I am LIVID and also want to cry. WWYD? UPDATE post 72 AND NEW UPDATE post 84 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-10-2008, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This will be a long post. I'm putting it in TAO because it is a more private area of MDC.

Last night my 9 1/2 year old dd was having a hard time sleeping. That is not unusual; she has had sleep problems since birth, pretty much. I was chalking it up to the constitutional the naturopath prescribed, since she said the first dose could actually make her issues worse initially, and she may need a second one (we have an appointment tomorrow to check in with her.) Anyway, I was trying to be calm yet firm with her, since that is usually what works in getting her to settle down. Then my dh went in the room with her so I could brush my teeth and relax a bit. I could tell he was getting frustrated (trust me, after 9 1/2 years of sleep issues, it is hard to stay patient ), so I came in to take over. I was planning on just giving her a kiss and telling her to do the relaxation exercises I showed her. When I came in she was seeming a bit off, kind of panicked. I decided I would talk to her for a bit longer (I had been in there for at least an hour already, reading to her and trying to soothe her). Anyhow, then the whole long awful story came out.

Background:
We live in a small apartment complex. Next door are two neighbor kids, one a 10 yo girl (call her X), the other an 8 yo boy (or 9? he just had a birthday last month, can't remember if he turned 8 or 9. Call him Y). These kids and my kids (I also have a 6yo ds--just turned 6 last week, so for most of this he has been 5) have played together for about a year and a half, running back and forth between apartments. At first it was great to have playmates around. But for the past 6-8 months things have worsened between the kids. My ds and X developed a very adversarial relationship. She (X) usually demands to be in charge and directing all the games. My ds is headstrong himself, so they butt heads all the time. My dd is more of a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. She gets annoyed but because she is so social she just goes along in order to keep playing. I had started limiting their play because it was too much for me to handle the frequent fights (I am an introvert and the apartment isn't that big, and they were usually over here). Y is a pretty meek kid, imo, and almost always does what his sister tells him to do, as far as I can tell.

A few months ago dd was crushed and crying and it came out that X had been telling her she is fat. Well, I could care less if my dd *was* (in fact, I am fat myself, and so what?), but she is not, she always gets a bit chubby and then shoots up like a weed (and I suspect that this time it is a preparation for puberty). X has an older sister who is 16 or so, so I assumed X had gotten this from listening to her sister, or from her mom who is also overweight (although I don't know, maybe 10 yo kids at school talk about this already? X herself is super thin, like her dad, although I also suspect a lack of food in their house. That is a whole 'nother story that I don't want to get into right now, suffice to say that I have fed these kids a lot). I talked everything over with my dd and we decided together that she would have a week's vacation from playing with X (we also thought about things to say to this girl, and why she might have said that stuff, etc). After the week she was excited to play with her again and things went well for a few weeks, although they had been playing over at X's more since my ds' relationship with X had not improved. Then again things got crappy and it came out that X was still calling my dd fat and we went with the vacation option again. Then back to playing again when my dd told me she was ready.

When my dd would talk about X, she started saying how she could be so mean, but when I would suggest she not play with her, dd would insist that she could handle it and didn't want to stop being friends. I didn't want to forbid her playing with X and Y because IMO they don't have a lot of family support and I wanted to be a place they could come to that was safe. I also had this weird idea that my dd would learn how to get along with more mainstream people. That sounds so embarrassing and condescending now, but I'm admitting it to explain my stupidity . And I am so mad at myself for ignoring my own dislike of X, that I told myself she was just a kid and I wasn't going to like all my kids' friends (in fact there are several that irritate me ).

I have chatted with their mom a few times and she seems ok, although she appears to shoulder the burden of their family life. She works almost all the time (although the kids can come with her to some of her jobs, so they do get to see her). The dad has always rubbed me the wrong way and seems like an ass, although when I would ask my kids about him they said he would stay in the bedroom and sleep most of the time (apparently he also works, but I don't know where, and he is home much more than the mom). He reminds me a lot of my dh's dad, who was a jerk. A lot of times X and Y would be supervised by the teenage girl or their early-20's cousin or sometimes the early 20's eldest brother (who does not live there). There were also times they were home alone (I always asked if there was a grownup home before my dd was allowed over there. I found out last night that sometimes they lied to me and swore dd to secrecy )

