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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, here's the background...<br><br>
My MIL and StepFIL live within walking distance of my house. My boys love going over there. MIL and I have a rocky relationship. StepFIL is a nice guy and I haven't ever had any issues with him.<br><br>
As part of ds' school - he wrote an email to her saying he would like to see them soon (she hardly ever calls, never returns our calls, but usually decides at the drop of a hat when she'd like to see them and it's usually within the next hour...). A couple of hours later, my stepFIL writes him back and asks if just DS1 can come over and spend that night. DS2 was really upset and feeling left out, but FIL said he could have his turn next weekend and they just wanted some one on one time. It took some cajoling with ds2 but I got him okay with it, after letting FIL know that it really upset him. So, he tells me bring them over around 7pm and MIL should be home.<br><br>
DS1 is excited, and at 7 we drop him off, but MIL is not home yet. Our family goes out to eat, comes home and goes to bed. We don't get any phone calls or anything from them. DS gets dropped off at about 12:30 the next afternoon, and is acting a little weird. He tells me at one point that MIL didn't get home until after they went to bed. I'm immediately incensed. I would not have allowed him to go over there if she wasn't there. StepFIL never had kids and can be a little ditsy when it comes to taking care of the boys...like in regards to mealtimes, appropriate food, etc. I just get this weird feeling and can't stop thinking about it. I figure MIL went out for drinks with her new coworkers after work and didn't come home until late. So I'm ticked. How freakin' irresponsible!! Dh calls his mom and leaves a message, of course she doesn't answer, and says "Look, we want to know why you weren't home last night, DS is acting weird and we want answers." She still has not called us back.<br><br>
I talk to my mom about it, and she tells me she was having some really weird feelings about him being over there and that was before she knew MIL wasn't there. Like sexual abuse weird feelings. I've never thought of FIL in this way. I don't think anything happened, but now I'm wondering if there isn't something funny going on. Like he knew she wouldn't be coming home because he is used to her doing this on Friday nights now...I was misled in believing she'd be home...it also came out that he got him a dirtbike or mini motorcycle or something and let him drive it without my permission and apparently told him to keep it a secret. Once DS fessed up about that he felt sooo much better. He was really burdened about it and thought he'd get in trouble if I found out. I mean, telling him to keep a secret from me??<br><br>
So, MIL still hasn't called back, but wrote me an email yesterday, saying "it's StepFIL's birthday today, I bet he'd love a phone call with birthday wishes!" and that's it. The freakin' nerve.<br><br>
I know this is long and drawn out, maybe hard to understand....but I'm just not sure what to do with all of this. I don't feel comfortable with them spending the night EVER again. And this will cause a huge blowout. Because she's just down the street. And my mom is convinced there is something up with FIL. She's BTDT with sexual abuse before, (I was when I was little and so was she) so I'm wondering if I need to trust her intuition.....
 

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This totally weirds me out too. Go with your gut and your mom's gut on this one and keep the kids away.<br><br>
I have no reason to believe my children were in danger, but when my husband's uncle asked to keep the boys overnight while his wife was gone to Vegas, I said no.<br><br>
Likewise, I won't send them to this other aunt's house because I know that when their own daughter was little, they all but allowed her to be abused by my husband's adoptive father and then didn't get her help. They didn't keep their children safe despite the obvious warning signs, and so I don't trust them with mine. Plus, this (now adult) girl is around the house a lot and has said something about my son.. if he was 18..how much she would like him. HELLO, this is her cousin! And she said it in front of his own mother. Clearly there are issues.<br><br>
Another story, I wouldn't allow my ex husband to take my two oldest to his father's house EVER because he had abused his daughter and possibly the older son, and I couldn't trust my ex husband and his wife to keep my kids safe. Case in point, they allowed this incestuous pedophile to move in with them, putting their two children (and mine on his weekends) in danger and so I witheld visits for the first and only time until the man was gone.<br><br><br><i>I have been accused of overprotecting my kids many times, but it keeps them safe. Do not allow anyone to guilt or bully you into anything. You're the only one who can keep them safe.</i><br><br>
Even if you're completely nuts and wrong about this, the kids come first.<br><br>
I doubt anything happened that night and it all seems perfectly innocent BUT that the StepFIL may be setting your son up to trust him so that further down the road...<br><br>
The dirt bike and the secrets and the special time alone without the brother and your MIL. This weirds me out.<br><br>
Only my own father is allowed alone time with my kids like that and that's because he won't even let anyone near him if he doesn't have a shirt on, much less anything intimate. And he wouldn't ever tell them to keep a secret.<br><br>
So maybe FIL was just being an airhead and not totally appropriate for your son by asking him to keep a secret. But it is setting off my own radar.<br><br>
I don't like that this was a one child thing with a stepFIL when the MIL wasn't home and her not answering you about this... makes me think SHE thinks something is up but won't face it.<br><br>
My own MIL was (and is) just like that as her husband sexually abused the cousin (and who knows who else!), hit on women in the family, and physically/verbally/mentally abused my dear husband.<br><br>
I certainly don't blame you for thinking something is up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GinaRae</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9032368"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I doubt anything happened that night and it all seems perfectly innocent BUT that the StepFIL may be setting your son up to trust him so that further down the road...<br><br>
The dirt bike and the secrets and the special time alone without the brother and your MIL. This weirds me out.<br></div>
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This is exactly what my mom said!! Very weird!! I can see it.<br><br>
And even if there is nothing sexual he <i>clearly</i> is favoring one grandchild over another and that pisses me off too! So much about the situation was messed up even if we're all crazy and FIL has no malicious intent. Can't trust them anymore. What if she had come home drunk off her rocker and they got into a fight in front of my son?<br><br><br>
And isn't so sad that sexual perverted weirdness is so prevalent? That nearly everyone has a story? Ugh, it's depressing.
 

