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No contact with grandfather - it's the right thing to do right?

(11 Posts)
iamdoingmybest Fri 04-Apr-14 08:48:31

I have nc for this. My parents are mid divorce proceedings. They had been married for 40 years. He was emotionally abusive, controlling and, at times, violent. One of my siblings died as a child and I made massive allowances for his behaviour all of my life and so has DM, but through recent conversations with my Dsis I realised I blanked out of my memory some real low points in our childhood.

We have had only very sporadic contact with him for the last couple of years due to an incident where he was verbally abusive to my DH and my Dsis asked him to leave my house. I have two DDs who are too young to understand why he didn't come to visit any more. When they asked, I told them that I couldn't explain it to them and I would explain it when they were old enough to understand, and they have accepted that for now. I took them to see him several times but each time found him manipulative and difficult and I became reluctant to maintain contact.

Earlier this year he assaulted my mother in their house and threatened to kill her. She believed that he would. She did manage to call the police and he was charged, and the case comes to court in a few weeks. I have had no contact at all since, but he emailed this week to say he'd sent Easter eggs for my DDs. I am uncomfortable with the subject of him coming up again with them as they seem to have stopped asking about him. My mum has been living with us for months but we are helping her move into a new home soon and so far I have told the DDs that she is moving but not why.

I am pretty sure that it is the right thing to have nothing more to do with him, but I do have moments of self doubt. I am also unsure as to how much to tell DCs. I'm worried that anything near the truth, even in age appropriate language, will create concern about the other adults in their lives disappearing. They are very happy secure DCs and I want it to stay that way.

Sorry it's so long. Was trying to summarise without dripfeeding.

Meerka Fri 04-Apr-14 08:58:38

Given his behaviour and that the assault was so recent, it seems to me that your gut instinct is the right one and that actually you know it - you just need reassuring.

He does sound dangerous.

Just an aside, I would put things in age-appropriate ways -if- your children ask about him again. For instance that he acted very badly indeed to grandma and seriously hurt and scared her, and acted badly to Daddy and that until he promises not to do that again, you can't be in contact. As they grow older you can give more details. If they don't ask again, then no need to bring it up for some years maybe.

Would you actually formally tell him you want no further contact or would you simply throw away all gifts? depending on how manipulative he is, might he bring gifts round to the house and thus re-awaken things for the children?

Trifle Fri 04-Apr-14 08:59:29

I don't know why you have to say anything more than he was not a nice man. The whole issue of not telling them as they are not old enough escalates a simple enough matter. Why would you want to expose your dc's to someone unpleasant, I never understand why people even consider it. It's not as if they are missing out on anything as they don't even know him.

Finola1step Fri 04-Apr-14 09:12:38

You are doing the right thing. Do not expose your own dc to a man who you know, through your own experience, is abusive. No more needs to be said right now.

iamdoingmybest Fri 04-Apr-14 09:20:25

Meerka you are right that I do know it really. Your advice about what to say to them feels right to me, and I am also of the opinion that no need to mention it unless directly asked. But I do want to be ready if they do. I am not sure whether I would directly tell him or not. I had assumed that he understood there to be no contact, but then I got this email about easter gifts!

Trifle they do remember him and they have asked about him many times in the last year or so. He can be very charming when he wants to be and most of my friends have been really shocked about what's happened, so it is not as simple from the inside as I am sure it appears from the outside. I take your point though.

Finola thank you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 04-Apr-14 09:34:35

The Easter gifts don't change anything. You can accept them and give them to charity, for example, or you could give them to your DCs. You wouldn't have to explain where they came from and there would be no obligation to resume contact or express thanks.

iamdoingmybest Fri 04-Apr-14 09:48:19

good point Cogito. This is a good example of how he presses my buttons. I feel obliged to respond. But perhaps I can not.

Finola1step Fri 04-Apr-14 09:52:43

You don't need to respond wrt to the Easter eggs. It's just chocolate. Bin them, give them to your neighbours. It doesn't matter. You and your dc are worth way more than a couple of poxy Easter eggs.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 04-Apr-14 10:46:27

His abusive nature has not fundamentally altered. Any Easter eggs if received from him should be disposed of and without any acknowledgment. Consider too blocking his e-mail address from your inbox as of now.

If he is too difficult/abusive/toxic for you to deal with it is the same for your both vulnerable and defenceless children.

Bogeyface Fri 04-Apr-14 11:49:28

Could he know that your mother is moving? Seems a bit of a coincidence that he suddenly crawls out of the wood work when your mum is moving on.

I rather suspect that this is more about her than you, he is trying to worm his way back in with you in order to gain access to her to continue the abuse. Abusers dont give up their victims easily, and they really dont like it when the victim refuses to allow the abuse to continue.

For your mothers sake as well as yours and your childrens, stay well away from this vile monster.

iamdoingmybest Fri 04-Apr-14 13:57:00

Yes he does know that she is moving as she has informed him, via solicitors that she will be collecting things from the house (it is a bail condition that he does not contact her, so we have asked that he vacate while we collect her things) so I suspect you are right, it's no coincidence.

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