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Its long but please read, I need advice desperately(13 Posts)
Im just about at the end of my tether, feeling absolutely lost and helpless with all this. I dont know where to go for advice or help, Im really hoping that someone will read this having been through something similar.
Almost 4 years ago now my exH and I divorced. We have 2 DCs.
A bit of background my exH has always had a drink problem and as he says even now, you knew what I was like and I did but when I was 18 it didnt seem that much of an issue as we were all out having a good time. He always got a bit nasty with drink too which got worse over the years. Following the birth of DC1, I stopped going out but exH was reluctant to change and got angry at me that I was to blame for his loss of freedom. Over the next 8 years I tried everything to make us a family, we got married and had another DC and I put up with his deteriorating and evermore violent behaviour. My parents separated when I was younger and it devastated me and this was always in my mind that I could not put my children through the pain of separation. To be honest, despite all his wrongdoings and even the violence, I would have done anything for him, there was always a period of upset and remorse after the incidents and an excuse (which isnt fair to go into in as its his personal family business) which made me think I should forgive him.
Eventually, things were getting so bad I begged him to get some counselling as it was getting too much, by now hed had a couple of periods of drug abuse as well. I could not talk to anyone about it as on the outside no one would have any idea, we had a nice house and cars, no financial worries, etc. and I did think that because of this no one would believe me. However, it got to the point where even his friends were asking how I put up with him. He would drink at christenings, weddings, etc and start taking jokes too far to a point where no one found him funny then he would turn on people. It became apparent that we were being missed from invitations but this was a relief to be honest that I didnt have to go through the sitting cringing worrying what he would come out with next.
I got to a point where he had got me so low, people at work started to notice and my boss arranged for me to have some counselling. He was furious that someone would be interfering in our lives and again I asked him to go. He refused and resented me going too, I was then labelled a freak and his violent temper got worse. Although I found the counselling helpful, I found I was still covering up for him and even lying that things were improving. However, one Friday I was going for counselling and he really lost it with me he slammed me against the wall and said I shouldnt be out enjoying myself whilst he was at home babysitting. He then punched a massive hole in the door, youngest DC saw it all and was screaming but he would not let me go. He said that I was a slag like my mother and that I should stand up for myself and fight back. I was so angry that he had made me like this, I took DC to a family member and went for my appointment. This time it all came out, all the things he had done and how he made me feel. Id lost all my self-confidence, I felt worthless and like the useless mother he branded me daily.
I decided that was it. I went home and told him Id had enough and I wanted some time apart from him. He happily agreed and left and went on a week long drug/alcohol binge. I think it was a relief for him and that he wanted to go anyway. The DCs and I were so happy, the house was calm.
It didnt last, he decided he wanted the house so we had to leave, he made sure in various ways that it was impossible for me to stay there and the DCs and I moved out into a private rented house. He would not leave me be but didnt want contact with the children. I got threats from him and his friends. He even got a girlfriend and I thought that would make him leave me alone but no such luck. He terrorised me constantly and turned up kicking the door and shouting abuse. He took away my car too. I also met someone else and things were going well but he was always trying to cause trouble. There was then an incident which the Police became involved in following him assaulting me whilst very drunk, a neighbour called the Police but I asked that the charges were dropped against him as all I could think about was the boys and he was their Dad. There were a number of Police incidents and Social Services then got involved.
As if he had not put me through enough he then decided to tell a solicitor that I denied him access to the children which was untrue. I had to spend all my money defending myself against vicious and pointless lies when all I wanted was for him to have a nice time with the boys, I was not interested in him and this seemed to make him even angrier.
3 years on, both of us have DCs with our new partners, unfortunately there has been little improvement.
Im typing this after a night spent crying, my oldest DC is in a bad state. Last week his Dad decided to tell him all about our break up, basically, I did all the wrong, he did nothing at all. I had an affair, I made stuff up to the Police (even though I never once called them and played it down to them), I ripped our family apart and he was devastated. I was so mad at him and tried to talk to him about it and tried to make him understand, in a very calm manner, that not only was this rubbish but not necessary for a child to hear. Then when he collected DC he said I was a p***k and he hated me more than anything in the world and then said Ive got more to tell you when you are 18 and you will hate her. DC was upset last night and begging me to tell him but there is nothing to tell. He now says he doesnt trust either of us as one of us is lying and he doesnt believe either of us would lie to him.
