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I think my nephew is being abused (long) - Page 2

post #21 of 47
There are no guarantees that the boy's father won't escalate the violence, particularly if he slips more deeply into substance abuse. Add to that repeating family dynamics (the child who is not the biological relative of both married fathers becomes the scapegoat and target), you are entering the danger zone.

There are *no guarantees* with the brother, unforunately, now either. Especially with his wife passively accepting it, if not fully participating (yet).
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post
I agree, I was abused as a child and never told anyone. If he is telling you, it is SO much worse than you think. It takes a TON for kids to rat out their parents. Maybe you could offer to take him instead of foster care? He is so defenseless, please help him!
This is what I was thinking, if your willing to take it up, maybe bring it up with your brother and say "Hey, I know your having a hard time right now (or are stressed out) maybe I can take (whatever you nephews name is) off your hands for awhile?"

Or bring it up with your nephew, tell him you've got open doors if he ever needs you, your glad he told you what's going on in his life, or willing to help, yada yada yada.

This is just what came to mind when I was reading your post, of course it would take some serious thought, you've got a family of your own ect.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Add to that repeating family dynamics (the child who is not the biological relative of both married fathers becomes the scapegoat and target), you are entering the danger zone.
I'm not sure that it matters, but the OP's brother is the nephew's biological father, and her brother was not the biological son of the man (her father) who smacked him around, according to the OP. So, it's not the same dynamic, although it's still seriously worrying.
post #24 of 47
California will pay family members to take the children. My friends mom ended up with her grandchildren (after YEARS of calling CPS btw) and they were paid to take care of the children. The dad refused to use the money however and put it in savings accounts for the kids. Good thing too!!! Now the newly 18 year old has a steady supply of meth!

Anyway.. Yes they pay, however I am afraid it will take many many calls before anything is done.
post #25 of 47
If it were my brother, I'd call and ask if he needs a break. Tell him that you noticed how stressd he was and that you were really worried about both him and his son. Offer him a break. Don't tell him what his son said about the hitting. He trusted you with that info. Also, if there's no response from your brother, then you'll have to call cps and you don't want your nephew to be the one responsible for cps (by way of telling you). Your brother shouldn't know that his son told...at least not yet.

Hitting a child with cerebral pasley is not meeting his needs. How can he stretch if he could be hit at any moment.

I'm glad you're listening to him.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I'm not sure that it matters, but the OP's brother is the nephew's biological father, and her brother was not the biological son of the man (her father) who smacked him around, according to the OP. So, it's not the same dynamic, although it's still seriously worrying.
I meant both married parents. It IS the same dynamic though. The OP was not smacked around--she was the biological child of both parents in the household. Her brother was--he was only biologically connected to ONE of the parents of the household. Now...his son is getting abused, and is only the bio son of ONE of the parents in the household--while the full-bio-related kids are not being abused (supposedly, or at least not openly--though it has to have an effect seeing your sibling treated that way).
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I'm sorry but you have a 10yo child reporting he is being hit by his primary caretaker? And he's disabled and requires regular OT/PT/Intervention? And you're worried he won't get his needs met if in foster care??

Please call. What a hellish life for that poor kiddo. He's asking for help. If this is what his family life is like in FRONT of you, I can only imagine what horror lies behind those closed doors.

Please. Call.
this. now. please
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I'm sorry but you have a 10yo child reporting he is being hit by his primary caretaker? And he's disabled and requires regular OT/PT/Intervention? And you're worried he won't get his needs met if in foster care??

Please call. What a hellish life for that poor kiddo. He's asking for help. If this is what his family life is like in FRONT of you, I can only imagine what horror lies behind those closed doors.

Please. Call.
This - 100 percent.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniT View Post
California will pay family members to take the children.
calif is in a reaaaaal BAD place these days. many many many programs have been closed down. right now there are no guarantees. i dont know if the snipping has stopped or is there going to be more in future. lots of programs esp. for the elderly (in home elder care) and children have been cut.

so i think its a real wise decision to do some research as OP is planning and see if they can get any leads into the system.

its really pretty scary out here.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
I meant both married parents. It IS the same dynamic though. The OP was not smacked around--she was the biological child of both parents in the household. Her brother was--he was only biologically connected to ONE of the parents of the household. Now...his son is getting abused, and is only the bio son of ONE of the parents in the household--while the full-bio-related kids are not being abused (supposedly, or at least not openly--though it has to have an effect seeing your sibling treated that way).
It's not the same. The nephew's sibling is a half-sibling...his stepmom's son, and not his dad's son. I don't honestly see any way in which it makes a different - the OP's disabled nephew is being treated horribly by his dad, either way. But, it is a different dynamic.

