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lying or gaslighting?

(16 Posts)
zensea Mon 24-Feb-20 00:32:32

my 6 year old granddaughter recently told me that her mum's new boyfriend hits her when she's naughty. I didn't prompt this conversation she offered it freely. She said he hits her on the bottom or sometimes the back when she's naughty, I told her dad (my son), he had a conversation with the mother about it who told him that my granddaughter is lying and that it's all in her head. I then heard my granddaughter parrot that by saying I don;t know what's wrong with my brain. This disturbs me greatly as it seems to me like they are gas lightning her which sets a horrendous foundation for her to be abused. My son refuses tot talk about it. I have suggested he needs to take her to therapy, he agrees to this. Is there anyone out there in a similar situation or any advice?

GagaJo Mon 24-Feb-20 05:49:46

It's a difficult one. But you have to let her know you believe her. Beyond that, I don't know. Keep an ear and eye open. Let her know she can tell you.

If you are REALLY worried, go to social services. BUT that is a difficult step, because that will possibly break your relationship with your GD.

Horrible situation to be in.

Daisymae Mon 24-Feb-20 08:14:18

Hopefully by shining a light on what's going on it will stop. Counseling is an excellent idea. Your son is going to need to be on the ball with this and prepared to protect his daughter. I can't think of anything else you can do in the interim.

Ginny42 Mon 24-Feb-20 08:27:21

Horrible situation for you. The school may be picking up on anything she says there and that may trigger action. If she is talking about being punished by hitting, the teacher has to report it to senior staff.

In the meantime reassure her that you believe her. Poor little girl must be feeling very confused if it is in fact true and she's being led to believe she's imagined it.

sodapop Mon 24-Feb-20 08:43:12

Either way there is a problem zensea if its not true why is your granddaughter telling lies, if it is true your son needs to investigate further. It's a difficult situation for you but the child's welfare must take priority.

M0nica Mon 24-Feb-20 20:13:31

This is a potentially abusive situation.

How many child abuse trials start with a relation or carer reporting that a child had told them about abuse, but when they spoke to the parent they just said the child told lies, so they did nothing and the child was badly abused?

This could mean nothing but I doubt it. You need to sit with your son and make him take the situation seriously and take some action. He could talk to the mother and see what she says, although she will deny it. He should try and be listening and watching when he talks to her of any signs that abuse could be a problem. He should certainly keep alert and if the child continues to say she has been hurt, or if her behaviour changes or her mother tries to stop contact. Then he should go straight to social services. He should also keep his eye open for any signs of physiacal damage to the child and stories about banging into things, falling over etc.

Here are the contact details for the NSPCC

On their site they say
If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, you can speak to us about your concerns. Whether you want to report child abuse and neglect or aren't sure what to do, we're here to listen, offer advice and support and can take the next steps if a child's in danger.

Phone them.

Starlady Thu 27-Feb-20 05:51:39

Whew! It's possible the mum gave her new BF (boyfriend) permission to "discipline" GD, and, unfortunately, his method of "discipline" is spanking/hitting. And the mum may have felt guilty/embarrassed when she found out your DS (dear son) found out about it, so she told him it was a lie. Just speculation on my part, I know. But if it's true, she threw GD - a child - under the bus to save her own skin - Ugh!

"I then heard my granddaughter parrot that by saying I don't know what's wrong with my brain."

This^ sounds like they're also telling GD "it's all in her head," as they told DS. (Again just speculation on my part, I admit). Whether GD really is lying or her mum is gaslighting her, making her think there's something "wrong" w/ her "brain" is clearly abusive, even if mum doesn't realize it.

I'm so sorry about this and wish I had a foolproof solution. All I can do is echo the advice to let her know you believe her and, at least, discuss the situation w/ NSPCC as MOnica recommends above. I hope this is all straightened out soon.

Starlady Thu 27-Feb-20 05:53:21

BTW, how much visitation time does DS get w/ GD? The more time spent w/ him (and you) the better, IMO. I trust you give GD all the love and support you can.

Fiachna50 Thu 27-Feb-20 10:13:41

Your son refuses to talk about it? Why? It is his daughter. I appreciate you are in a very difficult situation here. I certainly would be keeping an eye on your granddaughter. Your son really needs to ask his daughter (while the two of them are on their own) why she said what she did.

endlessstrife Thu 27-Feb-20 10:30:36

I once confided in my granny, and the problem stopped. Have you spoken directly to the boyfriend? If he knows you’re on to him, he may think differently. As others have said, just keep an eye on things, and make sure your GD knows she can tell you anything.

Namsnanny Thu 27-Feb-20 10:48:26

Please tread very carefully Zensea, for your gdaughters sake.
If the boyfriend or the mother feel threatened they can stop you from seeing her and she will have no one.

M0nica suggested phoning NSPCC for advice, this is the best way to go I think.
Have a long and detailed conversation with them before anything else.
Then try very hard to get your son to understand his role in this. He is in a better position to protect his daughter than you are.
I do feel a bit concerned that he isn't more concerned actually(?)

Sorry you must be at your wits end.

endlessstrife Thu 27-Feb-20 11:08:33

It’s good to have the NSPCC on the back burner. I’m not sure you should start there though, as this could potentially harm relationships for good further down the line. After all, do you know for sure your GD is being honest? I would suggest trying to sort it out ‘ in house ‘ to start with, and see where it leads. If your ex DIL and her boyfriend are going to cut you out, they will probably do it whatever. I agree it seems strange your son doesn’t seem more concerned.

ananimous Thu 27-Feb-20 11:28:14

Why has the father not taken her to therapy?

I would have her in councelling for her immediate protection - hopefully the boyfriend will keep his hands off of her if he knows she is having regular "therapy"

The old words for this situation - physical, and emotional abuse.

Try and save her, please.

grannie62 Thu 27-Feb-20 11:40:24

Could you speak to staff at her school? Then if it was taken further you personally would not be blamed by the parents.

Please do something. My whole extended family knew about our violent and emotionally abusive parents (both mentally ill) and refused to do anything because they were frightened for themselves.

Namsnanny Thu 27-Feb-20 11:44:34

Sorry endlessstrife .. I think I understand your fears but I just feel strongly that there is no 'sorting out in house', if I understand that phrase to mean deal with it between your self and the family members.
The NSPCC strap line quoted by M0nica is unambiguous. It states they will listen to all concerns however small.
They arnt the SS.

Zensea isn't going to get far talking to the mother or the boyfriend as they feel they have addressed the matter. Any more 'pushing' could easily build into hostility and they could refuse access to the gdaughter.
As I expressed my fear earlier, that would be the worst of outcomes for gd, who is already backtracking her original statement. If she comes under more pressure from her family to 'sweep the incident under the carpet' (meaning gaslighting her to deny it ever happened) this will do her untold damage.

In my experience, children don't lie about this type of incident and they certainly don't lie without prompting. Which was the situation Zensea explained in her op.

No, get expert advice now.

Starlady Fri 28-Feb-20 05:52:30

Grannie62, how painful! I'm concerned, however, that if Zensea speaks to the school staff, XDIL and her BF could find out. So Zensea, if you decide to go this route, please make sure your name will not be mentioned. But I think getting the NSPCC advice first is the best thing to do.