View Full Version : Molester is Grandma - How to Deal?
09-06-2010, 04:25 AM
I have a complicated situation on my hands. My husband's mother molested him when he was three-years old. Before we had children, I never really thought to ask her why she did what she did and why my husband still maintained a close relationship with his mother/molester.
We have two young daughters: one is 19-months and the other is six months old. I have this maternal fear that she is "dirty" and to be frank, she disgusts me because of what she did to my husband when he was an innocent little boy. Ultimately, I told my husband that I didn't want her to be alone with the girls nor did I want her to change their diapers. He insists that because he has forgiven her, that I should. To me this is NOT something that should be forgiven - prisoners kill other prisoners for doing that to kids.
So, his mother attempted to change a diaper one day and I stopped her and told her not to do it. She asked me why, and I said that she was not allowed to be near my daughter's genitals or to be alone with them. She said that it was 30 years ago and she has never done it since and because she is the grandmother and it should not be an issue. I asked her if she would allow a known child molester to spend time with her children and the only thing she could say was that she "isn't like all the other molesters"..."she got help and isn't a criminal."
I proceeded to ask her why she did what she did. She at first hesitated and said she "didn't remember". Then clarified and explained that she was very lonely at that point in her life and she turned to her son. She attempted to explain that she was seeing a therapist while the molestation was taking place and she eventually realized it was wrong, turned herself in and that is when my husband's father was awarded full custody. She got a slap on the wrist and her son taken away....no jail, no ding on her record. She proceeded to tell me that it was okay for her to be around my children because she got therapy for what she did and she has never done it since. She then glorified what she did by telling me that she got "him" help my turning herself in. So she "helped" him by stopping molesting him?
I am very torn apart as this is supposed to be someone that I trust with my children. I need advice and an ally...my husband trusts her but I can't bring myself to trust someone that did that to a child.
09-06-2010, 02:39 PM
I allow her to be around them under our supervision. She does not want this. She wants to be alone with them, have them come visit unsupervised, take them places by herself and I am just not okay with it. She wants to have it her way and I am not going to give in. My husband and I can not agree but he says it is what it is and that I will be responsible for them not having a relationship with their grandmother. How will I eventually explain this to my kids? They are trying to imply that I am a bad mother...so confused.
09-07-2010, 11:11 PM
I can empathise with you. I too would not want someone with the history of molestation to be around my child. It is not a matter of forgiveness - you can forgive someone and also make sure your keep temptations to reoffend minimal. As your children grow older, be sure to talk to them about bad touches and to always tell mom if someone wants to do a "bad touch". In your situation, emphasize that even if the bad toucher is someone they love they still need to tell.
As your children get older and you have had years to observer your MIL's behavior, you could consider her taking the girls unsupervised, but I wouldn't do it until they are in grade school and can express themselves fairly well.
You are in a tough situation. Maybe you and your husband can go see a counselor that specializes in this sort of thing, to help explain how your family can maintain a loving relationship with your MIL without risking any dangers of a relaps. Wishing you the best, hope you can stay strong and keep your children safe and your family happy.
09-08-2010, 12:22 PM
I have to agree with you that I would NEVER allow my child to be alone with ANY child molestor. I don't care if it was 100 years ago. I also don't care if it was my own mother or a stranger.
There are no words to describe how sick someone has to be to molest a child much less their own.
I would have a sit down with my husband & explain that to him. If he wants to forgive her GREAT, but you have a responsibily to your kids to keep them safe & leaving them alone with her is not safe. I personally would not leave them alone with her until they were at least 15! I would also have the "bad touch" talk with them multiple times even with supervision with her.
I am all about compromise, but not at the safety of my child.
09-08-2010, 01:33 PM
I wouldn't trust her either, once a molester always a molester... even if they receive therapy for it... the fact that she molested her own son or A CHILD period says to me she got problems! I understand if your husband wants to forgive afterall that's his mom but you don't have to. I would not allow my kids to be alone with someone I even suspected of molestation! It dosen't matter if it happened 30 or 100 years ago the threat is still there! If the molester was a stranger or a neighbor Im sure your husband wouldn't be so forgiving but because it is his own mom, Im sure he feels she isn't a threat anymore. But as a mom you are right to keep your kids safe and you should not let your husband or your mother in law make put your guard down!
09-23-2010, 04:42 PM
Regardless of the situation... you have to do what you believe is in the best interest of your children. Otherwise it will eat you up.
