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How can I help dd with this?(24 Posts)
Dd is 12, 13 in july. A lovely, kind, intelligent girl who I am extremely proud of.
I split from her dad after abuse when she was tiny, about 4 months old and moved back to my mums 100 miles away. Ex is from Scotland originally but lived near my home town when we met via work. Both moved for work with the same company then I got pg. Accidentally but there was never any doubt I would have the baby.
Anyway fast forward 12 years. Dd sees her dad eow usually. Court ordered contact from 9 years ago. I never denied contact he just needed the piece of paper to show the then CSA . I have been NC with him due to abuse since the last hearing. Mum has done all the handovers until recently when I have started letting dd get the bus to town to meet him as it saves me a 16 mile round trip through friday teatime traffic with 3 year old ds.
Her dad hasn't worked for years and doesn't pay anything towards her. Fair enough though it grates a little. He is now kicking off at dd because he has to pay his busfare from town where she meets him back to his place as dd refuses (quite rightly) to walk the 4 miles mainly uphill. I give her the busfare she needs from school to town, then town to his place.
He has said I should pay his busfare as well as it's my fault I am too lazy to drop her off at my mums. Which is walking distance (about 1.5 miles) from his.
On top of that he says that me and dd have ruined his life and if it wasn't for having to live here to see dd he would be a successful businessman living in london.
He is currently signed off sick with Chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic headache syndrome. Which he has said is stress related and that it's the additional worry of having to find his busfares to collect dd from town that isn't helping.
It's really not like dd to open up to me about him and what he does/says. She is very loyal to him. She still wants to see him but doesn't want to do the eow for 2 nights. But doesn't want to hurt his feelings.
I suspect he is depressed and also suspect he is being emotionally abusive to dd. Whether that is because he is depressed or ill or just a cunt I am not sure. He is insanely jealous of everything we have.
I need to support dd in reducing contact but still maintaining a relationship with him. She still wants to see him but not nights. Not even 1 night I don't think. She would be happy to see him for a few hours and then come home.
I have said it is entirely up to her how she does this. She has said she will tell him she has an afterschool club on friday and then wants to go to a local youth club after so won't be able to go friday. But she really doesn't want to go Saturday night either.
How can I help a 12 year old drastically reduce contact with her dad who will likely take it out on her? And also the contact is court ordered. I don't think he has the money to take me back to court but he would if he could. Sigh.
I'd advise her to tell him the truth. He's not much fun to be with, he's full of self pity and she's very likely fed up of hearing his sob stories each time she visits. He also sounds like a self entitled twat! You should pay his bus fares!!!!!!
Letting them down gently doesn't work with knobs OP. He'll lay a guilt trip on her if she tries to.
Just be honest. . It's not like he is gonna fork out cash to take you back to court is it?
Thank you both. Have just had a chat with her and my mum and she is sleeping at my mums tonight so she might talk to my mum about it.
She doesn't want to stop seeing him. He is her dad and she loves him despite the fact that he is a cunt. If she ia honest with him he will sulk and 'punish' her with his moods. I can't make the decision for her. It has to come from her. And at 12 it would be a lot to expect her to say. I would have no problem saying it to him but as I said we are NC. And she would be mortified if I called him to say it. And he would definitely tell her I had called.
I hope eventually he snaps out of it and stops sulking over the fact he has to spend £1.80 to see his dd that he hasn't contributed financially to for about 11 years. And that he realises she isn't going to spend as much time with him while he is making her life miserable.
And if he doesn't I will have to make the decision for him. And hope when she is older she understands why.
Just bumping this up. Dd was supposed to be with him this weekend but got really upset when I asked about it. She isn't going and my mum has phoned told him she isn't well.
I don't know how to make this ok for dd. She feels guilty and obliged to see him. But from what I can gather he is really awful to be with right now. He is depressed I think and taking out his misery on a 12 year old girl.
I need to stop or drastically reduce contact for her sake but any contact she does have needs to be appropriate. I think I need a solicitor.
I think you're right. Get thee to a solicitor! Whatever transpires from the advice given by your solicitor, the fact remains that your DD is unhappy with the current level of contact with her father.
Its your job to ensure that DD is thriving and so reducing or temporarily suspending contact with said father is the obvious solution for now.
You obviously put DD first and foremost in any and all decision making and that means that she's reasonably capable of taking a 'time out', whilst she takes a breath and works out what would actually be realistic and manageable re regular contact with her father.
