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#1 of 31 Old 04-14-2009, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you protect your children from the abusers in the family?

My step father is the abuser in the family. My mother is the enabler. She has been pushing me for sleepovers with my two babies and I finally snapped today and told her I would not put my children into a dangerous situation where they could be sexually abused by her husband. I want her to be able to have a relationship with her grandchildren, but I will not put them into a situation where they could be hurt by my step father. My mother does not respect these boundaries at all and has taken a "fine, I won't watch the children ever" stance.

I would like her to come to our house to spend time with our children, she of course wants to take them over to her house to watch them. Whenever I suggest she come over and spend time with them she says, "oh, I'll just pick them up and take them home with me" and I then I tell her no.

I don't want to cut her out of their lives, but I don't know how to keep her involved without putting them in danger.
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#2 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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Stand your ground. If it's that important to her, she'll do it on your terms. If she gets cut out of their lives by refusing to allow you to protect your children, you did nothing wrong.
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#3 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 08:27 AM
 
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How do you protect your children from the abusers in the family?

My step father is the abuser in the family. My mother is the enabler. She has been pushing me for sleepovers with my two babies and I finally snapped today and told her I would not put my children into a dangerous situation where they could be sexually abused by her husband. I want her to be able to have a relationship with her grandchildren, but I will not put them into a situation where they could be hurt by my step father. My mother does not respect these boundaries at all and has taken a "fine, I won't watch the children ever" stance.

I would like her to come to our house to spend time with our children, she of course wants to take them over to her house to watch them. Whenever I suggest she come over and spend time with them she says, "oh, I'll just pick them up and take them home with me" and I then I tell her no.

I don't want to cut her out of their lives, but I don't know how to keep her involved without putting them in danger.
You are a brave woman. Your children are Blessed that you are trusting your instincts.


Give your mother the book "The Wounded Heart" by Dan Allendar.

I would recommend your reading "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin De Becker.
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#4 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 09:32 AM
 
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Just keep saying no. No no no. Don't hedge, don't soften it, don't apologize. In fact, I think it's just fine to tell her you "will not put your children into a dangerous situation where they could be sexually abused by her husband" every time she asks. At least maybe she'd stop asking because the answer should always, forever, every time be no.

And so she won't watch them? Fine. I don't trust the judgment of someone who would expose children to potential abuse anyway.
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#5 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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Just keep saying no. No no no. Don't hedge, don't soften it, don't apologize. In fact, I think it's just fine to tell her you "will not put your children into a dangerous situation where they could be sexually abused by her husband" every time she asks. At least maybe she'd stop asking because the answer should always, forever, every time be no.

And so she won't watch them? Fine. I don't trust the judgment of someone who would expose children to potential abuse anyway.
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#6 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Just keep saying no. No no no. Don't hedge, don't soften it, don't apologize. In fact, I think it's just fine to tell her you "will not put your children into a dangerous situation where they could be sexually abused by her husband" every time she asks. At least maybe she'd stop asking because the answer should always, forever, every time be no.

And so she won't watch them? Fine. I don't trust the judgment of someone who would expose children to potential abuse anyway.
I agree and would even take it one step further by never allowing her to be alone with my children. She could come over for supervised visits but I could never trust that she would adequately protect them from her husband, who is a sexual predator. (!)

So sorry you're faced with this awful choice. Just please remember that you're doing the right thing. Don't let her guilt trips and manipulation ever make you forget that. Your babies are lucky to have you as a mama.

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#7 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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I've made it very clear to my mother that my stepfather isn't permitted around my children without my or my husband's direct supervision. So, no overnights without me, no babysitting by both of them, etc. My mother "forgot" the rule once, and took my eldest to the movies with my stepfather. It was the last time we spoke to them for a number of months. That seemed to get it through their heads. There is no longer the outward appearance of a relationship with my stepfather - he knows very well what my issues with him are, and that I don't like him. My mother and I weren't close anyway, and I no longer try to be gentle or careful when talking to her about her husband. There have definitely been changes in their demeanors when interacting with me and my family. But, the boundaries are finally being respected. It only took six years...

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#8 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
Just keep saying no. No no no. Don't hedge, don't soften it, don't apologize. In fact, I think it's just fine to tell her you "will not put your children into a dangerous situation where they could be sexually abused by her husband" every time she asks. At least maybe she'd stop asking because the answer should always, forever, every time be no.

