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Stuck

Anzee
Community Member
Hi, my two daughters and I have left their dad a few times now, but this time around I felt like I really didn’t have much choice to leave as I was being threatened by services if I didn’t leave. We spent 4 months in 8 different crisis properties and refuge spread out across the state. We experienced some awful things during that time, including further abuse somewhere we were meant to feel safest. Anyways a court ruled it wasn’t sustainable for us to continue moving around, so we got the house back and their dad had to leave. But he just continues to find ways to control where and how we live without even having contact with us. He made it so he owns everything we have and we can’t escape him. We have been homeless on more than one occasion so I’m too scared to even just cut our losses with the house and walk away with nothing because I can’t go back to having nowhere to live and living out of suitcases, always on the move. But even with a full no contact IVO he still has that control over us and I feel like I’m just going to end up going back to him because it’s more predictable than being controlled by a far. I have no idea what his next plans are to sabotage us and he’s always two steps ahead, so I am in constant fear waiting for the next thing he’s going to throw us. He has moved on (likely only a couple of weeks after we left, whilst telling me how much he loved us and wanted us back etc etc) and I have been talking to someone new recently but I’m so scared that if he found out we’d all be in danger. So I feel like he just continues on with his life, no responsibility for the kids (which is a good thing and what’s safest) he sees who and does what he wants but at the same time still holds so much power and control over me/ us. I want to be able to move forward but as well as being so scared he won’t be able to accept that, I just don’t feel like I can risk that homelessness. Both main times we left I have applied for rental after rental and in different areas and have been turned down by every one. I just feel like I’m so trapped under his control still while he’s out there free to live his life. All of the support workers including the police have suggested because of the severity, I should make criminal charges against him but I still defended him and his behaviour to every one I’ve worked with because I do still love him and he is the father of my children but he just continues to screw me over any chance he gets, but I know I’m stuck with him.
79 Replies 79

geoff
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Anzee, I understand the predicament you are in and feel very sorry for what you have to try and cope with.

If an IVO is broken then the police can be called, then they handle the situation, however, I know this may cause some fear for you and I don't want this to happen.

Can I suggest and this is important, is for you to contact one agency and there are many such as St. Vinc. but the one I'm thinking about is Anglicare who can provide you with a house/flat that's already furnished and have contacts to stop this and could possibly change your identity, suggest a new phone number.

I know that the next 2 days are holidays but if you can google this 'contact anglicare on public holidays', there may be something that helps you.

Please let us know how you get on.

Geoff.

Anzee
Community Member
Thanks for your suggestion Geoff. The issue is there really is no housing in our area, that’s why we returned to the home. The kids weren’t able to go to school or anything until we got back here because we were moving up to 6 hrs away at times and I just can’t live like that again. The girls are finally settle and back at school so they have some normality now. Even when we were in a refuge, I was put in contact with a housing worker and they said priority housing, which is obviously near the top of the list for urgency was at least a 5 year wait and I’m on all different waiting lists for housing but there really is nothing. The supports we’re actually really scared for us to come home and for him to know where we are even with the IVO but there was nowhere else and he’s hired a lawyer so he can continue to try and get to me so I actually feel safe to be here at the moment (the locks were changed and everything) but his lawyer is set on making him look like the victim so she has made sure he does not put a toe out of line since he hired her (although he has technically already breached his order, but he did it legally through his lawyer so he could get away with it) so I know he is going to be very quiet and compliant until court stuff is over.

Anzee
Community Member

So over the long weekend I found out he had a fiancé before me (he told me he’d never been engaged) and that he was physical with her on more than one occasion (he told me about ONE physical incident with a different gf and said that was the only time he’d ever been physical before me and that he regretted it every day of his life. I felt really down and upset about that because it felt like he had this whole other life I didn’t even know about when I thought we knew everything about him (we were together 11 years) then on Tuesday night I had a few friends send me screenshots of him and his new gf going official on social media and all these pics of them spending the long weekend away together and I don’t know why but that absolutely broke me, I was having intense flashbacks, nightmares and had this really intense fear that I can’t survive without him (I’ve had this fear and feeling every time I’ve left him) but I suddenly realised that although I hadn’t admitted it out loud, deep down I was holding on so tightly to this hope he was going to get the help he needed and we’d be together again as a family. He promised me (and his daughters) over and over again that he was going to take this time we were apart to start working on himself so that he could be safe for us to all be together again, I felt like the services pushed me not to trust him and continued convincing me I couldn’t go back but deep down all I wanted was to go back. I continued doing what I had to do to keep the girls safe but in my heart I felt like things were going to be ok because I was going to end up back with him again. I knew he was seeing this new girl even though he kept denying it and saying he was waiting for us, but I’d just keep convincing myself I was overreacting and making up their relationship so when they made it official publicly I felt so much pain and just felt like I literally couldn’t live without him. I don’t want to end my life but I feel like I can’t keep my girls or me alive from some outside force without him, like we literally need him to live. I know it doesn’t make sense because I have had 100% care of the girls since December and we’re all still alive, but it’s just engrained in me that something bad is going to happen to us if we’re not with him.

