Ignore his pathetic crying; it's emotional abuse - its all fake and he does it because he knows it gets to you
Get a family lawyer - ONLY communicate through them (legal aid will fund it) - use a contact centre if you don't trust him to bring them back / not bully them, or else just do the hand-over on the doorstep
I used to feel heartbroken too when my exdp did these things. He cried a lot of tears over "what could have been" he also did a lot of things that scared the living daylights out of me too so I totally understand how you feel. The poster that said you need to stop seeing him is right.
I thought I was doing the right thing letting my ex come in for tea to see the dc's etc but really it was just adding fuel to the fire. When I stopped it made some boundaries I actually seen the manipulation for what it was rather than felt sorry for him anymore.
Hope you ok. I agree you need to stop seeing him. I think it is a natural reaction to hit or try and get them off you when they have you by the hair. I did with my ex, and me giving him a small hit on the top of his arm to try and get him to let go he thought it was resonable for him to hit back in the face. Anyway my point dont feel bad for fighting back, he should not of done what he did. Take care
I'm with Reality here Poor poor you - you need to disengage from him totally - physically and emotionally! FWIW my XH was the same grabbing etc and they was always my fault for pushing him to it, and yes I would retaliate..in fear,in defence, in frustration And yes my new DP would never ever grab me no matter what I did or said - I am 100% certain of that - it is NOT normal behaviour no matter what you have gotten used to!