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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.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Wed 07-Nov-12 16:13:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dahlen Wed 07-Nov-12 16:18:04

Trust your instincts. There's a lot in that post that has alarm bells ringing. The danger of your MIL being totally innocent and you being wrong is that your DC miss out on a relationship with a woman who has already shown manipulative and controlling traits. The danger of your MIL being an abuser and you wrongly allowing contact is that your DD could really, really suffer. I know which option I'd choose.

FWIW, I think ALL contact with your MIL should stop. I get the impression that despite the manufactured guilt your DH would feel from doing so, he'd be far more emotionally healthy for doing so.

YouOldSlag Wed 07-Nov-12 16:19:32

Well put Dahlen

AllOverIt Wed 07-Nov-12 16:31:35

Go with your instincts. Alarm bells would be ringing for me too sad

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 16:34:38

I'm not worried about fil, I agree he is complicit in her behaviour, its dh I'm worried about finding it devastating. Though I agree I think he would be secretly releaved about no contact with mil.
So no one thinks I'm completely over reacting. And the consensus is to cut contact?

TheArmadillo Wed 07-Nov-12 16:35:43

you've tried with close supervision, it didn't work. I think you now have to cut contact.

gobbymare Wed 07-Nov-12 16:36:47

Personally Panda, If I was in this situation and my partner went against my wishes on something that was/is potentially so serious then he would see the door or take notice of what i felt/saw. I would make it clear to him what is exactly at stake here.
Children always come first before inlaws and patners and husbands, altho he is the dad, he also has to put his childs needs first and if it was me and he hadn`t made that much of an effort to watching our child after i had explained how i felt then they wouldn`t be going no matter how much of a stink it would cause.

AlienRefluxovermypoppy Wed 07-Nov-12 16:41:21

Cut contact, until at least your dd is going to the toilet on her own, even then, I would want nothing more to do with her, she sounds toxic and weird to say the least, our instincts are rarely wrong, and she has gone against your wishes to get your child alone to change nappies,?!It's just weird, if not sinister.

Brycie Wed 07-Nov-12 16:45:05

Can you talk to a GP in confidence? I ask because if push comes to shove you want it on record that you raised this concern and you have evidence to back up a demand that your husband is never to take the children to the grandparents house and specifically spend time with his mother. I would want to talk to someone "in authority" who can make notes, in the guise maybe of asking if it's unusual behaviour or if you are over-reacting. The only thing is, it might raise all sorts of red flags and social services to do with YOU when there's no problem at all.

I would ask on Mumsnet for doctors to tell you what they would do in this situation.

2cats2many Wed 07-Nov-12 16:46:43

God, how awful. I got goosebumps reading your post OP. Definitely trust your instincts and protect your daughter.

RyleDup Wed 07-Nov-12 16:55:13

Strange behaviour. Although theres nothing concrete I would certainly trust your instincts on this. Talking to your gp wouldn't be a bad idea. Was your dh known to SSD as a child? He may not remember but he could certainly request records to see. I'd also look into getting his medical records, even if he can't remember anything, this may shine some light on the situation. Your husband would probably benefit from some counselling, partly to help look back into his childhood, but also to teach him not to fall into past bullying patterns with his family, which in turn renders him helpless at protecting his children.

fromparistoberlin Wed 07-Nov-12 16:55:13

she sounds awful, and your DH has clearly blocked out most of his childhood

I would avoid her like the plague

so sorry

ProcrastinatingPanda Wed 07-Nov-12 16:55:21

But gobby if that were to happen and your OH still disagreed with you then you'd have even less control of where he took the dc IYSWIM. I had to go through solicitors, and eventually it went infront of a judge in court when I tried to stop my ex taking my DS to see my own mother (she was very abusive, although not sexual, and her husband was in and out of jail for serious crimes) who I had cut out of DS's life for his own protection. I had to have lots of evidence and witness statements too and during this my ex still took my DS to see her every fortnight and caused a fair bit of damage. Eventually the judge ruled that my ex had to follow what I said and not allow my mother near my son when he had contact, but if it was his mother I was arguing against I think it would be a different outcome.

