This disturbing post features two stories from two different parents who have contributed here before.
Tale I: I Saw the Love-Light Die in Their Little Eyes
When she left to live near her Mum, the very “ground zero” where the root alienator dwells, the concerted campaign to destroy my loving relationship with our precious children started.
That was ten years ago!
EVERY pickup since then, every two weeks, was a masterclass in drip-fed bullying and abuse.
She would say nothing about the progress of the children in-between. Nothing about health, key decisions, events, school, nothing. She was in her 40’s and allegedly a proper grown up, but would make all the decisions…with her mother. They used to brag about “stonewalling the narcissist”, as if I was actually the problem when I was simply but desperately trying to hang on to my parenting role.
The alienating duo would make me drive to car parks, service stations, garage forecourts and dank places to collect our children. Here I would see other fathers going through the same misery, waiting with a mixture of fear and anxiety that you could almost taste.
She would eventually drive up like in a scene from a cold war era spy-swap and, despite a very clear agreement to be positive and helpful, she would inevitably start attacking me verbally in front of the kids, telling me what I could and couldn’t do and how useless I was at everything.
Yet, regardless of the abuse, it would all be worth it as the smiles on the faces of our babies made it all melt away as soon as we got back on the road and they opened their special packed lunches and presents and we started singing together and telling stories.
I thought she would improve over time. But she never did. Even after other men arrived and swiftly left. It actually made her worse. They clearly confirmed her own suspicions about herself and I was her punch bag because I wouldn’t go away.
There were far too many incidents over the years to recount, but one of the worst was when I turned up expecting to take the children on holiday, as per the court order. We had planned it for months, when she finally communicated which of the Easter weeks I would be “allowed” that is.
The signs were worrying when she was an hour late. Then, when they finally turned up, the kids ran over all excited to see me and the dogs and we started talking about the drive to Wales.
It was at this point that she wandered over and dropped the bomb:
“They have been invited to a party. I have said they can go. It is in three days. You can’t take them unless you say, on record, you will have them back by then.”
She was clearly late as she had been discussing “tactics” with her flying monkeys at the school gate.
I was naturally upset and not a little angry, but asked her, calmly, to come and discuss how we were going to solve this like parents and adults. But she said “No”. She then did something that has become a metaphor for PA ever since. She screamed “No” again and then picked up our eldest and held her in front of me:
“Tell her why she can’t go” she screamed at me.
“Tell her you selfish prick.”
Naturally both children then started crying.
I was stunned.
All I could think to say was:
“We will sort it out girls. We will go to Wales AND the party.”
As I then strapped the girls into their seats and started thinking about the emergency packing, sleepless night and drive ahead for 2 days away instead of a week, I felt something hit me on the back of my head and turned to see that she had spat at me.
I’m no pushover, trust me, But I just couldn’t think what else to do so decided to get into the car and get away. She then started waving her phone at me saying:
“I have you on recording. Get back here when I say or the police will be round. I know where you’re going to stay”.
When I ignored her and drove off, she ran after us, pulled the rear door open and tried to get into the car screaming so much she nearly went under the rear wheels.
It took most of the “holiday” to calm the children down.
I’m not sure I’ve ever recovered.
When I raised her behaviour in court, the judge simply said “this is a very difficult situation”.
Without any form of rebuke, ever, her behaviour has never changed. It got worse. She now believes she is above all court orders and she sneers at the process.
As a result, I have not seen my children for two years now.
They found it all too distressing and if I’m honest, so did I.
Not seeing them has nearly killed me, It still might.
But I had no choice but to stop as she was hurting us all so much.
It is impossible to recover from seeing the innocent love-light die in the eyes of your children. It is soul destroying that you can’t defend yourself yet there are no consequences for the abusers. Instead, they are lauded like icons of someone’s screwed up idea of empowerment by the enabling communities within the services supposedly set up to protect us.
It is plainly and simply calculated abuse.
Tale II: My Valentine’s Gift
The situation was so messed up that at first, my ex had actually said we could still live together but separately.
I was at this point just saying “yes” to everything for the sake of the kids.
