I am a survivor of domestic violence and so are my kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2011
I am a survivor of domestic violence and so are my kids
8
Sat, 04-23-2011 - 9:58am

I know how hard it is to be an abusive relationship/marriage, and how it impacts the children who witness it on a daily basis. I was in an abusive relationship and marriage for 7 years. I got Pregnant when I was 17 and had my first daughter when I was 18. I wanted to have my family be a whole even though I was treated like garbage.Things do get better over time after leaving the abusive environment, but I will be honest it gets much worse first! I have severe anxiety and take an antidepressant to help reduce it. Children who have witnessed abuse need counseling without a doubt because it affects them one way or another! My oldest daughter who is 11 is in complete denial about how her dad treated me, she cries over every little thing, and has serious mood swings. Everyday is a struggle because you never know what kind of mood she is going to be in. She is starting counseling and I pray that it helps her work through her feelings and can allow her to find happiness.

my blog about my struggle :

http://survivingabuseandgaininghappiness.blogspot.com/

http://survivingabuseandgaininghappiness.blogspot.com/
Avatar for winter2007
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2006
Thanks for the blog..so I read it and it says how you could not get an RO. So what happened finally? Did you leave on your own with the kids?
by the way, 11 is a difficult age..and unfortunately, teenage years only gets worse. She will NOT blame her father..same as mine. Also when you talk to her, dont say negative about the dad. It really backfires..and they are conflicted because whether we like it or not, he is her father and that relationship isn't going away. In time she will figure it out..for now her mood swings are due to pre-teen most likely. What I would do is try to get her involved in activities/sports so she needs to feel good about something.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2011
I plan on adding more info today about the divorce and me leaving the state, but I basically ended up fleeing the state to Florida from TN and decided to take a chance even though I knew I could potentially lose my kids bc of this. I will tell you that I switched attorneys and she was able to help my situation and created the argument in tn court that I did police reports, I filed for Order of Protection yet the system failed me and left me no choice but to leave. My ex husband only sees the kids 43 days a year. Thats it.
http://survivingabuseandgaininghappiness.blogspot.com/
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Hi Briewis22,

I think you may be feeling some unnecessary guilt over your daughter's behavior. The mood swings could be attributed to puberty and hormones.

I have an 11 year old and there are many days when she's crying over little things. It's just puberty. Everything is magnified. As mother's I think we tend to have these guilt feeings at times. Don't beat yourself up.

Seems like daughter's will always side with dad no matter what. Daddy can't do any wrong. I think it's a coping mechanism.

I just don't want you to feel anymore guilt or depression over what happened in the past. He's punished you enough. Don't let the abuse continue in your mind.

Be good to yourself. The best revenge is living a happy healthy life
sweets35
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2011

Sweet- I don't beat myself up about it, but it has been a struggle way before the tween years. She has had severe low self esteem, and pretty much hates everything. I have kept her active had her do cheerleading, soccer, basketball, art, basically anything that she showed an interest in. There is a huge difference between her and my 6 year old daughter. I left with my youngest daughter was 10 months old so she did not witness the abuse like my oldest did. The self esteem difference are insane! I became a better mother after the divorce, and have been able to give my children the stability I always wanted for them.

http://survivingabuseandgaininghappiness.blogspot.com/
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
I wanted to add that your blog is powerful!

It took alot of courage to get away and leave the state! They say everything happens for a reason. If the courts hadn't have failed you the first time around you'd probably still be stuck in that same state without any support system nearby.

I'm so glad you were able to pull through all that! Victory!

sweets35
Avatar for winter2007
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2006

I have friends (no abuse marriage) with kids poles apart..one high strung teen, another a total opposite. Your past no doubt has some influence but sometimes the reasons are just the way they are. I am sure she saw more of the struggle initially and that has probably left some scars..I am not sure how much you told her about her dad, but keep it neutral..(dont show her the blog). She doesn't need to know what he did to you. Just say he had some issues and it was best to leave..something to that effect.

I dont know how her relationship is with her dad on the days that he does get to see her..hope he is not putting things in her head either. Not to scare you or anything, but I heard of a case where a 15 year old suddenly now wants to live with her dad (actually my lawyer told me), she spent all childhood with mom, and now wants to go..and the court has let her..(dad was emotional/verbal abuse to mom).

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2011

Well the mind games has def begun with their dad. He tells my oldest all the time that when she is 13 she can come live with him. He tells her about all the wonderful things he is going to buy for her, and the things they are going to do. It is very frustrating because he doesn't pay child support, he never calls when he doesn't have them, and considering he only gets them 43 days a year, thats pretty sad. He only cares about himself, and I truely believe the only reason he does his visitation is just to hurt me, because during the times he has them he never allows me to speak to them or makes it extremely difficult.

http://survivingabuseandgaininghappiness.blogspot.com/
Avatar for queen_brat
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003

Maybe its just her personality that has her crying over everything? My youngest does the same thing. She was 3 when we left and is now 9. Yes she witnessed things and I am not sure if she remembers things anymore but I know she did for awhile. She was in counseling for I think 3 years and it appeared she was fine other then the whining and not sleeping, but I have never been a sleeper and either was her father. But I had the school guidance counselor still see her just to make sure but recently she has been put back in counseling because she had a really rough patch. She has blamed the rough patch on her oldest sister who can be very mean. My youngest was saying things like she wished she was never born and I should have had a miscarriage when I was pregnant with her, It scared me!! But for now those things have stopped and I keep a better ear on my over critical oldest and stop her when she is mean. The oldest is the one I would love to get in counseling but at 17 I can not force her to go (sigh). I a hoping with my youngest it is something she out grows and like with your DD mine has low self esteem right now so we are working on that. Good luck!!


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