This is an anonymous guest post
We went on holiday recently with my husband’s family including his nephew who is an only child. I knew from the time that we started organising it that it was a bad idea! Our 4yo nephew doesn’t like our 2yo daughter at all and has an antipathy towards our 5mth old son. I knew in my gut that I should have put my foot down and I expressed these concerns to my father in law when he began organising the holiday. I was told not worry about it because by then 2yo would be talking properly and it wouldn’t be an issue. Yeah right!
Everything was sweetness and light when we got there (mostly because the children were too tired!) but on the Sunday, it started Big Time! 4yo’s mother lets him listen to really heavy metal music and it makes him really aggressive! It didn’t help that Sunday was a miserable day and we were all too tired from the 5 hour journey the day before to do anything, but that didn’t excuse 4yo’s behaviour! He decided that he really didn’t like 2yo doing anything!
When they went into the garden, he pushed her over and she slipped on the grass and hurt herself. When it started raining, they came inside and it carried on. He didn’t even like her playing with her own toys because he couldn’t hear his music! She was sat on the floor singing to herself and he shouted at her to shut up! If she went anywhere near him, he’d shout at her and push her away because she was ‘taking his stuff’! If she was colouring in next to him at the table and she went to pick up one of her crayons, he’d yell at her to leave his pens alone when she was nowhere near them! At one point, I went over and put my hand on the table so that I could bend over and pick up one of 2yo’s crayons and he shouted at me because my hand was touching one of his numerous colouring books that he wasn’t even using. My 2yo had one, he had about ten! He wanted to use my laptop to access the internet and lost his temper when I said ‘no.’ The internet didn’t exist when we were children! This went on all day and nothing was done to stop him, apart from the odd, ‘oh stop being silly!’ In the end, I took my children out to protect them from the constant abuse they were getting!
I will fully and freely admit that my 2yo worked out really quickly that her 4yo cousin was really easy to wind up and took every opportunity to do so and I disciplined her for that, but I did mention to my father in law on more than one occasion that I felt that his grandson’s behaviour was totally inappropriate and that I was concerned about the fact that his mother was doing nothing about it. The response I got was that it was 2yo’s fault for deliberately winding him up! I told him that he’d better say something or I would and he refused. ‘Oh it’s just kids!’ 4yo was bullying my daughter and that’s all you have to say?!? I held my tongue until Tuesday and again spoke to him about my concerns. Again he refused to say anything to his daughter about her son’s behaviour and neither would my husband! They all agreed with me, but refused to do anything about it!
On Wednesday, I finally cracked and told my husband that if something wasn’t done about it that day, I’d be going home first thing in the morning. ‘Don’t go home. It’s not fair on everyone else.’ What about my children? Was the bullying and abuse they were receiving fair to them? I replied that I would be going home as I’d had enough! 4yo’s mother heard it and said that it was all 2yo’s fault for not leaving her son alone. What about the constant barrage of abuse that he was levying at my 2yo even when she was playing with her own toys?
Wednesday afternoon, 4yo’s mum went out for an hour by herself because she felt that she ‘needed time alone’. The whole time she was out, 4yo was constantly shouting at 2yo to shut up (she was singing one of her dolls to sleep) and then he started on my 5month old. A baby! He told me to stop him crying because he wanted to hear his metal music. He had ear phones on!
Just as his mother was coming up the drive, we had sat our 2yo in the high chair and given her dinner and she was shouting. I had left the room for two seconds to get some wet wipes and could hear him again shouting at her to shut up. Their uncle turned around and also started shouting at her to shut up. I have to admit, I really lost it then and went into the room and really laid into him for punishing my daughter for her cousin’s attitude. He threw his iPod at me and stormed out. 4yo’s mother came into the room at this point and told me that telling 2yo to be quiet was not punishing her. By then my blood was boiling so I responded in kind! ‘If you disciplined your son effectively then we wouldn’t have a problem! The fact is: he’s a spoilt little bully!’
Her response, ‘How dare you call MY SON a bully!’
‘Well it’s true!’ You can imagine what ensued!
I picked up my son, who was crying, and went to leave the room. My husband went to take him off me because he thought I was going to leave the house with him. 4yo’s mother came along and tried to take him off the two of us. I couldn’t help thinking, ‘why don’t you concentrate on telling your son that this argument is his fault!?’ which verbalised as ‘Get off my son, you bitch!’ I surrendered the baby to my husband and went to sort 2yo out 4yo’s mum was taking him upstairs because he was in hysterics.
