New here...need advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2003
New here...need advice
2
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 8:39pm
I guess I should start at the beginning...I was married for 5 yrs, we are since divorced.Together we had 2 boys who are now 6 and 3.He has a ds from previous relationship that is now 10.When his ds was 3 he was molested my his mothers BF.He has since been in counseling, but has continued to have behavioral problems and whatnot ever since.My ex is bipolar and they believe that his ds may be also, so besides therapy he is on tons of meds.I have always felt sorry for the little guy, hes been through so much in his life, but part of me was always uneasy and never fully trusted him(when he was almost 4 he was caught hitting my ds who was only a few months old in the head while he slept, and when we told him I was having another baby he said if it was a boy he would kill it)Since being divorced, my ex always got them on opposite weekends mostly because his ds has always been so difficult to handle especially with the other 2 around.Well ex decided at one point that he wanted to have a "free" weekend and wanted to get all 3 boys on the same weekends.I was uneasy with it, but I tried to give the boy the benefit of the doubt, after all they are brothers.

After a few months of this I noticed a dramatic change in my 6 yr old.He started to become very aggressive and hard to handle when he would come home from dads house on the weekends.There was clearly something bothering him.When I questioned ex he became defensive and said I was overreacting and that nothing was going on.A few days later he agreed that maybe it was time to go back to opposite weekends. I was relieved.Things seemed to be somehwat better.

Well it has recently come to light that during the times when all 3 boys were together, they slept in the same bed together, and while my 6 yr old tried to go to sleep his older brother was forcing him to do oral sex on him.I thank God that my ds finally told me, and was comfortable enough to come to me finally.I am HORRIFIED that this has happened.It literally makes me sick to my stomach.Im mad at myself because I wasnt more adamant about them being together.Call it mothers instinct, I dont know.

My problem now is this.My mother and some others think I should press charges.Im not about revenge, I just want to be assured that it will be dealt with, by therapists or whatever(he does still see one) and I DONT want him around the boys EVER.Im planning on sending out letters to family member whatever, letting them know that they arent to be togther, but Im unsure whether I should take legal action.Plus, Im not sure I fully trust my ex either.He was in the other room when this went on under his nose.He knew of his ds' past and yet he still put them all in the same bed, same room unsupervised(he had tried to get cousins of his to do this to him as well)I know things can happen even under watch of the best parents, but my ex does not have a history of being all that attentive( he has very bad bonding issues, recovering alcoholic, bipolar as I said) What do I do?The boys like going to dads on the weekends, I dont want my older ds suddenly feel like hes being "punished" after telling me the truth.How do I rest with them over there on the weekends.I know that ex wont have older ds around them, but ex's sisters have always turned a blind eye when it comes to that child and at this point they are sugar coating it, saying "boys will be boys".

HELP TIA!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 08-13-2003 - 2:11am
Oh my gosh, I am so sorry this has happened to your little boy. I was just sick as I read what happened.

***FOLLOWING MAY BE TRIGGERING FOR OTHER MEMBERS, DON'T READ IF YOU'RE NOT UP TO IT***

I can relate somewhat. My son (now almost 13) was coerced into oral sex with another boy when both were in first grade. It happend IN THE CLASSROOM!!! There was a substitute teacher and I don't know what the **** she was doing because it happened on the first row and she was clueless. A little girl that was sitting by them saw it and her mother reported it to the regular teacher. I can tell you, we went the rounds with the school and district, and I was amazed at how they wanted to sweep it under the rug. I was just sick. You try so hard to keep your kids safe, and one person takes that out of your hands. One person and one act and my son knew more at the age of six than I knew in high school.

