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9.20.2011

Open hostility is no starting point for a relationship

Debbie, the boy's mom, lives at least 2 hours away. She doesn't have a phone, calls maybe once in a month, never writes, and makes intermittent contact with Kit through facebook. Her parents, the boy's maternal grandparents moved away from this area a month ago after living here for almost 40 years. They are now at least a 3 hour drive. Since they left, they haven't phoned, written or otherwise tried to contact the kids. We heard through a third party facebook post that Gramma has contracted some serious health issues. They have an uncle who lives more than an hour away, who usually sees them through the grandparents, too. That leaves Auntie as the only remaining relative on their mother's side still close by.
As some of my readers may recall, Auntie doesn't like me at all and the last time we tried to sort something out she called the police accusing me falsely of harrassing her. In fact, any interaction I've had with her ends in threats or lies about what happened so that at this point I refuse to talk with her at all. Jump ahead to a couple of weeks ago when she posted a request on my blog that she would like to visit with the kids since her usual opportunity to see them through her parents was gone. Not unreasonable, thinks I, and I told her husband (who I coincidentally ran into the following day) I'd passed the message along to Buddy. Well, not more than 5 days later and she posted yet another threat on my blog. I guess Buddy hadn't returned her call fast enough for her and so she said she'd have the police at our door that very afternoon if we didn't hop to.

The thing is, Auntie has no rights or standing when it comes to the boys. She knows that neither the courts or the police have any reason to listen to her yet she still makes these threats. Yes, she is a close relative who they love and should have some contact with. But her threats and open hostility make if very difficult to either want to work with her, or feel safe surrendering the boys into her care. I can't explain that to her because I honestly don't believe she hears a word I say. Whatever ill I caused her in a past life is being served up double in this one.

So there's our conundrum. How do we create a working relationship so that we can feel safe enough to trust her with the small boys when she so openly despises us?