You're a lovely mum OP.
Thanks. I just want to do what's best for her.
Her dad was a complete cunt to me. But has always been a bit of a disney dad with her so I am concerned about his mental health. Not for his sake because quite frankly he could disappear up his own arse for me. But because of the impact it has on dd.
Am going to see if I can get a bit of legal advice. The contact is court ordered but I presume that he would have to take me back to court to enforce it which he won't be able to afford as he doesn't work. And he won't get a job because he knows I will get csa or whatever they are these days involved.
Just do what you think is right and trust your own instincts. You know better than anybody else what is right for DD and how best to protect her from any emotional abuse - because that is exactly what she's getting currently from her father.
Yes, he will sulk and punish her with his moods for honesty. But... he's going to be an emotionally abusive cunt her whole life and though it's shit that a 12yo has to learn that and manage it - I think it's better she starts early.
She can start standing up to his crap now, with your support (and counselling?) or she can be trying to do it aged 30 after 18 more years of this shit.
I would get counselling for her, to help her understand that this is not her fault, and that the fear /obligation/ guilt FOG she feels now is a 'thing'.
She doesn't have to say "you're a cunt so I don't want to stay over". She could say "it's too tricky managing 2 homes for overnights with my friends, hobbies, homework. I don't feel settled. I'd like to see you on Saturday evenings please" (which will save you a bus fare you cunt)
Definitely talk to a solicitor, but at her age even if he does pursue it, surely her wishes now have FAR more weight?
Ultimately, though I feel bad for both of you in this position, not putting up with shit from cunts is going to be a massively valuable life lesson for her
This is a really sad story. At 12 she will know her own mind, and OP you have obviously given her a lovely secure loving home which gives her the strength to be able to deal with this.
But can I just check - you are not expecting your DD to have this conversation with your Ex H herself? I have skimmed through the posts so maybe I have misunderstood.
Do you think that now she's 12 he's starting to treat her the way he treated you? Now that she's not obviously a young child, he thinks he can treat her like he would an adult he was close to?
No way should your DD have to deal with this shit. He's emotionally abusing her! I think in this case you have to make the decision for her. Tell her that her father shouldn't be behaving like this and making her feel worried or guilty. That it's his problem and not hers.
helpmesusan no am definitely not expecting her to have conversations like that with him. She is a child and it's not her job to manage his feelings, emotions or mental health. He is the adult and he is the one who should be supporting her.
Ellisandra I helped her come up with a plan last week to reduce contact down to Saturday teatime to Sunday afternoon with a combination of school and hobby commitments. But when it came to setting a time yesterday she got upset and obviously doesn't want to go at all.
He is difficult for adults to 'manage' let alone a 12 year old. He is NC with most of his family including his own mother who hasn't been well at all the last few years. I suspect he will eventually cut dd off in the same way.
I will see what happens over the next few weeks and what dd wants to do. If she is happy with a few hours contact in McDonald's or something and he doesn't kick off then will let that happen. But if she doesn't want to do that or he starts kickibg off I will get some legal advice.
What an entitled prick.
Make sure DD knows she can't be forced to meet her father against her better judgement. She's probably realised by now why you are NC.
Are you sure your DD doesn't want youto contact him to tell him she wants to reduce contact? She may actually want you to step up and sort this for her.
You could write to him explaining that his behaviour is making it hard to be around him right now and that for the next few weeks DD would prefer to meet him for a few hours only for lunch in town on a Saturday. If he kicks off then tough.
You have no moral responsibility to encourage a relationship with him that is at best unhealthy and at worst abusive.
Your poor DD is making this clear and needs help to get some space from him.
She does know High. She knows what he is like and I think when she was little she was easier to entertain so went happily. Now she is getting older she doesn't want to mooch round parks, do baking or blackberry picking ffs. He won't do things she wants to do. She used to get him to take her to big shopping centre and have a mooch round there looking at makeup and stationary and stuff but he won't take her there anymore. He won't take her to cinema because he can't afford it. Or swimming. Or anywhere she wants to go. He just says he is 'too tired'. She has friends in the area she could meet but he won't let her out. So she is stuck in a 1 bed flat with no wifi, no sky tv, no where to go and nothing to do. And he is depressed and suffering (apparently) from chronic fatigue syndrome. So completely understandable she doesn't want to go.
