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This is over the top - Page 8

post #141 of 205
Blessed, how is the day going?
post #142 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U2can View Post
Those children will spend their lives watching other children be loved and treated as if they are special & precious people, while they themselves will always question what is wrong with them, why NO ONE cares what happens to them..
fNo this is really not accurate at all. I think you're describing your own home life, but that's not how this home is.

These children are all cuddled, snuggled sung to, played with throughout every day. By BOTH parents. BIL is really exceptionally affectionate and loving with the boys - more than most other fathers I've seen. More than my own dh is with our daughter. Yet, it's interlaced with this very strict discipline and constant intimidation.

It really does make me think of the dynamics between an abusive male and his female partner, which are often some of the most passionate and romantic that there are. During the good times, there are the highest of the highs - with everyone full of excitement and love for each other. And then there are the lowest of the lows, where there are depths of shame and cruelty that are difficult to comprehend. And it's a cycle that just continually repeats itself until some tragedy occurs.

I'm really formulating this theory that all of this is a bizarre pattern that BIL probably learned within the dynamics of his own family growing up. As I mentioned, his father was exceptionally cruel, yet his family is very, very close - all living near each other and spending lots of time together.

So typical to how it's been, this morning is fine, full of laughing, playing children and affectionate parents. Until BIL starts to hone in on one of the boys and everything turns to crap. Cycle, rinse, repeat.
post #143 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
No this is really not accurate at all. I think you're describing your own home life, but that's not how this home is.

These children are all cuddled, snuggled sung to, played with throughout every day. By BOTH parents. BIL is really exceptionally affectionate and loving with the boys - more than most other fathers I've seen. More than my own dh is with our daughter. Yet, it's interlaced with this very strict discipline and constant intimidation.
This is how our home was as well, and we still felt like the poster you quoted. Being treated well between bouts of abused doesn't make you any less abused. The children eventually realize the "kindness" is to make up for the abuse, and that taints it.
post #144 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
This is how our home was as well, and we still felt like the poster you quoted. Being treated well between bouts of abused doesn't make you any less abused. The children eventually realize the "kindness" is to make up for the abuse, and that taints it.
Not only that, when you live with an explosive parent, you are always waiting for them to go off. You cannot relax and enjoy the affection fully, you must keep one eye on everything to make sure that it is perfect, and that nothing is going wrong. You cannot let your defenses down.
post #145 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
This is how our home was as well, and we still felt like the poster you quoted. Being treated well between bouts of abused doesn't make you any less abused. The children eventually realize the "kindness" is to make up for the abuse, and that taints it.
And then for the rest of their lives have major trust issues, anxiety, and a feeling of displacement and instability.
post #146 of 205
Thread Starter 
There's definitely a weirdness. Like the incident I described in which the 5yo put pool water in his dad's drink. It wasn't done as a joke, or in play. He was quietly sneeking and doing it, and just happened to be caught. For all I know, he'd been doing it all along. Very strange. Or not so strange given the circumstances, I guess. But I could never imagine dd doing something like that.

Or like BIL asked - no, told - the 5 yo to hand him his hat. 5 yo kind of tossed it at him and it didn't land anywhere near, then he turned his back and walked away, almost contemptuously. BIL kind of sucked in his breath and was obviously pissed, but let it go and walked over to get his hat. Again, I just couldn't imagine dd acting that way to me. There was so much anger and so much desire to hurt or insult. Just such a strange dynamic between parent and child.
post #147 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
This is how our home was as well, and we still felt like the poster you quoted. Being treated well between bouts of abused doesn't make you any less abused. The children eventually realize the "kindness" is to make up for the abuse, and that taints it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinklefae View Post
Not only that, when you live with an explosive parent, you are always waiting for them to go off. You cannot relax and enjoy the affection fully, you must keep one eye on everything to make sure that it is perfect, and that nothing is going wrong. You cannot let your defenses down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda003 View Post
And then for the rest of their lives have major trust issues, anxiety, and a feeling of displacement and instability.
:

The worst? Many of the children disregarded in this way will grow to treat their own children the same way. For those of us that hope for something better, the struggle is indescribable. Someone needs to break that cycle ASAP not 3 generations from now.

