Author Topic: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?  (Read 11518 times)

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mrkitty

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2013, 01:32:54 PM »
That is really good advice, thank you for that. I have kept all communications from SIS including email and voicemail. (Mostly, that's because that's what we do when it rankles - keep it, so you can obsess over how offended you are for decades to come. Oh, we might forgive, but never forget in our family.....  ;)) but actually, in this case, it isn't rankling so much as it is concerning. And keeping the communications for the sake of practical considerations is very good advice that I intend to keep.

As for calling the authorities, I am now on the fence. On the one hand, I don't KNOW with any certainty that what she's said is remotely true. And my concern is that I would simply be calling the authorities to "punish" her or for retaliation in some way....so I need to be real careful and check myself to insure I'm doing the right thing for the right reasons before I proceed. And not take too much time about it, because if the kids ARE being harmed in any way, they need help NOW, not later.

On the other hand, it could be that she is indeed just trying to manipulate me by pulling my guilt strings. Or, that she is overwrought and stressed out from the responsibility. And it could be true that BIL lost his job, though I can't confirm that either way. If they ARE having financial hardships that could affect the children, I don't have the means, currently, to help out; but perhaps the state can help them locate financial assistance or affordable housing solutions, if needed. I would imagine that the system would prefer to keep the kids in the same home they've come to know if it is possible - and through that process, ensure that SIS and her husband have access to the proper resources for their care.

Plus, I imagine that since the children are attending school, that the teachers (particularly of the special needs child) would be highly trained and able to tell if nutritional needs are being met or if they are being neglected in some way. I hope.

At the end of the day, though, BIL's employment status being a mystery to me, I know one thing: nobody in my family has great coping skills. We do tend to panic and freak out, and go on the emotional attack. Based on my knowledge of my sister, I am reasonably sure that is what her behavior is about. She's stressed out and overwhelmed. And if that's true, then maybe some additional resources need to be made available to her to help manage the care of two children, one of whom has some pretty intense care needs - which could be difficult for a regular person to handle, much less someone with our family's notoriously poor coping skills.

So maybe a call would help, then. Maybe the kids won't get removed or SIS in trouble....maybe they can make sure they are getting the resources they need.

Or, maybe I'm just rationalizing and need to leave the whole thing alone and trust the professionals who work with them to get involved if there really is a problem. I have never met the children and have no biological or familial ties to them; however, I DO have a generic concern for their well-being as I would for any members of society.  Really, I just want to walk away and forget about the whole thing and just get my own life figured out. But then, I feel if I do that, maybe I'm shirking my duty as a citizen to two other very vulnerable members of society??? Or am I sticking my nose where it doesn't belong and making trouble?

I just don't know. Just don't know.
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Venus193

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2013, 01:42:40 PM »
I see nothing wrong with taking her at her word, making the call, and letting your sister and BIL take the consequences of their actions because that (unlike anything you or other family members have said) might make them realize their dysfunction (the best word I can think of at the moment).

Amara

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2013, 01:42:49 PM »
Perhaps you might want to give yourself a certain amount of time to mull this over, perhaps in discussion with your DH or another trustworthy person and commit to making your decision at the end of that time (a day, a week, or whatever time frame works best for you). I think you could use a "decide by" date so you don't keep putting the decision off. Other than that, I wish you the best in this difficult time.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2013, 01:48:22 PM »
I wouldn't think it to be a bad idea to call CPS. I think unless the children are in imminent danger they won't remove them from their home and will try to help the family so that the kids can stay there.

Such as giving them the resources to help the parents, direct them to where they can go for help, etc.  They don't want to remove the kids if at all avoidable.  And it sounds like your sis could use some help in dealing with things.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

mrkitty

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #79 on: January 20, 2013, 01:53:31 PM »
Hmmmm. Very good advice.  I will think about it.

