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I need advice about my young sister and dealing with the loss of our mother


reeling

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We lost my mom in October 2012, unexpectedly. She passed away early in the morning so we were at home with her when it happened but could do nothing for her. Needless to say, I feel like I have a jagged, gaping hole in my chest still.

Here is my problem: I have an 8 year old sister that witnessed this as well. I am 28 and still lived at home, feeling I could never leave her behind. My parents weren't always the best with her but my mom was better than my dad. With my dad, he is constantly talking down to her, stating he "needs a break" from the responsibility of her constantly. He says things in front of her that make her feel horrible. He constantly tells her she needs to be more responsible with cleaning, homework, etc. She is 8 years old!! I could see her being more responsible if he was an example. He really just wants her to clean up after him. I have confronted him on this on numerous occasions but it has done nothing. He is selfish. Before my mom died he made comments on regular occasions about "putting a bullet in his head" because she wouldn't let him get his way on petty things, like buying new toys (golf cart, guns, etc) He made comments like that when my mom would be angry with him for talking to my 8 year old sister in a demeaning way, much like he does now.

He joined match.com and other dating sites almost immediately after my mom passed. The week my mom passed away, he felt the need to tell me a story of how my mom had cheated on him when they were just beginning dating with explicit details down to what type of condom was used. This whole time I am thinking "Why the hell are you telling me this?" But I was in shock still and thought maybe he was just dealing with her death in his own way. My sisters and I repeatedly requested if he did start dating that he not include our 8 year old sister in ANY of it. He disregarded this and has now been drug through the mud with him in his numerous outings with random women. He even told her that we asked him not to tell her anything to which she approached me and said "It's okay. I'm okay with daddy talking to girls. He told me you had a problem with it, but its okay." SHE IS 8!!!!!!! I find it difficult to deal with, I can only imagine how she feels. But daddy says its okay, so it must be okay. He takes her out to dinner with these women and MAKES her talk to them on Skype and whatnot. He has also had these women bring their children along and she has made "friends" with them. He had a long distance relationship with a woman he found on Facebook. My little sister said of her son, "He is almost like my stepbrother." Since then they have parted ways. And on to the next one.

He does not take care of her basic needs but I am in the home and fill in where he lacks. She has poor hygiene but as her sister, she will only listen to me so much, as I am "not the boss" My dad will back me up on some things but others he is lax. She had a horrendous toothache for 4 days that kept her awake at night, screaming (literally) in pain. He refused to take her to the dentist and demand they pull it or whatever. She misses school regularly for no reason and is tardy often. He has received letters from the school about this and yelled at her for it, saying things like "Well, I guess they can just take me to jail!" Granted, she is not in a hurry in the morning but when he wakes her up 30 minutes before the tardy bell and expects her to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and get out the door in that amount of time I see it as his fault. He needs to be the adult and the parent and take the lead and responsibility!

When she cries and talks about missing my mom he says "She's just trying to get attention." Granted she does use my mom's death to try to manipulate people at times she often times just wants someone to hold her, especially at bedtime.

He yells at her often, especially when she interferes with his tv, facebook, or phone calls with random women.

I have contemplated contacting child protective services to investigate. I am afraid they would take her away from him and put her in foster care. My other sisters live in a different state. We are all willing to take her in but since I live with him still that will not be an option.

He is attempting to buy a house and land in the middle of nowhere in the state my sisters live in, but an hour away. He complains now that my little sister is too much for him to handle by himself but now he will have no one nearby to help with her and she will be bored out of her mind even more!

He had a heart attack 2 years ago and his health isn't very good. He refuses to go to a doctor to ensure things are okay. My fear is that something will happen to him and she will be alone with him to deal with it until someone else gets there. She already went through that with my mom!

But you can't tell him anything.

What should I do? I worry about her and her well being but I also know that being ripped away from her daddy would be detrimental as well. But as detrimental as growing up with him and his lack of responsibility, emotional support, and basic interest in her?

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Reeling, You are right to be concerned about your sister, particularly her lack of a structured and supportive lifestyle. You have listed numerous unhealthy situations your sister is being forced to endure. You are concerned, and CPS would be concerned. They don't always take children away; instead, they try to work with the family. Perhaps your father just needs some counseling or parenting tips. Do you have the means to take care of your sister? Perhaps you can work out a situation with your father. Have you and the other sister attempted to sit down and have an honest discussion with your father? What was the result? Whatever you do, I believe you do need to get an outside, expert opinion on how to deal with this situation. Your family also probably needs grief counseling on how to cope with the loss of your mother. It sounds like your father is lost and desperate. We will be here for you. Please let us know what action you have taken. --ModKonnie

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My sisters (one younger, one older) asked him to let her move in with them but he made a comment about my sister's social security benefits being cut off from him if she did that. He does not work and is collecting a social security check for himself and my sister from my mom's SS.

As I mentioned I have talked to him on numerous occasions about his comments to her and how he needs to be a little more supportive and involved in her life. He was angry and told me, in many more words, that I am not a parent and cannot tell him how to parent. My other sisters have talked to him as well and received the same disinterest. Anything we request of him he seems to do the opposite -- almost like "You can't tell me what to do."

I fear what may happen if I do contact CPS. I fear that he may attempt to harm himself if it is found out that he is under investigation and they find a reason to take her from the home. He has everyone believing that he is someone completely different -- father of the year, man of God, etc etc etc. I feel like I'm in a catch 22 but honestly, I don't care what happens to him. He has shown his true colors time and time again and my sister is my only concern.

If I had certainty that she would not have to endure any distress and more trauma I would have done this months ago. I just have a bad feeling about it and have justified not notifying them with the fact that I am still living with them and can do damage control. He plays mind games with her though, and that I cannot control, especially when I am the "bad guy" because I disagree with him.

Has anyone ever had any experience with CPS in a situation like this? How did it turn out?

Thanks.

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Yadairaisabel

Hello! Ive been involved with CPS before not exactly along these exact circumstances but similar. When I contacted them I made sure to be very specific and honest about the childs situation. They investigated and removed the child from the home and placed the child at an ants house. If there is a family member that qualifies to keep the child usually they give temporary custody to that approved family member before they place a child in foster care. Prayers out to your family!

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I have seen some improvements with my dad as of late. He is planning on moving out of state next week with my sister. I have not contacted CPS or her school counselor. I feel it would do more harm than good at this point in time. She cannot handle losing a second parent, either to being placed elsewhere or him giving up custody of her. Either way she will feel unwanted by him and I just can't do that to her. My sisters will be available for her when he moves to his new home. He is leaving her with my younger sister (in her late 20's) for the summer while he can renovate the house we are in to sell it. At least for the time being, she will be nurtured and cared for while with the other sister. Perhaps he will be able to change his perspective and everythin during this time.

Thanks for the advice! I just can't bring myself to uproot her more than she has been already!

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