I found your lost post in my old email so I am going to repost it and respond, if that is ok.
Hey Kate, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I can put my feet up at last. Sam. He does need to continue with his therapy, I must address it again. I left him at lunch time hopefully studying. When I next saw him he was helping D move the new fridge into place. When I came up the stairs Poppy was sitting crying, I crouched down and put my arms around her. Both Sam and D told me she didn't deserve comfort, I should hear it from them. All I wanted to do was make her feel better, not find out what happened in the first instance. She had apparently been asked to help wash and dry parts of the fridge. Sam dropped something and it broke, I don't know what happened after that, but Poppy didn't want to help anymore and went to sit down. I can imagine there was lots of abusive language, Poppy said she was spoken to really badly by both Sam and D for not wanting to help, and she was so upset she was sick. It took a while for her to settle down, but I didn't get to the bottom of it all before she went to see a friend (I think she wanted to get out of the house for a while.) Sam continues to help D move the FF, and has to do things D's way, even though Sam's suggestions are more intelligent. Once the FF is in place D goes out and I have supper ready for the kids and me. Sam is unable to eat. He says he's not hungry. He is up, pacing about, looking in the fridges for something else to eat (he says he feels bad he can't eat what I have prepared, but I say it's fine, have what you fancy) He makes some toast. He cries. I say please tell me what's wrong. He says he's just had a shit stressful day. I say what has happened? Nothing specific. Really mum it's nothing , I'm just stressed. He's just not coping well. He has an exam tomorrow. He's been out for a couple of hours, just back with some friends. I'm sure there will be cannabis. He's just come down to ask me if I can pick him up from college tomorrow after his exam. I wasn't thrilled about a second trip to town tomorrow, but I relented quickly before he escalated again. I wonder if Concerta has side effects like this, I'd better check it out. Thank you for the stress link. Wow, there's a lot there (for me too!)I'll email it to Sam too so he can read it. They had a talk about stress at college a week or so ago, he said he related to so much of what was being said. I will definitely encourage the counselling again. I am worrying now about the extra stress that the divorce papers will put on the kids. There will be no way that D will keep them to himself, or just want to talk to me about them. At least Sam has 3 weeks before his next exam, and only one subject at college until his exams are over, and a week off (half term holiday). I shall put the signed forms in the post tomorrow, without D's signature on the children's arrangement form. Mark can send it to him with the divorce petition. I feel terrible that I'm not discussing it with him, and that he will have a real shock when it comes in the post. I really feel I should tell him. I think Mark is expecting me to. K says not to if it will make me more stressed, or likely have a bad reaction from D (what else can I expect?) Work with Kitty was good, went smoothly today. I had a quiet session with Adele, it's all very vague in my memory. But we talked a bit about my emotional tool box being rather empty, I wasn't given a very good set to use in my childhood, and that is why I am struggling so much now. She said I am very high on...something to do with hyper vigilance..... and low on self-soothing (as you have told me), the rest I forget. She said she was thinking today of referring me for a 12 week course of specific therapy to build on self worth and other stuff that I forget (that is so annoying). She was very encouraging that I should sign and post. She said last week as I was sitting on her cushions talking about me in my room, and that I stay in my room and don't sit in the lounge, and then we talked about D not being there, and she watched me change from being tightly closed into myself, to taking a deep breath and spreading myself out as if he was giving me room to breathe and I felt I could move about and be comfortable and relaxed. I'd forgotten I did that. Adele was lovely, I struggled to express myself, but she seems to know what I want to say. She hasn't told me that our time is almost up. I asked her in an email last week how many sessions we could have, but she didn't read my email before seeing me last week, and I didn't ask her directly. I don't know if the NHS has a limit on session numbers. I guess I should ask her again. She gave me a big big hug at the end of our session, she didn't want to let me go! She said I'm doing really well, and being brave. It was still lovely sunny and warm when I left Adele, and I didn't feel I wanted to go straight home (if I had I would have caught the row at home), so I sat on a bench on the lawn of the therapy house, surrounded by mature trees. I'd like to say it was peaceful, but chainsaws rarely are, but it was peaceful in a way, with the surroundings, and I just sat, for half an hour, sometimes with tears, sometimes just with a blank mind, enjoying the new young leaves on the copper beech and oak trees. Monkey puzzle trees are bizarre, they are not one that I'd wish in my garden! D is out Morris Dancing! there's always plenty of beer, and he's taken my car:( Poppy's back now, I need to talk to her a find out if she's OK from what went on earlier. Tomorrow I see my chiropractor. I do believe that I am feeling some benefit at last, I have been able to bend over more easily, and can almost pick up a basket of washing without making an unpleasant noise!! Really really tired. I can't believe it's that late. Goodnight Kate, and thank you again :) Hope you are OK Til tomorrow Rose
It sounds like Sam and Poppy both were suffering from the abuse Dave dishes out. Here is how it should have gone instead:
Dave- Can I have some help with the new FF?
