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How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52172

  • Kirsten
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Hi everyone...

As you all know, I support my son in his quest to have a loving and meaningful relationship with his little
son, who will be having his first birthday next weekend.
It has been an ongoing battle, starting long before the boy was born and I suspect, it will be going on for some time
to come.
When my sons battle started I found that, when I was talking to friends, neighbours and colleagues they couldn't
fathom that a mother or ex partner would be so cruel as not to allow contact....not necessarily calling us liars but
not believing us either.
Once my son had his directions hearing, which gave him some contact, things begun to change and people started
to see that he was/ is trying his hardest for his son to have his daddy in his life....but still...people couldn't understand
why things are so complicated with regards to the law....let alone with the ex.
Comments like " Why don't you just talk to her" and " surely you can find a compromise" and such like are common,
yet, all the evidence of the ex's unreasonable and hostile behaviour is there, plain to see for everyone with 2 working eyes.

I stated before somewhere that I have no family in the UK, they all live abroad and are used to a different judicial system
and it can be somewhat taxing to explain how things work here....so very little support or understanding from them...:)

When days come where the ex, for reasons best known to herself, don't let contact happen, the anger,frustration and
bitter disappointment seem to take over....and often with physical results like having an upset tummy for example.

How do you deal with it all? How have your family, friends,colleagues and social circle reacted when your battle with your ex
begun? What was their attitude towards your situation?
What helped you to cope with your feelings when things go "belly up"?

Take care
Kirsten

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How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52194

  • actd
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Well the simple answer might be to point them to this forum - then they'll see that it's not so uncommon. I suppose until someone has personal knowledge of what goes on, they reasonably wouldn't believe that people can behave that way.

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How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52196

  • Nannyjane
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Hi Kirsten

You're right, people even close family and friends don't really have a clue! I think sometimes that they think its all rather obsessive!

The danger is that it is so intense that we can get completely wrapped up in it, our minds working overtime, dealing with anger and frustration, and incensed with the injustice of it all.

It's such an emotional rollercoaster and the effects can be mentally and physically exhausting...the strain is immense and you can find yourself short tempered, losing your appetite and unable to sleep. All of this takes it toll.

I have been in that place during both court cases and the only thing that stopped it was to disengage emotionally...I and my son were at breaking point at the end of last year and one day we just said enough! We knew that for the sake of our sanity we had to let it go and step away from the emotion of it all. It sounds difficult to do, but once you decide to do this it will fall into place and the stress will dissipate. It's a mind set but once you are aware of it you can make it happen by adjusting the way you look at your situation and react to it.

I was speaking to 1626 about it recently and she too was in "that place" she had read my post where I had spoken about disengaging and becoming emotionally detached and she too found it effective, as have others.

Give it a try, the relief is palpable!

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.
Last Edit: by Nannyjane.

How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52209

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Hi Kirsten,

I agree with all of what NJ has said. NJ and I spoke about this after I read her post a while ago, I thought 'no way can we do that' but somehow we have managed it. My partner's case ended up being delayed for 4 months due to clerical errors & it put him (and me to a degree) under terrible strain. When I spoke to NJ again last week, the difference was amazing, (I'm sure she will agree) and the case is now a few weeks away (eek).

With regard to what other people think or feel about Life's case, unless you're going through it or have some knowledge about the system, it does sound unbelievable to them. Let's face it, nobody wants to think that little of human nature when the only loser is the child. For us, that's where this forum and the friends we've made here have been invaluable, we don't even tend to discuss things with friends and family anymore for those very reasons.

I hope things start to get easier for you all and if you ever need to chat again, you know where I am :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Nannyjane

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Mum and Step Mum, supporting my partner through the Family Court maze. I feel passionately about children having a right to a relationship with both parents and am currently in training to be an MF.

