Author Topic: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back  (Read 7717 times)

PhotoJunkie

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Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« on: March 22, 2015, 12:38:17 PM »
Quick update:  Last summer my daughter was found on the internet in adult chatrooms and giving out our address online.  This was the last in a string of dangerous behavior.  Due to my circumstances at the time, my sister agreed to take her and we would play it out month by month.  She ended up staying with my sister for the school year, as the legal stuff was still dragging on.  In January I went to see her for her 16th birthday and came home feeling like I needed to move there because I was tired of missing out on her life and being with her in these next few years, but before I could form a plan and talk with my sister, Work stepped in and forced the issue. 

Until I decided to move back, my sister would push for me to move.  Now that the decision has been made she has completely shut down.  If I bring up the move she either changes the subject or becomes extremely negative about whatever we are discussing at the time.  She refuses to talk about anything. 

I spoke with my counselor and my mother.  They both expressed that they are concerned that my sister is afraid she is losing my kid.  They are close and are very much two peas in a pod.  So I decided to try to alleviate this concern.  I sent her an email stating that I wanted us to be on the same page with my kid.  Before I decided to move, we had these conversations all the time. ....."well if you move here, we should....." So my email said that I was going to write down my expectations and that I honestly expected to have to change them based on her answers but that my main goal was we were on the same page etc.  Lots was said about family time together, my daughter would still be with them 3 days a week due to my job etc. 

That was days ago.  Since that email her Facebook has been full of things about "her kids" and "her daughters" etc.  This has always rubbed me wrong because my daughter is my daughter.  I raised her for 15 years, she hasn't even had her a year.  Its the tone of possessiveness that drives me batty and I struggle with it because I don't feel this should be a competition or a possession issue.  Even typing it out I feel stupid of feeling that way. 

Now she won't talk to me.  I asked her if she even got the email and she said yes but that was it.  Wouldn't talk to me about another thing.  She hasn't texted me, which is out of the norm, she hasn't answered the email.  How can we do a smooth transition if she won't talk to me.  Am I expecting to much by asking her to talk to me?  She has a limited guardianship for education/medical decisions.  Can she keep my kid just with that?  Im supposed to be moving there in the next few weeks.  my daughter will stay with her till the school year is out just to not disturb that process.  But what if she refuses to give her back? 

I know I sound like a paranoid freak of nature but this is the way my family works.  Her absolute refusal to discuss the move, discuss how to make things smooth for my daughter, etc have me very very worried that she is going to say no when it comes time for my daughter to come home.  That is a fight I will not survive. 

Has anyone been through something like this or know anyone who has and has words of wisdom on how to avoid this?? 

Thanks!

Lynn

Chopperette

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2015, 01:04:39 PM »
(((((Lynn)))))

My son went to live with my parents and he wouldn't come back. As a matter of fact he came back the day his father was hospitalized (8 years later).  I know how you feel (actually I don't I can't imagine going thru that in addition to widowhood!). I don't know what rights she could have, but I just wanted to let you know you were heard and that I think your concerns are genuine. I hope you can make your sister see that while you are thankful for the support she gave you during a very difficult time, the time has come for her to be back to her momma!

anniegirl

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2015, 01:37:38 PM »
You probably need to have conversation with your sister in person. This is a difficult thing to discuss via texts and email. And you might need a neutral party to mediate if that conversation doesn't go well.

You both want what's best for your daughter. You both love her. That's a lot of common ground. Maybe that's where you can begin your discussion but if it were me, I'd do it face to face.
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PhotoJunkie

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2015, 01:43:03 PM »
Conversation in person is not possible at this time until I move.  She is a five hour flight, 3 day drive away.  However, I can't move unless we are on the same page and I have some idea of what is going on.  She will not come to me either.  I have tried telephone calls, email, text etc.  She communicates primarily through email/text.  She doesn't answer her phone or even take voicemails.  That has been how she has been since the invention of email and text.  She prefers it.  I hate it but that is how she communicates so I follow her lead in that department.  The email was my idea but my counselor agreed with the idea and even helped me write it as to not offend or hurt feelings.  I put a ton of thought into this before sending it. 

Thanks Chopper.  I have asked my daughter but she only expresses concern about how another move will affect me.  I do not want her to feel like she is in the middle between my sister and I, so I have been very careful not to put her there. 

The truth is this move will not be successful without my sister's help.  So before I make it official, we need to talk and she knows this.  I guess I better look into getting my AZ nursing license reestablished just in case.  *sigh*  I cannot stay in CA.  I hate it here and the particular area where I live has NO job opportunities for me whatsoever.  I have a limited budget and time on this. 


