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ExP coercing child (long)(34 Posts)
My exP with whom I have DS (6) - carried out emotional, physical and financial abuse toward me when we were together. His mother was totally complicit in this and threatened to have DS taken off me the night I had her son arrested for violent assault of me and his 4 month old son.
The antagonism has continued on a pretty much weekly basis for those 5.5 years since we separated for one spurious reason or another. I have had him warned by my sol for harassment.
Since September, DS has been going to a club one day after school, arranged by his dad (with my initial agreement) and which his paternal grandmother collects him from as the childminder can't be expected to accommodate it along with the other kids she looks after. DS told me just after Christmas that GM was not nice to him when she collected him (no surprise), was bullying or ignoring him and he ate his dinner alone in the kitchen with the TV on while GM and GF watched TV in the living room and study, respectively. However, he did not want to stop his club.
Roll on Easter holidays and further assertions by DS that he really doesn't want to go to GM's after club, will give up club in order not to have to go there. Also - and I realise I can do nothing about this - he has been left at GM's overnight when in his dad's care (has him 2 nights a week, alternating Thu/Fri and Sat/Sun) which he hated. He asked to text his dad to say that he did not want to stay at GM's again as his dad did not believe me when I told him - then when his dad still did not believe him, rang his dad to tell him.
I am well aware that exP is terrified of his mother and will not be passing the message along. I told him that DS has asked to stop club and will be going back to childminder from next week. Cue abusive message from GM, accusing me of treating her like a dogsbody (? - I never made the arrangement for the club, it was his dad's idea and certainly isn't in any way helping me out - if she had said no to collecting after club, DS would not have gone and would still be at CM's) and saying that it wasn't worth collecting DS just to feed him as it meant she could not make arrangements to see her friends on that day (she is 2 years retired).
I got a call this morning from DS who has been with his dad Sat/Sun, saying he wanted to stop going to the CM and wanted to go to GM's every day. I told him we would talk later but that the CM was expecting him and - for his dad's benefit as I knew he was listening - that I would be turning up at GM's to get him and I would not be alone, if daddy took him there instead of CM.
CM emailed me to say that DS v upset had arrived at hers and told her he wanted to go to her house and not GM's, that daddy had made him tell me that and he didn't mean it.
Would this fall under the definition of coercive control in the new law? I know I can't stipulate what he does with DS when he is there, but when he is supposed to be returned to my care (or CM in my place), I can feel they are building up to trying to take DS off me for real.
Sorry it's so long - thanks for reading and hope it makes sense. There may be drip feeds or I can refer you to my old old threads from 2010 when I was first assaulted.
In what way can your ex be said to be coercively controlling you, or are you saying that he is coercing and controlling your ds?
You've said that "the antagonism has continued on a pretty much weekly basis for those 5.5 years since we separated" and that your solicitor has warned your ex against harassing you. In what way does he harass you and does he do it in person or by phone/email etc?
How long were you with your ex before separating some 5.5 years ago? I note that your ex was arrested on one occasion; has he been arrested/detained by the police on other occasions and has he at any time been cautioned or prosecuted for injury(ies) he inflicted on you?
I can feel they are building up to trying to take DS off me for real Please don't worry as this is NOT going to happen.
Tthe only way to deal with bullies is to face them down and you appear to have successfully faced your ex down today by telling your ds that you "would be turning up at GM's to get him" and that you would not be alone "if daddy took him there instead of CM." Well done you!
After I've read your response to my questions, we can put our minds to working out a strategy that will put these odious people and their threats in their place once and for all.
My love, let me gently ask you this:
What exactly did you expect?
You know these are highly manipulative and deeply flawed supposed humans.
You know that they will stop at nothing to get their way, and they will use literally anyone or anything in execution of their desires/wants/needs.
Literally everyone alive is merely collateral damage.
You can't handle your ex.
You can't handle his mother
HE can't handle his own mother.
And you allow a six year old to be in their sole care?
I'm not pointing the finger at you, but love, you're attributing normal people rules to seriously fucked up people and giving them your very young child.
He stops his clubs, he stops direct access to his dad, and his DM needs to wind her neck in. She takes it up with her son, not you.
Make it clear to the ex that he is not going to do this to your son again, and that until your son is old enough to stand up for himself, he won't be left unsupervised.
The fact he's scared of his mother is not your problem anymore, it's his.
goddess and hissy thank you. I think he is coercively controlling DS (he hasn't realised yet that he never wins with me, after 9 years total relationship, 5.5 apart) by making him say that he wants to go to his GM instead of the CM - when CM and I know for absolutely certain that DS does not want to go there. I overheard DS telling another child on holiday last week about his "nasty grandma", when he would not have known I could hear him talking.
DS is being made to tell me things he does not mean and being made to go somewhere he does not want to.
I have an awesome and fearsome (local renown) sol who gives it to me straight. I have to facilitate a relationship between DS and this abusive c&£t until such time as DS is of an age where his wishes can be taken into account - around 11/12. She also has written a letter warning exP not to communicate with me unless to do with DS. However when Ex gets drunk (weekly, at least 3 nights), I am subjected to email tirades about my joke job (v senior govt role) and my lack of friends (I don't have a lack, by any stretch). I showed these vile attacks to the GM a few months ago in the stupid hope she would tell him to leave me alone. Next time it happens I will go to the police again.
