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ABUSE...hurts so much
#1
Its been quite a while since I last posted and that is because sometimes (like today) I feel so negative about our situation.  And so worried about my son's mental and physical health.  I don't know how much longer he or we can put up with this abuse of us and our granddaughter.
We did find a solicitor who was very forthright about the fact that we had left it very late to instigate Court (finances do come into play here but maybe she never thought about that!).  She was right though..."A "(grandaughter) is now nearly 5 years old and fully coached and coerced, I call it brainwashed.   
He was told by ex he could have A stay overnight (one night only) from february this year but that has not worked out because A is frightened of the monsters in the house or the man who can break through the front door. No prizes for guessing where that originates.  And she has been coached to "love love love mummy", "want, want, want mummy" (massively obvious) which creates separation anxiety.
My son has tried so hard to settle her down at night but A does not have a routine at home, she stays up late and has always (still does) shared mummys bed.  A is fine on the day he gets her, she adores her daddy who plays with her lots and takes her to nice places like the zoo, but come the evening when its time for bed, she cries for mummy.  By the early hours my son is exhausted and takes her home.  Last week he persevered and  she cried and cried but went to sleep at 4am. Great in the morning, loved being there for breakfast.  Because she stayed, he has been "punished"....ex has various methods of getting to my son in the worst possible ways.  
I am not allowed to have her overnight..A herself has told me mummy said so.  She also keeps saying she has secrets..one confused little girl.  She says things but we never question her..she gets enough interrogation once she gets back to her mother.
So, why have we not instigated Court, you may ask?    We have done the c100 form and part done the other (the abuse form) but abuse is deadly.
He has had 5.5 years of abuse when he was with her, dreadful things went on behind closed doors but she is careful to appear sweet and charming to the outside world.  They may have split up when A was 3 months old (with the help of the police) but the abuse is ongoing.  This woman is in a class of her own with her poisonous ways and she gets enjoyment from controlling this awful situation.  The effect on my son is that he lives in a highly stressful state, sometimes depressed, often angry, lonely, despairing, tearful.  Strong enough for the Court procedure...no.   Am I?  No. And my husband is battling cancer. 
Is there any help out there?   Well, I have looked everywhere and there seems not.  In fact we would come across as the "loony" pair if we opened up to the authorities...ex is very convincing as an actress ..and we fear we would lose this battle.  certainly I cannot talk to anyone about what is happening, pointless as no friends understand..just think its a domestic.  One said "oh, you do see your granddaughter..some people dont even get that".  "or he should man up" (never been as keen on that friend since! )  We used to be a normal happy family but now are one that is desperately sad and fearful for the future. 
A starts school soon and then there will be another battle to get access.   He is not allowed to take her on holiday and today has been a bad day for my son because he sees all these families with their children and his friends taking their little ones on holiday.  He feels, quite rightly, that he is just a glorified babysitter on the 2 days he has her whilst ex works. She rings up constantly to fnd out where A is, what she is doing, who she is with and then raps orders to my son.. the control is immense but you have to understand that he is not the confident young man he once was..he is broken and she enjoys what she is doing, creating fear and immense pain.  When he plucked up courage to ask when he will be able to see A once school starts, she says she is not discussing that.  When he goes to collect A for the day, ex keeps him waiting in the car for 10-15 minutes. Control.
We will go to Court..its the only option but god knows what the result will be. I cannot feel confident. CAFCAS will think we are nuts rather than emotionally messed up (probably both).  As I type this, I am tearful. This morning my son cried.
Sorry I have gone on and on but thank you for reading this. It helps me to take the cork out of the bottle (thats my made up saying!). x
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#2
Hello

Fellow grandma here! I haven’t read through your previous posts at the moment, but I assume you were advised that your son should document all the contact he is currently having with his daughter.

The positives are that your son got out of this abusive relationship, and he is managing to maintain regular contact with his daughter – even if that does seem like it is just a convenience for his ex.

