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Struggling to cope with grief, loss & family violence

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Struggling to cope with grief, loss & family violence

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Struggling to cope with grief, loss & family violence

For nine years, my daughter (now 13), has lived primarily with me, whilst having regular contact with her father and his family.  Recently however, due to domestic and family violence, my daughter was forcibly removed from my care and has not since been returned to my care.  I have been incredibly worried about her safety and wellbeing every single day since she was taken, and every day has been a struggle for me to get through to the next.  Despite police and child safety both being involved, neither have acted to protect my child from removing her from her father's care, as apparently, if a child is with their biological parent, police seem to be of the belief that the child is therefore safe in their care, despite there being long term domestic violence (psychological/emotional), being perpetrated by the father.  I feel like what I am going through is a form of grief as I have affectively lost my child to this man, and I have been robbed of a relationship with her, despite being with her for almost a decade prior.  I also struggle with the emotions that relate to how concerned I am for her, as I am aware of the violence but she is not.  In one way, I am grateful for that, as I want her to have a relationship with her dad and to love her dad, but the father should be made to be accountable for his abusive and harmful behaviours that are seriously impacting her.  I have started legal proceedings to recover her, and to have the court make a parenting order, as the father has not communicated anything with me since he removed her from my care.  Knowing my daughter is at such risk of harm each and every day by this man, is something I am really struggling with, not to mention that hole in my heart where I am grieving for and missing her every single day.  I haven't even been able to look in her bedroom because of how sad it makes me feel so I have been keeping her door closed.  It took me over a month to be able to put her washing away, which was what she was supposed to do after school the day she was taken.  I am broken and completely devastated, shocked, and scared.  I fear for what will happen now and what our future is now going to look like because of the actions of the father.  He has isolated her, manipulated her, alienated her, and is controlling her, by not allowing her contact with me or other family members, not taking her to medical appointments, and not taking her to school.  My daughter probably feels traumatised and completely powerless, as she is under his power and influence, and is incredibly vulnerable.  Her mental health has deteriorated as a result of the domestic violence, where she has been self harming, saying she wants to die, feeling a lack of trust, etc.  She is suffering and now, she has been forced into a situation where she will be suffering every day that she remains with her father, and I feel powerless to protect her and keep her safe.  I am feeling desperate to help her as he has made this situation so much more difficult as he has even managed to convince her that I have hurt her, which she now believes, and that shows how severe the alienation is.  He also did the same thing with our son, and my son was also completely alienated from me, and the father blamed me for that, as well as the breakdown of our family, after how emotionally abusive he was with me, after I put boundaries in place to protect my wellbeing.  Where is the help?

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Re: Struggling to cope with grief, loss & family violence

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Hi @missymoo13 thank you for sharing more about what you’re going through here. I can't imagine how incredibly difficult this situation must be for you. It's evident from your post that you're experiencing immense pain and worry over your daughter's safety and well-being. Your concerns are completely valid, and it's understandable that you feel overwhelmed by grief and loss. 

It's deeply concerning to hear about the domestic and family violence your daughter has experienced and the challenges you're facing in seeking help and protection for her. No parent should have to endure the pain of feeling powerless to protect their child from harm.

Your dedication to pursuing legal avenues to recover your daughter and ensure her safety is truly commendable, and I hope you're able to access the resources and assistance you need to navigate this situation.

One resource you may find helpful is 1800RESPECT, a national helpline providing support and information for individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing domestic violence. They offer confidential support and can connect you with local services and resources tailored to you and your daughters needs.

Your daughter's well-being is a priority, and I urge you to continue seeking support and advocating for her safety. You're not alone in this journey, please know that there are people and organisations ready to assist you.

With everything you’re going through, I'm wondering if you have any current supports for yourself at the moment, whether that be a family member, friend, or mental health professional? Additionally, are there any coping strategies that have helped you get through the difficult emotions this situation has brought up for you? 

Please remember to prioritise self-care during this challenging time. It's so important to take care of yourself as you navigate through these difficult circumstances.