And, yeah - the kids I've known who have had siblings being abused, while they "weren't" being abused were pretty badly messed up, too. In at least one family I know, the emotionally abused (severely) sibling grew up to be a good parent, and the "golden child" sibling was very abusive when he grew up. So...yeah - bad news for everybody.
post #31 of 47
I'm really scared for your nephew that you have decided to call his dad directly while the child is still in his custody. It is very, very likely that the child will get a beating because you called the dad and talked to him-- maybe not immediately, but it will cause the father more stress, and even though he may try harder to be a good dad for an hour or two (or not), the stress and shame will bubble over and he will strike out again. Why? Because one phone call is not going to change him, really. He doesn't WANT to be an abuser. No one does. But he probably justifies it because he doesn't know how to change it. And changing it would take at least months, probably years, and transparency, and outside help. Talking to your brother about anything that makes him feel defensive, is liable to trigger a beating for the boy, either immediately or not too much later. Abusers abuse because of their own shame. And I'm sorry, but I'm not terribly sympathetic to that. There is help available to parents who ask for it. He made his choice. He is now one of the bad guys, as far as I am concerned. :

That poor boy was sooo brave to tell you. Unfortunately, when a child works up the courage to tell a trusted friend, in the real world, it very rarely seems to actually help. Why can't we just make protecting children the VERY BIG DEAL that it needs to be? Please please just call CPS. They are there for just exactly this kind of situation!!!
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
I'm really scared for your nephew that you have decided to call his dad directly while the child is still in his custody. It is very, very likely that the child will get a beating because you called the dad and talked to him-- maybe not immediately, but it will cause the father more stress, and even though he may try harder to be a good dad for an hour or two (or not), the stress and shame will bubble over and he will strike out again. Why? Because one phone call is not going to change him, really. He doesn't WANT to be an abuser. No one does. But he probably justifies it because he doesn't know how to change it. And changing it would take at least months, probably years, and transparency, and outside help. Talking to your brother about anything that makes him feel defensive, is liable to trigger a beating for the boy, either immediately or not too much later. Abusers abuse because of their own shame. And I'm sorry, but I'm not terribly sympathetic to that. There is help available to parents who ask for it. He made his choice. He is now one of the bad guys, as far as I am concerned. :

That poor boy was sooo brave to tell you. Unfortunately, when a child works up the courage to tell a trusted friend, in the real world, it very rarely seems to actually help. Why can't we just make protecting children the VERY BIG DEAL that it needs to be? Please please just call CPS. They are there for just exactly this kind of situation!!!
This is her brother, who she loves and is able to talk to. She shares a past with him and can surely talk with him before bringing cps into his life. CPS isn't going to remove the child and it can only serve to make her brother paranoid and feel less supported than he does now. He needs to talk, he needs support and options. I think the OP can help. I know if it were my brother, I'd call and have that difficult conversation, while leaving out what the boy told. I don't see this being a case for cps. It's a very stressed out family, a father working very long hours and dealing with a handicapped child. I'm sure he's not working 14 hour days for his health...probably money is tight and with a new marriage....It just sounds stressfull all around. She's not doing a disservice to her nephew by calling his dad. She already said it's not likely to be considered abuse by the authorities anyway.

It's all too easy to call cps and dust off your hands. That would be the disservice IMO.
post #33 of 47
I haven't read replies, but I just wanted to say, first, that that is just heartbreaking and I'm so sorry your nephew is in this situation, and sorry for your brother, too.

