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EA ex has now hit and sworn at my autistic son(59 Posts)
Sorry if this rambles, there’s so much I need to get down and I’m sure I’ll leave out stuff.
The basics are that after 7 years of marriage and 2 DS, I divorced my ex for emotional abuse and unreasonable behaviour. It wasn’t easy and he never gave up.
He had a very good job, we had a lovely house, everything looked peachy on the outside. On the inside a completely different matter. I was so in the fog, and believe I still am a bit to be incapable of seeing what was right or wrong, what damage was being done.
We went through a very acrimonious divorce/financial settlement (still not settled and I have no way of doing this now as I can’t afford the solicitor any more). I managed to get me and the boys settled in a house near my family and in a new school 100 miles away. But he had also moved to about 15 miles away because “he didn’t want to be separated from his boys”.
The day before we were due to sign the financial settlement he lost his job. He kept trying, and still keeps trying to sugges it would be easier and more financially sensible for him to move in with us. I kept and keep saying no. I find myself unable to say a really big loud Fuck Off because I’m scared. I feel rubbish about that. I gave him a very short second chance to show me he had changed and would honour my wishes and boundaries. But he blew it and I went back to trying to have as little contact with him as possible, and telling him I don’t want to know.
Move on a bit... we are fairly settled in our new house. The boys love it. But... DS2 is violent to me, often attacking me every day, and is a real handful. I cannot work because I have to be available 24/7. School can not cope with him. He’s being assessed for extra support, possibly special placement. Money is extremely tight.
Last weekend, the boys went to Ex’s house for 4 days, bit of half term plus “his” weekend. When I picked them up, DS2 was in meltdown. I let Ex try to deal with it, sitting in car waiting with DS1. Checking back into the house every few mins to see how it was going. When I went in one time I found DS2 extremely upset and angry. Found out that his dad had yelled at him to stop being a “f*cking mad son”. Devastating for any child! But for a child with emotional and autistic difficulties, doubly awful. On the drive home in car the boys were hyped up and it came out that Ex had punched DS2 in stomach hard enough to wind him earlier because he couldn’t get him to let go off his brother during a meltdown. Boys says they were scrapping and that DS2 wasn’t in true meltdown. Both boys indignant, upset, confused etc.
I am so confused, appalled by this behaviour, but I question my judgement regarding it because I have been “numbed” by Ex’s emotional abuse of me.
School has reported Ex to safeguarding as DS2 disclosed to me, School and PFSA what had happened. Both boys, on gentle questioning from me , have said they aren’t sure about Daddy, he’s unpredictable, DS1 expressed concern that it would happen again or to him. If Ex is investigated for safeguarding, he will probably lose his job and therefore not pay any more maintenance that keeps us afloat, just. Part of me wants the whole sorry thing to be over, for him to never have contact with kids again, for me to never have to deal with him again. Another part is terrified that we won’t cope and so so sad for the boys. Is one (provable) incidence of abuse enough for me to justify trying to stop Ex from seeing the boys? (With backup I mean, I can’t just tell him, he’s never accept it and I don’t know what he’d do.)
I have refused contact this weekend. But Ex won’t let it go. Keeps making comments that try to absolve him of the blame, and lump it back on my shoulders for not being supportive, not letting us be a family, blah blah, the list is endless. He’s meant to have boys next weekend as it is his scheduled weekend.
Since the incident DS2s behaviour has escalated with much more directed punching and deliberately trying to hurt, for hours at a time. He’s also attacked and sworn at his brother. He was excluded from school on Friday for assaulting teachers.
What the actual f*ck do I do? Have I even posted this in the right place? It’s about my boys but it’s also about me and my impossible unavoidable relationship with my Ex. I’m exhausted and at rock bottom. Almost had to call an ambulance yesterday, or the police, as DS went on for 3 hours without letup. But I’m scared about all the fallout of disclosing, and even still now doubt my own perceptions, even though I have survived so far.
