As children naturally do, they ask about their origins. What I've never told them is that Daddy did not want to have them. In fact, Daddy wanted me to abort them. Daddy would not to go prenatal appointments. He would not help me when I was on strict bedrest. Would not get me food, would not get me drinks. He told me when I was in the hospital with a threatened miscarriage that he hoped the baby would die and nature would take its course (baby did not die, thank God). He grew angry with me when I had Braxton-Hicks and would moan a bit from the pain (I tried so hard to be quiet!). When I fell & hurt myself, he would not take me to the hospital, I had to call around to the neighbors and finally found someone who's dad would come over at 9:30 at night to drive me to the ER.
I almost died during delivery, almost bleeding to death as well as seizing from a reaction to the anesthesia. He abandoned me in the hospital after birth, leaving me completely alone. He even told my parents not to come to the hospital, that I didn't want visitors, leaving me even more alone than I could have imagined. I was alone for almost 48 hours. The hospital assigned a social worker to me as a result. He refused to take a single moment of paternal leave. He would not drive me home from the hospital.
When the church ladies brought food over, he would not let me eat it until he'd eaten his fill. At that point the food would be cold. A few times he ate it all. I got nothing. Even though I was trying to nurse, he'd secretly put a finger in the baby's mouth or sneak a bottle, totally confusing the baby and making nursing even harder. One time I was nursing my son, my ex thought that he'd nursed long enough, so he actually grabbed my infant and yanked him off my breast, even though he was still drinking and firmly latched on. To this day I don't know how my nippled stayed on. When my baby was three weeks old he told me to choose, baby or him, and reminded me that a Good Christian Wife would always choose her husband.
He would view porn & masturbate while holding one of the girls.
On one of the baby's first birthday he told me that he would never forgive me for forcing fatherhood on him. That he would NEVER love the baby, would never accept children at all, that I'd ruined his life. He told me he would always hate me because of what I'd done to him.
SO, I don't know how to answer my children when they ask me questions about their infancy and wonder about their Dad's involvement. I try to evade without lying. They have occasionally asked questions which make it clear they have romantic ideas of their father staying up nights to care for them, or that their father made special trips to the store to get me food I was craving during the pregnancy. They've ruminated about him changing their diapers or rocking them to sleep. In truth I did it all as a single mom.
How do I approach these kind of conversations & questions? Their father wanted them dead. He hated me for bringing them into the world. He did everything in his power to make me miscarry and suffer. He was too dangerous to be around them when they were infants. Even up to the point that I kicked him out of the house he was still telling the neighbors how he resented being a father because of the financial burden. The kids seem to be forgetting how horrible & evil he was to live with. One time we were talking about how they used to sleep in my room. They didn't remember how they used to BEG to sleep in my room because they were so afraid of Daddy. Don't worry, I didn't hammer that point, I simply mentioned something about it and they didn't recall. So they don't remember barricading the door to keep Daddy from coming in & killing us in our sleep. The memory is fading about his rages and how he would terrorize us all with screams & threats. They forgot that it was Daddy who got rid of our cat a few years ago because he was mad.
Are they compartmentalizing everything? I don't know how to have conversations when my reality is so crystal clear, but they don't remember anything. I don't know what to say when they want to know about the tender loving care their father lavished upon them as babies, when in reality I was afraid he would bash their brains in if they cried. They don't know that one of the church ladies confided in me that he has been asking her to take the children & give them to other families in the church because he didn't want to be woken up at night anymore.
Yes, of course this is something to talk about with the family counselor. I value the advice I get on SI, too, though.
him idiotic sex addicted, hormone addled, porn watching, post pubescent male with a walking hard on for anything without a penis
4 kids 15 13 12 8
Earned my *F* the hard way.
Ok sorry. You asked for advice. I guess I feel your little bitties won't be ready to handle anything close to the truth for a long time. I guess I would say nothing when they mention their fantasies and if they ask whether daddy did this or that you could simply say "no" and if they ask why "he didn't like to" or "he wasn't there at that time". Basically trying to be as honest as possible without frightening them. Even if they start to realize he's disinterested but fantasize that there was love there that's better than the bone chilling truth, which hopefully won't be revealed until they're adults. Some of it you may even have to take to your grave
Are they compartmentalizing everything?
I would think so. Our minds are such that we protect ourselves by forgetting or blocking things out. The fact that they are young, they are probably doing it much faster. (Side bar example: You see it a lot here on SI, when people are fresh on the heels of separation, how often do they look back on the situation they just got out of and in a way miss it and focus on the good stuff, or even create good stuff to help themselves cope? In relationships, it ends up making it too easy to go back until you remember why you left in the first place.)
