Finding a Father for My Daughter

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Finding A Father For My Daughter

When my child was a few months old I left her biological Father. I was married and very unhappy. When I first met Sylvia’s dad he was charming and sweet and our first year of marriage was really great. We lived in the Island of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean.

We had little money, I was isolated from family and friends but was more than happy to do what my husband suggested. I loved the simple life and there really was no room or need for me to go anywhere on my own.

We did everything together including working in our shop selling jandals, Tongan donuts and other items to locals.


When we moved back to New Zealand life changed. I was back to reality, back to the world I knew and living the way I knew best. I finally graduated as a teacher and began earning a good income.

Being married to a Tongan with poor family members overseas placed pressure on the family. We often sent my earnings overseas to my mother in law to help her get by and would collect clothes and items to send to the family.

I really didn’t mind helping but at the end of the day we needed to put our family first. After undergoing fertility treatment to have a child I became pregnant and things in my marriage began to change.

I was the provider, my husband was needy and somewhat co-dependent and he could not cope with the fact I was unwell during pregnancy. This placed undue pressure on us.

My husband began to act out. He would go play rugby and not return until early hours of the morning, instead choosing to drink Kava, a Tongan stimulant made from a native plant.

Whilst I was growing a child inside me, my husband was escaping any responsibility. He could not deal with the fact I loved someone or something more or equal to him.

He needed my full attention and when I was too unwell to give it, he acted out in violence.

The first time this happened was a shock to me. I was home feeling sick, eating ginger biscuits and watching TV.

The next thing I know my husband came home. He was not happy with me and my choices.

He did not think I should eat a biscuit during pregnancy. He picked up the tv and smashed it on the ground.

He punched a hole in the wall and when I tried to charge my phone he grabbed the scissors and cut my charger in half.

My husband began intimidating me in order to regain the power and control he had lost when I became pregnant.

At 20 Weeks of pregnancy, we were in a car crash. Someone without a license, registration or wing mirrors crashed into our car. We had a pigeon in the car at the time which died instantly.

We had been taking it to my dad. The crash caused me to bleed and I ended up in hospital pleading that I would not lose my child.

I stayed in hospital for some time and over the months I developed gestational diabetes and cholostasis of the liver. I was told there was a high chance of still birth.

I then spent the remainder of my pregnancy in and out of hospital being monitored until they decided to induce me early.

In May 2008, after a 3 day labour my beautiful baby girl was born. I knew what I wanted to call my child but my husband said no. Eventually I agreed upon a name he wanted.

However Sylvia was the name of my grandmother and I kept that quiet allowing him to think he had full control of her name.

After my daughter was born things were tough. I was physically unwell, had no support or help and was living far away from my own family.

My Mother in law wanted to come to New Zealand to help with the baby. I thought it would be a good idea.

I’d get support and we would not have to send money to Tonga any more. When my now X-mother in law arrived in the country she took over the care of my baby.

It was suggested I return to work to support the family and baby Sylvia stay home with grandma. I really didn’t want to go back to work so soon but I really did not have much choice.

After a few weeks I decided enough was enough. I wanted to be a stay at home mother. I wanted to care for my baby myself and I told my husband he needed to be the one to provide. My mother in law was not happy.

My husband was not pleased and the abuse that had started during my pregnancy returned. My husband began to control everything I did. He decided when I showered, what I wore, where I went and what I did.

This happened gradually and the more I fought it, the tougher things became. Things got difficult and physical abuse slowly began to enter the marriage.

It really was a game of power and control, when I conformed to my husband’s demands, he treated me great. When I tried to do my own thing I was punished, intimidated and abused.

The physical abuse did not take place in front of my baby but she could feel something was not right.

Sylvia was only 5 months old but my mother in law would take her away from me all the time. It was as if she was the child’s mother and I was nobody.

I remember having an argument over caring for Sylvia. My husband spat on me and when I asked him why, he said baby Sylvia wanted daddy to spit on mummy.

The next day, he began swinging Sylvia at my head. He was doing it in a way that her legs would kick my face.

Again he said, baby Sylvia wants to kick mummy in the face. I was broken and needed to escape with my child. I needed to get out and get out fast.

I had taken the abuse for a few months but I would not allow anyone to use my child in that way.

