Sometimes I just hate being a grown up

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by keista, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. keista

    keista New Member

    Grown up decisions, grown up responsibilities, grown up actions. UHG Can't I ignore it all and become an ostrich???????

    My Dad is back in FL and we're planning on going for a visit this Saturday. The problem is his neighbor. The man is a very kind gentle man and has been a friend of the family for as long as I can remember. However, in the last 9 months or so, he has said/done things that are raising red flags and causing concern.

    • He never goes swimming in the pool unless I'm visiting with the kids. Then he's in the pool playing with my kids (mostly the girls)
    • Back in January he gave the kids some small token gifts (stuff he finds really cheap or has lying around) Son got a snorkeling set, DD2 got a very cool promotional mouse which is also a water globe, DD1 got a piece of family heirloom jewelry - no real monetary value to it.
    • DD1 absolutely adores this man, and I've had two long phone conversations with him regarding her. During these calls I learned that this "issues" that he has that I was aware of have their own "issues". He was horribly abused as a child and has spent most of his adult life seeking "peace" to his past - he hasn't found it yet. He feels a "connection" to DD1 and wants to "help" her feel at peace.
    • The last call, he expressed concern that DD1 might get emotionally "addicted" to him, but also asked if me if it were appropriate for him to give her long hugs goodbye.
    • Before my Dad left FL at the beginning of summer, he went over to download pics of my girls.

    Does any of this send up flags for anyone else?

    The grown up part that I'm dreading is that I have to call this guy and tell him I don't want him hanging around when I go visit. That part I can actually deal with, but I already know he will protest, and THAT is what I am truly dreading, and then the fear that he won't respect my wishes. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Huge red banners!!!!!!
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Absolutely trust your gut on this. Yes it might be awkward. AND, if you have a little wimp inside you like I do and feel the need to make it softer....just in case he is not the ummmmm...that you think (and I think too...huge warning signals that at the very least it would not be a healthy emotional relationship), you could explain that his conversation brought up good questions so you discussed it with your children's therapist and he/she recommended that no, they not have contact. They are working on issues in a very systematic way and it is important to stick to that plan. If he gets upset then he is not as genuinely concerned for her well being as he said he was. You will have your proof then. If he understands then great and you wont have to worry because you still will not have that contact..

    Just an idea.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You HAVE to go with your gut.
    There is just TOO much at stake here.
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Yeah. Trust me. Have the conversation. You'll probably do it more tactfully than I would. Mine would include some language, names, and tone of voice that would insure he stays away from my kids. And if he does come around after my talk with him I'd call the police.

    It sounds like he is trying to groom you into letting him get close to DD1. Even our very close family friends don't act like that. He is creepy. So glad you saw the big red flags.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    WOW! Thanks all. My own scope of experience is not exactly "normal" so I often find myself second guessing such things, and am glad I'm on the right track to nip this in the bud.

    I'd love to call the police on him if he comes around, but it's really tricky when he lives immediately next door to my Dad in a condo complex. The kids and I are the visitors. The good news is that Dad and his wife will have no problem using me as an excuse to keep him away for even a day. Just like I won't have a problem using the "therapist's instructions" for keeping him away (Buddy I love that idea, partly because I was already thinking along those lines!)

    Thanks all for the confidence boost. It will certainly make making this phone call easier.
  7. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I've found that calling them, and having them just make their presence known even if they don't do anything helps to deter things. I've also found the police to be open to more frequent drive bys than they normally do if I call and explain to them. They don't want problems any more than we do. If they can stop it before it starts they are happy to do so.

    Oh I really wish I didn't know stuff like that.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    Unfortunately there isn't much I can tell the cops anyway. He's creepy and I asked him to stay away. I don't think that's gonna fly.

    And I may sound naiive right now, but I honestly don't think this guy CONSCIOUSLY realises what he's doing. Maybe he does and is making me think he doesn't. Don't know.

    UHG! As if I don't have enough stress going to visit Dad. Especially this next trip. Gotta convince him to get his revocable trusts and Will done. But like I said, Dad and his wife will be happy to get a day's reprieve from this guy, so that's good all around.
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Keista - he might just be very lonely... But of course you have to be careful. Obviously you will handle this in a way that is diplomatic and skilful (very grown up :))
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    No matter how sweet, friend of the family, lonely he is?