So I have to let him go to his dad for the next few years, regardless. I will send a letter from the sol about the coercive control and see if that makes him back off. He never hit me again after he was arrested. He's been cautioned for drunk & disorderly and breach of the peace and possession in the past. He has a hugely serious job in the legal world, so he's playing with fire there. I was persuaded by my mother (think Patbot, if you're Archers fans) not to press charges as his job was our only real income while I was on maternity leave. I got my job 3 months later and kicked him out. He thought we were going for Sunday lunch at his parents' but I walked in, told them I had had enough and he was their problem now. Changed the locks and put his stuff in the garden.
After the abusive text, GM was immediately blocked and will never be unblocked. She knows this. She then sent a message to me via the CM (who was deeply unimpressed) wishing me a happy holiday. CM had seen the vile one and knows exactly what she is like. Have asked GM via exP to leave CM alone - there is no reason for them to interact at all. But I can't do anything about DS being sent there when ex has him, not about how she treats him. I just need to keep building him up to withstand them and stand up to them and not allow them to win until he can walk away and have nothing to do with them. He is clearly deeply upset by what his father makes him say, hence the confessions to the CM (and me when I collected him) as well as his huge clinginess and tales of being sad at daddy's.
- the fact he's scared of his mother means that DS is being subjected to going there rather than being protected from her, which does mean it's my problem as she will no doubt psychologically punish DS for this when she gets it out of exP, which she will. Much as she finds it inconvenient to have to pick DS up from club and make him dinner, it's hugely embarrassing to have to explain to her pals why she's not any more. Of course she will blame me and my "vendetta" rather than examine her own personality. Narcs are like that... (I know what I am dealing with).
ExP has just told me that DS is lying. I think I can tell when my son is lying. And so can the CM who has known him from a baby and probably has spent more time with him than anyone else, come to think of it.
Just stop sending your son if he doesn't want to go.
I am not legally allowed to do that and no judge would tell me it was ok to stop sending him to his dad's. He won't be going to GM after school any more but there is nothing I can do about the time he is with his dad.
If I can prove coercive control then maybe there can be conditons imposed re making him tell me things he doesn't mean or going to GM when he clearly does not want to. He told his dad by text and over the phone why he did not want to and his dad disregarded it because he is too scared of telling his mother she is a nasty piece of work and would rather subject his son to the same shit he was subjected to as a child than stand up to her and face the consequences.
Were you married to your ex? If not, is he named as the father on your ds's birth certificate and does he pay child maintenance regularly?
What contact does he currently have with ds and is this determined by court order (if so, when?) or is it an informal arrangement?
When your ds called you this morning did he do so from your ex's home or his paternal gm's home?
No, not married but yes on BC and has PR. Pays maintenance in full like clockwork.
Arrangement is through mediation at the solicitors and is in writing - 2 nights a week, alternating Thu/Fri and Sat/Sun.
He called from his dad's and went from there to the CM. But apparently his GM rang him up before he spoke to me, as I discovered in the car on the way home.
This situation exactly shows the flaws in the family courts. Yes you can leave an abusive relationship, but you will then be forced to send your child unprotected in the sole care of the perpetrator. And then people ask 'why don't women just leave'. As we know, good parents don't abuse the other one, so why the courts still allow unsupervised access for perpetrators is beyond me. It's just so sad and condemns millions of parents and children to a life of misery and perpetuates the cycle as the children have such had role models to Model their own relationships on.
Hi phoenix - what did who say? DS or ExP? This morning or this evening? Sorry for being dense!
Does your ds have a mobile phone?
Do you know what your ds feared may have happened if he hadn't phoned you this morning and told youi he didn't want to go the cm's anymore and that he wanted to go to his gm's every day?
Have there been other occasions when your ex or his mother have attempted to put words into your ds's mouth?
You have said your ds told you after Christmas that he is "bullied" by his gm when she takes him to her home after collecting him from the afterschool club. In what way does she 'bully' him? What day of the week did he go to the club and who collected him up from his gm's home?
I would ensure that you speak to the school about the current situation and insist that DS has an adult at school he is encouraged to speak to regarding it all. That is then someone independent who can help advocate for him and his desires.
Your CM unfortunately is employed by you so I think it could be argued that she will say what you want rather than being truly independent!
No, he uses his dad's. Who will have had to unlock it so he could call me.
I haven't asked him but I imagine along the lines of "I/GM will be v sad if you don't tell mummy you want to go to GM's and not the childminder this week".
Ha, funny you ask. EXP has a drink (and drug) problem and has told DS not to tell me when he has a beer before DS goes to bed. He also tells DS not to tell me they spent all weekend watching football indoors at his friend's house instead of allowing DS to go and play at his schoolmate's (schoolmate's mum texted me to arrange a time but I said I was not with DS and would pass her details on to exP.) He also called himself a fucking cunt (whilst hungover and clearly massively regretful - I can totally envisage it) in front of DS who was mortified and horrified and immediately reported it to CM, my mum and me.
