I know many abused people who for whatever reason put up with abuse themselves but protect their children, I was one of them. He isn't protecting his kids. He is joining in.
We need to support his healthy choices.
We are done fighting with each other and decide to fight FOR each other.
My XW was a victim of terrible child sexual abuse, and I was naive at the time to all the far-reaching manifestations it can have into adulthood. I still have a lot to learn, clearly.
I think you might have to assume the worst in terms of her ongoing sexual abuse of the children. You acknowledge that historically you have blocked out and minimized both her actions and your role in exposing the children to continued inappropriate experiences. Rather than focus on trying to make you see your complicity in this forum right now (continue to push that in therapy), I would suggest that you (continue to) focus on recognizing that you are not in a good enough place mentally or emotionally at this stage to assess adequately whether the children are in immediate danger. By immediate danger, I mean the continued threat of more sexual abuse over the short term.
I go back to my last comment about your children describing what they've seen with professional jargon. That is not at all typical, expected or normal.
Another thing that keeps bugging me is that seeing their mother having sex with her partner by peeking in the window is not "inappropriate sex." Granted, the context was messed up (the screaming behind the door and being unavailable), but I find it really curious that your child then jumped to having seen sex that is inappropriate. Yes, having seen them having sex is not an appropriate thing for them to have seen. But why jump to having been exposed to something that is somehow deviant?
My instinct says there is more here than you know. Children also minimize sometimes and it could be that this story about locked doors and peeking through windows is just the tip of the iceberg. You're doing what is basically a minimum here by keeping them in IC. That's good. But I wonder if it's enough. I'm perplexed that the three things you mentioned that your WW did with the children (the fondling, "inspection", and blanket incident) were not enough to at least justify a more stringent investigation. She was groomed as a victim of child sexual abuse, she groomed you as a co-conspirator, she's grooming her current partner to do the same, and she is teaching and exposing her children to some pernicious stuff as well. FWIW, I would be thinking ahead to stopping this cycle of abuse and thinking about my children down the road as the adults there are going to become. IC may not be enough to teach them that what they have seen, participated in and continue to see is teaching them to be abusers as well. Personally, I'd want her to lose custody.
If more history and context are needed to justify my concern (and yes, I did relate these to the psychologist): XW permitted our children–then five and eight--to fondle her breasts; to inspect her vagina and rectum; forced my fingers into her vagina in their presence until she orgasmed.
I protested these behaviors, I reasoned with her, I pleaded with her to stop
I protested these behaviors, I reasoned with her, I pleaded with her to stop
Looks to me like he DID tell his psychologist. I believe a mandated reporter. Also, he did protest the actions, albeit afterwards. NG and Gonna are on track with their comments. I agree. Having been involved with a Borderline PD myself, it's shocking what I had allowed and was allowing. Seeing my ex hold her two year old at arms length by the hair as blood streamed out of his mouth and nose and he screamed for *mommy* so she wouldn't get blood on her bikini pulled me out of the craziness.
He divorced her. He's told his psychologist about the incident. He's got the kids in counseling. I guess I wonder what specific actions other posters want him to take? How is that *joining in*?
AD, I'm sorry she continues to escalate. Unfortunately, as you well know, *Mommy knows best*. She and her actions will *never* be wrong. (Until they are ). Keep documenting. Hopefully, you will be able to get her and you in for a parenting eval soon.
[This message edited by 5454real at 7:57 AM, May 20th (Tuesday)]
You have a PM.
Keep with your counseling for you and the kids.
Do you have a PI who could investigate the 18 year old driver? The PI might charge just $100 or so....
[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 8:22 AM, May 20th (Tuesday)]
I have gone through so many versions of what I want to say, and rejected all as coming across as defensive, trying to elecit sympathy, or backpedaling.
I realize that I did leave gaps in my relating of the incidents, gaps that I have provided to a few of you privately which I hope helps clarify further. My omitting them was due to embarrassment at their graphic nature. It does not necessarily exculpate me, but it may serve to clear some doubt or misunderstanding. I will offer one clarification that seems to have garnered the most attention and upsetness. I hope it does not enflame further, but if it does, I understand: XW came literally as soon as she touched herself with my hand. She held my hand there forcefully for perhaps five to ten seconds. It took maybe another ten seconds for me to wrest my hand away--not from a physical inability entirely, but from shock. She was under a blanket; the children were near us, but did not see it directly.
As I wrote, I did sit my XW down and tried to explain why this was wrong and unacceptable and more than inappropriate. Later--far too much later, I now know--I informed my therapist. I have now informed our children's therapist as well as my attorney.
