An Open Post to My Abusive Ex

Yesterday, I posted an email string between my ex-husband, his wife, and myself. The last email I received was a personal attack by my ex-husband. Although I did not respond to his email, his comments have been ringing in my head for the past 24 hours. Obviously, this is the narcissist’s goal, keeping you off-balanced… all for their love of control.

Actually this situation is bizarre. He never takes our daughter to one doctor’s visit ever in her entire life. Now, she lives with him he is suddenly taking her in to get teeth pulled at 18 1/2 against the advice of her dentist of 7 years. Years ago, I remember when she was 13 he threatened to put braces on her one summer so it would cost me money. How crazy is that? You don’t make a decision just to cost your ex money. This type of control is completely irrational.

So, last December we discussed his removing two baby teeth since she is missing two permanent teeth. Her dentist told me to leave them as long as possible. She said they won’t last forever, but to keep them as long as possible. She said this would get our daughter into long-term situation of having to replace those implants. She said they are extremely expensive and to hold off. She also said she had clients that were in their 30s and 50s that still had their baby teeth. So, this is what I told my ex-husband. I had told him we completely agreed with pulling her wisdom teeth, but did not agree with the baby teeth. He did it anyways.

Then I receive an email from my ex-husbands wife stating she will be getting bridges and/or implants and I was responsible for 50%. She writes in the email that they CCd their attorney, obviously meant to add an element of threat. Their choice to pull those teeth is extremely expensive and really was unnecessary. Plus, last December, I told them that I did not agree with this decision and whatever costs are on them.

Sending emails like this will not change the fact that you are still responsible for 50% of the cost. Our response was just a reminder that it has been past 30 days. If you feel that you only owe a certain amount then just pay it…which you have not done.  You want to make excuses on insurance filings, etc. which has no weight here. If you can’t pay it then you could make arrangements but you think this is going to go away by deflecting the situation.

Your daughter is 18 and she chose to have this done, just like she has chosen not to see you every 1st, 3rd and fifth weekend. Why is this different?

You know as well as I do you owe this money and there is no legal jargon or opinion of yours that changes that. Wether it’s financial issues or possible divorce issues you are presently having doesn’t change anything (yes she discusses with us your conversations you have had with her). Enough is enough. Be a parent and pay what you owe…just like I did and still do.

His email is not constructive. It contains only one fact that I am 3 days late in paying him my half. The rest of his email is full of personal attacks, his opinion, and non-facts.

The bill he sent me was $2,000. Plus, he didn’t discuss this with me, nor did he give me a heads up on the price or even see if there were other options. He didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me in advance our daughter was going under general anesthesia. After receiving this bill, I contacted the Oral Surgeon and gave them our insurance information. She said she had to wait to get the response from their insurance company so she could send that to our insurance company. I am 100% sure if he received a partial refund we would never see a dime of that.

he rest of his comments about my daughter choosing to get the baby teeth pulled. Um, who is the parent here? My daughter is young and really not mature enough to make this decision. She told me her baby teeth were still growing. I am not sure why she believed that they would get bigger. Plus, this was my ex-husband’s decision. I don’t know why her teeth are so important, but he hasn’t taken her to the weekly therapy sessions he agreed to last summer. She really does need to be in counseling.

Then stating that she has chosen not to seem me every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend was just a mean statement. Of course she doesn’t come see me. He had worked really hard on turning her against me, my husband, and my step-daughter. He actually told her that I have been bothering him for all these years. Um, no, it certainly the other way around. Does he believe his own lies? Is he delusional?

Then he goes on to mention something about financial trouble and divorce? Neither of these comments are the truth. Then he implies my daughter is telling them everything we talked about. That kind of makes me angry. I don’t know if this is his goal to drive further wedges between my daughter and myself. Unfortunately, my daughter does not realize that every single thing she told her dad about me for all these years was used as a weapon against me.

Then he tells me to be a parent? Seriously? Coming from the parent who gets our daughter a permit right after we catch her smoking a bong in a car. This was on a video and posted online. Then he goes on and gets her a car and lets her do whatever she wants. He couldn’t possibly believe that is ‘parenting’. My daughter did tell me she is happy over there. I discussed this with my aunt and she said, “Of course she is happier, she has less accountability, nothing is required of her at his house.” At our house we had rules and you can’t get a car if you are lying, smoking pot, and failing school.

Anyway, I didn’t say any of these thoughts. Some thoughts of anger hit me like maybe he is struggling with money. Or when I left him, I would have rather lived in my car than continue living with him any longer. He doesn’t even sleep in the same bed with his wife. I know this is true because he wouldn’t sleep in the same bed with me either. I have no idea what that was all about. He slept in the room next to our daughter, during the same years she complained her vagina hurt. Everyone suspects something happened. We may never know the truth.

I keep wondering if it will ever end. Can I actually have a relationship with my daughter? Is she just going to run and tell her dad anything I say? She is on his team, whether she knows it or not. For whatever sick reason, my ex-husband just can’t be happy unless he is screwing me. Using our child against me is certainly not in the best interest of our daughter. Truly sick! I just can’t comprehend how people can act that way and never feel guilty or remorseful. What is wrong with his wife that she feels it is acceptable to talk down to me.

