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mama's instinct - wwyd? (long) - Page 4

post #61 of 116
Can you help M to develop a healthy relationship with your daughter? Can you teach him how to behave appropriately with her? Is there a way to gently help him see that there are boundaries you would like him to respect?

NO! NO! and NO!

His obsessiveness has already gone way too far. He thinks he knows her better than you do. He cannot interact with other people when she is around. He needs more and more from her. You see in their relationship a "sickness waiting to thrive." That is exactly what the many mamas who have posted before me see too. This obsession is not healthy for your daughter or M. You are not doing him any favors by enabling this relationship and you are ABSOLUTELY putting your daughter at risk. I am not saying you are throwing your daughter in front of a train but you are letting her play on the tracks and that train isn't going to be able to stop.

M doesn't let go of topics very well. Right now his favorite topic is your daughter. He is not going to let go of her very well. You asked WWYD? I would leave quickly. I would only explain that living there right now didn't feel right for myself and my daughter. Make a clean break. I would beg and borrow my way out of there. Is it fair? No. Would I mourn what my living situation could have been? Yes. Is it easy to pick up and leave your home? No. Is it worth it? A thousand times yes.
post #62 of 116
wow, hippiemama...



i don't have any advice at all, i just feel so awful for you. i can see that you are trying so hard to do the right thing. wishing you strength and wisdom to do it, whatever it is.

post #63 of 116
I don't know this man, and I haven't read all the thread, just your first page and the 3rd and 4th. I have to agree, yes, you have an instinctual urge to do something, and I will always advise to follow an instinct.

However, I have issue with the judgement this man who is unable to defend himself has had put upon him in this thread. It makes me feel ill, actually. I know intellectually impaired/socially inept men who gravitate to innocents and they mean the reverse of HARM. Many people are scared of my next door neighbour who is a very scary looking person - a la elephant man - and he has had judgements placed upon him his whole life. He has had parents whip their children away for breathing the same air because he seems a threat.

The children he has been allowed relationships with, including myself as a child and now my daughter are only enriched by his close - if strange - attention. It has broken my heart my whole life the treatment he has had to face.

Something to keep in mind - the person most likely to "interfere" with a child is the person who SEEMS least likely to. When a man is very open with his affections this doesn't mean he is going to molest a child. It also doesn't mean he won't, but be CAREFUL not to jump to the wrong conclusions.

I agree to go with your instincts, and that is my advice here. This other stuff about ASSUMING he is on his way to molesting or interfering with this child has no justification.

I say this in defense of men who cannot defend themselves. And to the men who have been accused of wanting to molest a child because they showed a feminine kind of affection toward them.
post #64 of 116
Hmm. You've got a lot of different opinions going on this thread. I kind of see all of them.
What would I do...hmm...I'm in your shoes as myself:

I am the most non confrontational person around. I am, seriously. I'd really rather *leave* then confront M. I don't want to leave.
So, I have two choices:
Leave OR Confront M.
If I confront M and he reacts badly, then I know I'll need to leave OR find temporary housing until HE gets kicked out. If I confront him and he seems like he gets his feelings hurt, but understands completely, opens a dialogoue about what I find appropriate & inappropriate, seems willing to put me at ease- then maybe I was just being a tad jealous or misjudging him.

If I didn't confront M, then honestly....I'd have to say that I would have to prepare that if something horrific happens, I'll have to live with that the rest of my life and if that something horrific isn't murder, DD will have to live with it the rest of her life too.


So, which do I choose? Leaving? Nah. Confronting M? HELL YES.
Atleast *I* can say I gave a chance, *tried* to keep my ideal living circumstances, & helped keep my daughter out of harms way.

