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My family are a mess. V long, sorry.(16 Posts)
I haven't lived at home for over 20 years, but my only sister, who is 29, has been living with my parents for the past 3 years with her two dd's who are 7 and almost 9.
We recently returned from a big family holiday, where I suddenly realised just how much they all drink.
I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, I know this, and am trying very hard to overcome it. I tend to not have an off switch when dd isn't with me, which is fairly rare. If she is with me I stick well within my limits, 2-3 drinks at most, even on holiday, on an all inclusive resort.
Dsis, df and dm all drank (large) spirits and mixers from 11am til around 10pm for parents, and midnight for dsis. Dsis even took her dd's out on jet skis after 6 large vodkas.
Younger Dniece has behaviour issues. She can be extremely naughty. This is not a consequence of her father leaving, she honestly has been naughty since she learned to walk at 8 months.
Dm and dsis completely deny she is naughty, and put it down to being 'spirited'. Which she is, but when the school mention her challenging behaviour, or her total lack of discipline, or lack of respect for the rules, they are apparently shit at their job, or have it in for Dniece.
A couple of examples:
Pulling down dh's 80yo grandads swimming trunks on holiday.
Stealing a mobility scooter and trying to crash
it into a swimming pool.
Stealing the registrars pen (we were away for a wedding) and using it to deface the guest book, then throwing it in the bin. Dh at that point threatened that she would be sent back to her room if she couldn't behave. She laughed in his face, and said 'everyone's come all this way for your wedding, who are you going to make miss it to take me back?"
All of this is met with excuses from dm and dsis. Three weeks later we are all hearing about how well she behaved on the day. It's like they are in complete denial.
On Saturday I spent the evening at my parents house. I had two glasses of red wine, they were all drinking spirits. Conversation came round to the holiday, and dm said 'she'd seen a different side of dh on holiday'. I asked what she meant, and apparently he was very hard on Dniece, and made dsis feel uncomfortable on the big day after he told Dniece off.
There was a big row, mainly because I pointed out that Dniece needs help, and structured parenting, not dm and dsis minimising her behaviour, and fussing over her telling her that the school/uncle/aunt/other child is the one in the wrong.
Dm is still furious with me, dsis isn't talking to me at all. I just was Dniece to be ok. Poor kid hasn't had a single party invitation this year, she really is that naughty, disrespectful and rude.
Christ, it sounds like Jeremy Kyle. I should probably add that my parents are quite wealthy, and well respected members if the community, and dsis is at Uni studying to be a social worker.
They are high functioning alcoholics aren't they?
Yes, well not that high, just about functioning I'd say. What a mess. You can either risk an intervention and take your chance that they will never speak to you again, or call social services and accept that you have to distance yourself from it all.
I think this is nature's way of telling you to not go on big family holidays... and to start separating your life from that of the rest of your family. They all have to take responsibility for themselves and you'll have to refocus yourself on your life and your immediate family rather than theirs. If you think your niece is being neglected or harmed, call the Child Protection people or the NSPCC. Otherwise, there's not a lot you can do.
If I phone social services she'll never get the job in social work.
They honestly don't seem to see an issue,
Df has always liked a drink, but it was always in the pub for a few on his way home from work. Dm didn't even really drink years ago. She still drinks the least, but probably still a bottle of wine each night. Hard to tell though as she buys it in boxes.
Df still goes to the pub 3-4 times per week, plus a bottle of brandy each week, and sometimes a half bottle as a top up.
Dsis consumed an entire bottle of vodka Saturday night. I'm amazed she remembers the conversation tbh.
Dniece isn't being neglected, or harmed, my dm in particular adores her, but she does need some help and she just isn't getting it.
Her older sister is at the same school and has lots of friends, and is flourishing. Same environment, same parents, same upbringing, but is largely forgotten because her sister is so challenging.
If she needs help and isn't getting it, she's being neglected. From what you've written, your DSis shouldn't be let within fifty feet of a family needing a SW.
This is a 'piss or get off the pot' moment... Either do the right thing and report or walk away.
I know you are right, I really do.
Ex bil beat dsis half to death 3 years ago, and I assume this is why she drinks. She has done bloody well to get the qualifications and get the Uni place, she really has.
But you are right, she shouldn't be a social worker. I guess I've been hoping that the course will make her see how bad things are and she will stop, but I can't see that happening while she lives at home.
They all drink alcohol like dh and I drink tea and coffee.
This sounds awful, but no she isn't at all troubled. She is as happy as Larry, despite having no friends.
She lies constantly. Nothing that comes out of her mouth is true. She will say something (usually a swear word) to her sister or dd in the next room, and when you go in deny point blank she said it. And then cry her heart out to dm that she didn't say it.
She is very manipulative, and told dd on the wedding day that when people take your picture it steals some if your soul, so now there are virtually no pics of dd on the but Dniece is very photogenic and is in virtually every photo!
I'm going to blow my whole family apart if I phone social services. Could I start with the school? Would they even speak to me?
The school will take your concerns and pass them on to social services so please save everyone time and just go directly to them if that's what you decide to do.
Social workers are expected to be very reflective and self aware - it's part of the training. If she's an alcoholic in denial and she's neglecting her children's emotional needs that badly there is really no point her even applying. If by some miracle she blagged her way through the course she'd be a terrible social worker.
Not to say we are better people or better parents than other people, but when we make mistakes in our lives we should be self aware enough to know it, even if we don't immediately act. Physician heal thyself type of thing.
Sandiacre thank you for sharing that. I feel awful saying it, she is only a child Ffs, but I have seen it with my own eyes.
I have no idea what would even help her, 123 magic parenting maybe? However that would need my dm and dsis to be fair firm an consistent with her, and they aren't. She constantly plays them off against each other. It doesn't help that dm has been very ill over the last few years. She has had a mastectomy in the last year, plus chemo and radiotherapy. She now has osteoporosis and the onset of copd, so not a well woman at all. She does the majority of childcare for dsis and I think just gives in for an easy life.
I'm afraid 123 magic would do nothing in this case, your niece needs professional help because the behavior you describe sounds very troubled. If your sister's ex nearly beat her to death there's no way your nieces could have been unaware and unaffected by it, and she's probably twigged that there's a problem with alcohol, even subconciously. Has she had any kind of counselling?
They were completely unaware princess, as they were staying with me at the time, and none of her injuries were facial. He was having an affair, dsis found out and told him it was over and he went crazy. Not a hint before then that he was a fucking loon I swear.
Neither have had any counselling, but as I say the problems began long before Bil left. (They are n/c now for obvious reasons.)
I have just had a text from dsis asking to bury the hatchet, and I have absolutely no idea what to do next.
It's is quite possible that this child is damaged thanks to her parents abusive relationship.
I don't think you it will pay to ring SS because if the alcohol. They will go, see a lovely family and tbh alcoholics get to keep their children as long as they are meeting their needs.
Yes this child is spoil and there are a lack of boundaries but that does not warrant SS involvement.
I'm sorry you are witnessing this but I strongly doubt you can change the situation.
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