You’re right in saying that there doesn’t seem to be much help out there for separated dads. Sometimes it can even seem like the solicitors dads pay to represent them aren’t 100% committed to the cause!  If your son does apply to the court, I’m sure the people on this site will be happy to help. It can all be very stressful though, and self-representation even more so.

It sounds as if the solicitor you spoke to was so negative because of the parental alienation that is taking place (PA is a taboo term in Family Court, but it does exist!). But, if the Court system is working in the child’s best interests, and your son has been taking care of his daughter for 2 days each week, then the average person would probably assume that the Court would keep the status quo on this (although with his daughter starting school, there may be some changes necessary to the current arrangement).

I’m sorry you and your son have to go through this  Sad
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#3
Firstly it is a huge positive that your son does get to see his daughter.

What’s not good is several things. The situation with your husband, your sons entail health and constant control by his abuser.

You say you are both not strong enough for a court case. Understandable. So focus on getting you son help,, either just to talk or to give him coping mechanisms as if things continue the outcome may not be good.

Contact Male domestic abuse helplines. Mankind Inititive, CALM or even families need fathers or simply any counsellor for mental health. Be sure it is not one that blames men’s issues on toxic masculinity!

If you are to go to court at some point in the future you will need resilience as history seems to show that his ex would get worse if he was to do that. Once he has coping strategies and some resilience that may be when you can move forward and go to court.

The only other alternative would be for him to walk away from this ongoing torture from his abuser and hope his daughter may seek him out when she is older. Not ideal but this situation he is in now must be unbearable for all of you. There comes a point where his health and well being may mean this could be his best course of action although I am loathe to say it as it should NEVER come to this.
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#4
Thank you both for your replies and understanding.
It may be an awful things to say but I have wished that I never had a grandchild, despite being my first and probably only one. And wished he would walk away, leave this toxic area (too near her). And then we can leave and maybe enjoy our remaining years. There are far more years behind us than ahead and of course we do not know how long my husband has.
But my son would never walk away, just like I would never stop supporting my son.
This morning I have been trying to do a trial fill in the of the C1A form, bit where you have to list some of the incidents. My son struggles with this (slightly dyslectic)..I hope I can help but it is difficult. But we will get there.
He collected little one this morning (again a prolonged wait outside) and she was very subdued and looked shattered. He thinks she gets read the riot act (what to do, where to go etc) before she leaves the house. probably right as the first thing A said, when asked if she would still like to go to the zoo or safari park, was "mummy says I can't go so I think i will stay at your home and play". Poor little girl.
Well I am just off to see them so will close but thank you again for your contact. It helps me to know there are people out there who understand our situation.
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#5
Hi

Firstly, the above comment that your son needs counselling or help is very true. Please help him get this and make him understand that there is hope and he shouldnt feel bogged down because he is still seeing his kid, more than some of us! keep all communication with ex partner IN WRITING ONLY and keep it very short and polite and only about the child, and let her be nasty. tell him thats evidence so no need to be sad about it, the nastier the better. I wish my ex would go back to nasty as now she is playing perfect mummy and being polite which is way more scary and cant be used against her!

2. Second comment about documenting all the contact is also very true, doesnt matter if not overnight, he is still having unsupervised contact and seeing her regularly which is great. Please document with pictures/videos and write down dates and anything you can to prove this as will come in handy

When little one says things like that tell her not to worry, daddy loves her and everything will be fine. Yes she sadly suffers with her mum, but at least then she can relax from the pressure at dads and get a few hours of normal childhood, and she will feel and remember her dads comfort and love

Next time don't tell her of plans to go to the zoo beforehand so mother cannot prevent it. And never ask if she still wants to go because youre putting the decision on her (I know he meant well and in normal situations that would be fine). Its not her decision to make she is a child. Just show up, pick her up and start going towards the zoo or wherever as if nothing. if she asks where she's going say its a surprise. if you get to the zoo I bet she will forget about what her mum has said being excited to see the animals. and even if she does mention "mommy said im not allowed at the zoo etc " just say oh ok didn't know that but now we are here so might as well enjoy and dont worry.