We also thought about legal action, and were encouraged by family members and friends I told. The boy who initiated the whole thing had received exposure from his stepbrothers, I later found out. I was so angry and horrified. I mostly wanted to sue the school for not providing a safe environment, and the district for not taking swift action to help us. I had stated that I wanted counseling, and their district person took forever to return my calls. When we finally met with him he talked about "natural curiosity and exploration" and asked us what our attitudes were about talking about sex with our children. Gave us some pointers, and ideas for ways to communicate with ds about what happened, but that was it. I felt like sending an editorial into the local newspaper and giving the district some very unwanted publicity. Legally I worried about putting my son through having to tell about it and dwell on it. I didn't want it ingrained into his head. He knew I was alarmed when I talked to him after talking to the teacher. She didn't tell me the whole story, just said he and his friend were exposing themselves in class. This seemed strange to me because that was so way out there for him. When I asked him what happened he looked kind of uncomfortable and said, "________ wanted me to suck his weenie." The language alone I know he got from the other boy because he had never heard that body part referred to that way. Turned out they each took a turn on each other and he said it tickled. I burst into tears, and then he felt really bad. We had a couple of other honest talks where I explained to him why I was so upset, and we talked about what was appropriate and what was not.

************************END OF TRIGGER**************************

I just share that to let you know that I know the horror of your child being violated. I think that in your situation it's important that your sons not be at your ex-husband's house. If there is legal action to be taken, I think your ex's visitation rights should be changed to supervised only. He knew the dangers and I can't believe he put them all in the same bed. That alone shows neglect, if not the inability to care for your boys. Don't worry too much about hurting your ex's feelings, because this is a HUGE betrayal. Your number one responsibility as a parent is to make sure your children are safe.

In talking to your son, I believe it's very important that you communicate with him that what happened was NOT his fault. Make sure he knows that that kind of behavior is inappropriate, and talk to your sons about their power to say no and get out. If they have seen you upset about this, make sure they know that you are upset that the other boy did this and that you are NOT upset with your son. You can tell them that because you want them to be safe and you love them, visits with daddy are going to be different than they have been. Let your son express his feelings about what happened; be extra loving and watch his behavior carefully. I also think that counseling would be very beneficial. I used to think it would be horrifying to have to take a child to a counselor, but my daughter went to one last year for behavior issues and it was a fantastic experience.

I understand not wanting to seek revenge and wanting to understand your stepson. He has been through awful things himself. BUT you have to set boundaries that he is not allowed to cross. You can still do loving things for him, but that doesn't mean that he should have access to your children.

If you want to talk more about this, please feel free to do so here. Or if you would like to chat off-board you can email me at queenheidi@comcast.net Don't click on the link here, though, or I won't get it; email me from your email. Gosh my heart just aches for you and your son, because I know what it feels like. I have never been more horrified, angry, confused, devastated, etc. in my entire life. I did a LOT of crying. It rocked my whole world. As a word of reassurance, my son is doing beautifully. I still watch him quietly, and he is very much like other typical kids his age. I was so worried about his feeling dirty or having a sexual fixation, and he seems to be doing great. Every year as a family before school starts we talk about safety issues, and appropriate/inappropriate touching and how to avoid or get out of situations is one of them. (A really good resource is the safety handbook in the front of the Cub Scout and Boy Scout handbooks) I wondered if he had forgotten what happened, and last year he made reference to it, but in a matter-of-fact way. So I know he's not weighed down about it. He may have issues later on, and if he does we will deal with it however we need to.

My best to you, sweetie. Hugs, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Wed, 08-13-2003 - 10:39pm
First thing is first, yes he needs to be watched. I don't think it's very often that abuse turns victims into abusers but i think it's obvious that it's the road your step-son is on, heartbreakingly tragic. While i agree i'm not sure filing criminal charges would be best (they might not anyways due to his age) but he certainly needs to see a phychiatrist. Has your son seen a therepist? Your post does not say.

Anyways, i congratulate you on the letters, a lot of people willingly cover it to make the family more comfortable. Thank-you for trying to prevent more victims. Now i don't know what country you are in but in Canada here we can file a statement with the RCMP without filing formal charges. In other words it's simply a piece of paper that gets put on a shelf. This might be something you want to think about as your son may change his mind about charges when he is of age, sometimes that happens. Or if it happens to another child then things are already on file and there's less chance of the abuser getting off. Anyways, they (police) will get you in touch with the Victims Services or you can contact them directly. In the states it's called the Ofice of Victims Services. I've posted links here to it before. Anyways, they can help you with a lot of aspects of this sort of thing.

I hope some of this helps, oh and as to visitation i guess you need to consider how your kids feel but i know i would never trust again. Supervised visits should not be so hard to understand for him if he really feels badly. But that's just my opinion. So good luck I wish you and your family brighter days ahead.

Danielle.