Still Reeling from This News - Maybe Someone Knows How to Sort it Out...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DaisyFace, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I'm going to try and explain this in a way that makes sense...

    This is my extended family involving:

    F - 73 yr old male alcoholic
    M - His wife, 60s, mentally unstable
    J - 17 yr old female, major difficult child

    Long story short, F and M are J's grandparents and legal guardians. J is a difficult child in a big way - parties, runs around, has boyfriends over all the time, basically does what she wants when she wants. M doesn't like to "parent" her. F gets upset at both of them and retreats to the basement to drink.

    F and M decided to separate. M moved out. J stayed with F.

    J has been continuing her rotten behaviors.

    Today, I received a call from M: J says that F got really drunk and made some sexually explicit comments to J...basically suggesting the two of them have sex.

    F admits to talking to J about sex....but claims it was in a cautionary way about not having any more boyfriends over.

    M wants to get J some therapy over the incident....but doesn't want to report the incident to police. M is worried that F will go to jail.

    My head is still spinning over all of this. On the one hand, J is a difficult child and may very well be lying about the whole thing. M is always a little "off" everything she says should be taken with a grain of salt. on the other hand, F is an alcoholic who gets really out of control when drunk. I feel like the scenario is entirely possible.

    Do they really send people to jail for making inappropriate comments to 17 year old girls?

    And why, o why - would you leave a 17 year old girl to live with a 73 year old alcoholic?????

    And how did these two get legal custody anyway???

    And now what do we do with J, F and M?

    If you were able to sort this all out and have any insight, i would really appreciate it...
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Does their county have a social services or child welfare office you could contact? Jail be damned, if you feel that J's safety (regardless of her own choices) is compromised by being there with F, you should make the call. At least let the authorities investigate to find out if anyone is a danger to self or others in that house.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If she is to get any help at all (therapy), the first visit to any professional will have a standard questionnaire to complete that will have specific questions about, "Has anyone mistreated you?", "Do you feel threatened" (maybe not those exact words but you get the drift). The professional will then be a mandatory reporter.

    You can also report this to the county. An investigation will assess the proper placement of J with M and F, recommend treatment for F, recommend treatment for M if indicated by her mental health (may just be to make sure she is receiving and following doctor's orders if any), file a criminal complaint if they find that has happened (even if there is no jail time, it will start a paper trail to use for future issues if they continue), provide options for help for J in amongst all this.

    As unfortunate as it would be to go through all this just to find that J misunderstood something, it would be way more unfortunate to not follow through and find out later that there was/is this stuff going on between F and J.
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    How long have they had custody of J ? Is there any contact with J's parents ? In good conscience, I would report it.... Who the heck would leave a kid with an alcoholic? Has M offered to take J now that possible sexual advances were made ?
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, if I understand this, M and F are J's parents? Even if they are not, this is just sick and disgusting, which of course is your take on the situation.


    Do not wait, wonder if J is telling the truth, if M and F are telling the truth, or worry about if anyone is going to jail for making comments like that.

    The priority here is NOT for you to figure out the truth and then take action. YOUR job is to report this to someone who is trained to handle this. Period. It is the job of the people at child protection to figure out what the truth is and what is really going on.

    You have been told that a minor has been approached for sex by her father or the man who stands in as her father.

    It would be really tough for you to figure out what the truth is, and it is NOT your place to try to do that. It is your responsibility, and the responsibility of every other person who gets information like this about a child, to report it so that the child can be protected if needed, given whatever services are needed, and to send a clear message to those who know you that you will NOT put any type of family loyalty or concern over the possible consequences that those involved will face over the safety of a child.

    In some states EVERY ADULT is a mandated reporter, not just doctors, teachers, tdocs, etc... I know my state is that way.

    Please step back from the situation as there is little you can do to help any of the people involved except to call and report this abuse. It IS abuse and against the law for a guardian/parent to ask a child for sex. In many states it is a felony, and in many states incest is a felony regardless of the age of the child (adult or minor child).
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    J was removed from her mother's home (with cause) maybe 7 years ago now. J's mother will often stay in the home with J, M and F for weeks at a time to visit.

    At the time that J was first placed with F and M, I was flabberghasted that they would have been selected and/or approved as guardians. M's issues are ongoing...requiring frequent hospitilizations and there was already a paper-trail about F's alcoholism.

    M is not interested in taking care of J by herself - she knows she cannot handle the "difficult child" stuff.

    Right now, J is staying with another relative - who feels she cannot handle the "difficult child" stuff I don't think she'll be allowed to live there for long.

    About 3 or 4 years ago, husband and I offered to be J's guardians - but M was devastated at the thought of letting J live with someone else. And J's mother knew that she would not be able to come and stay with us for weeks at a she was against it. So M and F stayed J's guardians. That was that.

    The shame of this whole thing is that J will be 18 in about six months - and now it looks like she doesn't have anywhere to live and may end up in foster care.

    I don't know if it would make sense for her to live in foster care in her present community....or whether it would make sense for her to travel hundreds of miles to come and live with us. I don't even know how realistic that would even be any more. J's behaviors are so over-the-top these days...and we already have a difficult child living here as it is. I don't know whether I could handle two lying, sneaking, sex-crazed teenage girls....AND they'd have to share a bedroom.

    Then again...I feel like SOMEBODY has to step up and be the hero for that child...

    Why not us?
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thank you, Susie--

    You are right. I need to make a report...

    But because this is all family, I need to do it anonymously.


    This really stinks. All the way around.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not



    Yes, you are right. It should be reported.

    It makes me wish I had made more of a ruckus years ago when this guardianship was first established...
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad I helped clarify the issue. Because in many ways it IS fairly clear and simple if you remove family from it.

