Reality bites

  • 20 Replies
  • 1006 Views
*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Reality bites
« on: May 05, 2021, 06:19:06 PM »
It's been a few months since I left. Things were great the first month or so. I felt really confident and free. More recently it has been harder. I'm ashamed to say I fell into communicating with pd more than I should. I'm not sure how I got sucked into it. He keeps texting and phoning, and we have to communicate about the kids. He has been relentlessly trying to make me feel guilty, and making me second guess my decision, and he is ramping up his demands for custody.

I don't want him having the kids on his own, because of his history of crazy behaviour and suicide threats, and also on a more practical level he would not have any idea how to look after them (they are very young). So I have been hosting his visits in my house. These visits have crept up to several times a week - almost every day. I am afraid to challenge pd, because I don't want him to take me to court, where he would likely be awarded unsupervised access and overnight stays - this puts the terror in me. There is no way on earth that would be safe for the kids.

So, I'm in this weird limbo of keeping him sweet, being obliging, allowing all these *!*! visits to my home. Pd is still trying to 'save' our marriage, and I have been basically fobbing him off, while my wheels are spinning trying to work out what to do. I am stressed all the time. I'm anxious and afraid all the time. Even at work I can't stop worrying. (I can't see a therapist because I can't afford it, and I have no friends to talk to about any of this)

I would do anything to protect my kids. I'd stay with pd if I thought it would keep them safe. But then, living in a home with a pd is hardly ideal either.  But maybe I could find a way to make it work. I keep going round in circles about this.

It just infuriates me, because if he was more self aware then he would see that the current set up is fine. The kids are happy, they love their new home, they see plenty of him, there is no need for him to have them overnight when he has never taken care of them by himself. But of course being pd he just sees the kids as pawns to use against me. This has nothing to do with what's best for them.

I know I have said all this before, sorry. Just looking again for support from people who know what it's like.

*

Boat Babe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 915
  • To survive is necessary. To thrive is elegant.
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 08:46:46 PM »
How awful for you. I don't know what to suggest re the kids but please get some legal advice asap. This situation is not good for you. At least you know he is being manipulative and playing straight out of the PD handbook. Don't give in to his pressure, whatever you do.
It gets better. It has to.

*

notrightinthehead

  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 3768
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2021, 03:11:20 AM »
Can you prove this:
".... unsupervised access and overnight stays - this puts the terror in me. There is no way on earth that would be safe for the kids...."?

Do you have documentation or witnesses that can confirm this? If not, how can you support this statement? How can you build a case? How can you document his behaviour?

It seems that it is far too comfortable and pleasant for your h to come over and be with you and your kids. Is there any way you can make it less pleasant? Not be there? Have it in a public place? With witnesses, again?

You write you are anxious all the time. Is there any way you could give yourself a time out? Even just for a few minutes a day? When you forbid yourself to think about him?  And focus on yourself? What you want? What you can do? The moment he creeps back into your mind - mentally say NO to yourself NOT NOW and on purpose think about yourself.

The way you describe your situation, your fear of leaving the kids alone with him is the chain with which you have tied yourself to him. And the highway on which he will return into your life.  What are your options? What can you do?  Where can you get help? Legal? Emotional? You write you cannot afford a therapist. Is there a women's shelter that has a self help group? A CoDA group? An online group?

Keep your hope. Little step by little step you will find your way out of this!

I can't hate my way into loving myself.

*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2021, 06:11:12 PM »
Thanks - and sorry, I was in a bit of a state when I wrote that post. I hadn't been here for a while - but actually I still really need this forum! Just posting and reading your kind replies really helped me today. I turned off my phone, focused on my work and my kids, and I felt it was a good day.

I have documented evidence of what he was like when we lived together. It is mostly mood swings and ST, he never threatened us physically.
He has threatened suicide on several occasions before - I have this documented. Much of his worrying behaviour is fairly low-level, weird stuff. He has very disordered thinking, doesn't listen to logic. I have been advised by L that if we went to court it's likely he would NOT be granted much unsupervised custody, in light of his history of mental illness (documented). But even a L can't say for certain what way it would go - it would depend on the judge on the day, and some judges have this old fashioned view that fathers should have part time custody, no matter what. A woman who lives locally - her exH was into drugs and all sorts and has been awarded EOW custody, unsupervised. So you just don't know. 

*

hhaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 3543
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 04:37:30 AM »
After you file divorce you'll be stuck.....unable to move or change up current visitation schedule likely.

If it's possible.  If you have friends or family far away....can find employment far away....a Judge won't stop you moving while married and not in court, is all I'm saying.

