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I don't want to have the children

104 replies

mynamechangemyrules · 04/06/2023 17:22

Short summary- My ex was abusive emotionally/ financially etc. We left 5 years ago. He has sustained his abuse and control post divorce. Access times are changed, children dropped back, maintenance unpaid, threats made when I try to 'enforce' some normality- he will report me to SS for uninhabitable house (it's rough round the edges as all I can afford) etc.

Children are btwn 5-13, 3 of them. They are relentless hard work and thanks in part to stuff their father signed them up to they have lots of sport and other clubs. The eldest directly mirrors his fathers words- I am lazy/ stupid/ fat.

I pack and sort everything for them for every time they go to him as he has refused to keep doubles of items despite repeated sending of extra sets.

They go rarely and it's always a battle to get them there. Once there he does shower them with branded items they love.

I don't think I love them any more. I don't even like them. I am just like a maid for them, not even a nanny as I think a nanny would give and receive more love. If they try to share emotions with me I no longer can. I don't want to sit with them/ hug them etc.

I want them to go and live with their father/ not with me.

I think that he will damage them but also I must be damaging them as I no longer love them.

Do I just write an email to him asking for him to have full custody?

OP posts:
mynamechangemyrules · 04/06/2023 17:25

For some more context, sorry, he refused 50/50 access in the mediation/ divorce. But he keeps saying he will take them full time because I am not raising them to a standard he believes they should have.

Also- apologies for drip feeding, not sure what is relevant or not tbh- I work full time in an emotionally demanding/ empathetic job.

OP posts:
napody · 04/06/2023 17:32

I'm really sorry, I don't want to read and run, this sounds so hard. You sound like things have got pretty far- perhaps burnout (an element of which is depersonalisation which means feeling 'dead to' or cut off from people especially if they're dependent on you)
I do think you should see your GP urgently- possibly would refer you for MH support or sign you off work (which might mean you have some emotional capacity back for the children?) Please lean on people around you. You have held everything together until now despite the odds.

napody · 04/06/2023 17:33

And, obviously, he's an arsehole. You know that but it didn't seem right not to say it! Absolute scum.

Fluffycloudsblusky · 04/06/2023 17:34

Your sound depressed/burnt out. And no wonder given the information you provided about the children’s father.
Can you see your GP to discuss your mood.
@napody gives excellent advice

toomanyleggings · 04/06/2023 17:38

You poor thing. I don’t have any advice but I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time

Quitelikeit · 04/06/2023 17:42

Is there a court order in place for contact?

If yes what does it say?

How often does he see them?

Please text him:

Asshole, as from this moment onwards you will be blocked from contacting me via my phone and all social media platforms

I will supply you with an email address and I will check that once a week and reply to you only if necessary

Ignore silly requests

why doesn’t he pay regular maintenance? Have you been to the CSA?

Onemyownhere · 04/06/2023 17:42

I felt the same way when me and my ex broke up minus the verbal abuse from my side son.... I went to counciling and then booked myself to see the GP who diognosed me with anxiety and depression... Please don't give up, you are stronger than you think💪🏽❤️... Also do u have any friends or family u can talk to? I sometimes speaking to someone can help... When the kids are in school u can meet up with them and have a me time for a bit ?

Quitelikeit · 04/06/2023 17:48

Also do not let this man break you

Do not send all the extra clothing - if he doesn’t provide it then they can’t go and that’s on him not you

You need to talk to your children and let them know in a age appropriate way that there fathers actions are not very nice

Stomacharmeleon · 04/06/2023 18:01

I have three boys and it's difficult. They are older now but i empathise with you. It's bloody hard.

You need to assert your boundaries.
If he threatens you with SS tell him to fill his boots.
Don't send extra gear. He needs to provide it for the clubs HE signed them up for.
Please contact the cms and do it properly. Ask that they collect and pay you. It can be done.
I would second the email idea and BLOCK him. Your older child will speak to him no doubt. Cut all unnecessary noise out.

And please see the doctor. You know you have had enough and you need to talk to someone. Don't let him win.

porridgecake · 04/06/2023 18:11

When he says he will take them full time just say yes, when will you be collecting them.
When he threatens social services just say yes, thats fine, go ahead.
There is every possibility that SS will help you, document his referral as malicious and ignore him in future.

Lwrenagain · 04/06/2023 18:16

This sounds tough, I'm so sorry you're in this situation.

He sounds a frigging dreamboat, your ex does. Hope he gets a papercut on his bellend.

Right, your kids are being arses, but they've probably been traumatised by his behaviour towards you or feel it's normal to speak to you in that way, no wonder you're burnt out.

