I want to make this short and to the point, as best as I can.
My husband was abused (mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually) by members of his family. His father sexually abused him as a child, his mother and grandparents covered up the abuse, and outside the sexual abuse incident, they themselves were physically and emotionally abusive. When we met, I didn’t know this, and he’d blocked much of it out, or pushed it down and chose not accept what happened to him. It’s taken years for him to find the strength to shut these people out of his life. It’s also taken years for me to find the strength to deny his mother and her parents access to our daughter.
I don’t want to explain why I even allowed my daughter around them in the first place. Honestly, I have no excuse and I feel like an unworthy mother for not putting my foot down harder when my husband pushed to have them in her life. His family is prominent in his hometown and thought highly of, despite the dark secrets they have hidden in all the corners (the abuse).
A few months ago I had enough, separated from him, and he went to a psychiatrist who echoed what I’d been saying for years: these are not good people and it isn’t safe for him or his daughter to be around them.
Through therapy and medication he’s been able to start coming to grips with the abuse he endured as a child, and he’s starting to break free of the emotional control they’ve had over him. It’s now been about 4 months since our daughter has spoken to or see his family, and it’s our intent that she never sees any of them again.
However …up to this point, she grew up with them in her life on a regular basis. This last month she’s begun asking when she’ll be seeing them again. She liked his grandparents especially (his grandmother was the ringleader in instigating and covering up the abuse). She’s starting to ask at least once a day to go over and visit with them.
She’s never going back over there. I will never put my child or my family in danger like that again.
But, she’s 5 years old. And I honestly don’t know how to explain to her why she won’t be seeing them again. I just don’t. I have an answer for nearly everything for her. But this situation is beyond my scope of understanding. Sometimes I think we should just come right out with it and tell her that they all hurt her Daddy when he was a little boy, but I don’t know if she’ll understand that, and I don’t want to put more on her than she needs right now. (I want to preserve some bit of her innocence, I guess.)
Has anyone else been forced to remove several family members from the lives of their children? Does anyone have any advice about how to talk to my daughter about this situation?