Bottom line: if there is no problem, and I call, but have the voicemails from SIS, the authorities can decide if/when/whom should have any consequences at all, and if she needs mental help, get some for her. And, maybe demonstrate that there ARE consequences for stuff you pull.
And, if there IS a genuine problem, then the situation can be properly looked after by experts who have actual training. Plus, no more worry about it.
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doodlemor

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #80 on: January 20, 2013, 02:06:46 PM »
Is there any way that you could play the voicemail about the child to CP?  If sister is playing wolf, she should be called on it.  If she is making the whole thing up she needs to start understanding how bizarre this type of behavior is, how far she deviates from accepted norms.

I was a mandated reporter for many years.  Iris is presently a mandated reporter, and in another thread she gave a good explanation of when to report.  According to Iris, and what I was told, it is not the responsibility of the person reporting to judge the depth or importance of a perceived problem.  A reporter is just someone who brings an issue to the attention of the authorities who will be required to look into a situation, and would have some power to deal with it.

mrkitty

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #81 on: January 20, 2013, 02:11:17 PM »
Is there any way that you could play the voicemail about the child to CP?  If sister is playing wolf, she should be called on it.  If she is making the whole thing up she needs to start understanding how bizarre this type of behavior is, how far she deviates from accepted norms.

I was a mandated reporter for many years.  Iris is presently a mandated reporter, and in another thread she gave a good explanation of when to report.  According to Iris, and what I was told, it is not the responsibility of the person reporting to judge the depth or importance of a perceived problem.  A reporter is just someone who brings an issue to the attention of the authorities who will be required to look into a situation, and would have some power to deal with it.



Ohhh. That makes sense. And, I feel better. I do have the voicemails and the ability to forward messages. I assume then when they get the call they can then decide what to do, if anything. Thank you!

Problem solved. The drama-free way.  :) Thank all of you for your wise and compassionate counsel - you're helping more than you could possibly know.  ;D
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cicero

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #82 on: January 20, 2013, 02:21:26 PM »
As for calling the authorities, I am now on the fence. On the one hand, I don't KNOW with any certainty that what she's said is remotely true. And my concern is that I would simply be calling the authorities to "punish" her or for retaliation in some way....so I need to be real careful and check myself to insure I'm doing the right thing for the right reasons before I proceed. And not take too much time about it, because if the kids ARE being harmed in any way, they need help NOW, not later.

On the other hand, it could be that she is indeed just trying to manipulate me by pulling my guilt strings. Or, that she is overwrought and stressed out from the responsibility. And it could be true that BIL lost his job, though I can't confirm that either way. If they ARE having financial hardships that could affect the children, I don't have the means, currently, to help out; but perhaps the state can help them locate financial assistance or affordable housing solutions, if needed. I would imagine that the system would prefer to keep the kids in the same home they've come to know if it is possible - and through that process, ensure that SIS and her husband have access to the proper resources for their care.

Plus, I imagine that since the children are attending school, that the teachers (particularly of the special needs child) would be highly trained and able to tell if nutritional needs are being met or if they are being neglected in some way. I hope.



CPS are not monsters who are out to *get* your sister. they are interested in the best interest of the children. they are often over worked/under staffed and have to rely on "the world" to help them look out for the kids.

and teachers don't always notice things, and children don't always admit to problems

I say make the call and hopefully it will be a false alarm. wouldn't you rather call "for nothing" than *not* call when you should have? I know that I would. you are correct that you don't know if your sister is telling the truth - but you don't know if she isn't. and you don't know if she is maniupulating you, or not. but why take a chance when children's well being is at stake?

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Minmom3

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #83 on: January 20, 2013, 02:51:38 PM »
Something to think about - would you feel worse for making that phone call and 'stirring the pot' only to find that Sis was actually fine (if a drama llama) and that they didn't need anything - or NOT making the call and finding out later that it would have been a good idea?  Sis already has drama in her life, and may not be handling it well, BUT she and her husband have already burned their bridges with you and your DH, so you have no relationship to salvage.  Who else is there who can stand up for the children?  Would anybody else in your family do it?  When push comes to shove, the welfare of the children is what really matters - is calling CPS going to harm them?  A little extra drama might have the worthy end result that your sister and her husband get the help they really do need, and YOU can't make that determination due to distance and baggage.  Let CPS make the decision for the children.
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mrkitty