Lisa

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2015, 01:53:28 PM »
Im thinking maybe you should speak with your daughter to be sure your expectations line up. Then talk to your sister. Good luck
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klim

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2015, 02:50:22 PM »
No suggestions/ experiences but wishing you luck. Keep trying to communicate and if you gave the email lots of thought don't give up on referring to it.
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Mangomom

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 03:48:53 PM »
I so sorry you are going through this in top of all the rest life has heaped on. It sounds to me like you need to speak with an attorney to just get your bearings. We have a mediation center through our local government that is helpful in situations like this. Maybe check with them to see if they have someone to talk to before "lawyering up".  Or contact whomever put the limited guardianship in place get med/school and see just how far your sister would be able to stretch that.

keeptrying

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2015, 04:22:40 PM »
I have been in this situation, but I was the sister who ended up with the daughter. I took her in, and I invested time and money into her. I worked hard to be there emotionally, physically for her. I saw her grow and change so much in a positive way. I saw her happy. We bonded.Her mother would call and I would tell her okay, well when you get your stuff together, any time you can have her back, or "encourage" her and the relationship with her daughter. The reality is, I was being selfish, because I didn't really want that, but I did that so I can keep her without her mom feeling there was a threat. When her mom came to me and said she wanted her back, I thought, I was the one who was there at night helping with homework while you were out with your friends. I was the one there in the middle of the night caring for your sick daughter while you were sleeping with your boyfriend. I loved her, I invested time with her, I watched her grow and get to be a better stronger successful person. I felt if I let her go, she would go back to the same situation and fall back to where she was before I had her. I didn't want to see that girls life go down hill when I knew there was so much opportunity for her to move forward with me having her. If she cared enough, she wouldn't have "lived her life", she would have been a mother. I was upset with her a bit, thinking that I understood she was trying to get things together... but what was she doing while I was caring for her daughter. Was she going out, having a good time, being irresponsible? Then when she decides she feels like she wants to come back after I "fixed" her daughter   - I am not saying this is what is going on in your situation, but in your post you asked if anyone had a similar, and this is mine and what I went through, from my point of view.

PhotoJunkie

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2015, 05:24:01 PM »
KeepTrying,

I have no doubt that is what she thinks.  Her posts on FB would back that up.  She feels that she has single handedly "fixed" my child, despite the fact that I have been involved, or as involved as she will let me.  we have already discussed that part of it a while ago. 

I don't have a boyfriend, and I don't have friends here to go hang out with.  I worked, ate, worried and slept.  I was financially unable to move with her at that time and unable to quit my job that made it impossible for me to be a mom.  She knew all of this.  She knew how much it hurt to have to hand my child over to someone else to raise till I could get things arranged.  I have never ever stated I was taking my daughter away from my sister.  In fact just because I am moving there doesn't mean I don't need help still.  I don't work a job with regular hours.  I have acknowledged that her and My BIL have done phenomenal work with my daughter in regards to school and bringing up her grades.  I have stated numerous times how I want to keep that system going and have asked her to show me what they do so that the system is the same in both homes.  I have acknowledged her hard work and dedication.  Despite the fact she has kept me out of several key decisions and has fudged the truth a bit on issues concerning my child.  (verified by others, not just my gut feelings)

Many in chat will tell you exactly how my daughter living with my sister has affected me.  I feel like a failure of a mom all the time and this doesn't help.  I sent her away because under the current conditions at that time I could not keep my child safe.  Now I am in a position to do so again and I feel as if Im now being punished for putting her safety ahead of everything else.  I didn't give my child up because I wanted to live my life and be responsibility free.  I just wanted her safe. 

Lynn




keeptrying

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2015, 05:51:33 PM »
The reality of the situation is that she is YOUR daughter. No matter how much she wants what is best for your daughter or what  she personally thinks of the situation. You love your daughter, and it is obvious you want what is best. Don't get discouraged, don't give up. Seems to me it sounds like you have a lot against you as far as support. You need to never forget that you love your daughter, and your daughter loves you, and you can't give in and give up. Let that drive you and motivate you. You did what you needed to do, and what is for the best. If this is something you want, then do it. It can be done, with or without their support. Life is short.. you don't want any regrets, in a few years, I wish I did, or I should have.. just because other people want to control the situation.  If you can keep going every day being a widow,, (which is completely devastating)  then without a doubt you can get through this and get what you want and need. LIFE IS SHORT.. GO FOR IT!!  YOU CAN DO THIS. No more talking, no more begging. this is you and your daughter.. your lives, and it is going to be great!

Eddienhp

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2015, 10:09:52 PM »
Hi Lynn

I know it's hard but try to relax. Your sister might just be having anxiety about how it will affect her life. People tend to procrastinate and avoid when they don't know how to handle an issue. You did the right thing for your child. You needed to give her a safe place to live. It must have been a very difficult decision and move to make. I have a feeling you will move there and your daughter will naturally gravitate back to you. Children want their parents. I hope it works out for the best for all involved. It's aparant how all of you love your daughter so much.

Wishing you strength & peace,
Eileen
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Trying

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 05:04:04 AM »
PJ I am so sorry that your sister is being resistant to working with on a plan before you move.  I think once you are there you should arrange a family counseling session.  Start with you and your sister and then bring your daughter in at a later session.  I would continue to approach your sister with gratitude and let her know you want her to help you make the transition and remain active because she has had such an impact of your daughter. 