Cause organic apples ain't gonna make up for any harm that befalls my daughter. Better to live on Ramen Noodles with safety and security.
post #65 of 116
Well said.
post #66 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm
Something to keep in mind - the person most likely to "interfere" with a child is the person who SEEMS least likely to.
I have to completely disagree with this statement. As Gavin DeBecker states in his book, one of the most frequent things you hear from the parents of victims is, "He seemed like such a nice man!" If you know what to look for, then no one seems "least likely" or "most likely" to harm your child. You know what to look for and you trust your instincts. BeDecker lays out clear signs that a person has the potential to be dangerous, and this man has displayed many (if not all or most, I don't have the book in front of me) of those signs (based on what the OP has told us).

I understand your concern about judging someone who can't defend himself and I appreciate your story about your neighbor. But the bottom line is (and will continue to be) that parents are the best protectors of their children (no one else will do it for them) but that ability is hampered when parents are too concerned about social niceties, fairness, and logic rather than trusting their instincts. Sometimes people will be unfairly suspected. If that's the price I have to pay to keep my children safe, I will.

Namaste!
post #67 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
BeDecker lays out clear signs that a person has the potential to be dangerous, and this man has displayed many (if not all or most, I don't have the book in front of me) of those signs (based on what the OP has told us).

I do. They are:
Quote:
Forced Teaming
Charm and Niceness
Too Many Details
Typecasting
Loan Sharking
The Unsolicited Promise
Discounting the Word "No"
I see at least 3 of these in the HippieMama's OP.


Bec
post #68 of 116
I read your entire post and it gave me the chills.

No, I cannot say that this man will do your daughter any harm. But his behavior is inappropriate, and it could certainly be a sign that he will eventually do something worse.

He is already teaching your daughter that she does not have control over who touches her body, and that her mom may not have control over that, either. Very bad messages here.

I just attended an excellent sexual abuse prevention workshop. I was skeptical about learning anything new, as I had read "Protecting the Gift" and other good books on the subject (though PTG is by far the best one), but I was surprised at how much more I learned.

The woman running the workshop was a police officer who works in the sex crimes unit. She divided child molesters into several groups and defines each. One group was the "introverted pedophiles" and were defined as those who:

1. Lack the interpersonal skills to develop relationships with adults and so will molest children

2. Because of this lack of skills, will usually target very young children - babies and toddlers, even - because they are incapable of "seducing" older children.

3. Often use "accidental touching" as a way of molesting.

4. Often use affectionate touching as a way to desensitize the child to touching that becomes gradually more sexual in nature.

Honestly, I'd keep your daughter away from this guy. He may be harmless, but if he is not, you would never forgive yourself. Either tell him point blank that you do not want him touching your daughter anymore or get out of there. And while it stinks that you may have to get out of there, that solution seems better to me (unless you can get him out of there), because it sounds nearly impossible to completely prevent contact between him and your child.

Please keep us updated - I'm going to be worrying about you and your daughter!
post #69 of 116
I'm having such trouble with this situation. How is it ever okay to allow a strange and questionable man to *live with* one of our kids?
post #70 of 116
Calm, thanks for saying that. I agree that you do not have to demonize M in order to protect your daughter. Of course your daughter comes first and you should follow your instincts and there has been a lot of really good advice here about that, coming from knowledge and personal experience that I don't have. But I see you trying to treat M w/ respect and dignity, and I just want to say I think that is admirable. He gives you the heebie-jeebies and you should keep your daughter away from him - but that does not mean presuming him guilty of molestation. Um, I'm just repeating what Calm said.

I also like what KatienDwayne said, that is probably what I would do too. But that is just me.
post #71 of 116
I don't think the majority of posts here are demonizing M. I think we are all concerned that hippiemama had and continues to have a strong emotional/instinctual response to M being around her daughter and that there is a reason for that. I think the majority is trying to tell hippiemama not to ignore her own instincts. She's there - she's the one watching M interact with her daughter - she's the one who instantly did not get a good feeling about M's behavior.

She lives in a house with other guys - she said that other people take care of DD and I'm guessing they show affection to her DD, too, but they don't freak her out. Why is that?
post #72 of 116
Yes Yes Yes, Alaska, I agree w/ all that 100%.