The child acting out? Understandable given the situation as it's been presented, I'm just surprised that he's not hurting the little one in his frustration as that's what's being modeled to him.
post #148 of 205
Quote:
And thank you for calling the screener. That really just sucks that they screened it out. I really didn't think they would. I really don't think they would here.
I'm not picking on you, but see, my experience has been the polar opposite and I'm always stunned by the amount of people who believe CPS is The Answer. They are frequently understaffed, overworked, and dealing with HORRIFIC cases that truly skew the perception of what is/is not abuse. I'm also not sure what people think CPS is going to do- remove all of the children, very likely separate them and place them in foster care? Is that a good goal?

I've watched police officers come into a home with two parents spun completely out of control on meth, hallucinating, making paranoid accusations, screaming and slamming doors, and say to the child who was SAFE in her adult brother's house next door, "Don't you want to go back next door with your mom and dad?" and walk her back into the lion's den and leave her. Then when CPS finally got around to showing up three days later, all they did is ask a few smiling questions and happily left. After a police report and two calls from concerned friends/family members.

There is no magic bullet. I'm not ragging on CPS or foster care in general. Lots of times it truly is the only solution in an abusive situation. I just don't know what the answer is here but I wanted to address that what happened with the screener is neither unusual nor surprising, and the frustration towards the OP for not insisting on police/CPS intervention is a little misplaced.
post #149 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
I'm always stunned by the amount of people who believe CPS is The Answer. They are frequently understaffed, overworked, and dealing with HORRIFIC cases that truly skew the perception of what is/is not abuse..
Yes, exactly.

It's not that any of us feel that these kids aren't suffering from certain types of abuse. We all agree that they are. But it was patently obvious to me that CPS would never consider this type of stuff as worthy of their attention.

These kids are well fed, well dressed, in good schools, going to church on sunday, living in a two parent home, and without a mark on them. Form their perception, what's to complain about?
post #150 of 205
I am sorry you are dealing with this, it must be hard to watch. I wish there really was a magic way to make it better, but I must say you are doing much better than most of us would if we were in this situation. It is easy to have all the answers from behind a keyboard then it is when you are IN the situation.

I hope someone can get through to the dad before it is too late.
post #151 of 205
post #152 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
There's definitely a weirdness. Like the incident I described in which the 5yo put pool water in his dad's drink. It wasn't done as a joke, or in play. He was quietly sneeking and doing it, and just happened to be caught. For all I know, he'd been doing it all along. Very strange. Or not so strange given the circumstances, I guess. But I could never imagine dd doing something like that.

Or like BIL asked - no, told - the 5 yo to hand him his hat. 5 yo kind of tossed it at him and it didn't land anywhere near, then he turned his back and walked away, almost contemptuously. BIL kind of sucked in his breath and was obviously pissed, but let it go and walked over to get his hat. Again, I just couldn't imagine dd acting that way to me. There was so much anger and so much desire to hurt or insult. Just such a strange dynamic between parent and child.
Oldest brother is playing the role of protector. By doing things that brings the anger on him he defuses and distracts dad slightly for next time middle brother gets in trouble.
post #153 of 205
What a situation. What's not clear to me though, is the mentality of the rest of the extended family here. Has there even been a discussion among the wider group? Is everyone in accord that what BIL is doing is wrong and must stop? Or are there some in the extended family who are looking the other way because they think it's his right as a parent.

It seems to me that if everyone is on the same page about this, it really is time for the menfolk to take BIL aside for a come to Jesus talk. And if they're not in agreement, it's time for you, Blessed, to have a talk with the rest of the family. Maybe this happened and I missed it - long thread!
post #154 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Oldest brother is playing the role of protector. By doing things that brings the anger on him he defuses and distracts dad slightly for next time middle brother gets in trouble.
This is exactly what I did to keep the heat off my younger brother. Also, it doesn't surprise me for the older brother to 'act out' a bit as I did as well(lack of respect and pool water in the drink)-to get some measure of...I don't know...strange idea of revenge out of disrespect and suppressed anger. It sucks to feel powerless and most people will react to that.

What's funny is that there will be shock at why a child with a childhood like this will have anger problems or be a 'problem teen' who dresses funny/uses drugs/acts out-god forbid that be the way it happens but all too often it does. I know. many of us on this board know from our own lives and we all want to make sure it doesn't happen to others. That's why the emotion. Reading this thread is like watching my childhood-down to the pool dunking...it just plain hurts to remember.

