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

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 47 Old 08-10-2009, 03:13 PM
 
LionTigerBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,455
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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!!!

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

LionTigerBear is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#32 of 47 Old 08-10-2009, 04:39 PM
 
chaoticzenmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will.  If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk Rainbow.gif  New  User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement

chaoticzenmom is offline  
#33 of 47 Old 08-10-2009, 06:36 PM
 
rubidoux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

rubidoux is offline  
#34 of 47 Old 08-10-2009, 06:46 PM
 
aniT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oregon, by way of Cali.
Posts: 15,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
aniT is offline  
#35 of 47 Old 08-10-2009, 07:18 PM
 
MommyKelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Finally in Utah!
Posts: 480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

*~Kelly~*
 Waldorf Mom to 9 blessings ~6 by birth and 3 by fost/adopt~

MommyKelly is offline  
#36 of 47 Old 08-10-2009, 07:39 PM
 
LROM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 845
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
LROM is offline  
#37 of 47 Old 08-10-2009, 07:51 PM
 
mlec's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
mlec is offline  
#38 of 47 Old 08-11-2009, 07:27 AM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
#39 of 47 Old 08-11-2009, 06:27 PM
 
jennpn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
jennpn is offline  
#40 of 47 Old 08-11-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Tigerchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle Eastside
Posts: 4,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
Tigerchild is offline  
#41 of 47 Old 08-11-2009, 07:27 PM
 
ananas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,880
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
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.
Exactly. Your nephew reached out to you because he felt he could trust you and he felt like you might help him- don't let him down! He's probably never been able to tell anybody before, so please, do the right thing for him.

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

fly-by-nursing1.gif

ananas is offline  
#42 of 47 Old 08-12-2009, 06:32 AM
 
SquishyKitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharon, RN View Post
How sad for your nephew and your brother- and you! I'm so sorry!

Sounds like your brother and nephew would benefit from some respite care or an occasional in-home health aide. Does your brother have a social worker or a contact at his ds's school who works with his disability? They may have resources at their disposal to help them.

I wish I could tell you more. If you know the name of the school your nephew goes to, perhaps you can anonymously report this information to the disability co-ordinator at the school, and he/she could look into it. It's hard to do something from so far away.


Good luck! I hope more ideas come your way!
This is almost exactly what I was going to post. While my first instinct would be to call CPS and get the kid out of there, I have a sneaking suspicion that dad is probably really overwhelmed with all of the work that goes into parenting a child with disabilities.

Not that I'm saying any of the abuse is justified, but I would say that, in this situation, shoving tons of support and resources down his throat might be what is needed FIRST, and then removal if the situation doesn't improve.
SquishyKitty is offline  
#43 of 47 Old 08-12-2009, 07:26 PM
 
mommy68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Burke View Post
you could help end up his suffering by doing the right thing even if it would hurt.
I agree. I think contacting CPS is the best thing to do. Even if all they do is start checking in on the family periodically or forcing them to get counseling, which is probably what would happen, that would at least be moving in a good direction. IMO, the child is most important and at this point he has told you he is being hit by his father and that's sad. If you know this then you should do something and not just ignore it for fear of what may happen if CPS intervenes. It already sounds like a terrible situation for your nephew at this point. How can it be any worse for that poor child? He already has a handicap. It's not fair.

__________________________________
46-year-old single (divorced), self-employed working, home schooling, part-time college student mommy to:

19 yr old
12 yr old
5 yr old
mommy68 is offline  
#44 of 47 Old 08-18-2009, 02:28 PM
 
LionTigerBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,455
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So, OP, how will you know whether or not the boy is still being abused?

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

LionTigerBear is offline  
#45 of 47 Old 08-18-2009, 02:49 PM
 
LROM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 845
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guestmama View Post
The big unknown is how will he react to the suggestion that he needs help with substance abuse. After dealing with this problem with his ex and going to Al-Anon, he knows about addiction inside and out. So I'm sure he can see it in himself if he decides to acknowledge it. I think this issue is key to his being able to handle his emotions. I'm going to bring it up, but I may get serious resistance from him, in which case, I'll have to reassess my options. It's also the type of thing that can easily be hidden from or missed by social workers, so again, CPS isn't not the easy answer (at least at this point - to be clear, I have not ruled it out).
I really understand the connection you're making to how your brother treats his son and substance abuse, but sometimes the most effective way to deal with child abuse is to stay very focused on the abusive behavior itself. The substance abuse may be a big factor in why he's acting this way, but I guess this seems very secondary to whether or not he can hear, absorb, and do something about his behavior and how it affects his son.

Maybe that focus will help him not get as defensive about the substance abuse, if the focus is on why he's acting this way and what he'd need to do to be able to be more patient, forgiving, and not abusive to his son? Ultimately all the things he wants his son to be able to do he is UNDERMINING and sometimes someone who can point that out is the biggest help for getting the abuser to realize it and change.
LROM is offline  
#46 of 47 Old 08-18-2009, 03:13 PM
 
LROM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 845
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow First-Time Mommy, you saved a life. Maybe your friend's daugther would not have literally died, but sexual abuse is so devastating... thank goodness you were willing to act where your friend was not.

In the end, maybe she told you because deep down she knew she wouldn't and hoped you would. It may have ruined the friendship, but maybe she knows in the end it was exactly what had to happen.....

Regardless, you are probably the best friend she'll ever know, no matter how she sees it!
LROM is offline  
#47 of 47 Old 08-18-2009, 03:16 PM
 
itsmyturn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would go to CPS before talking to your brother, because he won't know it was you who called it in. If you talk to him first he will likely suspect you, if you do decide to call it in later.
I would not stress about calling CPS, only rare and extreme cases will result in the child being removed from a home.
It is more likely that they will do a routine home inspection and recommend or offer family counceling if they notice a problem.
I wish you luck with what ever you decide.
itsmyturn is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off