I have a 2 year old baby girl. Her father was abusive to me most all of our relationship. I left him when she was just 2 months old. He was found guilty on 4 counts of domestic violence. But I still continued to let him have visitation with our baby, believing he would never hurt her. Well, truthfully I was always wondering if I was doing the right thing by allowing it, because the judge had said that for 3 years he could have no contact with me or our baby. I know he loves her and I know she loves him. Anytime he would bring her home she would throw a fit and not want to let go of him and when she saw him her face would light up and she’d run to him. But, it was not easy on me seeing him because he would beg me to give him another chance and get pissed when I’d say no.
He has not hit me but he has threatened to. He continuously would yell at me and bitch at me for EVERYTHING. He’d bitch about my job, my friends, who I had baby-sit, who I was dating etc. I put up with it because I wanted my baby to know her dad and I thought someday he would realize we would never get back together and give it up. I thought that even though I had hate for this man, I hoped someday we could be friends and be able to only discuss our daughter when we would see one another. But, she is now 2 years old and it is still going on.
A few weeks ago he came to pick up the baby and my Mother was babysitting while I was at work. Well, he started bitching to my Mom about everything just like he does me but she wasn’t used to his threats as I was and got scared. He was yelling about the guy I have been living with for almost a year now and he said he was never bringing the baby back. So, she said “Well, I can’t allow you to take her then!”
She tried to get the baby out of the car seat and he attacked her. He threw her on the ground twice and left bruises on her arms where he had grabbed her. My Mother is 60 years old! I couldn’t believe he did that. Maybe I really thought it was only me he would ever hurt. I don’t know but I stopped the visitation. Of course he has called every day for the last 2 months begging me one minute, threatening me the next… My daughter will ask all the time where daddy is, looks out the window talking about him, I know she misses him. It hurts me and it just sucks!
Am I right in my thinking that even if he wont hurt her, he will hurt others in front of her such as a new girlfriend… and I don’t want her to see that or is it wrong for me to keep her from knowing and ever having a relationship with the only other person who loves her as much as I do? Will she hate me someday? Could he change?
It’s a choice I feel is to important for me to make on my own. So any advice you have will be greatly appreciated.
Your baby’s father is violent, period. Motivated as he may be, he is obviously unable to control his impulses and I think the judge was on the right track when she said “no contact” for three years.
With three years of therapy, perhaps this guy could reform. But as it stands, as far as I am concerned you are not only in danger… your baby is in danger as well. Because violent people are what? They are violent. And he is constantly threatening.
And think about it. He threatened to take your child from you. And I am sorry to put this to you in such a graphic way, but I think this could be capable of a lot worse than merely stealing your child. He could kill your child in a rage, see? He’s gonna fix you, you bitch! If he can’t have you, then you can’t have your baby. Do you really want to be playing with this?
Your job is to protect your daughter. And sending her off with a man known to all of mankind to be violent does not seem prudent to me. I understand how confusing this is for you, so I am trying to make it very simple. The judge was right. You and your daughter’s safety are the number one priority. This guy has jeopardized that, so that’s it! As if it doesn’t hurt her to see him beat up Grandma!
The effect of hitting the mother in front of child is typically far more damaging to the child than being beaten directly. Did you know that? It’s a fact. So although your intentions are good, the choices you are making are not. And as to what you might tell your daughter in the future… you’ll tell her the truth of course.
“Your father was violent, here is the evidence. I loved you way too much to take a chance…”
Hail. Sister. Hail.
run fast. run far. run screaming, if you must. but run…
this man means nothing well by you or yours, and standing by hoping he’ll change is the definition of insanity – which is, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
and you know what? him not changing? this isn’t *your* fault. so lose the guilt…
So let me understand. You’ve been violating a judge’s order for two years? And now you’re questioning whether or not you should CONITNUE to violate the judge’s order?
Usually, in our society, when something gets bad enough to get before a judge it means that ALL of society is worried about the situation and wants to see everyone healthy and whole. It is FAR from a perfect system, but they are looking out for the best interest of the child!
I would recommend listening to what that judge originally said, stop identifying with your ex, and listen to Elsa.
She, and the judge, got it right.
Girl— get a restraining order, fast! Watch your back. You see the news these days, your situation is a classic example. Dont give your power away, think of your baby. Better no father than a bad one. Please do the right thing!!
“The effect of hitting the mother in front of child is typically far more damaging to the child than being beaten directly,” said Elsa.
This is so true. You are teaching your child that it is okay for a man to be violent to others, yours is the first relationship she learns and then models in the future. You do not need the incredible stress of worrying and wondering if your child will come home unscathed, whether directly or “indirectly,” from a visit with her father. Trust me, she will adapt to a life without him!
