How to protect my teen daughters

Posted by: feelinghopeless

How to protect my teen daughters - 06/23/12 11:12 AM

Hi and I am so sorry that anyone has to be here and that a forum of this type even has to exist. I am new to this site and am the mother of 2 teenage girls age 14 (nearly 15) and 16. I left their father due to emotional and physical abuse 9 years ago - I am a US citizen and live in the UK; my girls have dual citizenship; their father is British.

There were many red flags during our courtship and ultimately our marriage, however, I had thought when I left him that the abuse would only be limited to me and consequently chose to stay in the UK shortly after my divorce thinking it would be wrong to take the children away from their father. How wrong I was; how terribly terribly wrong! It really was only about 2.5 years ago when something he did/said and the language he used and the blatant lie in front of me that I knew something was very wrong. I always knew he was controlling but I always managed to find a way to excuse it - SIGH!

I realized over the course of a few years that each and every time the children spent time with him they returned home feeling unsettled and out of sorts. My eldest began lashing out at her sister when she felt angry and this became quite regular. I never and still don't know what to make of that. She is so beautiful, kind, gentle, loving and has turned into a caring young lady. She was diagnosed with anorexia just over a year ago and I dropped everything to manage her recovery and this was a serious challenge! Consequently, I have become immersed in learning all I can about this biologically based brain disorder - I had, of course, no support from the dad; I was shocked by how little he became involved in supporting her, learning about the illness, helping us and even coming to the hospital during emergencies. He spent so much time and energy belittling me and even fighting me, taking me to court to prevent me from returning home to the US to my family for help and support for our vacation. Trust me, this illness and managing this in a child is pure and utter torture and I had to do it without clinical support. Here is this psycho path taking me to court and wasting precious time, money and energy on something so nonsensical. I'm sure I don't have to say much, it has been hell like nothing I have known and then on top to deal with the psychopath.

Recently I have applied to the UK court to gain permission to return to the US with my daughters and he is fighting it in such a vicious manner. I stopped contact with him on many occasions and only respond to text or email so as to have a record of communications. He only makes arrangements with the girls directly for contact and this is how it has been for nearly 2 years now.

The problem: we are now in court, timetable set for all evidence etc and this is utterly killing our eldest daughter, the one who suffered anorexia, the one now in recovery and is desperate to move to the US to be with our family because believe it or not, she is the one who says she feels 'safe there'. Obviously she can't yet fully appreciate or understand why that is but I do.

He is now filling them with mis-information to the extent neither know what is truth and what is not. I am working on blind faith and praying they will work this out for themselves eventually and I am just pressing forward as best as possible with my case (it is a very very strong case).

My fear is the damage, the further damage this is causing my gorgeous daughters. I'm terrified of the impact he has on them. I so desperately want to protect them and just unclear how to do this. I would be so grateful for suggestions, comments or just some cyber hugs. Like most of you, I have researched psychopathy, NPD etc and he fits the bill - there is a wife on the scenes he married 5 years ago and 2 step sons now aged 19 and 22 who think the world of him and are convinced I am crazy and am making my children insane (I've only met these boys once several years ago; they don't know me). If my eldest daughter is in the car and I am driving her or her sister to his home she becomes extremely stressed and begs me to stay out of their driveway. What is going on here - Oh gosh - just so so so fed up and trying to find ways to rise above the emotional pain and do all possible not to react. All those years I thought I was suffering from depression has been diagnosed as PTSD, however, this has come about largely due to the strain of managing my daughter's recovery from an eating disorder.....

Apologies for such a lengthy story - I've just tried to summarize as succinctly as possible.
Posted by: marinde

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 06/23/12 02:25 PM

Dear fellow-mum, welcome to the forum.

I am sorry to hear about the situation you're in and understand your worries. I just want to wish you a lot of strength. There are others here who are better at advices, they will have some good advice for you, i'm sure. I'm still struggling with the same thing, only my son is much younger, so I find it hard to give good advices.

