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hold my hand - scared about access!

(26 Posts)
NicknameTaken Wed 23-Sep-09 10:46:50

My ex and I were in court yesterday and hammered out an agreement by consent - I'm the residential parent, he gets loads of access to our DD, who is nearly 2. He'll have her every second weekend, and every week he he has full days Mon and Fri with her (when he's not working) plus an overnight. He can potentially take her on holidays abroad if I consent or the court makes an order. I was reasonably happy with it and looking forward to having some free time too.

Then I told my parents, who hit the roof. They hate ex, who was pretty scary and aggressive to me, with a major sense of entitlement. He is quite controlling of DD, but she adores him. My parents are convinced he will either abduct her (he's not from the UK) or manipulate her in some unspecified way. My mother even dropped dark hints about incest - there's no basis for that other than DD may well co-sleep with her father (she co-sleeps with me). My parents would ideally like access to be supervised and occasional (well, "ideally" they'd like ex to drop dead).

And so I lay awake last night thinking of all the terrible things that could happen to DD and how I sold her down the river for a few free weekends and to keep legal fees to a minimum (but I swear it's not, I genuinely think she gets something positive out of her relationship with her father). I doubt my own judgement because yes, it was a mistake to get involved with ex in the first place, as my parents have pointed out.

Of course I'll be watching to see how she copes with this level of access and if there are any harmful effects, I will go back to the solicitor. But now I'm terrified about damage I won't see and stop in time. I know my parents mean well and want the best for me and DD.

Help me! Tell me positive stories of horrible exes that are still good dads! The Lundy Bancroft book is pessimistic on this point. I don't want to damage my DD! I want her to have two parents who love her.

Niceguy2 Wed 23-Sep-09 10:58:42

As long as you are happy with the arrangements then its absolutely got NOTHING to do with your parents.

And to suggest incest is pretty damn evil if all she does is sleep in the same bed as her dad. Jeez, i'd have been locked up years ago as when my DD was two, she often climbed in to snuggle with her dad!

For what its worth I think you are doing the right thing and self doubt is normal.

At the end of the day though you can only worry about so much. You are leaving her with her father, what could be more natural than that? Don't let your parents put stupid ideas in your head.

As for removing DD from the country, if you think this is a real possibility then make sure you keep the passport, have a note put on file so you are notified if he tries to apply for one and make sure his home country is a signatory to the Hague convention.

NicknameTaken Wed 23-Sep-09 11:08:32

Thanks, Niceguy. His home country isn't a party to the Hague Convention, unfortunately. But I have DD's passport and have put a note on the file at the passport office and the embassy of his country of citizenship. I don't think he's planning anything for the immediate future but it's not something I feel I can completely rule out. I'm just hoping that as times goes by, we can rebuild some trust between us. I don't trust him very much right now.

NicknameTaken Wed 23-Sep-09 16:17:05

...and now he's suggesting taking her to a different continent for Christmas. Oh well, consider it an early test.

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 23-Sep-09 16:20:32

Oh you poor thing. I get this all the time from my parents, who view xp as slightly lower than shit on your shoe. I reason with them that if I can manage to be civil to him, then they can butt out, since they don't have to have anything to do with him. My mother practically crosses herself if she is forced to mention his name. It makes things very difficult.

I think that your arrangements sound very sensible, if dd is happy with them and if you are. It is dd who matters most in this arrangement after all.

WRT Christmas, hmm, I wouldn't go for that myself. What exactly does he want to do.

NicknameTaken Wed 23-Sep-09 16:31:36

Thanks, lanky. No way am I agreeing to Christmas. He complained yesterday that his gas was going to be cut off because he can't pay the bill (and he has never paid a penny maintenance btw) and now he can suddenly pay for intercontinental travel? And he is going to sit on a plane with a 2-year old for a 10 hour flight each way for a week's holiday? Plus factor in all the will-he-bring-her back questions! Aaagh!

And now he is sending me all these hostile messages about me being controlling! I was proud of my reasonableness in dealing with him but it's really hard when he takes it as weakness and immediately attempts to push the boundaries and get more, more, more.

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 23-Sep-09 16:38:33

Yes, I get that too. I know exactly what you mean. I think all you can do is try to be polite and not hostile. Failing to engage with his hostility is the way forward. Just state the facts plainly and don't allow yourself to be pulled off course. my xp is great at knowing what strings to pull to get me to react and I find it really hard not to "bite".

