attending grandkids parties etc when abusive ex will be there
HELP!!!!! I need advice!! I've been married twice. First time for 10 yrs with 3 kids and have been divorced for 16 yrs now. He was mentally and physically abusive to both the kids and I. The older two (son 29, daughter 25) remember some of what happened to both them and I, but obviously they don't know everything and I don't think they need to. Some of the abuse I went through were things that I've rarely spoke of if I spoke of them at all. They are things that I would just rather bury and leave alone. When we divorced, he rarely saw the kids while they were growing up, spent som,e time in jail for not paying CS and emancipated them as soon as he was legally able. It wasn't until they were adults that he attempted to have a relationship with them. My 2nd ex were together for 7 years and have been divorced for almost 8 yrs. We had 2 girls 9&12. Our problems were mostly due to his drinking which led to infidelity with a good friend. But after about 11/2 yrs we managed to move on and put our differences aside and put our girls first. He's a good dad, see's the girls on a regular basis, we parent the girls together. On occasion we do things together with the girls as a family, like Great America, taking them to the zoo. I get along great with my ex's family, so we have absolutely no problem sharing holidays and birthdays etc. The problem I'm having is with my older two. Now that they have children of their own they they all of a sudden I should just put the past behind me ( even though we were just in court last Dec. because he didn't want to help with the younger ones college expenses) , not to mention that he stole my car for 3 days last year. ( my son made him give it back) But it has been non stop with him. ( my therapist believes he may be a sociopath) I was really hoping that the last time in court in November would be the last time I would ever have to see him. I would get physically ill when I would have to see him. ( I only saw or talked to him if we went to court in the last 10 or more yrs) I was soooo ready to put that part of my life behind me. But now my older two are very serious that " if I love my grandkids enough I'll let it go" that its" not about me". They said they shouldn't have to go out of their way just because their parents are divorced. I've offered to have another party at my house, another day, all they have to do is come over. I suggested that maybe we alternate b-days. My daughter replied with" when her daughter gets old enough to talk, she'll let her decide who she wants to invite to her party. You would think my kids would be happy that their should never be a reason for their parents to ever have any more reason forconflict. There can be peace now. He has vowed to make my life hell and he does whatever he can to stir the pot regardless of how hard I try to stay away from the fire. I know for a fact he hasn't changed because my younger daughter and her friend witnessed him hit his girlfriend upside the head with a hairbrush. If I went to any events for the grandkids, that means I would have to bring my younger two (12&9) I don't want them anywhere around him. Now of course when my son married I was there, and my daughters graduation, but with bigger events its different because we're talking about a big church/ reception hallaand a football field. So there was quite a bit of distance, I didn't have to even be anywhere close to him. But at my granddghters b-day for instance, it was at his house because my daughters house is too small. On top of all of this, about 5 yrs ago I became very ill with a rare brain disorder. I've had 11surgeries , 5 of them being brain surgeries and facing more. I have absolutely no family around besides my kids. During all this time I remember only twice my daughter helping me. Once she babysat her little sisters a couple hours while I was in the hospital and another time she came over and helped me clean the house. My son, I cannot recall one time him ever helping me at all. Luckily I have very good friends and I'm just stubborn. I have babysat countless times, I took my grandson on vacation with my younger daughters and I, all of the clothes that the kids had were all by me (according to their mom,)all that I would gladly do 100 times over. Yet I just want to stay away from anywhere their dad is going to be and they say to me" its not all about you mom, its about them" I would do just about anything for those babies. But I have to draw the line somewhere. I need some peace in my life now. I deserve to focus on me a little bit know I think, so I can continue to get better. I still have two little girls to raise. I haven't seen my sons kids in a year now and just a few days ago I was told I can't see my daughters baby because I wouldn't attend her b-day party today at her dads (my ex) house. I can't tell you how much it kills me not seeing those babies. But I also can't tell you how many horrible memories this has brought up again that I wanted left alone, forever. I've been dealing with anxiety, hard time sleeping, I don't want this. I have worked too hard to find peace in my life. I've tried talking to them, I know my son still has issues since the divorce. He would do anything to please his dad. And I'm sure my daughter finally feels like she's getting attention from her dad. (She was also diagnosed with bipolar) I'm hoping time will heal things, but I would like to hear your opinions. I found this site and thought this might be a good place to ask. I'm just tired and worn out.