AIBU to stop my ex heroin addict sibling from meeting my children(30 Posts)
I have two children both toddlers and a sibling who is an ex heroin addict now on a methadone program. My family all disowned my sibling 4 years ago but now everyone is playing happy families again except me. The problem is my sibling is/was a compulsive liar, has had so many chances to change I've lost count, hasn't seen their own child for years, has stolen from my parents and other siblings. I haven't spoken to them for four year after my parents disowned them. I have shielded my children from any sort of violence/ drug abuse because my mum was in a violent relationship when I was a child and some of my first memories are of violence. I want to keep my children innocent and pure for as long as possible but my family think I'm being unreasonable as apparently my sibling has now 'proven' themselves by staying clean for a whole 3 month. I do admit to feeling guilty about this but probably because of the pressure they are putting on me. I don't want my children to meet them and get attatched then lose that person because they've relapsed. I'm so confused about what to do for the best I don't know if they are clean or not I only know what my family are telling me.
Tell them you're open to a relationship when they've been clean for a year?
I'd meet up with them a few times first before I even considered introducing them to the DC. That would give them chance to demonstrate that they had turned their life around before getting your DC involved
Maybe wait until they've been clean a bit longer and then reassess?
It's always your choice but people who have support (but not enablement) from their families do better with recovery than those who get cut off.
Three months is nothing. I wouldn't even consider it until they'd been at least 12 months clean and only if they were attending meetings.
Not all rehab programmes involve meetings. That's just one approach to addiction
3 months is a huge achievement and if you can manage a low key meeting in a public venue, I think that would be both safe and kind. Your children won't suffer from meeting someone who you introduce gently. You don't have to labour the auntie/uncle angle.
Follow your instincts. Hate to say it but the first few funerals that
I went to were due to Methadone overdoses. Hope your sibling comes through the treatment ok. Sounds like you are doing a fab job parenting.
Far too soon. Your mother didn't shield you, but you can protect your dc. Just tell them it's too soon and refuse to discuss it further. If they try to push it, tell them you have to go, walk out, go to the toilet, give attention to the children, hang up, etc. If they keep bullying you, which it sounds like they're doing, then tell them YOU will decide what's best for YOUR children.
"Three months is nothing"
Au contraire. Three days is a massive victory and it doesn't help to underplay the huge effort that will have gone in to overcoming an addiction such as Heroin for 3 months.
Similar situation with my brother. He was clean, met them and relapsed. That Christmas Emmy eldest was asking for uncle Mark and I swore that wouldn't happen again. He got his shit together and then didn't ask to see them until he was confident he would be relapsing again, which was many months later.
I would wonder what their view is? Does she actually want to meet them? My brother had enough insight to not even ask. I saw him as I could handle it but he didn't want them to see him. What do they think?
There is certainly no automatic answer in circumstances like this. It's fact specific. Though most recovery programmes do encourage contact with family to repair damage done. I think of my brother as having been ill and of addiction as a sickness. He didn't chose to behave this way and if he works on his demons he can see my chikdren.
I'd meet my sibling at a neutral venue, but I probably wouldn't take my kids along just yet - not because I think meeting their aunt/uncle will do them any harm, but just because I think it might add to the pressure as you start to rebuild your relationship. Three months is great, but it's not that long to be clean and it sounds like your sibling has other problems beyond the drug addiction. Get to know them again a bit first and then you can decide if you want them to meet your children.
If you didn't have kids would you want any contact for yourself?
You are entitled to protect your kids from whomever you choose. Being a relative doesn't give them rights to your kids.
It's an achievement but not worth introducing your kids over the relapse rate is awful
Noooo way too soon. 12 months maybe but 3?? No chance.
Your dc,s don't need to be exposed to this.
I hope your sibling gets their life together.
How would this meeting benefit your kids? It wouldn't. I'd give it a year too.
3 months might be a huge victory for the addict, but that doesn't mean the OP had to allow this sibling back into her and her children's lives. Two completely separate issues.