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I don't blame you either and would keep them away for the time being, esp for over nights and alone time. Just seems odd to me, but I have issues there as well so I am not very trusting either. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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It sounds odd to me also, and I'm usually one to give people the benefit of the doubt. I'm very trusting and this just doesn't seem right...
 

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Not in your DDC but the deal breaker for me would be that he asked your child to keep a secret from you. That is completely wrong and makes the situation completely intolerable. That is one of our rules for coming to parents immediately. If anyone asks you to keep a secret from us they are trying to hurt you or cause trouble. I am so sorry you have to deal with this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br>
Wendi
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>marisa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9032435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And isn't so sad that sexual perverted weirdness is so prevalent? That nearly everyone has a story? Ugh, it's depressing.</div>
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It is very depressing. When I moved here something like 17 months ago, the first three girlfriends I made have all suffered sexual abuse as children. It's taken me this long to hear all of their stories (told to me when they were ready to tell), but your quote above has made me think about the fact that WOW, what a "coincidence" that is.<br><br>
It has nothing to do with me, my area, or them, but shows us how this is so BIG in our society. It's touched my husband and ex husband's families, my friends in NY and CA and all over the nation online.<br><br>
And yet, I still get people telling me I am too protective!<br><br>
Now that the oldest are 9 and 12, I think I am not protective ENOUGH! They're starting to get more and more independence and be out of my sight longer and longer. I worry ALL the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for all of the responses!<br><br>
So, I guess my next question is: when this comes up and must finally be confronted (like when she will call up and ask us to come over for a BBQ I'm sure, or ask when DS2 is coming for his sleepover <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: ) what do I say? I mean, I don't want to bring any accusations to the table because I have no proof of anything. That's all just weirdness we're feeling. I definitely am going to keep them from being alone with StepFIL ever again.<br><br>
The main issues are:<br>
She chose to go drinking on the night her grandson was coming to spend the night. (Not 100% sure of this, but SIL thinks that's where she was)<br><br>
OR she didn't KNOW DS was coming over to spend the night...my son said "she wasn't answering her phone..." So, maybe FIL was trying to call her and she was just enjoying herself too much, or he's lying...<br><br>
I was not notified in advance of any dirtbike/motorcycle/whatever it was riding, he was not outfitted in proper safety gear, and I am under the impression that it was supposed to be a secret from me. (What DS said.)<br><br>
MIL has still not returned our calls, even after a stressed out sounding message left by my DH.<br><br>
I don't feel that they are stable enough to watch my kids anymore, if they can't follow simple guidelines. NO DRINKING, keep in touch with me, no fighting (she wants to divorce him every couple of weeks), etc. I know from past experience that I will be responsible for this conversation because DH tends to cloud things over and forgive people too quickly to avoid confrontation. I know I will seem like an ogre and a bad guy, but I'm totally willing to sacrifice any relationship with those two in order to best protect my kids.
 

