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Old 09-17-2013, 03:42 PM
 
16,719 posts, read 16,407,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weetobe3 View Post
I am raising my older sister's child, she is mentally extremly unstable and also has/had a drug problem. Mother and child see each other regularly.
Her son has been living with me since he was born, I do not have any children of my own.
He is a very bright and healthy boy, needless to say I love him as a son.

So a few days ago he said to me: "I am sorry for being so ugly."
He was seriously heartbroken, and inconsolable.
There was absolutely nothing I could say to comfort him.
This is bothering me because it is not the first time he said something like that.
He loves being around other kids, and has many friends, and he usually isn't shy at all.
So I am wondering where this is coming from.
I do feel he is very insecure at the moment, but I was hoping this would just be a phase.
My mother tells me that my sister (his mother) would say things like that (when she was his age)
as well, crying about being ugly, not good enough, having an overwhelming feeling of guilt,
lacking self-esteem, just like him.
I am worried isn't he way too young for that?!
Why in the world is your sister allowed access to that little boy?! She is unstable and a drugger! You are supposed to be protecting him, not assuaging the guilt of your sister by letting her see him while she is using.

Stop allowing her to see her son until she gets professional help, and has been clean for a year, proving her worthy to be with her son.

I can't believe no one else caught this.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:44 PM
 
13,391 posts, read 16,880,786 times
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weetobe3...I'm wondering if he's being bullied and some other kid maybe said something to the effect of "your mommy doesn't want you because you're so ugly". Lil people can be quite cruel sometimes. Make sure you tell him how handsome he is every day and that anyone says different is just jealous. Make sure he understands that he's with you because mom's got a drug problem, but that you both love him...good luck, hope the little guy feels better about himself soon...
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
9,828 posts, read 5,722,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
Why in the world is your sister allowed access to that little boy?! She is unstable and a drugger! You are supposed to be protecting him, not assuaging the guilt of your sister by letting her see him while she is using.

Stop allowing her to see her son until she gets professional help, and has been clean for a year, proving her worthy to be with her son.

I can't believe no one else caught this.
This! Bolded, in flashing neon letters, underlined with arrows pointing to it, is what I was thinking as I was reading the first page. It at the very least needs to be considered that the mother bears some part if his feelings. It may not be anything she says or does. It may not even be anything he overhears someone saying about him. I mean, he may feel abandoned by the mother. At five, he does not understand why he's not living with his mother. He may think she doesn't love him enough. He's five; he's not thinking about it rationally, even if he's been given "your mommy loves you very much, but she's very sick" speech.

In closing, I suspect very seriously the mother and the situation she's created is the reason for his self-esteem. e just can't put it into words to tell you this, even if he understands it.

Good luck with this. My first step would be monitoring all interaction he has with his mother if you aren't already do this.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,503 posts, read 47,602,580 times
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If it's as bad as you say are you trying to get guardianship of him? Sounds like even tho he loves his mother she is not good for him to be around.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:23 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
Why in the world is your sister allowed access to that little boy?! She is unstable and a drugger! You are supposed to be protecting him, not assuaging the guilt of your sister by letting her see him while she is using.

Stop allowing her to see her son until she gets professional help, and has been clean for a year, proving her worthy to be with her son.

I can't believe no one else caught this.
I wish it was that simple...
I'd never leave him with her if she was using of course- she is clean now, still years of substance abuse leaves it's traces. Her mental condition might be fine now but she is not reliable, and has proofed this repeatedly.
She is in therapy, and to my astonishment they support her to take care of him (it was their idea to let him stay with her- just that they don't know where/how she lives and with whom) it's part of her rehabilitation, she has full custody of the child (always had).
In fact she is in the process of suing me (or so she says) for "child alienation" -BECAUSE I never let him be alone with her. I'd be more than happy if she would visit more often naturally.
She doesn't see that being a mother is a full time job, she wants him to stay with her for three days, and the rest of the week when he's gotten too much for her- she wants to leave him with me. So it's not like I can just tell her to stay away! I was never granted custody,
I tried (things would have been a lot easier for me) but without her consent that wasn't possible.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
9,828 posts, read 5,722,513 times
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If you love this child -- and I'm not implying that you don't -- it's time to put the figurative boxing gloves on and fight her for full custody. Kids need stability and from what you say, she doesn't have enough of it to offer it to her son. Kids find it hard to cope with double houses when it's a divorce situation, but that's usually a better case scenario than what you aredescribing. What is best for the kid should come first and from what you have said, you are by far the best thing to have happened to this child.

