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Question
Posted by: Kenaia | 2008/01/28

how to cope with my insecure daughter

Long story short. the father of my child left us at the beginning of last year stating that he was first bisexual but now realised he is gay. He has written her off and told me he doesnt want to see her so that he doesn't have to pay maintenance. He was always aggresive and abusive towards me and my child. We constantly fought. He'd always do it in front of her no matter how much I begged him to do while we were alone. So was always hiding behind me. We were never allowed to go out etc. We were always together never apart. now she is stuck on me. she follows me everywhere. she screams and cries even when I just go out our home to fetch something in the car. We live in a flat on the third floor. She even follows me to the loo to make sure I'm not leaving her behind. The main story: she's been going to creche since age 1 till now 3 years. but which has been fine til end of last year where she would scream and sob and claw into me because she didnt want to go to school. She would cry from home already saying she doesnt want to go to school but with me to work. I would cry and sob with her then take her home to my mom to look after. This year I havent put her back in creche yet because I can't deal with the traumatic experience again. it's painful and I feel guilty that I have to work. I even get like panic attacks where I can't breathe because it stresses me out. I think it's my fault for introducing a new man in her life altho she has become so fond of him as he plays with her and takes time to bond with her something her father never did. She even cries when he has to work or just go to the shops. We are getting married this year and I'm 3 months pregnant. Have I been selfish and only thought of myself/ I do I fix this that she can go to school without drama and be a happy little girl again?

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Our expert says:
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He HAS to pay maintenance, and this has nothing to do with whether or not he sees her --- its not as though the child charges an admission fee ! See the people at your local Magistrate's / Maintenance COurt and start proceedings to force him to pay maintenance. Don't allow him to evade his responsibilities. His sexual preferences are totally irrelevant to his duties. If indeed he is gay, and nothing about his preferences seems sure, he could still be an excellent parent to the child ; if he is as selfish and uncaring as he sounds, THAT would make him potentially unfit as a parent. His agression, fighting in front of the child, etc., add to this problem. He may have to pay maintenance, but the court may decide he should have limited ot no access to the child.
Sounds, too, as though the child is sufering from anxiety, and some separation anxiety, which is understandable. Is it pratical to take her to see a child shrink for assessment and advice ? Its not YOUR fault, and if this is a loving and caring man you are now involved with, ultimately this will be all to the good.

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