This make me feel anxious, sick to my stomach, angry… every emotional under the sun really.  Sometimes I am angry at myself because I just can’t allow myself to sink to his level. Mostly I feel sad about what has happened with our daughter. I am positive she will think about this differently after she grows up. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later.

 

The Games Narcissists and Abusers Play

So, last month I received a $2,000 bill from my abusive ex-husbands wife. This bill was sent the day after my daughter had dental surgery and had 6 teeth pulled. They are supposed to notify me of any non-emergency surgeries before the event and not after the event. In email, she implies that their attorney was copied, obviously meant to be a threat.

I hate feeling anxiety all over again when I get an email from them. All this hell he and his wife have helped create between my daughter and myself has been devastating to me. I wound up calling the Domestic Abuse Center today and I should be able to get in to see one of their counselors shortly. Her dad is such a awful person and it kills me that my daughter is in such denial for what she does see.

The very last email is about as hateful as you can get in a response. I know not responding doesn’t mean I am agreeing with him. I really can’t understand how people can be so hateful. I know these are unfeeling abusive people. My husband says they are just assholes looking for a response. I did not respond to his last email because it is full of non-facts. My husband says he is good at throwing the ball and that is probably why he is a good salesman.

Latest Saga of Emails

On, July 22nd, I received this email from my abusive ex-husband’s wife:

Attached are invoices from [daughter’s name] oral surgery.
– bill
– EOB from insurer
– paid receipt
Your responsibility is 50%.

I was pretty surprised to get this bill and this bill seemed to simply the surgery had already happened. Plus, she wrote in their attorney’s name, implying that they CC’d their attorney. Obviously meant to be a bit threatening. I am pretty sure I am not misreading this.

My response to her email was simply:

Please send a detailed explanation about this surgery. What was exactly was done?

Her reply was:

I sent you an attachment with my previous email that explains her treatment plan. Read carefully,  starts with therapeutic parental drugs and all procedures are itemized from the day of oral surgery. The GRA stands for graft.

My response was this:

What was done exactly?  I do not recall any notification about this surgery. Was it medically necessary?

Her response was definitely meant to be condescending. So I decided right then that she is an irrelevant person in this conversation. I couldn’t believe they had decided to put our daughter under anesthesia without notifying me. In fact, they are required to tell me in advance and work with me. However, they never have worked with me over the years. They work against me in all situations.

At that point, I contacted the Oral Surgeon’s office directly. I turns out they pulled our her Wisdom teeth which I was totally agreed about. The thing they did that I was not in agreeance with was pulling her two baby teeth. She has two baby teeth that did not have permanent teeth behind them. The dentist we have been going to for over 7 years told me to leave those teeth in as long as possible. That they could last until she was 30 – 50 years old. Her advice was to avoid the expense and problems of putting in implants that will need to be redone every 5 -10 years. I also called her Orthodontist who basically said this was a cosmetic decision and not medically necessary. So I told my ex-husband this very thing last December.

I also gave them our insurance so they could file as a secondary expense and I am waiting for that information to come back. She told me she would have to wait until their insurance responded before she could fine with ours. So, we already expected this would take longer.

On December 7, 2016 I sent my ex-husband this:

Okay, I do agree with getting her wisdom teeth pulled. I do not agree with getting her baby teeth pulled.
I just spoke with her dentist and they recommend she keep those baby teeth as long as possible. They said these baby teeth could last her until she is 30-50 years old. Implants run $5,000 and need to be replaced every 5 – 10 years. This will be very expensive cost to pay for in the future. We have no idea what her financial position will be in the future in order to maintain these recurring cost. So again I do not agree with removing the baby teeth.
Anyway, so today I receive this from his wife.
It has been over 30 days since I’ve mailed her invoice dated July 21, 2017 regarding oral surgery 043889.
My initial email was sent on July 22, 2017. Your payment for 50% of invoice charges are overdue. Please send payment promptly.Thank you!Sent from my iPad
My response was a little less nice:

Hi,

No. As I stated earlier in the month, the dentist is filing a second claim with our insurance. Once I received the EOB from our insurance, I will settle up our portion. You could have saved time by discussing this and filing both insurances on the date of service. Your inability to follow directions has caused your own delay.

It appears neither of you can be trusted to do what you say or follow the decree. Nothing either of you have done has been reasonable or rational regarding my daughter. Notifying that we owe $1,000 after having surgery you didn’t notify me about is not reasonable.

If you have difficulty understanding this email, I don’t know what else to tell you.