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Bad spot to be in, I know. But you can also use her tactics of ignoring phone calls and e-mails I guess. And just saying things like,<br><br>
"No, I don't think this weekend works."<br>
"Not this time."<br>
"Let me think about it."<br><br>
You can probably go for BBQ's and things like that because you're vigilant. But like you, I wouldn't want overnights or time alone.<br><br>
I am so sorry you're in this position of having to guess what's going on and having to avoid contact. It stinks! It also stinks when it seems like you will be the meanie here.<br><br>
But if your hubby will do it, have him field some of the calls and e-mails to tell them no too. I will often ask hubby to take responsibility for things so his mom doesn't think it's just me. She has villainized me since her sister decided to give me the cold shoulder last year.<br><br>
Even with my own parents sometimes I have to step in and say something and I look (to them) like I am being a jerk, but it's for the good of the kids and my immediate family.<br><br>
Luckily even though MIL lives 5 minutes away, we rarely see her anymore. If we did, I'd have to be on her all the time. And instead of forgiving me and going with it even if they don't like it (like my parents), she gets upset.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<b>Not in your DDC but the deal breaker for me would be that he asked your child to keep a secret from you. That is completely wrong and makes the situation completely intolerable. That is one of our rules for coming to parents immediately. If anyone asks you to keep a secret from us they are trying to hurt you or cause trouble. I am so sorry you have to deal with this.<br>
Wendi</b><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Keeping secrets doesn't set well with me at all, even if they are *innocent* on the surface. NOT a good precedent. I don't trust anyone who tells kids to keep secrets from their parents. Totally inappropriate.
 

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always trust the gut (even if you are wrong.. better safe than sorry) is there any way your DS might be able to give you any info as to what they did?? I know that is hard but kids are generally pretty honest and straightforward.. either way, I say no unsupervised visits, period.. sorry for your stress.. I can't imagine how worried youa are..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I have questioned him extensively, and so far he is not weirded out by FIL in any way, and he's upset that I don't want him over there. It seems they watched alot of TV - Nascar, some show about train wrecks until DS said it would give him nightmares...I also asked if he slept in his shorts and he said yes, which being the nudist my son is, I was relieved. This is why I don't think anything happened - yet. I am still not ruling out the possibility that intent might be there though.
 

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eeek, ITA with trusting your gut.<br><br>
I think I would have to talk with DS, and then avoid any sort of alone time with either MIL or FIL. *IF* something did happen (and I really think pp are right that he might have been feeling him out a bit as far as secrets...and I hope to G*d nothing did happen) I think I would blame her as much as him.
 

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Oh, man, when I got to the part about him asking your son to keep the dirt bike a secret... ugh.<br><br>
I tend to be one to give people the benefit of the doubt, but even if everything IS on the up and up and it was just a miscommunication, it really doesn't excuse your MIL from following up with you when your husband called for a recap. Whenever my son is at my parents house for the night, or even with my mom and dad for the afternoon, they ALWAYS want to do a recap of what he ate, said, did, how he slept, etc. Not like they are reporting back, just sharing info about the time they spent together.<br><br>
It seems like the least family drama would be caused by having your MIL and husband talk about it, but it doesn't sound like she's on board for that. You may need to talk to the SFIL, focusing on the secretive dirt bike issue (and the safety equipment!) issue. Both the ILs need to know that you are currently questioning how much you can trust them to care for your son in the way you expect him to be cared for. I think you have ample grounds to convey that without opening up the sexual abuse can of worms. S.A. may or may not be a future concern... but I'm with everyone else on not wanting to chance it.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
So sorry that you have to deal with this.
 

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I totally agree with following your gut. To rip off Oprah, Thats why we have gut feelings - to warn us of trouble. I read your story and got squicked out myself, imagining that was my DS, and so my opinion is keep both DS's close at family functions, NO MORE sleepovers, have a good talk/re-talk about good touches/bad touches and whats appropriate for a grownup to show them/do with them/ ask them, etc, and when your MIL and FIl call you back have a serious talk ( you and your Dh and them) about her not being home and the dirtbike 'secret', and how that is completely not OK with you at all, and that all sleepovers/ visits without you present are stopping. It may make them weird for a while, but if I were in your shoes, I'd rather have inlaws annoyed at my 'overreacting' than spend the rest of my life regretting that I didn't take all steps to stop a molestation. Maybe I'm just hormonal and overreacting myself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: , but thats my 2 cents. I am glad your son felt comfortable enough to talk to you about the dirtbike!<br><br>
Lisa
 

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Always, always, always trust your instincts. Always. Did I say always?<br><br>
You're a great mama.<br><br>
You're not responsible for your mil or fil's feelings. They are.<br><br>
You are responsible for do the best that you can to protect your children.<br><br>
And you are doing that. And you don't have to explain yourself to anyone at all.<br><br>
Look at it this way: they live so close that sleepovers are completely unnecessary. If you feel comfortable, you can invite them to supervised family functions and they can see your kids that way.<br><br>
ETA: Have you read "Protecting the Gift" and "The Stop Child Molestation Book"?
 

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I completely agree with what Gina said. Trust your gut mama.
 

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Your instincts are probably right. This situation is VERY fishy. The fact that he was asking your ds to "keep a secret" is highly suspicious. You are right to feel upset that the situation was not represented accurately to you. I am sorry you have to deal with this, and hopefully nothing happened.
 
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