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Help please, abusive step father.

(9 Posts)
Wrappedinablanket Mon 02-May-16 10:11:10

I'm not sure what I'm looking for in posting this, support I suppose.
I have nc because it's only partly my story and the most offended against isn't me.

So... Some context.I am divorcing my abusive, controlling bastard of a husband. Over a year down the line, not fun but I'm coping.

We've been married 20 years, no children together, though I had some children from my first marriage, including Esme ( not actual name) who was then 7.

Esme is now married with children and lives thousands of miles away. Just before she emigrated, last year, she told me this:

When she was 14, I was out one evening - a rare thing, I can tell you, the list of approved places I was "allowed" to go to was small. Although she wasn't the youngest child, my ex had arranged things so that all the other children were in bed and he and Esme had a "treat" of watching a film alone together. Little way into the film he decided to give Esme a back rub. Over her clothes, but a highly unusual thing for him to do.
She was surprised and quickly became uncomfortable with it. Gradually his hands started stroking her sides, then her tummy and she realised he was heading for her breasts.
She jumped up, saying "I need the loo" and ran upstairs to the bathroom. When she came out he was right outside the door. He said "You were obviously uncomfortable with the back rub. Good for you for acting on your instincts (WTF does that even mean? If you hadn't run away I'd have sexually assaulted you). However, under no circumstances must you ever tell Mum".

So she didn't, reasonably enough, until 12 years later, just before she left the country.

In conversations since she told me she hadn't felt comfortable with him since and she used to put towels along the bottom of her bedroom door because she was afraid he'd spy on her. She also told me he'd hacked into her email account and also read her diaries. She caught him by setting traps, things only mentioned in one or the other that he would bring up.

So, what a complete and utter cunt he is. Currently she isn't speaking with him, which of course makes him a victim.

I completely believe Esme, although I had no suspicion of this at the time. I'm totally open to her talking about it whenever she wants to. I'm being as supportive as I can.

No-one else in RL knows, except my solicitor and WA counsellor. It's not for me to tell her siblings or anyone. I wish he could be prosecuted, but a) it's Esme's choice and b) I doubt the police would be interested, I think they'd say nothing actually happened. But the intention was there.

Any other ideas of what I can say or do to support Esme? Was an offence committed - legally I mean, obviously it was morally.

And how do I get my head round this? The bastard spends a day each weekend being Disney Dad with some of the other children (all adult), but he's not a Disney dad he's a monster. ( Other evidence for his monstrosity). And he's got away with it.

Be kind, I had no fucking idea this had happened. I'm not someone who wanted a man whatever the cost to my children. There is stuff in my background that cuntish ex knew about which makes me feel even worse. He was a predator looking for vulnerability.

amarmai Mon 02-May-16 12:43:39

i'd be warning everyone as he did not try it on esme and no one else.. It's never just the once if that's his bent. Get counselling as you have had bad memories revived from abuse of your own. You did a good job as a mum as esme trusted her instincts and saved herself. Get support and stop keeping this man's secret.

Wrappedinablanket Mon 02-May-16 14:18:04

That's one of my concerns. Esme is unlikely to be his one and only victim. He doesn't know I know about this.

I am having counselling, which has helped a lot.

The woman he moved onto after me had two teenage daughters when they first got involved. They are late teens & early twenties now and I don't know if they have anything to do with him. Or if he is still seeing their mum. I thought about warning their father but wonder if I'd just come across as the bitter ex wife. Rather than the relieved, much happier ex wife.

GretchenBeckett Mon 02-May-16 14:29:12

Thank you so much for this thread! Something very similar happened to my dd. I regarded it as grooming and I threw him out the day she told me. Dd did feel able to talk to the police which I respected but I wanted people to know how vile he was so it might protect others. So I reported him to the police for the two times he had raped me during the marriage. He got a lengthy prison sentence and will be on sex offenders register for life.

GretchenBeckett Mon 02-May-16 14:29:53

Dd didnt feel able to talk to police.

amarmai Mon 02-May-16 14:40:05

sounds as if he is seeking out women with teenage dds. Ask your counsellor for advice on how to get him on police radar.

Wrappedinablanket Mon 02-May-16 14:53:04

Good for you Gretchen. I bet he really didn't think of himself as a sex offender.

My ex raped me too. It was just before we married. We were both part of a church and it was really, really important to me that we "wait". I don't think this any longer, btw, but that was my belief 20 years ago.

I said no, over and over and tried to fight him off. The more I fought, the more excited he became. My children were in the house and I didn't want to scare them. I also blamed myself for because we'd kissed and had some intimacy. At that time it didn't cross my mind that I could say no at any point. He had not an ounce of doubt that I meant no, I was begging him to stop. That was part of the thrill for him.

I went on to marry him because my religion taught that that was the only thing I could reasonably do now. It affected me terribly, partly because I'd "transgressed" so it devastated my self esteem and sense of integrity. I came from a truly fucked up background, (one of the reasons my integrity was so important to me, I grew up in a family where it was strikingly absent) if anyone wonders why the hell I'd marry my rapist. I didn't recognise it as rape.

I've never breathed a word of this to anyone. I feel great shame over it. A) because I was stupid enough to believe the religious, patriarchal angle, b) because I'd had some sexual intimacy with him - what did I expect 🙁c) because I didn't recognise rape or abuse or red flags and married him d) After a year or so of marriage he decided to confess to the church elders and I was dragged through a church court where a panel of men heard all the details and condemned me. More humiliation and shaming, as if I hadn't already had enough of that in my life.

He confessed so that people would think badly of me. He told me that. He knew the woman would be more blamed than the man. Eve stuff, you know.

Far too late for justice now.

Penfold007 Mon 02-May-16 15:35:43

You could report the historical rape if you wanted to. Speak to your counsellor if you feel able. I'm sorry you and your family have been through this ordeal.

GretchenBeckett Mon 02-May-16 17:10:47

You can still report the rape. There's no time limit. Mine was years ago and he was still imprisoned

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