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Trying to help my children
I am a mother of three children, aged 9, 11 and 13. Their father has suffered from significant depression all of their lives. He is also verbally abusive towards us. Although we are separated (due to his issues), I am concerned about the way he speaks to our children. He swears a lot in their presence, and throws items at them and talks down to them. I know this because I hear it while I am on the phone to the children, and they also tell me or call me when he has abandoned them while he is in a rage. I have raised my concerns with my GP, and he suggests I need to try to be more helpful to take the load off my ex-husband. I need to have the kids in my care a bit more (to protect them) while not making their dad feel incapable (as I am always walking on eggshells). My children's friends have also commented that they feel my ex-husband is 'scary'. This upsets me. I am after some advice as my ex will not seek professional help, but I feel I have a duty of care to protect the children. I work and am also at university so I do not have a lot of flexibility, but my priority is the well being of the children.
I can tell your children clearly mean the world to you, and that you love them and want to protect them. That’s beautiful. You’re clearly a very devoted parent...
I admit that I’m not sure if I have any particularly helpful suggestions, but I still wanted to reach out to you. I feel your ex’s swearing, abandonment and item throwing must be very distressing for your children...
I understand that this is a very difficult situation. On the one hand, you want to protect your children, but on the other hand, he is their father. In addition, I know you have a very busy schedule. So juggling it all and trying to get the best possible outcome for your children must be very emotionally draining...it’s a lot...
I hope it’s okay for me to give you a gentle suggestion to consider giving the beyondblue helpline a call on 1300 22 4636 to speak to a counsellor. I feel s/he would be able to offer practical and personalised advice, and would have information about other services (e.g. relevant not-for-profits, child services, etc) to assist you and your family. Is it okay if I ask how does this idea sound to you?
My heart really goes out to you and your children. If you would like to write more, ask anything else, we are here listening.
kind and caring thoughts,