my story and advice

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tryingtoheal
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:06 am

my story and advice

Post by tryingtoheal » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:42 pm

So my story to give context, I left the family home in January 2017, which resulted in my 20 year marriage coming to an end. My ex partner had met someone else(proven later but denied initially), in Jan-April I received a number of threats, harassment from the former family including my ex, stating that due to an incident in Dec 16 where by when heavily drunk, i hit my ex once across the face, I take responsibility for this.

In Feb/March my ex wanted us to work again, she suggested counselling. Throughout Jan-April I saw my kids weekly, albeit lies and deceit were being introduced to the kids about who I was. I had to log police logs in Feb due to the concerns of threats as it was affecting my work and me emotionally. In April I moved to my own house and this was hard, but my kids came and helped decorate and spend time with me. In May I was arrested for the offence of uploading an indecent image of a child. I take full responsibility for this, I was not charged, although it took 6 months to conclude however was given a "simple caution" and on SOR for 2 years. The Police were fair in the outcome and acknowledged I was honest in interview immediately upon arrest and also open in interview which helped my cause. I am not looking for people to judge me in this, I just accept and take responsibility for my actions. For many years I had struggled with my own past of abuse from family members of all forms, suffered a number of significant events in late teens and struggled with daily life, and as a result porn had been my outlet for many years, something I was forced to view and act out from the age of 8. This does not excuse my own actions, I should not have done what I did, I uploaded a photo in a chatroom and was thankfully caught, I say this because it would have got worse. I am taking the steps to repair and heal, I have accessed counselling and utilized the Lucy Faithful Foundation which I have used all self help tools, then reflected in counselling on a weekly basis. I have disclosed to friends I trust and asked they hold me to account in how I deal with my continued struggles and not turning to porn, putting safeguards in place to help not access porn of any kind.

As you can imagine, my former partner has utilized this situation, by removing any contact with my kids whom i had a strong relationship with up until May 2017. I have also received threats and intimidation from the family in June on 3 occasions for very small things as I wouldn't do as they said until I saught legal advice about kids bank accounts and paying a historical bill. The family had been a very supportive family for 20 years knowing my struggles and now have turned away from me. There is suggestions that they are manipulating the children too.

I have managed to follow correct procedures in logging with the Police extensive threats pre May and afterwards. I have managed to sort out finances with via mediation which although the former partner has suggested domestic abuse for the event in Dec 16, they didnt log anything until 7 months later. I have taken the matter to court to apply to have contact with my kids, I am realistic, I know that I have to have supervised contact as I am high risk, i get that, I have been fortunate in the outcome and has enabled me to continue in work, keep my house and support my kids with maintenance each month. The court have granted I can have indirect contact with my daughter whilst Cafcass carry out a assessment( i have a meeting with them next month for 1.5 hours) my son has stated via my ex partner in court - has said he doesn't want to know me or see me - albeit that he accepted xmas gifts and birthday card last year, I have written to my daughter 3 weeks ago as she had sent her school photo and a birthday card to me recently , however 3 weeks on, no letter from my daughter. Today my son returned an Easter card that I sent to him and my daughter, simply returning it in the post, no letter and just feels so cruel.

My question - in this mess I have caused - do I have any chance of having supervised contact with the sheer scale of what my ex is saying or how I am seen as a risk. I feel so heartbroken that I have done this due to my struggles and yet not even being allowed contact is hard.

Any help or advice in this would be good.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: my story and advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:13 pm

Dear tryingtoheal,

I can see that you are going through a very difficult time at the moment in respect to seeking contact with your children. In time things may improve. Supervised contact is normally protective enough for your children in the circumstances you mention. But you believe your exe and her family have been turning your children against you so may be stopping contact taking place.
I think you should raise your concerns with the cafcass officer who is assessing your family. She could provide guidance to you and your exe.

You do not say whether children services are involved with your family. Family Rights Group advise about the law and procedure that is relevant to children services. So I am not able to give detailed advice about private law.

Instead you could contact Families need fathers, child law advice or look at information on the CAFCASS website.
I don’t know whether any parents are able to offer any advice?

Best wishes,
Suzie

tryingtoheal
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:06 am

Re: my story and advice

Post by tryingtoheal » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:34 pm

thank you for responding. My concern is I dont want to direct emotional concern towards my ex when i want to focus on my children. Its now 11 months since I last saw them properly and my ex is making a number of false allegations. All i want is to have realistic and helpful contact with my children, in this situation to begin with supervised contact which I dont see why this cant happen. I will certainly speak with Cafcass about the concerns however I dont want to come across that I am using this as a negative attach on my ex. At this point Social Services are not involved as they contacted me back in May last year to discuss my arrest, stating they would be talking to my children the following week and would arrange a time for me to meet up with Social to discuss the situation. They suggested that it would be much easier and save a lot of paperwork if I simply walked away from my children's lives. I was told months later that they shut the case as I was not in contact with my children and so they are not currently involved.

tryingtoheal
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:06 am

Re: my story and advice

Post by tryingtoheal » Mon May 21, 2018 10:33 pm

Hello so CAFCASS report is saying I can have contact with my daughter, albeit in contact centre....however no timeframe is suggested and concerned its stating that supervised contact is given - again without any timeframe of how this continues in the longer term. Is this normal?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: my story and advice

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri May 25, 2018 2:12 pm

Dear tryingtoheal

Thank you for your further post.