People move, bc of jobs all the time.

Younger children would have an easier time adjusting to a move, ime.  Esp if it contributes to their safety... if you believe it would.

You're in a tough spot, I know you are.  The best you can do is mitigate harm.  There are no perfect answers.  Accept that.  Try not to worry.

Do what you can, then put the problems on the shelf so you can look your kids in the eye and be fully present with them.  Really look them in the eye and seek out joy.

The kids are little for a very short while.  You'll regret missing these years if the PD keeps too much if your attention all the time, ime.

Make forts.  Go out into the rain.  Lusten to the wind blow through the trees and guess what they're saying....a storm's coming, rain? 

Kids are amazing and creative....and they know when mommy's not herself.

Breathe...deep and often.  Dont5let the PD take anything you can hold on to.

Good luck.

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2021, 09:45:09 AM »
Thanks Hhaw, you are so kind. I hadn't thought about moving out of town, but it's something to consider. I don't know if I'd do it though, because it would anger him even more. I'm trying to avoid angering him too much, because of ramifications for the kids.

This is the thing. It's ok letting him take the kids on his own for a few hours if we are living together and he's in relatively good mood. I'm able to keep an eye on things, and I'd never let him take them if he was in a bad mood. But if we are separated, suddenly I'm put in the position of having to hand the kids over to angry, bitter, raging man with history of mental instability. It's just crap.

Still, I've been a bit calmer the past few days, focussing on the kids and telling myself everything will be okay, somehow or other!!!

*

athene1399

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1314
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2021, 06:36:53 PM »
I like Not Rightís suggestion of having the visitation in a public place. That way h isnít invading your space. You no longer live together, so imo he has no reason to come inside your house.

It also sounds like you have good evidence. Keep collecting more as you go in case it is needed in the future.

*

hhaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 3543
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2021, 06:46:20 PM »
You don't have to protect your kids forever.  Just till they can fend for themselves.

Time flies.

This too shall pass.

The strife will inform your children as well as leave marks.  My girls are so mature and smart about things I didn't learn till in my 30's, 40's and 50's.

Treat the really tough times as opportunities to teach, always with compassion for sick daddy.....b7t the kids need to understand....daddy is sick.

They need tools and plans and structure around that person....hopefully you have good supports and help figuring this out.

Always mitigating harm.

I found there was never enough placating to control my ASPD.  Eventually they push till you can't pretend or letvthem push you farther with boundaries and mental your health.

IME the PDs push till we have to say NO, then use our NO as excuse to get angry.  They're heading there anyway. 

For what it's worth, going no contact with them, holding their feet to the fire in court and every condition the court sets....is the inevitable and shortest way back to a sane daily life.

You have the illusion of control while placating the PD.  I've done lots if it.  Messy, emotionally costly and in my case, regretful.

You have the best information about what's good for you.

You should listen to your instincts, understanding the PD will do what PDs do, and plan accordingly.

I'd say some of your plan depends on how well you can document pd mental health issues.  Gaining full physical and legal custodyvneans you havee mire control. 

Courts are more willing to give a sane, reasonable, compassionate parent sole custody 7f they believe they'll facilitate the best possible relationship between kids and pd parent.

Some courts just hand out joint custody, bc they're jaded and or ignorant...too overwhelmed to care about the kids.

It's a crap shoot, I'm not gonna lie.

It's less of a crapshoot if you know your Judge, hire his best buddy as your attorney and provide solid evidence to prove what your up against.

One thing I did was stop looking terrified the PD would harm my kids.  I took an attorneys advice and offered the kids up, packed bags.....mentioned I needed the time....had plans, etc.

ASPD stbx took the kids once, and called 10 minutes later to drop the youngest DD back with me.  I said no.

He never took the kids again and I offered them up all the time.....the fun was over if he couldnt5torment and leverage me with fear anymore.

I did what you're doing....let him visit kids at the house....mistly while others were there, not me.

ASPD erased my entire computer contents TWICE, put a keystroke recorder on my computer and bugged the phones....he didn't really care about seeing the kids.

He wanted access to me and my life....to sabotage, pressure and wear me down so I couldn't divorce him.

Think hard.  What does your gut say your PD will do when he realizes he can't gain your compliance?  Things typically escalate, bc that's what PDs DO, ime.  Always always.

How can you mitigate harm?

Good luck,
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2021, 10:23:09 AM »
Thanks Hhaw. You're right, I don't have to protect them forever. They are so young though, and a long way from being able to fend for themselves.

Pd says he wants EOW and is prepared to take me to court to get this. I think the judge will grant it. Pd has been very smart over the last few months, has got himself into therapy and back on meds, and hasn't missed a days work. I think he will be given EOW.

