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I'm not going to define what constitutes child abuse, other than if it causes physical or mental injury to a child, then it is child abuse.

 

Now my question: Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again? If so, what did they do to change?

 

Personally, I don't know anyone who stopped, if the child remained in their care(that doesn't seem like an appropriate word, does it?).

Edited by OHGrandma
bolded a word in my question
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I have not known any to totally stop physical abuse until the child grew bigger than the abuser. I have seen where one or two children were designated 'bad' and got all the abuse. I've seen situations where the abuse has been curtailed once the child started going to public school. I would imagine that there are cases where the person was treated for substance abuse though, and could learn to stop abusing and relate normally.

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Now my question: Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again?

 

No.

 

Abuse is a gross lack of self control. That is a diffiuclt thing for a lot of people to reliably unlearn, especially when they are adults. Abuse is about control of a person, of a situation, of everything within thier power to control. That is a difficult thing for a lot of people to "give up". They may recognize it and feel guilty, but the things I mentioned above are character issues - very hard to change.

 

(I'm answering honestly to the question of Do you know..., and I do not.)

Edited by LauraGB
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No, I have never seen a change. I have seen parents regret the way they treated their kids after they grew up. I agree with Laura, it is about a lack of self control. Some people are doing the same thing their parents did, but it is largely a character issue.

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Now my question: Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again?

 

Yes.

 

If so, what did they do to change?

 

The abuser did nothing to change. The abuser's stepchildren grew up and moved out of the abuser's home. The abuser has a biological child of her own, and did not physically abuse the biological child, while the abuser DID physically abuse her stepchildren.

 

I'm not comfortable giving more info that that; other than to say, I know this information to be 100% factual.

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My father was born in 1925, was raised as one of 3 boys, on a hard working farm, and with the belief 'spare the rod, spoil the child.'.

 

When my 4 siblings were young teens (6-12 years older than me-I am a product of a second marriage), if they got in trouble, they got spanked with a leather belt. It was how he was raised, and he just followed suit. My mom finally stopped it in the late 70's when child abuse awareness was coming to light.

 

He did stop, and I was only spanked a couple of times, and with a bare hand. I think it was just a change in thinking and an awareness of the damage caused. He wasn't an abuser by instinct, it was something he learned. I think that made it easier to change his behavior.

 

I don't know if someone who abuses by instinct, or internal motivation (power etc) would change as easily.

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Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again?

 

No. And, I have to go throw up now (sorry, this hits SO close to home you cannot imagine).

 

And instead of the word 'care' which you so excellently pointed out is probably not the word we want to use, perhaps the word 'custody.'

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I do. My Dad stopped abusing me. Mom kicked him out (finally after years and years of horror) and then she got pretty messed up herself on drugs/alcohol and abandoned us (in our own home) for weeks at a time with no food in the house. I called him for help. That day I saw my dad change 360 degrees. I was scared silly that he was coming to pick us up, but I knew we had no other choices... but something big happened to him when I called him for help that day, he instantly grew up and changed his ways. I really can't explain it... but it happened.

 

ETA: My new step mom came into his life around then, and I suspect she had a lot to do with it. She is a devout Christian, and a very strong woman who I respect greatly.

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Originally Posted by OHGrandma View Post

Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again?

 

I honestly don't know. Since this particular person abused those among his own family and there are no longer children in the home, I just don't know. He claims to be different. But I wouldn't trust him alone with my children for 30 seconds. I think he thinks he is different but it is easy to be different when the easy opportunities are grown and live 3,000 miles away.

 

I do believe people can change. I have to believe that God can change people.

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I do. My Dad stopped abusing me. Mom kicked him out (finally after years and years of horror) and then she got pretty messed up herself on drugs/alcohol and abandoned us (in our own home) for weeks at a time with no food in the house. I called him for help. That day I saw my dad change 360 degrees. I was scared silly that he was coming to pick us up, but I knew we had no other choices... but something big happened to him when I called him for help that day, he instantly grew up and changed his ways. I really can't explain it... but it happened.

 

ETA: My new step mom came into his life around then, and I suspect she had a lot to do with it. She is a devout Christian, and a very strong woman who I respect greatly.

 

Jill, the twelve year old little girl inside of me wishes her childhood had turned out like yours.