How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52216

Hi Kirsten, I would say im still in the grief stage, the initial stage I guess but hopefully at the end of that part. For the 1st 6 weeks, I ate virtually nothing, losing 2.5 stone in the process. My sleep was horrendous, I would wake ten times a night but couldn't face the day so would go to bed at 8pm and still be in bed at 12 noon the following day, mainly, in truth because the stress impacted on my physical wellbeing as well. I could barely get up to face the world. Strangely solace came in the evenings with at least being able to get to bed but I cried myself to the 1st part of my broken sleep every night, often waking other folk in the house with my wailing that I couldn't stop. When I woke again, Id wail again.

Slowly, my wailing has become normal crying which tbh can still go on for a while. In comparison now though, having taken action, I can often now neutralise my negative thoughts with a more constructive mindset and appreciate that in my case, there is a much better chance of resolving my contact issues sooner rather than later. I do still have days though when I feel like ill never see my child again. This is more prevalent at the end of contact and the countdown to the next one is in its infancy. It sort of becomes easier when its on the horizon again but as I alluded to the other night, its balanced by the awful thought of leaving my child again at the end and restarting the countdown to the next visit.

I go back to work tomorrow, hoping that the routine carves an acceptance that things have changed. I have a diy project on the go as well which should absorb my time. I have time on my hands I never expected these days.

I crave a semblance of normality and disengaging is something Im going to attempt. Some conclusion or at least significant improvement should materialise for me in the next month or so I think which gives a sense of definite arrangement from here on.

Strangely, I think this might reopen my emotions as I think that once this is decided, the enormity of what I've been put through will restrike and ill be all to aware of how my life has changed forever. Thus far my energy or lack of has been channelled on ensuring that I get the chance to be the best dad I can.

Once things are sorted in that respect, my biggest challenge is getting my head around the lengths of time between seeing each other. Things I took for granted, guy fawkes, birthdays, xmas etc etc, all 1st for me to miss I guess this year, at least on their official dates, Ill sadly maybe be back to 'wailing' these day and nights but I hope over time the pain can diminish and I become stronger.

Sorry to prattle on.....

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How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52307

  • Kirsten
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Hi everyone....
so much of what you all have posted resonates with me.
Yes NJ, friends and family don't have a clue.....that's just about the size of it and they often think it's obsessive...
absolutely spot on.
The emotional roller coaster is something else, as you say, the consequences effect your physical well being.
1626.... as you say...who wants to think so little of human nature....and yes, we don't talk about it to others very often
as people on the " outside" can't imagine how low another human being can stoop.
Broken dad.... I have known days when my bed was my solace, trying to get away from having to talk because I was physically and emotionally exhausted and slept for 15-16 hours straight.
For me personally I must say that the uncertainty is something I can barely cope with....will we see the little one this coming weekend or not? "Life" drives up to the handover point, by which stage I am all positive and looking forward to spending some time with my beloved grandson....and then "Life" comes home without him as the ex didn't turn up.
It will be my grandsons first birthday this coming weekend and we don't know if we are going to see him....
The ex just simply doesn't care about the court order,she is, as I stated somewhere before, manipulative to the extreme and
I often admonish myself for hoping that this woman may actually do the right thing....just once in her life.
When I see my sons face, like last Saturday, when contact didn't happen, it hits me in the pit of my stomach....because
he is so hurt.
The only thing that keeps me on the sane side of the road is the fact that one day, no matter how long it takes,
the table will turn.

NJ...I have tried to look for your particular post but didn't find it, perhaps you could be kind enough to put me in the right direction?
Take care
Kirsten

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Last Edit: by Kirsten.

How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52309

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I had a look too Kirsten, having thought about it and having a dig around, it wasn't a post, it was an email conversation..... :unsure:

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Mum and Step Mum, supporting my partner through the Family Court maze. I feel passionately about children having a right to a relationship with both parents and am currently in training to be an MF.