Hope my post was not misunderstood.
post #73 of 116
Thread Starter 
I think this is the first thread I've ever started that got so much attention.... it's nice to know that so many people care....

So I bought PTG yesterday and read it all in one sitting (thank goodness I'm a fast reader LOL). It is a wonderful book, thank you everyone for suggesting it.

There is a woman on co-abode who lives nearby and is an AP momma, she sounds promising as a housemate, although 13 someodd years older than me. Of course I can't get ahold of her unless I'm a paying member of co-abode, so I'm looking at other options first.

For the PP who did research and found co-ops in my area..... *wry grin* you found mine. It's the only collective in my town. We shop at the only co-op grocery in town. So thank you, but unfortunately..... *sigh*

Calm I always admire your posts, and thank you for your story about your neighbor. That is *exactly* how I feel about M, that I want to make sure I do not make unwarranted judgements against him. Now before everyone jumps on me, allow me to say what you are dying to say: "but your judgements are warranted!! (insert quote from my post here)" :

I hate it when people only thank the people that take their side, so I am not only appreciating Calm's post, but just thankful that she put into words how I feel about M.

I am a notorious second-guesser, a perfectionist about all of my decisions, and thoroughly analyze everything, even if I should go to the grocery store or the post office first. It's the Virgo in me. But PTG did a nice job making its case for letting go of the logical mind and allowing the primitive mind to do its thing. It's just very, very difficult for me to do so.

I am looking for alternative housing, but not moving into temp housing in the meantime. My daughter is safe for the moment and I'm putting the kibosh on touching and over-attention. I am trying to work and make it through full-time school as well (Hi GM, how are you doing?), so surviving this whole mess day-to-day is my first priority.

Sorry if some of you cannot understand this choice, but know that I have not taken any of your words lightly and that this situation is weighing in my mind every second of the day and night.

Aaack, this sucks ass. Oops, did I swear?

Crystal
post #74 of 116
Well, this whole situation just sucks. Either you have to go or he does. If you get him out, you will still live looking over your shoulder. I would move. Gavin de Becker is brilliant and I'm glad so many people have his book!

I feel for people who are socially inept - I really do. It must make for a very unhappy life. But you cannot risk your dd for the feelings of this man.

I know two men who are socially inept. Neither of them do I see much (one I knew in high school, one in college) or keep in close contact with but would chat with if we ran into each other. Neither of them would I let have unsupervised contact with my kids. No matter how careful you are, living in the same house with him leaves room for unsupervised contact. The two men I know who are socially inept both have background - one was abused and neglected by his parents; one would tape neighborhood cats to trees! It is sad that something happened (either in utero or in childhood) to cause these issues, but the truth is is that it did. I feel sorry for both of them as I don't think they are very happy or able to form relationships well. I don't think that either of them have done anything inappropriate to anyone (except those poor cats!) but the signs are there that it is possible. Who may be more likely to do something inappropriate - someone who had a normal childhood, normal relationships with family and friends, or someone who didn't/couldn't?

Could be that M is just a maladjusted guy who finds it easier/less threatening to interact with animals or children than with judgmental adults. Could be that it could go further and become an awful problem. Better to insult a guy who is not a threat than to underestimate a guy who is. Gavin de Becker's book should be required reading for all high school girls. Good luck getting this resolved - it must feel awful for you right now.
post #75 of 116
Crystal,

I'm so sorry for this rock and a hard place you are in!

There is nothing you can really say to this person or your housemates that will "prove" M's inappropriateness. He likely hasn't acted in such an overtly different manner than your other housemates--I'm guessing they stroke her and hug her, too? I don't see any way to say: "M is the only one who can't be around her." without making some accusations about his "creepiness." And, as I'm sure he will point out, being creepy isn't a crime. I don't think you can resolve this in the house without it turning into a big ol' sh*t storm--even if it is nothing more than M being a bit "off"--but perfectly harmless.