This reminds me too much of my childhood-when dad was fine, the world was thrilled cause dad wasn't screeching and hitting...we seemed picture perfect, but let something set him or mom off and it was horrible and to this day I have trust and anxiety issues and after someone is kind to me I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Just cause there is a moment without the abuse doesn't mean it's not abuse with long term effects. Abusers aren't always 24/7, and abusers can be great monetary providers and seem to love their family, and yes, there were times I smiled at my dad and acted like everything was great-cause lord knows I wanted it to be...and when I was so powerless I had some measure of power in small revenges and always protecting my brother.
From a childhood OH SO like the one being described here, I am blessed with anxiety, distrust and anger in me that is unreal.
post #155 of 205
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I think it's multifactorial.

All their kids are almost compulsive misbehavors. You could tell them not to pick up a turd and eat it, and the first thing they would do is dive for it and fight to put it in their mouths. It's really weird.

I thought maybe they've just been so conditioned to think of themselves as 'bad' that they just presume that it's the way they're supposed to act. Or maybe it's that the constant pattern in their world is to do as much as you can right up to the point of being smacked. I don't know.
post #156 of 205
sapientia
post #157 of 205
Being discipline in extreme ways for any little thing like this, they probably have no concept of what is a little bit wrong, a lot wrong and what is acceptable. Plus, no matter how much they might hate their lives, that is what they know and will strive to emulate. If their dad is seen by other people as a good dad and is constantly trying to provoke fights, the kids will do the same.
post #158 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
Being discipline in extreme ways for any little thing like this, they probably have no concept of what is a little bit wrong, a lot wrong and what is acceptable..
Yes. They get screamed at and physically assaulted for things that wouldn't even warrant a raised eyebrow if dh or I saw dd doing the same thing. Like accidentally spilling a drink, for instance.
post #159 of 205
Given the cycling (abuse cycle, as you already were able to articulate), there may also be a level of misbehaving to trigger the abuse. It is a lot harder waiting for it, never knowing when it is going to come...especially when you know there is the calm that comes afterward.

I was so relieved when you finally called CPS. Not that it resulted in anything, but before that point in time, it seemed like you were continually in denial that he was abusing the children. Yes, bad parenting, no not gentle discipline...but he is a loving father, etc. etc. Heck, you were calling a child having his head held under water as punishment, "dunking." WOW! Denial like that isn't uncommon in abuse situations, and I am really relieved you are past that.

By the way, did you call CPS in his county or yours? If you called in yours, I think you need to go back and call in his. Even though the abuse is taking place apparently out of his county at this moment, his home CPS will have a record of previous investigations and will have better information about whether this call should be screened in or out. You know I am sure from our discussions over on the Foster and Adoptive parenting board that I am a mandatory reporter. I can tell you from experience that it does make a difference to call the parent's own county's reporting system. I know it was hard for you to call in the first place, and I can't imagine what your reaction will be to me saying you may need to go back and do it again (if you called your own CPS, not his). But there you have it.

Once you've done that, then you can know that you have done all you could on that end-- that you did your best to stop the abuse legally. At that point, I would agree that your best bet is to talk with your SIL, offering support and letting her know that you are concerned but also giving her space to come out of her own degree of denial. Google recommendations for supporting a woman who is being abused by her husband (domestic violence). Sounds like you may have to treat your relationship with the SIL similarly.
post #160 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
I was so relieved when you finally called CPS. Not that it resulted in anything, but before that point in time, it seemed like you were continually in denial that he was abusing the children. Yes, bad parenting, no not gentle discipline...but he is a loving father, etc. etc. Heck, you were calling a child having his head held under water as punishment, "dunking." WOW! Denial like that isn't uncommon in abuse situations, and I am really relieved you are past that..
Oh good god.

I've been completely consistent throughout the entire thread. I said that the children were being abused "by my standard and everyone else's on MDC, but not under the eyes of the law" before the CPS call. I said "It's not that any of us feel that these kids aren't suffering from certain types of abuse. We all agree that they are. But it was patently obvious to me that CPS would never consider this type of stuff as worthy of their attention" after the CPS call.

I still say that (and the CPS worker confirmed) dunking for punishment is called IN THE EYES OF THE LAW 'dunking', and is not against the law unless the child's life is in danger.

I never said, and still don't say, that it is right, tolerable, justifiable or anything else. I just don't have my head in magical thinking land where I believe I have powers that I don't really possess.
Quote:
By the way, did you call CPS in his county or yours? If you called in yours, I think you need to go back and call in his...I can tell you from experience that it does make a difference to call the parent's own county's reporting system..
The CPS screener didn't know what county this guys lives in when she decided not to investigate. You're the one that's in denial, sierra. This guy is simply not breaking the law.
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