Things got really nasty and I planned my escape. I could not just walk out. I needed to pack, to contact my family and ask for help but I was not allowed to use the phone. It took planning and preparation to get myself ready to leave.

I waited until the weekend when my now X-husband and his mother used my car to go to a rugby game. I called my parents, packed all the essentials and my baby’s things and left.

I left a lot behind and eventually underwent legal proceedings to get full custody of my child and a protection order.

I won’t go into all the details and the story does not end there, but, I was free for sometime and able to begin raising my baby on my own in the right way, in a safe and secure environment and in a happy home.

When Sylvia was a baby I moved to the UK to give her a safer and better life. After she turned five I married John. John has never once been abusive or mean to me or my child.

He is a diamond in the rough, a gem and the best thing to happen to us. Life is not perfect.

I developed a chronic illness, Adrenal Insufficiency four years ago but we are happy. My daughter now has the most amazing father. John and Sylvia are inseparable.

They love one another and he is the only father she has ever known. I’m glad Sylvia has the opportunity to grow up with a loving dad who can care for her and protect her and demonstrate the way a daughter and mother should be treated.

John is one in a million and a great find.

Angela x

Angela x

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  1. Wow, what a powerful story and a terrible situation you were in. It is always amazing how such charming men can turn into evil, manipulative and physically abusive partners. I am so glad you and Sylvia got away and you have finally found someone who deserves you. Pen x

    1. Thanks. Sometimes abuse does not start until your way into the relationship. I’m glad I got away and thanks for taking the time to read this. ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate it.

  2. What an awful position you were in. At least you weren’t still in Tonga where you may have find it even harder to leave. It makes me so angry that some men feel that they the right to treat their partner like this and your ex mother in laws behaviour is equally dispicable. I imagine it took a lot of strength and courage to leave and a hard few months immediately afterwards. I am so pleased you got out when you did.

    1. It was so difficult. I wan’t to write more about this so it can help others in similar situations.

  3. Oh that must have been awful for you. I’m so glad you managed to escape and have met a man who can be a good partner to you and Dad to Sylvia

  4. These stories need to be shared. Not everyone realises that controlling behaviour is abusive or that it can lead to further abuse.x

    1. yes , if one person reads this and realises they are being mistreated and gets the courage to get out then it will have benefited one life!

  5. Oh wow, thanks for opening up and sharing your story with us, my mum was in a similar position after she had my brother <3

  6. You are such a brave lady to have gone through such an awful experience and had the courage to help your self get out of it. I wish you all the best and pray that you have lots of happiness with your new partner and daughter.

  7. Wow, what an emotional blogpost! It’s really terrible what happened to you and I’m glad you realized something has to change. And you took action towards a happier life for you and your daughter. Glad it ended in a happy life ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m glad too. It can be so easy to go back and I need to share so people know how hard it is and what can happen when you put yourself first.

  8. Well done in telling your story, maybe it’s new baby tiredness, but I was in tears reading. I can’t imagine what that must have been like, but am so glad you escaped X

  9. Oh gosh I’m so sorry you had to go through this. You are very brave though. You got yourself and you baby out safely. Now you live happily and have found someone who loves and cares for you both!

    1. yes and he is amazing. It is so hard to leave abusive relationships, especially when you have a child as you can feel guilty for breaking a family or taking a child away from a father but at the end of the day…it was his actions which lead to the choices I had to make so I don’t feel bad at all.

    1. Thanks. It’s not always so easy and I’ve seen other women who have been unable to get out and that is so sad.

  10. What an awful situation you were in and how wonderful that you had the strength to leave. It can only be a positive thing for your daughter to see how women should be treated and that she has a positive role male model. Does she have any contact with her birth father?

    1. We have tried to have contact ..only in writing, not face to face but sadly I did have to end that as he began using emotional abuse towards me again. I did want him to have a relationship with her but he has not changed and I have to put her wellbeing first.

      1. Absolutely. And you have to be mindful that in the future she may want contact and he begins to be abusive towards her too. What a horrible situation. You’ve done absolutely the right thing by cutting off contact. Best wishes.

  11. Incredible story. You are a very courageous woman yourself. Some don’t make that decision. It’s hard. But I am so happy you guys are good.

