AIBU to think I’ve ruined DD life.
itsmellslikepopcarn · 17/01/2022 07:12
DD is 6, I have been separated from her dad for 3 years now. Fine relationship at first but as soon as I got pregnant it was abusive. DD witnessed a lot of this as a baby, I was hit with her in my arms, she’s seen me being pushed outside and locked out whilst she screamed and cried for me inside, we’ve had to hide in bedrooms as he was outside smashing windows etc
She was such a happy little baby and toddler but since around 3 she is extremely emotional. It does not take a lot to get her upset, she is very needy and clingy and doesn’t show much independence. She has some sensory issues with clothes and getting dressed and quickly feels overwhelmed in a room with a lot of people in. She cries if she needs help with anything rather than just asking, some days are okay in the mornings but we usually have a meltdown in the mornings getting ready for school and sometimes she doesn’t want to go at all.
I just think back to how happy she was as a toddler and see all my friends and relatives bringing their children up in happy, secure families and think I’ve absolutely failed her. I feel such extreme guilt at what I’ve brought her into and I don’t feel strong enough to carry the weight of all her emotions.
I don’t know what I’m expecting out of this thread tbh but any advice at all would be really appreciated.
moregarlic · 17/01/2022 07:14
I don’t have anything practical to add but please remember: You got her out. That took a lot of strength and bravery, never forget that.
Cherrysoup · 17/01/2022 07:16
It isn’t your fault that her father is abusive: you’re out of that now. Be kind to yourself. Have you thought about taking her to the go for a referral? Sensory issues with clothing rings a bell for me re deeper issues.
Nailsbythesea · 17/01/2022 07:17
I was you except she was 7 and I had a new baby - my daughter is now a teenager - she often says she admires me for walking away, own career, looking after them myself, fighting in court etc and I gave her the best possible childhood board games, long walks, lots of animals, lots of friends but she knows boundaries too and that’s her!! So no - be strong, be human, don’t victims blame yourself - congratulate yourself and teach her you don’t need a man to have a happy life
Fetchthevet · 17/01/2022 07:18
Sounds more like you've saved her life. As pp said you got her out of a terrible situation and you should be proud of yourself for that. I hope your DD can get some help with her sensory issues through her school and things improve soon x
RedHot22 · 17/01/2022 07:20
This is not your fault and you did the right and brave thing getting her out of there.
There’s a possibility this may be what’s affecting her now, she probably won’t remember it but subconsciously, it will be there. Please don’t assume this is the cause though, consider other reasons and obviously support her. As I’m sure you are doing
HTH1 · 17/01/2022 07:21
I agree with PPs; you managed to get DD out of that situation (and years ago now), which is the best thing you could have done. I hope she has no contact with your ex.
What you should do now is be strong and calm for DD and build the best support network you can (are there family or close friends around she could spend lots of time with?). Lots of play dates would be a good thing too. It could be worth trying some counselling with DD if she continues to seem anxious.
starsinthegutter · 17/01/2022 07:22
It wasn't your fault, it was her father's. Have you thought about family therapy for the two of you?
ANameChangeAgain · 17/01/2022 07:23
You got her out. You both survived. Please don't underplay how brave that was.
Of course there will be emotional scars for both of you, but find someone at her school to talk to and see if you can get some counselling sorted out, for her and then for you. He failed you both; you didn't fail her, you saved her.
rrhuth · 17/01/2022 07:25
How have you ruined her life? You have done no such thing!
Firstly - her life is not ruined, even if she has some difficulties.
Secondly - the violence that was inflicted upon you was not your fault and you were brilliant in getting her away and therefore giving her a chance of a happy life.
I think you need someone to talk to to make you see what you have done to help your DD have a happy life. Living with abuse is never happy for children. You saved her from that life.
My first piece of advice would be to try to access some counselling or other support from somewhere to help you see what an asset you are to your DD.
When my child feels ill, I feel guilty I can't make it stop. But my child is not thinking like that, they are just glad to have a loving mum to take care of them whilst they are ill.
My second piece of advice is simply to love your DD.
TheYearOfSmallThings · 17/01/2022 07:30
Firstly, you did well to protect her and leave while she was so young. Many children are raised without their parents being together (including mine) and although it may not be perfect, it certainly doesn't ruin their life.
Secondly, children have personalities and traits which are not determined by their family situation, and it is worth considering that your daughter might be experiencing the same issues if her parents were happily united. Have you talked to her teacher about how she is at school?
AnnieJ1985 · 17/01/2022 07:35
Also remember we have had over 2 years of restrictions and lockdowns which is a long time in her life, so she will have missed out on meeting friends, larger gatherings etc. None of this is your fault. Your little girl has a great mum who saved both of you
StrictlyAFemaleFemale · 17/01/2022 07:35
My dd shows all those behaviours and hasnt witnessed abuse.
Morning meltdowns. What triggers those? Is it a demand or a choice? Dd was struggling to get dressed because she couldnt choose but wouldnt have us pick her clothes. So the rule is now she does it before bed. Same with her lunch box - so I made a pictogram that she uses to tell us what she wants the next day. Ive also found askung her for help with small things means shes more likely to ask me for help.
What is school like? Dd has taken the initiative to take a teddy to school so she can cuddle it if shes having a rough time. She quite often smuggles toys past us in her bag. If that what she needs to feel secure then its fine with me. Is it the transition thats tricky? Could there be one specific adult ready to take her in?