    Something else you said threw up a huge red flag for me...
    You know what's best for your kids... Go for it!
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    Malika, yes he is. And therein lies part of the concern. This man has never married, although he has had a few long term relationships. The above concerns individually kinda reflect that. All together they become more odd. It was difficult for me to see it because it is spread out. Our contact with him is only 2-4 times per year (may be more frequent now since Dad is spending more time in FL because this is where his doctors are, so we will be visiting more often) by the way there are more items for concern, but in my opinion even more subtle, but again, all added up it's really odd.

    When I said I don't think he's doing this consciously, I mean it. I don't think he's going to "pounce" on DD1 at any given moment. It's more subtle, but just as sinister. It's like he's 'groomimg' both her and me, for her to be his 'legitimate' girlfriend, and trying to get us believing it would be a good idea. EWWWW.

    Diplomatic and skillful, eh? Well, thanks for the vote of confidence! I've never thought of myself as either, but I do hope I live up to that expectation. Fortunately even if I don't, the social fallout in this situation will be minimal. Worst case scenario will be changing the way we visit with Dad.

    It reaaly sux though. It was nice that the kids has a this man to hang out with. Far from perfect, but a nice, gentle man that actually took interest in them (unlike thier father). Such a freakin' shame he's got too much interest in one child in particular. :sigh:
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    Step, I am going with my gut. I have to. God forbid anything should happen? NOT an option.

    I know that comment sounds odd, but you'd have to really know my Dad to fully understand. Dad's and Aspie and a hoarder, and in a way, he hoards ppl. He accepts EVERYONE. I've never seen him reject anyone (even some of my crazy boyfriends). Some of his closest friends I absolutely cannot stand. Egocentric, chauvinistic, and legitimately crazy, but still all within the scope of society's 'normal'. Since this guy lives right next door, he's over frequently and there is more of an exposure factor, and Dad does get irked, but still won't reject the man and send him home.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'd opt with the Therapist. The question that comes to my mind is how are you going to prepare the chldren for the change in routine....I see that as the bigger issue. That's going to be tricky preparation as they, no doubt, look forward to the time and the treats that they are used to receiving.

    Sorry that you have to take protection steps. I don't know about you but as a kid and particularly as a teen I used to say "I can hardly wait to be a grown up!" My parents would smile and say "enjoy your years as a kid". If I had even halfway understood how hard being a grown up was...I would have stayed in chldren's clothes and placed a big heavy brick on top of my head! Sigh. DDD
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I'm sorry, but I'm going to type some uncomfortable things...

    The thing about pedophiles is - they honestly believe, on some level, that the child loves them back in a romantic way. That's the deviation...

    And yes, he is grooming ALL of you. He wants to touch her, hug her, rub up against her....and he wants it to be "normal", be "legit" - so that if the child says "He touched my bikini bottom"...everyone will think it was an accident - a misunderstanding - no, no....they were just playing in the pool....he was picking her up to throw her in the deep end...that's all....

    If you haven't already - you need to talk to your daughters about the dangers of "Kinda-knows" (are you familiar with that term?) Everyone teaches their kids about being careful of strangers - but the REAL danger is the people they "kinda-know" this guy. Tell your daughters EXACTLY where the line is. If he shouldn't be hugging them - tell them so! If he shouldn't be swimming with them and playing tickle games with them - tell them so! Otherwise, because he is a "Kinda-Know"....maybe it's OK ?

    So sorry...
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi again Keista. I went back and reread your original post as I thought maybe I had not read it carefully enough. And indeed I didn't, I think. I agree that the signs with this chap are worrying and you need to protect your daughter from him. He may not have anything more sinister in mind than "long hugs" but even that is clearly inappropriate. Sad.
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Just one more thought, I am not sure they would do this but, if you talked to someone at the police station who deals with sex offenders about your concerns, maybe they could at least do a background check. Of course many live a whole life off radar and never get busted so there is no guarantee. But, if he has a record, it could benefit everyone in the community that he is on their radar, not to mention you would have extra evidence of what your gut is telling you. We are always told these folks can not stop. Regardless, sounds like you already have made up your mind to be cautious and not take any risks. Great mom!

    extra story...value of following your gut, you can skip if you want to...

