I'm sure for you this is a never-ending nightmare, and that outside agencies have a simplistic and impractical approach to things, in fact often push to have things "their own way".
In the long term overall they may do some good, though they may well do harm as well, something you have pointed out before.
Over the years you have shown, despite you poor regard of yourself, that you a loving mother. That you have an excellent grasp of what is going on and act sensibly (and yes that includes all the things you have blamed yourself forr. No, I'm not going to repeat them here, we have talked of them before. Please just try to believe in your circumstances no one could have acted better.
Your kids are settling down, which is a huge bonus, and you did mention (forgive me if I got it wrong - that you have someone new as a friend. All that of course under the cloud of your ex's threatening presence. Maybe inch by inch you are getting there
May I suggest that even though you have the strong temptation to say to Child Protection that all is good this is not a way you will be happy with in the future - even if it does make them go away right now.
OK, so setting out in detail what has happened may well be beyond you at the moment, and fear they will make matters worse holds you back.
Is it possible to steer a temporary middle course and simply say you do not wish to talk to them at least for now as past experience leads you to believe there is a possibility they will make matters worse. Also that your mental health is very precarious and you are not up to anything further now.
Then leave it at that. No explanations, no further talk now.
This approach (they will no doubt want to argue or ask why) does not close the door for the future, does not exonerate your ex and allows describing the truth later on if you need to to be effective.
I know what I'm offering as a thought for you to consider is not an easy thing, however you have done many seemingly impossible things in the past and still very much have my admiration.
You may also like to consider either having someone with you or just handing over a note.
If I remember last time we spoke (sorry if I've remembered wrong) both you mother and sister were difficult and did not support you - is that still the case?
Also may I ask if you do have anyone to support you, not prod you into ill-advised actions, but listen with sympathy and care?
I hope to hear from you again
We're sorry to hear you're dealing with trauma recall today. It sounds incredibly difficult, we hope you can be kind to yourself and give yourself some space while you're going through this. Sharing here is a great step, so thank you for being open and letting us know what's going on.
If you'd like to talk it through with someone on the phone, Blue Knot are available every day between 9-5 (AEDT) on 1300 657 380. Their counsellors are experienced in working with people who have experienced complex trauma. They also have some resources on their website which could be useful to visit, particularly the pages on Survivors Self Care. Our Support Service is, of course, here for you 24/7, too.
Hopefully the community will spot your post at some point, til then, thank you for sharing what's happening.
You seem to be going through a lot, I'm sorry for you. I know what it is like. Only recently I was going through the same thing, shaking, unable to control my thoughts and flashbacks. They are so very disturbing and the worst thing is that you feel so very alone in this. My mother left my father two times also, only to go back to terrible trauma. Due to my past, I have PTSD and terrible chronic depression which has caused a great deal of pain in my life. My sister has this also and is going through a painful time with her partner who is similar to our dad. This behavior affects kids terribly.
Besides your psych is there some other support for you and your daughters? Family? I understand when you are going through panic attacks and shaking, it would be hard to contact support and go through your story again and again but this guy's behavior has me very worried for you. Can Centrelink help you?
I'll say a prayer for you, I really hope you get some relief soon. I know you are doing what you can.
thanks so much for responding to my post and sharing your story. I do know deep down that this is what’s best for my girls and I have to keep them away from him (they are terrified of him and want nothing to do with him) but I so often feel that with my poor mental health I’m not better for them and I just wish they had another option, I wish they had someone more, someone better, someone stronger etc. I lost our families and most of our friends when I first left him early last year, I struggled so much with this as I always thought I had a super strong family bond with my family and members of his family had admitted things to me about my ex and we were super close but once child protection became involved he went around telling his sob story and soon everyone was completely against me and I was so alone. I have one truly amazing friend in which I don’t know if I’d still be here without her (she is also significantly older than me and has even joked she will adopt me so I can have a good mum haha) a have a few other friends but I don’t talk to them much about any of the stuff going on.
My ex did do something really bizarre to mess with my head when we had to live with my mum for a few weeks, my mum denied it would have been him and said my nana had made it up and was awful to her (my nana) about it. When we got to come home I sent her a photo of the evidence he had left for me to find so now my mum is kind of nice to me. I still don’t talk to her much at all and I’m definitely not ready for a relationship with her but at least she now believes what my ex is capable of, and my sister has seen a few things too so we talk a little (she apologised for not believing me) but still not very close.
I hope your sister can come through her situation 😞 I never realised how much generational trauma comes through and effects so many of us.
You are stronger than you know. You are going through an awful testing time, I don't think I could be as strong as you are. I'm so sorry that your family has not given you much support, that must be very hard and disappointing. I know you are thinking of your two children through this.
It would be good for you if you could hold on to your support worker, she sounds very helpful. It sounds like things will not resolve quickly in this situation particularly since a lawyer is involved. I can only imagine what it would be like to have strangers involved in your situation, but you definitely need everyone you can get to support you.
I don't have any magic words, I just wanted to let you know that I think you are strong and I hope that there is a good outcome here for you and your girls.
I have reached that point again, where it all feels too much and I don’t feel like I’m able to continue being the sole parent.
As far as I know child protection have closed their case against the kids dad and I feel like I have reached breaking point so have been thinking about whether to let him see the girls again. I know it is very likely them seeing him will undo all the hard work we’ve done in the last 6 months and their world will be turned upside down again, school will be unsettled and scary and the anger and tantrums will be back for the youngest, but I just don’t know what else to do. I feel like I’m at breaking point and I can’t keep doing this alone but I don’t want to put the girls back in a position where they’re scared and at risk of being traumatised again. Why haven’t they made a place for single mums in this position 😭 child protection were the opposite of helpful and had no support to offer, even when questioned by one of my workers how they (CP) expect me to do this on my own so I really am out of ideas. At the moment I’m kind of asking myself which ones worse? For me to reach tipping point, or for them to see their dad again?!?!
It's very hard and I can't suggest either way what might be best. Two horrible choices.
I can say something that might help. You are the one stable loving person in your children's lives. That is terribly important, to have an anchor, an oasis of love and care and consitency, is what children need above all else - and you offer that.
So to do anything that risks you may leave them with less refuge than they have now, and less able to deal with toxic others.
It is sometimes a mistake to see oneself as an infinite reservoir of strenght when protecting loved ones, sadly that is never the case and your own circumstances, resources, limits and ongoing well-being have to be taken into account. (That's a fancy way of saying we just do the best we can)