I divorced my husband of 10 years. After separating, he physically and emotionally abused me, stalked me.
He once abducted me and my daughter, then age six, and threatened to kill me in front of her.
Eventually his focus became turning my daughter against me, with his lies and manipulation.
She eventually became a heroin addict and moved across the country.
Some relatives including my father keep contact with him. I have difficulty understanding this (despite the perks from him).
Years later, this man’s been invited to a family event.
I can't imagine being in the same room with him. It hurts deeply that my relatives lack loyalty or compassion for me in this situation.
How could my ex could do this to our daughter, and how can my family, especially my father, be okay with it?
No one can fully understand how a parent can terrorize a child, even if the cruelty is actually meant for the adult target.
Your father and other relatives are either too reliant on whatever “perks” they get from your ex, or haven’t the moral clarity to see through the manipulations and lies he undoubtedly used on them too.
I strongly urge you to skip the event. It’ll cause great anxiety in you, plus re-ignite fear and discomfort when in his presence.
Don’t give him that chance.
Protect your emotional strength and well-being. And, whenever possible, reach out to your daughter in case she can still be helped.
FEEDBACK Regarding how inheritance issues can tear a family apart (Feb. 17):
Reader – “Everyone should have an up-to-date will and power of attorney.
“However, there can be predators amongst us.
“My elderly father died in a hospital, alone, of starvation due to dementia. Shame on me.
“His health had declined and he was hospitalized four hours away from me, in his hometown.
“The head of the hospital’s geriatric department wrote me a letter stating that power of attorney powers should be enacted.
“Later, my father was told by his common-law partner, her family, and his lawyer (an acquaintance of his partner’s children), and my father’s bank, that I was stealing from him.
“I was not stealing. I’d put in an order for cheques on my father’s bank account in preparation for upcoming bills – nothing more.
“In my last phone conversation with my father, he accused me of stealing from him and told me to have a nice life.
“His partner’s daughter was a hospital department head. My brother and I weren’t allowed to visit him unless we arranged it with a hospital official beforehand.
“My husband and I did visit my father after his outburst, while he was in a delirious state.
“His lawyer gave himself the power of attorney rights, with the acknowledgement of the local doctor, and the hospital kept the lawyer informed of my father’s health status and our visit.
“I loved my father very much as did my daughter.
“Friends couldn’t believe that it was possible for Power of Attorney documents to be re-directed by lawyers with the help of doctors involved with other parties (a common- law partner).
“Please help people to understand that if you care about a relationship, you need to tie up your assets in legal contracts and understand that even good relationships can turn sour very quickly and the results will be very costly and very painful.”
Ellie - A very sad personal story. For others involved with family wills and power of attorney decision, it’s a very cautionary tale.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman disgusted with her brother, 48, who doesn’t work (Feb. 22):
Reader – “Mental health issues are a huge burden. Parents and siblings need the support of their friends and family to help troubled individuals become healthy, independent members of our society.
“Mental health care needs better financial support. Psychological support isn’t readily available. High-schools offer nothing. Universities provide token support of one appointment per month, if you’re lucky.
“Maybe information about possible mental stress conditions would help this sibling understand her brother and help him find a more constructive life.
“Good mental healthcare and family support can make a world of difference.”
Ellie – She and her mother should start with getting him a health check for a possible diagnosis and treatment. He needs pro-active, caring help for his moods and likely depression.
Meanwhile, he’s facing mental stress from her strong disapproval, along with a history of family members simply labelling him.
Tip of the day:
When someone’s likely a serious danger to you emotionally, avoid any contact.