Then she said that I could go out to work and her and her new boyfriend could bring up the children and I would be allowed to live there too. Pressing every emotional button she could, she said she knew I still loved her and that I was her back up plan in case it went wrong with him. She said she always had a back up plan.
I just lost my temper at this point, said I no longer loved her and was not agreeing to that.
Then the real abuse started.
My car, Blue, had broken down because the battery got old. I replaced it but my ex refused to drive it anymore. So I agreed to take on Blue and she could have the other car.
The children had been with me as agreed. But my ex kept interfering by calling every 5 minutes – no exaggeration. I took them home but I said I was banning mobile phones when with me because I could not get any time with the children without a call or text.
She then started screaming at me and started hitting and scratching me. When she slapped me in the face I decided to leave and turned and said I would be back at the agreed time for the children. At this point she tried to hit me with her recording device. This became her new tactic. She would create an argument get me shouting then start recording. Ironically when I didn’t react in the required way she would become more violent.
I quickly left the house feeling that I was losing control of the situation.
I made it to Blue and locked the door.
Just as I started to back out of my space I saw her charging towards the car. She started knocking on the window and screaming at me that “(I )was not taking that fucking car while she had the girls”. I shouted back that “I had spent money on it based on our agreement and it was tough.”
I should point out my mum and my step dad said I needed to stand up to her, I’d been tiptoeing around her up to this point, this was my chance to be firm but fair.
She then proceeded to unlock the door of the car with her key. She then shoved me in the face and started to try and take my key out of the indignation. When I stopped her she said she “wanted (my) keys for (her) car”.
I started to take the keys off for her and asked her for the key to my car. Out of the blue she punched me in the head and then threw both sets of my keys into my face.
While I tried to get myself together, she took the car seat from my car saying I could “have the shit one from her car”.
I let her swap them over, avoiding saying anything ass I was stunned, not sure what to do. I was in pain from being hit in the head, was upset and concerned for the kids.
Ironically, I’d booked a table for Valentines day ages before this and bizarrely this now flashed across my mind.
Then I suddenly realised she was taking the change from the middle of the car. Well to get to my mum’s its easier to cross at the toll bridge so I had put the 40p in the middle so that I had it. For some reason my brain kicked in that point and I said that “I needed that to get back to my mum’s”. She told me “I was stealing from the children but I could keep my fucking money”. She came to the front of the car and started throwing the coins at me.
As the coins hit the window, I started the engine and tried to leave.
At some point my middle daughter had come out. My legs were shaking I got my feet muddled up and ended up revving the engine by mistake.
I left with my eldest looking out of the sitting room window and my middle daughter being grabbed by her mum.
The morning I was due to have the children my sister received a phone call saying the “children were scared of me because of my violent tendencies and my temper”. When I called her she started putting all these conditions on me seeing the children.
She had an obsession with my sister and my nieces and kept trying to involve them, as if the “sisterhood would get it”. I decided at this point that this was not fair on anybody so I refused. I phoned my solicitor who told me to go straight over, which I did with my mum.
I was denied access to the children. She had her car already packed and when we headed over, to my amazement, she left and went straight to the nearest police station claiming assault.
Fortunately I had recorded part of the incident or I would probably have been sent down.
Worse still, when I finally accessed the house, the children had been living in the sitting room, presumably because of her lover staying over. It smelt of poo and the bedding was wet and smelt of urine. It took 3 days to make the house habitable.
The police did nothing about the Valentine’s day incident as she claimed I tried to run her and my middle daughter over.
The police then tried to force me to leave the house I had bought and paid for. They also interviewed me for assault but didn’t charge me.
I was covered in cuts and bruises whilst they talked to me. But they treated me like a criminal. I may have shouted and I may have lost my temper but I did not touch her and tried to leave that situation and never could. I have never been physical other than in a limited defensive way.
We somehow still manage to share time with the children between two households, but it is a constant battle and hugely unsettling to deal with her.
I am sadly finding myself becoming an angry and disillusioned white middle aged man desperately trying to keep the peace for the sake of our kids.
Next time you see one of my kind, please don’t judge the book by its cover because there’s a reason and it isn’t to do with being aggressive or macho. It’s quite the reverse.