Dear Big Sis,
I am upset about your recent behaviour in regards to your two older children and their relationship with Dad. I realise that you feel you are justified but I don’t agree and need to explain why.
You have decided that Dad is a threat to your kids and you are actively going out of your way to prevent him from seeing them, even when this means denying your children opportunities and stopping them from seeing their friends. You refuse to see Dad has changed and I hope this letter shows that he has.
I understand your issues around Dad. He wasn’t a good father to any of us when we were growing up. He was constantly angry and we were terrified of him. He would shout and he was violent. He put a lot of pressure on you to do well at school, even when that meant missing out on spending time with your friends. But Twin and I also got a lot of the flak. He and Mum would argue all the time and we all hated that, especially when we got banished to our rooms. We all thought this was normal until we spent time at other people’s houses and saw it was not.
When he and Mum split up we all thought things would get better. You decided not to see him anymore and Twin and I eventually did the same. He was still scary when we saw him and it was too much for us all. What you may not know is that Mum put a lot of pressure on me to do it. She used to wake Twin and me up in the night to discuss our behaviour and she always tried to blame dad. You may have missed it as you spent a lot of time away from the house.
Even though Dad had left there was still a lot of fighting. Mostly between you and mum. Eventually you left for Uni and even though it was in the same town we saw very little of you. However whenever we did see you wouldn’t talk about our childhood except to blame dad. It became very easy for you to blame whatever problem you were having on your childhood.
Eventually you did start to talk to Dad again. Then we all went through a lot of crisis including Mum kicking Twin and me out. Mum was seriously manic at this point and you were having your own problems including a scumbag boyfriend who beat you. We all stayed at Dads at that point and during that time you tried to kill yourself, more than once. I got you help one time and I know Dad had to step in too. All we wanted was to help you but you still tried to blame your childhood for everything and you never got the counselling or support you needed. You acted like everything was fine but it really wasn’t.
Eventually you seemed to have sorted yourself out. You had a job you said you loved and you found a good boyfriend and were getting married
When you did get married Dad paid for it all. I don’t remember you thanking him but you did was complain that he was interfering. When you had your first child Dad was over the moon. He loved that little girl the moment he saw her and it was the same with the second child, he absolutely adores the little boy and would do anything for either of them. He didn’t like your husband but he made a big effort to get on with him and he tried to be the best granddad to both those kids.
Then you started drinking heavily. I knew you had always drunk a lot since high school but then it got out of control. Your husband didn’t know what to do and Dad started to spend more time looking after you and the kids. You would disappear and we wouldn’t know where you were or if you were dead for days. Each time this happened it was Dad who would go to look for you. Twin and I tried to help as much as we could but we still had to go to work. Mum would try phoning but that was all. You lost your job, even though Dad tried to step in and help and eventually your husband said you had to leave. Once again it was Dad who stepped in to help. He found you a house in the same area as your kids and got you moved in. He arranged access to them, but he had to be there as your now ex husband wouldn’t let you have them unsupervised. You thought this was unfair but you had been drinking when you had them and had passed out more than once when you had been alone with one or both of them. He even tried to get you a job but you refused all help there. You would be sober for a few days and then get drunk again.
Eventually you managed to get a new job but you hadn’t stopped drinking.
You coasted along for a while even picking up a couple of new boyfriends but then the drinking got too much and you had to leave that job too. All that time it was dad who looked out for you. He came looking for you, he helped look after your kids, he arranged fun stuff for them when you flaked out on them because you were drinking and he covered for you with them when they needed to know what was wrong. This included when you turned up drunk at your Daughters birthday.
He would even bring you through here when you needed to sober up for a few days. You had to stay at Mums because she had the space but dad would deal with most of the problems. Whenever you had a problems while at Mums she would phone Twin and I to deal with it and she spent a lot of time on the phone to us complaining about you and how she couldn’t cope.
