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How to go no contact when you are so afraid of them? (long)

(24 Posts)
ChangeNameChange007 Mon 22-Feb-16 15:01:01

I'm changing names not to be identified as I need some help on how to go about this.

I was married to a man who has a very dysfunctional family. During the time we were together, I was often used as an emotional punch bag by my then MIL and SIL. The pressure they put in our relationship was such, that at some point I chose leaving my husband as the best and only solution to keep them out of my life. Our marriage counselor, trying to make my then husband understand how bad his mom and sister were, labeled their behaviour as severely abusive.

My ex is not an angel, he is a very selfish person who is only worried about his own needs. During our marriage I endured financial, emotional and sexual abuse. He is also a coward that is very afraid of going against his mother's wishes and when she is angry, he lies to her and blames me for everything that happens.

We split almost 10 years ago, my exh stopped contact with our son years ago, not before he left him in pieces through sustained emotional abuse and neglect. During that time, my son was molested by my exh's partner's son.

It has taken 3 years to get my son back to a point where we can say he is a happy child. My scars are much deeper and I am still receiving counselling for it.

My exh doesn't have direct or regular indirect contact with DS, but from time to time does things that really affect us, like delaying maintenance, or writing to DS to tell him how wonderful his stepson (the abuser) is.

My exMIL continues to ring home with ridiculous demands, but often messes up DS trying to convince him that his dad actually loves him (and that involves bad mouthing me quite a bit). She puts a lot of pressure on him to contact his dad even when dad couldn't be less interested in resuming contact.

She also gets to lengths in telling me what a crap mother I am, even when I have been raising this child on my own, working long hours without any support for years (I don't have any relatives in this country, but I cannot go back to mine unless I decide to leave DS behind).

Naturally, every time the exMIL gets in touch, I end up very upset, it is as if all the abuse I received over the years, comes back. DS has not much of a relationship with them, it is all centered in promises of gifts over skype, they don't even speak the same language and they see each other face to face perhaps for about 2-3 hrs a year.

I want to cut contact BUT I am afraid of the backlash. I know if I cut contact she will put a lot of pressure on exH to resume contact, which will bring this hell of a nightmare back into our lives. At the same time, I feel awful at coming between DS and his dad, even when I know that I need to protect DS from him.

I'm tired of living in fear about what they would do next. Main fear is that when he gets angry, he stops maintenance, and considering my meagre income, doing so could realistically put me in a downward spiral financially speaking. At the moment, I am just barely managing.

How do I cut contact without making DS and I the subject of more abuse?

Resilience16 Mon 22-Feb-16 15:57:45

Name change, oh my God I just read your post and my heart goes out to you and your son, it really does.
Well done to you for getting away from this man. He and his family are still trying to control and abuse you both, so I really would say that for you and your sons mental welfare I would go totally non contact.
Go to Women's aid for further advice and support. The stopping maintenance or threatening to stop maintenance is another for of control and abuse. Get some benefits advice and see what you are entitled to if he stops paying, try Citizens Advice as they are free.
Regardless of the financial implications of going nc, I really do think it is something you need to do so that you and your son can fully escape this abusive situation and move on.
Emotional abuse is actually now considered a crime, so if you ex and family continue you could even go through the police.
Hugs for you. Good luck xx

Hissy Mon 22-Feb-16 16:59:34

Get another number, unplug the phone, let her leave messages.


You don't have to put up with this. If she harasses you or gets her son to, call the police. They will deal with the lot of them.

pocketsaviour Mon 22-Feb-16 17:04:34

Are you living in a country in which women generally enjoy the same legal protections as men? If you were to report ex-MiL for harassment, would the police give a shit?

Resilience16 Mon 22-Feb-16 17:09:52

Sorry, I read that as Name Change was living in this country now but was originally from somewhere else

ChangeNameChange007 Mon 22-Feb-16 22:39:14

Thanks for your messages, I really appreciate them.

It is a difficult situation and I am wondering how to go about the situation. I know that if and when we go no contact, they will start asking other people to report back on us. Over the last couple weeks I have had a couple of neighbours who NEVER show any interest of us, emailing me to check how are things even when I never gave them my email address and have not talked to them in years.

I also got a message from LinkedIn saying that his partner has been checking my profile (she is not and was never my friend, quite the opposite, last time I saw her in real life, years ago, she almost hit me with the car when she suddenly reversed full speed when I was trying to convince DS to put his seatbelt on).

I know it is all about the money, they know I have lost part of my income so I suppose they want to reduce the amount they are required to pay as soon as I return to the salary I had a few months ago. It won't be the first time they lower the maintenance as soon as they can (each is a very successful business man and owns part of the company he directs so he can and will "reduce" his salary at leisure to reduce child maintenance. He has done that at least three times.