Gosh that sounds so stressful. Does your son have camhs involved? My son used to have terrible violent meltdowns which also went on for hours. I have been bruised and my house trashed. Camhs really helped and we haven't had a violent meltdown for nearly a year.
I would stop contact with his dad. DS went over a year without seeing his dad because he just couldn't cope with it. His Dad was not violent towards him but wasn't very good at dealing with his ASD. As soon as DS realised he wasn't going to be forced to go it helped a lot. To be fair to my ex he has worked really hard at things and remained involved by attending TAC etc and DS is now building up a relationship with him.
It sounds like you could use a lot of support. It's very lonely dealing with a violent child. Do you have a family support worker? Mine was brilliant. I miss her. She supported DS in not seeing his dad, liaised with the school and boosted my confidence no end. We also have involvement from the autism team at the council who have worked with me and my son.
Don't be afraid to call the police if it's really bad. I had to do that a couple of times when I thought DS was at real risk of hurting himself. I explained about the ASD and they contacted camhs and SS to make sure DS was getting all the help he needed. This can help boost you up the list for help.
Do you get DLA and carers allowance for your son? If not then apply in case the maintenance stops.
I know how dark a place it is dealing with asd and child violence. I hope you get all the help and support you need.
Susan Thanks for the reply. No, CAMHS refused involvement although I am still trying. Apparently here they don’t get involved, it’s all through Paediatrician and doctors. It’s been an uphill struggle trying to get any diagnosis as he’s atypical and he still doesn’t have an ASD diagnosis although to anyone who knows him, including School, it’s obvious.
I don’t have DLA yet, sounds ridiculous but I find myself so little time to do anything and zero energy that the form has sat there for ages half filled in. I’m filled with apathy when I’m not actually fighting the immediate things. So exhausted.
I have a PFSA through School who comes once a week for 2 hours, but it’s really not enough time to achieve anything in. And I can’t leave him with her anyway.
I’m so low and emotionally and physically exhausted and all my requests for help at the moment seem to be met with “computer says no” responses from the local authority and social services. Although the safeguarding issue might trigger some more help... fingers crossed!
And I have no idea how to actually say Ex can't have contact with his boys. I don't know what he'll do, apart from going loopy in a way that will have a negative impact on us...
Yes hopefully the safeguarding will trigger help. It took me about three years to get any proper help. We were on the waiting list for asd assessment for nearly two. It wasn't until DS became suicidal and tried to really harm himself that anything was done. Then it all kicked in and although it still took time for things to get better at least we had started.
If I were you I would do the DLA form as soon as you can, as despite the constant violence and the fact that DS could go whole nights without sleeping I still only got lower rate care and had to go to appeal. I was working at the time and signed off sick as I couldn't cope anymore. If something happened to your money and you had to claim benefits they would put you on either jobseekers or universal credit which would add another layer of stress!
With regards to DS and his dad I simply stopped letting him come in the house. I would turn up at school and pick DS up. Dd did carry on going and they have a brilliant relationship. It gave her some respite from DS too. But it sounds like your ex would not take well to any attempts to stop visitation. I think I would just email that they are not coming because of the punch to DS. That you don't think it's safe and that if he turns up you will koto answer the door. Then if he turns up and makes a fuss you might have to call the police.
Sadly I think you’re right about the police. It’s all an appalling mess to inflict on the boys, but he doesn’t respect or listen to me, and never takes No for an answer. It’s like it isn’t in his vocabulary!
I will drag out the DLA forms..... I just need some encouragement, so thanks.
Unfortunately he's not going to suddenly start being reasonable because he's NOT reasonable. You are going to have to involve outside agencies and get them to stomp him/
If he loses his job because of a safeguarding investigation due to child abuse, he NEEDS to lose his job.
Have you fully understood that he's a child abuser? You can't send your children to spend time with an abuser.