Once again you seemed to get yourself together and we moved on, Twin and I weren’t sure it would last and we were convinced you would soon be drinking again. Still we got on with life and went on holiday only to get back with to a text from mum saying that you were pregnant by a new guy. We were worried but you expected us to be overjoyed, especially Twin. I was upset because I could see you putting another child at risk but Twin was devastated. All she ever wanted was to have kids and here you were about to have another despite everything you had put your other two through. You even had the cheek to get angry at her when she didn’t instantly respond to you.
You had the baby and it wasn’t long before it all started to go wrong. You were travelling between the town were the baby’s father lived and the town were the kids were all the time but you were talking about selling the house dad bought you and moving permanently in with the baby’s father . You expected to get all the money from the sale of the house, even though it wasn’t yours. We all tried to persuade you not to move as you wouldn’t be able to see a lot of your other kids but you ignored us. Then you started drinking again. We started to get calls from the baby’s father saying you were drinking and then Dad would have to find you. You would be passed out and the baby would be looked after by her little brother and sister (both who were under 7). Once again Dad stepped in and looked after things till you sorted yourself out. You finally started going to AA consistently and the baby’s father forgave you. You did decide to move and you were upset when Dad said any money from the sale went to him. You seemed to feel like you were entitled to it even though the only payments you made to the house were through benefits. You started to complain more and more about dad.
The house was sold, mostly due to work Dad and his girlfriend did to clean it up, and then you were living with the Baby’s Father. Dad then began to spend more time with the two older kids. He would look after them after school and contributed to the cost of raising them. He also began to take them during school holidays to help their dad and other grandparents and because he loved them. Never in all that time did I see him treat them the way he treated us. He learned his lesson when we wouldn’t speak to him and he got counselling and managed to change. However you resented the time he was spending with them and began to complain. You couldn’t understand why you ex husband wouldn’t let you see them unsupervised, you had put all your kids in danger and we simply couldn’t trust you. You decided that the only reason the kids were coming to Dad’s was for you to see them. Dad began to let you but he didn’t tell your ex. If your ex husband had known when the visits started he would have not let Dad have the kids any more, so you Father had risked a lot to let you see your kids. The time you had when you were down wasn’t enough for you and you began to complain every time they did something without you, like seeing their friends or even spending time with me and Twin. You repeatedly said that their time was all for you and nothing else was important. Dad tried to be reasonable about it but all he got was abuse from you and from Mum. Mum had decided to the visits were about her and you spending all the time with the kids and no one else. She also began to abuse Dad and his girlfriend in front of the kids and you would join in.
When we all were at Dads you were openly hostile to him and his girlfriend. You would accuse him of shouting when all he was doing was trying to get the kids attention and meals became a battle as he tried to get the kids to eat and you encouraged them to ignore him. Then when it was time to go you would take the kids aside to say goodbye. I don’t know what you said but kids who were only slightly upset about leaving would come back in tears. Dad would then have to spend the journey back to their home calming them down.
So the visits went on and gradually you got to spend more time with them by yourself. However you still wanted to come for every visit they made here. You would rant and rave if they came here and you weren’t told, even if it was for one day. You would blame Twin and I even if we knew nothing about it.
You also managed to upset the kids friends here. Two little girls under the age of 10 who wanted to know why you didn’t like them.
It just got worse and worse and then Dad had the kids down and didn’t tell you. All he wanted was a visit with them without everyone else taking over. He didn’t even tell us. You had seen them the previous week so he thought you would be OK but he was wrong. Then you found out that he was taking them to Florida and you freaked out. It was actually your ex husbands idea not to tell you but you blamed dad. Now you have decided that he is a danger to them and are actively trying to stop him from seeing them.
The only person in this family who is a danger to those kids is you not dad.
You abandoned them when you were drinking and when you choose to move.
You emotionally manipulate them and you treat them as if they are belongings not people. You are now trying to separate them from people who love them.
You need to sort this out. You have to get counselling and talk this through and you need to do this with dad so you can both sort out your relationship issues. I wish you would do this but I doubt you will. I wish you wouldn’t drag me and Twin into this but I know you will. I don’t want to fight with another member of the family but if you don’t stop this I will.
Big Sis – Please get help.