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AIBU to ask someone to stop posting on my SIL's FB

(20 Posts)
Narnia72 Mon 17-Nov-14 11:38:07

First AIBU - please be gentle.

My SIL is in the heartbreaking situation of having to have her baby adopted, as she can't care for her as a solo parent with complex MH issues. She is struggling to come to terms with this, and often posts long rants about it on FB.

There is one of her FB friends, who I don't know at all, who always writes messages along the lines of "don't worry, it will be alright, you will get her back". Long posts about how everyone can see they should be together and justice will prevail.

She seems like a nice, if very fluffy woman, who is trying to share comforting words. However, we know it is not going to happen and baby is going to be adopted. There is no happy ending here. SIL is in denial about it, and takes this woman's words as messages that it will be ok and her baby will be returned to her.

WIBU to send a private message to this poster and explain that her messages aren't helping at a time when we are trying to convince SIL to accept the reality of the situation. False hope (especially when the woman knows absolutely nothing about the situation, other than what SIL has posted) is really unhelpful, and will only make the heartbreak even more harrowing when the adoption order is finalised.

OH can't deal - he is finding the whole situation so heartbreaking, and he doesn't go on FB anyway.

StrangeGlue Mon 17-Nov-14 11:43:28

I think you have to weigh up how much it's hindering your sil with the risk of how this person will react. If you don't know them at all you don't know if they will twist your message, share it on etc. could your sil be persuaded to I friend or hide or put this person on a restricted profile?

Sounds horrendous! Poor sil, you and dh sad

MagpieCursedTea Mon 17-Nov-14 11:44:52

That's a tough one! On the one hand it really is up to your SIL as to who she shares the details of her situation with, on the other hand I understand that you want to protect her from false hope.
Have you spoken to your SIL about this woman? Can you gently speak to SIL about people giving her false hope? I'd be concerned that if you spoke to her friend behind her back she would feel betrayed when she's already in a fragile situation.

manchestermummy Mon 17-Nov-14 11:46:34

Your poor SIL, what a terrible situation. Fwiw, and I realise that isn't the purpose of your post, I wonder if your SIL shouldn't be posting that sort of stuff on fb anyway, because it sort of invites ill-informed comments and speculation.

I wouldn't send a message, personally, but I might respond to the friend's comment along the lines of "I really don't think you should continue to comment on a situation about which you do not know the full story". I realise that might lead people to think things that aren't true.

I would actually be inclined to tell the SIL to stop posting. Are you friendly enough that you can do that? Can your MIL speak with her? My SIL was putting on some outrageous things that could have caused problems for her own very sad situation, and was angry as MIL having a word made her initially, she has changed what she puts.

WorraLiberty Mon 17-Nov-14 11:49:11

It's a tough one.

Over sharers on FB do tend to invite all sorts of misguided comments, mostly from people who feel awkward reading, but not replying.

If you cant encourage your SIL to stop posting about her private problems, perhaps you could speak to her about this woman's comments and point out, that she's probably just trying 'make everything ok'.

NotYouNaanBread Mon 17-Nov-14 11:49:57

I would certainly contact her, yes, because she is not helping.

But I don't understand about the adoption - this is your husband's sister, right? Why is nobody in the family adopting this child?

manchestermummy Mon 17-Nov-14 11:52:12

Naan I think you are demonstrating the issue exactly: you are assuming a different situation could happen, without knowing the whole story.

Legohair Mon 17-Nov-14 11:55:04

You're right of course, such comments are completely unhelpful, and it's a heartbreaking situation, but is posting about this on FB helping to shore up your SIL's fragile MH? What would she think if the fluffy commenting woman told her you had told her to stop commenting? And what would you actually say to the commenting FB woman - don't you risk giving out private information which is not yours, which is in fact partly the private information of your baby niece, to share?

I know your SIL is already oversharing in her pain and distress, but presumably if you are to convince her FB friend that there is absolutely no hope of her raising her baby herself, you would have to make her privy to incidents of neglect or abuse that caused SS involvement, or to go into details about your SIL's condition which shouldn't be shared?

Legohair Mon 17-Nov-14 11:57:49

NotYou, that's insensitive. We have no idea what the reality of this situation is, and it's perfectly possible (as it is in many situations where an SGO inside the family is considered and rejected) that SS feel that if family adopted the baby, they wouldn't be able to keep her at sufficient distance for her safety from her mentally ill mother, for instance. An adoption outside the family may give the baby a fresh start and advantages that a family SGO could not, if it compromised the health and safety of both birth mother and baby.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Mon 17-Nov-14 11:58:11

I don't think you should. The messages, whilst complete fantasy could be helping SIL to cope right now...in the present. Whatever happens long term can be dealt with then.