I also wanted to mention my CPS experience. I called them in a situation I felt was fairly dire. A friend of mine told me that she was *seriously* beating her husband up. Like, she had literally blinded him in one eye in ten years worth of beatings. And she was saying things to me like, "my son is pushing my butttons now just like his father" and also she told me that she was beating her husband which I think was a real cry for help. So I called CPS and they did a big fat nothing. They acted on the phone to me like this was a big deal thing and that it was going to go on the 24 hour fast track, etc. And then a big fat nothing. They did interview her then 4 year old son at school and he told her and she freaked out and I think that may have been a good thing for the family. Kept her on her toes at least for a while I'm sure. But they never went further with it.

So, before you call I'd think a little about how it'll be if they don't do anything. Will your brother ever talk to you again? Will you feel like you aren't able to help some other way now that he won't let you come around? etc... You may decide that it's worth the call. In my case it was. I still, over a year later, miss my friend and her son A LOT. But in my situation there was no way we could still hang out. We had same aged children and there was no way I was going to keep exposing my child to her family situation once I knew what was going on there. And just the scare did seemingly do a little something for them (I was told that they consulted a lawyer who told them they all needed to be in therapy, and some other stuff). So I think it was best that I called. It may be best for you to call too, but I'm just saying think about all the possible outcomes beforehand and don't assume, even if you say he is hitting your nephew, that they'll do anything. I'm not even sure it is stricktly against the law to hit and shame him, unfortunately (anyone know?). It may be that the behavior you're talking about is totally above board as far as CPS is concerned. I found your story heartbreaking, but they may not.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
calif is in a reaaaaal BAD place these days. many many many programs have been closed down. right now there are no guarantees. i dont know if the snipping has stopped or is there going to be more in future. lots of programs esp. for the elderly (in home elder care) and children have been cut.

so i think its a real wise decision to do some research as OP is planning and see if they can get any leads into the system.

its really pretty scary out here.
This is true. I have been gone 5 years, and man I have NO DESIRE to return. I can't believe what they raised the state income tax to. Wow!

Yes.. do your research to see if the program has been cut, even though it was there in the past.
post #35 of 47
One of our dd was in foster care in California when we got her.

They jumped through hoops to get bio parents services, and with the shortage they are facing right now, they are going to make sure they push for "family preservation" And they can offer services to your brother. (Anger managment, AA, ect) It is hard to have a special needs kiddo sometimes, and maybe he has some issues he needs to talk to someone and work out.

I am not saying call CPS. But you need to do something. Your nephew is reaching out to you for a reason.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
calif is in a reaaaaal BAD place these days. many many many programs have been closed down. right now there are no guarantees. i dont know if the snipping has stopped or is there going to be more in future. lots of programs esp. for the elderly (in home elder care) and children have been cut.

so i think its a real wise decision to do some research as OP is planning and see if they can get any leads into the system.

its really pretty scary out here.
While it's true California is in an awful place with their budget and everything, you really can't make a decision about what to do based on not knowing what kind of services he'll get - you can't assume that because of the budget he won't get good service through child welfare.

I work for CPS in a state where the recession has hit us really really hard as well and I can tell you that how it's affected specific offices/regions in the state varies all over the state.

It is a dire time, and even in the best of times you could end up with a lousy CPS response. But I really hope you'll decide what is best to do based on what you think the best approach is, knowing your brother, nephew, and the situation. If you need to call CPS I hope you'll still call. If you need to talk to your brother first, do that. But be careful of thinking you know the level and quality of service you'll get if you call CPS, because there are so many variables beyond the budget.
post #37 of 47
Wow. I am astonished at some of these replies. I REALLY HOPE you have not called CPS yet...I haven't had time to finish the thread.

Even non-disabled children get abused in foster care ALL THE TIME. Including being raped, or beaten to death, or caged, or starved. Disabled children suffer even more abuse since they require more care and are less able to defend themselves. There is NO WAY that anyone here can guarantee that this child's needs will be met even remotely by foster care.

Further, you said yourself that you think your brother would be amenable to change!!!! So tell him! I think a letter or email would be the best way, since it is less confrontational and you can very kindly but firmly let him know the truth which will make it even easier for him to accept and deal with.

