Coping with the loss of a (once) good dad - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 9 Old 07-07-2014, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Coping with the loss of a (once) good dad

I was married for 8 years to a man I was head over heels in love with... he was an amazing, attached father and my best friend.

When our 3rd child was still a baby, he started an affair with a very scary woman and our family was blown apart. I think drugs played a part here though I have no proof.

The cops/cps/ legal system did very little as my children and I were assaulted and abused by this person we loved so dearly. I did everything I could, including sign away child support because he told me if I did he'd leave us alone.

Then one day after yet another court appearance he did leave us alone. No more terrifying visitations, no more horrible calls and emails. He disappeared, and nobody in his family has heard from him in over a year.

I keep waiting for him to pop up and turn our lives into a nightmare again. Or pop up and be his old self again. I can't imagine a man who loved his children so much just disappearing. It just feels so creepy, to be in the middle of a typhoon then suddenly... nothing.

I live 8 hours away from him now but I have nightmares about him at least once a week. I have no idea what he might do. Maybe he doesn't think about me at all. It just made NO sense what happened, none of the things they did made any sense at all, and I'm still in a tailspin trying to stay on my toes for my kids sake.

For the kids part, they seem to love him and miss him and hate him and fear him. I don't know what to tell them, besides their dad has always loved them from the moment they were born, but he just can't take care of them like they deserve right now. This is certainly not anything I thought would happen to me or my family and it's a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

I guess I just wanted to connect with others who might understand where I'm coming from, because it's late and I'm yet again sitting here creeped out and confused. I suppose nobody can tell me he's gone for good and will leave us alone, but I wish it was so!
michle is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 9 Old 07-10-2014, 02:37 PM
 
trimommy2009's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'm not sure I have anything to offer, except words of encouragement in your very tough situation. I'm very sorry you are going through this. My situation was not nearly so bad and I was able to protect my kids from seeing any physical abuse before I kicked my husband out. The biggest thing that has helped me move forward, through the fear and confusion was finding my way back to friends I had dearly missed and finding a therapist that specialized in abusive relationships. She has helped me work through a lot of the confusing emotions I go through. If you can find the time and a safe space to vent you may start to find a way through this foggy path.

Big hugs!
trimommy2009 is offline  
#3 of 9 Old 07-11-2014, 09:56 AM
 
hillymum's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Louisville, Ky
Posts: 3,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I too have no words of advice, but want to show my support. I can't imagine how you feel all the time. All I can hope for is that one day your ex turns himself around and does his best to make amends. Are you in contact with any of his side of the family? Are they supportive of you?
hillymum is offline  
#4 of 9 Old 07-11-2014, 10:41 AM
 
crazyms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Way down south
Posts: 1,190
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
I'm so sorry you and your kids are dealing with this mama. It's a tough road to go down. I was a child to one of these men. I spent my early years as an extremely doted on daddy's little girl. I was the man's whole world and did everything with him and had to have "daddy" anytime something went wrong (sick, nightmare, etc.). He was in the military too and loved by everyone that met him. My parent had married just out of high school and been together all that time having 3 kids. When I was about 12 (sis 7, brother 5) something just snapped. He got on drugs and became extremely abusive. My mother kicked him out but he wouldn't leave us alone. Breaking in the house, trying to kill us, it was insane. We lived in absolute fear for about 5 years before it finally calmed down. I had PTSD, severe depression and anxiety, night terrors, and anxiety attacks. I only started feeling better after I moved out of the house and I feel mostly better now although I still have moments on occasion. My mother has also had the same issues I've had although she's been much better the last couple of years too. (I'm 28 now so it's been a long time for us) Luckily my brother and sister made it through mostly unscathed. They were young and shielded as much as possible from what was going on so while they know about what happened they missed a lot of the terrifying moments as they wouldn't be there or I'd lock them in my room so they didn't see what was happening.

I have to say lots of therapy helped. I even did the ALANON (sp?) type stuff where I had to sit in with the addicts and talk about what happened to me and sit in groups with other victims of these types of family members. I don't think that helped so much for me past just knowing I wasn't alone. I was on medication at one point and in the early phases of recovery it did help as much as I hated to take it. Depending on how old your children are and how much trauma they were exposed to I'm not sure what to suggest for them but therapy could be a big help. My mother and I have both been in and out of therapy and medication for years although my brother and sister haven't and they haven't seemed to need it. Another thing that helped us was constant contact with each other. We each got cell phones and made sure to let each other know what was going on with us. It helped to feel better about knowing each one of us was safe. Things do get better. I know it doesn't seem like it but they do although to be honest it is a long hard road. I don't know what else to say but just know you aren't alone. It always helped me to have a friend I could talk to about it that believed me (so many didn't believe what was happening to us since he was "such as nice guy"). Feel free to pm me if you want to talk or just vent. I'm very sorry that you and your children are going through this just know that you aren't alone and although it can be a long, tough road you can and will reach the other side.