 

And, I hope *my stepchildren feel the way about me that you fell about your stepmother.

 

Thanks so much for sharing. :grouphug:

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I have not personally known someone to stop abusing, BUT I can see them stopping if it was occuring because a) they never knew what they were doing was abuse and stopped upon learning so, or b) it was brought on by illness and stopped when said illness was treated. (Such as someone with depression getting treated and thereby stopping verbally abusive behaviour).

 

Those that abuse because of power issues, or severe mental health issues, those that have abused in heinous ways(okay all abuse is heinous, but I am talking about the ones burning their kids, breaking bones etc, as opposed to ones that have verbally said something terrible and feel guilty for it kwim) I do not think can be rehabilitated to stop the abuse. There is something in their hardwiring that makes them think this kind of behaviour is okay and they will not change. THese are the ones I most often think of when someone mentions abuse.

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I do. My Dad stopped abusing me. Mom kicked him out (finally after years and years of horror) and then she got pretty messed up herself on drugs/alcohol and abandoned us (in our own home) for weeks at a time with no food in the house. I called him for help. That day I saw my dad change 360 degrees. I was scared silly that he was coming to pick us up, but I knew we had no other choices... but something big happened to him when I called him for help that day, he instantly grew up and changed his ways. I really can't explain it... but it happened.

 

ETA: My new step mom came into his life around then, and I suspect she had a lot to do with it. She is a devout Christian, and a very strong woman who I respect greatly.

 

 

Your story warms all our hearts. As another poster stated, "I have to believe God changes people." I feel that way too.

 

On the other hand, when people claim God has changed them, I've learned that the proof is in the pudding. For all the "reformed" abusers I've encountered thus far, Christianity has merely been a new con game, and Christians have been a fresh supply of "suckers".

 

It's faith affirming to read of an exception.

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No, unfortunately, the means/ways of abuse may change as the children grow older. But there is still usually some form of abuse, though more subtle. It typically will gradually switch from severe physical or sexual abuse to less overt abuse such as emotional or mental abuse. This is particularly true in cases where a parent is the abuser.

 

On the other hand, the parent/abuser may not have the energy to abuse in the same ways as when they were younger as they age. That is another factor to consider.

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I'm not going to define what constitutes child abuse, other than if it causes physical or mental injury to a child, then it is child abuse.

 

Now my question: Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again? If so, what did they do to change?

 

Personally, I don't know anyone who stopped, if the child remained in their care(that doesn't seem like an appropriate word, does it?).

Two, my mother and her father, Mom was diagnosed with depression, but he found peace in another woman. Mom can still be mean and thoughtless, but she stopped using everything in arms reach to beat us with. He was an incredibly violent abuser. My mother still has bruises (where there was permanent damage). However, once he left my grandmother for "the other woman" he hung it up. His younger three children, from that second marraige, still don't believe what he put their older half siblings and my grandmother through.

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Maybe. I'm not close enough to know anything for sure, but there was a woman who was physically & verbally abusing her children. When *she* got out of the abusive relationship she was in w/ her dh, she gradually changed. Eventually she remarried, & her new dh (from what I've been able to see over the last 30 yrs) has helped her to heal & become a better person. Not perfect by a far stretch, but a lot better.

 

Her children have never been able to forgive her, though. Their father, who physically & sexually abused them & then abandoned them? Sure. Their mother? Nope.

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Such a common phenomena (which is quite an oxymoron) -- but a typical outcome. :001_huh:

I think it's because the one that actually apologizes and shows they CAN change, leaves them with the question of... why did you do it at all?

 

My mother forgives her father (ETA, he completely denies any wrong doing), but she still blames my grandmother for having married him in the first place.

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Her children have never been able to forgive her, though. Their father, who physically & sexually abused them & then abandoned them? Sure. Their mother? Nope.

 

That, unfortunately, is really common. I think the problem is that while thier father did it, mom didn't stop it. And that hurts even more.

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I'm not going to define what constitutes child abuse, other than if it causes physical or mental injury to a child, then it is child abuse.

 

Now my question: Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again? If so, what did they do to change?

 

Personally, I don't know anyone who stopped, if the child remained in their care(that doesn't seem like an appropriate word, does it?).

