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Dd wants nothing to do with her father and wants to forget he ever existed

(65 Posts)
acuma Thu 02-Jul-20 12:56:52

Dd is saying she wants to forget her dad ever existed and wants nothing to do with anyone connected to him either except for siblings/step siblings.
We are awaiting a court hearing after he was physically and emotionally abusive at Christmas. There has been much emotional abuse from him and his gf over the years but court and social services have never restricted contact and have ordered that she go.
Christmas changed that and the court have ordered a full investigation. Dd has not changed her mind about seeing him (my view is that she needs keeping safe and away from him and his gf) but is now saying she doesn't want him in her life at all and wants to live as though he never was.
I am so upset that she is feeling this way due to how she's been treated and I'm not sure the relationship will ever be repaired even over time.She has my full support and always has. She is on the waiting list for counselling but in the mean time how can I help her deal with this? She's 13 and has a younger sibling to dad plus younger half and step siblings (although we class them no differently I'm just clarifying).
This is really affecting her mental health and is a huge decision for her to make even if it is the right one. She feels she'll be better with him out of her mind as well as out of sight.
Dies anyone have any experience in this kind of issue that could offer some advice please?

OP’s posts: |
Aussiebean Thu 02-Jul-20 14:07:32

Tell her that she is not alone. That there are other people out there who have also decided to cut a parent out of their lives and that those people feel sadness but ultimately don’t regret it.

Tell her it sucks, it’s unfair and she has a right to be angry that she got a shit parent. But that she will be ok and it is not reflection on her.

Tell her that she can change her mind later, but now her decision is a good one and best one for her.

Sending her my best. flowers

user16386689775 Thu 02-Jul-20 14:10:34

Listening, validating and giving her the power to make decisions that keep her safe and control her life are key for recovering from trauma. So support her with this decision.

I don't think it's sad she's decided this - it is brave - but it is very sad she's had thirteen years of abuse. Feeling strong enough to say "no more" is positive in context.

acuma Thu 02-Jul-20 14:37:14

It is brave yes. But it's sad that she has such a shit dad that she's had to make this decision.

OP’s posts: |
Aussiebean Thu 02-Jul-20 14:54:22

Speaking from experience, working this out at 13 is a blessing.

Took me 30years to realise how toxic my mother was, and I consider myself blessed to have worked it out when I did.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 02-Jul-20 15:08:58

I had a shit dad too. He's dead now and honestly even though I hadn't seen him for years, it was a release.

If her father is going to kick up a fuss then I would suggest that your daughter doesn't say '... want to forget he ever existed' because it's likely that a social worker or some other court-appointed clueless person would direct their focus on that as an extreme view and question your daughter.

The fact that she doesn't want to see her father again - coupled with the evidence from you - should be enough to get the outcome she wants.

Privately, you can validate her every last feeling on the subject. I wish my father hadn't existed too, he took and took, gave nothing.

Just my thoughts on the issue because my father stamped and postured... albeit he didn't really care, it was about control, just as it always, always is.

Hope your daughter is ok, it's great to hear that she has such a good and positive relationship with you.

MulticolourMophead Thu 02-Jul-20 15:20:53

My DD also wants nothing to do with her father. I've supported that, but I've also suggested she revisit her decision in the future, as she may change her mind and I don't want her ending up with any regrets.

Her dad, my ex, was abusive to us, and after we left really tried guilt tripping her into seeing him. At one point he also dragged her into one of his "suicide" attempts that he used as manipulation. So it's understandable she won't want to see him just yet.

All you can do, OP, is be supportive. Listen to her feelings and let her know she's entitled to feel as she does, they are her feelings after all.

She may need some help if the FMs come flying in with the "but he's her dad" guilt trips to try and persuade her into contact she doesn't want. If you know some people like that, it may be an idea to pre-empt anything by reducing contact with that person. We had one such person (only one, because ex is a loner and there's hardly anyone who wants to support him). This person dropped the rope when told bluntly to stay out of our business.

ShebaShimmyShake Thu 02-Jul-20 16:16:03

Wish I could have done this at 13.

PixiKitKat Thu 02-Jul-20 16:58:45

I stopped seeing my dad at a similar age and have never regretted it.

Catloveisreal Thu 02-Jul-20 17:22:28

I have 3 children who feel like this. Its terrible but she is making the right choice

acuma Thu 02-Jul-20 17:26:08

She is being interviewed by cafcass next week to see what she wants and to decide whether or not contact goes ahead and if so how often etc.

