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#57642 - 01/23/04 09:48 PM splitting up with partner
scarman Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 74
Loc: London On Canada
Hey, I've been posting on the male survivours section for awhile now, but I have a question that I think may be better answered here.

My partner and I are splitting up. We have a little girl that is turning 1yr old this week, Jan 27th. We still get along ok, as needed, but I feel like she needs to know more about me as we will ALWAYS be involved in each others life while we co-parent our daughter. Just wondering if anyone thinks this may be a good avenue for her to get involved. She seems abit interested in my well being. She's known about my abuse from early on in own relationship, and tried to be there for me, but, didn't really help much. I'm wondering if maybe now she might learn more about why I am the way I am. But at the same time, I'm wondering if I should bother.....

ANY input will help.

shawn

_________________________
scarman stands for the tatoos I have, and also the emotional scars I've accumulated from my past.

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#57643 - 01/23/04 10:43 PM Re: splitting up with partner
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Shawn - don't really know what to advise, however, has she read any of your postings on this site (any of the postings on this site)? If not, reading them may improve her understanding. Even if it does not improve your relationship, it may allow both of you to explain things to your Daughter at some time in the future.

Best wishes again ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#57644 - 01/24/04 12:03 AM Re: splitting up with partner
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hi Shawn,

Happy birthday to your daughter! And even though I personally think it ought to go without saying, it doesn't, so congratulations to you for being committed to being a part of her life even though you and your partner are splitting.

I guess the answer to your question would depend on her and the circumstances of your ending the relationship. Is this a trial separation that may end in you guys getting back together, or the type of thing where you'll see her for a total of six hours all year for the rest of your life? Because we need to understand the people around us in different ways based on how close to them we are. Also, what specifically you'd like her to understand or think she might understand by coming to this site. I'm not really asking you to answer these questions, I just think that you should have some answers to them for yourself.

People can get vindictive and evil over their kids and even though you guys are getting along for the moment, you don't want to give her ammunition for later on... I don't know if that's something you need to be concerned about or not but I would think about it. The articles on this site were extremely helpful to me when I was first trying to understand my boyfriend's abuse and the things he'd done in our relationship, but I would think that you'd want the forum to be a safe place for you to express yourself without having to worry about what some family court judge might think about it 3 years down the road.

As a parent and survivor, I have to say that the places where I've needed the most understanding and care from my partner, in terms of myself and my experiences, have been the places in my children's lives that "come up against" (I don't know if it's really a "trigger") my own childhood. Certain milestones, games, questions that my children ask, are hard because they remind me of myself as a child, and some parenting tasks (esp. the ones that relate to setting boundaries) are hard, because I really just don't know how they're done. I have found myself irrationally angry and sad at the sight of my girls playing and singing without a care in the world. These are the times when my boyfriend knows to step in and watch them while I find somewhere else to be, and he knows why. This is the best reason I can think of for your ex to understand what's happened to you. If you don't think she would be able to listen to you/ take over child care at that point, I suggest that you find someone else, a friend or other relative, who can do that if the need arises. (This has, up to now, been almost exclusively "my" problem, since our kids are girls and not yet at the age where things started to get bad for their Dad... that age is fast approaching for our big one though and there are times where I can see it affecting him, hopefully by that time I'll have all the answers for it :rolleyes: )

I guess also that when your daughter gets bigger there might be other concerns, about what or maybe who you want her to know, but I wouldn't put too much energy into that right now, we both know it takes enough energy just to keep up with the 1 year old \:\) and if the important people in her life are nurturing and committed to her well-being and not fighing around/over her, she'll get on fine for now.

Anything else I can do to help, ask away or feel free to PM me.. good luck Dad!

SAR


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#57645 - 01/25/04 07:33 PM Re: splitting up with partner
scarman Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 74
Loc: London On Canada
Thanks for your replies, It was suposed to be a trial separation, but during this time, some things happened that I can't/won't forgive her for. I will never trust her the way someone needs to trust their spouse again....This is a concern for me, because I am not too confident in her parenting skills. So, I'm worried that she will continue lying even when it has to do with our daughter. My main issue is that I don't want her to introduce her "new friend" too soon to our daughter,(I think this may have already happened). I don't care about what she does, but, I wish there was a way I could protect my little girl from her poor life choices. I guess I was hoping that she may read some posts here, and maybe understand, why I have such an issue with trust, and lying.

I'll continue to think on this some more, but if anyone else has another twist on this, I'm open to listening to your opinions....

shawn :rolleyes:

_________________________
scarman stands for the tatoos I have, and also the emotional scars I've accumulated from my past.