Maybe your DH should talk to her about it and let her know that it's a gray area for you. And if she's willing to talk to you about it herself then maybe that would help you get a better piece of mind.
09-23-2010, 09:37 PM
NO WAY ARE YOU TO EVER LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN ALONE WITH HER!!!!!!!...
I do not agree with you that you cannot forgive her. You CAN definatly forgive and let it go. Resentment is like drinking poison, but expecting the other person to die.
I have researched this topic, and also, been a surivivor myself. I do believe people CAN change this behaviour. BUT, when it comes to MY child, I am not prepared to take this risk no matter how much I love that person.
On Dr Phil, there was this recovering pedophile who has been in recovery for over 12 years. This man was open and honest about his impulses and how he chooses to protect other children. He chooses to stay away from children in order to prevent any temptation. His son also insures that he is not alone with the children. FAIR ENOUGH. Although he has been in recovery for 12 years he STILLLLL gets impulses.
I am a big believe in forgiveness and understanding of others peoples downfalls, HOWEVER, it takes a major shift in consciousness and MAINTAINING that higher level of consciosuness to get rid of those demons permanently. Maintaining this whilst being surrounded by the very thing that tempts us, is harder. I am not saying that it is IMPOSSIBLE, it just makes it harder.
Look, you also need to give her a bit of grace here. She did turn herself in. That is a gift I believe if all predators gave our children we would see much less hard ache. It would have taken every ounce of courage for her to do this. It would have been the MOST humilating thing to have to do. BUT she still did it. That is a blessing she gave her son. She probably saved him an entire childhood of sexual abuse.
Now, its your responsibility to save your children. I think yes, she can see then, BUT you MUST MUST MUST be vigilant in not allowing her to go into a room alone with them or go to the bathroom. You need to be around your kid 10000000% when she is around.
PLEASE show your husband this comment. He needs to take responsibility for this. Tell him, that just because he fORGIVES( which is fantastic), does not mean he has to be NIEVE and provide her with temptation that she may or may not be able to resist.
I forgive my perpetrators, BUT THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THEY WILL EVER BE ALONE WITH MY SON!!!!!!!!
09-24-2010, 08:27 PM
i have a similar situation. when my boyfriend was ten his older (7 yrs) sister molested him. he's the same way he's forgiven her and thinks everybody should just move on. He says, 'she's changed since then.' and says i have nothing to worry about. of course because i knew this (before I actually met her) I've always had a deep disdain for her. Even if I didn't know, i probably still wouldn't like her, but that's another story. anyway, i told my bf that his sister could see our daughter, for like a half hour at a time, maybe once a month(or less), under our close supervision when we're visiting at her house. and she's not allowed to change diapers. it's because i really want to not have anything to do with her, but she tries to front like we're friends so in the interest of keeping the peace, I've decided she can see our daughter per the aforementioned time periods, just enough to shut her up, but not enough to make her think she's actually going to ever have ANY kind of relationship with my daughter. Of course it doesn't help that she pretends not to remember ever having done it (or maybe she doesn't, maybe she was on drugs for all i know). She even offered to babysit, but i just kind of ignored her and changed the subject. If you don't feel comfortable having you MIL near your daughters, by all means keep her away. Snatch them away from her if you have to (i did tee hee) i've had my bf's sister on numerous occasions offer to change diapers, and i just smile and tell her it's fine, i'll do it myself. I have qualms even letting her HOLD my daughter (every time that woman touches my precious little baby, i snatch her away, but politely, pleading a diaper change or feeding as an excuse) come to think of it, there's never actually been a time when i had to STOP her from changing a diaper, and i would if it came up, though she would be completely baffled, of course
10-12-2010, 10:10 PM
We have a gentleman in our fam who has done something similar, but I'll cut off my own arm before I let him near my son, I don't give a poop if he "reformed". You can let her be there to see the baby when you are, but I wouldn't leave the baby alone with her. I'm sorry your family has to go through this difficult situation. :(
10-13-2010, 11:41 AM
Grandmother or not, help or not...you're 100% right in your decision. At the end of the day, it is our job as parents to protect our kids as best we can, and i've learned it's always better to trust our instincts and be better safe than sorry. She may never molest them if given the chance, but is that a chance you want to take? Wouldn't you rather know for sure she CAN'T even if she wanted to. And statistically, molestors usually never get "cured".