Anyhow, that is the background. Last night my dd was sobbing and told me that she was too embarrassed to tell me but she really wanted to tell me. I was freaking out inside (radar pinging like crazy!!) but I managed to stay calm and soothe her and she told me that X had been playing games that she really didn't like and didn't want to play but if she didn't then X was really mean. Those were the scariest words I have ever heard. It turns out that X had been playing rape games. : DD says they got it from watching Law and Order (which, what?? I thought they only watched cartoons like we do. How many freakin 8 and 10 yo's watch Law and Order??). They all kept their clothes on, but it was of course really scary for my dd. One other time X made her brother Y lick my dd's breast. Mamas, I was so UAV mad, so LIVID and enraged that I almost went next door and flipped out on them at midnight. But I had to be there for my dd and we talked and talked and for now she is ok (there will be much more talking, maybe some therapy, too, but dd did manage to go to sleep). She and I agreed that friends would never do something that would make the other person so scared, that they are no longer friends and they will not be playing together ever again.

I feel so incredibly horrible. How could I have missed all this? I cannot even believe this. I met my dh for lunch today to tell him about it, because he heard some of it from our bedroom but didn't want to come in and interrupt in case dd got shy (it was so difficult for her to tell me in the first place) and he leaves in the morning at 530-6am so we didn't see him. He is pissed and freaking out too. He just finished school so he was gone almost every day between working full time and night classes, but even so he has never liked X and Y, so we both feel quite terrible for not listening to our mutual frustration/dislike of these kids. I do feel lucky that dd told me before it progressed any farther.

Now the WWYD. Should I tell their mom? Should I explain why they can no longer play with my dd or just cut off all contact, not answer the door? I feel on one hand that I should definitely tell their mom in case she doesn't know, if there was some kind of event in X's life starting in that 6-8 month ago range when X started getting mean. (she might be chalking it up to puberty, like I was until last night ) Also, then I could be very firm about her kids not being able to play with mine. But, on the other hand I don't want her mom to just poo-poo it as natural exploration (I believe that there is sexual exploration at that age also, but pretend rape?? no fraking way), which I think there is a strong chance of her doing from what I know about her, and then telling her kids god knows what about why they can't play with dd and ds anymore. I believe X is fully capable of being a bully. We have a pool in our apartment complex that is right next to X's apartment that we swim in at least once a day in the summer, and I would hate to have that become a difficult place (I always go with my kids of course, but I am sure there would be confrontations). If I don't tell the mom, should I tell the kids they can't play until they (hopefully) stop coming around, or just stop answering the door and not take their calls? That feels passive aggressive but also safer than a confrontation. I am so confused and disheartened right now. Please help. I want to show my dd the right way to deal with something like this, which I think means telling X's mom, but I also want to keep my family safe.

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Old 06-10-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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No advice but huge s to your dd and you. What a horrible situation to be in.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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oh mama! to you and your daughter. you've got to talk to x&y's mom....

Nessa, DD1 (5) DD2 (3) & expecting again in late February/early March!
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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If it were me I wouldn't let my kids play with them anymore, and definitely talk to the other mom. This kind of behavior is likely to get worse if something isn't done about it. Are there any activities you can get your kids involved in for the social aspect?
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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I frequently watch L&O and L&O: CI (after my kids are in bed!). I don't watch SVU very often, but I don't recall a rape ever being actively portrayed in an episode I've ever seen (though there have been a few fairly graphic consensual sex scenes). I say all this because I strongly suspect your neighbor's children are probably victims of some kind of sexual abuse.

My opinion probably won't be popular, but I think you ought to alert the authorities first and foremost--IMO "X" is displaying predatory behavior and you might even look into some sort of a restraining order. Then have a discussion with the mother. She needs to know. Expect her to get defensive and possibly angry. Stick to the facts, don't let it escalate with her, and let her know that her children are no longer welcome to play with yours.

Will your children have to see them at school? It might warrant having a discussion with school officials to make sure your kids won't have to be in the same classroom with either of these kids.

Your daughter needs to know right now that (a) you believe her and (b) you'll protect her with your fiercest inner Mama Bear.

(((HUGS)))) What a horrible nightmare of a situation.

