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Stop scaring my children!

My kids’ uncle showed up while my son was babysitting and scared them half to death. Even worse, I think my mother-in-law sent him!

This sounds complicated, says our elder. Document everything, and get legal advice.

Dear EWC

My husband took me out on a dinner date while our 14 years old babysat his sisters (12 years old and a toddler). While on the way home from the date in the car my kids called very upset. Their estranged uncle by marriage showed up unannounced at night and scared my 5’10” deep-voiced son to tears with statements like, “Someone could come and attack you and kill you” and, “Get your parents on the phone now… they didn’t answer, did they?”, and other things like that. It was dark and my son thought he was us and ran out to greet us; instead, it was his uncle, who is my husband’s sister’s third husband. Then this uncle drove to the end of the driveway and parked in the dark by our mailbox for an additional 10 minutes before driving off. The kids were visibly shaken up and crying when we arrived moments later.

The backdrop to this is that we purchased land and are remodeling the house on the property while living in a camper on the land. When hubby reached out to this uncle for his help since he and his wife had done something similar and we had graciously helped them, he rudely declined. Further, neither my husband’s parents nor mine like what we are doing… so much so that we suspected that the uncle was puppeted by them to do this surprise nighttime first-time visit.

My husband called his parents and it turns out my out-of-town MIL is behind this (she has threatened in writing to show up seeing that I have “hijacked her son”, all while couching her behavior as care and concern). With these latest shenanigans, we have transitioned from feeling annoyed to outright unsafe. My MIL has called my parents for parental discussions about us (hubby and I are 46) and our “poor” choices, resulting in calls from my parents to me to essentially get my act together. We are just trying to be a family with our own boundaries and decisions. They won’t let us… as evidenced by the character assassination we have suffered and the emotional verbal and written abuse we get from them and their supporters. What’s your take on this? Any advice or insight on this is welcome.

Good-Listener replies

I’m so very sorry about this family situation. It sounds very complicated. I think the first thing you need to start doing is documenting everything. And that means, everything. Keep notes of what day and time something happened. Make sure you put as many details of conversations as possible. I’m telling you this because of experience with a terrible set of circumstances I went through with my father.

You also need to get some legal assistance. I don’t know where you live, but there are often low-cost family legal aid societies or firms that can help. The more information you give to an attorney, the better they can help. I’m not a lawyer, nor could I or anyone at the Elder Wisdom Circle give you legal advice, but this situation may require something you can or should be doing. Please do this as soon as possible, as if there are any actions that are needed, it may help to quell any more activity your “family” tries to inflict on your kids or you. Good luck.

Letter #: 433566
Category: Family

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