Calling CPS before being frank with your brother would, in my opinion, serve no one's best interest.
post #38 of 47
While I feel like I'm in the twilight zone or something for disagreeing with Tigerchild , I would talk to him before you call CPS too. I'd approach it as "you seem really stressed out, how can I help?" and stay in that place until he comes around and gets help. If he won't go there, or just gets defensive or angry, THEN it's time to call CPS, and I wouldn't hesitate. Your sister sounds like a great resource for you to let him know what is available to him in terms of respite care, counseling, etc. Can you talk to the gf at all, or did she say anything or indicate in any way that she felt like there was anything wrong?

This sounds very much like a fixable situation, but only if he sees that it needs fixing -- maybe you talking to him about what you saw will be the heads up he needs? If not, you can always call CPS, but it seems like the added stress of that might compound the situation, and seems like a... not a LAST resort, necessarily, but a second resort, perhaps...

to you, this is a really hard situation. stick with it until you see a good outcome, and good for you for protecting your nephew...
post #39 of 47
Foster parents have the needs of the child at heart. He would only go to a family that could accomodate all of his needs. This is heartbreaking. I don't know if the abuse here is extreme enough to take him out of care (this is an extreme measure) but they would intervene and have your brother held accountable. The fact is he CAN NOT treat his son anyway he chooses and they can let him know that. It also may be a wake up call for him. He may not realize the extent of what he is doing. I think a call is in order. Rather then writting a letter which may isolate him further from you. He may just think you have no idea what it is like parenting a special needs child and you can't tell him what to do after spending a few days with them. I would let the professionals handle it. Their primary objective is to HELP families not tear them apart or take children away.
post #40 of 47
Just pointing out that nowhere did I say that CPS should or should not be called right away--just that for all the people wringing their hands about what "might" happen in foster care, that there are no "guarantees"...well, there aren't a whole hell of a lot of guarantees with the status quo either.

I don't know why people have this idea in their heads that only monsters abuse their own children. That is a false assumption (though it serves us very well to automatically categorize them as 'other' and subhuman). The blunt truth is that MANY abusers do not start out being conscious or desirous of the evil environment that they end up creating. It happens over time. And yeah, it does happen with people who are otherwise lovable or who we love. Many family members sit on their donkeys and do NOTHING until things escalate out of control because they think that if they call their sibling/parent/cousin/friend on their abuse that that means that person is a monster or can't be redeemed. Life is a little more complex than that.

Many people who abuse their children are deeply hurt themselves, are deeply in denial (especially with 'minor' things, that wouldn't rise to the level of Andrea Yates or other news story), but because they feel like total crap for what they are doing it drives them even further in denial. It doesn't help that most of the time other people are willing to coddle them because of the Big Bad CPS and Evil Foster Parent images. It's so frustrating to me to hear people say, "Oh, it's not that bad, gasp anything but CPS!" That to me is just as horrific and creates just as much suffering for children as the stereotype of "Well, if CPS took the kids away that person MUST be an evil monster and of course they don't ever deserve to have their children back!"

OP, I am sorry, but your beloved brother IS abusing his child. By definition he (and his wife, IMO) ARE child abusers. However, that doesn't have to be a permanent label. Much of the damage can be mitigated and future damage prevented if there is intervention *now*. The longer you wait to see if it will get bettter--it won't. The longer the parents are accustomed to treating your nephew like this *with impunity*, the more likely they are to continue. And I certainly don't believe that either one of them have to be horrible people--they're just human, and it sounds like life is stressful, and it also sounds like your brother may have more work to do at healing his own wounds from the past. It's true that some abused children are able to springboard into good parenting on their own--but for many of us, what it really means is that we must fight against EVERY instinct we have, with less coping ability and a much lower rage threshold than many other parents, and if even normally raised people have moments of loss of control and doing things they always said they wouldn't (whether a swat or a yell or whatever)...how would anyone expect someone who was raised with fear, domination, shaming, and physical/emotional terror to be any different? And it's very easy then for us to say, "OMG I effed up, I am just like my parent, I am evil and horrible" and enter a downward spiral. Like the fat person on a diet who has something they "shouldn't" and then goes on a week long binge.

That's why it's so crucial that there be some interruption to this cycle. And whether that comes from CPS or a family intervention, or whatever--I really could care less, so long as it happens. If you cannot, because you are too far away or familiarity has bred contempt, then *IMO* you MUST involve others.
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