Should I walk away from my child?

CC - posted on 07/02/2016 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I'm a single mum in my late 20's with a 7 year old child. My ex partner is a bully who has a lot of control on my life and is very good at manipulating people.
Our child has no stable routine due to being moved back and forth. I work night shifts doing over 40 hours a week as I am the one who seems to be financially responsible for the child, he pays money through CSA but refuses to pay for anything else i.e. school uniforms, activities, items needed for school, holidays, holiday clubs etc
Our child's behaviour is starting to change, she has these angry outbursts, she has hit me on several occasions, now tells a lot of lies, will not speak to me about how she feels, has been getting told off at school and this last week I was stopped by the teacher who expressed some concern and said she has been looking very sad this past week and seems to be acting up which is not her normal behaviour especially at school.

When I try to discuss these issues with the father he never addresses the issue instead he makes it about me, starts making false accusations and always trying to paint a bad picture of me bearing in mind I am the one who supports her financially, encourages her to do well in school, supports her in whatever she does, always try to do my best to show her that she is loved and well cared for. She is my number 1 priority I do not have a social life any free time I have away from my daughter is spent working I can not have a relationship as money spent on relationships needs to go to my daughter.
Its so difficult to speak to him so we can try and see what we can do to help our daughter, the more I try to be civil towards him the more he bullies me and sees me as a weak person.

Co-peranting with an abuser is so difficult Im tired of feeling depressed, stressed, bullied and constantly being made to feel and look like a bad person. All I am trying to do is give the child a normal stable life. I feel sorry for her you can tell this is a lot for a child to handle, I have made an appointment with a child psychologist to see if the she will open up and say whats on her mind.

I feel powerless and Im now at the point were I feel like walking away as this cant be healthy for a child or for myself. I can't walk away with the child as I will be accused of stopping contact and going back to court may result in her being made to live with the father and I will only have visits every other weekend.

I need advise on whether I should give up on my daughter so she can have some stability even though this means everything I have sacrificed to give her will stop as the father will not make the same sacrifices and doesn't seem to have much interest in her education either.
There is no one to turn to as there is a court order in place and approaching any professionals to express what I think is best for the child after seeing how things have got worse since the order started in 2014 may result in me being accused of making things up to try and stop contact. I am really tired and emotionally drained, Im sure this is not what being a parent is about, I can't see things getting any better.
I have tried contacting DV helplines but as it is all emotional abuse its difficult to prove, I feel empty inside and I can't imagine going another year like this. I don't feel suicidal at all I just need to freed from this pain and I don't want to leave my child behind being raised by this monster but I don't know how I can fight this and show the professionals how all of this is affecting the child.

Please if anyone can HELP....

Im not saying contact with her father should be stopped but our child needs stability.

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Dove - posted on 07/02/2016

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If you walk away from your daughter... she will be w/ her father full time and have a mother that abandoned her. How is that a better thing for her than living w/ her father and you getting visitations... or living w/ you and the father getting visitations? Being abandoned completely by a parent really screws a kid up.

She has an appointment w/ a psychologist... is it a psychologist that testifies in court?

I understand that you want to give your child stability and that is a VERY important thing to strive for... but I'm just not understanding how being completely abandoned by her mother would give her stability...

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Nadine - posted on 07/05/2016

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Playing devil's advocate a bit here, but the first issue you mentioned was money, that he pays support but then refuses to pay extra. He is not under any obligation to pay extras. Why should he have to pay for your holidays with her? Her school uniform should be paid by support. While it is fantastic when a father does step up and pays more than he absolutely has to, he is under no obligation to do so. You also seem upset that he is taking advantage of the time the courts have given him to be with his daughter, and consider this unreasonable that he is unwilling to give up his time with his daughter. It is not a bad thing that he is involved in his daughter's life. I get that he parents differently from you, but there is no one right way to parent.
You also say going back to court may mean that she goes to her father with you getting visitation, but you walking away will be her with her father and you NOT getting visitation. What exactly are you trying to accomplish by that?
I understand your marriage was not happy, And he was a horrible partner to you. But from what you have said he seems to be an involved parent, just not the way you want him to be. But he doesn't have to be the parent you want him to be to be a good parent. And any dad who is there is better than a dad who is not.

CC - posted on 07/03/2016

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What kind of custody agreement is in place now?

Goes Friday-Mon alternate weekends, once during the week and to be returned at 7pm and alternate week days stays over night.

How is he using the court order to emotionally abuse you?

I have tried to be that parent who gives her stability but as she is constantly back and forth by the time she gets used to having a stable routine it's time for her to pack her bags and go back to her father.

If I sent him a message to discuss her behaviour he will not discuss the matter but will instead attack me and make false accusations.
How am I supposed to deal with someone who can't be reasonable? I feel like I am the one who tries but will also be blamed for not making an effort to be civil for the child's sake. I can never win.

This man used to physically, emotionally abuse me and I'm still trying to heal from all that pain but I still try to be civil for her sake and he just sees this as a weakness

CC - posted on 07/03/2016

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In the UK the family courts are really tough on the mums, if I go back to court to express that the order is not working the judge could see that as being unreasonable and may think I'm making this up just to stop contact. Therefore this may result in the judge making his home her main residence.

Dove - posted on 07/03/2016

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Oh... and why would going to court result in her being put in his care? What are you doing or what do you think you are doing that would lose you custody rights of your child?

Dove - posted on 07/03/2016

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What kind of custody agreement is in place now? What is an example of her visitation schedule w/ each parent? How is he using the court order to emotionally abuse you?

Back and forth is certainly disruptive... so is not being able to co-parent... but many kids live w/ that exact same situation just fine. They just need a parent to help them through it and if he is not willing to put her first as you say... then she needs YOU to be the stability in her life.

Definitely work w/ her and the counselor together... a good child counselor is also going to want to work closely w/ you because that will be the best way to help your child.

CC - posted on 07/03/2016

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Thank you all for your responses.
The only reason why I feel like walking away is so our daughter is not being moved around constantly with no stability. You really can tell that she's suffering emotionally, he will not back down and put her first as it seems like he uses the court order to carry on with emotionally abusing me.
I will also be attending some of her appointments with the psychologist and I hope I can get a mediator to step in and speak to him.
It's difficult to get legal help as the solicitors seem more interested in the money and not the child's welfare. As I also said in my previous post going to court may result in her being put into his care.

I feel really powerless, its difficult to stay strong and fight when there's no one to show you support.

Sarah - posted on 07/02/2016

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Why do you even have contact with your ex partner? If he is abusive to you then get a third party in place to mediate and do drop off and a public location where he cannot engage you in any type of conversation.
This is your child, not an unruly dog from the pound. You need to find a way to be her mother and provide the stability she needs. Kids are like tuning forks for emotions so maybe she is acting out because she sense your feelings of wanting out of the situation.

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I'm sorry that you are going through this. The first thing is to never give up on your child, she's only 7. Try to talk to her and see how she is feeling. Offer to go to see the psychologist too, make it a kind of team thing. So that she understands adults have problems too. As far as the father you need to tell him how you feel and what you will and won't tolerate. People can only do what you allow. Stick to what you say and don't back down. If he wants to argue stop the conversation. Only talk to him when necessary. You can do this. If he keeps causing problems talk to someone who has knowledge of legal custody issues if its affecting your daughter. Hang in there you can do this.

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