Then I get this response from my abusive ex-husband:

Sending emails like this will not change the fact that you are still responsible for 50% of the cost. Our response was just a reminder that it has been past 30 days. If you feel that you only owe a certain amount then just pay it…which you have not done.  You want to make excuses on insurance filings, etc. which has no weight here. If you can’t pay it then you could make arrangements but you think this is going to go away by deflecting the situation.
Your daughter is 18 and she chose to have this done, just like she has chosen not to see you every 1st, 3rd and fifth weekend. Why is this different?
You know as well as I do you owe this money and there is no legal jargon or opinion of yours that changes that. Wether it’s financial issues or possible divorce issues you are presently having doesn’t change anything (yes she discusses with us your conversations you have had with her). Enough is enough. Be a parent and pay what you owe…just like I did and still do.
Funny to see that he misspelled a word here. He usually is more polished than to make a spelling error in an email. My mind is still thinking about this, but I am not going to respond. My husband believes he has told our daughter something like ‘if your mom really cared about you, she would divorce him.’ My ex-husband doesn’t seem to be okay with the fact that I am doing well and not suffering.

Effects of Verbal Abuse and Stress

So, this entire situation has been stressful for my body. Stress takes a serious toll on my body and I have physical symptoms that are impossible to ignore. I have done a better job managing them over the years, but getting over years of verbal abuse has been a challenge. Some days are better than others and certain events certainly trigger past feelings. My ex-husbands relentless manipulation and using our daughter was extremely stressful. In the end, all my trying to rise above, be the bigger person, not react… was all for nothing… she left anyway.

On symptom occurs when I am sleeping and I clench my teeth more at night. One of my molars has broken three times in less than 15 years. The first time was when I was married to my ex-husband. Living with him produced so much stress I was breaking my teeth in my sleep. During those years, I also had tension in my neck, TMJ symptoms, migraines, and light sensitivity. Today, I realize if my teeth are taking a beating, I need to find way to reduce the external stressors.

Another physical symptom is a rash that doesn’t seem to go away. I have been diagnosed with Skin Lupus and nothing seems to work on these rashes to make them go away. They show up and stick around for months. One website suggests that stress could cause the first appearance or trigger flare ups for someone who already has the disease. This rash first appeared five years ago when I was working at a very stressful job, it went away for several years and showed up about a year ago. However, no treatments have worked to remove this rash. I guess I can be grateful it is just red and only itches on occasion.

Another symptom is difficulty sleeping. I just do not sleep well anymore. I can get to sleep, but after a few hours I wake up and it is a challenge to get back to sleep. So I feel chronically tired. The doctor gave me Belsomra to try and it had an opposite effect and kept me up all night. I have also tried Melatonin which gets me to sleep okay but doesn’t keep asleep. Plus, my clenching my teeth at night can really hurt my jaw, affect my ears, and sometimes causes headaches when I wake. My past revisits me in my dreams. Sometimes I have dreams where I am dealing with my ex-husband again.

Another issue is anxiety which is often triggered by fear. I love my daughter so much, but our current situation is not a good one. She is living with my ex-husband and is looking at him through rose colored glasses. My ex-husband and his wife are extremely passive aggressive and they have been undermining me at every step for more than a decade. One of my fears is will this be an issue forever? Will she ever open her eyes and see the truth. One fear is accepting that she might not ever see the truth, may never want to see the truth. That thought truly frightens me. Plus, I am afraid if she is unable to see the truth, she may end up marrying an abuser or narcissist herself.

This past year has been extremely stressful. Dealing with my ex-husband since our divorce was over 13 years ago. You would seriously think we were newly divorced. Learning how to deal with him, or not deal with him rather, was difficult enough. The worst thing was how he would manipulate and use our daughter to get to me. As a mother, you want nothing more than to protect your child. This was something I was unable to prevent. It is shameful when someone uses their kid to hurt another person. I find it impossible to believe that person really cares about their child to subject them to that.

Another challenge was after our daughter became a teenager. She began pushing the boundaries, rebelling against the rules, and believing the grass might be greener. Plus, whether she would choose to admit it or not, she did learn how to play us agains each other to get what she wants. In the very end, she said many hateful things to me and I heard her father through those words. My response wasn’t so great. My husband’s response wasn’t always so great. We knew we had no control over what my ex-husband and his wife did with my daughter, but we should have had better control over our own reactions. That part of this I do have to own.

One plus side, I have not had one conversation with my ex-husband in an entire year. However, this bonus is bittersweet because I lost my daughter in the process. Although some say I haven’t lost my daughter forever and that she will come back around. I truly hope so. Sometimes it seems like he will never let me get away and be happy. Like he will win at all costs. I am grateful he and I haven’t had a single conversation in the past year. Although this is a game I never wanted to play, didn’t sign up for, and there are times I feel like he won.

Still trying to believe that everything happens for a reason. Hanging on to the belief that some day I will look back and realize this happened exactly as it was supposed to. However, I certainly don’t feel that way today.

 

 

 

Verbal Abuse Stories: Blame-shifting

Here is a story about verbal abuse from one of our readers:

I read this blog and it was like putting a mirror in front of me. I had never seen so clearly before what my ex was like…

I split up with my ex about 2 1/2 years ago during the death of my father. This was an incredibly stressful time in any case, my dad was extremely ill and wheelchair bound with cancer, my mother who has Alzheimer’s didn’t understand what was happening and was suicidal. My ex chose this time to ramp up the pressure on our failing relationship big time until we ultimately split, an event which he carefully timed for my birthday.