I'd suggest that you go the doctors for some counselling and there's no shame in an antidepressant for the time being, take the edge off.

Get some counselling, cbt or emdr, whatever your counsellor recommends and then when you're in a better place emotionally, have a game plan for the kids.

You obviously love them or they'd not be able to hurt you so badly with how you're being treated, they're wearing you down and it's no surprise you're not wanting to be around them right now, but I suspect as will most folk here, you're just exhausted and need a break, not to permanently have them gone from your custody.

Very telling he won't do 50/50 but thinks he's good enough for full-time care giving duties, what an entitled audacious little twat.

You're going to pull through this shitty time and be stronger and learn more techniques to cope, but don't make any major decisions whilst you're so ran down.

If when you're in a better place you truly still feel you'd be happier if they were with your ex, then revisit it then, but now it feels like a massive thing to do that could have huge consequences for you all.

I'm really hoping you get some help 💐

mynamechangemyrules · 04/06/2023 18:56

Thank you for your advice. My sisters are great. I can't have me time as my work timings are longer than their timings and it is all face to face (ie I can't pop out unfortunately).

I have previously done the replying with 'please do refer me to whoever you want to' type thing. I've also not sent clothes. But he ignored the first and the second makes life hard for the kids. He does say 'mum doesn't really care about you if she won't get your things ready for XYZ does she?' And other things. My middle one apparently said 'she does but she doesn't like packing things' 😂

I think the burned out detached thing sounds spot on- I'm not even very sad about it all when I'm usually quite an emotional person. I just feel like I don't want anyone to touch me or speak emotionally near me (I know that sounds mad). My sister went to hug me and I flinched, it felt awful. I like a good hug but haven't wanted/ given one for a month or more now.

At the moment I'm just keeping everyone arms length but I realise this isn't a long term plan.

I've tried the GP before for counselling and it was a massive waste of time. No one seems to do counselling out of work hours and I cannot do it 8-5.

OP posts:
mynamechangemyrules · 04/06/2023 18:57

I don't want to take anti depressants. I don't know why really. But I think part of it is that this is so 'not me'. But maybe it is me now after all these years

OP posts:
underneaththeash · 04/06/2023 19:02

We’ll if they’re not going often and he doesn’t pay maintenance why are you even engaging with him at all? Stop making any effort.
go through CMS and live your life as normal.

Freefall212 · 04/06/2023 19:07

With summer break coming, this would be a good time for him to have them full time. Take some annual leave and go away by yourself for a week and recharge.

See how long the full time lasts. You can tell the kids beforehand that they will stay at dads for awhile as you have to be away for a bit to deal with an important situation (or something). Do not tell him or the kids you are burned out / depressed.

Iyiyiiii · 04/06/2023 19:09

underneaththeash · 04/06/2023 19:02

We’ll if they’re not going often and he doesn’t pay maintenance why are you even engaging with him at all? Stop making any effort.
go through CMS and live your life as normal.

I agree with this
From what I am reading, you are so burnt out, you cannot think straight, you need a break some time for just you. Can you take some parental leave, and just be you while they are at school?

 The eldest directly mirrors his fathers words- I am lazy/ stupid/ fat.
You reply, thats not very kind is it, how do you think it makes someone feel to hear that?

 he will report me to SS for uninhabitable house (it's rough round the edges as all I can afford) etc.
Off you go then love, here's the number....

he refused 50/50 access in the mediation/ divorce. But he keeps saying he will take them full time because I am not raising them to a standard he believes they should have.
So you dont want them half the time, but you want them all the time?

He does say 'mum doesn't really care about you if she won't get your things ready for XYZ does she?' And other things. My middle one apparently said 'she does but she doesn't like packing things' 😂
This is a little harder, but you can bat it back with, when you're with your dad, he should be providing for you.

I don't want to take anti depressants. 
Why not, do you take paracetamol when you have a headache?

Carryonkeepinggoing · 04/06/2023 19:11

Antidepressants don’t have to be a forever thing. You can try them and stop if you don’t like them. It’s a bit like the contraceptive pill in that you have to give it a few months if you want to try them - it takes a few weeks for them start working and for any side effects to settle. You also need to engage with drs monitoring when you try them out because occasionally they have really weird effects on your mood. But the. one way they are used is like crutches. You take the pills to get your mood stable enough to cope, then you fix all the environmental crap that causing your depression in the first place, and then when your life is in a better state, you can wean yourself off the antidepressants.
This isn’t the way they are used for everyone who takes them - some people have depression or anxiety that isn’t linked to life circumstances and the meds help then too. But in a situation like yours, the crutches analogy might be helpful.