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
crazyms is offline  
#5 of 9 Old 07-11-2014, 10:45 AM
 
crazyms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Way down south
Posts: 1,190
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillymum View Post
I too have no words of advice, but want to show my support. I can't imagine how you feel all the time. All I can hope for is that one day your ex turns himself around and does his best to make amends. Are you in contact with any of his side of the family? Are they supportive of you?
This too. Do you have anyone from his family that is supportive? Especially for the kids this is important. It's hard enough to suffer the loss of a parent without losing the entire family with them. For us we were shunned because "he couldn't possibly do those things. You're overreacting. Just get over it and talk to him." It was difficult to have our own grandmother, aunts and uncles tell us that they wanted nothing to do with us until we "got over it." We did have one amazing aunt that believed us and she along with her children were our only link to that side of the family. Extra time with her and talking to her helped us to feel more normal and like we still had our family even without our dad. If there is anyone in his family that will support you and your kids it can be an important link to a part of their life that is missing now. I hope you have someone from his family to connect with and if you do I'd encourage contact with them since it can be very helpful for recovery and lessening the sense of loss.

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
crazyms is offline  
#6 of 9 Old 07-15-2014, 01:13 PM
 
alpenglow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,938
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyms View Post
It always helped me to have a friend I could talk to about it that believed me (so many didn't believe what was happening to us since he was "such as nice guy").
This is what makes that style of abuser so dangerous and damaging. It would be one thing if he was a jerk to everyone else too. But when it's targeted bullying, it serves to further isolate the target and amplify the crazymaking.

OP have you read, "Why Does He Do That?"
I hope you continue to have some freedom from his abuse. It's hard not knowing when the other shoe will drop and he will reappear, but this is an opportunity to work on healing you and your children. Keep reaching out as much as possible. Take care,
alpenglow is offline  
#7 of 9 Old 07-25-2014, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
oh how frustrating I just lost a lengthy post!

Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone for your support, it means a lot especially since I don't really have anyone to talk to.

My ex was really close to his mom (his dad walked out on them, surprise!) and I was always close with her too, but she took his side and did some very hurtful things during the divorce so it's been hard to trust her since.

She does visit the kids and I welcome her for them, but it's hard to be around her anymore. It's good for them to at least know she still loves them, and their dad didn't just leave them he left her and everyone else too.

Michelle, I'm sorry to hear what you had to go through as a child, but thank you for sharing your story. I've often wondered what kind of effect this is going to have on my kids. They have been in and out of therapy but it doesn't seem to really help them.

I put that book on hold, hopefully it will help me understand and work through this a little better.
michle is offline  
#8 of 9 Old 07-27-2014, 09:44 PM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by michle View Post
For the kids part, they seem to love him and miss him and hate him and fear him. I don't know what to tell them, besides their dad has always loved them from the moment they were born, but he just can't take care of them like they deserve right now. This is certainly not anything I thought would happen to me or my family and it's a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

I guess I just wanted to connect with others who might understand where I'm coming from, because it's late and I'm yet again sitting here creeped out and confused. I suppose nobody can tell me he's gone for good and will leave us alone, but I wish it was so!
I was married for 7 years once, together for 9 years. My exhusband was not my son's biological father, but the only Dad he ever knew. My exhusband literally became a different person overnight and decided he didn't want to be married anymore, didn't want to be a Dad anymore. My son was devastated beyond belief. It's been over 4 years, and he still is- my happy-go-lucky little boy is now a depressed, angry, hurting teenager. He doesn't understand how, the man who once promised to love him as his own son, the man who promised to adopt him, has literally cut him out of his life. It took a long time for me to come to terms with my life suddenly being turned upside down, but my son... he's not okay. He blames himself, he blames me, he missed his "Dad", he hates his "Dad", he misses his "sister" (stepsister), misses his "family" from my exhusband's side. I don't know if he'll ever be okay. I have no advice for you, but I know how you feel, I understand how your children feel. I wish I could say it gets better, and it probably does- it did for me- but it will likely take a very long, long time.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is online now  
#9 of 9 Old 07-27-2014, 10:40 PM
 
crazyms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Way down south
Posts: 1,190
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
It's nice that someone from his family will see the kids. I can understand you not trusting her though. Honestly I know it doesn't seem like the therapy is helping but I'm sure it's doing more than you think it is. It's probably helping a lot more than the kids think it is too. I think keeping the therapy is a good idea and reaching out to family. One major thing that helped us too was creating a new "normal" in our lives. Things like holiday traditions, where you live, etc can be factors is the healing process too. Sometimes getting away from the bad memories or replacing them with new good memories will help to ease the pain.

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
crazyms is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off