He then refused to move out of the house and used my fathers illness as an excuse to “blame me” for not sorting out the divorce quickly enough. Frequently he used to say “so your dad’s dying? I suppose that trumps everything does it, see how patient I am being” in a very sarcastic way.

A couple of months later my father did die in the early hours of one morning. I spent the day taking my mother to the chapel of rest to see him and sorting out a death certificate with my sister. On my exhausted drive home I was an hour later than planned. I rang him and he yelled at me because I had stopped him going out to a pub quiz that evening. Again I got the “Your dad dying is more important than me is it?”. Yes really.

It took a year after that before he finally moved out. During that time he spent every moment he could putting me down, refusing to sort out any of the finances or paperwork, and criticising my progress when I actually was able to do so. He tried very hard to ruin my new relationship, whilst embarking on his own and telling her she was the love of his life.

The bit that chimed most was the refusal to arrange anything for kids pick up or vacation. He is constantly refusing until the last minute to say which of us is picking them up, refusing to keep to regular agreed times on his side, won’t say yes or no when I try and plan to go on holiday… and so on.

Last week I finally saw the light properly and clearly. I was sent an email in which he accused me of making him angry by not getting angry, and that it was a form of my ongoing abuse of him. It was so bizarre and funny that I laughed, and suddenly realised I had still been looking for approval, still allowing myself to be put down even all this time after we were divorced.

Enough is enough. Somehow because he had never hit me I didn’t view it as abuse. I forgave the angry outbursts at me and the kids, the controlling behaviour, the constant put downs whilst positioning himself as a saint. I told myself over and over again he had changed, but he hasn’t. I don’t suppose he ever will. I feel sorry for his new partner but interfering would only open me up to more abuse.

Thank you for posting these thoughts. Thank you for helping me see I am not alone.

Domestic Abuse Therapy – Post Abuse Recovery

So, last week I called the Domestic Abuse Counseling Center to see about meeting with them again. During the past few months I felt like I was regressing again. One of my dear friends pointed out the we are nearing the anniversary when all this hell with my daughter started. Nearly one year ago, in the very end of June, my daughter told me “Mom, no matter what happens. I want you to know I love you.” This was right before she left to visit her father for 30 days in July. In July, my stomach was upset, and it seems like we knew something was coming. Then we received a lawsuit where he sues us for custody of our 17 1/2 year old.

It was a good idea to meet with the domestic abuse advocate. It was validating and reassuring to talk to her during that hour. She said, my daughter did not choose my ex-husband over me. That she did not choose to leave me. My daughter decisions had more to do with what she wanted at that moment. She said she is not thinking into the future or the long-term effect this would have on our family.  She said, she is not saying that my ex-husband and his wife didn’t influence the situation. She kept stating that I did nothing wrong. She also said, that my daughter was not thinking much about how this affected other people in our family.

She also said something interesting. She said that the reason he didn’t ask me for child support is because that any judge would see it as financial instead of being about his daughter. She said his lawyer most likely advised him not to ask for child support from me. She said any good lawyer would know this and would advise him to avoid that topic. We (my entire family and close friends) believe that my ex-husband sued to get out of paying child support for another 1 1/2 years. It is also believed that his primary goal to get her in a car was so he doesn’t have to worry about driving her anywhere if she can drive herself.

So, I am on a waiting list to speak with the Domestic Abuse Counselor. Although I currently have a counselor, I am not so sure she is helping me recover. Plus, they have a upcoming program for Post Abuse Recovery and that is exactly what I need. It seems like I just felt abused all over again with all that has happened. Although my daughter made choices, my ex-husband certainly helped create additional issues. My daughter may not remember all his meddling over the years, but I remember plenty and wrote about more than I even remember. I agree with the advocate, they likely influenced her and helped her arrive at her choice. My ex-husband was so good at talking you into our out of things while making you believe it was your idea. His behavior has given me no indication that he has changed.

I am not so sure I did nothing wrong, but I worked very hard to be a good parent with my daughter. I made plenty of mistakes, but tried very hard to work on them so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. I tried to teach my daughter values. Simple things like saying please and thank you. I encouraged her to do the right thing no matter where she was. Recently, I have seen signs that she is growing up and remembers these things I taught her. I tried to give her tools on how to deal with her father when he was asking her questions, like; I don’t know, ask my mom. Dad, I don’t want to be in the middle. I guess it just hard to tell a parent something outside what they want to hear.

A few weeks ago, my daughter said she was not allowed to drive to the city I live in until she finished school. I thought it was interesting that he had some rules and that one of those rules meant she couldn’t come visit me. The other day she made plans to come see me on Sunday. Then yesterday she called and said her dad already had plans for them to go to his mother’s and they forgot to tell her. Then today she says that he won’t give her the gas to drive to see me. I told her I would put some gas in her car. I am not sure if she is just afraid to ask him or if he is just controlling the amount of freedom she has.