I have told DS that he can call his dad if he wants to (he doesn't). I have blocked the MIL and SIL from contacting me via email or mobile today, but the house phone is more tricky. There is not much point in changing it as exH can always ask at the school or the GP to give it to him so I need to find a way around it. I feel like cancelling the phone but then we need the landline to have access to Internet...

LongHardStare Mon 22-Feb-16 22:51:17

The school or GP won't give out your number (especially if you make it clear to them)

Hissy Mon 22-Feb-16 22:59:00

You don't need to have the home line plugged into a phone to have Internet...

Just bin the house phone, give strict instructions for the school not to give out your details to a living soul, and block any flying monkey neighbours

It takes determination to shit these people out, but that is precisely why you have to.

ChangeNameChange007 Tue 23-Feb-16 19:51:43

The school and the GP will do as he pleases, as any good abuser, he can be very convincing and absolutely charming. DS is his child, he is a good liar and has a very old court order entitling him even to overnight contact. There is nothing in that order that he has respected, but the order exists nonetheless.

Hissy, that is a fantastic suggestion. I never use that phone any way, much cheaper than changing numbers or get the choose to refuse service from BT.

Hissy Wed 24-Feb-16 21:16:44

Tell the school your situation, explain the charm thing and reiterate how much danger there is in this. Speak to the head, they have been trained in this.

ladylambkin Wed 24-Feb-16 23:13:48

Call Child Maintenance Service to get your child maintenance sorted through them

springydaffs Wed 24-Feb-16 23:56:35

I'm so sorry you are in this awful situation.

Have you had contact with Women's Aid?

springydaffs Thu 25-Feb-16 00:07:21

I am horrified you encourage ds to have a relationship with this awful man. I'm sorry to be blunt. It beggars belief that so many mother's feel a misplaced guilt about the relationship between their children and their horrifically abusive fathers.

Please. Do not encourage a relationship between them. This horrific man provided one sperm: that's it. It doesn't a father make. Please, get out of your head that your boy needs this horror in his life. You have to accept he doesn't have a father - it sounds like your boy has already accepted that.

Hopefully, with the help of Women's Aid you can make some inroads into getting free of these horrific people. No amount of money is worth this torture and trauma. (I don't say that easily but I do mean it).

Please contact Women's Aid.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 25-Feb-16 00:35:46

You can block everyone other than the XH from contacting you in any way. None of these people have any legal right to any kind of engagement from you, so they can all piss off. And the XH can be made to restrict his contact to emails via a third party - the law will enforce the child's right to contact with the father, but not the father's 'right' to harass you.
Get onto Women's Aid, they will help you. Neighbours etc can be formally warned to leave you alone, as well.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 25-Feb-16 13:39:07

Change, I think he may have you convinced that he has more power and influence than he actually does. That's part of the effects of abuse.

Remember that schools and doctors must obey privacy laws and they take them very seriously. Speak to them and stress that they are NOT authorized by you to give out any of your personal information. And a court order regarding access does NOT in any way act as a release of information form.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 25-Feb-16 14:03:46

How old is your son?

Can't you take him on holiday to your home town and seek legal advice ?

ChangeNameChange007 Thu 25-Feb-16 14:17:02

Springydaff, many resident parents keep the door open to abusive non resident parents for the simple reason that you can be liable to 6m in jail if you break a contact order, IME courts are happy to pay attention to nrp claiming you are blocking contact, but they are less supporting when it cones to approve that the other parent is an abuser.

Who on Earth do you think will be taking care of DS if I go to jail or if my ex aaccusses me of blocking contact??? My neighbours? No, the abusive parent. hmm

ChangeNameChange007 Thu 25-Feb-16 14:20:23

I have received support from Woman's Aid and yes, I applied to CMO for child maintenance, but being a company owner, he can and has reduced the amount he claims to earn to lower his cm payments.

ChangeNameChange007 Thu 25-Feb-16 15:03:30

SGb, it comes down to that, the hesitation is the financial repraisals if I annoy them.

Accrossthepond, you may have a point there, I just wish there was something I could quote. It normally goes down to parental responsibility, he has it and therefore is entitled to see DS' medical and school records which, naturally, include my contact details.

Quitelikely, it is not as easy to take a child abrad and stay there, once a court order is in place for contact (or it has been applied for) nobody can remove the child from the country of residency for more than 30 days without permission from court. Failing to get that remocval of jurisdiction permission (which can cost £10,000s in legal fees if opposed by the ex). will be classed and prosecuted as kidnapping. As a signatory to The Hague agreements, my country, as most countries in the world, is expected to return the child to the country of residency and to hand me to its police if I or my ex do that.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 25-Feb-16 15:48:44

He may be entitled to see his son's school progress records and medical history information, but that doesn't mean that he's entitled to YOUR information, unless he has court orders that require you to provide him with DS's physical address. Even then, the school/doctor would not be allowed to release that information without your permission.