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 16:56:42

Dh would never take the girls there without me if I put my foot down, even if, god forbid, we split up or I died. He is just very upset by the nature of my concerns and what it means for his relationship with his patents. He had asked me to talk to my mum for an outside opinion, but I think my mum might have actually murdered my mil.
I think I will show him the thread later.

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 17:02:45

Rule, I know that ssd investigated due to bil's unusual injuries and healed broken bones after a routine xray when 10. Il's are wealthy, middle class and pillars of community. Nothing happened as bil had no memory of the injuries.
Dh's abiding memory of his childhood is of needing to protect bil sad from is right that he has blocked it and he will still do this now if she does something particularly awful.

AlienRefluxovermypoppy Wed 07-Nov-12 17:02:56

Yes, show him the thread, and I think ryledup makes some excellent points regarding him.

EdsRedeemingQualities Wed 07-Nov-12 17:04:04

No one should be touching your child's genitals without your permission.

Simple as that imo and she's clearly not someone you can trust in any way.

If your DH wants to keep seeing her and his father, or just his father then that's up to him but you cannot allow this woman to be anywhere near your children, she's demonstrated that beyond all doubt.

So sorry you are stuck in the middle like this.

Pozzled Wed 07-Nov-12 17:04:33

Huge alarm bells ringing. I think you have to cut all contact. Your DH will obviously find it hard at first, but it sounds like it would be better for him in the long term.

And from what you've said I'm absolutely certain that cutting contact will be best for your DDs.

Read back what you've written- MIL took DD1 to a potty in a distant part of the house (when explicitly asked not to) and was getting ready to put nappy cream on, completely unnecessarily, because 'it would be nice'.

EdsRedeemingQualities Wed 07-Nov-12 17:06:18

Plus I think your DH probably would benefit from some therapy or sounds like these issues go very very deep but just because he is sadly in denial (my mother was till her mid thirties - she forgot everything till then) it doesn't mean your children should be compromised or sacrificed to the cause of protecting him, or her. iyswim x

ProcrastinatingPanda Wed 07-Nov-12 17:07:00

Hopefully OP, but that what I thought about my ex. He ferociously supported me cutting contact to protect DS but that all changed when we split up.

Brycie Wed 07-Nov-12 17:07:26

If this was a man you were talking about you would have no doubts at all. Think of it that way.

Iceaddict Wed 07-Nov-12 17:07:44

Second everyone who says keep kids away. There's no smoke without fire and if you're not happy about something then follow your instincts. Tough luck if you end up being wrong and she's innocent. Your kids are to precious to take a chance

Anniegetyourgun Wed 07-Nov-12 17:08:20

I don't see how it can be anything other than sinister. Maybe what she's doing isn't exactly what you fear, but it's bloody peculiar behaviour any road, and it clearly is causing DD1 some confusion at the very least and potentially behavioural problems (even, heaven forbid, physical damage). I am very very sorry for your DH, it must be so difficult for him, but protecting his DC has to come first, last and in the middle.

People have this image in mind of someone who "does things like that" and it's always seen to be a man. But they'd be wrong.

fandomfanny Wed 07-Nov-12 17:08:48

He has had some counselling. But an experience when 18 put him off. His mother told him the counsellor had said there was something wrong with him and that he was clearly unable to function. hmm He never went back, but did access some more counselling recently where he explored the idea his mum was toxic, but then the counsellor moved and he didn't like the new one. He's not a talker (understatement) so doesn't find counselling very natural.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 07-Nov-12 17:14:48

The counsellor didn't tell him there was something wrong, his mother said it, eh?

Has he perhaps considered that she may not have been entirely truthful?

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