Trampled all over!

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Aunty Lucy
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:52 pm

Trampled all over!

Post by Aunty Lucy » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:17 pm

I need some help from you more experienced and wiser members please.
I am seriously being trampled on by 'the other Aunt', I try not to let this happen but I'm worried that I'm going to be constantly battling for the next five years!
A bit of background for those who don't know me, I have RO for my nephew, both his parents are deceased and no one else has PR.
The other Aunt is just a constant pain, seems like she doesn't have him (and he doesn't want to live with her) so she'll make it hard for whoever he does live with.
I try my best to keep my nephew in touch with his mums family, on my part there has never been a problem with contact, he goes when he want's to (aunt lives 50 miles away from me, so sometimes it's difficult) and I firmly believe he should have contct with his mothers family.
Anyway, the other Aunt thinks she can just do things her way. She texts my nephew constantly all day everyday, she phones him at 7.45 everyday before he goes to school ( I only found this out recently when my nephews phone got wet, I dried it out and fliped onto a text or two from her by mistake) she manipulates him constantly, for example telling him his mum wanted him to live with her when she died (but not telling him she wouldnt pay the legal fees etc involved)

She's recently texted him to say 'let me know if you want to come this weekend and I'll ring Aunty L' and also told him he can go to Spain with her and her husband in October, but not mentioned this holiday to me.

I don't know what to do , I feel constantly undermined. I have no contact order and no SS involvement.

I'm not worried about my nephew seeing his mums family, or should I say I wouldn't have if they could be honest and straightforward? But having PR I tend to think what would I do if he was really my own son, and theres no way I would allow him to be manipulated and used in the way his mothers family do!
He really doesn't know what way is up!
He knows how to lie and manipulate and he hasn't learned it from me, that's for sure.
I've spoken to him a few times recently about lies and not tellng the entire truth, explained about lying by omission (which is another of his aunts specialities)) and streaaes that I have no problem with anyone, but I have a problem with lies, whoever it is who is telling them.
However, I think my nephew is in an impossible situation for him, he doesnt want to upset anyone, I'm easygoing and he knows it, so does she, but I'm not prepared to put up with this any longer. She's screwing his head up.
I'm trying to give him security and stability and I'm being undermined at every step.
I seriously can't go on for another five years the way I am now. Is there anything legal I can ask to be put in place? to stop her manipulating and undermining me?
Or does anyone have any other advice? Although I can say, she hasn't listened to soliitors letters asking her to 'play fair'.

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Help 1870
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Re: Trampled all over!

Post by Help 1870 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:19 pm

The hard truth is, there is very little you can do to stop her behaving like this is you allow contact to carry on.

The poor lad is between a rock and a hard place, trying to keep everyone happy. You really need to sit down and have a good heart to heart with him, honestly, openly and truthfully, all cards on the table, including his. If he feels this is all to much to take then stop the contact regardless of what you firmly believe. But, if he says he wants to go then you are just going to have to grin and bear it.

I dont think there is anything legal you can put in place to stop this, about the only thing you can do is get tough and make the unilateral decision to stop contact and get him a new sim card for his phone so she cant contact him. But if he wants this contact you could be setting yourself up for a whole load of trouble.

Under the existing conditions nothing is going to change, it can only get worse in my opinion.

mama t
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Re: Trampled all over!

Post by mama t » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:08 am

i was in a similar position to yourself but the child was younger. i wrote a letter with an attached list of contact dates clearly stateing waiting times ect if they are not at my house to pick them up by it states i will take the child out and there will be no contact. Since doing this i have had no arguments with anyone over contact because they all have copies of each others written contract and they can all see who see's my grandson and when.If i was you i would sit down with your nephew and have a heart to heart and try to find out how much contact he really wants with his aunt and then write up a contract together involve him all the way but make sure he knows that he has to stick to this as well.

mama t

Aunty Lucy
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Re: Trampled all over!

Post by Aunty Lucy » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:26 pm

Thanks for your replies.
I need to have a long think about this.
On the one hand I don't want to stop him seeing his mums family, on the other hand I don't want him spending time with people who encourage him to lie and go behind my back, that's just wrong, whoever it is.
And, I don't want him to feel like he has to take sides.
I have spoken to him about this in the past but I can see how uncomfortable it makes him so I tend to minimise it all.

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Re: Trampled all over!

Post by Cellbar » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:16 am

Hi there

Can you not find out about getting a 'prohibitive steps' order? (I think thats what its called).

You have PR and you can take them through legal channels to prevent them from doing things behind your back - they HAVE to go via yourself if that is what you request and the Judge puts in place.

Just a thought - good luck.

We are the only ones who make life difficult...
Grandparent Carer with SGO

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Re: Trampled all over!