I'm going by what I remember and also what's normal in the US. I'd suggest that first you go to the school and review his records yourself for PII (Personally Identifiable Information). I'd think his grades record and schoolwork papers wouldn't have your address/phone number. I'd think that the only place it would be would be in his registration papers which should be held in the main office or the attendance office. Anyway, I'd find out where the PII is held in relationship to what he needs to know to keep track of DS' school progress. Once you have that information you should be able to proceed with measures to guard your PII. Request that a notice be put in the file/computer that he is NOT to be given that information and that pages 'XYZ' are to be pulled or redacted before being released. If your PII does happen to be in the teacher's grades or his classroom files/records, request it be removed. It certainly isn't necessary for the teacher to have it, she can get it from the office if she needs it.

Same thing for medical records. I don't know about there, but here when I've seen copies of my records my address/phone number aren't on them. If everything is computerized, they (at least here) certainly don't sit someone down at a computer and say 'here, have a look' and let you troll through the records. They usually print out whatever it is the person/parent specifically wants. Again, you can ask how the information is stored and what you need to do to be sure he doesn't gain access to your PII. Yours won't be the only situation like this and I'm sure they have ways to safeguard that information.

I worked 35 years in a govt office dealing with one of the largest personal information databases in the United States. I went from the days of paper filing cabinets to direct online access. There are always safeguards in place, it's just a matter of finding out what they are. The school and doctor's office are bound by law to help you preserve your privacy and security. You don't need to show them anything. Trust me, they are well aware of the laws already.

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you just sound so frightened of him and I think it's carrying over into your dealings with others, making you afraid of asking for anything from anybody. Have you considered counseling? I had it after I left and abusive relationship. I was afraid of 'rocking the boat' with just about anybody. Even total strangers taking the piss, I'd be afraid to stand up for myself because they 'might be mad at me'. Not get violent, just 'be mad' and think I was a bitch. Anyway, think about it.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 25-Feb-16 15:49:06

jeez, that's a wordy post! Sorry.

ChangeNameChange007 Thu 25-Feb-16 17:54:35

I made the school aware and I noticed that after he requested a meeting with the headteacher she was never the same tiwards me. He has a form for telling people that I'm stalking him because I am jealous want him back (yes, that bloody twisted) and hence I want to destro his relationship with his son.

DS current school can't be trusted with this information.i was not aware that exh had been bad mouthing me with them until I received a list of emergency contacts to review which included his heavily guarded addres (he cannot justify such a house on his reported income) name and a note saying do not disclose this address to child's mother under ANY circumstances.

I'm fully trained in UK Data Protection Regulations, the rules are great but there are quite a lot of companies and employees that do not give a shit about protecting personal information even when you try bloody hard to explain why they should.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:01:30

Then is there a way to put down another address (friend/relative) or a PO Box? Review the records perhaps, so at least you know what info is where?
Schools must have some type of procedure for your situation. I know nothing is guaranteed, but at least take advantage of what you can. All you can do is all you can do, but it's better than nothing.

The closest I can come is a friend not wanting her ex to know where she lived. Unfortunately here you must provide the child's physical address so they can be sure the child lives in the district. So she went to the school and their court order showing they were divorced was put in her son's files. That was the proof they needed to withhold her address. He tried to get them to tell him where she lived, they turned him down. He demanded the right to 'review' his son's files, they removed the emergency contact page before they let him.

I guess it may be a bit different here. Perhaps we're just more paranoid. All I know is that release of info, especially if it results in unwanted contact or, God Forbid, violence means instant dismissal. I know that's too little, too late but it is a great deterrent from people being 'sloppy' about disclosure. I know we were especially paranoid when someone was trying to get address information. We even had someone 'serve' us with a fake subpeona trying to get his children's whereabouts.

springydaffs Fri 26-Feb-16 18:44:05

Apologies for getting the wrong end of the stick op flowers

That court order can be changed - Or you can do your damnest to get it changed. I appreciate this isn't easy. The fact is he has you manipulated, your daily life is considerably affected, your boy traumatised from the abuse. I divorced a powerful, rich, s/e abuser (with a powerful etc family) so I do appreciate how hard it is to make headway. I frequently collapsed under the pressure (as it was long haul sad). It is easy to feel, and get, isolated, to battle on alone, to give up, or settle (particularly as there are other things to be done, a life to live!). So I would urge you to get back in touch with Women's Aid and to heavily use them. Rights for Women is also a useful org.

I also intermittently re -did the Freedom Programme bcs it's not hard to feel snowed under and the FP gave me the shot in the arm I needed to keep going.

I appreciate you need to pace yourself but I'd want to know what he told your boys ht. You don't have to take this shit - though I appreciate it's NOT easy.

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