  12. Gosh, what a story you’ve lived and I am in bye of your strength and determination to change despite the abuse you were suffering. Your life story reads like a novel, and I’m so sorry you had to go through it but you’ve also shown that you can change, that no one has the right to abuse or bully another human being and that something amazing can come reno something so awful
    John sounds amazing. Xx

    1. Thanks Tracey. It has been a crazy life and I have so much to write. I think it would make a good novel.

  13. It must have seemed idyllic living on a tropical island like that and how horrifying for it to have all gone so wrong. No-one should have to go through that treatment. So glad you are free and safe now.

  14. What a beautiful post, Angela. Thank-you for being brave and sharing part of your story. I too was in an abusive marriage for more years than I care to admit. Just like yours it starts slowly, gradually .. you think “If I do this, it will be better” It’s not. “If I do that, it will be ok” It’s not. I know the guts it takes to leave and I applaud you for it. There are indeed good men in this world, and I’m so glad you found someone who loves both you and Sylvia. x

    1. Thanks Alison. It’s true, you do hope and pray they will change and it is so hard but it always happens over and over.

  15. This was awful to read and made me think of my older children’s dad. He wasn’t physically abusive but he scared me and I think there was the potential as he used to hit furniture and walls. He couldn’t cope with not being my priority and had mental health issues. He threatened suicide many times so I felt trapped.
    I am lucky enough that he moved away and has cut off all contact, he refuses to pay any child support and leaves a job as soon as any orders are organised.
    I am incredibly lucky that I have found my new partner Chris. He finds it tough being a dad but is brilliant and now they think of him as their real dad

  16. It sounds like you have found a great father for Sylvia. My eldest’s dad was very violent too and made our life hell for years, I was so glad when I left him and met someone else many years later who is like a father to my daughter x

  17. Oh Angela… Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have been through so much. I am so so happy you managed to get away from that awful man. He was an absolute monster and his mum sure sounds like a woman who would raise an abuser. God is good and He looked after you <3 I am so happy you now have a happy marriage and your gorgeous girl has the best daddy. So incredibly proud of you! You're one human human and super mumma!
    xox Nadia

  18. Sorry to hear what you had gone through, and so glad that now you have found the perfect man for your and your daughter.

  19. You have been through such a tough time, it’s hard to imagine how awful it must have been for you ๐Ÿ™ It’s pretty incredible that you had the strength to fight back and escape. Having a wonderful Dad for Sylvia must have meant so much to you after being treated so badly, I’m very glad that things have worked out for you.

  20. My gosh, you have been through SO MUCH. You are such a beautiful, brave woman.
    I truly hope you are proud of yourself as you are truly amazing.

    You’ve done so well for your daughter & your husband sounds amazing, perfect dad for Sylvia x

    1. Sadly there way too many single mums and not always through the fault of their own either. But with this post, it shows there is still hope out there.


  21. Such a lovely honest post! It’s horrible that you had to go through such a terrible thing but such a lovely ending! Really glad you, John and Sylvia are happy ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Such a sad beginning and a happy ending. I am so happy for you and Sylvia and I am dmso glad you left thatvtixic relationship alive. Many are not so lucky

  23. oh Angela, I am so sorry you went through all of that! People on the outside always say – its easy just leave them,,, but when he’s isolating you from contact with the outside world, its hard to let anyone see or know what’s really happening! John sounds like a true gent and I am so happy you got the happily ever after that we all deserve!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

  24. I am so sorry this happened to you and your baby. It makes me so happy knowing you both survived and are thriving. I have adrenal deficiency too and it is awful, but it sounds like you have a phenomenal support system! Sending all loves and hugs to you and your new family!!

  25. Such an inspiring article for me! I have been to these situations and trust me you don’t want to face it again! so good to know that you are facing all these firmly. Good luck! god bless ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. You are strong and brave woman. This such another inspiring story to read! Many and are not so lucky, but the sad story has been done already, and the new beginning of your new life starts with john right now.

  27. it’s very weirdd my names sylvia and im part tongan and i kinda look like your daughter and i had a abusive story kinda thing too

  28. My Lord! I am emotionally affected by your story. Glad you got a chance to leave them behind. It’s a good fight, a fight not only for you but your daughter. I hope the women who went through this ordeal has the will to say enough. Bless you, Angela!

    1. It is a true and emotional story. I am glad we moved on but it is important to speak out about this.

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