Post by fatcat » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:53 am

i can see a problem with changing his phone number. from what you see he tries to please everybody and so aunty will ask him for his new number and he will give it too her, back to square one and rpoviding aunty with ammunition at the same time.

you cannot change aunties behaviour. she has a bee in her bonnet and she is probably going to continue in this vein forever more.

however, you could consider how you can change the way that you feel abot her. there is a saying that people only have power over you if you give it to them. her games have made her seem bigger and more powerful than she actually is because you are spending so much time thinking about her, what she's done, is doing, and what she might do in the future. she may be important to your nephew, but she is nothing to you. she is not your friend, your relative, or even a colleague, and she lives 50 miles away. you do not need her in your life, so put her in a box marked 'approach with caution' and only open it when you have to.

sit down with your nephew and allow him to take some responsibility for the situation. explain that you understand that he feels that he is in a difficult position and that you want to help him with it. explain what is happening for you, but in a way that does not apportion blame, such as, 'when this happens, i feel........., when i am lied to i feel........, what can we do differently?'

your nephew is old enough and responsible enough to become part of the solution.

you cannot change what happens at her end. but you do have the power to change what happens at yours.

good luck

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Robin D
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Re: Trampled all over!

Post by Robin D » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:00 pm

Cellbar is right in that you are the only person with PR as awarded by the court. I would be reluctant to take matters to court, but wonder if a sequence of letters might help? You may already have done some of this. If so, then ignore that step.
Start by writing a personal letter to the aunt, laying out your concerns, point out that you have spoken on teh subject many times, but that you now find you have to insist on: A) All contact to be arranged through you. This includes telephone calls, text, Facebook etc as its upsetting the lad. B) There must be no discussion with the boy during contact about alternative places to live. Again, this is having a profound emotional effect on the child. If there is any recurrence you reserve the right to stop all contact to protect the boy. Point out its a matter of last resort for you, but you cannot stand by and see the child you are responsible for suffer in that way.
If that doesn't work, its probably worth
Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

old bear
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Re: Trampled all over!

Post by old bear » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:25 pm

hi aunty lucy,
my answer to "problems with contact" is always to suggest less ~ people who are making contact difficult aren't being kept on a short enough leash!
but it looks as though you've tried just about everything, and if she won't take any notice of solicitors'letters ~ well you need to try a new tack.
it's always useful to know what your legal rights are, that you have the right to stop her dead in her tracks if she pushes too far ~ even if you don't really want to go down that route.
my suggestion?
(a) write a list (as short as possible) of the things that are bothering you about her behaviour: (eg, from your post): you feel undermined; you feel she's teaching him to lie and manipulate; she manipulates him and pressurises him. (nb: none of this is worth the benefits of him having contact with "the other aunt".
(b) sit down and talk with your nephew about how you feel ~ see if he can talk about how he feels (i know you said he finds it tough, but it may be that at his age he's better at letting her behaviour go straight over his head than you think, but he's more bothered by how it affects you) ~ ask him to write his own list of what actually bothers him and what he'd like her to stop doing (it's sometimes easier to write things down than to say them, but yes he must address somehow the bits that are bothering, and if not with you then who?
(c) write her a "one-off" letter ~ explain that you do not wish to "fall out" with her, nor even to stop contact, but you must protect your nephew; that you have the right to stop her contact with him and will do so if she continues to make his life difficult for him; tell her what is simply not acceptable (basically what's on his list) ~ explain that if she does any of these things, including complaining about the letter and its contents to your nephew, she will have to wait until he's eighteen for any further contact, or take you to court (you said she didn't want to pay legal fees before). if you feel particularly generous you could tell her she can write direct to you if there's anything she doesn't like or understand (then you can repeat what you've said). ~ obviously keep a copy of the letter.
(d) sit back and wait for her to "fall foul" ~ whereupon you can stop contact with a clear conscience ~ full stop.
good luck with whatever you decide to do, and keep us posted.
love and strength
old bear

Aunty Lucy
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:52 pm

Re: Trampled all over!

Post by Aunty Lucy » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:43 pm

Thank you for all the advice, my computer broke so I've not been able to read for a couple of days.

I'm going to sit down with my nephew when we have some time to ourselves, this weekend hopefully, without my two being around etc, and see what he says, then have a look at what we can do about it all.

Aunty Lucy
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:52 pm

Re: Trampled all over!

Post by Aunty Lucy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:45 am

Fatcat, I have some involvement with al anon, I know about the sayings etc, but it's easier said than done when she's on my case all the time and especially when it involves my nephew! I do really try not to give her free space in my head. It is difficult though when I know that for my nephew she is sort of the last link with his mother (and she really does play on that with him) she lives with his grandmother, how can I take that from him?

Having said that, I really can see it happening soon, contact with her is doing him no good whatsoever and I can see it stopping soon.
His Nan will either have to meet us for lunch or get a lift and spend the day here. (I'm 100% sure his nan knows nothing of what goes on)

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