10-25-2010, 01:07 PM
Grandma made the choice to molest her son. Getting help and turning herself in was the right thing to do but she needs to understand that because of this past action it makes you (understandably) uncomfortable to have them around her alone. Any parent in your position would feel the same way. You and your husband are the parents and have a responsibility to protect those children. She needs to respect that. Continue to stick to your guns and not let her be alone with them. Trust your motherly instincts. Have a sit down talk with your husband and tell him that while you are glad that he is a forgiving person, you still feel uncomfortable leaving the kids around Grandma alone. If he is a good man then he will respect your feelings about it. He may be secretly still afraid of his mom and scared to tell her no. Even though he's a grown man, the same feelings from childhood can manifest themselves in present situations. Is your husband seeing a therapist for this? If not, he needs to. Unresolved anger and guilt can eat away at a person for many years.
11-05-2010, 12:10 PM
gammajewel...first let me say---YOU ARE MY HERO----standing up to her like that, telling her no to back away and why....good for you. I was molested by an uncle as a kid, and to this day I do not acknowledge his existance, so frankly the fact that she can even see the girls at all, she needs to shut her damn mouth and be grateful for that. DO NOT ALLOW HER TO BE ALONE FOR SECOND WITH YOUR GIRLS. she is a monster, she wil always be a monster. Child molesters CANNOT be reformed.....this has been proven over and over and we still as a society worry about their rights and their feelings. F THEIR RIGHTS AND FEELINGS. Frankly my mother in law is less than bright and she cannot even do simple things like feed and change and outfit and I dont allow her to be alone with my kid, she is no where near the monster in law you have on your hands. If it was me she wouldnt be alloweed to even see the kids, so like i said before , she needs to shut her mouth and be grateful for what she has, she could have it alot worse. she could have me for a daughter in law, because when it comes to my kids safety, there is no discussion. both parents agree or we ERR on the side of extreme caution.
11-08-2010, 07:17 PM
I had a VERY similar experience with my husbands father, he molested my sister-in-law when she was a teen. My mother-in-law found out and made him turn himself into the air force, in which he was in active duty. They discharged him immediately with HONORS!!!! My mother in law stayed with him though and didn't even move out of the house, ( my husband was also molested as a child, by a different person, but living with his dad made him very nervous after that)she made him join SA classes but when they did end up separating, ( after all the kids were grown up) my husband ( who was my bf at the time) moved in with him because they both needed a place to live. I ended up having to move in with my husband with our newborn daughter and his dad. My husband didn't tell me for a while what his dad had done, but I was suspicious because of some of the things he said and did. He wouldn't ever let his dad alone with him, and our daughter slept in our room when he was home. When he finally told me, I wanted to move out right away and keep him away from her, but the circumstances wouldn't allow me too. So I had to stay but I was very very wary of the situation. Turns out my father-in-law was very rarely home and didn't even have a chance to spend any time with her. And he was never allowed to change a diaper or be alone with her, even though he did take classes and was still currently in classes. We had a hidden baby monitor in the room that we kept on at night at FULL volume on the nights that he was home, nothing ever happened, thank God.And he moved out almost a year ago and I sleep SO much better, especially now that we have 2 baby girls. I am sorry that your family has to step carefully now, I hope things get better soon, I know how stressful it can be!
01-30-2011, 02:26 AM
I agree, she is lucky to even be a part of their lives, she needs to shut up and except the consequences of her actions. I personally wouldn't let her see them, I was molested as a child by my brother who is 8 years
Older than me, I was so traumitized that I repressed the memories until after my 21st birthday, I haven't
seen or spoken to him since, and I certainly won't let him near my children. Sure he admitted to it when
Confronted about it, but that doesn't mean it hasn't or that it won't happen again to some other child, I for one will not place my child at risk. So yeah, stick to your guns.
02-14-2011, 04:25 PM
I would run away from the grandmother. She has major psychological problems. Do whatever it takes to make sure your children our safe and out of danger from predators whether it be male or female. I would not trust any family member or anyone for that matter. Sometimes though one doesn't have a choice and we have to leave our kids with someone. If that should happen, make sure you do complete backround and reference checks. Put cameras around the house, record everything they do. Also make sure that the person has something to lose in case they offend your child. The more they have to lose the less they will do anything. I would not leave my child with anyone unless they were older and smart enough to know what to do in case someone was to touch them in a inappropriate way. My sons are 10 and 12.
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