Contact With Other Parent in Trying Circumstances
I'm including a trigger warning for sexual assault. Please don't read this if it will harm your mental well-being.
Hi everyone, I'm new here. I'm 24 and my son (K) is 6 and has level 2 ASD. I fell pregnant at 16 to my son's then 18 year old father (T). K was born when I was 17. I do not know if K was conceived consensually, T was sexually abusive towards me during our short relationship. T and I separated during my pregnancy and when K was 8 weeks old I asked T to choose between being in K's life and continuing to abuse drugs. We didn't see him for 5 years. I was diagnosed with PTSD.
When K was 5, I separated from my partner. Shortly after, T contacted me saying he wanted to be a part of K's life. For the first few months, it was good. They began to build a relationship. Then my partner and I reconciled. T disappeared again.
After a few months he said wanted to see K again, but he was combatative with me when making plans and he was cancelling visits at the last minute so often that I stopped telling K when he was coming, so he wouldn't be disappointed.
This became a huge argument when I called him out for being inconsistent, and that K had told me that when he's at T's house he plays Xbox all day and all night. They don't go out, do anything else, or even play it together. K is only supposed to have limited screen time as his ASD gets him sucked into games to the point you'd forget he was there. During the argument, he, not I, brought up the sexual abuse. He was telling me to take him to court, he said "Tell them I r****d you for all I care. I won't even deny it."
All the progress I thought I made in healing unraveled. I didn't think anybody would believe me, but he'd just confessed. My anxiety and intrusive memories have been awful, and I can't be intimate with my partner without crying. K has not seen T since then. T wants to see K. K has not asked about T. I have no idea what to do.
I don't want to expose an autistic 6 year old to someone I know committed a sex crime. I can no longer repress what happened to me. I can't bear to think about T, but K is more important to me than anything, I don't know if it's better for him to have his father, or if T's inconsistency and putting him in front of a screen and not interacting with him whenever he's there is worth it.
T has made it clear he will not go to court, so legal advice is not necessary, I just want to do the best for K.
I cannot really help you from the legal perspective, but I can listen to you and perhaps through your writing here might find the answers you are seeking.It sounds like a very troubling situation between you and T, possibly compounded the fact your K has ASD. I can see that you very much care for K so what to do sounds very confusing.
While T might not want to go to court, that should not prevent from getting free legal advice which might help you to find a way forward.
Perhaps you could also write about your current partner here. You have not said much about him, though I would hope you might be able to find enough differences to show the changes in your life - positive ones?
Have you had a chance to talk to anyone about what you have gone through? Your partner? Friends? Family? And if you feel there is nobody you can talk to there is always professional help. I found that talking to someone about my issues helped to find ways of moving forward.
Peace to you,
I've been through custody proceedings before with my youngest child (different father, successfully co-parenting, good relationship post separation, equal custody) so I'm aware of my rights and responsibilities and legal processes, my big issue here is K's well-being. I'm worried that T is using K to get to me and neglecting him socially and emotionally, I'm worried that allowing this to continue will harm him. I'm also worried that intervening will harm him, as he knows his father now, he'll feel his absence.
My partner (C) is wonderful. We briefly separated in 2018 but have been going strong since. The separation was necessary because our kids were having trouble adjusting to living together, we were fighting a lot over how to address it. We decided to call a time out and it's been exactly what we needed. We don't live together but we see each other most days, living independent lives but parallel to each other. It's been good for the kids too, having a relationship and bond while also getting a break from each other. He's been a pillar of strength for me. He's also incredibly in tune with my non verbal cues, I have difficulty saying no or expressing discomfort, he's had to learn to gauge how I'm feeling in order to support me and he does wonderfully. He's also very protective of me and mine, so I feel very safe with him. He's held me through many a bad night and is always here for me. We're not in a big rush but we will marry one day, when the kids are a bit older and we can all live under one roof haha
I have told my closest friends, my partner, and my grandparents about what I've been through and they're all very supportive too. I'm surrounded by good people in my life now, and things are much better except for the way recent events have reopened old wounds.