Struggling to cope….
16 July 2019 at 10:55 pm #27739
I’ve had my 2 boys now living with me for 1yr and 3mths and I’m struggling with a few things……
I’lll try to be as brief as I can but have to go back to the start as a kid myself and I certainly didnt have the best start in life. Pretty much my mum was a single parent but she didnt have the skills of being a parent. As a kid I was terrified of her as she had a temper and I seemed to bear the brunt of this at times or when this wasnt the case left neglected. Yes there was always food on the table, yes there was clothes on my back and a roof over my head. School life wasnt great as struggled to make friends and was bullied and I wasnt allowed out to play. When I got to the age of going senior school was packed off to boarding school and yes it gave me the opportunity to do things that I wouldn’t have done at home but I was still the odd one out.
Fast forward to my 30’s and I met someone, she already had kids and soon fell pregnant but to be honest she like me was broken and often we argued because she was too severe on the kids. Eventually things happened and we broke up and she moved out but then we stupidly patched things up and got back together and a few years later she fell pregnant again. Was a difficult pregnancy for her due to mobility and she was in and out of hospital but I was there for her and after she gave birth was very much a hands on dad however our relationship was toxic. We had our own places but 1 day I went round and she had upped and gone. My youngest wasnt even a year old at this point and for 3.5yrs I was cut off from their life. If it hadn’t been that I met someone new I dont know if I’d even be writing this today. I’d been arrested on charges brought on by my wife and I knew trying to have access to my kids was not the best thing to do at that stage. In April 2016 I finally cleared my name and in November I approached a solicitor about trying to gain access to my children. Because I was working and because my wife would not completely unjustified in claiming domestic abuse although wasnt all 1 sided especially with recent changes to the law. She advised me that to try gain access would cost 10’s of thousands of pounds I didnt have so that was it I would probably never see my kids again. Little did I know but behind the scene events were happening that would change my life.
March 31st a date very significant as it’s my youngest birthday something I had only shared on the day he was born and I get a phone call at work from my fiance. Someone has just been to the house looking for you I’ve given him your number as he said it was important he delivered a letter to you, only thing I could think of was divorce papers?
Sure enough he called me and we agreed to meet in a public place. He pulled up in a 4×4 and wound the window and passed me the envelope. We chatted a bit and then he drove off. I opened the letter and my world spun when I read it. Was from social services suggesting I contact a solicitor as my kids were involved in care proceedings though didnt go into detail. I met with the solicitor and this time as it was family court I was eligible for legal aid. Fast forward a few months and I finally had contact with James my oldest and it was like we had never been apart and soon was outside. There was a question that they wanted to do a DNA test on my youngest which I passed with flying colours and they had to do some work getting him to know me as remember last time I had seen him he had been a baby trundling up to me and pulling on my trouser leg for me to pick him up. Contacts with my eldest was going great and the options were either they stayed in foster care or I put myself forward. I had a partner who strangely had already met my children twice before we got together, we both worked so shouldnt be a problem except her kids were in care but she is most definitely not a bad mum. Finally I met Elliott my youngest and he had changed and I didnt know him but soon learnt he was still a cheeky chap. Months dragged by and I passed the second assessment as got my own place and had done what I could to make it a home. It looked at point she was going to agree and we had a xmas contact and plan was to start letting them visit but after new year she had changed her mind again. Everyone could she was playing a game especially when she was claiming a new allegation against me that she was going to report to the police. Finally after protracted proceedings the kids were placed in my care a year after receiving the letter.
I’ll admit I suffer from self doubt but enough people are singing my praises that sometimes start to believe them but its lonely and it’s hard and I’m having to refer to healthy minds myself if I want to bThere are things I’m not doing right and maybe should be using more positive parenting but Elliott’s behaviour recently has been challenging both at home and at school despite trying various methods to improve this. Lying, stealing, destructive, violent and threatening behaviour at times and he has separation anxiety. Social services dropped the ball by not putting him forward to healthy minds but not all negative. He has come on leaps and bounds at school especially in reading and writing.
They took six months to clear my fiance to be around the children and we could only meet up on rare occasions then when they did clear her was still some time until she finally stay over. Most of my friends have kinda disappeared and then recently I split up with my partner after 5 years together. I’ve been pretty much a single dad mostly for just over a year now anyway so nothing new. I have plans to try take them away this summer, they want to do fishing with their sibling which is contact I supervise and I’m going to take them to their first football game. Where I live was always temporary in my mind but now I have to make it a home although if I could live anywhere wouldn’t be here. Especially as they are starting dispensation of care order
If you managed to read through that I do salute you and sorry was so long I could have just said it’s lonely, it’s hard and isolated that even I’m having to refer to healthy minds as I got to break the cycle from my own past and be as amazing of a dad as I can be…..16 July 2019 at 11:58 pm #27742
I didnt want to read and run! Firstly well done! As a social worker myself, I know navigating care proceedings is one of the hardest things. Your past and battle is not connected to your loneliness.
Your past and battle has made you ridiculously strong and has enabled you to give your boys a good home!
We all feel lonely and I wish I could give you some advice on this! But I’m struggling with it myself. I think its important to try and find other people in similar situations! To make friends. Someone for a coffee or a walk in the park. It’s the little things where actually you can say nothing and they understand because they share the same feelings.20 July 2019 at 11:06 am #28116
so sorry to hear you’re struggling. But I have to say what an amazing job you’ve done, and how far you’ve come. You probably are too involved in getting through each day to see that, but it’s very obvious to me having read your post.
No helpful advice really, other than to say keep going.
I have been split from my husband for 2 months, and I know how desperately lonely it is. I keep waiting for the front door to open as the evening wears on but, of course, it never does.
Happy to chat any time!20 July 2019 at 10:08 pm #28129
Hi, I really cannot imagine what you have been and are going through. All I would suggest is to show yourself the same love and care you give your children. Your eldest is struggling but dont forget part of that may just be growing up/ hormones/ school stuff. Perhaps you could ask GP for advice to build resilience and overcome the separation anxiety. Of course it’s going to be a process. I take my hat off to you…as long as your consistently there and fair your kids will be just fine. Give urself a pat on the back mate it’s not easy bug you muddle through day by day doing your best for your kids4 August 2019 at 12:27 pm #28731
Thank you for the replies and I suppose F1Madmum you are right difficult when living it looking out bit easier to see when outside looking in.
Ec576 I think I’m just learning to accept that regardless of what has happened in my life I’ve through the other side (or hope so), my kids are home and safe and looking back I’ve done bloody amazing. Patience is what I need now as this isnt going to always be how it is
KB123 true I guess I needed to just get it all out and that’s only really 1/2 the story but yes perhaps there’s a local group for single parents or something me and the kids could join where we did some activity but with others.