A different perspective: I think you've done a great job raising your girls to loving, caring girls in a tough situation like this. They have their capability to love, their doubts and their wish to move to US... so I hope with you that they will figure it out. I wish you good luck with your case. You're doing the best job you possibly can in a situation like this.

When I was under the influence of my ex, what helped me realise the truth was not the people directly attacking him, because I would defend him. What helped was some people (friends, doctor) supporting my own doubts, carefully pointing out things and helping me get my own thoughts straight. Telling me I should take some rest to think it all over, telling me I was still too soft in my opinions on him, telling me that they were worried because I told about really bad things but defend him again after I had spoken to him, etc. Supporting me so that I felt safe and had the time to think it all over.

Maybe thinking how you got your thoughts straight about him would help you supporting your girls getting out of his influence?

Does your daughter have the courage to write to the judge that she wants to move to the US?

I hope some others will give you better advices, I just want to wish you and your girls all the strength and wisdom you need.
Posted by: feelinghopeless

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 07/10/12 04:34 PM

Thank you Marinade,

It is a long, hard, rough battle that no one should have to endure, especially a parent. Well, he has managed to crawl into the skin of our youngest daughter who has just turned 15; in fact, the day after she turned 15 she chose to leave me and live with him.

My heart hurts - a pain I can simply not stand. This evil nature, the manipulation, conniving, deception, bribery - using a child in this way - I am broken; I feel he has won and life will never be the same without my beautiful daughter who has always been there by my side until now. What has he said or done? I don't know but I do know when he was 14 his mother and grandmother told him if he should ever have contact with his father (then his parents were going through a terrible divorce) he would be dis inherited and so started a 25 year estrangement! Did he do this to our daughter?

So broken, so so so broken!
Posted by: daddysproblem

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 07/11/12 10:10 AM

First off feelinghopeless.. I am so sorry for your predicament. My father did the same with my son. He eventually saw through him. However this took a very long time and it was a trial for the both of us. What a waste of emotions during this time and even now. The destruction just seeps into our psyches. The difficulty now is that it's easy for me to see him in only a negative evil way, but for my son, it's a little harder... you see my father always lavished him with money, gifts and better yet.. accolades. It seemed that in my fathers eyes my son could do no wrong. In fact, crapping on me would reap endless rewards.

These are very sick individuals.

So, hang in there.. this may be a long road. The light really went on when my son introduced his partner and her family into the dynamic. His jealousy just oozed out of him.. and it was so disturbing for my son, he began to see what an animal he was. AND - very important... he began to relate to my situation.

So be ready.. be there... and don't push. Always always just love her. Hopefully - that will ring true for her.

NEXT... for anyone reading this with young children of a psychopath... take this as a warning to get as far away as possible. Children love their parents instinctively... the Psychopaths are masters of manipulation. Especially if they are competing with the other parent. They will destroy your children. I am only 1 of 5 who got away.. He has sucked the life out of my mom and my siblings... like a vampire sucking blood. Their brains and their souls have been destroyed. Like Stepford people.

Posted by: marinde

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 07/12/12 10:57 AM

Dear fellow mum,

You must feel completely and totally heartbroken about this beyond imagination and I am so sorry to hear this. It is what I fear to happen to my son.

Please gather all the strength you have left and don't give up. He did NOT win yet. Both your daugthers need you more than ever. I hope they both will see through him when they become adults and are better capable of understanding and seeing through his lies.

Do you have anyone to talk to? Someone supporting you in your struggle?

I wish you all the best.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 07/13/12 10:29 AM

Hi feelinghopeless, welcome to our community, please never apologize for the length of any posts, we have plenty of room to hear your story and support you in any way that we can. We "get it". I can't imagine the pain and suffering you are enduring.

marinade is quite correct, he hasn't won yet, keep focused like you are on getting back to the US to your family.

To be a parent in this situation must be like the worst horror a parent can go through.

Have you contacted the US Embassy over your reasons to leave the country?

Posted by: daddysproblem

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 07/13/12 10:44 AM

Di, I don't know if you can correct this but i meant my post to go to feelinghopeless.