It must be good for you to see that the Cafcass officer has recommended that you can have contact with your daughter in a contact centre.

You are concerned that no timeframe has been indicated and the suggestion is that contact should be supervised. The level of contact is something that will have to be agreed and if not, the judge can decide on the contact arrangements. It is not unusual for contact to start in a contact centre when there has been a long break in contact and for that contact to be supervised. Contact is for the benefit of the child, so it is important that this can be monitored to ensure that the child is settled and happy at contact.

Additionally, in your situation, the question of risk is one that is an important consideration where contact is concerned. Although you have stated that you have sought help to deal with the issues you have relating to pornography, you have accepted that your behaviour downloading images of a child was inappropriate, this historical fact will affect the kind of contact you are able to have and certainly when contact is to be reinstated after a long period of time.

If you do not have a solicitor representing you in respect of your application for a child arrangement order for contact, you may wish to contact the Child law Advice service on 0300 330 5480 who will be able to advise you in respect of these private law proceedings. Our remit relates to public law matters where children’s services is involved.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

tryingtoheal
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:06 am

Re: my story and advice

Post by tryingtoheal » Sun May 27, 2018 2:55 pm

thank you Suzie, thats really helpful advice. I am realistic and just want to establish the relationship i had with my daughter up to last year. I have remained calm, put things in place and accepted and trying to deal with healing. I believe also, my son, will in time want to know and ask questions, however for now, I have to be patient.

tryingtoheal
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:06 am

Re: my story and advice

Post by tryingtoheal » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:39 am

Hello, so after some months a court order was agreed and I am to have contact with my daughter when she is ready. I did not state any timeframe as I did not want to pressure my daughter into a deadline. The judge felt I was mature in approach, I hold no grudges with my ex as its not her fault I placed myself in the position I did. I have continued to carry out counselling, finished this in August of this year, I completed the Lucy Faithful Foundation modules, interlinking this to my counselling for discussion points. I have also completed just this week a 10 week course via my local church in removing past issues, putting good and effective aspects into my life and looking at my relationships with others differently, all of which have been helpful.

I continue to write to my daughter, albeit I am concerned she doesn't receive these as not had any responses to date. I met with her school in September and openly discussed my situation, the court order and what support they were to offer as the CAFCASS officer stated that pastoral care be provided by the school in order for my daughter to discuss her feelings and when ready to start contact, supervised, in a contact centre.
I have kept up to date with the school, receiving reports, taken interest in all of my daughters education including receiving school photos. My Ex has also been helpful in emailing as directed extensive updates 1/4ly since court as to my childrens health, wellbeing and education.

I would have hoped by now that my daughter would want to initiate contact, given she said to CAFCASS she missed me and wants to see me, however the school are saying now my daughter is not ready for counselling and does not want to see me......can I do anything about this? as CAFCASS have now closed their support as the court order is in place, however I would have thought my daughter would want to sort out contact given its now 18 months since i last saw her properly. Can I ask the school to do anything about this?

On a separate note I have been seeing someone else - although seeing someone is quite difficult given they have children of there own, they know my entire history and also my caution and being on the SOR until next year, I have tried to be open. However as much as we have been honest and contacted Social Services stating how would we have a relationship in a safe and helpful way, it caused more harm as they prevented any contact at the home when the children were there until steps and other aspects were signed off. All of which have been done. We are at a standstill currently as we don't seem to be getting anywhere, I am fully aware of my offence and have tried so hard to put things in place, evidence this to others, and yet seeing my kids or having a relationship with someone I want to be with is causing real emotional suffering.

I lost my job recently too as PPO asked me to disclose my offence to my employer as they felt it needed to be disclosed, albeit i wasnt working in a regulated environment, sadly when I did this, my employer dismissed me, albeit I had been there for over a year. so last 2 months I have not been working, but moved house as had mortgage approved and savings to use, I continued to be open, updated the Police when required, didnt allow losing my job to cause me to suffer emotionally and been to many interviews, applied for jobs and thankfully found employment which I start again soon.

Does anyone have any advice on what i can do, anything else I need to do to show professionals I am putting all i can in place, am keeping myself safe by learning from the courses and can feedback on the learning points.

Any advice/help would be good.

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