3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
Hi @Zayray ,
Firstly, thanks so much for coming to the ReachOut Parents community. I hope this can be a safe and helpful space for you. I hear your concern for your daughter, and it must be really challenging trying to balance your need to protect your daughter, and maintaining the trust between you. You sound like a really caring Mum - and it's excellent to hear that your daughter has already had professional help from a counsellor.
I am hearing that you are concerned for your daughter's emotional well-being when she is with her dad, especially when he has been drinking, is that right? Can I ask, do you share physical custody with her dad, or is she living with him all of the time?
I see from your post that you appear to be in the UK - I found this website, which has a lot of links to different services for children of separated and divorced parents. If you are concerned about your daughter's safety when she is with your dad, there are helplines listed there that you can contact for advice and support that is specific to where you live.
It sounds like you and your daughter have a really trusting and open relationship, which is wonderful, and I imagine it must be so hard as a mum to hear her calling you in distress. Do you think seeking some form of counselling for yourself might be helpful? Taking some time out for self-care is also really important, is there anything that you enjoy doing for yourself?
I have also tagged in some other parents who may be able to offer advice and support based on their own experiences. Ultimately, your daughter's safety is the most important thing (both physically and mentally), and we are here to support you.
3 weeks ago
2 weeks ago - last edited 2 weeks ago
Hello @Zayray ,
I can hear how you love your gal, and it is clear that you are concerned. I am not solo parenting so please know that I do not have first hand experience/knowledge of custody issues, and all the care and communication it takes to make shared custody work in a healthy way.
It seems that you're very, very torn. On one hand, you have, what seems to be, an open and loving relationship with your daughter and, with this, your daughter trusts you with information about her dad and the living situation in his house. His drinking seems to be impacting her well-being and, reading in the lines of your message, it seems that emotional abuse is a very real concern ( your sentence that she is worried 'he will take it out on her' is a flag for me--what does 'taking it out on her' look like?). The information that your daughter has shared concerns/scares you. You see her welfare compromised during the weeks she is with her dad, and see the effects this has on her.
On the other hand, she has asked you not to say/do anything, and to hold that information in confidence. You want to protect the trust that she has in you, and it seems that you're scared the additional harm will fall on her.
@Zayray , I can imagine that this is oh-so-difficult.
I want to make sure that I'm understanding a few things.
First, It seems that you don't want to say anything to him/anyone because your daughter has ask you not to, and you want to respect her trust in you. At the same time, I'm wondering if there is any other reason. Does her father have a history of violence? Is there/has there been reason to be concerned about your own safety as well?
Second, has his drinking been a concern in the past? Has it come up in other arenas... (in his employment or in your divorce, if you were married). To be clear, I don't ask this to argue that it's more or less serious etc., I ask to see whether it's been documented anywhere else, in case you might need to refer to it in the future.
A few other thoughts:
I am glad that you are taking care of yourself. Please check in again and often. I will check this board to see whether you have posted an update.
Hello fellow mama,
I'm glad you posted an update, and I'm glad that you are considering professional help. Yes, we can assume there will be future outbursts/problems with his drinking (his past behaviour has demonstrated this, and it doesn't seem he has voiced any plan to reduce his drinking). I imagine you and your daughter will rest easier knowing that there is plan in place to deal with potential future incidents, and address past harms.
I encourage you (and your daughter) to think about the impact that his drinking has versus trying to assess whether he is an alcoholic or not (and I hope that any professional who works with your daughter considers that as well). I certainly don't know whether he is an alcoholic or not, but from what you've told us, his drinking (whether regular or sporadic, whether 'a little' or 'a lot', whether during the day or night, and so on) impacts your daughter's well being and sense of safety. Period.
Your gal is lucky to have you, and lucky that you hear/see her concern---and so good that your daughter is involved in the school show. Yay, mini@Zayray
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