Posted by: feelinghopeless

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 07/15/12 06:38 AM

Thank you all and especially the suggestion in reference to contacting the embassy. Sadly, I have contacted them on a few occasions. Their response is there is nothing that can be done except to follow the court process. Sadly, my application went to the court in early March only to be met with a giant back log and then not listed until late May for late June. My solicitor was able to get it moved to mid June and then was met with a backlog from CAFCASS (the govt agency that puts the 'Interests of Children First". So a further 3 months for CAFCASS report and then the earliest pre-trial date is 8 Oct with final hearing 2 weeks thereafter.

In the mean time the manipulation has escalated and the children, although now 15 and 16, are becoming more and more hostile, unsettled and temperamental. HEAVY HEAVY SIGH.

I can only hope, pray and rely on my good parenting - on top of this, our eldest suffers from an eating disorder which she has recovered from physically but not psychologically.

I pray daily for support and guidance and my sanity.

Thank you all for your comments and may I echo as loudly as possible to those with young children RUN, RUN, RUN.
I made the cardinal error when I had the chance 8 years ago to go and my conscious told me to stay and not take them away from their Dad! Huge mistake and in hindsight I feel I have ruined their lives as a result!
Posted by: LaylaGirl

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 08/28/12 05:30 PM

Hi there,
Just found this site and experiencing similar things with teenagers. There is nothing pretty about it, its painful and heart breaking. Just wanting to tell you that you are not alone and that Im sending HUGS Your way.
Posted by: marinde

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 09/08/12 04:52 AM

Hi there,

I was thinking of you, how are you now? Is there any change in the situation of you and your daughters?

Also I found this website:

In the case of my ex, he was very good at mind control games. The way he treated us and the techniques he used were very similar to the ones cults use to control their members.

The organization of this website helps people get out of cults or controlling relationships. It also helps people reconnect to an estranged family member or friend that is caught in a cult or controlling relationship. They have this method of helping people question their cult or relationship and getting out. I have no personal experience with them yet, so I don't know if they're good or not, but it might be of help in how to communicate with your daugthers..
Posted by: dmwr

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 11/12/12 06:29 PM

Dear feelinghopeless,
I know a hug won't take the pain from you, but cyber hugs anyway. Yours is the first post i read (i am new here) because i also have 2 teenage daughters (16 & 18). It helps me just to know i am not alone (nor are my kids) in facing the horror of a life forever bound to a psychopath. The most difficult thing for me, i think, is feeling so completely alone. I have a wonderful family and friends, but even those who've been around from the start (even recognized things amiss before I did, struggle to understand how deep and damaging the wounds are. I dont think it is possible for someone who has not been intimately controlled by a psychopath to understand how it fundamentally alters your world and sense of self! This si hard for me because i had few barriers to begin with and one of his many ways to twist my world was to convince me i was crazy, imagining things, exaggerating things, out of touch with what's normal, etc.,etc. When i know the most well intentioned people who support every decision I've had to make still don't REALLY understand why i am so rigid in my rules, it just dredges up all those insecurities he worked so hard to reinforce over the years. It is as if, the voice will never leave no matter how far i run... because he made it "my" voice.
I won't dwell on my story right now. I just wanted to say you are not alons! And i wish you and your girls all the best, may aguardian angel stay close to you and yours all your lives!
Posted by: feelinghopeless

Re: How to protect my teen daughters - 11/23/12 01:05 PM

Thank you DMWR - the situation seemed to be getting better, however, in past month and a half much worse and seemingly into the abyss this week with my eldest daughter. Completely heartbroken, now ties severed by her, and the father has made an allegation I punched her, which is false. Now children's services will become involved and the entire situation feels out of control and seriously hopeless.

Thank you, however, for your kind words and thoughts and I am so sorry you are also in this sort of situation. I feel as limp as a noodle and emotionally paralysed from today's events. Good God, how can this type of behaviour be allowed by the judicial system; why is there no protection from this form of manipulation and abuse?