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help me rationalize please(68 Posts)
Tonight I discover that my best friends bil has been imprisoned for child sex offense. I am in a state of complete shock I guess you would call it as we have socialised with this man since my dd was born (7 years) and although I know I never let my dd out of my sight so no harm has come to her, I am really struggling with my rage at my best friend's dh who knew this was his second offense and not only didn't tell me or my best friend but let us even invite thus monster into our home last Christmas as he is single and we didn't want him to be alone.
My friend is struggling to understand my feelings and has begged me not to say anything to her dh as he is obviously ashamed and embarrassed. She never had children and doesn't understand that I am furious that my dd could have been in a potentially harmful position. It doesn't help that I was abused as a child and this has always been my greatest fear.
My dh struggles with emotions and has said next to nothing...no anger, no fear, nothing. Therefore I am trying to work through how I feel alone.
I want to punch my df's husband but this will be fruitless won't it as its highly unlikely this situation would ever happen again isn't it?
My friend needs my support and I will be there for her no matter what but I need to vent how I feel and it looks like you mnr's will have to be my release.
Please tell me something to reassure me that everything will be ok and I haven't let dd down?
And I am sorry for any spelling mistakes, I am too upset to check.
I'm not sure why you shouldn't say something to your friend's DH. He knowingly allowed your child to be placed in danger. You have absolutely no chance of being able to maintain a relationship with your friend if you don't say something because it will eat away inside of you and then come out in a worse way.
I'm sure he is embarrassed. He should be on his bloody knees asking for your forgiveness. But I don't see why you should brush this under the carpet just because it happens to suit him. And not having children is not an excuse for failing to understand why you would be angry, by the way.
Given this has understandably triggered memories of your own abuse, I wonder if it is worth seeking some counselling? This may help you process your thoughts in a safe space.
Of course the main thing to remember is that nothing did happen and your dd is thankfully unharmed. Your friends have demonstrated a very severe lack of judgement, however. Him before and her now.
Thank you trib, I agree with what you say.
I just can't get my head around why he thought it was ok to not tell me? He has kids, he should know how important it is? Why isn't she angry with him? I mentioned that she must have had a right go at him for not telling her and she just said "he has enough on his plate"!
This is what made me think that there is something wrong with how I feel? I need someone to tell me my reaction is understandable...or not.
"I just can't get my head around why he thought it was ok to not tell me?"
There could be any number of motives ranging from avoidance to thoughtlessness to misplaced family loyalties to him having been convinced by his brother that he was a reformed character. Keeping silent as your DH is doing will only result in frustration and resentment. Punching people is no way to get your point across, however. If you've known her DH for so long a 'what were you thinking?' conversation is necessary to clear the air. If he's ashamed and embarrassed it'll give him chance to apologise in person.
I'm sure he's embarrassed He may have even thought it was a one off and his B would ever reoffend or even that he was innocent originally. YOu just don't know but I think you should speak to him. However he felt, he had a duty really to tell you as although nothing happened, it could've & the risk was clearly there if he has reoffended.
I'd try to keep my cool and speak to him (though I'd want to punch him too).
Sorry you're having to deal with all this. I imagine it's pretty uncomfortable considering your own history
"I haven't let dd down?"
You can't protect your DCs from risks you don't know exist. You can't protect DCs from risk in general, it's always a judgement. You can't monitor their every waking movement, you can only provide reasonable supervision. Short of asking your friend 'is your BIL a paedophile?' or asking the police for background checks before inviting someone over for a meal, how were you to know there was anything wrong with the man?
Now that you know the truth, you won't let this man within a mile of your DD. So no, you haven't let her down.
Also, just because you haven't had children doesn't mean you can't make sure you're keeping others DCs safe.
I've had similar recently in that someone I know was imprisoned for the seconds time for child sex offences. It's awful and you can't rationalise it. I've got no helpful advice but I know how you feel.
I need someone to tell me my reaction is understandable...or not.
An acquaintance of mine was imprisoned (for a loooong time) for sex offended against children. I'm child free, so in a very diffetent situation to you, and I didn't spend much time with him - more of an Internet friend. But when I found out about everything I was so so so shocked. Speechless, jaw in floor-shocked. It was one of the worst experiences I've ever had, which sounds odd and like me being a bit 'special' but the whole thing was vile and he seemed so ordinary.
I think I'm saying to try to be too brave and deny your own feelings of, I presume, shock and disgust. You're someone's mum so it's different but don't underestimate your reaction and please look after yourself x
I'm wittering now, sorry. I wrote my ex friend a letter that I never sent then put him from my mind. He chose me, out of our mutual friends, to invite to write to him in jail
Thank you all for responding. I really needed to be able to discuss this with someone. The anger is bubbling away inside me but I didn't mean it about punching, it was just an expression of showing my incomprehension and anger at how someone could knowingly let me take my child to bbqs and parties and times when you are relaxed...I'm waffling with all the thoughts. I can't stop trying to remember every move that was made in every social gathering for the past seven years.
I do know one thing and that is if my brother had been in prison already I would never have put my friends in the position I have been put in. I would never have believed that prist would have stopped his thoughts and actions towards children. I really don't think it's a simple as locking someone up. All I know that it takes children away from the danger of him whilst he is locked up...which will probably only be a few years with good behaviour.
I understand that I can't know that my next door neighbour could be a paedophile but I take the necessary precautions with anyone I don't know well. I feel that I should have been told or should never have been invited around when he was there.
