How on earth can I handle this? (long)(7 Posts)
* Yes I know after reading this lots of you will probably tell I'm unreasonable and I'm sure I'm in for a lot of flack. I'm not asking if I'm right or wrong just advice on how to handle it.*
Bit of background to set the scene.
My mum has been with her partner (my stepdad) for 13 years. I've always got on well with him and have always thought he was decent bloke. They live with his elderly father who has dementia and needs 24 hour care. Over the years as my stepdad's father has got worse it has become increasingly difficult for me to visit my mum with the kids. He would become violent or verbally abusive, so it was decided that my mum would always come her to see the kids.
My mum is a great at being a granny she adores my dds and they adore her. She comes to visit 4-5 times a week and stays over once a week so she can put them to bed and also babysits for us lots.
Both my mum and stepdad have found it increasingly difficult at home with my stepdad's father because even though carers come in several times a day they still do the majority of the care and the rest of the family don't really help. Until recently, my stepdad's SIL has offered to swap houses with my mum and stepdad, so that she would move in with her (grown up) kids and look after her FIL. My mum was so chuffed really made up, they have swapped and they are moving this Tuesday. My mum is so pleased because the kids will be able to stay over and go to hers she really wants to do a bedroom up for them.
Now here's my dilemma. I don't trust my stepdad. I always thought he was a bit wierd but nothing sinister really. Although a few times when DSD was little I did feel a little uncomfortable - nothing in particular just a feeling. Ever since having my dds well this "feeling" has intensified 100%. At first I thought I was being silly and overprotective but have since spoken to DH and finds he feels the same way as does my sister. There is no evidence at all but my gut feeling is to keep my kids as far away from him as possible. I feel extremely uncomfortable when my kids are around him. Have spoken to my DSD (16) and her words are "He makes my skin crawl".
It seems to be getting stronger as my dd1 (almost 6) is getting older. She has always in the past loved men don't know why she just seemed to favour them over women. This used to include my stepdad. Not anymore, she won't even acknowledge him anymore, refuses point blank to kiss or hug him (for which I'm relieved) and won't even say hello to him. This is quite unusual for dd1 as she's quite outspoken and enjoys talking to everyone.
There is one thing that out of the 3 people I have spoke to about this we have all noticed is when my dds (used to) sit on his knee he would hug them etc but his hands would be just a little to close to private places and would linger there just a little to long.
Ok now my mum is moving house. Theres no way I am letting them stay over at all. I don't even want to visit when he's there even if I'm there to supervise. My dds will want to run about and play and I HAVE to supervise them at all times when he's about as I refuse to leave them alone with him.
My mum is going on and on about them staying over and getting the girls all excited about having their own room in nanny's house. But it's just not going to happen. I don't know how I'm going to get around not letting them go without hurting my mum. At first I can make excuses like I'll miss them to much etc. but that won't last forever. I don't want to hurt my mum, she loves the kids so much and is such a good grandparent. But they cannot go there when he is there.
DH thinks I should talk to my mum about my concerns. But how on earth do I do that without setting the rumour mill in motion. A rumour that could a destroy a man's reputation, when really he hasn't done anything wrong. It would also probably cause a huge rift between me and my mum and since my nan died last year me and the kids are the only thing that keeps her going.
This is making me so stressed I just don't know what to do. PLease don't tell me theres no evidence bla bla and I should just let them go because I won't put them in a situation were there is even the slightest possibility something horrible could happen to them. I was abused by my uncle when I was very young as was my sister and I know my mum would never have thought he could do something like that but well she's very naive. I won't put my kids through that.
No shouts of troll please, I've been on MN since 2007 and have a profile page with pics of my kids on.
If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Of course you have to protect your daughters, and if you're uncomfortable around him don't let them go. I understand you want to protect your mum's feelings too though, and don't want to make an accusation with no evidence.
I think if I were you, I would try to frame it as "my" problem, rather than a problem with your stepdad - tell your mum you know you're being overprotective/unreasonable, but due to what happened to you and your sister you just aren't comfortable having your daughters around any man other than your husband. Then at least it's a general concern and not singling him out.
Thanks Willowthewispa thats actually a very good way of putting it.
Does your mum know about your uncle abusing you? If so then I'd definitely follow Willow's advice. Tell her that you and DH have made the decision that your daughters will not be having sleepovers at either family or friends homes until they are much older. You could also emphasise that DH is adamant about it, that way she might not try to persuade you if she knows DH feels the same way.
Thanks for the advice (and for not having a go at me ). I'm gearing myself up to have a talk with my mum when I see her on Wednesday.
Absolutely trust your instincts. I would come up with whatever white lie will allow you to keep your girls safe without risking tearing apart your extended family (unless and until you have concrete evidence that your mum should know about).
Horrible position for you, but it sounds like you are handling it well and will come up with the right solution.
I completely sympathise with you and understand why you feel the way you do. I know you can definitely get a wierd vibe off some people but do you think there could be a small chance that you think this man's dodgy because of what you went through as a child? Im not doubting your opinion I was just wondering if you had dealt with your own issues in the past. I have been in a very similar situation as you when I was a child and find it hard to trust men that I dont know with my children. I have a boy and a girl and they have only ever stayed at my Mums house (she's single), as I wouldnt feel comfortable with them going anywhere else. My DS had to go on a school trip for a few days last year and I was worried sick about him, convinced myself that one of the teachers was a bit strange.
Antway, I hope you find a way to resolve this, I think willowthewispas advice was great.
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