Are SS not involved? 'Reported to safeguarding' is just not on.
School have really mucked up here!
There should have been a SS referral.
also I would go and see GP ask for referral back to paed. Get everything documented with GP, so that no one can claim you didn't tell them. Demand Camhs. I would take a hard line and demand all. I would tell school that if they don't contact SS, you will. And if they don't apply for a statutory assessment, you will. And that you want a diagnosis from paed.
Get the DLA forms submitted ASAP.
Your son is being failed majorly by school. Apart from ex, who shouldn't be allowed contact till this is cleared up, your son has no support at school and this this is creating anxiety, making him aggressive to you.
I think you need to be very calm but firm, with all the different agencies/aspects.
Re the DLA, have you looked at the Cerebra website? They have clear examples of what to put on the form.
Definitely prioritise the DLA as if it’s granted this can also increase the amount of tax credits you’re entitled to, possibly other things as well. Make sure you look up advice or get help with completing the form - overnight care is crucial to getting higher rates but is only one page in the form (almost as if they don’t want to pay out isn’t it?!).
I had an emotionally, physically and eventually sexually abusive father. I didn’t tell my mum the extent because she told me if I stopped going he would stop paying maintenance and then we couldn’t afford to live. I was angry with her for a long time for putting that on me but she didn’t know what was going on. I wouldn’t let an abusive parent hear my children and would take whatever legal steps were necessary to enforce this.
I knew i'd leave relevant stuff out...! Sorry for confusion. Social services have been contacted by myself and school - I asked school to do the official form as I don't want Ex to just accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill and use it as a further weapon for ranting at me.
I believe Ex should bear the consequences of his actions- it's just scary to bite the bullet when those consequences will have a directly destructive effect on our life. Don't worry, i AM biting that particular bullet, I just need backup that I'm doing the right thing.
School are actually being very supportive, but everyone has agreed that it is probably not the right setting for him.
It's easy to say get social services involved, but I have tried once before and was turned down. They obviously didn't think we were at enough risk. Hopefully this time they will...
And I'm working my strength up to saying no to contact, again it's just scary. He said not having any contact at the moment, the next potential contact is next weekend, so I will send the email this week. Hopefully with the backup of SS safeguarding team having talked to him on Monday or Tuesday.
Thanks Chip. Will look at that website.
And thanks Fancy. I just need some egging on!
CAB helped me do my appeal paperwork. The lady had once been headmistress of a special school and was so helpful.
Do you have TAC meetings? I would push for a family support worker if SS don't get properly involved. They were brilliant at my TAC. All the professionals were worried she would tell them off so did all their actions. And she knew all kinds of support services and what DS was entitled to. It was thanks to them that DS got home tutoring as he's unable to attend school at the moment.
Meant to say you must be exhausted, physically and emotionally so it's understandable that all the paperwork and pushing for help is overwhelming. I would make a list and put them in priority order. So DLA first, then GP ... then try and do a little every day.
Get that DLA form filled out asap. Plenty of posters here can help you with the tricky bits.
You can't have the school reporting your ex for physical assault, say you have serious concerns yourself, then send them back before they've looked into it. That will call your judgement as a mother into question. What your ex did is fucked up. It's okay to feel angry. Actually I would say anger can be positive in these situations. Abusers rely on their victims putting up and shutting up. Be ready to film anything "loopy" he might do, if he does anything mad at this point, it will only act in your favour.
"I am so confused, appalled by this behaviour, but I question my judgement regarding it because I have been “numbed” by Ex’s emotional abuse of me."
Did ds witness this emotional abuse? Was it ever explained to him that the way his father treated you and spoke to, was wrong? Has his dad emotionally abused him? Would he know certain things were "bad", and to tell someone?
Please get the dla forms done ASAP, set aside 3-4 hours and just smash them. Read over the website mentioned above once then get cracking with the forms while looking back on the website and asking here if help is needed.