 

Not a child abuser, but I do know a wife-beater who completely stopped one day and never laid a hand on his wife again. He then spoiled her completely (and still does). I think it was about 25 years of physical abuse, then presto-chango.

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Not a child abuser, but I do know a wife-beater who completely stopped one day and never laid a hand on his wife again. He then spoiled her completely (and still does). I think it was about 25 years of physical abuse, then presto-chango.

 

Wow, Tina, what a story I bet. I hate to pry, but if you'd be comfortable sharing what caused him to change, I'd love to know. :001_smile:

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That, unfortunately, is really common. I think the problem is that while thier father did it, mom didn't stop it. And that hurts even more.

 

I don't blame them for not forgiving their mother. I don't know if I could. But she was being abused & didn't know that they were. They have continued a relationship w/ their father, bailing him out of jail, taking their kids to see him, but not their mother.

 

Honestly...I think it's somehow evidence of their pain & abuse. I think if they were to get help, their thinking might clear up. Not that I know anything. It's just sad. Their dad's off by himself, steals $ from them, disappears. Their mother, grandparents, cousins, etc. have all been cut off because of their mother.

 

I don't mean to get so personal & detailed. I hope I haven't come across harsh. They've all had such a hard time all the way around, I wish there were a way to fix it. Some of it was just the culture. Their mother was raising a bunch of kids by herself in a time when that couldn't be done well in the first place, but everybody looks down on you for it in the second place.

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We're not really sure. He never spoke about it. He went to a priest once, never again, and from that day on, he never laid a hand on her. When his mother died, he left the Catholic church and joined another, Church of Christ. He has never looked back. We really have no idea, it has never been discussed. Not once. He's one of the most pampering husbands I've ever seen, though.

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There may be cases out there where the abuser changes (as shared by a daughter of one). I suspect, by and large, the abuser does not change, though. I believe that REAL child abuse is often done by someone with another disorder (as previously stated) and the person does not change... they just learn to manipulate and control better.

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Yes, it is possible and I have known a few, but it is rare, unfortunately.

 

Most of the ones who made real changes had a spiritual experience of some sort or realized how much they were hurting the other person and genuinely repented. Some went to prison, and seem to alter their behavior for a time, probably so as not to be caught again, but later slipped into at least some of the same habits.

 

Basically, as with anything else, only the ones who want to change make the effort to do so.

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I'm not going to define what constitutes child abuse, other than if it causes physical or mental injury to a child, then it is child abuse.

 

Now my question: Do you know of a child abuser who changed to never abuse a child again? If so, what did they do to change?

 

Personally, I don't know anyone who stopped, if the child remained in their care(that doesn't seem like an appropriate word, does it?).

 

Yes. I've seen it first hand. For the person in question it took a strong desire to change, leaving an abusive husband, a lot of therapy, treatment for depression and allowing her son to live with a family friend temporarily while she got her head on straight.

 

Her abusive behavior stemmed from not knowing healthy ways to handle stress and discipline. I'm pretty sure she was abused as a child. Anyway, the spankings starting going too far and she injured her son in the process :(

 

Some abusers are just bad people with no concern for their children or desire to change. Can they change? No, because they see no reason to.

 

But, I think it's important to point out that while ALL abuse is wrong, not ALL abusers are cut from the same cloth.

 

By the way, because of the above situation, I choose not to spank. It is way to easy for a swat on the bottom to escalate into something totally out of control.

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It really depends where in the spectrum of dysfunctional a person fall.

 

Real child abusers, who engage in targeted, extreme abuse--NO. I have not seen or heard of one who changed, whether in terms of physical abuse or pedophilia. I do not believe rehabilitation is possible with these people.

 

There are those who lose control--perhaps they feel overwhelmed due to poverty or other life issues, or who do not exhibit appropriate control due to substance abuse. My experience living in the inner city has shown me that most of these people do not change, but there have been some who have really changed when the issues of intensity were addressed (meaningful rehab for substance abuse, for example) AND when they exhibited genuine repentance and a desire to love their children. As I said, though, it is just a small percentage of people who do face their sin in this area and really change, unfortunately.