Hey Anzee,

Thank you for sharing an update. We can hear you've been feeling really down, and coping with the impact of all you've been through. We are concerned about you so we've reached out privately to check you're ok and offer a bit more support. 

It sounds like it's really having an impact on how you're feeling day to day, so please know that there’s always someone here for you to talk it through with. The Beyond Blue counsellors are available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or online, here. To talk through the abuse you've experienced, please reach out to 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, or online. They may be able to connect you with specialist counselling and support groups, if you're not linked in with anything like that currently: 

We can hear you don't want to end your life, but if it's something that's on your mind, we'd really encourage you to reach out to our counsellors on 1300 22 4636, or to another service such as Lifeline to talk it through on 13 11 14. We'd definitely recommend making a Suicide Safety Plan, also. You can find out more about this here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning 

We’re sure we’ll hear from our lovely, supportive community soon. In the meantime, here’s a few things you might like to look at: Thank you again for posting, we really appreciate your bravery and kindness in sharing here. You never know who is reading and feeling less alone because of your bravery.

Kind regards,

Sophie M

Thanks Sophie m, I knew I shouldn’t have said that last bit. It’s definitely a fear of something hurting us from an outside force not a fear of me harming myself or anyone else. I just don’t feel like I am strong enough to get through life on my own, I feel like I need him to survive my every day life because I’m not capable of doing anything on my own. I don’t know if the fear stemmed from him continually telling me I wasn’t good enough and I couldn’t do anything right or maybe because all of the support services we’ve worked with have been convinced our lives were in danger because he’d apparently ticked every lethality on the risk assessment except killing one or all of us. I only ever believed that when they were really on me about it and at night time if he knew where we were staying. But he has moved on now and I don’t have that fear anymore but I just feel like it has triggered so much fear and pain in general. I always worry that I’m not good enough for my girls so when I am their sole cater I automatically assume worst case scenario.

You are everything your children need. No one loves them like you do. Yes, he told you that you were not good enough and that's hard to shake of. I PROMISE, you are.

Thanks @that other guy. That means a lot

Anzee
Community Member
Child protection are coming tomorrow and I thought I was ready to tell them some of the things my ex partner had done (this case was started because a report was made by my therapist, I haven’t told them anything) anyways I’ve been reflecting a lot with one of my support workers and we both felt like it wouldn’t be safe to let child protection close so we discussed options and what we should talk about with them tomorrow and I really thought I had decided I was ready to tell them the truth and get a child protection order in place (his lawyer is claiming he is entitled to spend time with his kids even though they are protected people in the no contact ivo) but I have been having panic attacks all afternoon and I don’t feel like I can go through with it and I text my worker late this afternoon and told her I had changed my mind and I was just going to tell them everything was all good and they’re all good to close. I really don’t know what to do. Child protection have been so unreliable and have done more harm than good even putting us in more danger at times because they did not communicate with my ex so I ended up having to tell him he was being investigated (I didn’t tell him what for) and that he wasn’t allowed to see the kids but because child protection didn’t contact him themselves he didn’t believe me and his lawyer is asking for proof. I just feel so scared and overwhelmed because I feel like again there is no win for me in this situation.

Dear Anzee,
 
We can hear that you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed at present and that this has been a long and exhausting journey. But we hope that you can recognize the strength and fortitude you have displayed in your perseverance, as we are sure your daughters do. Unfortunately, neither we nor anyone on the forums can provide legal advice, but we can say is you should always do what you feel is best for you and your daughters.
 
Regarding meeting with Child protection, have you voiced your concerns to them in the past? Are they aware that you have a lack of faith that their actions will lead to a positive outcome? If not, we would recommend bringing up this and any concern you may have. Although they may not be able to answer all your questions right there, it will make them aware of your concerns and potentially improve future dealings.
 
Please remember that if you are feeling overwhelmed, or need someone to talk to we are always available. Reach out to Beyond Blue either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
 
Warm regards
Sophie M