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Old 05-19-2013, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
1,105 posts, read 2,910,127 times
Reputation: 2106

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I don't know what the heck to do with my family and I'm majorly bothered about it. I guess I just need to vent. My dad, who is 58, is currently on his forth marriage to a much younger woman who he met on a trip to China when he was going through a crisis due to his third marriage ending. Within two months of meeting this girl-woman they were married and two months after that she was pregnant with their first child who is now five. When he was two they were having problems in their marriage and my dad thought she may be cheating. But instead of getting help or getting divorced they had another kid. He's now two and things have just gone downhill since he was born.
This woman, just like two of my dad's other wives, including my mother, is clearly mentally ill. She has major meltdowns which causes her to get violent. Then she just sits and cries and rocks and acts like a small child. My mother also has these meltdowns which she took out on us kids and finally my brother and I was put in foster care. My dad claims that there was nothing he could do at the time and that he had his own problems to deal with. That's all history and I'd get over it if history wasn't repeating itself and he is being just as stupid and apathetic as he was 30 years ago.
I don't care if he and his wife beat each other to death but there are two small kids in the middle of this mess. I think he ought to do what's best for the kids and at this time that's not living in the chaos they're living in but he says that he doesn't want to live without a woman. WTF? I told him he has to put the kids first and he replies "that's easy to say". Yes, it is easy to say and very possible to do.
My dad lives in Europe so we only have phone contact which is a very good thing because if I could I would have strangled him. I don't get how someone can be so selfish and stupid, especially after all the crap his first three kids went through growing up. My brother still has a lot of problems which I believe are a direct result of how he grew up and I don't want my little brothers to grow up the same way.
I don't know what I can say to him to convince him to put his two small boys ahead of himself. I want to do something to protect my little brothers but short of moving to Sweden and trying to get custody of them, which is my sister's suggestion, I don't know what to do to help them. I'd appreciate suggestions. `
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,490 posts, read 3,944,499 times
Reputation: 3226
You got some good advice when you posted about this same issue...

See Advice needed about kids in bad situation thread.
Advice needed about kids in bad situation

What have you done since then? Have you contacted the authorities there to do a welfare check on your father and brothers? Have you contacted child protective services (or whatever passes for that in Sweden)? We can't do this for you.

Last edited by Sabinerose; 05-19-2013 at 08:50 AM.. Reason: Add link to last thread
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:55 AM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,292,750 times
Reputation: 12632
There is likely next to nothing you can do. Are the children being abused, are they being neglected ( not fed, not clean, etc. ) Can you prove it. If you have some sort of viable proof, not suspicions, you could try contacting the local child protective service or whatever it is called in Sweden.

But it's going to be hard to have anyone believe you when you're so far away. Do you have family members in Sweden who are familiar with your father's family ? Can they make a complaint ?

Your sister's suggestion that you move to Sweden is kind of silly. Are you a Swedish citizen? ( were you raised there- fluent in Swedish? ) Would you even be able to move there, get a job, establish yourself financially, get a home. Then you would still have to prove that the children are being neglected. There is no guarantee that you would get custody- they might just go into foster care or be kept with your father and wife. .

Then, too, do you really want to take on the cost and responsibility of raising two small children to adulthood ? How well do you know your father's wife? Is it possible to speak with her. She obviously has problems, Maybe she can be encouraged to go into treatment ? Medication maybe able to stabilize her.

Can you visit this summer on vacation ? Stay nearby but not with them. See for yourself what is going on. Talk with the wife. Then maybe get local social services, etc. involved while you're there . But I would only try that if you're still a Swedish citizen yourself and speak the language. Other countries do not take kindly to Americans showing up out of the blue and telling them what to do with their citizens.

I wish I had more to offer. But when you're so far away and dealing with another country, your options are very limited. Your father is not likely to change. He has a pattern set that he's been following and probably won't go into counseling to find out why he keeps picking the same unstable people. I know it's very hard for you to watch a disaster in the making and not being able to do anything about it.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:09 PM
 
13,677 posts, read 13,579,480 times
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If I understand correctly, Sweden has a pretty good healthcare system and a pretty solid social services network. If you are going to be visiting, I would contact their social services department and ask what you need to provide them with for them to take action. Then document everything.

I think you're right to be concerned. Parents like the ones you describe can be extremely toxic and those kids are not going to have an easy time of it - as you no doubt know. This tolerance of mental illness also means that should those kids develop problems of their own (which is highly likely) they will likely not receive the help they need.

At the very least, keep tabs on the situation. You might not be able to do anything now, but you may be able to offer them support and a much needed ear later on down the road.
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