Advice on toxic and manipulative co-parenting

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    After several months looking for work and living off my savings, I managed to find a really good job abroad (2h flight), that pays well and allows me to continue working in my field of work.

    The court granted me the right to bring my son with me (the father initially opposed), but I have to pay all the flights every 3 months for my son to see his dad, and we keep contact via biweekly video conferences. He is also allowed to stay at my house when he can afford to come and visit (he has been once in 18 months!).

    My problem is that he is a bully and continues to try to control me via the videos for example, and is constantly putting pressure for us to get back together, saying how damaging we are being to our child to be growing without a father, and how unfair it is that he is not seeing his son growing on a daily basis. The pressure is constant, and if for example I cannot do a video conference one day and move it to the next day, he wants to know why on the basis that he always wants to know where his son is.

    In a few months I am due to travel for work, leaving my son with my parents, who will come to stay at my house. I worry that he will not allow me to do that, and will demand that I take my son to stay with him instead. He is not a good father, in a sense that he is very unstable, he was unemployed for more than 2 years since we left our jobs, still lives with his mother, and pays close to nothing in terms of maintenance. He has parental responsibility too, so do I need to ask his permission to leave my son with the grandparents?

    How do I stop this man from controlling my life through my son, and how do I stop feeling guilty from having left the country to search for a better life for me and my son? I am the resident parent, bearing the full burden of a child, totally alone in a foreign country and at the mercy of a controlling father. I feel I deserve the right to have a personal life to, and at the moment that feels very difficult and very constrained. Also, I do worry a lot about the mental damage that he can do one day, by manipulating my son against me and saying I took him away from his father.

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