 

Another category of people are those who are not criminally abusive or neglectful, but are just bad parents. As in the above paragraph, sometimes when the circumstances stressing a person's ability to love are addressed AND when they exhibit genuine remorse for their poor behavior, they can and do change. I would say that this is a minority--I am somewhat cynical, though, and feel as though once a habit of relating negatively to people or children is started, it is tremendously difficult to reverse course. Many, many poor parents continue in their patterns of dysfunctional behavior, unfortunately.

 

I need to emphasize though--the number one component that is absolutely essential for real change is total repentance and remorse. Without that piece lasting change is possible. Until an abuser can take FULL responsibility for their choices they will remain abusive.

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No.

 

Abuse is a gross lack of self control. That is a diffiuclt thing for a lot of people to reliably unlearn, especially when they are adults. Abuse is about control of a person, of a situation, of everything within thier power to control. That is a difficult thing for a lot of people to "give up". They may recognize it and feel guilty, but the things I mentioned above are character issues - very hard to change.

 

(I'm answering honestly to the question of Do you know..., and I do not.)

 

You have absolutely said so well ,in so few words ,what I also believe and have had confirmed over and over again.

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I know of a lady who abused her children but is almost 70 years old and doesn't abuse her grandchildren. I am not sure why she has changed.

 

I think a lot of abusive parents are great at being grandparents because grandparenting is much less stressful than raising one's own children.

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I think a lot of abusive parents are great at being grandparents because grandparenting is much less stressful than raising one's own children.

Responding to the previous poster. . .I think that could be true, but how far do you go in trusting an abusive parent w/ your children? Are you putting them at risk for abuse? Just curious as to opinions. . .

 

Personally, I don't know. I think you don't have to cut off the relationship entirely, but you would have to excercise caution, depending on how the person acts now, and what the situation was.

 

Obviously, for example, you may not want to risk leaving a child w/ a grandfather who sexually abused his daughters. On the other hand, I do know of some people who have physically abused their children, but would not do this to their grandchildren. However. . .if there is a chance of emotional/mental abuse, where do you draw the line there? That's a tougher call.

 

Oops. . not to get off on a rabbit trail or anything.

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momtoboys;1293876]I think a lot of abusive parents are great at being grandparents because grandparenting is much less stressful than raising one's own children.

 

... but how far do you go in trusting an abusive parent w/ your children? Are you putting them at risk for abuse? Just curious as to opinions. . .

 

 

 

I was never willing to take the risk. I took the risk with one abusive person who said he was "changed". I let him coach my kids in a sport. I was always there, so I thought it was OK. Boy was I dumb!

 

When he got bored with playing nice he reverted to nasty. He acted out in ways a normal person could never in a million years anticipate.

 

Abusive people, and by that I mean people with a lifelong history of clearly documented violent crimes, don't change as often as one would hope.

Edited by Elizabeth Conley
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I think a lot of abusive parents are great at being grandparents because grandparenting is much less stressful than raising one's own children.

 

Responding to the previous poster. . .I think that could be true, but how far do you go in trusting an abusive parent w/ your children? Are you putting them at risk for abuse? Just curious as to opinions. . .

 

Personally, I don't know. I think you don't have to cut off the relationship entirely, but you would have to excercise caution, depending on how the person acts now, and what the situation was.

 

Obviously, for example, you may not want to risk leaving a child w/ a grandfather who sexually abused his daughters. On the other hand, I do know of some people who have physically abused their children, but would not do this to their grandchildren. However. . .if there is a chance of emotional/mental abuse, where do you draw the line there? That's a tougher call.

 

Oops. . not to get off on a rabbit trail or anything.

 

I would never leave one of my children with a someone I knew to be a sexual abuser. No gray area there for me.

 

My mother was abusive to her kids, but she is entirely different with her grandchildren. She was the only babysitter my brother's wife would use. Some of my sisters and I have left our kids with her for a week at a time, and we have no fear of abuse. Her entire philosophy of being a grandparent is entirely different than her mindset about parenting. I did have one sister who wouldn't leave her son at my mom's alone until he was older; she used to literally have nightmares about my mom beating him. But she eventually saw that mom really was different with the grandchildren.

 

I suppose it all depends on the specific circumstances. I wouldn't leave my kids alone with my mother if I had any doubts about whether she would be abusive toward them.