It is interesting that he has discouraged her from getting a job. Told her that he will just give her money. However, he doesn’t give her enough money to fill up her tank. I mentioned that it might make sense to get a job and have her own money. I thought I would write this down because in the past I have noticed that in my journals I often wrote down the same song with a different tune. So it makes sense to write this one down to see if that is the case here.

Today, we spent some time together. She said thank you and seemed to appreciate everything. I have noticed lately that she goes out of her way to say thank you for things. That is nice to see and shows me that she is maturing as well. Today, we had a few conversations about the past and she actually said that she was a bit difficult from ages 12 – 16. She also said she never hated me. She said she wished we would have gotten along better. I am still not sure if getting along better meant that she wanted us to be friends. During her childhood, it was never my goal to be her friend; it was my job to be her parent.

Last weekend, she came home briefly to see the remodel we did to the house. She said she missed being at the house and it felt good to be here. She also appreciated that her room pretty much looked the same. I told her it can’t always stay the same if she doesn’t visit. It does make me feel sad to go in there. It is nice that it felt good to be in our house. About twenty years ago, I visited my father’s house and it didn’t feel good at all to be in that house. It made me feel like child again and took my strength away. I knew I had to get out of there as quickly as possible. I am glad she didn’t feel that way.

These are all good signs that our relationship is turning a corner. She is eighteen, no longer lives with me, and I need to respect her choices. I need to keep working on listening and asking more questions. However, after the entire gas situation I did suggest she get a job at a department store or clothing store. She would probably enjoy it, get paid, and get a discount on makeup and/or clothes.

 

 

Children – Abusers Weapon of Choice

My mother was visiting this week and things just weren’t the same without my daughter. Normally, my daughter would be here and happily participating in all activities. This year, my mother and I had three short visits with her instead. My daughter has stated that she does not want to see my husband or his daughter. She said she felt like she would be judged.

The only thing I know for certain is my husband was not the primary problem here. However, I do feel he could have done a better job in how he responded to my daughter’s defiance. Plus, we both could have done a better job not responding to my ex-husband. Dealing with my ex-husband constant chaos, drama, and lawsuits certainly created disruption. When you are dealing with an abusive ex-husband who is parenting against you, I am not sure there is a perfect solution. Nothing could prepare you on how to deal with a controlling and manipulative ex-husband.

The visits with my daughter were good and she actually drove herself to meet us. She was early and remembered to say thank you for the meal. She also told my mother she was so glad she was able to visit with her. These are good signs that our daughter is growing up and maturing.

Continued Self Improvement

In the last fifteen years, I spent a great deal of my time working on self-improvement. Working on improving myself is something I expect I may have to do for the rest of my life. Sometimes I feel like I move on, but don’t really get over the abuse. Maybe it would have been easier to get over the abuse if my ex-husband hadn’t been constantly creating problems and using our daughter as a weapon against me for all these years. It has been 13 years, and I felt like our entire family was under constant attack. Never did we go a period of more than 6 months without some drama or hell being created by my controlling ex. After my daughter left to live with him when  she was 17 1/2, it seemed like my ex-husband has finally left us alone. The price… losing my daughter to my abusive ex-husband.

  • Alanon – I began going to this program in 2003 and it was extremely helpful and I still go on and off today
  • Domestic Abuse Counseling – in 2005, I started began seeing a Domestic Abuse Counselor and attending a group meeting
  • Reading – over the years I have read many books about varying topics: Joint Custody with a Jerk, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Why Does He Do That, Codependent No More, etc…
  • Writing – I also spent time writing in my journals as well as this blog in an effort to continue moving forward in my journey of healing

Teenagers Playing Sides

Dealing with a teenager can be difficult under any circumstance. Then when you add an abusive ex-husband and his manipulative ex-wife to the equation creates one big problem. Plus, my remarrying resulted in a blended household that created another challenge.

Teenagers can be really good at playing one parent against another even when you aren’t dealing with divorce and abusive ex’s. It seems like teenagers can learn very early on who to go to get whatever they want at the moment. One good article is Surviving (Your Child’s) Adolescence that talks a great deal about how children and teen learn to push buttons to get what they want.

Perfect Storm

It does seeme like this situation of co-parenting with an abusive ex-husband was very harmful to our entire family. My daughter has certainly had some challenges in dealing with him. This situation seemed to create a perfect storm of challenges where there was never a single solution. Plus, it seems like there was never a day where drama and chaos didn’t exist.

Actually, it did some good to read those blog entries. I have forgotten so much of the manipulative stuff he has done over the years towards our daughter and myself. It is truly sad for our daughter that she had to go through that for so many years. It is more frustrating that there was nothing I could do to prevent any of it. No child should ever have to be put in the middle or asked to pick sides. Even today, I just don’t have any solutions to all that has rocked our family.

 

Long Term Effects of Emotional Abuse

Living without my daughter for the past eight month has been a difficult adjustment. First we went from barely speaking and she was so angry with me. Now, we visit regularly, but only for a few hours every other week. Now we text each other more frequently. This is certainly not how I pictured our future.