I got my award within two weeks, carers allowance was a really simple form and I got that within a few weeks as well. Tax credits were also quick to adjust my (increased) award.
Totally acceptable even necessary to stop kids seeing ex. They are at risk of physical abuse from him.
Seek support from whatever's available locally I'm sure Gp's surgery and council will have details for you in relation to sons condition/s and general difficulties following leaving an abusive relationship.
Re DLA form make an appointment with your local welfare rights office. They will help you complete it properly and quickly and get everything moving on that score.
Financially are you getting everything you should apart from the DLA? Check on entitledto or similar. Charities specific to health conditions can also be very helpful with this.
Ncdv may be helpful in getting protection from ex turning up at yours causing trouble (does he know where you live?) do NOT hesitate in the meantime to call police if he gives you any grief.
You are in such a difficult position and I hope you get the help and support you and DC need soon
Thanks*Susan*, Wicked and welsh26. I just seem to be totally lacking in oomph. I had 4 hours of non stop violence yesterday and a split lip and scratches now, so feeling pretty low.
Yes, the DSs were witness to numerous fights and me being very unhappy, to Ex shouting and swearing etc, and to many of the inappropriate blame-slinging he did. They have got better since they see him less, and especially since we moved into OUR home, but everything has gone backwards this week. We have had many many chats about what is respectful and what is kind, and why mummy left daddy. They sort of get it but it’s undermined by their dad who denies everything saying “he doesn’t understand, all he wanted was a loving home...” etc!!!!
School are looking at getting counselling for the DS1 as well as he’s having a hard time dealing with DS2s behaviour.
I will be calling SS on Monday to talk through what else I can do, and to talk them through the background of the situation as well.
Yes this incident is enough for you to stop contact (there's no order in force, is there?). He can apply to court for contact, CAFCASS will contact SS, SS will update on their review, the court will be guided by SS in terms of risk, and what if anything he can do to lower that risk. If as sounds likely his response is to blame you, or your son, or the postman's sister-in-law's dog walker, then he won't be getting contact.
He full on punched a child in the gut. He called his own child "mad". His actions have tipped your son into severe acting out, and now your older son is scared of him. He's a threat to all of you. Don't let him have another chance.
I also just needed the kind of no-nonsense robust suppport about seeing the punching as the final total unacceptable straw and to reassure me that I am seeing things truly. Part of the EA abuse was to seriously undermine my ability to judge situations or to trust myself.
Thanks MrsBertBibby , that’s very helpful to know and also made me laugh out loud! You have him absolutely spot on!
He once tried to off load blame onto me when he locked himself and DS2 out of his house and car (keys in house) because I had returned him some stuff in a cardboard box. He put out box for recycling, it blew down the road as he was getting ready to go out with DS2, so he ran out to grab it, door slammed, he was outside. Bloody lucky they were both on the same side of door. But apparently that was not his fault, but somehow something to do with me....
And no, there’s no order in place MrsBertBibby
If he applies to court for contact, does that cost me money? I am struggling to make ends meet as it is and can’t afford court without selling my house, which in turn would completely unsettle an already messed up child... it’s all so scary.
Graphista thanks for the advice.
I’ve been involved with Women’s Aid before. I’ve done all the GP and counselling route and been told I probably have complex PTSD. This all got better when we moved, but has been back with a vengeance this week.
I haven’t found a local welfare rights office round here? What are they? I also have the problem of not being able to be more than 5 mins away from School as they call me when they can’t cope with DS any more or he’s managed to run away.
School are trying their best, and I had a tribunal mediation meeting with the LA after they refused to assess DS2 (the mind boggles). They have now agreed but the waiting is another 16 weeks during which I still won’t get any support or funding for School.
Waiting lists - Local Authority, NHS or other - are the invention of the devil. I’ve tried to fill in all the right forms and tell the right people but it’s a painfully slow process getting anyone to listen.
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