That sounds an awful environment for your DD and she isn't going to get anything out of a relationship with him like that
Pls cease contact as it stands for now and offer he meets her for lunch on the Saturday in town (could or would you consider funding this to facilitate if they just have a sarnie?)
He does sound unwell but lacking the insight or emotional maturity to realise how this impacts his daughter and whilst a bit sad his background suggests more to it than just health issues (he sounds self absorbed and emotionally cruel) and I really would want to get her out of it if it was my dd.
It sounds really difficult for your daughter and I feel for you as a Mum. When dealing with similar entitled arsehole ex, I was advised to stretch things out until DC was 13 if possible as it would be helpful in court.
I genuinely wouldn't worry too much about the court order from 9 years ago. If he took you back to court now, her wishes would be taken into account.
I was just going to say what RueDeDay said. Now she is older a court should take her wishes into account.
Perhaps your DD would benefit from some counselling. Her school might have a counsellor who comes in a few days a week. If her dad has no money he is unlikely to want to spend some in McD's or the like which will make it even harder. I'm glad you are going to have the conversation for her with her dad it's so so hard.
She is 13 in july so would be well able to articulate her feelings at this point. If he does decide to try and take it back to court (which I don't think he will) I know her feelings would be considered.
Have suggested to dd that she just meets him in town but she has said he won't do that. Am definitely not letting her go until she really wants to. And have told her she doesn't have to answer the phone if he rings too. He can contact my mum if he needs to pass a message on. Or grow a pair and ring me.
I just have to take my lead from dd. She is reluctant to say upright she doesn't want to see him as she is loyal and it's her dad and she knows I am nc with him. She does love him and doesn't want to hurt him but equally doesn't want to spend time with him at the moment. Which I completely understand. But she doesn't want to say why to him because he is telling her he is ill.
We had this a few years ago when she qas about 7/8. He admitted then to my mum he was feeling ill and couldn't cope with her all weekend but I think now she is old enough to look after herself he thinks she should still see him and support him.
I don't think he is actually ill either. He has always claimed working tax credit for being self-employed but I know they have changed the rules regarding se income so he has gone onto sick pay instead with Chronic fatigue syndrome and Chronic headache syndrome. He is pretty clever so will have looked for something that can't be proved. And I am in no way doubting anyone else who has this as being anything but genuine, but I know how his mind works and what a lazy entitled bastard he is.
My mum will facilitate contact at hers if it comes to that. Just a few hours maybe. And he can't complain about busfare etc.
This has all started because I asked dd to meet him in town to make life a bit easier for me after 12 years of driving her there and back. Apparently it is also mine and dds fault he isn't a successful businessman in London.
Fucking wankerbastard that he is. It's a good job dd is shrewd enough to see through his bullshit.
I was just going to suggest talking to her school and seeing whether there is someone there she can access to sort out her thinking. My DD sees a school based "youth worker" and it really helps to talk to an independent adult.
Your DD probably feels "obliged" to see her Dad, but is obviously having a miserable time.
At 12 she should be able to leave his if she wants, and maybe arrange for her to have places to go when it gets too much (your mum and friends homes).
Ah so your DD is almost 13 anyway. I also agree that it's helpful if she talks to a neutral 3rd party at school. He sounds like a total catch by the way.
Yes kittybiscuits he is a total babe magnet. Not. When I was in a relationship with him he was ok. Worked where I did, was always a bit lairy when pissed but funny and sarcastic and actually quite popular. He changed when we moved for work and I split up with him, then found out I was pg. Stayed separate to him but did try again when I was about 7 months pg but when dd was about 4 months old I left my job, home and friends to move back to my mums. And that's when his true colours started to show.
But I have dd so don't regret our relationship. I just regret that he isn't a better dad for her. My current dp is bloody awesome with her though and she chose to start calling him dadddy when she was 4 so she isn't without a positive role model.
She knows she can leave his at any time and go to my sisters house just around the corner and phone me to get her too. She has done that a couple of times when she has felt unwell.
I will see how she goes before I involve school. She is pretty private and wouldn't want school knowing I don't think. She is close to my mum and to my sister so they are always available if she doesn't want to discuss it with me.
Thanks for all your replies. It helps offloading my thoughts and knowing it's not just my feelings about him clouding my judgement.
You could just ask the school if they have a youth worker or counsellor. In my experience they report nothing back to the school unless there are serious safeguarding concerns.
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