Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Am I over reacting? 3yo and unpredictable adult.

(27 Posts)
Bestthingtodo Wed 29-Jan-14 13:04:03


Could do with an outside perspective. I will give more details if necessary but difficult as could be outed due to profession. I'm interested in what people removed from situation think.

Would you let your young child sleep in a house where
-a 30yo man is unpredictable when drinking, has form for drinking to excess at family occasions and recently threatened and attempted to physically assault an adult male whilst drunk. So drunk he didn't recognise his own mother (there is a possibility drugs were involved, who knows, and to some extent who cares? Result is same)
-not only my 3yo but his 5&7 yo were asleep in the house at the time
-he ended being sick all over the room of the room he was sharing with his children so they woke up to vomit filled room. They think he was poorly.
-he has a history of anger problems and some violence, however family thought this had been resolved in last few years. Clearly not

Obviously there is a massive backstory. I may or may not go into it, depends if I think my mum will listen. So not drip feeding, but for me this is the core issue. None of the rest is in my control.

I want to say that neither myself nor my son will be sleeping where this person is again. Not now, not for holidays, not for Christmas. I know people in my family will say I'm over reacting. But I know how angry I would be if my son witnessed or god forbid was hurt if his dad put him in that situation.

I'm not being unreasonable am I. This is bad.

TheArmadillo Wed 29-Jan-14 13:05:45


That is really bad.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Wed 29-Jan-14 13:06:17

No, you are not being unreasonable.

Not in the slightest.

No way on earth would I be happy with that.

EirikurNoromaour Wed 29-Jan-14 13:07:37

Not at all. You are in the right.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 29-Jan-14 13:39:07

No you are not being at all unreasonable here.

Mum may well not listen to what you have to say as enabling and denial are powerful forces where there is alcoholism.

Bestthingtodo Wed 29-Jan-14 13:48:12

You're right Attila. The adult is my younger brother. He won't be helped or take responsibility.

SomethingOnce Wed 29-Jan-14 13:48:50

Dear God, no, YANBU.

Not sure I'd want to spend time around this person at all.

starfishmummy Wed 29-Jan-14 13:51:57


ThinkFirst Wed 29-Jan-14 13:55:54

I agree with everyone else, YANBU. His poor kids sad

twerkyswizzler Wed 29-Jan-14 13:56:54

No question, yanbu

Bestthingtodo Wed 29-Jan-14 13:59:22

However I will be told that it is me splitting family, putting mum under more pressure and making her choose.

I feel she has chosen. My job is to keep my child safe and protect him from being in the situations I was in growing up.

My mum agrees the situation is bad but has a blind spot as to how bad.

My brother has created this situation. Not me.

I think he is damn lucky his ex isn't insisting on contact through contact centre. My mum rightly wants to protect his kids but doesn't see how continuing to go through this cycle of bollocking him then business as usual isn't helping.

It all feels so futile.

RatherBeRiding Wed 29-Jan-14 14:25:33

Does his ex know about the recent episode?

And it isn't you splitting the family - you are being a responsible parent. Your brother is the one splitting the family by his behaviour and you are right to take a stand and keep your distance.

TheNightIsDark Wed 29-Jan-14 14:26:30

No way in hell are you being unreasonable!

Bestthingtodo Wed 29-Jan-14 14:33:19

No, she knows he was sick. She probably guesses he was drunk.

Looking at it is very straightforward isn't it. She needs to know so she can make her own decisions.

RatherBeRiding Wed 29-Jan-14 14:39:42

Yes, I think she needs to know. Her reaction - if she decides contact has to be via a contact centre - might be a wake-up call to him and your mum. You can't be so steaming drunk in charge of young dcs that you don't even recognise your own mother.

aw11 Wed 29-Jan-14 15:00:14

If he can't be responsible for looking after his kids when they are with him then he shouldn't have them. Simple as that really? They are not your kids or your mums.

It's up to you if you think you can't trust him around your own child then yes, either refuse him round or move out (you didn't say whether you live in the same place or not).