Poppy and Sam- Ok
Poppy- I'm a bit tired.
Dave- That is ok. Just help as much as you can and maybe you could rest then help us move the food in the new FF when we are ready.
Poppy- Sounds good, Dad. Thanks
Then on from there. But that is not what Dave does. What Dave does is dominate and abuse. You mentioned yourself that Sam had many good suggestions as to how to accomplish the job. What could have happened instead is Dave could have seen Sam's efforts and made a choice to incorporate some of them into the move. Then Sam would have gained self confidence and felt like a man. And Dave would have showed Sam how a man handles such situations. But instead, that is not what Sam got. Both kids were abused and end up in tears and frustrated. Worse, Sam is learning that it is ok to yell and scream at Poppy, making her feel ganged up on. It's a nightmare situation each time Dave is involved.
You were right to comfort Poppy. She may not have done her part, but she didn't deserve how she was treated in response. Dave should have tried with her then gave her a fair punishment that did not involve verbally abusing her. That is appropriate. And Sam was hurting because of being yelled at by Dave and demeaned. So he turns to drugs and his friends to block it all out.
I see why you feel the divorce will add stress to the kids' lives, but it is also a blessing in disguise. They will no longer be in Dave's direct path, which would help a lot with how they feel. They would finally have the freedom to be themselves and start working on what is bothering them, without additional abuse being heaped on them all the time. The longer they are with Dave, the worse off they are.
Telling Dave ahead of time is up to you. Only you know what it is like with him. But I agree with K, at least in how it looks from the outside. It's only going to upset Dave knowing those papers are on their way and he will target you with his feelings. It may be better to let him get the papers then prepare yourself for his response. Any chance you can get him out of the home once the papers are served? Or at least start the ball rolling? Do you think having someone there who can take Dave in or a relative of yours might help? Having some sort of plan will help your anxiety and provide you and the kids protection if he does go off. And don't forget, calling the police would handle both problems at one time. You can protect yourself and get Dave out of the home. So if he does anything remotely abusive, call immediately.
It sounds like your session with Adele went very well! It is common to forget what you do in therapy because you are so busy with thinking everything through and trying to work with your feelings that you are more than distracted. You could ask Adele if you can tape the sessions, that might help. And it would be good for later if you feel upset. You could also take notes right afterwards so you catch the main points.
I could not agree more with Adele about your hyper vigilance and low on the self soothing. You are too used to being abused and it has caused you to live on the edge all the time. Working on increasing your emotional tools is going to go a long way to helping you recover from what you have been through. The stress link could be a good start for you, if you want. You can try one thing (don't overwhelm yourself!) and incorporate it into your day. If you feel you need more time, do it for a week or so, until you feel you have mastered it. Then move on from there. I can help you find more ways to fill that emotional tool box if you want.
I agree with Adele, it is hard to let you go! I enjoy our talks so much. And I feel like we haven't chatted in ages. I hope things work out for you and we can keep going. I think they will.
I hope you are having a good day today. I will be on for a while in case you can talk. If not, I'll check back later.