Barricading The Door: When The Monster That Terrifies A 4 Year-Old Is Daddy

Daddy's Coming!

Children And Divorce Wars: When The Monster At The Door Is Daddy

When a 4 year-old starts barricading the front door with his toys and the small pieces of furniture that his tiny body can carry or push, even pillows from the couch, and cries, "I won't let him in! I will kill him!", most would think the preschooler is afraid of a monster. When that monster is daddy, divorce wars are taking their toll and another beautiful child is being destroyed. And daddy doesn't give a shit!

This happens in divorces where children have lived with domestic abuse, whether it is emotional or physical. Any domestic spousal abuse is also child abuse because kids hear and see everything, even if the parents think they are hiding it.

A controlling, abusive spouse does not suddenly lose the need to control or abuse when divorce proceedings begin. On the contrary, his sick need to control becomes even stronger and it then, more often than not, directly affects the kids. The abuse takes an even uglier turn: the abuser wants to punish, and many times the only way he can punish is to use the kids as weapons. He takes the kids, hides them from their mother and tells them they are never going to see their mom again. When questioned by the kids, he says, "It's none of your business. Don't ask me again!"

The older child is terrified to ask, because she has witnessed the horror of the fights and the abuse of her mom for years. She has stood at the base of the stairs at midnight, trying to be invisible, when the police have arrived. She has seen and heard it all. She is the one that during the fights, would go to her baby brother's room and take him to her room so that she could protect him, if she needed to. She learned not to ask, to stay as invisible as possible.

She also learned to agree with everything the abuser said. She had seen what happened to her mom when mom disagreed. So, she pretended. She was the good girl, the "yes, daddy", girl. Except that, to other people, she told the horrible truth.

The 4 year-old has heard the fights, too. He has heard the foul names that his dad has called mom. He has even heard dad call him an idiot, a jerk. Hopefully, he hasn't heard when dad said he should have never been born.

So The Monster At The Door Abuses The Restraining Order Process

Daddy decides to abuse the restraining order process and lies. He says that the mother is a danger to him and the children. But the restraining order is not really what he wants, because then the abuser loses contact with the spouse he needs to abuse. He still needs to control, to punish, to torture, but he needs to see the torture happen.

Obeying the restraining order means that he may not contact the spouse; he may not see the spouse. Because of his need to control, he drops the restraining order. The kids are allowed to see their mom again, stay with her, and the whole time, he is back in control. If he doesn't like the way the spouse smiles on a particular day, if he doesn't like what she says, if he has had a bad day at work, he again threatens to take the kids forever. He tells the spouse that he is going to file another restraining order.

The process begins anew and the older child hides in her room. The 4 year-old ends up barricading the door so that an abusive father can't take him from his mother. The 4 year-old baby says he will kill his dad. Daddy is now their monster, too.

When The Abuser Files A Restraining Order

Restraining order abuse is at an all time high in the state of California and sometimes the very orders that have been used by victims of domestic violence are used against the victims by their abusers. It is a dirty little game of revenge that the abuser plays. Abusers don't like to be labeled; they don't like to be found out, so they pretend that they are victims. They don't even have to disclose that they have been convicted of domestic violence.

A recent commenter to a Huffington Post article even suggests that men should abuse the system: "Make wildly unjustifiable claims of abuse against the woman. Most, if not all judges sign the protection order to protect themselves from political fallout...not the...victim from actual abuse."

To All Monsters At The Door

Daddy Dearest!

Your kids are going to rat you out! They already have! They are going to tell the judge that you are the monster at the door. They have already spilled their guts to relatives, friends and teachers, and together, we are going to rise up and expose you for the controlling, abusive coward that you really are!

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Comments 3 comments

Chewy Mommy 4 years ago

It's so sad that some kids have to go through this. No child should have to live life fearing a parent. Good article and you brought light to a big problem that exists behind closed doors.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 4 years ago from northeastern US

hi, jillian,

i thought most judges were pretty good at seeing through these things. i guess some don't take the time. thanks for shining a light on this form of abuse.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA Author

There is restraining order abuse on both sides, but the newest and most maddening trend is abusive men trying to pull a fast one. The abuse happens because often there is no proof necessary when filing a restraining order. It is an almost automatic assumption of guilt. This "hypothetical" case is based on the premise that "this monster at the door" has already been convicted of domestic violence once.

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