Wife to a great DH, SAHM to 3 great kids
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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Talk to their parents NOW!

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Old 06-10-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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More s to you and your dd! It won't be an easy conversation to have, but you need to tell X and Y's mom, for sure. If you can't do it in person, maybe write her a letter, if just to organize your thoughts.

Hang in there, mama!

Growing babies, fruits, veges, and chickens on our little urban homestead in the frozen north
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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OMG

It's so good that your daughter was able to tell you that. Definately go see a therapist. Even pretend rape with other children can be traumatizing.

I also think you need to tell X and Y's mom because something more is likely going on in that house. I know sometimes parents don't believe their children and maybe X's mom would blow it off, but I think it's your responsibility to stand up for X and hope to God that it's taken seriously. Imagine if X's dad is molesting her and her mom doesn't stand up for her because she doesn't know and it just keeps happening.



What an awful sad situation. I hope your dd is able to work through it and I hope X and her family get the help they need.

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Old 06-10-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Lily View Post
I frequently watch L&O and L&O: CI (after my kids are in bed!). I don't watch SVU very often, but I don't recall a rape ever being actively portrayed in an episode I've ever seen (though there have been a few fairly graphic consensual sex scenes). I say all this because I strongly suspect your neighbor's children are probably victims of some kind of sexual abuse.
This was my first thought. Talk to the mom. She may not know what's been going on with her DC and may need someone to tell her.

Big to both you and your DD.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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Old 06-10-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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First, kudos to you, mama, for listening to your daughter. That must have been a really hard conversation for both of you. It sounds like you supported her really well and gave her some good tools for avoiding that kind of situation in the future, plus building (more) trust with her.

I think you need to talk to the other mother. If you avoid the issue, it's going to be a continuing source of stress as you try to avoid them while living next door to them. Blow it open, have the talk, and move past it. This will also serve two other purposes -- modeling to your daughter a healthy way to handle confrontation on serious issues and making sure these kids' parents are aware so that there's a chance this won't happen to someone else's child. They can't do anything about it if they aren't given the information.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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I feel really sad for your dd. I'm so glad that she felt comfortable for telling you though, that was probably really tough. You need to talk to their mom ASAP. Hugs.

: Mama to ds (5) and dd (3) and .
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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If I was X &Y's mom, I would want to know. I know confrontation sucks, but I think it needs to be addressed (soon)

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Old 06-10-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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Oh, Mama! And your poor little girl - how very frightening for her!

It says a lot about your relationship with her that she trusted you to tell you.

I'd talk to the mom. I immediately assumed there was abuse occurring when you said X suddenly got more mean. After what your daughter said, I can only assume it's sexual in nature.

In your shoes, I'd talk to the other mother, in part so she is aware, but also for my own daughter. She needs to know you believe her, care about her, trust her, support her and stand up for her. She needs to know she did the right thing talking to you.

Any chance you can move? I can't imagine being right next door to that family and not running into them often.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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to you and your DD

I would definitely talk to their mom. If she blows it off, that's her choice. But she needs to know.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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definately talk to the mom and not let your dd play with them anymore.
That's what i would do.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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Ok, I'm a L&O: SVU fanatic... I DVR it on every channel it plays, and sit and watch 4 or 5 episodes before bed. There are VERY VERY few episodes in which the 'rape scene' is even shown, let alone vividly. If you do get a rape scene, it tends to be the before portion and not the actual act itself. The show is more about the law and legal proceedings and detective work than showing graphic rape scenes.

So, I would definitely second what Tiger Lily said.. that sounds more like they were sexually assaulted than what they came up with from L&O.

I am so, so, so sorry this has happened. I would keep DD away from them, have a LONG talk with mom, and possibly file some kind of complaint somewhere about the entire fiasco.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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Oh, wow. I'm so sorry--I can imagine how hard it was for your DD to tell you. It sounds like you two have a great relationship.

I definitely think you should let the mother know, and mention it to the authorities as a PP suggested.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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Old 06-10-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
Oh, Mama! And your poor little girl - how very frightening for her!

It says a lot about your relationship with her that she trusted you to tell you.

I'd talk to the mom. I immediately assumed there was abuse occurring when you said X suddenly got more mean. After what your daughter said, I can only assume it's sexual in nature.