With regard to myself: For nearly two years, I have been working on myself in therapy to understand (among other things of course) my role in these incidents and in my relationship with my XW at the time. How did the abnormal appear normal to me? Why would I love this person so much that her (and my) needs implicitly took precedence over those of my children? Looking at your comments--seeing my comments from your perspective--has helped me, painfully but significantly. I am owning my shit. A relationship with an NBPD (and likely worse) is a very insidious and complex dynamic. Again: I am NOT exculpating myself. I am an intelligent, educated adult. This is also why I am shocked at myself and why I am working diligently so I can move forward a changed man, more aware, and armed with knowledge of myself. And above all, with the means and determination to protect my children.
With regard to my children: I will not try to prove to anyone but them my love for them. They are, simply, my world. They are reminded of this every minute they are with me. My home is their safe place. The past cannot be undone, but I am battling for them in the present and for their future. They will not be hurt again if I can help it. I am putting my faith in the authorities and await their advice.
Again: My children will never again be harmed.
With regard to SI: This forum has been my salvation. I am ashamed and mortified that I have disappointed so many. I hope that some of you who have had similar experiences can understand my delayed understanding, as well as my prior difficulty in grasping my own role in this.
Thank you all.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Abbondad, I admire you greatly. I feel you are a great father, your children are so lucky to have you.
[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 8:26 AM, May 20th (Tuesday)]
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
You are strong, and brave, and you are fiercely protecting those kids the best way you know how. As someone who has not been exposed to sexual abuse, or been truly mentally abused to the level you were it is hard to understand how far down the rabbit hole you can go.
You have managed to scratch and claw your way out, primarily for the purpose of saving your children. Keep loving them, keep protecting them.
And since you have reason to believe your dd may be getting groomed PLEASE stop sleeping in bed with her. If something fishy is happening she needs to know that it is NEVER ok for a grown-up and a child to share a bed. Otherwise it may become blurred for her (i.e. daddy sleeps in bed with me so it must be ok for ???? to sleep with me too)
PLEASE stop sleeping in bed with her.
Daddy DOES NOT SLEEP IN BED WITH HER. I PUT HER TO BED, LIE DOWN WITH HER, TALK WITH HER AND TELL HER STORIES UNTIL SHE GETS SLEEPY. SHE IS SEVEN YEARS OLD.
NO ADULT COERCED ANY OTHER ADULT INTO DOING ANYTHING.
I'm a CSA survivor, and yeah, the abusers tell you what they are doing is "normal." But now your DD is in counseling and being forced to realize that it is NOT normal, and she is setting boundaries. That's good. Your kids need to learn a new normal after all this fucked up shit.
You've heard stories of children being abused by their fathers, and their mothers knowing and letting it happen? Then the children are sometimes MORE pissed at the person who was complicit than the person who actually abused them. I would watch out for that if I were you.
I get it ABD. We allowed a lot of stuff we should NOT have. I would go with the boiling frog theory. We just didn't realize how bad it was getting because we were being groomed too.
I don't want to have much sympathy for your wife, but imagine the grooming she must have gone through during her abuse. The problem is that she isn't getting help for it. My ex is a CSA too, but he refuses to get help for it. His father raped him, and let his friends rape him. It's terrible and disgusting, but it worries me more for my own kids now that he doesn't get help for it. If he got help, I would feel more confident that he won't repeat the cycle. But since he's not getting help, I fear he will, having never learned that it's NOT normal, which I suspect is the case with your EW..
Like NG said, I can't prevent what might happen, but I talk to my kids very often about their private areas, who's allowed to touch, who's allowed to see, etc.
No one ever talked to me all that much as a kid about my private areas, so a man was able to take advantage of me. It's not fair your kids have been exposed to all this, but I'm glad they are getting help and being given information so they can know what's going on and not be groomed by it anymore.
And my last thought, I think the ones on this website with the most fucked up exes are the ones that need the most help. There was something wrong with us too that allowed us to tolerate our ex's behaviors. I didn't want to admit I did anything wrong, but I had to if I wanted to get healthy.
Knowing that most sexual abusers were once victims, it scared the shit out of me wondering if I'm more prone to abusing my children because of the abuse I endured as a child. I faced it, was honest with myself, and did everything I could to heal myself.
I will still pity CSA survivors who don't get help, but if they continue the cycle and become abusers themselves without taking responsibility, I can pity them while they are in jail. Once you are an adult, you have to take responsibility for your actions. You can't blame your past forever..
Sending lots of prayers for your kids..
I was sexually abused by a grandfather from a young age until I was probably 9 or 10. It stopped because I started telling him not to touch me.