My daughter has shared some experiences with her father. I have just listened and have not offered any advice. I am not sure if she is waiting for me to give advice, but I want to tread carefully here. This is new territory and I do not want to cause any rifts in our relationship.

She has shared that she had some boys over at her dad’s house and was surprised that he did not get angry with her. However, she also said that he would not allow her to go to the store at 9:30 pm on a Saturday because “there are predators out there.” I couldn’t help but think he is one of them.

Yesterday, I told my mother that she would not be allowed to drive over here. For some reason I knew that would be the case. I didn’t want to be right. However, nothing my ex-husband does comes without strings.

Today, she shared that her dad will not let her drive to where I live. We are about a 15 minute drive away from where he lives, so it isn’t the distance I do not think. His reasoning was that she needed to finish up school. All school season, she has been failing one class or another, but he continued to get her driver’s permit & license and purchased a car for her. My friend said he is just trying to exercise his power & control.

I told my husband that at some point my ex-husband will get upset and then it will come out that it is “his” car. There are always strings attached and I have a feeling that will surface, especially if she ever “crosses” him. When we were married and he was happy with me, it was “my car”, but when he was angry it was “his car”. There were always strings attached to every situation.

It is difficult to sit back and let situations unfold as they may. However, I believe that is the best way to handle things at this time. I have to trust that God is working here and this will work out for good. I have to believe everything is going to work out exactly as it is supposed to.

 

 

 

Healing After Losing Daughter to Abusive Ex-Husband

The other day, I realized something really significant about this entire situation with my ex-husband and daughter. The time I spent with my ex-husband was really not very good. There are not many good memories to dwell on about him. In fact, most of the time things were pretty bad, sometimes okay, but never really good. I think things might have been good in the beginning, but the verbal abuse, DWIs, cheating, lying, kicking holes in doors, hiding money… all this pretty much drowned out any good memories.

After my divorce, my ex-husband just would never leave things alone and constantly created problems and chaos. He would continuously use our daughter as a pawn to stir the pot and create problems. In most situations outside my ex, I can look back and realize all that was good for some particular learning experience.

Regarding my ex-husband, I never could figure out what good it was for, except our daughter. She was the one good thing that came out of all that negativity. Maybe that was what it was all worth, to have my lovely daughter. I know this situation was super hard on her too. No kid should ever have to be in the middle of a parental warfare.

However, when she decided at 17, she wanted to go live with my ex-husband that pretty much broke my heart. After all these years of my raising her and trying to teach her good things, she chooses to go live with my ex-husband. Although I know she is just a teenager right now and what he promised her sounds like a teenagers dream come true. Now, she does get to dress and do pretty much anything she wants. Now, I have to let her go and pray she will come through it all okay. 

Although, I suspect my daughter would believe her motivations were not about the car and promises of freedom. However, we all know my ex-husband sued for custody or because I am an unfit parent, not because he was the better parent, but because he knew he could save a year and a half of child support. My ex-husband has been trying to hurt me for all these years and I believe that was the primary motivation. Taking advantage of my daughter’s teenage rebellious state was just the ideal time to get her to agree to go.

So today, now when I look back and think about the twenty-five years of hell of dealing with my ex-husband. Plus, co-parenting with my ex-husband was really impossible. The better term would probably be oppositional parenting. I tried to be a good person through all this and kept doing my best to do the right thing. Damn that Alanon and teaching me personal accountability! Just sometimes it would have been nice to act like an asshole to him like he was to me. However, what good would that have done for our daughter. Although, what good did trying to do the right thing do? I still lost her in the end anyway.

How frustrating this all seems right now. Yet still right now, I have to believe this is all happening for a reason. That some good will come out of this awful situation. Looking back, I feel sad that my ex-husband still had so much control over this household. His continue manipulation created so many additional problems and I am not sure what I could have done difficulty to change the outcome. However, I do not believe things happen the way they do on accident. There is a purpose, even if I am unable to see what it is right now.

The best thing I can do is continuing taking positive steps towards healing. I am doing better that I was seven months ago. Today, I am able to sleep better at night. Also, I am taking better care of myself with exercise and doing things I enjoy. I know I just need to keep doing the next right thing. One very positive note, I have zero contact with my ex-husband now. That has been incredible! I just hate that our daughter had to leave for us to not have to deal with him.

 

 

Verbal Abuse is Domestic Abuse

Several years ago, when my ex-husband was constantly harassing me and threatening to take our daughter away from me. I found myself walking through the doors of a local Domestic Abuse Counseling Center. Years earlier, I had started attending Alanon, because I was pretty convinced he had a drinking problem. Alanon helped me come to terms about his drinking, but it did not fully explain his abusive behavior. 

I cannot remember how I heard about the Domestic Abuse Center, but I set up an appointment to meet with one of their counselors. I remember sitting in the chair and listening to a woman describe my relationship in detail as if she had been a fly on the wall inside our house. She explained to me that my ex-husband was exhibiting behaviors of classic domestic abuse. So apparently my experiences in my relationship were less unique than I had originally thought. They also said that, Women often make decisions about their future based on information of what hasn’t happened yet.