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I have found this to be an interesting thread. Now, I realize this is merely anecdotal evidence, but why then, does Children and Family Services believe that taking children away, putting them in foster care, offering b-mom anger management, etc. services and what-have-you in hopes of reunification is the best way to handle cases of child abuse if, as we have noticed, child abusers don't stop? Or is it child abusers who haven't had counseling don't stop? I bring this up because we've been waiting for over 2 years to adopt from the foster care system. Granted, we want a younger child, but still 2 years is a long time to wait and I know there are many young children of "prime adoption age" who are waiting and waiting in foster care and soon will be too old for people to really want to adopt them. My bil & sil were just about to receive twins, but the social worker said the judge decided (no kidding) to give their drug-addicted, homeless, bi-polar mom 6 months to get her act together. :glare:

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I have found this to be an interesting thread. Now, I realize this is merely anecdotal evidence, but why then, does Children and Family Services believe that taking children away, putting them in foster care, offering b-mom anger management, etc. services and what-have-you in hopes of reunification is the best way to handle cases of child abuse if, as we have noticed, child abusers don't stop? Or is it child abusers who haven't had counseling don't stop? I bring this up because we've been waiting for over 2 years to adopt from the foster care system. Granted, we want a younger child, but still 2 years is a long time to wait and I know there are many young children of "prime adoption age" who are waiting and waiting in foster care and soon will be too old for people to really want to adopt them. My bil & sil were just about to receive twins, but the social worker said the judge decided (no kidding) to give their drug-addicted, homeless, bi-polar mom 6 months to get her act together. :glare:

 

I ask myself that often. I think many cases where the kids are apprehended, it is due to circumstances when they shouldn't be in the first place, and with supports/intervention the family can become more stable. I am thinking for example, a single mom, struggling financially, struggling with depression, has no clue about proper nutrition or discipline, house is a mess etc, kids are apprehended because of concerns of neglect and verbal abuse because of her yelling out of stress. With intervention/supports, this mom gets a a job, cleans up her house, gets counselling/meds for the depression takes nutrition and parenting classes etc. I think she has a chance at improving the over all situation for her kids and should get her kids back. The home life was situational, and short-term, easily remedied once she gets help.

 

A mother like the one you listed, or a parent who is outright abusive should not get their kids back. Problem is all too often we see the outcomes reversed. The mom/family that just needed some supports lose their kids and the abusive crack heads get to keep their's.

 

I know of one girl irl. She lost her 3 kids due to neglect, violence in the home. She was pg with #4 at the time and they apprehended that one at birth from the hospital. She got them all back after 6 months of counselling etc. The same month she got them all back she got pg again with #5. Social worker stopped by for random spot check, found house to be a mess, #4 had a black eye. Social worker took baby (he was now 1) to hospital found him to be dehydrated, he was kept in hosp for 2 days. Police came and took the rest of the kids including 2 week old #5. Mom gets to see the kids twice a week for about an hour each time. Has to take nutrition,parenting and anger management classes, and keep her home clean. She may be getting the kids back as soon as February, though the social worker says it could be up to 1 yr. The fact is these kids are being neglected. Mom is already trying to get pregnant with #6 to make up for losing the other 5. She is not mentally stable and really the kids should not be returned. I don't think these classes etc will change her. In her mind she was a good mom and CPS is just out to get her, which is why she is already trying for another baby. Kids are like objects to own to her not human beings to love.

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I have found this to be an interesting thread. Now, I realize this is merely anecdotal evidence, but why then, does Children and Family Services believe that taking children away, putting them in foster care, offering b-mom anger management, etc. services and what-have-you in hopes of reunification is the best way to handle cases of child abuse if, as we have noticed, child abusers don't stop? Or is it child abusers who haven't had counseling don't stop? I bring this up because we've been waiting for over 2 years to adopt from the foster care system. Granted, we want a younger child, but still 2 years is a long time to wait and I know there are many young children of "prime adoption age" who are waiting and waiting in foster care and soon will be too old for people to really want to adopt them. My bil & sil were just about to receive twins, but the social worker said the judge decided (no kidding) to give their drug-addicted, homeless, bi-polar mom 6 months to get her act together. :glare:

 

The current social work model is for support and rehabilitation. It often does not work, but that is the model they are working with now. Frankly, the state gives waaaaaay too much time and waaaaaay too many chances.