And so she won't watch them? Fine. I don't trust the judgment of someone who would expose children to potential abuse anyway.
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I agree and would even take it one step further by never allowing her to be alone with my children. She could come over for supervised visits but I could never trust that she would adequately protect them from her husband, who is a sexual predator. (!)

So sorry you're faced with this awful choice. Just please remember that you're doing the right thing. Don't let her guilt trips and manipulation ever make you forget that. Your babies are lucky to have you as a mama.

: I would be so pissed/upset that my mom stayed with a sexual predator that I think I'd cut her out of my life. I do not understand being with someone you know has and will sexually abuse children, ick. And her lack of concern for her own grand children's safety is quite worrisome.

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#9 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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Not sure why you would want her to watch the kids ever. If she'd be willing to have them in the house with an abuser overnight, can you really trust her to have sound judgment about other aspects of babysitting?
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#10 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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#11 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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Bottom line...you just have to realize her judgement is impaired. She has blinders when it comes to him, therefore she can't be trusted with your children, period.

It sucks, but that's the way it is. There is no gray area when it comes to this.

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#12 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
I agree and would even take it one step further by never allowing her to be alone with my children. She could come over for supervised visits but I could never trust that she would adequately protect them from her husband, who is a sexual predator. (!)

So sorry you're faced with this awful choice. Just please remember that you're doing the right thing. Don't let her guilt trips and manipulation ever make you forget that. Your babies are lucky to have you as a mama.
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Bottom line...you just have to realize her judgement is impaired. She has blinders when it comes to him, therefore she can't be trusted with your children, period.

It sucks, but that's the way it is. There is no gray area when it comes to this.
Yes and Yes. She has already shown you that she will not protect them from an abuser, and she should never be left alone with them.
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#13 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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you are doing what is right by protecting your children from your abuse. Your mother, oh course, dosent see it that way because she has blinders on to the *reality* of it. I personally would do the same thing and take it a step furthur by not allowing her to be alone with my children. Obviously her judgement is impared for whatever reason and I would question that judgement when it comes to caring for my children.
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#14 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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you are definately doing the right thing! knowing what you know it is much easier to prevent any abuse - and dealing with it after-the-fact will be even harder than trying to convince your mom. I'm sorry you have to deal with this - but everyone responding is right about staying firm and about your mom - like why is she so insistant and not wanting to follow the rules you have the right to set as a parent...best of luck! stay strong!
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#15 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Bottom line...you just have to realize her judgement is impaired. She has blinders when it comes to him, therefore she can't be trusted with your children, period.

It sucks, but that's the way it is. There is no gray area when it comes to this.
:::

Just keep being firm and stand your ground.
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#16 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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Not only does it sound like she's an enabler, but it sounds like she wants to sacrifice them to him. Did he abuse you? Is it known that he's a sexual abuser? Pedophile? Why would it ever even come up as an option for him to be near your children?

If he abused you and she's still with him and wants your children to be near him, then I'd say that she's an abuser as well. She doesn't care about you or your children...only about him. Maybe she thinks that it will make him happy to have more kids to abuse, so she wants to have the kids there so he can do that. I can't think of any other reason.

I was abused by my stepfather and if my mother were still with him, she would have NO contact with me or my kids. After I left her house, I didn't speak with her for a year and that was with him already gone. I still get angry sometimes when I think that she stayed with him for years after she found out.

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#17 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I think the first step in protecting your child from child abusers in the family is to protect your children from the dysfunctional grown adults that are/were unwilling to protect their own children. Your mother lands in that box.
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#18 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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Even if her husband was not an abuser, her demands would still be unreasonable. I only allow my children to visit with me. It took 3 years before I'd allow my MIL unsupervised access to my child, and she is actually completely trustworthy. It just took me that long to feel comfortable leaving him.
She's being extremely manipulative and controlling in her own right. Don't feel at all guilty. You are not refusing her access to the children. She can have a relationship with them in your home and in your presence.
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#19 of 31 Old 04-15-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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Why is your mom with a pedophile? why isn't he in jail?
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#20 of 31 Old 04-17-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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I don't know your situation but I would have a hard time even speaking to my mother if it were me.