Keep reminding yourself that you made a very difficult decision for the good of your daughter.  Moving to be with her is the right thing to do, even if it is going to be difficult.  Your daughter will come to realize that you have put her needs first and you will be able to rebuild your relationship.  Hopefully your sister will come around when she sees you are not a threat to her and she will continue to play an important role her life.

This parenting stuff is not for the weak at heart, you have shown amazing strength in extreme circumstances. 
You will forever be my always.

RobFTC

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 09:43:10 AM »
Massive hugs, PJ.

I hear you about the need to move (again, sigh).  I was surprised you mentioned Arizona - what does that contingency look like?

I expect that you can readily prevail in getting back into being the lead adult in your daughter's life - realizing that "if push comes to shove" is exactly what you would like to avoid.  It sounds like you need to be near your sister and daughter in order to have the face-to-face conversations you appear to need, and the legal conversations should it come to that.  Assuming your daughter wants you more fully in her life, you just need to be there (maybe renting?).  I know you don't want your daughter in the middle, but doesn't she need to know that you want to be there, want you AND your sister to be part of her daily life, and that you are trying to work that out with your sister but it's not going so well?  I would hate for her to be surprised if things go sideways, and this is about her.

I worry that it sounds like you might wait for your sister's input before moving - that would be handing her a de facto brake or veto.  I don't know if it is helpful for you to set a deadline, and I *really* don't know if communicating that deadline to your sister would be helpful.  I wonder if you can change your communication pattern.  You're kind of begging her to answer you, and she gets to withhold a response.  Instead, I wonder how it would go if you proceed with the move and simply inform her of what's going on - asking no questions whatsoever.  Then she can chase you!  I know moving presents a downside risk of being in a new place with your daughter without your sister's support, but I don't know if you can properly negotiate all of that from a distance, either.

It's a ridiculous situation, and your sister should be acting differently.  But your actions are the only ones you can control.

Take care,
Rob T
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Carey

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2015, 09:54:31 AM »
Many people stick their head in the sand to avoid confrontation. I'm sadly a lot like your sister in that I prefer texts and emails, though I've never really been able to put a finger on why.   I can't see why she would feel threatened, as you've said the reason you need her now won't change when you live there.  But it does look like she perceives a threat nevertheless.  It does sound like she has become quite territorial over your daughter and those issues need discussion.  Ultimately, YOU are her mother and she is deluding herself to think that she can just keep your daughter if she doesn't respond to you.   I'm so sorry you're having to go through this , I'm sure the job change and potential for a move are more than enough to keep your mind spinning.  How much of this have you discussed with your daughter? Is there a chance she could talk more directly with your sister; maybe coming from her that it's what SHE wants most too would sway your sister to open the lines of communication more.
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PhotoJunkie

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Re: Worried that My sister won't give my kid back
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2015, 04:59:54 PM »
Rob,

when stressed and feel like Im cornered, I tend to revert to what I know, not necessarily what is best.  Ive lived in AZ most of my life so I tend to "run" there.  Going to AZ at this point in time would be no better.  It has its own share of devastating issues that need to be left there for the time being. 

I have thought a lot about the various posts here since yesterday.  Sarah also brought up a pro con list idea which at the time all I could see was negative but with a little (emphasis on little) sleep and a new day I am working on the list.  Short term speaking I need help with my daughter while I work.  12 hours shifts are just not easy to deal with and most likely I would be working nights till I had some seniority (but i prefer nights)  I guess if it all broke down, I might be able to hire a nanny type.  Even though the girl is 16, she is not quiet that old. 

I know I am afraid of yet another bad move.  Im tired of being offered help by family only to have them disappear once I have moved and the help is needed.  My trust in people has gone way down since the loss of my husband and it wasn't that high to start with. 

I cannot change my sister.  I can offer my ideas and hope she communicates with me, but I cannot make her do it in my way.  There is already a huge issue going on now that started today and points out just how bad our communication system is.  I do not know how to fix this.  I feel as if I now have to keep every single email and text message to prove that Im not making things up.  Im tired of living in that world.  Where I was feeling more positive about this move today, as of this afternoon Im feeling even more and more that this is going to be a gigantic disaster.  I don't know what else to do at this point. 

I will say that being in the same city as my daughter is definitely better than being states away.  But if it turns into an all out war with my sister, then it won't be good for my child.  Since she is doing so much better there than she was here, maybe I am the main cause and maybe it is in her best interest that I do not move or interfere with something that appears to be working.  Just because its hard for me and not good for me, doesn't necessarily mean it isn't good for her.

I have tried to talk to my daughter about it.  Multiple times, in person, in text and on the phone.  all I get from her is she is concerned another move will kill me (her words) and that she wants me there and misses me.  But nothing really in depth or less than I would expect from a kid.