NicknameTaken Wed 23-Sep-09 16:42:51

Thanks. It's a relief to hear from someone else going through it.

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 23-Sep-09 16:47:25

No problem
I am on here a lot today because ds is at his father's, for 2 nights rather than the usual 1, and I hate it. So if you want to chat I expect I shall be around.

NicknameTaken Wed 23-Sep-09 16:53:26

Only here for another 10 mins as have to leave to collect dd. Can I ask how long since you split up with your ex? Does it get easier? I know our relationships won't necessarily be identical, but I'm just grasping at straws here...

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 23-Sep-09 16:56:33

Hmm long story. I first left him when ds was 3 months old, then went back on and off until last Feb when I left for good, am now living with ds half an hour away from xp.

It does get a bit easier, once you have your own space and realise you don't have to do things his way (it took me a long long time to realise this, and I have had some psychotherapy and CBT which as helped).

I had PND, caused not so much by baby as xp and his crazy attitudes, which I had not anticipated, and I was very close to doing something stupid. Now I look back and wonder why I stuck it so long. But it is easy to generalise, he still gets to me and I still have a lot of "issues" with him.

HTH.

NicknameTaken Wed 23-Sep-09 16:59:57

And do you find him a positive influence in your ds's life? sorry for nosiness!

notevenamousie Wed 23-Sep-09 17:33:40

NT - I think you are handling this really well and are being extremely reasonable and not at all controlling. He is seeing lots of your dd, but you object to him taking her half way across the world. Hang in there. You are helping her build a relationship with her father. Be strong about the Christmas thing.
My ex doesn't have the overseas issue and doesn't seem to want to see dd all that much. I feel very intimidated by him. My dd is about a year older than yours. I hope it gets easier.

CarGirl Wed 23-Sep-09 17:38:57

I think you are doing the right thing, he may lose interest over time anyway.

However if I were in your shoes, because of how he treated you and because is home county is not signed to the Hague convention I would not let him take her out of the country ever in case he went to one country and then indirectly flew to his IYSWIM.

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 23-Sep-09 17:46:57

Hmm. Hard to say. I want him to be, I want ds to have strong male role models, but TBH xp has some very odd ideas about a lot of things, which I don't want ds to adopt. I think the key is to keep a close eye on things and nip any particularly unsavoury ideas in the bud ASAP.

NicknameTaken Thu 24-Sep-09 09:42:05

Thanks for the comments. I had a conversation with ex afterwards where he more or less admitted that he was just testing the limits.

As regards travel, my intention is to try to avoid it until DD is much, much older - at least old enough to phone me and tell me where she is and if she wants to come home.

At this point, I'm reasonably optimistic about making this work, but it looks like it's going to take a lot of effort on my part to keep on the right track. Ok, girding my loins.

Madascheese Mon 28-Sep-09 18:36:20

Oh my goodness! That was scary - it was like reading something I oculd have written.

Ok, I've been at this for 2 1/2 years and around £25k. At the start I offered every other weekend with DS (then aged 15 months) thought it was pretty reasonable

Many repeated and admitted threats of permanent removal from my care from my ex.

My parents and sister (along with almost anyone who know me and DS) would glady see him drop dead.
I feel DS has a right to know his Dad to whom I was married and was in love with. But would prefer he wasn't a total twunt about the whole thing.

God Sorry, am just burbling now but so much resonates for me.

Anyway my point is, stick to your guns, trust your own limits. Aceept that your family love you and hate that this man has done all this to you. You don't have to agree with them but respect their right to have that opinion, ride that out, they will relax when they know you and DD are safe and happy (I promise)

Resist the overseas travel as long as you can (my ex in abroad and has DS over there for 10 days and refuses phone contact for me which is frankly heartbreaking for both of us - DS is badly affected by the fact the mummy 'disappears' because Daddy won't him talk to me but he's only 3 so ex ignores his requests to talk to Mummy)

So sorry if I've hijacked your thread, I'm having a low day - it's a whole week til my DS gets home!

xMad

NicknameTaken Tue 29-Sep-09 11:38:12

Not a hijack - I'm feeling a bit alone in this so delighted to share experience! I sympathize with you and your week without DS - that'll be me over Christmas.