Clickcamera · 04/06/2023 19:15

Hey OP
Honestly I think the issue with your children (I might be wrong but from my experience) is possibly that this is the thing that is keeping you being abused and controlled by your ex. Without them you would be free from him and that is hard.

I do not know how long you were together but honestly this experience takes time to recover from especially if you have had to put up with the continuation since you separated with contact too.

Honestly the best advise is as mentioned above get an email address and insist on any non emergency contact (hospital etc) through the email, do not answer any of the crap he sends that is not relevant to what you have to. If he still calls you and texts you do not reply if it is not relevant and let it go to voicemail.

Disengage from the threats he makes, if the oldest is a teen they can leave the house or the car with the younger ones without you having contact with their Dad at all depending on if he picks up or you drop off, can you get someone else to drop them off?

If you HAVE to see him like Porridge said tell him that is fine, report me and disengage.

You can self refer to wellbeing services in my area and they have an online program and support for those who work. I understand you may not want to take antidepresents but they have really helped me, we have charities locally who offer free counselling, have a look around as they are more likely to help you with times. Domestic abuse local charities will definitely be able to point you the right way!

I have learned all this the hard way!

magnolia1997 · 04/06/2023 19:15

My experience of anti-depressants is that they 'steady the ship' to help you manage the stuff going on around you that is causing the anxiety and depression.

DPotter · 04/06/2023 19:19

No one seems to do counselling out of work hours and I cannot do it 8-5

I'm going to be quite firm with you here mynamechangemyrules

You know the safety briefing on airplanes - put on your own oxygen masks before putting masks on others ? Well this applies to you. You're caring pretty much full time for 3 children, one of whom is hitting puberty and all that entails, with an abusive Ex who thinks baiting you is a national sport. So you have to take time for yourself, before you become unable to care for your children or yourself. And frankly I think you're pretty much at breaking point.

Whether you are employed or self employed one of the best investments you can make is in your own health. I can see no reason why you cannot arrange a counselling session either at the beginning or the end of your working day, and take an hour or so off. I think this would do you a world of good. You don't even need to leave your place of work - many counsellors will arrange Zoom appointments.

So I think you should make a list of things to do next week -

  1. Find a counsellor who you think you can work with
  2. book that appointment
  3. sit your 13 yr old DS down and read him the riot act.
  4. tell your ex he can sign the children up to as many after school activities as he likes - he will need to transport them to and from and provide / maintain all the necessary kit.

    I know I'm just typing this all out and it's easy for me to do so. But sometimes, just sometimes, the external viewer can cut through the crap in a problem and get to the nitty-gritty.

    Don't give up on your relationship with your kids just yet - please
Whatyoutalkingabouteh · 04/06/2023 19:20

I’m sorry you are feeling this way. Possibly if you had more support you wouldn’t- at the moment it’s full on for you that you’re not enjoying being a parent. It shouldn’t all be down to you.
i do think a visit to your GP as you’re possibly suffering from depression (I’m not surprised!) but with some medication, counselling, and support you might feel differently x

Clickcamera · 04/06/2023 19:21

In regards to all the clubs they are doing do they want to do them all? It sounds like Dad has signed them up to lots to control your live still. Does he pay for the clubs? If not get them to choose one or two they really want to go to.
If he pays them you email him and say as from x date I will no longer be able to do clubs on x or y date and you will need to make arrangements to take them on those days.
If he comes back and tells you he is taking full custody because of the above simply ask him when he wants to do that from and when he will pick them up (he will shit himself I am betting!)

Also you can go one of two ways with your son, you can either ignore it but I am assuming things are being said in front of the younger kids so I would call him out on it with a we do not talk like that in this house and have consequences if he carries on. The worst he can do is threaten to go live with his Dad and you are at that point anyway.

mynamechangemyrules · 04/06/2023 19:33

Really relived to be getting useful advice, thank you. @DPotter I'm going to follow your to do list.
I think my mind is addled by it all.
I dropped them to my sister and sat on the edge of a field and 2 hours passed really quickly. I was just staring into the distance like the madwoman I have become.

OP posts:
Iyiyiiii · 04/06/2023 19:51

Well done, am hoping for a good update soon

You deserve to be happy xx

DPotter · 04/06/2023 20:21

You're not a mad woman.

You're a woman holding down a f/t job, caring for 3 kids and a shitty ex. In other words you are awesome. You and women like you are the backbone of society. You are allowed time to yourself. It's good for you. I'm so pleased you have your sister.

It's catching these few moments of time for you that are so important.

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