Bestthingtodo Wed 29-Jan-14 15:09:16

Sorry, no we don't live in same place but circumstances mean to see my mum we will have to travel so makes things like Christmas very hard as we have always spent them together.

wontletmesignin Wed 29-Jan-14 15:53:43

No yanbu and you are not splitting this family apart. This is all of his own doing. You are doing the right thing

GiniCooper Wed 29-Jan-14 16:20:15

Have no qualms about distancing yourself and more importantly your child from all of that.

If your mother lays the guilt on you point out a few home truths.
She feels like she's doing the right thing for her son, you're doing the right thing for your DC.

ZorbaTheHoarder Wed 29-Jan-14 16:39:52

Your mother should be able to see how dangerous this is for her grandchildren. Anything could happen while he is so off his face and it should be obvious to anyone that he shouldn't be "looking after" children in that condition.

It's truly shocking that a man would get so paralytic when he is supposed to be caring for children.

Perhaps your mother doesn't want to recognize the truth about her son, but you can see it clearly, and your instinct to protect your child is right and you should try not to worry about other people saying you are splitting up the family.

MandaHugNKiss Wed 29-Jan-14 16:46:43

I, too, grew up around extreme excess of alcohol (and drug use) and violence. I am also a parent.

I am pretty sure, positive infact, that you will not find a single person outside looking in who will say this is in ANY way acceptable, or that you are being unreasonable for wanting to protect your son (and, let's face it, yourself) from this kind of thing happening again.

I also would bet a million pounds that your Mum is carrying a lot of guilt about this: we're Mothers; when our child 'goes off the rails' it's our fault, right?

She needs help too, (as she may well recognise), as one half of a co-dependant relationship. Enabling isn't love and it isn't right. And I suspect she knows this but what else can you do?

I think that's the issue here, isn't it? What can actually be done?

I'm sure you know this but your brother is on a road that doesn't lead anywhere good - you know, all the rockin' destinations such as 'jobless', 'ill', perhaps a detour to 'court' or scenic 'prison' and of course the ever popular 'death' via 'alone'.

At what kind of level is he functioning, usually (and is this the first 'slip' in a while?).

His children need protecting, too, of course. Could be many outcomes of them witnessing this regularly, again, none of them good: learning that this behaviour is ok and normal and so emulated or knowing, even on an instinctual level, it's not ok and the feelings of insecurity that evokes. Children will take on the role of protecting, lying for and parenting their parent. How long before he physically assualts one of them, intentionally or not? Again, another whole can of worms.

At the very least their mother needs to know the full extent of what happened. They thought he was ill? Well, he IS. It's just not a 24 hour stomach bug that will blow over. And his getting well isn't going to be driven by his mother - it MUST come from him and only then is it right to 'stand by him'.

Your son needs positive role models in his life and to be safe (both emotionally and physically). For him to be around this kind of situation is neither. I truly hope your Mum can try and remove the emotion part of what is obviously a very difficult situation for her.

Perhaps you should contact Al-anon as they will have far more experience/advice in a more professional capacity - maybe directing you to services that can help your Mum in the first instance.

Bottom line: you are NOT being unreasonable. Any fracture of the family will not be your fault.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Wed 29-Jan-14 16:47:40

He doesn't deserve to be having the children if he can't look after them properly. Poor kids.

Viviennemary Wed 29-Jan-14 16:52:03

Of course this behaviour is in no way acceptable round such young children. Regardless of the relationship between this man and the children. Father step father uncle or whatever. And you have a right not to want your child in that environment.

Bestthingtodo Wed 29-Jan-14 18:10:27

Manda, thank you for that very thoughtful articulate post. I guess we don't think of him as an alcoholic, more just never grown up. Maybe we should. But yes, it absolutely has to come from him, it's how we manage while/if he makes that journey.

I will make sure his ex knows what happened so she can make her own decisions about what contact is made available. My mum has a better relationship but if she's reluctant I guess I will have to.

It has been very sobering reading all your comments. I guess we've been protecting his rights as a father rather than those of the children and that has to stop. It's easier to see it stripped of emotion and through the eyes of strangers.

TeenyW123 Wed 29-Jan-14 18:49:33

Jesus! What if he'd choked on his vomit and his kids woke up to find daddy dead?

It has happened, you know.

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: