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concerned family member may be a child molestor

(606 Posts)
fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 15:37:42

OK, this may be long. It also maybe triggering re child molestation.

The background:
My mil is very unbalanced, manipulative and unstable. My dh agrees with this. He credits her behaviour as causing his deep seated anxiety issues, previous depression, self esteem issues etc. She hates me as I have removed dh from her control. Fil enables her, admits she is v difficult person he doesn't want to spend time with (works abroad). But he will defend her to the hilt/ tell people to put up with her unreasonable behaviour etc.

Has not worked at all for 7ish years, has worked in nursery and playgroup settings before then. Totally unable to form or maintain relationships with adults. Preoccupied/ obsessed with young children. Dh and bil covered in unexplained scars, healed fractures. Both have virtual no memories of their childhood. The ones they do have are generally very odd or disturbing.
After telling my dh to leave me and move back home so she could raise our dd and then only child we agreed to never see her without fil, which means we saw them rarely. Fine by both of us husband much happier when we have little contact.

After dd2 I was readmitted to hospital. 1.5 years had passed since incident above. Mil has been on best behaviour, seemingly changed. Dh could not take time off to care for DC when I was in hospital; would have lost his job and we would have lost everything. My df had a heart attack at same time, so my DM unavailable. The only person who could help was mil. Very very unhappy I agree she can come. Seems fine. Dd1 v clingy, but new baby +mummy in hospital seems to explain it.

I am discharged to convalase at home. Mil stays to help, I am happier as it means I can supervise, until well enough to send her home. Dd1 seems to be under going potty training regression. I feel uncomfortable with mil in house decide to do more. Put Dd1 in nappies again to make things easier (Dd1 is 2). Dd1 has always been very private about toileting- doesn't like being changed in big public changing rooms etc. We respect this. Dd1 seems unhappy about mil changing her. Me and dhsay I will do changes from now on, explain nicer for mil and Dd1 and help me get back in routine so she can go home!
Over next 2 days mil changes Dd1 every time I'm out of room, even when specifically asked not to. At this point just think she is being exasperating and making some kind of point/ power play.

Then I walk in on her and Dd1 mid change. Dd1 seems very uncomfortable. Mil visibly annoyed I've come in and seems on edge. She has nappy cream all over her fingers. It all seems wrong. There is nappy cream on Dd1 but inside her labia,not over normal areas.
I remove both dds and take them upstairs to play. I am freaked out is this something innocentthat imI'm misinterpreting or has something horrible just happened? Dh comes home, after DC asleep I tell him what I saw, how upset I am and that I want mil to leave in morning.
Dh agrees mil can leave but very upset I could even think this about his mother. Thinks I have misunderstood what is happening. I admit this is possible but that risk of being wrong is too great.

We agree that mil will never be alone with DC again. She leaves.
Over next few months we see her with fil 3 times for very brief periods. She is never unsupervised and over this period dh finds out she has lied to his face and cost us 1000's in a bid to make us financially dependent on them. He agrees this shows how evil and selfish she is.

Fast forward to this month. Dh wants to see extended family and his childhood home. We agree to visit il's and he promises to support me in not allowing Dd1 and DC to be alone with mil no matter what.

We go and dh becomes frightened child in face of il bullying. Undermines me in stopping his mum being alone with Dd1 who is the only DC mil seems to be interested in.

Then mil starts trying to take Dd1 to potty. Alone, in distant parts of the house when there is a bathroom next door, when she has just been and when mil has been told not to. I end up literally chasing her around the place.
Eventually I go change younger Dc ready for departure. I return Dd1 and mil have disappeared. Dh has not noticed.
Find them in most distant bathroom, there is a weird atmosphere. Dd1 on potty. Mil getting out nappy cream. I look at her, she says oh, disapointedly and leaves. I help Dd1 finish pulling trousers up. She asks for cream, which we don't use. I say no and she says mil said it would be nice.

We go home. I lay down the law to dh in the car about his failure to support. He is contrite agrees he has let me down and undermined me. But he is not convinced it is nesscessary to keep mil from being alone, that he is upset I could be worried about his mum like this and am overreacting because of her emoitional abuse of her him as a child and her dislike of me.

So mumsnet, help me out. I am I completely overreacting or is my concern legitimate. And if so what should I do? There is nothing I could go ton the police with ifyswim, just a feeling of unrest and wrongness and weird behaviour.

Dh is over distressed and refusing to discuss, though he says he is thinking. I feel sick with worry whenever I think about it. Dd1 seems fine, thank god.

FairiesWearPoppies Wed 07-Nov-12 15:44:03

Oh my love. Firstly cut contact with mil. You may have no concrete evidence but you can still speak to the police if you wish although it is unlikely you can ever go back once you h e done this. Speak to our dh again about your concerns.

Here for hand holding if you need and I'm glad dd on.

FairiesWearPoppies Wed 07-Nov-12 15:44:31

*your dh, not ours. Sorry blush

FerrisBueller1972 Wed 07-Nov-12 15:48:48

Personally I would go with my gut instinct and refuse to leave her alone with your MIL. Police I would not go to as you have no concrete evidence to give them.

Awful feeling that it is I totally understand it, I have the same feeling about my Father.

FairiesWearPoppies Wed 07-Nov-12 15:52:17

Can you speak to mil about it? Explain your feelings and why she can't be with dd alone etc.

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 15:52:40

Thanks for wading through it, its so long!
After the first incident I was adamant she would never be alone with them. I think my worry is that after this visit I'm not sure how to get dh on board with that as he was unable to be supportive in practise.

raskolnikov Wed 07-Nov-12 15:56:08

What a horrible situation to be in Fan - trust your instincts on this, if she makes you feel uneasy (and that behaviour is certainly suspect) then make sure your children are never alone with her - if your DH can't support you in this, then the visits will have to be minimal and you'll have to watch her like a hawk and keep your kids glued to your side! Or the visits have to stop altogether.

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 15:57:12

Ha! Speaking to mil is impossible. She will lie, cry, run away, deny. She is only tangentially connected to reality at the best of times. Put it this way, she once arranged to sell our car without telling us. We only found out when she had to arrange collection! Then she refused to discuss or apologise. No point talking to her and dh would agree.

FairiesWearPoppies Wed 07-Nov-12 15:59:42

How is dd around her in general- taking out potty situations - would she be upset if contact was stopped? (I know she is only young) I would just lay on line if it was my family. Tell dh he can have whatever relationship he wants with her but you and the dc will have a different one.

ProcrastinatingPanda Wed 07-Nov-12 16:02:09

What a horrible situation. I think you've done everything right and should follow your instincts with this. If it was me I'd personally cut contact with mil, but if that's not possible or there's the risk that your dh may disagree and take dd1 there without you and fail to protect her then could you arrange future visits in a public place like a park?

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 16:02:46

She is very attentive of Dd1 but in a controlling way, telling her how to play etc. At the moment Dd1 likes her,but I would say she has a better relationship with all other grandparents, including fil who is a very hands off grandad.

gobbymare Wed 07-Nov-12 16:02:48

I would not let my child near her, no matter what my hubby had said.

My exp`s father was in court about 30 years ago for suspected child abuse on his 2 daughters, he was found not guilty but one of them does not talk to him and has not done since the case. No smoke without fire i say.
I found him very touchy feely from day dot (before i even knew about the court case) and refused my daughter to ever be left alone with him, her dad agreed and was slightly upset about it but understood.

The risks are to great to ignore your instinct.

Instinct is nearly always right, trust it.

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 07-Nov-12 16:03:32

This woman is toxic. She may not be physically doing anything untoward to your daughter but she will mentally inflict wounds on her as she has your DH.

All the running off with your dd1 could be to make dd1 dependent on her like your DH was.

YOu really have to sit with your DH and see if he can bring himself to cut her off completely. I can't see her changing her behaviour so all you can do is change yours.