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #84 on: January 20, 2013, 02:58:53 PM »
Oh dear! I hope I did not give the impression that I think social workers or other professionals are vindictive or looking to sanction people...I'm terribly sorry for creating that idea!  :'(

(The reason I said what I did is because I watch Judge Judy and it seems people are always calling CPS on each other for vindictive reasons whether it's legit or not just to cause trouble for someone they don't like...and it seems the system does.not.appreciate. having nuisance calls made----I was trying to ensure that were I to make a report, that it is only for the right reasons and NOT because I've been irked by my sister. I don't think I'm rotten enough to do something like that...but I recognize that I have lived to regret some of my more rash decisions in the past - and I'm trying to grow as a person and be more careful about my behavior and think things through - I don't want to hurt anyone or cause problems).

I think you're right though, because all I have at my disposal is my sister's own words. And if there is any chance that something's amiss, then that's why the system is there - so trained professionals can find out if they need to look into something. Even if everything is fine and she's just saying stuff, then I'm sure everyone will simply be relieved that everything is fine. I just don't want to waste their time - but it isn't, because I DON'T KNOW for sure that everything is fine.

So call I will. Just to make sure that everything is ok. But, again, I'm so sorry insulting anyone :(
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mrkitty

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #85 on: January 20, 2013, 03:13:30 PM »
Something to think about - would you feel worse for making that phone call and 'stirring the pot' only to find that Sis was actually fine (if a drama llama) and that they didn't need anything - or NOT making the call and finding out later that it would have been a good idea?  Sis already has drama in her life, and may not be handling it well, BUT she and her husband have already burned their bridges with you and your DH, so you have no relationship to salvage.  Who else is there who can stand up for the children?  Would anybody else in your family do it?  When push comes to shove, the welfare of the children is what really matters - is calling CPS going to harm them?  A little extra drama might have the worthy end result that your sister and her husband get the help they really do need, and YOU can't make that determination due to distance and baggage. Let CPS make the decision for the children.



Those are very good points you made. Especially the bolded. And you're right - I'm the last family member with whom she's had any relationship in the last several years. And now that's over. So, I will undertake my responsibility as a citizen as would any other citizen, having been (verbally) made aware of certain concerns. I am not psychic. So, I have to operate on that basis. Thank you! :)
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wheeitsme

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #86 on: January 20, 2013, 03:20:20 PM »
And think on this.  If you sent money for food for the little one...what makes you think it would be spent on that?

mrkitty

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #87 on: January 20, 2013, 03:25:30 PM »
And think on this.  If you sent money for food for the little one...what makes you think it would be spent on that?

Exactly. It would probably be spent on one of her $150 hair styles or another purse.  >:(
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #88 on: January 20, 2013, 05:08:46 PM »
Actually I didn't get the impression that you were saying anything against social services at all!! Just hesitant and worried it could cause trouble unnecessarily if there wasn't a problem.

Though even if the boy is actually alright, and not starving, I don't really get the impression those children are in the best environment from what you've said about your BIL.  You know how it is to be raised in a dysfunctional household and if he has the attitude that he's entitled to the money sent to him, I can imagine that's the sort of attitude CPS would frown on since that money is meant for the family to spend on the kids, not the parents.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

mrkitty

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #89 on: January 20, 2013, 05:40:02 PM »
Actually I didn't get the impression that you were saying anything against social services at all!! Just hesitant and worried it could cause trouble unnecessarily if there wasn't a problem.

Though even if the boy is actually alright, and not starving, I don't really get the impression those children are in the best environment from what you've said about your BIL.  You know how it is to be raised in a dysfunctional household and if he has the attitude that he's entitled to the money sent to him, I can imagine that's the sort of attitude CPS would frown on since that money is meant for the family to spend on the kids, not the parents.



Ohhh, definitely! You don't know how very, very right you are, my dear Piratelvr1121. I mean, frankly, even *I* am appalled by some of what I've heard; though, I  cannot vouch for the truth of what SIS tells me.
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