Im heartbroken, he is a child and should not be put in this position. I know where the lies are coming from but I cant tell DC that his Dad makes things up. He was so sad this morning when he went to school and Im sad that I cant make him feel better. I cant understand why exH wants DC to hate me and why now he has started bringing up what happened, he neednt have lied about my injuries he could simply have not said anything, DC was not there and knew little about it as I hid it all from him. At the time I said Id fallen over and DC accepted that. He has even been telling him that we lost everything because of me, he sold my car and was not paying the mortgage on our home even though we had a solictor agreement (suggested by his side) that he paid that and I received no child maintenance. It suited him at the time as he got lodgers, his mates in, however, once they got bored of the parties and trashing the house they stopped paying rent and moved out.
My problem is that I dont stand up for myself, Ive heard people saying things about me and all this and I say nothing. Its one thing not defending yourself but I cant even defend my DC now and it is heartbreaking.
Despite what I put up with from him and how many times I forgave and forgot I feel guilty every day that our family broke up, it was the last thing I ever wanted to happen. I feel thats it for me now and cant see it getting better. He always said he would make me pay and he still is. I just want him to get on with his life and have a good time with DC.
If you have got this far thank you, I really appreciate it. Please can anyone help?
I know where the lies are coming from but I cant tell DC that his Dad makes things up
Of course you can! It's the truth and your son needs the truth now.
I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a dreadful time OP. I also had a very similar situation with my ex - it went on for decades and only stopped when he died. I had to generally outline the truth to my kids as, like you, I was eventually backed into a corner and there was nothing for it but the truth. I said along the lines that dad has some problems which means he distorts the truth - but he's still your dad etc.
It might help to call Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 to get some specific advice from the experts. This is domestic abuse, even though you no longer live together. It also might help to continue with some in-depth counselling to work on why you were attracted to an abuser/addict, even married him (I know you were young but there is more to it than that) and why you find it impossible to stick up for yourself.
I can relate to all you have said OP, the position you are in. Time tells the truth but at the moment your son desperately needs the truth and imo you have to tell it, the bare bones anyway. How old is your son btw?
Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to reply.
DS is 9.
I was attracted to him really as he liked me and we got together when we were really young, at the time he was not into drugs at all. We all used to go clubbing etc and everyone had a drink but it was as he got older that it made him horrible afterwards. The drugs started when he was older, after the birth of DS1 and he started going out with a new crowd, he was always quite insecure and I think he started because they all did it but it was coke and highly addictive. I think he wanted to fit in with them to be honest and after he had a close family death he turned to that again.
As for telling my son the truth, my son is asking me what his Dad is going to tell him when he is 18 but the truth is, I don't know what he is going to tell him, there is nothing more to tell so can only think he is going to make something else up. My son is upset that I won't tell him and I can't make him understand that there is nothing.
Thanks again for reading.
There is something, OP - there's that his dad is an addict. Please talk this through with Womens Aid who can give you some concrete advice and support, and also refer you to other agencies eg an org that can give your son some support. His dad is an addict (an abuser too, physical, mental, emotional - at least ) and there are, sadly, standard patterns of behaviour from abusers/addicts. Your son won't be the first and, sadly, not the last who has faced something like this.
There is also that you were abused when ex lived in the marital home, but you covered it up. You may not need to tell your son this (though "daddy hurt mummy" is something you could say - he is obviously still 'hurting' you, isn't he?). It sounds as though you want to sweep all this under the carpet (denial) but it won't go away. You have to find a way to face it, painful though that is.
You could also try the Freedom Programme, which is an excellent course that looks in depth at the behaviour of an abuser. Lots of other women there who are going through the same (or been through) so you will get a great deal of support. One near you!
Please don't say I'm trying to sweep it under the carpet, I'm not trying to do that at all. I've come on here to see if anyone has advice on how I can deal with it in the best way for DS. Thank you for the suggestion of Women's Aid, I have spoken to them before. The closest I have to help from them is £187.50 per 1.5 hour counselling sessions which I just can not afford at the moment. Believe me, if I could scrape this much together per fortnight I'd be there like a shot.
The problem is with DS, he adores his Dad, he does recognise he does wrong as he has grabbed him and shouted at him on more than one occasion. But at the moment I don't think hearing his Dad speak badly of me and vice versa it is going to confuse him even more. His little mind is already in turmoil over who is telling him the truth. I also recognise that this needs sorting now or risk the same patterns of behaviour coming out in him which I totally do not want to happen.
