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My daughter hurts me :((166 Posts)
I don't know what to do. DD is 3, she's witnessed domestic abuse for the first two years of her life and seen her father beat me to a pulp.
I managed to find the strength to leave him but during this time things have just gone down hill.
She's so angry and upset when she has to see him, I'm currently vehemently fighting him through the family court.
She punches me, slaps me, kicks me, and the worst thing she did this weekend was drag her finger nails down both my arms and pinched me so hard, I just sobbed
I've tried to seek counselling and play therapy for her but because she's having contact with her perpetrator father they can't intervene.
I've asked childrens services to help me but it results in NFA letters time and time again. I just don't know what to do, I can't cope anymore.. The anger and hurting me, I've already been through that with her father I can't have this from her also.
I picked her up today from nursery and the room manager said she's not been her normal self and has been really distracted, she's a big personality at nursery so it's really noticeable. She said she's seen this before and it's almost like she's lashing out at me for making her see him.
She's so troubled and I just want to help her but I feel physically and mentally exhausted.
What else can I do?
This is horrible for you both @Sohurtbyitall, I’m so sorry that you’re going through all of this. Just so it’s clear- and I may have been misreading or just missed this, it’s been a long day- are you being forced to let her see him? Because it sounds as though she shouldn’t be having any contact with him. I think you need to be getting the impact contact is having on your DD documented so that the family court agree that you can keep her well out of his way. Would it be worth referring yourself to social services to try and access more help? Good luck, this is so horrible and you’re so brave for leaving this arsehole and such a good mum for trying to protect your daughter from him.
Start keeping a diary of daily behaviour so you can tell children’s services exactly how she changes after seeing him. And when you tell them, tell them you suspect he is being abusive to her. Contact Womens Aid too - they can provide avenues for legal support.
I assume you have reported it to social services? If not do that - they will support you blocking access to the dad while they investigate.
Yes there's an interim child arrangement order in place at the moment.. He has supervised contact.
She punches, kicks and screams when I tell her it's a weekend she is due to see him.
It's this past week where its just escalated and its like she completely hates me.. When she really hurt me at the weekend I couldn't help but cry and she stood for a few seconds then put her arms around me and said sorry and that she isn't horrible like her daddy. She's 3, I didn't expect this from a 3 year old.. She's not 13 and in control of what she can and can't do and say.. I called children's services yesterday and just sobbed and said I can't take anymore and I need help... I said please don't send me another no further action letter. I can't get any therapy type help for her because intervention isn't appropriate when the source of trauma is still present. I'm so close to just giving up.
I’m so sorry OP, this is awful. I don’t have any advice, just a hand hold
then put her arms around me and said sorry and that she isn't horrible like her daddy
That is absolutely heartbreaking
Bloody hell OP
Don’t do it, obviously, but this is exactly why some women just take their child and move away without leaving a forwarding address.
My heart breaks for both of you.
Hello, that sounds so hard. Well done for getting away. That's a huge step in the right direction. May I suggest that you ask mumsnet to move your post to both/either Fostering or Adoption boards. Not that I'm suggesting that this would be the route for your child, just that both boards will be full of parents,carers and sometimes social workers who will have experience with child on parent violence and might be able to suggest techniques, books or organisations that could support you.
I'm just broken by it all. She's seen things no 2 year old had to see.. Whenever she hears a loud noise she's absolutely inconsolable. A few weeks ago the fire alarm went off at nursery and she just screamed and screamed, her key worker tried to comfort her and she ran away and hid under a table. My heart is breaking for her and in trying to see it as her projecting towards me, but I'm broken by what her father did to me and what it took to leave him and now I feel like it's happening all over again.
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You sound like an amazing mum. Well done for getting you and your daughter safe. Hopefully someone will listen so she doesn't have to continue seeing him.