I didn't know for the first several years that I could tell him no. He was my elder so I thought I had to do what he said and that it would be disrespectful to do otherwise. At some point, I realized that he only molested me when others weren't around and, somehow, my young mind realized he must not want others to know. I started telling him not to touch me and if he did, I would tell someone else. He stopped. When he started wanting to be alone with my sister because he could no longer molest me, I wouldn't let him. I made sure I went anywhere she went if he was there. She was never molested because of that. When I became a teenager, I started telling people what he'd done. The other family members he'd abused started coming out of the woodwork and the list was long. He'd abused his daughters, his nieces, and numerous other young girls.
One of the rules I established with my husband when we had our own children was that there did not have to be "blind respect" of all adults just because they were adults. And the biggest thing is that our children's bodies belong to them. Adults do not have to hug or kiss anyone if they don't want to. But adults often force children to give hugs and kisses. My rule was that my children had the right to decide whether or not they wanted to be physically touched. I pissed a few relatives off by not forcing my children to hug Aunt So-and-so or kiss Uncle Creepy-guy but my children have always appreciated it. Their ownership of their bodies and their right to say no to an adult extended even to their father and I. If my kids didn't want to hug us, they didn't have to.
With someone who has no problem forcing him/herself onto a child, this would be ineffective. But the majority of molesters do so by grooming and will leave a child who is self-assured and unafraid to say no alone. The day I figured out I could say no, my molestation stopped. Teach your kids that they can say no and show respect for them when they do. Your daughter has already shown that she isn't afraid to tell you something makes her uncomfortable. Make sure she feels comfortable doing the same with any adult and you'll have less to worry about. And make sure they know they can come to you if someone makes them uncomfortable. Fear of upsetting my parents made me afraid to tell them what my grandfather was doing.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
[This message edited by Tearsoflove at 8:03 PM, May 20th (Tuesday)]
I thank my lucky stars that I had a loving set of parents and grandparents, uncles etc who KNEW that abusing sexually little kids was OFF LIMITS/TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE/A NO BRAINER THAT SHOULD NEVER BE DONE/CREEPY.
My mother told my sisters and me about sex briefly. She ALWAYS dressed in a closet away from us. My father ALWAYS shut the door to do what ever it was he did. My parents conceived a child after me and I DON'T even know how that happened because we NEVER saw their door closed to us.
My heart goes out to ALL kids turned adults now who were not as fortunate as my sisters and I were. There must be something SERIOUSLY wrong with the brain of someone who DOESN'T GET the damage done by such heartless, selfish acts as these!!
For someone that simply DOESN'T "get" why a parent would let her kids fondle her breasts, see her vagina, and ass and not be horrified that her son saw pics sent to another man of same, HOW can a previously sex abused kid turned adult see that that behavior is ACCEPTABLE?? Wasn't SHE mortified and scared as a kid when it happened to HER??? HOW does one keep this reprehensible behavior going to another generation????
Abbondad: My HEART goes out to you. My HEART REALLY goes out to your kids.
I know a 49 year old guy whose been married twice, had an affair with a someone new, dated many women and can'y hold on to anyone because he subconsciously destroys a budding relationship before it can ever get off the ground due to fear. He ABSOLUTLEY CAN NOT STAND his parents. He will NEVER talk about why he "cut them off at the knees " in his life but I suspect there was child abuse like this going on. He HATES his parents with a passion. As an adult, the "Elenor Rigby" face he keeps in a jar by the door is firmly in place. His life is a a narcissitic example of how a screwed up kid becomes a screwed up failure as an adult with no help/counseling etc in the relationship department. I know your kids are in counseling. Rather than a he said/she said view of the "nauseating behavior" we have read here, the emphasis MUST be placed on those kids if you ever hope to have them grow up normal and not have this behavior continue to another generation because of your EXW whore.
I have no kids and never been abused like this. As a human being, though, I HOPE AGAINST HOPE that you will be able to get those kids OUT of their "moms" life for GOOD before MORE damage is done.
I'm sorry for AD and all that he's gone through, but my heart aches with sadness knowing what those children have witnessed without protection from the very people that should have stood in a line of fire to make sure nothing so horrible like this ever would have happened in the first place.
47 is the new year of treating myself better than I have in 6 years.
What ever doesn't kill me makes me stronger so long as I remember that
My favorite drink is no longer Guinness but water.
You are doing the right thing for your kids. I'm here in D because Dipshit STBX was sexting with a minor online. That was enough for me to get my kids the hell away from him. Luckily he didn't fight it.
I can't imagine how you deal with your kids being with CXW. Keep doing what you're doing. Thank GOD your kids have you.
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
You are taking a bit of a beating here. I hope you realize that you are doing the right things now. That is going to go a long way to help your kids heal, and be as close to normal as any of us can get.
Did your CXW see your sons counselor? How did that go? Any repercussions for any of it?