Narnia72 Mon 17-Nov-14 11:58:21

manchestermummy - no she shouldn't be posting anything about it really, as it's all collected as evidence by the SS. Impossible to stop her though, she's on a path of self-destruction and this is the least of it.

I've made it a policy not to comment on any of SIL's messages, as I don't want to get drawn in to her discussions. Rest of the family have washed their hands of her, MIL just wrings her hands and sobs, but isn't of any practical help and SIL doesn't listen to her anyway.

SIL doesn't accept the reality of the situation from any of us. She sees me and OH as unduly negative and any attempt to get her to listen results in her accusing us of wanting her to lose her baby.

We are very involved in the situation, and sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees. Maybe I just should hide SIL and ignore it. It just incenses me that this woman continues to write ever more positive messages to what is clearly a worsening situation. I'm probably projecting my anger at the situation onto her, tbf.

strangeglue - good points. I have no idea how she would react. She comes across as kind if misguided, so I thought an appeal to her better nature might at least temper her comments.

Arrgh, such a horrific situation. I know it's the tip of the iceberg, but I just want to do anything I can to make ithtly slig less worse for SIL, IYSWIM.

APlaceInTheWinter Mon 17-Nov-14 11:59:52

I understand it's upsetting but I think it's upsetting you more than your SIL and for that reason I don't think you should intervene.

It sounds, understandably so, that your SIL will be in denial until the adoption is finalised. Whether this lady continues to post or not, your SIL is still going to be hoping for a different outcome and she may be taking some small comfort from her friend's posts. I really don't think I could deny her that comfort in such a difficult time. I understand you think it's adding to her distress and unrealistic expectations but I don't think anything could be more distressing than knowing you're going to lose your DC.

Narnia72 Mon 17-Nov-14 12:03:14

Legohair - that is exactly the situation. You're right, I don't want to share information that is private, I was just going to ask her to refrain from commenting too positively as the situation is a lot more complex than it appears from SIL's posts.

Naan - we can't, it's heartbreaking and I don't want to go into the details here, but if you're interested it's on the adoption board.

ChippingInAutumnLover Mon 17-Nov-14 12:04:02

It's all just so sad sad

I can see why you want to ask her to stop doing it, but in all honesty, I don't know if it would help or hinder.

How old is the baby? Has she been trying to look after it herself?

itiswhatitiswhatitis Mon 17-Nov-14 12:04:54

I think in your position I would hide your SIL's facebook page. There will always be someone giving her well meant but unhelpful platitudes because that's what she's seeking at the moment. I suspect if you messaged this woman she would either tell you to get lost or just continue her unhelpful comments via private messages that you can't see.

It's a very sad situation but maybe the reality of accepting this is just too painful for your SIL right now.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Mon 17-Nov-14 12:10:58

OP my friend had a similar situation and she did adopt two of her neices' children (mere babies) one after the other and then the girl got pregnant again and my poor friend was heartbroken as she just could not have another child...she had two of her own and very poor health....she had to cut contact and ask social workers not to inform her of any more pregnancies.

You can only do so much. flowers hide her FB feed.

Legohair Mon 17-Nov-14 12:12:45

Narnia, then that's doubly difficult for you. I'm sorry, what a wretched situation. I was going to suggest you posted about it on the adoption board, which is full of wise and kind people, but I see you already have.

PurplePidjin Mon 17-Nov-14 12:28:18

I'm on the fence as to whether you contact the woman or not, as only you know the exact circumstances

If you do, could you put something like "Thank you for your support of <sil>. As a family, we are taking the tack that a permanent adoption is the best way forward, and we would very much appreciate any support you could give us in helping <sil> to accept that. Obviously this is very distressing for all involved, so consistency in our advice to her is reallly important. Thank you"

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 17-Nov-14 12:33:40

I think you have to hide SIL's facebook page, to be honest. There will always be someone there to fill this 'false hope' gap for her - far better that it's a fluffy, well-intentioned friend than someone from one of the 'forced adoption all SWs are baby stealers' websites that are out there.

I know that sounds harsh, I don't mean it to be - I genuinely think this person is feeding a need for your SIL in a fairly innocuous need. There are a lot worse out there who will do the same thing...

Best wishes to your family

NotYouNaanBread Mon 17-Nov-14 12:54:47

Narnia - Thank you for explaining (on the other board) - this makes it easier to understand. It is a heartbreaking situation, and I'm very sorry that you all have to go through this.

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