At first he said he didnt want kids for whole weekend, as it would be too much (for them and for him). My gut tells me he will now push ahead for EOW, and will continue to push for more and more custody. He will not be happy until he has 50/50, which would be an absolute disaster for my children.

So I have to decide. Abandon the kids to the mercy of a pd. Or return to the marriage, keep my head down, protect the kids and plan to leave once they are 18 and custody is no longer an issue. But they are under 5. So that is a long, long time. I feel sick at the thought of going back, but don't know how I can cope with the alternative.

*

Rose1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1125
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2021, 03:18:17 AM »
Does he really want a relationship with the kids? Or is it about punishing you? I wonder if you let him know you are looking forward to me time when he has the kids. Its about time you went out with the girls a bit more, took in a show, maybe week away? My ex suddenly decided he did not want to "help me out"

*

Stillirise

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 317
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2021, 10:50:34 PM »
Does he really want a relationship with the kids? Or is it about punishing you? I wonder if you let him know you are looking forward to me time when he has the kids. Its about time you went out with the girls a bit more, took in a show, maybe week away? My ex suddenly decided he did not want to "help me out"

 :yeahthat:

I was scared for years, for similar reasons as you, CBS.  In the end, he isnít using nearly all the custody days heís allotted, but does get credit for those days financially.  He makes lots of fuss about wanting to spend more time with the kids, but doesnít actually make it happen, especially once I stopped letting him ďvisitĒ them in my home. I agree with the suggestion of meeting in a neutral location, if possible, for now.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, Iíll rise.
óMaya Angelou

*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2021, 07:09:07 AM »
Does he really want a relationship with the kids? Or is it about punishing you? I wonder if you let him know you are looking forward to me time when he has the kids. Its about time you went out with the girls a bit more, took in a show, maybe week away? My ex suddenly decided he did not want to "help me out"

Hi rose, he wants a relationship with them, but only for his benefit. They are incredibly cute and make him look great on his multiple Instagram pages. He uses them for supply, loves all the likes and comments he gets. Also he as OCDPD. The kids are now his latest obsession. I've seen him cycle through multiple obsessions over the years. I think I was his obsession when we first met. Now his obsession is the kids (who he never bothered with before). It's totally illogical, and impossible to argue with. Now the only possible glimmer of hope is that his obsessions tend to run their course and are then dropped and replaced by something else. As far as the kids go, I'm not sure how this obsession will play out. It's so scary.

*

JustKeepTrying

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 243
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2021, 02:35:32 AM »
CagedBirdSinging,

This thread is difficult for me because I wish I had the strength you are displaying when I was a young mom with very little ones.  I wish I had flown then and avoided the issues I have today.

32 years married to my OCPDxh.  Three children.  DD 29 DD 28 DS 19 and all struggling.  DDs are in the fog and my ex has them fooled with his constant martyr bit and pity party.  Poor poor me my wife with cancer left me after blah blah blah.  So many problems and decades of therapy will hopefully fix.  I shielded them from the worst of it - I picked up so many fleas that I am guilty for some of the issues they have today.   I should have left and I struggle with that guilt every day.

I know you have an established home now - but the suggestion to move is a good one.  Move closer to family or a good friend.  I doubt your ex will follow.  Too much work.  A new place and a new start will help all of you.  The short-term financial kick will pay off with better mental health.

If not, document.  everything.  no little thing should go undocumented.  Use that co-parenting app and communicate through it.  That will help with the documenting and keep down the stress.  I had an agreement filed immediately upon the divorce papers that laid out a clear schedule to be followed until the divorce was in place.  Use the excuse of the courts and lawyers to keep him on a schedule - "I'm afraid we can't visit today because I have been advised to keep to the schedule.  But we can meet you at the park on xday.   Remember to keep it brief, impersonal, and to the point.  The more you do this the less he will want to interact.  It also keeps you Out of the FOG.

Please take time for yourself.  Like said previously, be sure to breathe and enjoy these moments with your kids.  They go by so fast and before you know, they're gone.  Good luck

*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2021, 06:31:18 PM »
Thanks JustKeepTrying. I don't know about strength - I am a nervous/emotional mess half the time! haha.. but other times I am blissfully happy, so glad to be free from the oppressive atmosphere created by pdH and his antics.