OP: it is absolutely fine for you to decide that this is not ok for you and your children. You aren't telling the rest of your family what to do, but they need to understand that you are responsible for keeping your children safe and that comes first.
As a sibling of a heroin (and other things) addict I would say you need to listen to what your brain is telling you (whatever that is) 3 months is amazing but in my experience it's still very very early days.
I am low contact with my sibling because of the behaviours that go along with the addiction not the addiction itself.
My sibling still is very much not ok really despite being (mostly apart from some slips) clean for a good while now. I know when I see her it is hard work because the life she has and to an extent still is living and the people she hangs around with or the boyfriends she chooses has made changes in her personality (in my opinion) so lying, wanting to borrowing money or other things, loud foul language in public, rudeness to me or even strangers in the street (if for example they are in her way) or security guards in shops (what the fuck are you looking at) is common. Not so much stealing from me now but yes in the past. Also shoplifting while Were together and me finding out as we leave the shop. it sounds like I'm being a snob but I promise I'm not, it's hard to describe some of the behaviours without seeing them
I love my sibling very very much but I made the very important decision to not be treated like crap or manipulated anymore so until we can have a relationship where that doesn't happen I have to keep boundries in place to keep myself safe!
You can choose in the beginning to have a personal trial before thinking about introducing the kids.
3 months may seem like an eternity for your sibling but for you it's not.
I know where you are coming from I have an addict sibling who is such a liar I'm never sure whether I'm coming or going with him. At this moment in time i'm not in contact with him though other relatives are, he's been giving them the whole I'm clean story but last time he did that he was still taking drugs he just became better at hiding it. I'm not sure I believe him, I don't know if I ever will.
One of my other siblings had him staying at his house one time while he was 'clean', they went out for the evening and left him at the house and when they came back the whole house was upside down. He'd gone searching for money.
You have to do what's right for you. I understand addiction is an illness but it affects everyone in the family. Maybe meet up in a few months time just by yourself and rebuild your relationship (if your sibling is still clean) before you introduce them.
I did this, I cut my drug taking and drug dealing brother out, he met my daughter once when she was a few weeks old and I knew he'd just keep bringing trouble to my door and I never wanted her to see what I saw, never to witness it.
So that was the only and last time he met her and I've personally seen him once since. I don't regret it for a moment, and she's nineteen now.
My overwhelming instinct was to protect her , so I did.
Ginkypig you don't sound like a snob. Being around a person who has an addiction is tiring.
Along with the addiction, my brother is aggressive and lies about everything even things he doesn't need to lie about and has nothing to do with getting drugs. I often dream of having my brother back, but he's been this sort of person a lot longer than the person I remember when we are kids that I wonder whether his personality is all down to the drugs or whether this is just who he is.
3 months is a huge achievement, but too soon for your kids IMO. I've been to too many funerals for dear friends who had been clean for a year. However i think it would be good for you to meet her.
What youv said in your posts sounds very similar to my sibling
It's hard isn't it because the person I remember and always thought one day would come back might not actually be there anymore! I long for that person sometimes.
I can't say I don't love her but it causes huge anxiety being around her it takes energy I just (sometimes) don't have to give.
It's fine to put your children (and yourself) first. Your sibling may stay clean, or may not; it's good if s/he has the support of the rest of the family but there is no obligation on you to be involved. If the sibling stays clean and you feel you want to make some steps to restore the relationship, it would be fine to meet the person without taking your children along and see how things go.
Don't know how old your kids are but there may be a need to talk to them about the sibling in an age-appropriate way, especially if other family members are going to mentiion the person (keeping things a total secret from children is a bad idea).
I see no reason your children need to have a relationship with your sibling.
You can see your sibling, but I agree, children aren't a 'reward'. 3 months is impressive, but not unheard of to relapse at this point.
Your responsibility isn't to your sibling but to your DC. If you don't feel comfortable in them having a relationship with your sibling, then don't be bullied in to it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.