DS has dyspraxia and is only just 6. He has knocked over a vase of twigs (I kid you not and realise how MN cliche this is) at their house and got a roaring telling off. I've knocked the bloody twigs before - they are on the half landing windowsill and snag on clothes. He has also been roared at (by GF and GM) for not flushing the toilet properly (it's one of those annoying ones you have to sort of pump a few times to get it started). And shouted at for touching ornaments (there are literally thousands, including slippers from a Marriott hotel they stayed at 15 years ago - because it's the poshest thing they can think of) and for being noisy. She makes a dyspraxic child bring her cup of tea upstairs and gets cross when he spills it. She sticks the Tv on or gives him the iPad when he comes in and ignores him - goes on the phone to her friends or has friends over anyway. He has complained about the noise when he is trying to get to sleep - two or three TVs on and them either talking to one another over that or people over playing bridge etc. They were arseholes like that to me before he was born and now they are picking on him.
I pick him up from their house after work at the time I would collect from the CM. The school is v near their house and he is fed and ready (usually watching tv on his own) by the time I arrive.
Good idea, Random. I will do that - with his SENCO as she is the one he loves the most.
I also imagine he will be told that it's just babies at the CM's and girls. Ignoring the fact that CM's son, who he has known all his sentient life is there - they are like brothers. Apparently were glued to one another all day today. And it's not babies, there are a 7yo boy, 6yo girl and boy and a 5yo who attend on various days who he has known for years and loves. Only a couple of 1yo girls who aren't there every day - plus CM's nephews and nieces who are all junior schoolers. And his doggy best friend. He loves it there, always has done. It's as familiar to him as my house.
Does your ds enjoy the afterschool club or has he said that he'd rather go the cm's? How many times a week does the cm care for him after school and dooes your ex sometimes pick him up from the cm/s home?
Who cares for ds during any part of the school holidays that you are unable to be with him?
Is contact court ordered? If not, then stop sending him. Perhaps the judge will order access to be in a contact centre, therefore you will no longer have the problem of DS being sent to his GM's house.
He has said he would rather go to the CM (but that could be today's upset talking, though he has said it a couple of times before now in recent weeks since term ended and activity memory fades. He does love it when I have seen him on the few times I have been able to do pick up). He can do the same activity at the weekend with another provider which would be fine by both me and exP (have that in writing from ex and have confirmed there is a place next term if he wants it).
He goes to the CM every weekday after school bar every other Friday (so 9 days out of 10) when his dad collects him from school. I still pay for those Fridays just in case and for school holidays. since September, one day in the week in term time when club is on (so that's been about 16 out of the last 30 weeks as I collected him a few times, plus he was ill once or twice). I'm hoping it's not going to be seen as an established precedent as it's only been for just under 2 terms.
His dad will usually have him for 10 days in the summer to go away and maybe about five other days in the school hols across the year - but generally he's at CM in school hols unless his dad or I take him away (I just did a week away but his dad is not taking any days this Easter). He's at independent school - the holidays are longer, so lots of days with CM.
Not court ordered, agreed in mediation 5 years ago, so lots of precedent for established pattern of care, no previous concerns about sending him to his dad's. I've talked this option through with my sol and tbh, the coercion and mindfuckery is so hard to prove that it would be a rare magistrate or judge who would make any change to such an established pattern. I thought that as DS got older and was more like me in their eyes, that this would start. GM bullies and belittles and adulates and dismisses exP (classic Narc but as only child, he's scapegoat and golden in one). I've never met anyone so terrified of their mother or with such an inferiority complex/paranoia what people think of him. Charming and charismatic on the surface, hates himself underneath. GM loathes me because I am the opposite. she's the same - hates herself and is jealous of me on one hand, yet I have heard from other mutual acquaintance that she basks in any reflected glory she can from me. Which is fucking weird as she's only ever tried to take me down in real life.
Magistrates do not sit in family courts and judges make changes to 'established patterns' every day of the week.
no previous concerns about sending him to his dad's
Your ex has left your ds alone with his gm/gps for extended periods including overnight on a number of occasions. Your ds has told you he's unhappy when he's left with his gm because she shouts at him, ignores him, and humiliates him by making this 6yo child, who she knows full well is dyspraxic, bring her cups of tea upstairs and gets cross with him when the inevitable happens and he spills them.
After you told your ex that ds didn't want to be left with gm he persisted in leaving the child with her, whereupon your ds "asked to text his dad to say that he did not want to stay at GM's again" as his dad did not believe you when you told him and then, when his dad "still did not believe" that you were accurately reflecting your ds's wishes, your ds found the courage to ring "his dad to tell him" that he didn't want to be left with his gm.
The fact of the matter is that since September of last year and, no doubt on occasions prior to that time when he was left with his gm, your ds has been subjected to child abuse and it has to stop NOW before he suffers signficant emotional harm.
As I'm aware that you may have gone to bed, or will be retiring soon, I would suggest that you refrain from making contact with your solicitor until you've given consideration to what I will be suggesting in a further response.
( Aside - Goddess: 'Magistrates do not sit in family courts' - yes they do. )
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