Don't be too hard on yourself. With time hopefully your kids will come ootf too, and will realise that you were trying your best to protect them.
It's a very hard decision when there are children involved. There are no easy answers. I worry daily if I have done the right thing.
If it wasn't for the kids, I would have run for the hills and gone NC immediately. But with the kids, I always have this fear of having made the wrong choice. I am trying to stay strong, and to remind myself that even if they have to spend time alone with pdH, at least they will have the haven of my home to return too. I can look them in the eye when they are older and say: I saw what your dad was like, he promised he had changed, but I made a careful decision based on the information I had about his past behaviour, and decided I didn't want to take that risk.

My big stumbling blocks at the moment are;
- pdH is from a country on the other side of the planet - let's say he is from Australia and I am from UK. That type of distance. He has no friends or family here. I am sometimes overwhelmed with guilt when I think about this. Also I am scared he will want to bring the children to Australia for a visit sometime in the near future, and I am terrified at the thought of them being gone, for a couple of weeks, so far away, with pd. I worry they would be turned against me... or that he would not bring them back at all.
-the overnights... still panic-nauseating. The kids are so so young, there is no way that overnights with pd are in their best interest.
If someone could magically make those two problems go away, I might cope a little better with the whole 'moving on' thing (joking - I know there are no magic solutions. But sharing my worries really helps)

Thanks again x

*

notrightinthehead

  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 3768
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2021, 03:04:11 AM »
May I ask why you feel guilt that your h has no friends? He does have family, you and the kids. He chose to behave in such a way that you find it impossible to stay together with him. I bet you would have preferred otherwise.  He could have made some friends, not so?
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

*

illmeetyouthere

  • New Member
  • *
  • 8
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2021, 04:45:43 PM »
I donít have much to add given the great feedback youíve been given, but I will say this: one of the best things you can do, imho, is end the relationship with the PD permanently. There is no placating that personality. You could grant every request, fawn over their every need, destroy yourself completely to try and manage THEIR bad behavior, and then there would be another demand. Another accusation. Another thought distortion with you to blame on the other end. It is insanity to try and work with a PD at the same emotional level as a relatively emotionally intelligent person bc they just donít have the capacity. they just donít. i think what someone else shared (and what i witnessed when my mom stayed with my alcoholic dad) is that she picked up so many ďfleasĒ and terrible coping mechanisms that she did as much harm as the PD. we often say in recovery that water sinks to itís own level. if heís in the muck, youíll join him there, not the other way around.

best wishes.

*

hhaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 3543
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2021, 08:06:09 AM »
 :yeahthat:
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

*

Boat Babe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 915
  • To survive is necessary. To thrive is elegant.
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2021, 12:28:33 PM »
CBS, you have mentioned many times your fears about leaving your small children with your ex and it is clearly a huge worry. My question is, what are you specifically afraid of? I ask this, not to play devil's advocate, but for you to pinpoint exactly what you think is probable based on his previous behaviours. I don't know if this is a totally understandable pervasive dread or very specific. If specific, you must get legal advice

As to his being friendless , that really is his problem.  You need to put that burden of guilt down asap. Stop feeling sorry for him. He doesn't deserve it and is probably using it as a means to manipulate you. Really really not your problem.

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. ❤️❤️❤️
It gets better. It has to.

*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2021, 03:52:01 PM »
He has disclosed to me that he abused his siblings when he was a teenager and they were little kids. He has never admitted exactly what he did, but his mum has admitted that the siblings 'lived in terror' of him, and that she did not find out about the abuse until years later because the siblings were too afraid to tell - they were afraid of repercussions. His sister has one child, and she has sworn she will never have another child because 'siblings can be so cruel' - because of the abuse she endured at the hands of her brother- my pdH. But all this is anecdotal and he would deny it in court. I have no proof.

He has also hinted at a dodgy sexual past, and has a history of what he terms 'sexsomnia' I worry about my daughters being at risk (agin I can't prove anything).

Also he has spoken of dark thoughts and suicide many times. He is very vindictive. I am scared he would kill himself and the kids too. Once when he thought he had covid, he kept ranting about how he 'didn't want to miss out on seeing his kids grow up' eg by dying. He has shown extremely disordered thinking patterns over the years, and I would not put anything past him. But again, I can't prove anything.

So yeah, its specific, its vague, its unproven.
But the reality is: I am a tiny little woman. He is massive. If he decided to harm my kids, I could do nothing to stop him. That is the grim reality I have to face up to. I can't necessarily protect them just by being here... but I can be hyper vigilant, and leave if I feel he is behaving erratically. That's the difference I guess.

Thanks everyone

*

Boat Babe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 915
  • To survive is necessary. To thrive is elegant.
Re: Reality bites
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2021, 04:11:47 PM »
Shit, yes, that is frightening. Please get all the support you can.  We are here for you.
It gets better. It has to.