In your shoes, I'd talk to the other mother, in part so she is aware, but also for my own daughter. She needs to know you believe her, care about her, trust her, support her and stand up for her. She needs to know she did the right thing talking to you.

Any chance you can move? I can't imagine being right next door to that family and not running into them often.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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I wouldn't talk to the mom, I'd talk to the police.

I'm so sorry your DD (and you) have to go through this

Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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I think you HAVE to talk to the mom. Just the possibility that her DD is being molested is something she NEEDS to be made aware of. Could you live with yourself if it came to light years later that she had been, and her mom could have done something to stop it if she had only known? What the mom chooses to do with the info is up to her, but keeping her in the dark over something so important just on the off chance that it'll make pool time a bit difficult would be irresponsible, IMO. Do the right thing first, and handle the fall-out if or when it happens.

Your poor DD. I doubt I would have been brave enough to tell my mom or dad if that had been going on, and I do love them and had/still have a great relationship with them both. She must really trust you, and knows you'll do the right thing, even if it's hard.

My stomach is doing flip-flops for you right now. (((hugs)))


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Old 06-10-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I would be livid too! I would absolutely talk to the mom or the police, whichever you are more comfortable with. However, keep in mind that children who have been sexually abused may tend to act out their own abuse on other children. They do not necessarily know that it is wrong or that it is even something out of the ordinary. Those kids might be traumatized as well, so I would tend not to confront the children myself. Either way, alerting the parents of their children's behavior is important.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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Oh wow...I have no advice but had to send you a and a for being such a loving, wonderful, understanding mama

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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Wow. Just, wow.

What a difficult situation to be in. My stomach is turning for your poor dd.

Honestly, I would speak with the mom, but also call the police. It doesn't sound like you know the mom all that well, and who knows if she will do anything about this? She might not believe you, she might be abused and know about it and is fearfully covering it up... there are a million scenarios.

I am guessing that any therapist that you dd sees would be a mandatory reporter, anyway, so the story will get to the authorities one way or another.

I can't imagine how hard it must have been to calmly listen to that story from your dd. You are a great mama!

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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if you take her to a therapist and i think you should they are mandated reporters and will have to report what happened to the police. This is true in any case involving children being abused. I don't think this should scare you I think you should report it anyway. Good luck, Hugs to you and your family

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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Is there any way you can move?

goorganic.jpgwife to footinmouth.gif, currently WOH and geek.gif on my doctorate. (I'm dissertating!) We: novaxnocirc.giftoddler.gifgd.giffamilybed1.gif  with DS (4/09)!
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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No words of advice, mama, but I want to give you big huge hugs!!!

 upsidedown.gif  Please see my Community Profile! energy.gif blogging.jpg about Asperger's Syndrome!

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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I would definitely, definitely be talking to the parents and explaining that you're concerned and that your children will no longer be playing together.

Also, there's more than Law and Order going on here- this kind of stuff isn't normal. Sexual experimentation at that age is one thing, forcing other children to play rape games? Something serious is going on.

Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang wild.gif, born 11/17/12 

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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WOw. I am so sorry you and your family are facing this!

There are many posts with wise advice - I agree with what you've decided, to separate your children from those children, to talk to the mom, and to address it in therapy with your daughter.
It's so wonderful that you had the patience to stay with your daughter when she could not sleep and that she had the comfort to be able to talk to you about it.

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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first - a big hug to you and your dd

secondly - i pretty m uch agree with everything Tiger Lily said.. except i would tell the mom first, then call the police. Esp if you take her to therapy - tey would be mandated to call the police anyways - so you might as well.

Also, as others mentioned - X maybe a victim also of abuse, and her mom needs to know to make sure she is taken care of and kept safe too.

i am so sorry you are all dealing with this

~Kris mama to Alexis (15), Elizabeth (10), Andrew (7), and 1 angel
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Personally I'd be a little concerned about talking to the mother, considering that there are some potential neglect issues, it is possible (not probable, or maybe even likely; but possible) that the mother is "in on it". Or knows and doesn't care.

I don't know, I could be totally off (and would be glad if I were!), but I would be hesitant to talk to any of their caretakers. They might flip out.

OP, you are the only one close enough to the situation to read it, so just use your judgment. I'm so sorry that you are in such a terrible one.
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