I, Anonymous

Dear 3-Year-Old Niece

Comments

1
Boring.
2
Jesus God. How depressing. Boring, gosantaclara? Oh, welllll, too bad for you that this wasn't more salacious, hunh? A-hole! Maybe you should head to Harborview and look for some gunshot victims and revel in their misfortune.
3
Way too much malt liquor and cocaine for that lady.
4
Oh no, sibling rivalry *yawn*
5
I think snide comments like these are what's meant by the phrase 'The Seattle Chill'.
6
Is this what is meant by "No child left behind"? Future teacher, indeed. Hello there ARE services that should be explored or do people just wait until they make the top of the media webpage with the line, "....and then she drew the weapon to herself and pulled the trigger". I guess people don't recall Josh Powell. If you have an unstable mother and witnesses to prove the fact, you don't sit on your hands and apologize to a child who doesn't read the stranger so you can alleviate your guilt (current or future) for not doing something. You actually get up off your butt and do something now!
7
for your legal safety? So she has a restraining order against you I take it. Please finish helping yourself before you presume to help others, especially children.

#6, it's her sister not her mother.
8
My brother burned me with a soldering iron, I threw a hammer at him. I love him dearly and he has raised wonderful children. Time for someone here to grow up.
9
@6,

What services?

@7,

Given the context, legal safety could easily mean that she doesn't want to be arrested in the future for her sister's violent rages.
10
@6, Social services is not going to get involved unless the child is a victim of these violent outbursts. There are no services she can call as long as her sister restricts her violent outbursts to adults. As for other services, involuntary commitment is only an option if someone is "a danger to oneself or others" but in practice that means only suicidal or homicidal. Anything less and the crazies roam free. Happens all the time.
11
@6 I don't think there's much point in calling CPS when there's no sign of harm to the child. Given the circumstances, someone probably should keep an eye on this kid, but it doesn't sound like Anon is really in a position to do that.

@8 Yeah, but I take it your brother didn't traumatize you so much that you
still have nightmares about it and actively avoid him, nor has he attacked you as an adult. Siblings can have vicious fights (my brother dislocated my jaw once - we're great friends now), but this doesn't sound like normal sibling rivalry.
12
#11, whatever trials a life entails, nothing is resolved by putting your business in the street.
13
Is there anywhere in the post that indicated the gender of the author?
14
I see some can't bear the honesty, the pain or the love that is contained in this story. Fear? Denial? How defended and walled off can you be tender souls?

I too had a sibling that tortured me. It shaped my life and myself. It still does. This sister sounds completely toxic and I'm so glad that you have somehow learned that you are worth protecting. Brilliant! That woman is likely to continue to mistreat the vulnerable. You can alert the child's other relatives that can see any destructive aim this woman launches at her daughter. And there's CPS who can be alerted.
15
@11: It doesn't sound like normal sibling rivalry because Anon is leaving out the part where they are just as violent back and/or start the fights in the first place.
16
14 et al, you hear one side of a story, esp. a story like this, and you somehow have the whole picture? I don't think so.
17
I agree with #14, especially about alerting other relatives or the child's teachers who you think are trustworthy (will not rat you out to your sister) to pay special attention to the child. My guess is that your sister has a personality disorder, which is going to be make a huge negative impact on the child, even without physical violence.

Presumably you'll see the child at family functions. Starting at the age of 4 or 5, let her know that you care about her and that you are willing to believe her, by listening to her nonjudgmentally, AND MIRRORING HER. Your sister can't be in the same room with both of you every minute. It can make a big difference to the child just to know that there's an adult out there on her side. She just has to believe you once for that to happen.
18
@15 Well, maybe, but we have no way of knowing that. Even if it's true, it's still not normal sibling rivalry.
19
@18: Exactly. Because like I pointed out, there's no way Anon is being honest about their part in this whole thing.
20
" Because like I pointed out, there's no way Anon is being honest about their part in this whole thing."

Sorry, but as someone who works with traumatized children: FUCK YOU.

Her story rings absolutely true with me.

Please stop the armchair quarterbacking about something that you've been very FORTUNATE to not have any experience with.

I have. This sort of thing is far more common than you want to think.
21
@17 - "I agree with #14, especially about alerting other relatives or the child's teachers who you think are trustworthy (will not rat you out to your sister) to pay special attention to the child. "

The problem is that she now has a restraining order against her. If she tries direct contact with any of those people, she may get into further legal difficulty. If the restraining order covers the niece, this is particularly problematic.

If she tries "anonymous" letters to these people, she won't be believed. I'd also worry about reducing anything to writing that you cannot prove because of defamation laws.

If she can afford it, she needs to talk to an attorney. If she can't, she needs to call the child services office in the area where the sister lives and ask them for advice. They probably won't open an active investigation at this point, but they can give her guidance. Plus, it puts abusive sis on the radar in case something "off" happens with the daughter.

FYI, As a lawyer who practices in this area of law, some of you are flat out incorrect: the screaming and yelling and verbal abuse of other family members - IF the child is exposed to it more than once - would constitute grounds for removal where I practice. The only way OP will know if this is a valid reason is if she contacts child services and asks to speak with them. I just got parental rights terminated on a case where the ONLY point was the parents had very loud verbal shouting matches with a lot of emotional abuse on repeated basis in front of the kids. Emotional abuse is harder to prove, but it's still abuse. Exposure to this level of vitriol is emotional abuse.
22
There's nothing wrong with simply cutting off all ties with abusive or simply offensive family members.

Sure you may run into them at the odd wedding or funeral but those tend to be public events where you can simply ignore them.

It's unfortunate that the letter-writter's parents didn't nip this behavior in the bud. Kids fight of course and its important to let them try to find solutions but there's a limit where you should step in and moderate the behavior. A big tip on that limit is where things become physical or obviously emotionally damaging.
23
Please stop the armchair quarterbacking about something that you've been very FORTUNATE to not have any experience with.
...says the Armchair Quarterback, calling the kettle black...

The poor spineless I, Anon got pushed around by his sister, and is now on a passive / aggressive "poor little me" fest.

Sad.

24
I divorced my entire family when I was 24.
Never looked back, don't care, fuck you all.

Best thing I ever did.
Try it!