    Many years ago my aunt and uncle (really my dad's best friends, not relatives) had a neighbor/good friend. When I was in college (age 17) he became deaf and asked if I would go with him shopping and running errands to interpret for him. I agreed and in addition to a small hourly wage he started buying me things. It felt weird. He would then drive all the way to my university (hours away) just to shop instead of just calling when I was at home. I talked to my dad and he said it was fine to stop saying yes (I never wanted to hurt anyone, i was a kid and NO ONE talked about those things back then...still I had already had a neighbor kid abuse me when I was small so...without knowing it I had learned to trust my gut). My aunt/uncle really came down on me that I hurt their friend, etc. How could an old man be upset with a college kid for not doing something that he could have hired MANY people to do? Very strange. Plus all of my deaf/hh friends would never hire an interpreter to go shopping. They are very capable of shopping on their own! Uncle has since died but I do think my aunt is finally over it. She has been really nice to me the past 4 or 5 years. It was awkward, but I have never regretted it even with the back-lash.
    These days, my dad is a different guy....he would have gone and taken care of the matter himself. Very protective, said he is sorry about that and the other time it happened-wished he had known better... and super defensive over his grandbabies. We all know so much more now, thank heaven.
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    DF thanks for the heads up. I've spoken to the girls about "kinda-knows" AND "really knows" as well. Their bodies are THEIR OWN and not for anyone else to touch. Got into the details of even doctors must have mom or a nurse in the room. Even Mom or Dad aren't supposed to touch unless it's emergency/something hurts, but try to wait for mom to get home. But even kids with the best "training" can fall victim. What's most uncomfortable right now is the fact that I was actually second guessing myself thinking I was seeing more than there is.

    He has no record and is an active member of "our community" so even if there were allegations of anything in the past I would have heard about it.

    DDD I'm hoping he respects my wishes and stays away, and then I just tell the kids that Mr A is busy. Not sure how I'll handle it if he pops up though, but will have Dad and his wife in the loop, so, we'll figure something out. If he does decide to "stalk", then at least I will have something to call the cops with, but again, we're the visitors near his home, in a retirement community no less. I used to want to grow-up real fast as well. Amazingly, DD2 says she's definitely not in a rush to grow up! I'm happy but it concerns me too. Am I making it look THAT hard?
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Do NOT assume you would have heard about problems in the past. There are a TON of people who are pedophiles and hide it well or teach people that they are just "super nice" so whatever they do is okay. Don't assume he doesn't have a record - it just may not be in the area where he lives.

    The times a parent makes the BIG mistakes, the ones that have huge impact on their kids and on themselves, are when they ignore those gut feelings. Even if I didn't see HUGE red flags in what you said, the fact that you are uncomfortable with the situation is enough to tell the man to stay away. If your dad won't tell him to leave, and won't let you? Tell him you won't visit at his home. It won't be easy for him, but your children's protector and mother is your primary role at this stage in your life. Your dad's daughter was a primary role when you were a child, but you have more important jobs right now and you MUST put those first. It isn't easy, but it is the right thing to do.

    This guy sounds scary creepy, mostly because he probably seems so nice. Giving a small item that you picked up for cheap to a neighbor's granddau, even if that person is not a super close friend isn't a big deal. Giving heirloom jewelry, regardless of monetary value, to the neighbor's grandkid that you see 2x a year, is creepy scary. That is called grooming. the things he says to you are called grooming. He KNOWS that other people find it wrong and that is why he was telling you what he did - that he is a good guy, wouln't hurt her, just wants to hold her against him for a long time for a "hug". in my opinion that is a dead giveaway and if your instincts were not screaming I would wonder if something was really wrong with your instincts.

    Your dad and mom can put him off for the time you are there. You will handle it well, and if he insists on coming over, take the girls and go to the store, the beach, a movie, whatever. I would keep a bag ready so you can go somewhere with-o taking much time. Let your mom and dad know you will return when he is gone, and if they don't help you with this then they will have to visit the kids at your home instead of theirs. I doubt it will come to that if they know you won't change your mind. Don't take this man's calls anymore. The more you listen to him, the more he will feel he has a right to see your daus.
  19. keista

    keista New Member

    So I just made the phone call I was dreading for days. I told him I'd appreciate it if he stayed away, and he said, "OK".

    Not what I was expecting, so now I'm feeling very unsettled because it seemed "too easy" I can't wait for Sunday. This visit will be done and I will be able to stop obsessing about this. At least until the next one.