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1st post. Looking for some guidance.

I joined this forum to see what other people in a similar situation as myself are experiencing, and how to come out triumphant in the end.

This might be a long post but I'll try to keep it short.

I'm 30 years old and my kids (twins, m + f) were born in Nov 2017 so they are roughly 10 months.  there's also another (f) on the way, due in Feb 2019.

I was never married to their mother and was kind of kept as a pet in the upstairs suite at her dad's house.  Long story short: most attempts to leave the situation were met with severe violence and threats, as well as stalking.  The pregnancy was an accident and I stayed with her throughout in order to protect the best interests of the unborn babies.

Well anyway they were born in November and by February they (her and her mother) were so exasperated with my efforts to leave the abusive relationship that they (her and her mother) began threatening to call the police if I didn't comply with their demands.  Eventually, after days of torture (including sleep deprivation and other forms of spousal abuse), she put her plan into action.  She started this insane argument with me (at 0530h) filled with gas-lighting and other manipulative techniques, false accusations, etc.  It was so dramatic, I should have known she was recording it.  Anyway she caught me on tape spitting on her and then called the police the next day, so that was in February.  They used the audio recording as evidence to charge me with assault and I pled guilty in late April to start probation and see the kids again.  I was totally devastated and completely emotionally distraught at having a close relationship with my babies summarily severed; truly, it was traumatizing.

I know her motivation was to obtain sole custody.  I know this because I saw she had been looking on the internet for advice on how mothers can achieve sole custody.  The primary bit of advice that women give each other is "try to obtain evidence of him being abusive" because apparently a conviction and criminal record for violent crime is fair play.

During the bail period, I was granted two visits due to a bail variation, during one of which I witnessed her mother being physically abusive of my daughter, with impunity, clearly another attempt to make me angry to further exacerbate the situation.

After I started probation, consent was given for contact.  She wanted to continue our relationship.  I, of course, do not.
The problem is any time I indicate I don't "love" her or want to be with her, she completely flips her wig and immediately causes all kinds of devastation.  There is no middle ground here: either I am with her and access is given, or I am not with her and access is withheld.  Clearly, she has no respect for the rights of the children to access their dad, and prioritizes her own emotions over everything else.

I did move a few towns away (we live in a big megalopolis so a few towns is practically the same city), a few months ago.  She's come for a few visits.  She got pregnant back in early May, soon after I started my probation.

Obviously I left out a lot of context and details here.

Just wanted to give the basic outline.

some of you, lots of you
have been through the same thing.

The aftermath isn't too bad: I was discharged with 12 months probation and required to take the "PARS program" which is 12 weeks and I'm almost done.  That was a condition of both the criminal court as well as child services.  She retains her evidence of the assault and refuses to destroy it of course.  I have caught her attempting to accumulate more evidence such as screenshots of text messages (a vast library) which I was fortunately able to delete.  To me, it's not fair play at all to take personal/relationship conversations, make huge compilations out-of-context, and turn them over to the Queen every time she's scorned.

Clearly I can't trust her even now, after months of being "back together" per se...

What happens next?  What can I do next?  Every attempt I make to assert myself is met with swift and severe retribution, all of it focused around intensifying the damage to the relationship between myself and my babies.

Sorry just wanted to add some other bits

I have regular visitation. Every Thursday and Sunday I visit her at her dad's house, where she is keeping the kids. Sometimes I stay the night even though her dad threatens to call the police on me every chance he can get.

She's come to visit me twice, for a week each time. The second she got here, she reorganized my entire apartment to "make herself feel comfortable" and threatened to leave if I resisted. She doubled her efforts the second visit. My place is now an extension of her place. It feels kind of nice to see baby things everywhere, but also sort of like she's teasing me.

Nevertheless, she's very nosy into my personal life and makes sincere efforts to make sure I'm not dating or anything like that. She believes we're together and I keep the illusion alive for the sake of my relationship with my babies. However, it is notably psychologically devastating to live in fear like this.
I think you need to make a complaint to the police regarding the stalking, threats, gas lighting, etc - what she is doing is illegal.

For this to proceed and for you to have ANY access to your kids do the following
1) Pay maintenance
2) Keep a diary of EVERYTHING said, done, etc
3) Arrange mediation and invite her - I would suggest "Shuttle Mediation" in this instance (technically you may be able to get Legal Aid for the abuse you have suffered
4) When she doesnt show up, get the mediator to sign off your C100 and head to court
5) Expect everything thrown at you - but at all times stipulate that you are not here for a fight or argument, but to see your children.
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.

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