Thank you again for your posting.
You poor thing
I know it's really really hard but you have to tell your DS the truth. Children understand far more than adults give them credit for and it fucks with their head when they see one thing and are told something completely different. Imagine how you'd feel in the same situation - desperate for answers but being lied to all the time?
You need to sit him down and explain to him that Daddy has problems, he drinks too much and sometimes takes drugs and this makes him behave in a very bad way. That sometimes he hit mummy and he should never have done that and now he feels very guilty so he makes up lies to make himself feel better. Let him ask questions, and make it very clear that you love him and you did your best to make things better for everyone but sometimes situations between
adults get very difficult and it's not always easy to sort things out.
Now that your DS is 9 he should have a choice whether to see his dad or not. Given that your ex is feeding him vicious lies and stressing him out, which is a form of abuse, I think it might be worth looking into limiting contact as much as possible. Seeing as your ex is such a shit that might be very very hard but you really need to focus on making things better for your DS any way you can as it sounds like the poor thing is really suffering.
I don't mean you are sweeping the present situation under the carpet OP ie the dilemma you have been forced into re your son, I mean the abuse, the truth about it. I completely sympathise with almost an embarrassment that it ever took place, and continued. I completely sympathise with wanting to put it behind you and lock the door for ever, that it was bad enough at the time without going over it again. It is this though that I mean by 'sweeping it under the carpet' - it did happen, it was terrible, you covered for it. You can't go on covering for it.
ex has forced your son into this (), evidence of itself that he is an abuser. Excellent post and wording suggested by Writer. It will be a relief when you say it - the truth has a quality to it that, even though it's hard to hear, it sets you free because it's the truth.
I'm very surprised that you were offered only this by WA . I would have been in the exact-same position of not being able to afford that and when I heavily relied on them they gave me a great deal of support and advice for nothing, fully understanding that I couldn't possibly afford expensive therapy. Please go back to them again and make it clear that you do not have that kind of money, and ask for alternatives.
Thanks both, it is incredibly hard and sometimes its hard knowing whether knowing the truth is better. I haven't helped myself as there have been many times when he hasn't turned up or let them down and I've covered. Suppose now covering up is not the best policy, there is a saying it all comes out in the wash isn't there.
I'm just waiting to hear back from a counselling service that operates in my area and also some private medical insurance that includes couselling that we get at work. I'm feeling better already that I'm making a way forward with this. Had a good chat with DH and he said he will work extra to pay for the sessions if required which is a relief. I've been honest with him now about how things were and he is remarkably patient and understanding about it all which is a weight off my mind also.
Thanks again to both of you for taking the time to talk.
hi Bibiandlolasmummy, I am so sorry you are going through this. I'm not sure however that counselling is what you need right now. Your ex H is now emotionally abusing your son by doing what he is doing, he is causing him emotional harm, it is this that needs addressing. I personally would contact Women's Aid again and explain what is happening and ask for advice. When I was going through my troubles with my ex I found CAFCASS to be extremely helpful when it came to my DD's welfare so I wonder if they could help you also.
I do hope you manage to find help and advice from somewhere, your little boy should not be having to go through this and shame on your ex for causing it.
Great post, time. I hadn't thought of CAFCASS and yes, your boy is being abused OP . You must recognise the terrible confusion and deep unhappiness that your boy is going through OP - it is coming from the same source. ex can't do it to you directly any more so your son is getting it about you, which puts you in an almost impossible situation. These abusers, they cause so much pain and, when you look back, you realise the times they 'got' you again; though at the time you are in so much confusion it is so hard to think straight
I think that, although it is imperative that you get your son protected asap, I do think that counselling will be helpful for you as you go through this fresh crisis. It helps to call this what it is iyswim, that it is abuse and that you - nor your son, of course - deserve it or ever deserved it. A legacy of abuse is shame re the embarrassment that I mentioned earlier.
I think a lot of us know the dreadful pain you are going through OP. I hope you reach a solution soon xxx
oh and please do give the Freedom Programme a go! It is free and a wonderful support, very enlightening and empowering. Sorry to repeat it but it bears repeating x
Is your son's school aware of the situation? They may be able to offer him some form of counselling.
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