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Am I being overly sensitive?

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My husband comes from a large, yet close-knit family and for the most part I have always gotten along with everyone.  There have been issues to spring up, but I always managed to stay out of the line of fire until now. Last weekend, I needed a babysitter for my infant daughter and the only one available was my husband's teenage sister.  Normally, I wouldn't have an issue with leaving my daughter in the hands of any of my husband's relatives.  However, this sister has a boyfriend who was sexually abused as a child and was also sent to a correctional facility a few years ago for sexually abusing a younger child.  Honestly, I believe he is an overall good kid and given his horrible upbringing, I think he is doing remarkably well. I don't know all the details of the case, but I do think he was dealt a raw deal.  However, my s-i-l told me about a comment her bf made that implied he would be free from the court system once he turned 25 as long as nothing like that happened again.  Her bf came over to visit later that day and in a short period of time I witnessed him hit her and wave a knife in my s-i-l's face (this behavior is very out of the norm for him).  Both of them laughed it off as a joke though.  When it came time for me to leave, I didn't feel 100% comfortable leaving my daughter so I lied and said I wasn't going to my meeting. I pretended I was going home and everything seemed fine between all of us.  The next day my husband told my s-i-l the truth and now I'm being raked over the coals for passing "harsh judgement" against her boyfriend.  My s-i-l feels insulted that I don't trust her to protect my daughter if her bf were to strike again. The rest of my in-laws seem to agree that I'm being overly sensitive.  As a child, I was sexually and verbally abused by an uncle and I know my experiences make me overly cautious in some cases.  Am I allowing my past to cloud my judgement here?  Would you have left your child alone with the s-i-l and boyfriend?

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 6:44 PM
Replies (11-15):
by New Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Hell no I wouldn't have left my kid with them. You did the right thing and if they think otherwise they are crazy.

by New Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Thank you for the responses!  I'm glad to know I'm not crazy or hypersensitive.  However, my husband is not a dick.  He was caught in between loyalty to his wife and concern for his sister.  I don't agree with what he did, but I understand it.  Once this dies down though, we will definitely be having a talk about things we do and do not share.

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:31 PM
1 mom liked this

I think your actions are just. I wouldn't have left my child there either. My grandfather always said "I'd rather be safe than sorry".

by Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:51 PM
1 mom liked this

When I was a teen and babysitting, the rule was always  "NO BOYFRIENDS ALLOWED!" Not because the boys might harm the kids, but because Boyfriends are distracting and distracted babysitters don't do a good job. A boyfriend with a past, wouldn't have been an issue because he wouldn't be allowed around anyway.

I don't think you over reacted at all. Even if he didn't have the past he has, the behavior with the knife and hitting would be enough for me to not want him around my child. If your SIL is okay with someone treating her that way, there isn't much you can do about it. But you don't have to let your child be exposed to it either.  Did you explain to your DH what you saw? Does the rest of the family know? I can't understand why they would all feel that that kind of behavior would be okay at ANY time, much less around an infant. Hunny, you are right and they are wrong.

My concerns, that I would bring up to the family if they didn't stop harassing you over this are:

1. While it might appear that the boyfriend is a great guy, he has a past. Knowing that past and seeing him hit his girlfriend, the girl he is supposed to love, and wave a knife in her face is alarming at the very least. What if he snapped and stabbed SIL while she was babysitting? Not saying he would do that, but what if?

2. Your past makes you more sensitive to alarming behaviors. You are more aware of the way things can go from "Playing around" to a serious situation, and as a Mother you don't want to take a chance with your child.

3. Your DH's family should be more worried that she is with someone who hits her, than the fact that you were, perhaps, overly protective of you child.

4. If you asked SIL to babysit in the first place, I would guess that you trust her to take care of you baby. It was never her that you didn't trust, it was the boyfriend. Of course she would protect your child, but why would you want to put either of them in that position?

I still can't get over that they are mad at you for this. The Boyfriend HIT her and waved a KNIFE in her face, those are much more concerning to me than anything else.

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM
1 mom liked this

You absolutely did the right thing.  Don't ever let anyone make you feel bad for following your instincts and protecting your daughter. Your primary obligation as a mom is to protect your daughter not to worry about the hurt feelings of some known sex offender. 

Plus, since you have been abused, you probably know how to spot the subtleties of an abuser better than most, and for you to ignore your instincts would go against every fiber of your being.   

Lastly, I have worked as a therapist for sex offenders for many years, and I would never knowingly let one around my kids ever at any time for any reason ever, because the recidivism rate is just so high. 

Again, you did the right thing, and I hate that your DH did not support you in it. 

Keep up the great work!  You are an AMAZING mom!!!!   :-)

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