Your kids' minds are protecting them, insulating them from the horrible things they experienced while living with their father. In a way, this is good, because it means they are suffering less, right?
It's also a really good reason to keep them in IC (not that you had any intention of doing otherwise) for a looooooong time, because this stuff will come back up. They haven't forgotten, I would guess, as much as hidden those memories. These things have a tendency to create issues later in life, so get them good and comfortable with therapy so they'll be ready to recognize that they need it later and go back in (if they ever leave) when the memories pop up or start causing problems.
won't be revealed until they're adults
I meant to mention this too, but forgot - I imagine a lot more of this will come out/up when your kids are adults and start having kids of their own, and making decisions like who they want at the hospital when they give birth ("mom, who was there with you when I was born?"), take parental leave ("mom, how much time did you and dad take off?"), look for balance between mom and dad ("mom, did you exclusively breastfeed or did dad do bottles?", "mom, who got up with us at night?", etc.).
So while you may give them age appropriate responses now, much like discussing the divorce, you'll probably divulge more as they get older.
[This message edited by Amazonia at 3:12 AM, February 21st (Friday)]
I'm sorry about how you and your kids were treated. I love how your XWH railed against you having children and did all sorts of horrible things to you while pregnant/caring for infants, but he was more than happy to get you pregnant, wasn't he? Why all the protests when he could have gotten a vasectomy, insisted that you use condoms, or divorced you because you wanted children and he didn't?
It's disgusting what people will do to exert control over others. Your having children suited him just fine. He could control you further AND bring innocent little children into the world that he could also control.
I still remember vividly each time my Dad told me that when I was born he didn't care if I lived or died. He first told me the story of my birth when I was quite small, age 4 at most: I'm a twin. As my mum was giving birth to my brother, she got eclampsia. My brother came out a bit blue. Then I was born. My mum said that I came out awake looking around. My Dad responded that he didn't give a fig about me and whether I was alive or not because my mum was could have died and so could my brother. He has repeated that quite a few times since in my life. He has absolutely no awareness of how damaging that has been to me and how I have never felt bonded to him at all.
Finally reached indifference & looking forward to my new beginning
Not because he deserves it, he deserves far worse. But so the world will just be rid of him.
That is truly horrid. I'm so sorry you were subjected to that.
My first thought was some generic replies along the lines of:
Daddy has always been more of a hands-off dad.
Daddy usually let mommy do those things because I love doing them.
When they get old enough to ask pointed questions that lead you to believe they suspect the truth, give them the truth.
Daddy is a selfish person that is more concerned with his own needs than anyone else's. So, you're right, he wasn't the most attentive dad.
Awful stuff you went through NG. (((hugs)))
I am so very sorry that this happened to you and your children. I think the others may be right, the NatureKids may be compartmentalizing for protection but it will all come back up again. Talk to the IC and have a plan in place for what to answer and at what age. I do believe that they will remember and it will all come up again in it's own time.
as you mentioned, I would speak to a child therapist or have IC regarding this matter.
Children place their own self worth from what they perceive others place on them.
I personally do not believe any child should ever hear that a parent "doesn't want them"...."If my own father didn't want me ...am I worth anything?" A dangerous place for children.
I am not a child therapist .... but would suggest you say that their Dad has a problem with expressing love. That their Dad has problems seeing what is good in the world and does not find happiness. That this is like being unwell. But the problem is in his mind. That their Dad has an illness with his mind and he can not see the wonder and the beauty of his beautiful children.
I would also tell them that I have enough love for both a Mum and a Dad and that they are very, very special.
(((NG and babies)))
Yes, your kids are compartmentalizing. They are in their own *fog*. Society shows/tells them a father should be loving, caring and protecting of them. That was definitely not their experience, so they must have mis-interpreted something. If they just twist this memory a little, tweak that one a little more and forget about the screaming, why they had a perfect dad. Right?
You can see where this goes. It's one of the reasons the abuse cycle goes on intergenerationally. IC will be able to specifically identify issues. Glad you see that.
Again, I'm sorry.
ETA....XW got pregnant deliberately....When I was dumb enough to ask why she married me, she informed me that she would get more CS from me if we had been married for a while.
My son will never know that he was just a check to her.
[This message edited by 5454real at 8:58 AM, February 21st (Friday)]
I would just say something like, "Your dad wasn't involved with that... I did that on my own..." Be honest, but don't editorialize. It's true-- he wasn't involved, and you did do everything on your own.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.