How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52312

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...there have been threads where it has been discussed with various members in the past....I wish I could remember which members as that would narrow the search for these conversations, but with well over 4000 posts it would be mammoth task to look through all my posts to find them.

There is no technique involved in stepping outside of your emotions, it comes more from being self aware and as I said its a mind set. It's like visualisation, picture yourself putting all the emotions, fears, anger and worries in a box, shut the box and label it, and then put it away, picture yourself doing this. Picture yourself as a solicitor dealing with a case, put the necessary work in but when the work on it is done, be it a letter or working on a statement you shut the file and you attend to other things.

As for the uncertainty...You know when you really want something but you also know that it's highly unlikely to happen and so you keep your expectations in check and don't allow yourself to think that it will happen? Well that's the same thing you should do when the contact comes around, you've stepped outside your emotions and now you are telling yourself that it may well not happen....prepare for this and if contact doesn't happen you are prepared for that.

When we deal with children for instance and have to discipline them, we control our responses, we don't shout and we think about how we explain things, we work out boundaries in our mind and we stick to them...we try hard not to lose our temper and we use techniques to do this. Some people leave the room, some count to 10... It's all about the same thing, self awareness and control.

I'm sure you will probably have your own way of finding that peaceful place outside and away from the anguish. Perhaps 1626 will talk about how she managed it. I'll ask my son how he disengaged, but I get the feeling it's individual to each of us.

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.

How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52370

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Not sure really, combination of things. Will probably repeat a lot of what NJ has said. Talking to people on here who 'get it' really helped. Having low expectations is good - expect the worst and anything positive is a bonus. Focusing on the practical side of things, deal with paperwork as it happens so it's not playing on your mind, in contrast - don't retaliate to the little things as they become big things, sometimes silence is indeed golden. I always leave 24 hours before helping my partner respond to hostile communication, sometimes I write a 'dream draft' and then tone it down, or if all else fails, ask NJ for one of her famous turns of phrase :D

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Mum and Step Mum, supporting my partner through the Family Court maze. I feel passionately about children having a right to a relationship with both parents and am currently in training to be an MF.

How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52462

As has been stated by many of the posters so eloquently before we all have different ways of coping. I personally pretty much am disengaged to the whole situation.

I've stopped having contact with most of my friends as they were mutual to both parties and don't talk to anyone.

People often call me 'cold' and 'emotionless' as that is how I now come across. But finding this place is where I have managed to express a small portion of what I feel and indeed on many occasions cry uncontrollably to myself.

As I gather from the posters some are in fact mothers with sons in similar situations and I never really stop and think how mine feels in this situation. I find it extremely difficult to communicate with her but in my heart of hearts thank her for the excellent job she did on her own for me and my brothers. We never had much and she struggled but did the best she could.

As a result, I think, I came out well-rounded enough to handle with what life continues to throw at me.

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To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.

- P.B.Shelley
Prometheus Unbound

How do you deal with this...? 5 years 3 months ago #52663

  • Kirsten
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Hi all....
You are all saying the same thing and this has led me to think about it in greater detail.
What I have come to realise is that I need to keep my sanity.... and the easiest a way to do this
is by immersing myself into my hobby again.
Although I have been doing it on and off....I need to devote some regular times to it because it
requires me to totally concentrate at the matter at hand.
What I also have to acknowledge is that I can't cope with my sons ex's unpredictability very well....I prefer
routine and stability which she does upset when it suits her.
But I will work on that too.

I am sure there will be times when my frustrations will bubble up again but hopefully I will be able to
cope better with it all.
Mind you....as we had the little boy with us yesterday....one smile on his little face makes it all so worth while.
For all the roller coaster rides my son and I have been on over the months....my heart kept with joy when
I was able to hold all 4 of my grandchildren close to me for the first time ever.
It was almost as if I felt complete...for want of a better expression.
Thank you all so much for your postings, you gave me lots to think about and hopefully enable me to
cope a lot better in the future.

Take care
Kirsten

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