I am so sorry you had to experience this.
As someone who was raised in a household with a severely violent dad if I were you, I’d take Elsa’s advice. I’m nearly 28 years old and the effects are still taking their toll, and probably always will to a degree. I do love my dad, but wish I hadn’t experienced all of that.
Restraining orders. Get them. Use them. Don’t let that child near that man again, EVER. It doesn’t matter that he’s never hurt her (that you know), it’s not a chance you can take with your children. It’s a sucky thing that her father can’t be trusted with her, but that’s HIS problem, not yours.
I’ve been there, done that. I’m the child who never saw her father because her mother didn’t trust him to give me back and keep me safe. It was rough, but at least I’m alive to tell you it was rough.
Also… I once watched my mother’s 2nd husband throw a heavy ceramic tile cutter at her. NEVER forgot it, not even for a moment. Elsa’s right, seeing that kind of thing scars children. Don’t put your baby in that position, no matter how much he loves that child. I promise you that loving someone only makes this man feel entitled to hurt them. His love won’t keep her safe.
i’ve worked in mental health many years. i can tell you that most women who grow up to live with violent, abusive men were once children who had violent, abusive fathers. not all end up this way, of course, but you’re seriously upping the odds.
you know the hell that relationship was for you. is that what you want for your daughter?
if someone is violent, they are violent, period. every act of violence makes the next one easier. while i understand the desire to allow your child to have a relationship with her father, her right to a safe, nonviolent enviornement trumps that.
i pray for your daughters sake you stay the hell away from this man and find yourself some assistance in staying safe. you can talk to your local battered women’s shelter for more ideas and info, and may want to check out the book, “the gift of fear,” which can help you assess risk and understand indicators of violence.
Wow! Someone’s daddy beat the self-esteem right out of her.
Here’s a tip: people who hit people now are not going to stop hitting people later. I don’t care what gender, level of education, or degree of alcoholism we’re talking about, it’s all pretty much the same. Violence doesn’t just POOF! go away because you want it to. It normally only goes away because of a court order.
Elsa is absolutely right.
He no longer has any right to see his daughter. He abused his family, now he’s lost the right to have that family. Period. If he really loved his daughter, he wouldn’t put her through this!
It must be heartrending to “rob” your daughter of her father, but don’t look at it this way. You are not hiding her from a loving father who enriches her life, you are protecting her from a dangerous maniac who is hurting her profoundly.
When she’s old enough, put the facts in front of her and she will understand why you did what you did. She will not be angry with you, she will be angry with her father for putting her and you through this.
I just realized that a very personal and private story might help you. My mother was raped. Violently. Threatened. The baby was taken from her because she was underage. The man was someone she had been dating. She moved on with her life, counseling, time, a marriage, me. When I was 10 years old she told me about the incident. She asked me to keep her privacy and her confidence in the matter because she still felt the loss of that child.
Here’s the part that is important. She told me of the pain it caused her, the bruises, the beatings her parents gave her. She told me the warning signs she had seen in that man. She told me that she made a mistake in continuing to date him. She told me that I should always meet men with friends and family around to know whether he is good for me or not. She told me that my health and well-being means a man who treats me with kindness and love. I learned that lesson really well really fast because of what she told me when I was 10.
To this day I don’t have any blame for her for what happened. I actually learned a great deal of respect for her and have been the first among my girlfriends to say that a guy should go if he tends towards disrespect in any manner. No, my relationships haven’t been perfect. But I did learn that we can learn from our relationship mistakes. I know that this story is different from yours. BUT if you can tell your daughter with all honesty what happened and why you made the choices you did, to protect her, to love her, to care for her – you will teach her well and you will gain all of the respect and love that she can give. The other thing you gain- a healthy happy life for her!
Isn’t there a group who will fight for these unfortunate children who are violated by their fathers, and yet continually returned to their fathers for visitation. If all those mothers got together, wouldn’t the courts have to listen to them? I know there are fathers who get a bad rep., but we can’t take the chance. The children have to be protected.
Nobody has mentioned Grandma in this – were the police called for this? He assaulted her and should be taken to task for that. Please get a restraining order (unless the judge’s restriction came in that form) now and document the assault on your mother as well as his threats to you. You should not have to listen to his complaints – he has no right of control over your life. Tell him to tell it to the judge. Let him go to court to try to get visitation – they’ll laugh him right out of there. You gave him a chance and he blew it – he does not deserve another one. He has shown his true colors. I read in the news too often about a parent who kills their child to “get back at” the other parent – don’t take the chance of being another statistic – run like hell.
My son has never met his father for exactly this reason.