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#57646 - 01/26/04 10:04 AM Re: splitting up with partner
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Dear Scarman

I can't tell you much about what to do with your partner though I can say that sometimes it is the own survivor's behaviours that triggers hostility on their partner so speaking the true might actually help smooth things up and fill in the gaps of ignorance and misunderstanding so that's always important.
As for your daughter, this is very important for her to know about your life (especially before reaching puberty age) for three reasons:
1) children KNOW something is wrong with their parents, they feel the trauma, uneasiness, troubles...The problem is they absorb it and twist it in the way that they think it is their fault. They grow up with that invisible scar and guilt. So the sooner you can tell her that this is not her fault if you getting a divorce, being depressed...the better. Let her know also that you deeply care for her and that you are struggling to get better.
2) incest/sa runs into families through the unconscious, and the above. They are called "ghosts" in psycho genealogy. In my own healing (I am a survivor and a partner) I have disclosed the incest to family members with the specific aim to "clean the younger generations". I have talked to my niece and nephew (they are 5 and 6) though my sister is in denial. I have talked to protect them from being victims but I also wanted them to know something has gone really wrong about the family so they won't have to carry the ghosts. I have not mentioned directly sexual abuse but I told them their grand dad has been bad with me as a kid so I don't want to see him anymore and if he is not nice with them, they can tell me. I am sure this has helped them tremendously. When I spoke with my cousin Lionel who is 22, one of the firts questions he asked was "Am I going to reproduce this ?" which actually means he was already in some ways infected by the perversity of my father and the dysfunctionality of the family (abuse seems to run in my mum's family too and Lionel is the son of her brother).
3) the last reason for talking is that in all family with SA abuse (and even alcoholism) there seems to be a "loss of sense" with is a complete cut out from the family history, tradition, culture. This absence of "history" or the absence of understanding creates pathologies and nevroses. Through talking to your daughter and her mother you are linking your daughter to your family, her history (concept of verticality in psychology). You are giving her a strong foundation even if the history of the family is not a happy one. This is CRUCIAL !
We have studied that in our psychology class recently and it makes absolute sense. I have done that work in my own healing,and it has made a major difference.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask !
Warmest regards
Caroline

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#57647 - 01/27/04 03:53 PM Re: splitting up with partner
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Shawn,

I know what you mean about poor life choices. And I agree with you about the new friend in your ex's life. Personally I don't know why any parent of a young child would think that exposing their children to their adult life is a good idea. In my opinion it's selfish and reckless. Sure, my kids see me hug and kiss their dad, see us fight and make up, know that we are best friends and more. But there are discussions we reserve for after bedtime as well, people we don't invite into our house but go to the bar with, books in the house that go carefully back on the shelf afterwards. And it's their dad I'm with, and both of us are committed to them--at the end of the day, not something that's true for a lot of "new friends".

It's hard for kids to see people come and go the way "new friends" often do. It's hard for kids to reconcile the "best face" that people put on in the beginning with the person that comes out awhile later. It's traumatic enough for children to learn that they're not the only reason their parents exist--normal, but difficult, for kids to compete with siblings, spouses, work, etc.--why would you go out and seek another source of competition? That's what it feels like to the young child. And when they get older and they know what their parents are going out to do--ew, ew, ew. That doesn't make it better or more understandable.

I am sure that you'll do your best as a dad, love her and put her first, make her feel safe and happy. But no matter how hard it is, if you feel that your daughter is not being cared for properly by your ex or anyone else, don't sit on it. Don't doubt or get caught up in it being about your own issues with trust or anything else. Don't assume she's too young to notice what's going on around her or that she would tell you if there's a problem. Do what you need to do to keep her happy and safe. Make your time with her loving, keep the rules consistent and show her how you live in accordance with your values. If you can do this then she will have you in mind always even if things get tough.

I'm done venting now... I do wish you all the best Shawn and all the other dads and moms fighting the good fight...
SAR


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#57648 - 01/27/04 03:59 PM Re: splitting up with partner
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Caroline, I don't want to go off topic here, but I am interested in what you've said about loss of sense, absence of history. Maybe another post?

This idea makes sense to me but also seems strange because I would think that in some abusive families, the abusive "traditions" such as substance abuse, keeping silent, abuse of religion, etc. are especially strong and would contribute to a sense of family or history in a strong but negative way... are you saying this negative sense of family is better than nothing, or that we should sift through the ashes to find the good, or what?

SAR


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#57649 - 01/27/04 08:10 PM Re: splitting up with partner
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
Shawn,

I'm assuming that you and your partner are not married so custody issues are not clear to you. You should go to see an attorney who specializes in family law, to find out what your rights concerning your daughter are. Ask him/her specifically about custody. Can you possibly get sole custody? What about shared custody? Will your partner be able to deny visitation? Will she be able to move out of state? There is a lot that needs to be defined in order for you to be certain of access to your daughter.

Mary

_________________________
"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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