My heart bleeds for you. You need counselling contact your gp get them to refer you urgently. She’s 3. I read my loads of books that were all about kindness. The giving tree etc and we talked about them. Can you hold her arms in what I called the safe hold - mine has their back to me sitting in my lap and I restrained them when they were lashing out and just said I’m here, you’re safe, I’ve got you, we’ve got this - let it out and I’m here I’ll keep you safe etc over and over when calmed I stroked their hair and cuddled etc and made them a hot chocolate and then said ‘we don’t kick it punch it’s ok to be angry but we don’t hurt people’
I spoke to the health visitor about it who gave me some techniques to try.. I don't like to raise my voice due to what she has heard and witnessed in the past.. I've told her it's not kind to hurt people and that we need to use kind hands and kind words and treat others how we like to be treated but so far no progress. I've tried doing a time out and walking away from her once she's hurt me but she chases me and tells me not to leave her. I don't actually think I can do it on my own.
Counselling is not to do with you doing anything wrong it’s to get indie 3 rd party support for you
Do you just sit there and allow her or do you correct her behaviour?
If she is intentionally hurting you, it would be a short time out in my house. I understand the additional issues and horrible past experiences, but nip it in the bud and show her it's bad behaviour that won't be tolerated.
I think you're describing responding to a child who has not had terrible experiences, this is very poor advice in these circumstances.
*then put her arms around me and said sorry and that she isn't horrible like her daddy*
That is absolutely heartbreaking
This really got to me 💔😢
Yes, I've tried to get referred for play therapy multiple times and every introductory phone call I've had says intervention isn't appropriate when the root of trauma is still present.
I work in the NHS and have a colleague who works in safeguarding and they said perhaps the best stage is trying to get referred to a Paediatric mental health specialist.. But I just don't know.
OP you need some support for yourself first and foremost. A bit like getting the oxygen mask on in the aeroplane - you do you first.
What support can you get?
I had some help once from Young MInds (not sure if they support parent sof very young children) but also the domestic violence charities may be able to help you.
You will not be the first parent to have this issue and it is not your fault.
Hand hold here too. Can you talk to nursery at all, they may have had experience with traumatised children etc and be able to help you with some strategies?
I'd definitely also see if you can get referred (maybe via HV) to social services and find out if there's any support you might be able to access to help your daughter manage how shes feeling about what she has witnessed etc.
I don't know if maybe it might also help her feel safe and secure to have firm boundaries and know that you will not let her hurt you, herself or people around her? Are you able to safely hold her arms firmly if she's trying to hit you etc and say calmly "it's ok, I know you are really angry/upset but I won't let you hit me".
In my experience if you want children’s services to support you, you have to start documenting.
Document every time she does it. Document triggers. Document what she says before and after contact. Document anything the supervisor says to you about what happened during contact.
I urge you to go to your GP and ask for their support. You may not get anywhere, but it helps with documentation.
Call social services or MASH every.single.time.
Likewise I’d urge you to ask nursery to document it and where they can to escalate it for early help, that’s one avenue into children’s services.
You have to keep making repeated statements because literally unless you hurt her back, the threshold for help is high.
But as harsh as it sounds. You absolutely need to teach your daughter this is not okay. I think it’s worth reiterating that:
- actions have consequences
- cuddles when you’ve smashed someone up doesn’t make it better
- daddy’s behaviour while you were together is not how normal people behave.
And on that front, can you encourage her to spend time with a ‘normal’ couple so she can see examples of functional relationships? It may help her to develop a role model or example that isn’t so close to home (and her own emotions).
Have you had a look at www.whosincharge.co.uk
You are not alone. It’s very common for dc who’ve witnessed DV to act out in this way. There’s a programme and support from the Freedom Programme creators.
Who’s in charge
My daughters health visitor is an amazing lady, she's done multiple home visits and seen the bruises on me she's tried to get us referred to multiple avenues but due to her young age we've been refused every time.
I'm just scared for the future really, whilst I understand she's projecting at the moment. She has the potential to one day grow up and be abusive and I just cannot deal with that I didn't bring her into this would to be abusing or to learn that abuse is acceptable.
Also give yourself a break op, you've been through a lot. The fact that you are on here asking for help takes a lot of strength.
Give her as much stability and consistency as you can too. Really really predictable routine at home, bedtime routine to try and make sure tiredness isnt exacerbating the problems etc.
And encourage her to punch at a cushion if she feels she has emotions she needs to let out.