Good luck and bless you for being there for him.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:18 AM
 
16,719 posts, read 16,407,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weetobe3 View Post
I wish it was that simple...
I'd never leave him with her if she was using of course- she is clean now, still years of substance abuse leaves it's traces. Her mental condition might be fine now but she is not reliable, and has proofed this repeatedly.
She is in therapy, and to my astonishment they support her to take care of him (it was their idea to let him stay with her- just that they don't know where/how she lives and with whom) it's part of her rehabilitation, she has full custody of the child (always had).
In fact she is in the process of suing me (or so she says) for "child alienation" -BECAUSE I never let him be alone with her. I'd be more than happy if she would visit more often naturally.
She doesn't see that being a mother is a full time job, she wants him to stay with her for three days, and the rest of the week when he's gotten too much for her- she wants to leave him with me. So it's not like I can just tell her to stay away! I was never granted custody,
I tried (things would have been a lot easier for me) but without her consent that wasn't possible.
Oh. I'm sorry, what a rotten situation to be in, and how terrible for your nephew.

Obviously we are outsiders giving advice here, but it seems to me that the best thing for your nephew is to get custody of him since you have him over half the time anyway.

Either that, or your sister needs her ass kicked and made to put her big girl panties on, and take care of her son.

This sounds like a case for Dr Phil.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:31 PM
 
Location: NC
502 posts, read 776,921 times
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I'd call a therapist asap. This child has a family history of mental health issues, a drug-addicted mother who abandoned him to you (whether exactly accurate or not, it might be his perception), and a crazy mother that comes round and says who knows what to him. I'd be shocked if your son didn't need therapy!

It's always better to do it sooner than later. People say, "we'll wait and see". See what? How much worse it can get? If it's nothing, great. If it's something, you will be glad you did it now rather than later.

Said as the mother of a 6 year old we just sought help for self-esteem and anxiety issues (and possible ADD) and as a childhood and life-long sufferer of depression and mental illness. I waited over 30 to get help. I wish my parents had found me the help I needed at that age.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,377,797 times
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I would suggest putting this child into some activity where they can develop skills to build self esteem. Maybe a sport or a musical instrument. True self esteem is rooted in ability. When you are confident that you are good at something you have real self esteem. Self esteem built on praise or looks isn't real self esteem at all. Help him build confidence by building skill. Success breeds confidence.
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:29 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,232 times
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Hello everybody!


I just wanted to update here to anyone who is in a similarly terrible, seemingly hopeless situation I was in, back when I started this thread, anyone who might think this is something uplifting for a change. WE DID TURN THINGS AROUND!! Yay!



As rough as those times were (and honestly I am getting sick just thinking how miserable I was then)

my nephew has actually developed into a very confident and bright young man !



He did go to therapy for a time, and we tried other resources CPS offered, I was not impressed, and the system really did not do anything to improve his situation.

He had to learn the hard way not to rely on his parents, he had to go through a lot of disappointment but eventually he accepted that his parents just are not truthful and in no way able or even fully committed to take care of him. When he was a toddler, of course he wanted nothing more than to be a normal family-

but at some point, the tables turned and it was him who lost interest in spending time with his mother, they see each other but only very rarely. There is no hate, at this point, he just sees her for what she is, and it's difficult for him to deal with- so I don't push it. With parents like that comes a lot of baggage, but it hurts less as he gets older, of course there are still a lot of issues but we are working on them and it is less overwhelming than it was when he was so small still.



His self esteem started to build up as their contact waned, he had to mature way too early, also

I actually did just what the above poster suggested, he started a number of after school activities, I kept and still keep him really busy which helped for sure. He still gets professional help but I also have to point out that, this was a journey and finding the right people might not happen right away, a lot of time, effort and money went into this.

I can't say what it was exactly but mostly I think it's just about hanging in there and not giving up on looking for something that does work, building strategies, trying out stuff until slowly but surely the days will get better.



Also maybe this will be obvious and is really cliche but do reach out to other people- it will open doors! I was hesitant on involving others too much because of the stigma around mental illness, drugs ect. which there is plenty of with his parents, I wanted to be able to get him through this on my own, I always wondered why I wasn't enough support for him, obviously I am not his mother, but I love him the same, and I felt of course like I am failing him. But once you get over all that and just ask for help, there will be people along the way, you never could have done without.





I am still a little bummed out how the system let him down. (I mean- seriously: without her consent they still won't grant me full custody, even though his parents have been violent -with police involved

I on the other hand,
have no criminal record,
no substance abuse issues- or
illnesses

I do have a steady job/regular income-

I have never been out of work- it would be a burden lifted from the state bc she regularly collects child benefits-

I mean what am I missing here?!! I have been through this with my lawyer as well, so don't bother trying to make sense out of this.



,

Anyways thank you for your kind words and well wishes
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