My mother in law started having a go at me, justifying what her daughter had done, saying that she was having a bad time at the moment. What about me? There are THREE, count them THREE, social workers on my case! I have a husband who’s incapable of work and a son with a potentially life threatening illness and you think she’s got it hard! All of her problems are self-inflicted! While I was telling her this and helping 2yo eat her dinner, my husband came into the room and took me by the arms and in front of my own child, dragged me out of the room!
I screamed as he knocked my knees against the door post. He opened the front door and tried to push me out of the house. I grabbed hold of the banister. He ripped my arms away and tried again. He screamed in my face, ‘Get out! I don’t ever want to see you again!’ I refused and again he shouted, ‘Get out! Just go!’ I gave in and walked out into the rain in my socks and with no coat on.
I texted him: ‘I’m not coming back. If you can be bothered to call the police, tell them they’ll find my body in the lake!’ and I meant it! I really meant to go off and end it all because everything was being forced onto me. I was being made responsible for everything and no one was thinking about me. No one cared about me! It took him half an hour to reply and instead of coming to look for me, he sent me a text asking where I was. A text! In the meantime, I tweeted my opinion on only children. (Spoilt bullies!)
When, he finally came to get me, I was frozen to the bone and soaked through, He accused me of emotional blackmail. When I got back to the house, 5 month old was screaming for a feed (I breastfeed) and I instantly knew that this was the only reason they wanted to find me. I was forced to sit in the living room in my wet clothes and listen to everyone telling me how stupid I was and how it was all my fault! At no point did anyone suggest that I go for a bath and bed.
4yo’s mum was doing her best to drive a wedge between us all evening by commenting on my faults and failings. And commenting on our children’s behaviour!
That night, I blogged about my feelings about social services and spent most of the evening begging my husband to let me go home. ‘It’s not fair on the children.’ Was his response. So it was fair that 4yo was subjecting them to verbal, emotional and physical abuse whether he knew it or not! It wasn’t the fact that he was doing it that was bothering me, it was the sheer volume of abuse!
Next day, 4yo’s mum noticed my tweet and without taking my mood at the time into consideration, she blocked me on Twitter and Facebook. My husband dragged me upstairs and told me off about it. ‘Why did you have to do that?’
‘Because that’s how I felt at the time!’
‘Well, it’s not nice!’
‘And her behaviour is?’ He confiscated my phone and laptop and deleted all of my social networking apps from my phone. I felt like a child.
Ten minutes later, I went downstairs to find 4yo’s mum holding 5month old. How dare she touch my child? So I took him off her and put his coat on and put him in his car seat and picked my keys up. Hubby shouted, ‘Where are you going?’
‘Out! No one wants me here so I’m going!’
‘Are you coming back?’
‘You don’t care!’
‘Yes I do! Are you coming back?’
‘No one wants me here because I’m ruining everything for everyone!’
‘Are you coming back?’
‘Let me go home!’ I walked out. I had to leave 2yo there because he wouldn’t let me take her. I drove off vowing never to return and to fight to have 2yo returned to me! I don’t know where I drove or where I went but I ended up in a car park crying my eyes out! No one knew or understood or cared about how I felt! They were too wrapped up in their own self-loathing from their self-inflicted problems to even think about what I was going through! Why should I go back? What was the point? The thought of 2yo and the abuse she was enduring with no one to stick up for her made me return. The trouble was: I’d started to believe that it was all her fault and that I was wrong because everyone had told me that so many times!
4yo’s mother had read my post by the time I returned and was crying about it and how she felt that she couldn’t even begin to imagine how I was feeling and that she was so sorry! She still hasn’t unblocked me from Facebook or Twitter yet so she can’t be that sorry. My father in law told my husband that it was probably better for us to go home a day early because he didn’t want any more arguments. Well, if he’d spoken to his daughter there wouldn’t have been any in the first place!
We came home the next day and I have to say, I was never so glad to come home from holiday in my life! Everyone’s blaming me for ruining the holiday, but I think in our own little way, we all did. We all failed all three children that week not just me and I wish the others would admit to it!
So next time someone expresses their concerns to you, do something about it!