“Women often make decisions about their future based on information of what hasn’t happened yet.”

At this time, our divorce had already been finalized and I was dealing with the continuous threats, harassment, and difficulty of co-parenting with an abusive person. Dealing with my ex-husband left me in a state of constant fear. His threats left me with continuous anxiety and fight or flight stress. Plus, we had a daughter and meant we had to have some contact. He was emotionally abusive, and his behavior was destroying me from the inside out. My belief was that Domestic Abuse had to be physical, I had no idea that Verbal Abuse was Domestic Abuse. It seemed like my ex-husband always knew when to stop, and exactly how far to not take it to be able to justify or explain away his bad behavior. Also, because he never hit me, there was nothing I could do legally to stop him.

I started attending counseling sessions at the Domestic Abuse Center. They had a door that was extremely thick and always locked. This was a scary thought to me that they were taking such precautions. However, today, after reading about so many stories where when tried to leave their abusive partners and were murdered. I get why they would be so careful.

It can be extremely dangerous when dealing with abusive partners, just read some of these stories:

Years ago, on DrIrene.com‘s website, I found a questionnaire that really hit home and made it hard for me to deny that I was in a verbally abusive relationship. Although he had never hit me, I was extremely afraid of him. I really believed he might kill me if I decided to leave. Perhaps my relationship was worse than I had thought, especially after reading these questions, and having answered yes to almost all of these questions, except for a few.

Does your partner:

  • Ignore your feelings? – Yes
  • Disrespect you? – Yes
  • Ridicule or insult you then tell you its a joke, or that you have no sense of humor? – Yes
  • Ridicule your beliefs, religion, race, heritage or class? 
  • Withhold approval, appreciation or affection? – Yes
  • Give you the silent treatment? – Yes
  • Walk away without answering you? – Yes
  • Criticize you, call you names, yell at you? -Yes
  • Humiliate you privately or in public? – Yes
  • Roll his or her eyes when you talk? – Maybe I did that?
  • Give you a hard time about socializing with your friends and family? – Yes
  • Seem to make sure that what you really want is exactly what you won’t get? – Yes
  • Tell you you are too sensitive? – Yes
  • Hurt you especially when you are down?
  • Seem energized by fighting, while fighting exhausts you? – Yes
  • Have unpredictable mood swings, alternating from good to bad for no apparent reason? – Yes
  • Present a wonderful face to the world and is well liked by outsiders? – Yes
  • “Twist” your words, somehow turning what you said against you? – Yes
  • Try to control decisions, money, even the way you style your hair or wear your clothes? – Yes
  • Complain about how badly you treat him or her? – Yes
  • Threaten to leave, or threaten to throw you out? – Not so much
  • Say things that make you feel good, but do things that make you feel bad? – Yes
  • Ever left you stranded? – No
  • Ever threaten to hurt you or your family? – No
  • Ever hit or pushed you, even “Accidentally”? – No
  • Seem to stir up trouble just when you seem to be getting closer to each other? – Yes
  • Abuse something you love: a pet, a child, an object? – Yes
  • Compliment you enough to keep you happy, yet criticize you enough to keep you insecure? – Yes
  • Promise to never do something hurtful again? – Yes
  • Harass you about imagined affairs? – Yes
  • Manipulate you with lies and contradictions? – Yes
  • Destroy furniture, punch holes in walls, break appliances? – Yes
  • Drive like a road-rage junkie? – No
  • Act immature and selfish, yet accuse you of those behaviors? – No
  • Question your every move and motive, somehow questioning your competence? – Unsure
  • Interrupt you; hear but not really listen? – Yes
  • Make you feel like you can’t win? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? – Yes
  • Use drugs and/or alcohol involved? Are things worse then? – Yes
  • Incite you to rage, which is “proof” you are to blame? – Yes
  • Try to convince you he or she is “right”, while you are “wrong”? – Yes
  • Treat you like a sex object, or as though sex should be provided on demand regardless of how you feel? – Yes

Your situation is critical if the following applies to you:

  • You express your opinions less and less freely. – Yes
  • You find yourself walking on eggshells, careful of when and how to say something. – Yes
  • You long for that softer, more vulnerable part of your partner to emerge. – Yes
  • You find yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior? – Unsure
  • You feel emotionally unsafe. –  Yes
  • You feel its somehow not OK to talk with others about your relationship. – Unsure
  • You find yourself doubting your memory or sense of reality. – Yes
  • You doubt your own judgment. – Yes
  • You doubt your abilities. – Yes
  • You feel vulnerable and insecure. – Yes
  • You are becoming increasingly depressed. – Yes
  • You feel increasingly trapped and powerless. –  Yes
  • You have been or are afraid of your partner – Yes
  • Your partner has physically hurt you, even once. – No

If you are wondering if you are in a Verbally Abusive relationship, it may be a good idea to locate a local Domestic Abuse Center and learn more about your situation. If you are still living with your partner, make sure you take safety measures. The time when a women (or man) is leaving their abusive partner can be the most dangerous time. Counselors at the Domestic Abuser center can help you learn more, while helping you take any safety measures.