    Families are the reason that it is possible to report abuse anonymously. Otherwise very few cases would ever be reported and that would mean a whole lot of kids had exactly no hope of ever getting help.

    Right now you are NOT in a position to "rescue" J. She is old enough that little you would do COULD change her behavior and choices. At this point J is the ONLY person who can save J from her lifestyle. I wish it could be different because it would mean that a whole lot of us could help our teens a whole lot more. But J has to hit bottom before she will choose to change.

    If you were to take J into your home it would do possibly devastating things to your children. Your difficult child would have an example of far worse behavior and proof that you can do NOTHING to force a teen to change those choices. Your 11yo would be exposed to far more hard-core gfgness than he has already seen. He would likely be a target for the girls to gang up on, and if J has been abused sexually she just might turn around and perp on either your difficult child or your easy child because she thinks it is what is expected or normal.

    J needs far more help than any family could give her. She is past the point where she can be rescued from her choices by a superhero.

    Reporting this abuse is all you can do to help her right now. That and to let her know that if and when she is truly ready to move past her difficult child behaviors to a responsible adult lifestyle then you will help in any way you can.

    It makes NO sense to try to rescue or fix J by taking her into your home when it will mean that the 2 children who already live there will be possibly put into harm's way from her lifestyle and it will give your own difficult child ideas she truly does not need to have.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Report it. Let the authorities figure it out. They have staff available for such things. But it certainly isn't worth the risk to this girl's safety and mental health to not report it.

    Awful thing is..........grandma could be POed at grandpa and this is her way of getting back at him. If such is the case though.........I'd imagine it would be pretty easy to spot by professionals.

    Still not worth the risk to the girl, difficult child or not. I mean honestly.........there is no way to know if this sort of thing could be the cause to difficult child behavior.

    Tough spot to be in. But I'd report it.

  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Now that I've had a chance to sleep on it....I'm wondering about this myself. If M doesn't want anyone to know (as she said, for fear F will be prosecuted) then why call? Why tell me all about it?

    Honestly, J was not born a difficult child. She's already been through way too much as it is...which is part of the reason she should have had better guardians. And by better, I mean "Warrior Parents" who would parent her when she needed parenting and who would seek out the correct professional help to deal with some of her traumas. Instead, M has been playing the indulgent grandma and has been reluctant to ever say no to this girl...justifying it by reasoning that the child has been through enough already.

    So early traumas that might have been dealt with in an appropriate manner have been "swept under the rug" and ever since, J has been allowed to live this crazy lifestyle without any boundaries whatsoever.

    No wonder the child is out of control!

    BUT - still not worth the risk to J...I agree.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    OK--I made the report this morning...

    I feel like a jerk.

    But hopefully, J will be safe and sound.
  13. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Way To Go! And please, do NOT feel like a jerk. Let's look at it each way: Okay, so if J is being propositioned (or worse), she needs help/protection, removal. If this is a lie made up by her grandmother, her mental health problems may be at a crucial place right now, and that would come to light and perhaps she'd get help. Either way, something isn't right. Either there is abuse going on, or there is a mentally unstable adult capable of making up horrific allegations at her own husband. Both situations stand to do harm to J, either emotionally or physically. So having people investigating the goings on in that house can only be a good thing.

    There was probably nothing you could have done years ago anyhow, to get guardianship. Sounds like you live far away, and the grandparents are usually always going to get custody over extended family if they are willing to take in a child. The fact alone that you were willing at the time to bring her to live with you, shows you love her, it might stand her in good steed down the line to be able to remember she was wanted, she is loved. Had you "fought" or persisted, who knows how it would have worked out. Likely the only way to have "won" in a argument about having her come to you all, would have been to make a huge deal out of the drinking and mental health stuff. And you probably still would have not won anyhow, obviously there was a process to have them obtain guardianship and they passed whatever criteria there was. You may have simply been cut off and not have known a thing about J.

    You did the right thing in calling. Someone will have to look into it. It seems sad as you say for J to potentially end in foster care. yet she is nearly 18 and from the sound of it, she's sinking. Perhaps a few months in a environment that teaches her life skills, responsability and structure, wouldn't hurt her at this stage. Perhaps help her to prepare for the realities of being out on her own in the adult world. And really, one she's 18? If nothing bad was happening, she'd likely know she can move back in there anyhow without anything stopping her.

    I agree with the other response about just letting her know you will help when/how you can if she gets her life together etc. I get your whole philosophy of "if not us than who?" ... yet you have other children, you have a difficult child with issues surrounding that in your own home. It would be, to me, like having a child with a lung disease, learning to adjust to life with that, being suddenly plunged into sharing a room/home with a chronic 5 times a day smoker. Know what I mean??

    Your heart is in the right place, it really comes down to if it could even be practical to adjust your lives to help her out. If it is at the risk of others, it simply isn't the place for her. If anyone could step in at this late stage (which I doubt), it likely would be someone without kids and a heck of a lot of patience!
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Thank you. Yes, you have really put this into perspective. I do remember thinking at the time of establishing guardianship that any big "protest" on our part was just going to end up alienating a lot of family members and causing hurt feelings. We definitely didn't want that...
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Good news!!!

    CPS was out to interview J within hours of my anonymous report. It has been determined that F and M shall no longer be J's guardians and she will move in with another relative who volunteered to take her until she turns 18 this summer.

    I am so relieved! and for that matter, so are F and M - (and J, too, I am sure!)

    Thank you everyone for your good advice.

  16. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    That is such good news!!!
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    You did the right thing. Glad you stepped up!
  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Glad you made the report. Hopefully J will be able to make a fresh start in her new home.