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I know this is going to sound absolutely stupid.

My depressive trigger is a person- and I can't get away from her.  She's my sister in law, so if I want to be involved with my niece and nephew I have to deal with her. 

She beats on her kids and throws them around emotionally... my niece crawled up in my lap and crumpled into a ball of hysterical sobbing when it finally came out that she is terrified of her mother (she's 9years old).

So I WANT to be there for these kids.  I WANT to be able to check in on them. I cannot get around this woman. Its like treading insanely thin ice.  She makes my stomach turn literally.

How how HOW do I work on this emotional reaction to her?

The fact that she is shattering small children's souls and battering their bodies and that they are my family and I CAN DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT is what sends me crying angrily into bed for days.

Opinions?

Thoughts?

Commisseration?

I'm truely going crazy over this.

-Mary

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Mary - If you suspect she is beating on her kids call your county child protection office asap.  There are parents that are not capable of raising kids or need some help (Training supervision)    Starving kids, beating on them etc are all wrong.  And you don't want them to grow up thinking this is ok to do to the next generation.

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Keep calling.

 

You never know which report will make the "magic number" that will let it screen in.

 

This might be considered out of line by some people, but you might also share your concerns with the kids' teachers at school to see if they have noticed anything that might be reportable if they put all the pieces together.

 

Also, providing a respite and safe relationship for those kids is crucial.

 

It sucks that your SIL is making these choices. What is your brother's take on this? Is he OK with his kids being abused???

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I've called and called and called.

Each time they say it will be investigated.

Each time she puts on a good show then pulls the kids away from anyone that would report her again.

If she beats them in private then noone will know.

*Loads shotgun*

so... kneecaps?

 

you have no idea how temping this is HA

Keep calling.

 

You never know which report will make the "magic number" that will let it screen in.

 

This might be considered out of line by some people, but you might also share your concerns with the kids' teachers at school to see if they have noticed anything that might be reportable if they put all the pieces together.

 

Also, providing a respite and safe relationship for those kids is crucial.

 

It sucks that your SIL is making these choices. What is your brother's take on this? Is he OK with his kids being abused???

My husband is her brother.  He can't control himself around her and avoids her to avoid jail time.

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I have had some experiences like this. Many parents know what abuse is visible and will put on a show when workers visit. That show is usually not enough if persistent and consistent reports are made, I'd echo getting other family members/school to back you up. I would also take photos of any marks you find on the kids and keep a diary of what the kids say and any evidence you have. The cases here for child abuse goes unnoticed when exposed, there is always a dogged family member who keeps bothering workers. Most workers have a tough time getting to contact the parent, then getting access to the house, then being able to get a correct picture, most policies are there to prevent kids being removed at the drop of a hat, so what helps those workers is a clear, calm and determined person to inform them. 

 

As for you, it sounds like this is understandably taking it's toll on your mental health, have you got a tdoc/pdoc to care for you? It sounds like you need some supportive people who can remind you that you need to take care of you before you can help anyone else. The only way to avoid burning out is to make sure you do what is good for your mental health. Perhaps a child abuse charity can help you with some resources

 

I really appreciate this optimism.  I'm not as persistent as I could be- because the moment I call authorities the children are basically taken into hiding.  Noone sees them, noone gets to communicate with them... She's angry that someone told and isolates the kids (which worries me bc God only knows how she's taking it out on them.)

But I could be doing behind the scenes work keeping record.

Thank you!

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Ah... that kind of sister in law.

 

How about the father of the kids?

Each child has a different father.  Oldest has never known her dad (teen pregnancy situation) and youngest's dad is a junkie who has opted out of a relationship with his son.  She cycles men through the house trying to find a partner but she's a little unstable herself and she ends up sabotaging most of her relationships or bringing home a douche bag.

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Here's another possibility:  Can you find out the names of their teachers?  If you could meet (privately and quietly) with each teacher and ask them to keep a lookout for signs of abuse, they could be the ones to report the mother to CPS.  Or meet with the guidance counselor at the school and express your concern.

 

Please keep trying---these children need you.

 

olga

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