Resource Books:

  • Why Does He Do That? – Bancroft Lundy
  • The Verbally Abusive Relationship – by Patricia Evans

 Questionnaire from above is from Dr. Irene’s website.

Once an Abuser – Always an Abuser

I have mentioned this before that my father is mentally ill. For this reason, I have a difficult time blaming him for his insults. However, how many times do we allow an abusive person to keep abusing us before we say, “No more!”? They say he has Schizoaffective Disorder which means he fits into one of the cluster personality disorders. However, I am not buying that he isn’t just flat out abusive too. Honestly, I believe abusiveness is also a disease and I do not believe one can recover from being abusive. It is difficult enough to recover from being one who has been abused.

In a previous post, I discussed a horrible message my father sent me about my daughter “choosing to live with an abuser over me”. Recently, my father started calling me again. To give you a little context, my father is in a Psychiatric Hospital and declared incompetent. However, that does not prevent him from being abusive to anyone he contacts. This was a message sent to me last January from my father. How sick is my father that he would send a message like this to his daughter.

“As far as “behavior” is concerned, “Judge not lest you be judged.”   For one who found her first true love while performing at a “peep show,” and what great judgment you demonstrated in your choice of a first husband, and the fact that your daughter, my granddaughter, has chosen to live with an “abuser” rather than you, you do not sound like you are in a position to judge anybody!   I suggest that you “judge yourself, so that God and others do not have to!”

These kinds of abuse bring me full circle. After all, I feel I married my father. My ex-husband and father are like two peas in a pod. The other day, my father sent me this awful letter where he had ripped out the inside of a card I sent him and wrote insults on it and sent it back. This is definitely not love. Abuser seem to love to send you reeling emotionally and the words are so painful… they stick and they hurt.

 

His comment about my mother is just meant to hurt me. My mother and father have not spoken for more than 20 years. Obviously he just means to strike a blow and hit me personally. So, after receiving this message, I blocked my father from calling me. I did call him up briefly and let him know that he is no longer allowed to call me be abusive. That his behavior was unacceptable.

He sends me a message and says how stunned he is that I would have said such a thing.

4/6/7

Dearest Daughter

I was stunned by our phone conversation yesterday. I had no idea you were hurt so bad – you gave me a constant rant of your hurt feelings caused by the obvious fact that divorce destroys everyone’s happiness, and for good reason!

I tool, have suffered years of hellish pain as a result of your mother’s decision to leave me shattered by her faithlessness and causing me years of near-insanity.

You weren’t the only one hurt. I thank God that after 27 years of being a basket case lost in a world of misery and confusion, (name of ex-wife) was brought to me by God to pick up the pieces; but even though a 161-IQ Literal Genius, after another eleven years of trying, she could not restore me to my good sense and she turned me over to your Aunt for a dose of “tough love”, stripping me of all my worldly belongings and allowing me to be beaten unmercifully by VA staff and guards, taking all my money and freedom, and damned near all my hope. I think even Jesus cooperated! (He’s very wise and I wouldn’t put it past him.)

I guess Jesus saw something in me worth saving, and you were right, I guess it must have been something I said or did along the line that upset the applecart. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, without you. I hope that someday, maybe you can find time to help me discover what it was. I was never mentally ill, just emotionally crippled.

I’ve always wanted to just silently hug you in my arms and just be glad, as I am now, that your mom and I conceived you in love on that wonderful night in the Winnipeg Inn on that idyllic trip we managed to Canada.

During our belated “Honeymoon”.

I think we have a lot to talk about that cannot be done on a pay phone.

When can we meet?

Love,

Your Father

Regards to your mom!

Well, I am sure this letter was meant to make me feel sympathy for him, but I don’t. I am very much sick of his constantly bringing up issues with my mother as if he didn’t have a thing to do with their problems. He is the innocent one. I think not! He is a horribly abusive wordsmith. Bring up his IQ, as my therapist said… he may be intelligent, but he has an Emotional IQ of Zero.

Although he is my father and my Aunt loves to make me feel sympathy for him. She says he has frontal lobe damage and he is unaware what he is doing. I doubt that truly. He knows exactly what he is saying and wants it to hurt. Then as any typical abuser does, he is all confused of why you ‘the irrational one’ are all bent out of shape for nothing. In fact, everything he has said or done is just because my mother left him. Maybe she left because he is an abusive asshole and if he didn’t get his way he would tear you down.

He may be my father by blood, but this is not a love father who writes these messages to his daughter. This is an abusive man who is rather hateful. My mother says for over 40 years he blames everyone else for his problems and believes the doctors are wrong who have said he is incompetent. I need to remind myself where he is, say a prayer for him, and let him go. Why do we subject ourselves to abusive people, even if they are a relative.

My phone remaining blocked and no amount of guilt my Aunt can lay on me will make me feel sympathy for him.