If you are going ahead with court, I would reconsider accusing mother of whatever it is she has done/ does. Unfortunately the system is bias, and all it will do is drag things out and will take much longer/make it look like both parents are bad and cost more money. especially if your son is already depressed and sad, then do not do that. Dont even bother with C1A.

I tell you what happened in my case, my boy did the same as ur grandchild, he would always say "mummy said I have to say x, y z, " I wrote that in the C1A abuse form, and guess what? It took 3 months between my application being submitted and son being interviewed so of course mummy told son not to mention his mummy in those instructions and everything changed to " I dont want to go with daddy" Daddy is bad , daddy does x, y ,z " etc etc. AND your grandchild will feel that you have broken her trust, and stop telling you things. My son still says these things but now he never mentions his mum.

Its "positive" she is saying these things to you, because it means she trusts you/your son. so dont break her trust. If youre lucky, she will repeat the same to the social worker as in "mummy said I have to say this / do that", and that 1 line will be much more helpful than anything your son will say or allege as that just looks like parent acrimony.

I would suggest, submitting C100 for contact, writing what the current schedule is, saying what the child enjoys doing with her father, how everyting is well and dandy, but he would like more routine and stability for the child and gradually increase time to overnights etc.

Thats it. dont write anything else.
If child says during interview she doesnt want to see your son, and mother alleges abuse, then it will look quite strange considering he has been having his daughter now for some time, plus they might supervise your son with daughter, which is what saved me. because son speaks bad of me but then he is happy when we are alone so doesnt make sense what he has said. She will probably cut all contact when she receives the application, be prepared for that, but its standard procedure and he can hopefully get an interim order for the same amount of contact whilst they investigate.

Just draw a line of everything mum has done. You still know the truth but try to avoid mentioning anything to the court apart from mother being resistant to contact increasing. Dont mention mother being abusive to your son, focus on the positive moments during contact, and get ur son help and focused on his own life. he will be no good to his daughter if he is depressed like this. He needs to live his own adult life, and see time with her as a bonus. If he's completely lost in his world it wouldn't even surprise me if the social worker uses that against him seeing how bias they are.
anyway maybe others will disagree but thats my 2 cents, focus on the contact with your granddaughter and put everything else aside. in 5 years, if he has half the holidays and a solid relationship with his daughter, will any of these things matter? no, so dont even bother .
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#6
Oh Richard, you have definately put a spanner in the works!! I have taken all morning to fill out this C1A..well a draft copy.

But I really see your point..it does make complete sense to me because everything I write looks like one big domestic drama. It is a hellish situation and it is abuse of him and the child but I think that cafcas/court judge will view it as two people having a bitter slanging match and not good parents. And that could go against him. There are police records but I have copies of these and basically it was just papers recording being called out to a domestic. Not proven evidence.
Apart from one instance when she made the serious allegation of A having a black eye when she was about 2 years old. They had split up long bef when A was 3 months old so this allegation was made when he had taken her back from a visit. We went straight to the police (I used to work for SS so advised him that allegation needs recording) and they paid her a visit. Found it was completely made up as we knew and gave her "advice". Annoyingly the allegation is not mentioned in the files, just the visit. We have also had victim support counselling. But I realise none of this is proof.
However you mention your son being interviewed. A is only just coming up to 5 years old and I thought (maybe wrongly) they would not do at such a young age??
I now must discuss your points with my son, not an easy task but I think what you have said makes a lot of sense. It is something we must discuss before we go ahead with these forms.
Thank you very much for your input...it is very useful and much appreciated.
(Forgot to mention that he does have an abuse counsellor. Contact has been by telephone but he is meeting with her face to face later this week).