AlphaBeta82 Wed 07-Nov-12 16:04:56

Trust your instincts fan, as a child I was sexually abused by grandparents, parents and many others looked passed a number of potential indicators and thought 'something wasn't right' but were too embarrassed to raise it and dismissed their thoughts as silly. If you are genuinely worried do not let anything stop you from protecting your children, I am living proof of the consequences of parents who made that mistake!

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 16:05:44

I don't think dh would take DC without me, however cutting contact with mil would mean no contact with fil too which he would find devastating. I needed to be sure I wasn't over reacting before going nuclear ifyswim.

ProcrastinatingPanda Wed 07-Nov-12 16:06:05

gobby but what could she do if her dh disagreed and just took dd to the mil's? He is her father, I'm not sure what she could do to stop him apart from ask him not to IYSWIM.

YouOldSlag Wed 07-Nov-12 16:06:22

Right. Your MIL is obviously beyond reasoning, so make an executive decision. In your shoes I actually would stop her from seeing the DCs at all as she obviously goes completely against your wishes and keeps trying to get your DD alone. in my eyes, this would freak me out.

Your DH needs to have let the scales drop from his eyes. It's a grey area as to whether this is abuse of your child but what it definitely IS is inappropriate.

Your DD is already confused by this as she is asking you for cream now when you don't use it. It's also messing with the toileting routine and will confuse her.

Do not allow this toxic woman to bully you. Stand firm and simply don't budge. You are not mad or wrong to think these things,I would be the same in your shoes.

thumper1806 Wed 07-Nov-12 16:06:51

I would make an off the cuff comment about how she enjoys changing nappies. If there's nothing sinister in what she's doingm then you haven't outright accused her.But if there is something sinister, she might think twice if she's in your company again.

Are there any of your other in-laws who have young children that she shows/has shown an interest in? It might be that there are a few of you who think the same way, but it's so difficult to discuss without making accusations.

I think you should go with your gut instict, and at least until your DD is old enough to go to the toilet herself, you should limit/cut contact.

YouOldSlag Wed 07-Nov-12 16:07:16

If DH doesn't agree, then add conditions such as she can meet us in the park or meet us in a cafe.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Wed 07-Nov-12 16:09:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 16:09:37

Shaky that's been my take since me and dh met. As dh has been unready to cut contact I've been trying to manage it and keep the dcs and dh safe from her crazy behaviour. This has increased my desire to cut all contact a great deal.

TheArmadillo Wed 07-Nov-12 16:10:20

Given as you can't trust your dh to back you up and your MIL will go to such lengths to be alone with your dd1 I would refuse to let your MIL see your dc even with close supervision. The fact that she still managed to get hold of your dd1 despite your efforts mean that she is not safe even supervised.

I would also encourage your dh to sort out his childhood issues - through books to start with if he is not ready for counselling, toxic parents is a good one to start with (Susan Forward) and then there are others from there.

I know this will be terribly hard for your dh, I come from an abusive background though not sexual abuse, but you are the one here who can see straight and you must step in to protect your children where he can't as yet.

TheArmadillo Wed 07-Nov-12 16:11:48

FIL is an adult who can decide to visit you if he wants without MIL. Don't underestimate how complicit in this he is by letting her behaviour go unchecked and forcing it on to others/getting them to participate.

Pudgy2011 Wed 07-Nov-12 16:11:57

Oh what a horrible thing to deal with. But I'm sorry, I wouldn't let her near my children and most definitely not unsupervised.

I also wouldn't be pandering to her behaviour, the reason bullies get away with it for so long is because people don't stand up to them.

Like the others have said, trust your instincts and keep your kids close. I think it is entirely too disturbing that she wants to always put nappy cream on your children and in distant parts of the house. Regardless of what else is going on, that would be enough for me to kick up a mighty stink.

fuzzpig Wed 07-Nov-12 16:13:27

I think you should listen to your instincts TBH sad

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