My friend I believe would never have allowed it to happen if she had known but she is not angry at him?
she got angry at me because I said I couldn't understand how he could have allowed this situation and when she phoned back to apologize for swearing at me she said she didn't 'think' that I would be upset! How could she think that? If I had been
Thank you kali, I think maybe if a write a couple of letters and then tear them up, stamp on them and burn them then maybe that will help? I have done that before to try and help me with past issues. If anyone wrecked my dds life like the first 30 years of mine were then I will have failed. I can't believe the danger was there and someone knew!
She swore at you? Doesn't sound like much of a friend to me. If you want a rationale for her response I think there it's summed up as 'closing ranks'. Going on the attack to defend her DH's judgement. Most people would be mortified at finding out their BIL was a sex offender and would not only be furious at their partner having been kept in the dark but would also insist they apologise to anyone their poor judgement had affected. She'd want to make amends and repair the friendship. I think you're going to have to give the whole family a wide berth if she's doing the opposite.... because it means her judgement is as bad as his.
One hears a lot about writing letters you'll never send and I was sceptical but it really worked for me. A couple of drafts to something I was happy with. I did show it to some mutual friends, some of whom understood was I was trying to do, and some you couldn't understand why I cared about him. Which I didn't, it was for me.
As I say the situation was different and I didn't have a DC who I was prevented from protecting through others bad decisions. I'm sorry that you have been and completely empathise your anger. Uselessly, I dont have specific advice on that apart from not doing anything too hastily.
Men who abuse children are vile creatures. Your friend is so completely out of order it's shocking. I'd worry about these people's moral fibre and integrity. You don't allow child abusers anywhere near anyone's children, it's just so wrong. I'm not surprised you're so angry, quite bloody right too. If I was in your position I'd think hard about these people and whether they are deserving of your friendship
Maybe he couldn't believe it was true about his brother. He didn't keep anything from you if he Honestly thought it wasn't true or if he had repressed his thoughts about it?
It's something that is so abhorrent he may have just pushed all the information away, IYSWIM?
So abhorrent this is the second time he's been imprisoned
As usual, Cog has it with the rubbish friends and their crap reactions. Its gone way beyond "Poor them, they couldn't believe he was a monster!" and managing ones reactions to let them off the hook.
My step father abused me as a child. When my mother found out he was dying she wanted to get back with him as he was 'the love of her life'.
If they had got back together she would never have seen me and my child ever again.
I still feel massively betrayed after telling her what he did that she would consider getting back with this pervert years later.
When he died his first and second (me & my half sister) families were banned from his funeral in case we told what he was really like.
Not quite the same but I understand your anger.
Some things are unforgivable. Putting a child at risk of a known bastard is one of them. I would never forgive or trust these people again.
Thank you again all. I have to try and calm down and get my thoughts straight, it is so hard. I really value all your opinions on this.
Xales, I am so sorry that happened to you especially with the double betrayal of your own mother. Why do women collude with the monsters so often?
my friend told me she recalled her husband telling her when they first got together that he was visiting an uncle in the town where his brother was in prison. How can she not be furious that he lied to her? Is she 'colluding'?
we are supposed to see them tonight, my dh is fine with going but I don't know if I can sit there and pretend I am not beside myself with anger I have never felt before. I wouldn't be able to confront df's dh as his mother who is suffering with dementia (who knows all of the situation) will be there as paedo was her carer. She is confused and upset and she doesn't deserve to be involved in an argument, which I am sure it would end up as if they continue to justify not telling me.
friend said she can't bear the thought of him being beaten up in prison again! How dare she say that to me? She is being an ostrich as she hasn't even got the full information of what he did and doesn't want to know. I know I could Google and find out but not sure if that would torture me more?
They have known for a week or so but her dh made her promise not to tell me until sentancing.
I know she is suffering but how can she not understand how I feel? I don't think my loyalty to her as a friend is stong enough
For me to not say anything.
I'm sorry I am waffling, I can't think of anyone to talk to who isn't involved in the circle of friends. She has asked me not to say anything other than my dh but I really don't think she has a right to ask that...especially when it will be in the paper?
I think your friend really needs you to be her friend in this. I know you have worries about What Ifs, but this isn't just about you.
I've read through again, I can't see why you are so upset with your friends. They've done the best they could in a situation any of us could find ourselves in.
OP, it seems that you are in a swirl of emotions at this point, and I can imagine that this is a turbulent and confusing time for you. I am sorry that this is happening, especially as it brings up memories of your own abuse as a child.
So it seems that your friend and her husband have deliberately kept some very important information about BIL secret from you. The reasons are not important. It is the fact that they kept this secret from you in the first place. If you had know that there was a previously incarcerated child sex offender in your social circle, you could have taken the appropriate decision and steps to not have this person in you company. The fact that they deliberately deceived you is the crux of the argument.
To complicate matters even further, your friend has asked you not to have it out with her DH because "he has a lot on his plate". Having a lot to cope with does not absolve him of the responsibility of his deception. You would be well within your rights to have it out with him and tell him exactly how much he has knowingly endangered the welfare of your child.
Lastly, I think that in the long term, these people are not friends that you should be associating with. A true friend does not put you and your loved ones in the path of danger to satisfy their desires (whatever they might be). They could have chosen to manage this so differently. The recidivism rates for child sex offenders are very very high, and they are rarely ever considered 'reformed'.
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