However, you will NEVER EVER be able to forgive yourself should something happen.

I WOULD GET OUT OF THAT HOUSE AS IF IT WERE ON FIRE.

Sort out the repurcussions of leaving later.

Better to overreact now and feel a little foolish later, than to have something TRULY life-altering and devestating happen and know in hindsight that you could have prevented it.

Wishing you strength as you walk through this!
post #76 of 116
nevermind
post #77 of 116
Dharmamama, hi! I totally get what you are saying, I do. Especially this:

"But the bottom line is (and will continue to be) that parents are the best protectors of their children (no one else will do it for them) but that ability is hampered when parents are too concerned about social niceties, fairness, and logic rather than trusting their instincts."

Some of the issue I had (which isn't even my place to have issue, I know, but the activist in me arcs up) are things such as "get him away from that freak" "he is a sick man" and so on. There was absolutely NOTHING in Crystal's posts to suggest he deserved such things said about him. In fact, I would like to know what makes people say that, other than Crystal's feeling - which is HER feeling.

My post was not to tell her to stay, but to listen to herself. Confronting/talking with him is a much better place to start than "RUN! GET THE HELL OUTTA THERE!" don't you think? Doing nothing could harm her daughter, running could harm her daughter (in other ways).
post #78 of 116
HHM- i understand the process you are going through to make this decision. It sounds a lot like the way I operate sometimes. But in reading through your posts, and especially quotes that PPs have highlighted of yours, I gotta say, my feeling is that he is not going to change. yes, I am making a sweeping judgement on someone I have never met. but, in my experience, people who are passive agressive, who "don't drop topics" etc... are not into self-reflection. When confronted, they become defensive and may try to turn it around to being *your* issue. Like you said, he tried to make it seem like he knows your dd better. While i think that confronting him obviously needs to happen, I'd have a plan in place. After something like that, if it doesn't turn out hunky-dory, then it will be really uncomfortable. if it were me, I would want to know that I had an out, right then and there.

And, slightly OT, but what's with coop being so difficult to ask people to leave? i mean, if there is a legitimate reason, and i should say that you certainly have one, who can argue with that? i know no others in your coop have children there, but do they have any who might live elsewhere? can they understand at all where you are coming from as a parent? i mean, a single adult who only has to look out for themselves can put up with a lot in terms of an annoying housemate. But, when your kid is involved, its another ballgame.
post #79 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmainer
And, slightly OT, but what's with coop being so difficult to ask people to leave? i mean, if there is a legitimate reason, and i should say that you certainly have one, who can argue with that? i know no others in your coop have children there, but do they have any who might live elsewhere? can they understand at all where you are coming from as a parent? i mean, a single adult who only has to look out for themselves can put up with a lot in terms of an annoying housemate. But, when your kid is involved, its another ballgame.
This is a good point. Hippiemama I lived in a co-op-ish situation once, not as much process as yours, very UNdemocratic in fact, not to mention dysfunctional, but still like all co-ops very process heavy - it would take several meetings to decide what kind of dish soap to buy... I'm sure you know exactly the kind of meetings I'm talking about. Anyway, despite all that, when action was needed, we acted swiftly. There was a single mom in our house who got involved w/ another housemate. He became emotionally abusive. I believed (based on what I'd seen of their relationship and what I knew of him - which was a lot) that it was going to escalate to physical abuse. I asked her permission to call a house meeting w/ everyone but him. At that meeting we consensed that for the sake of the kids as well as our integrity as a house, we would ask him to leave immediately, which we did.

The rest of the story actually goes way downhill from there, but THE POINT is that my housemates did know how to make a swift decision when it came to protecting the kids. So, maybe you shouldn't rule out that possibility?
post #80 of 116
T

guerillamama

your signature is very apt for me too. I am getting off now (to come back in about 10 minutes!) I sure need help with this MDC addiction!!!

Peace & Love!
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