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Is this EA/manipulation/gas lighting etc

(24 Posts)
Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 15:29:53


ExP and I are in the middle of an acrimonious split. He was arrested several months ago for DV and found guilty of ABH.

I have tried unsuccessfully to try to make things amicable - he pretends I don't exist.

He has reported me to social services, told the authorities that our child is in danger from a sibling, had my neighbours spy on me etc etc.

Before the arrest I experienced a year of truly horrible emotional abuse from him.

Today at handover I tried to communicate that I needed him to wait before driving off.

He was his usual 10 feet away from me, ignoring me, because he's 'afraid' that I'll make further allegations against him.

So, I had to raise my voice so he could hear me. All I said was 'hang in a minute, please.'

I was about to explain why I needed him to wait but he immediately started the 'attacked victim' act holding his hands up and saying I didn't need to be so acidic with him.

I didn't do anything except say those 5 words.

This is something I experienced with him regularly - I would say something, he would decide I was being unpleasant, I would try to defend myself, he would get angry and insist I was lying/gas lighting/manipulating. It would turn into a row which would inevitably be all my fault.

Help me figure this out because I'm sat here once again questioning my own perception of things.

KateInKorea Sun 19-Jun-16 15:31:32

Yes it is.

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 15:35:24

How do I deal with it?

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 15:37:15

Yes it is.

Solution: only communicate via email. When he arrives have DC ready to go, talk to them say goodbye and wave... nothing else. If there is anything at all to say, any reminders, etc, email it.

Stop trying so hard. You are tying yourself in knots and he is probably enjoying your doing so. Remember his ego needs to be able to blame you for his every action, including the DV. He won't be able to accept that his actions are his, you have to take responsibility. In trying to be nice you are accepting that role... so stop it.

Channel Yoda: Cucumber cool, you are!

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 15:40:31

Set up a new email address, specially for him, nice name, nothing combative. Start with something like this:

Dear Ex, you drove away before I could remind you X, Y Z. As verbal communication is proving difficult it will be best to use email to exchange all arrangements for DC. Please use this email address for all future communication, Yours, froginapan

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 19-Jun-16 15:42:09

Does your child look forward to seeing him?.

I would also consider now formalising all access through the courts given his behaviour and particularly if arrangements to date have been informal.

He was never ever going to be reasonable with you post separation. He will continue to use any and all means as punishment against you for you having the gall in his eyes to actually leave him (he thinks he is Mr Perfect).

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 15:42:43

Oh yes, he blames me.

His exact words a couple of weeks ago were: I don't want to end up in a police cell again because of you. The person you have been of late is a complete stranger to me. I am afraid of you.

I guess he's regretting me finally going to the Drs and getting antidepressants; the depressed, anxious, wreck I had become would have never called the police.

He is trying to get sole residency of our child.

It's so not fun

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 15:43:25

Atilla - this arrangement is court ordered.

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 15:44:25

That's true. He doesn't sound as though he will ever play nice, so protect yourself and go through the courts for everything. That way you will have some protection and, maybe, even a little bit of spinal support, iyswim smile

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 15:46:22

The person you have been of late is a complete stranger to me. I am afraid of you. Great! Use that to your advantage. Make him believe it rather than just use it as a tool to beat you with.

He will always be a dick. You don't have to take any notice of him... perfect a smile, a nod, an ignore.

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 15:50:33

He was insisting his father do handovers - his father is a conniving, manipulative, bombastic lech. He was the one who called the social services making all sorts of allegations. I trust him even less than I do ExP.

I have no family around to do handovers and his whole family are of the opinion that he is innocent and I'm a mentally unstable nutcase who got him into trouble and has no business having responsibility for our child.

So I'm left with me doing handovers during the interim period.

I contacted my solicitor to see what can be done.

The reason I needed him to wait was because I'd forgotten something for our DC who was crying because I had so I needed to nip into the shop to get a replacement - my thinking being that handover is strained enough with all the ignoring going on, I don't want DC starting associating going with dad as something unpleasant - I see it as another stick for him to beat me with if he has half the chance.

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 15:52:51

Atilla - DC is only a toddler right now, so mercurial in temperament.

I see no real indication that contact is not a fun thing for DC.

Hissy Sun 19-Jun-16 16:06:04

What good do you see will come of your toddler being left with a violent, agressive and vengeful man?

What sort of values do you think an abusive man will impart on a child?

Think very carefully here. Look what this man has done to you. See what he's capable of.

And then some.

Try to limit the damage to your child by limiting contact with this man and his awful family.

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 16:12:04

The contact is court ordered - it's interim contact and I have to abide by it.

My solicitor has advised me to allow it or risk being seen as an obstructive parent and losing residency of our child.

If I could I'd be insisting on supervised only.

I hold my hand up and say that up until several weeks ago I was taken in by his manipulation and believed we could work through this, that the man I met would reappear. His actions via friends and via the police that spent time with him (he couldn't contact me) suggested that he was sorry and wanted to get help.

The minute I dropped the non-mol order he became this person I now have to see every week.

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 16:16:49


I completely agree with you and am very concerned what will happen as DC gets older and the 'toddler free pass' for 'bad' behaviour is revoked.

Judging by how he treated my eldest and myself I am concerned and will be raising this issue with CAFCASS - though I'm told I should just focus on how much nicer our life is now without him in it in case I'm seen as badmouthing him.

This whole court process with DV victims seems utterly insane.

Hissy Sun 19-Jun-16 16:54:55

It's totally wrong imo, contact is for the benefit of the child.

There is NO benefit of exposing them to abusers.

Perhaps if abusers knew they would never ever have contact with children again it might make them stop abuaing..

All you can do is make sure that your children have the age appropriate truth about his abuae of you and of them by association

I didn't want my son growing up blaming me for being separated from his dad. Or worse growing up idolising a man who treated me so badly.

Mine never took me to court, lives abroad anyway and having seen him last year for the first time in 5 years, son thinks he's a prick

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 17:16:08

I've got one of those in another country too, Hissy.

This final relationship has been, in some ways, a blessing: DV support have swooped in and have helped me realise I have a massive blind spot for abuse/manipulation/control.

I'm on the waiting list for the Freedom Programme.

Hissy Sun 19-Jun-16 17:55:34

Excellent! You could do the f p online while you are waiting!

Hissy Sun 19-Jun-16 18:01:52

There are excellent threads on here that help those with dv in their lives/pasts.

See if you can get some talking therapy too, it'll help.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 19-Jun-16 18:51:21

This is a bit of a tangent but if you forgot something your DC needed that could easily be bought from a shop, why were you buying it? He could have done that.

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 19:06:03

I'm on the wait list for talking therapy - offloading about this man's crap will be enormously helpful.

The thing is I recognise abuse a mile off - so long as it's written down on a screen and I have time to read, digest and then respond. In the moment is entirely different: it's like I go into 'deer in headlights' mode and everything I know goes out of the window and I'm a child again trying to deal with my abusive parents.

There's a big question mark over me bring autistic (at least one of my children is) so perhaps that's the issue?

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 19:07:43

Yes, Rabbit, he could have. I guess I felt responsible for forgetting.

Either way I would have had to say something but lesson learned for the future - the t the issue to him, wait for a response and then decide how to proceed.

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 19:08:37

*Text the issue to him

Froginapan Sun 19-Jun-16 19:32:55

Could I possibly have complex PTSD?

When faced with an adult being incredibly personally nasty I do get flashbacks and various physical responsesz

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