We've had the court order in place for a week and so far ex has suggested taking DD to Canada, Spain and Egypt over Christmas. This is the man who refused to take my name off the lease of our old house because he's not sure he can pay the rent and wants me to be liable if he doesn't. He hasn't followed the procedure in the court order, which would require him to show me a return air ticket. He thinks that if he is aggressive and unpleasant enough, I'll just accept whatever he wants without him having to meet me halfway. Those days are over. He is punishing me by refusing to allow me to take DD anywhere, incl. to my parents in Ireland. But I'll follow the court order, I'll provide the air tickets and other details, and I'll get a Specific Issue Order if necessary. I'm not going to be bullied any longer.

So sorry for your 2 1/2 year battle. Where do these men get their energy? Couldn't they do something better with it? Forget hell hath no fury - an emotionally abusive person whose victim has escaped has to be one of the most spiteful people on the planet!

Madascheese Tue 29-Sep-09 13:14:33

I had a DS free christmas last year and it was pretty grim tbh. I told everyone I was fine and just locked myself away and cried - I couldn't face all the cheery tinsel stuff - fortuantely my family were all away so it wasn't to difficult to hide and watch 'The West Wing'

We had Christmas Day before DS went and that was lovely but then I made the mistake of going to Church which was stuffed full of all DS's friends from playgroup being cute (duh! I didn't even think of them being there on Christmas eve...for the Crib Service)

This 10 day period is our longedst stretch apart so far, it's kind of made worse by not being able to call ym DS for a bit of a chat, still I do have webcamming to look forward to tomorrow morning (ex won't let me call DS - clearly has no clue about the impact of separating him from primary carer for 10 days)

I can't fight that one, and I'm not having a row with ex over the phone while DS is away - he would be far too likely not to return him.

*bit sad - going out for a walk now!*

Your last sentance made me smile! I rarely think of myself as Houdini but then again I suppose we have escaped a most determined sort of man.
xMad

TinyPawz Tue 29-Sep-09 14:12:55

nametaken I don't want to alarm you, but it is relatively easy to get dodgy birth certificates and therefore real passports in some countries. (I have seen this first hand, all it takes is a little money)

My ex is not from UK and for that reason alone, I refuse to let him take my dd out of my house. (He has never tried to take me to court or to get specific access)

NicknameTaken Tue 29-Sep-09 15:58:13

Madas, yes, I'm thinking of going away by myself for Christmas to somewhere very non-Christmassy. Saw Ryanair has a flight to Marrakesh for under £100 so might pack a pile of books and go and sit on a rooftop there for the duration.

Tiny, don't think I haven't worried about that! If someone is determined to go down the court route, it's hard to stop them from having unsupervised access based on what might happen without any concrete evidence that it is likely happen. I just don't know what further action I can take. I've more or less resigned myself to permanent anxiety between now and DD's 18th birthday. Hey, it's only 16 years away! And I'm sure I'll have a whole new set of worries for her by then.

mmrred Tue 29-Sep-09 21:58:01

Just ignore him, he's trying to get a reaction. Maybe you should get some therapy to look at the link between wildly overprotective parents (suggesting incest? jeez) and getting involved with X in the first place!

FWIW, I think you did the right thing to avoid a long protracted court case. Just tune out to the BS and focus on getting the very recent court order up and running.

If he continues to throw wild suggestions about Xmas around, ask him for his ongoing proposals and suggest mediation.

NicknameTaken Wed 30-Sep-09 09:50:31

Agree that I need to do more to tune out the BS...

NicknameTaken Thu 01-Oct-09 11:48:03

For crying out loud, now ex is lobbying to take DD away to another continent for 16 days in November. Her second birthday falls in the middle of those days. This is way beyond anything outlined in the court order.

I am NOT going to mediation with him, because in this case it sends the wrong signals, ie. that the court order is just a beginning and he can keep asking for more and more. The thing is, I would actually consider allowing more than what is in the court order, but only after time has passed and trust has been re-established between us. To start pushing for so much more within a week of the court order being granted is just completely unreasonable. Isn't it?

agingoth Thu 01-Oct-09 20:38:46

god yes nickname- he is totally doing this to get to you imho.

And yes he is being completely unreasonable!

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