OP’s posts: |
pointythings Thu 02-Jul-20 18:44:23

All you can do is support her. She's of an age where her feelings will be taken very seriously by the court, and she has a serious and valid reason for not wanting contact.

My DDs were older - 15 and 17 - when I kicked their dad out after he threatened to kill me at the end of years of alcohol abuse. They wanted zero contact and he didn't even try. They have had therapy because of the things he did, but not because they miss him in any way. He died 2 years ago and life without him has been unimaginably better.

Hope the interview goes well and your DD gets what she wants.

MrFaceyRomford Thu 02-Jul-20 20:44:20

Support her decision. My DW came to the same decision in her 30s. She'd be the first to admit she'd have been happier if she'd done it at your daughter's age.

ilikemethewayiam Thu 02-Jul-20 23:02:24

I had a very violent alcoholic father (dead now). I used to pray he would be killed in a car accident I was so terrified of him. I wish I had been given a choice not to see him at that age. I think I would be such a different person now. I hope she won’t be forced to see him against her wishes. I don’t understand how the family courts work. All you can do is fight for her and support her.

MingeofDeath Fri 03-Jul-20 01:08:52

At the age of 21, my DD decided that she didn't want to have anything to do with her father. He is not violent or abusive, just a useless, selfish prick. DD is 28 now and has not spoken to him since she made that decision. I felt quite sad on her behalf because, when younger, all she wanted was a normal relationship with him but unfortunately could never have that. She says she is much better without him in her life.

3cats Fri 03-Jul-20 01:12:43

I also just wanted to commend her on being so brave and strong. I really hope that whoever decides these things will listen to her.

DisaK Fri 03-Jul-20 01:31:42

Your DD is extremely brave and likely doing herself a lot of good for the future. I feel if I'd been able to dissociate myself from my abusive father at that age, I'd be a completely different person now. He caused me a lot of damage and my life would have been a lot better without knowing him

IdblowJonSnow Fri 03-Jul-20 01:51:32

Just support her. Good for her for being so strong minded at her age.
She might just find it all a bit easier to deal with bu blocking him out like that.
Hope she's ok.

MindfulBear Fri 03-Jul-20 02:01:48

Good luck to her. I know people who have done this and I know people who wish they had.
However I agree with the commenter above who suggested reigning in her language when she is interviewed so they don't focus on 1 element.
See if she can focus on the facts. What happened. And that this is upsetting and so she doesn't wAnt to see him. No mention of time unless asked. And then the answer is "for a long time"

Best of luck.

Porcupineinwaiting Fri 03-Jul-20 07:42:09

Another one thinking this is an entirely reasonable decision. You may have to help her navigate her feelings regarding her siblings though - its unlikely that they will be have much of a relationship with them if she is refusing to see their parents.

acuma Fri 03-Jul-20 08:27:16

Thank you so much to everyone who has posted. I had a chat with dd last night and she said she's worried if her sibling goes that she'll get manipulated into going too by promises of her favourite things. She sees through that but it's tempting to a child especially as dad has far more money than me and is able to pay for lots of things I can't. The one thing he never gave her though was his time and attention. She gets lots of that here.

OP’s posts: |
PixiKitKat Fri 03-Jul-20 09:02:47

@acuma that sounds quite similar to my situation as a child. My dad never tried to make me go see him though, it's almost like he was relived not to have to make an effort with a female child when he just really wanted one on one time with my brother.

It's good that she gets so much attention and love from you at home, she'll need it. I don't think I really did as I had much younger siblings and so I think not really wanted by my dad and then my mum being busy with new kids means I've grown up feeling slightly unwanted and every so often it rears its head and I have a cry then put it all back in the box and name the people who do want me around.

I think whatever she chooses will change her, but with you she'll probably come out of it better adjusted than I did!

I don't know why I'm rambling either... I haven't ever explained it anyone in real life.

acuma Fri 03-Jul-20 09:05:30

It's so sad how many people have had crap dads. thanks for your all.

OP’s posts: |
Lonecatwithkitten Fri 03-Jul-20 09:35:53

At nearly 13 my DD felt the same now nearly 4 years she does have a relationship with him entirely on her own terms. He gives her lifts places and she will meet him about once a month in coffee shops.
She will not go to his flat as in his case the verbal and emotional abuse starts when his GF is present. If DD maintains her relationship with the GF being involved all is okay.
Contact was stopped for 18 months at nearly 13 when on the advice of SS I stopped overnight contact and he refused to meet her in a coffee shop ( her choice) as he wasn't being dictated to as to how he saw his daughter.

Takethebullbth Fri 03-Jul-20 09:43:26

Smart girl, you have raised her well 💕

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