Standing up to a bully

This week has been hellish.  One of the worst weeks of my life, and trust me, I’ve had a lot of seriously BAD weeks.  This week I have been threatened with Social Services.  I’ve been threatened with legal action.  I’ve been threatened with the virtual loss of my children.  This time last week, my ex husband; my children’s  father, had come and taken the children away.  This was as a result of my eldest daughter’s continued rudeness and bad behaviour towards my partner.  It all came to a head. During Dr Who (and I still haven’t watched the whole episode).

On Sunday, he told me that I wasn’t allowed to have my children over night.  He told me that if I didn’t agree, he would report me to Social Services.  There are children out there under genuine threat of harm.  My children are not under any threat of harm.  Not from my home anyway.  He thinks that he is Father of the Year.  He can do no wrong, but me? No, I’m a terrible mother.  I’m a terrible person and I put my children at risk.  I probably put my children at risk more by allowing him to continue bullying me.  He has been doing this for 7 years.  For 7 years, I’ve bent over backwards for that man, to maintain a shared residence arrangement (albeit with no court order).  I think that a lot of what he does is harmful to the children.  I think he puts his two children from his second marriage before our two children.  I think that he messes with our children’s heads.  I know that him and his wife tell the children things about me that are not true, or that they have no place telling them – things they just do not need to know.  But if it paints me in a bad light (which it does), they keep on doing it.  I think that my eldest daughter is so desperate for approval from him that it makes her behave badly towards me.  I think his actions over the last 7 years have an awful lot to do with her behaviour and attitude.

On Monday, after having felt I’d been pushed in to a corner by him on Sunday, I stood up to him.  My children came out of school telling me that they weren’t allowed to stay overnight with me.  Daddy said so.  I didn’t take the children to his by 7.15pm, as he’d insisted.  I kept them at my house.  I refused to engage with him on the phone, because he bullies me and manipulates me, and makes me agree to anything he says.  I know that I’m an intelligent woman, but years of emotional abuse and manipulation have made me this way.  He threatened me with Social Services.  He said he’d go to them first thing on Tuesday.  I waited for a phone call, or something from them.  Nothing happened.

I’d made an appointment with a solicitor for Wednesday.  He tried to call me on Wednesday, while I was at work.  I refused to engage with him on the phone.  I told him I would only communicate by text or email.  He told me he’d sought legal advice.  He told me that if I didn’t agree to the children not staying overnight with me, he would go to Social Services.  He also told me he would go to court.  I told him I would consult with my solicitor.

I did consult with my solicitor.  She told me to keep standing up to him.  She told me that it was a non-issue, and to basically let him run to court, because then we would counter him.  Let him make an arse of himself.  I told him no.  I told him that arrangements were to stay as they are.  He told me he would tell Social Services in the morning.  I basically told him to go ahead.

Thursday is a day when I normally have our children.  I picked them up from school as usual.  The children told me that Daddy had called Social Services on me.  They said he’d told them the night before that he’d done it.  They said that Daddy just wanted to make sure they were safe.  I told them they are safe.  Always have been.  Always will be.  The rest of the night went without any bother – I had words with my eldest daughter, but nothing worse than we’d ever done before.  I just want her to start taking responsibility for her actions.  She needs to learn to do that.  I recognise that there is a lot going on in her head, and I think I know why – it’s this need for approval from her dad.  She doesn’t need it from me, because mum doesn’t do that to her.  But I think she’s constantly fighting for approval and attention, so it manifests itself in her behaviour towards me.  I haven’t done anything wrong by her.  Her dad has.

I’ve been expecting at least a solicitor’s letter, but it’s now Saturday, and there’s been nothing.  The children were dropped off as usual this morning.  By chance, I found out that he will be in Wales, and not back here until 10am on Sunday.  This is the man who was so concerned about the welfare of his children, that he was refusing overnight contact with me.  He was so concerned about their welfare, he had called Social Services.  He was so concerned about their welfare that he had sought legal advice, and was going to go to court.  How concerned is he really if he’s quite happy and prepared to take his “new” family to Wales overnight, leaving our children in my care?

The simple truth of the matter is that it is all bullshit.  He hasn’t called anyone.  He isn’t going to court.  He’s quite happy to put himself and his “new” family before his first and second born children.  The positive in all this is that I’ve stood up to him now.  The bullying stops.  He can threaten all he likes, but he’s all hot air.  If he was really concerned, he would have run to Social Services.  He would have run to court.  From where I’m standing (well, sitting at the moment), he cannot be truly concerned, because he would have carried out his threats.  The man is a manipulative bully, who can only threaten.  Well, no more.  I feel empowered having stood up to him.  I will no longer engage with him on the phone.  I have told him that.  I know that it’s all bullshit.  He is pathetic.  I am stronger than that.  It’s taken 7 years for me to do this, but now I’ve done it, I’m not looking back.

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