Update...just read your letter to my son. He not only agrees with everything you say but feels so relieved (as do I) that he does not have to go down the abuse route. He only went ahead with this because the solicitor we saw seemed to think he should fill in a C1A but I don't think she fully realised his situation in the hour we spent there. Who would....
She probably thought we had a lot of evidence when he mentioned the police involvement.
I am also relieved because the war is bad enough but could be even worse for my son and his child. As you say, we are lucky in that do get to have her but that is only because his ex works 2 days a week. When A starts school, there is no plan in place because ex has already said she is not prepared to discuss this.
So he must focus on what he wants for his child so we will check over the c100 again and then get it sent.
Thanks again.
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#7
I would submit the C1A. I submitted one with my C100 in a similar situation. You need to word it carefully to get across what is happening, without directly criticising her, and without using the words "parental alienation". I kind of described it and said things like son being "turned against me" and how his behaviour was "alien" and he seemed a different child.

Do you have any evidence to attach to the C1A? That will make a big difference. And you can submit evidence with it (you can't normally submit evidence with a C100 or any evidence until final hearing, but you can with a C1A). I didn't have much evidence but I attached: A GP letter which confirmed son did not have the medical condition she claimed he had (ie she was lying and worse). Also a copy of a family worker's closure report after ex had reported me to child services - it didn't say a lot but said no issues with me and described how ex continued to be hostile about me.

I ticked emotional and psychological abuse of son and myself. Although I have since been made aware they are not interested in any abuse of the parent and only look at the child. I don't think it did any harm putting it though as it made clear the harrassment.
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#8
Its very difficult, Charlie, to make the decision. There is not a lot of evidence apart from police records of call outs (one including a visit made by them to her), calls to social services and family connect (which i think would be recorded). But these were mainly to do with the abuse of my son rather than the daughter although she was certainly involved in many of the incidents. And we have both had victim support counselling, he has recently had abuse counselling although that is finished now (but she was very helpful and understanding). Every contact has said that something should have been done a long time ago.
Anyway, as i said the c100 form is completed and I am just about to print off 3 more copies. I read that he has the option of giving a full statement to the Court near the end of the proceedings. But when they read it, they might well ask why he has not submitted a c1a. But he is scared, we are scared to go down that route because guaranteed she will end contact..and worst still, he might not be believed. Nobody who has not suffered years of abuse or who has not had to deal with a loved one so mentally beaten, would understand the effects of this fear. They are a strong, hard family (all female), a certain sector of the community (maybe slightly diluted down the line but still very very evident) who have no respect for authority or rules. Their life is not normal as you would know it. There are 3 of them, no men, all respectable but all kicked out when babies came along.
Today another horrible abusive incident in front of the child. I cannot go into detail but it was awful, especially for the little one. Ex does not hold back, has no regard for what the child witnesses. In fact A said to me the other day "grandma, why do people shout, it hurts my ears" I have no doubt that poor child will have real problems as she gets older.
So he rang the police (who else on a Sunday?) and thankfully the woman PC was really understanding and gave him a lot of her time. She said he really should have gone to Court a long time ago but advised that because of the concerns about the child he contact SS on monday and instigate an investigation into the family. He is going to...but its worrying as there will be retribution (one being no doubt contact will be stopped) and will SS be fooled by the perfectly clean house, the "perfect" mother, not an alcoholic or a drug taker? Will they see our problems?
All i know is that we cannot last much longer like this.
What do you think, Charlie? Your opinion would be appreciated.
Thank you.
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#9
A judge would never ask you why you not filled in a c1a form . I would probably advise against doing so. I also wouldnt recommend involving social services as matters could become worse. Are you self representing or getting a solicitor ? Hopefully you have attempted mediation , if not you would need to do so. If your sons ex is being nasty by text or in person you should record if for your own use in a diary times and dates. Also make log of when he has his son/daughter. Ideally you just want to go court without raising allegations and get a contact order which includes overnights and handovers from school as much as possible . If u do raise allegation ex may counteract with worse allegations and you may not seen son/daughter for a while. I not read your whole background and just posting a few ideas . You definitely need to go family court and base contact around when son/daughter at school depending on your sons availability
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