I need help
4 January 2022 at 11:16 am #64441
My mum and dad have asked me to give in a join a group that possibly is dealing with the same or similar issues I am.
My daughter is 10 and has always known me and her dad to be separated, I have always tried to be the better person in making sure she understands she has 2 parents that love her unconditionally and that she has the support she needs to get through life. But she has lately been saying she doesn’t want to see her dad anymore isn’t able to tell me why.! This isn’t the first time this has happened and isn’t going to be the last. Her dad has always had a way with emotional blackmail and has caused me heartache and doubts on being a mum I’ve never listened but I’ve never been able to stand upto him either he has spent the last 10 years bullying and blackmailing me into getting what he wants even though he’s been in a comfortable relationship with his partner for the past 5/6 years (she’s great with my girl).
My daughter has decided to not see her dad again at 10 years old and he has hit back by taking her presents away from her that she was allowed to bring home from there house including her mobile phone she had got for her bday. His parents turned up at my house to collect these (no bad blood between me and grandparents)
He has messaged me today saying this needs to be sorted ASAP and that legal action is an option but all I’ve done is try to stand by my daughter and her choices as this is what her dad has told her to do “make your own choices and be your own person” she does this he doesn’t like it and now I’m piggy in the middle facing legal action.
I dont know what to do, who to talk too, where to run too.. im scared and alone. Thankyou for reading this. Sorry its so long.!4 January 2022 at 11:59 am #64449
Hello there G.
Forgive me for speaking plainly. I’ll try to order my feedback so it makes most sense.
Firstly, sounds like your confidence as a parent and a mother is depleted. This is not your fault and sounds like rather a result of the bullying you have encountered over a long period of time with your ex. You can rebuild your self-esteem and re-establish your boundaries with your ex, (and indeed the grandparents) but that may take time.
It is important to re-visit what your rights and responsiblities are as a parent (otherwise known as parental responsiblity). You can Google this. Grandparents and relatives of ex’s albeit sometimes well-meaning actually do not have the right to interfere in your parental decisions and in my view it is completely wrong that they are attempting to do so i.e. taking the phone back, it simply muddies the waters and is another form of intimidation and bullying in my book. It may take you a while to assert boundaries with them – but no matter how much you think you get on with them they are being used by your ex to bully you, by the sound of it. And that needs to stop. They need to stop interfering.
Get a cheap phone for your daughter that you own and pay for yourself and then you are not dependent on your ex for that.
I’m not sure how old you are (indeed this is not really relevant – there are excellent very young parents and likewise very good older ones..) and not sure whether you live with your parents or not but there again, there needs to be boundaries between what you think is best as a parent, and their involvement with your child. You don’t have to join any group if you don’t want to. If you do, it should be possible for it to remain confidential if you want it to remain so. Sounds like you are trying to work things out in your head and need a bit of space to do that, which is totally understandable.
Next, re the court. Unfortunately and sadly many ex partners seem to think that it is acceptable to threaten the ex partner with going to court. Of course it is an ‘option’. It is an ‘option’ for you likewise and actually as last resort and if talking and mediation fails then it may be advisable for you to take that step. It is your right as a parent and your decision. Although admittedly it may seem terrifying at first, there is plenty of help out there and you might even find that it is the best option. You mention that it is not the first time ex has attempted to blackmail you and this is totally unacceptable.
Personally, I also find his behaviour with your daughter i.e taking her phone away if she doesn’t want to go to his place – his behaviour is appalling and beyond the pale.
Calm is needed, it sounds like and I’m sure you are already asking yourself what the reason is that she does not wish to go to her dad’s place.
It might be all sorts of things, but whatever the reason may be, his behaving like this is not going to help one bit.
Family Court can be difficult but the procedure is basically for one person to fill in a form to regulate child contact….mediation is not advisable if there has been domestic abuse, physical, emotional or financial and in these cases it is not required.
You attend a hearing which may still be remote hearing due to covid. If your daughter is ten then Cafcass may be involved (have a look at the website) and then will interview her and ask her what she wants.
It is very difficult to be strong in the face of such things, no matter how young or old you are. However when I say you urgently need to ‘grow a pair’ you will hopefuly understand I mean that with the kindest of intent and that piece of advice is hard won, through experience.
There will be many many other situations as a single parent going forward when you will need to stand up for yourself and your child in the face of people who emotionally try to push you around and test your boundaries. Please start now. You will sometimes fail and wobble. I did. It is a learning curve and sometimes very hard.
There are most likely many things you haven’t said. Guess that others will be along to point out things I’ve missed.
Good luck and virtual hug if you wish it.
ww4 January 2022 at 1:52 pm #64451
I think all you can really do is encourage child to see dad. sounds like he has done the damage taking phone away from child. so can understand why she would not want to go there. the negative vibes are obvious. he can apply to court but the way that system is, he will most likely have a tough time going through it. also if they take the childs wishes and feelings seriously, then they can not force the child to spend time with father if she does not want to.