I think you are being firm and standing your ground just as you should be.

Hang in there.

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#21 of 31 Old 04-17-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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Bottom line...you just have to realize her judgement is impaired. She has blinders when it comes to him, therefore she can't be trusted with your children, period.

It sucks, but that's the way it is. There is no gray area when it comes to this.
Yep, bigeyes took the words out of my mouth.
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#22 of 31 Old 04-17-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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Just another voice to chime in and repeat what's already been said:
You are absolutely right. Do NOT ever bring your children near that man. If you feel you want them to see grandma, then she can come over and see them with your supervision. Do not let her make you feel bad about this. Do not let her convince you of anything. Stand your ground. You are the only one protecting your children. Clearly she has proven that she is not able to do that. So sorry you are in this situation Be strong.

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#23 of 31 Old 04-17-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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: I would be so pissed/upset that my mom stayed with a sexual predator that I think I'd cut her out of my life. I do not understand being with someone you know has and will sexually abuse children, ick. And her lack of concern for her own grand children's safety is quite worrisome.
This is everything that I was going to say. Sorry you have to deal with this.

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#24 of 31 Old 04-18-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Just chiming in to echo what has already been said. Never let your mom wear you down, you are doing the right thing. Stay strong. Your mom is his silent partner and she's made her choice to stay with him-and until she changes her mind unfortunately she's losing out on something wonderful for something so dark. (hugs).
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#25 of 31 Old 04-18-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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We have people like this on my side of the family and DH's. And you know what? It's just their loss.

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#26 of 31 Old 04-18-2009, 04:27 PM
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How do you protect your children from the abusers in the family?

My step father is the abuser in the family. My mother is the enabler. She has been pushing me for sleepovers with my two babies and I finally snapped today and told her I would not put my children into a dangerous situation where they could be sexually abused by her husband. I want her to be able to have a relationship with her grandchildren, but I will not put them into a situation where they could be hurt by my step father. My mother does not respect these boundaries at all and has taken a "fine, I won't watch the children ever" stance.

I would like her to come to our house to spend time with our children, she of course wants to take them over to her house to watch them. Whenever I suggest she come over and spend time with them she says, "oh, I'll just pick them up and take them home with me" and I then I tell her no.

I don't want to cut her out of their lives, but I don't know how to keep her involved without putting them in danger.
Haven't read the other posts.....

I am in the same boat as you (the abuser as a family member).

Stand your ground. Don't let them go there. Feel free to send me a private message if you want a scenario of what happened when I did send them.

You know - my oldest is 15 now - and I wouldn't change a thing. It was hard on my relationship with my mom at many points - but I was honest. It really was her decision. If she wanted my kids around - abuser couldn't be there. Of course - she doesn't have a good relationship with my kids now because she chose the abuser, but my kids are healthy and happy.

ETA - Boundaries are a good thing!

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#27 of 31 Old 04-20-2009, 08:06 AM
 
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Just sending you a big .
Thankfully, I've never been in your situation and it is probably so much clearer when you just look on it "from the outside". It sounds to me, though, as if there is absolutely no room for compromises here - it's either respecting your rules or no contact.
Protect. Your. Children.

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#28 of 31 Old 04-21-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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Yep, bigeyes took the words out of my mouth.

Yup. Me too. She can't be trusted with your children, and I think she's proven that to you already. I'm sorry.

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#29 of 31 Old 04-21-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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I personally would NOT want my children to a relationship with a person who enables a child molester, even if this person was my mother.
A person who chooses to remain married to man like that, and denies that his a danger to her own grandchildren should not get to see them IMHO...
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#30 of 31 Old 04-23-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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Seems we're in an echo chamber. I agree.

And for what it is worth, in order to keep enabling, your mom *has* to make herself feel that you are the bad guy. That doesn't change anything. It has nothing to do with reality. It's just her way of manipulating the world so she doesn't have to face what is wrong with the situation.

*She* is the one who is choosing to destroy her relationship with the children by not letting you protect them. *She* is the one who is using such terrible judgement that she shouldn't ever be with your children unsupervised. *She* is the one who is cutting *your family* out of her life, piece by piece. And it has nothing to do with you. Your value or worth, or anything like that. If she doesn't do it, she thinks her world will fall apart. But these are still *her* choices.

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