Ive also tried to read my hiden chimp with her to try to help with not being overwhelmed by her emotions. Also reading lots of books about feelings.
QueenofLouisiana · 17/01/2022 07:37
No, you haven’t. You are not responsible for the actions of her father. You are responsible for getting you both to a place of safety, which you did brilliantly.
Don’t underestimate the impact of school closures in children. We are seeing a far higher incidence of children struggling with school: the learning, the number of people, the demands of socialising and the structures. I think that for many children, this is the longest period of time that they have been coming into school daily that they can remember. Last year was very broken up, the year before was the same. This year will be feeling like a slog- especially as at this age she won’t have done a complete year in school yet!
Perhaps ask school for advice and ask what they see when she is in class?
Emerald5hamrock · 17/01/2022 07:37
It is possible for her to have suffered with emotional damage and have sensory issues and red flags for ASD too.
You haven't ruined her but she needs lots of support, reassurance and love.
The important thing is you're not in the relationship now.
WTF475878237NC · 17/01/2022 07:39
You haven't ruined her life OP but trauma that happens at such a little age has lifelong consequences such as increased prevalence of anxiety, relationship difficulties etc. So I would suggest private therapy for her with a child psychologist to give her the best opportunity to heal. You can search the British psychological society for one.
AndAllOurYesterdays · 17/01/2022 07:40
Sounds a lot like my daughter when she was 3, and we have a very settled home life. She's grown out a lot of the sensory issues, but at the time I just went with it. She wore the same outfits on repeat. Getting out in the morning was often very upsetting. As a previous poster suggests, I let her choose her clothes the night before and lay it out on the floor like it's a person.
Inglot · 17/01/2022 07:41
You absolutely have not ruined her life- it wasn't you being violent. You're the victim, not the perpetrator, and you should be so proud of yourself for getting her out.
If she is having issues, therapy with someone focused on trauma might be good. Have you heard of EMDR? It might be something to look into. Your daughter is absolutely capable of going on to live a wonderful, fulfilling life, and you getting her out when you did is largely going to be responsible for that. She is very lucky to have such a brave mummy.
Sully84 · 17/01/2022 07:41
Hi, you have done nothing wrong and some of these behaviours may be from what your daughter has witnessed, however I have a 7 yr old daughter who displays similar behaviour and she has a sensory disorder and is in process of being diagnosed with autism, some of the behaviours you describe especially around anxiety and shyness is actually typical traits for girls. Perhaps it is worth reading up on to see if any of it resonates or speaking to your GP? Good luck and please don’t think you have don’t anything wrong x
Beachbabe1 · 17/01/2022 07:42
Are you able to get her some counselling sessions? The trauma is badly affecting her and will continue affecting her for the rest of her life sadly.
IWasHotInTheNineties · 17/01/2022 07:42
You saved her life and yours.
A lot of three year olds are a nightmare, they can be needy and emotional no matter what.
Flatandhappy · 17/01/2022 07:45
Firstly well done for leaving and getting your daughter out of that situation, it is a brave thing to do. It is possible however that she has some residual trauma from what has happened and could do with some support. There are plenty of professionals who can help, play therapy would be particularly useful at that age.
KatieKat88 · 17/01/2022 07:45
You're so brave for getting you both out. She will be so proud of what you did for her when she's old enough to understand. Have you had any support from her school or your GP? Counselling would be a good idea but sensory issues could be down to a number of things that can be explored.
Benjaminsniddlegrass · 17/01/2022 07:46
Agree with others, firstly her life is not ruined, you showed great strength and determination to move her and you away and keep you both safe.
In terms of her behaviour and sensory difficulties, a GP review is a good idea but also speak to school, given what she has experienced she may benefit from play therapy or similar, your school is a good starting point to explore this.
Your daughter has suffered trauma in her early years and this can play out in the behaviours you describe, maybe have a read around trauma informed ways of parenting, Dan Hughes' PACE model and theraplay for example may be beneficial (lots of good books on Amazon or in your local library).
Have you had counselling to deal with and address the trauma you suffered? Your local women's aid should be able to identify counselling for you if you are able/ready. Reading your OP I wonder if you may benefit from this support to help move your mindset from a place of guilt to one where you are able to see yourself as a survivor.
itsmellslikepopcarn · 17/01/2022 07:46
Thank you everyone. I have been considering taking her for an assessment for a few months now but struggling to know where to start really.
I’ve spoken to both her teachers since started school and they have both said she is sensitive but on the whole enjoys school, very happy to take part and has lots of friends. She does sometimes get overwhelmed with her work and rushes through things.
I’ve tried therapy for myself but I found it very painful having to bring it all up again after years so I didn’t get very far with it. I will try my GP and school for DD though re her sensory issues.
reluctantbrit · 17/01/2022 07:53
You did the right thing for you and her, you walked away and protected her from further abuse.
I think you need to take a couple of other things into account, we are now living nearly 2 years with restrictions, that does affect all of us. Our neighbour also has a 6 year old and often says that there are behaviour issues as rules constantly change in school, they don't understand why they are allowed to do things once but not again a couple of weeks later, events and clubs are cancelled.
DD was absolutely great until she turned 5 and we discovered she is borderline ADD. I am not saying your DD has any issues but lots of things develop and children change.
You may still project some latent issues onto her, she may pick up on your feelings.
It may be worth looking at family therapy or at least talk to someone yourself about your feelings and your experience, you got away but it's impossible to just shut your past away.
You will go through this, your DD has your love and that's what counts.
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