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The current social work model is for support and rehabilitation. It often does not work, but that is the model they are working with now. Frankly, the state gives waaaaaay too much time and waaaaaay too many chances.

 

See, maybe if it could be agreed upon that there are some instances of "abuse" and some areas that could be "grey" (people don't agree...) then this could be done away with.

 

For instance, a person who burns their children with cigarettes, doesn't need a 2nd chance.... Or someone who breaks their skull, or many other things....

 

A person who spanks their child and there's a bruise... maybe they need to understand the Government's definition of abuse and have the chance to conform.... (or whatever)

 

I see a difference between a quarter sized bruise.... and a broken arm. One is something to discuss... The other is .... something to not send a child back to...

 

Carrie

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My biological father sexually, emotionally and spiritually abused myself and my sister AND brother from age 2 to age 17. I believe he is NPD. He has ALL the signs. After I put an end to his abuse, he divorced my mother (the enabler of the century) and married a young woman 20 years his junior. What a shock.

 

I confronted my dad eventually and he confessed everything and begged forgiveness. He even told his wife at least some of the truth. He claims to have become a Christian now. He claims that Christ has "taken that all away from him." I hope and pray it is true. Especially for the sake of my little brother, his son with his new wife. I have forgiven my dad. But...I do not and will never again have a relationship with him. I believe he is too metally disturbed to have a healthy relationship with me or my family. He does not understand boundaries. He has crossed them too many times. He swears that he has never touched my little brother and I hope that is true. But do I trust him? Never. I believe God can change and heal, even the pedophile. But I would never trust the man again - regardless.

 

The man claims to have changed. But I have no knowledge or evidence of it. So...to the OP, I can't really answer the question. I THINK he stopped. But I don't TRUST that he has stopped or would not engage again had he the opportunity. But he says that he wouldn't. Only God knows.

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I have a good friend who grew up in a very physically abusive home and whose mother was also the victim of that violence.

 

I don't know what changed him (the Dad), but she says that he just stopped. He still was a piece of work, let me tell you (the Mom was too, personality-wise) But he stopped the physical violence against the children and their mother, and from what I gather, he stuck to that.

 

Their marriage survived. We haven't talked about this in a long time, and I probably would not bring it up at this point, but I do wonder if substance abuse was a trigger. I know he stopped drinking at some point, and I don't know what else he abused that he might have stopped using. If we ever are on that topic again, I would like to know that.

Edited by Danestress
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Originally Posted by strider viewpost.gif

The current social work model is for support and rehabilitation. It often does not work, but that is the model they are working with now. Frankly, the state gives waaaaaay too much time and waaaaaay too many chances.

 

 

I'm in favor of early open adoptions.

 

The current system tries to keep families together, because they found out that foster care was often really bad and institutional care was even worse.

 

Why not try placing kids for adoption faster? Let parents know that a foster care placement is a one time, three month maximum chance to pull themselves together and become decent parents. Two strikes, and the child is up for an expedited open adoption.

 

I say open adoption, because I'd like to see kids and birth parents reintroduced once the child is an adult. They should get a 2nd chance once the child is old enough to defend him/herself. I also think that other members of the child's family deserve a chance at continued contact. Grandparents are people too!

 

Right now I see sociopathic birth parents jerking adoptive parents and their biological children around, milking the adoptive parents for as much as possible until finally signing adoption papers. By the time the child is safely adopted, the child is 5+ years old and has suffered greatly in his/her young life.

 

Many parents of older, badly traumatized adoptive children are finding parenthood to be no bed of roses. I'm sure they wish they'd gotten their children sooner, before the emotional harm was so severe.

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That, unfortunately, is really common. I think the problem is that while thier father did it, mom didn't stop it. And that hurts even more.
wow. This is so spot on. :crying:

 

Personally, I don't know. I think you don't have to cut off the relationship entirely, but you would have to excercise caution, depending on how the person acts now, and what the situation was.
We have seen children being treated inappropriately by grandparents; we deal with it accordingly.
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