential part of her treatment or the doctor would not have prescribed them.

Although administering an enema is a fairly basic nursing procedure in the case of an adult and your exMIL could be shown how to do it, I do not think that she understands what it means for your daughter and how much it distresses her. In the case of a small child the psychological issues are significant and the distress is only going to be increased bythe fact that her gm is a virtual stranger.

I think that if your daughter is going to visit your exh family then you will have to go too.

Please let us know how you get on.

stressedoutmummy Wed 06-Apr-05 12:06:44

Thanks everyone! I think something is going to have to happen to stop this getting out of hand, I hate to think about having to go over there, (they're in Ireland btw, not too far away) It just got so horrible when I was taking her over all the time, I don't have money to stay anywhere, and ex insists on putting me up with a family member to save money - its just awful!
I think I might have to just go one last time at least, as suggested.
Thanks for all the replies, don't feel like I'm being unreasonable about it any more Was starting to doubt myself!

saadia Wed 06-Apr-05 12:25:03

Good luck stressedoutmummy, it might also be an idea, as grmum and polkadot have suggested, to get some kind of medical note to emphasise that the enema is traumatic for dd and needs to be administered by someone she is very close to.

Caligula Wed 06-Apr-05 12:28:31

SOM - just lay the law down to your ex. His family have got to treat you with courtesy and civility, otherwise you will not go and see them, and your DD will not be going to see them either.

Even without the health issue, I really don't see why mothers should have to hand their children over to people who behave like their enemies. If it was a nursery who were treating you with contempt, you would not be expected to accept that level of undermining of your parenting. Why you should accept it from a bunch of people who happen to be related to your DD, but obviously have no care at all for her welfare (otherwise they wouldn't undermine her primary carer and suggest that they subject her to the enema trauma) is beyond me.

expatinscotland Wed 06-Apr-05 12:30:29

I'd visit the CAB to see what your rights are. Is you her designated carer?

I agree w/pinkmama, and think you should get some professional advise regarding this.

But under no circumstance would I send DD over to the ILs alone. 100% agree w/you on that point. Wouldn't go over there, either, tbh.

DillyDally Wed 06-Apr-05 12:33:56

The most important person is your DD and her health and emotional well being. It sounds as it is in her best interests to keep you giving the treatment for now, especially if treatment is changing.
A compromise would be for someone in his family to administer the treatment in your presence to be reassured of competency. In circumstances like this, you have to build the trust up for DDs sake. They should understand this and if they dont, they are being very selfish IMO.

Luscious Wed 06-Apr-05 19:32:59

i agree withall points.

do not let dd go without u.
noone but u shud have to do the enema for ur daughter.
dont let him have dd bith certificate or passport.
id go once more then say thats it, epecially if their still acting the same.- they want the contact so they should come to you. selfish gits.

id suggest getting a doctors note about it, write down all your feelings about it now and when u go over there again- and if they r still pressurising u get a solicitors advice.

is he named on birth cert? were u married?

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