in the child's eyes

Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday...I'm still glowing and I'm sure there will be many more days of that to come.

I wanted to post about something that's been bothering me for awhile. My niece, my brother's child, is in pain. She lives with my brother and his wife of about 2 1/2 years and her 5 year old child from another marriage and a new sister they had together. My niece has had a horrific time adjusting to this new life. My whole life I've pretty much known that adults can be extremely selfish and most times it's the children that suffer. My own childhood was filled with selfish adults who put their own needs before mine - but I survived. I have to wonder, is surviving enough? In my nieces new family structure she has been diagnosed with AD/HD, depression, suicidal tendencies, and now because all of the medications are not shaping her into the model teenager her parents want her to be, a new label must be found. Asperger's Syndrome. For those of you who don't know what that is it's Autism. I'm so furious at my brother. I'm disappointed in his ability to remember that when he was a teenager he was far from a model child. I'm pissed at my sister-in-law for giving my niece the silent treatment as punishment. The worst possible thing you can ever inflict on a depressed child is isolating them from all forms of communication. Can't they see that she doesn't need a slap in the face, she needs arms wrapped around her body and the words 'I love you' shouted over and over until the moment that she not only hears them - but she believes them. I'd ask all of you if you can imagine how it feels to think that no one loves you but I know that most of you know exactly how that feels - it hurts - it breaks your spirit - it makes you want to run away - it leaves you feeling more empty than you did before. Adults can be so selfish and it's always the children that suffer. I remember once when I was a child and my father left me locked in his truck for 4 hours while he got plastered in his favorite watering hole and when he returned I asked him if he was going to drive, he replied, "of course." I told him I was scared. I told him I wanted to walk home. I begged him to love me enough to call my mother so she could come and get us. It was as if he his ears fell deaf on any words I spoke. My father was so selfish that he could not see my pain. He could not hear my pleading. He could not see - me. Right now I feel as if my niece is the one locked in the truck while her father and step mother dangle the keys to her future in front of her. Why can we not hear a child's voice over the self indulgent voice in our own head? They are so innocent and we steal that from them. I wonder what it would take to give it back?

I'm not sure how to help my niece. I tell her I love her. I try to talk to my brother but he's brain washed by his wife who has no interest in saving his child. Pretty soon she just might have her wish - there might not be enough left worth saving.

In a child's eyes you will see a reflection of yourself - look closely.


  1. Lex-Sunshine said...
    Your niece is in my prayers and may she also be in God's hands.
    Anonymous said...
    (ugh.This is just hit a little too close to home.)YOU can hug your niece.You can be sure you hug your own babies and tell them you love them.Your brother may very well have his own pain he can't face especially if he sees it in his daughters eyes.Ugh.I see this.
    I know this.I don't know what else to say but hope your niece will find the support and strength she needs to grow.This is a tough one.
    Thank you for sharing, I hope your blogger buddies can give you some hope here today Net. ((hugs))
    Caterpillar said...
    That's a terrible situation, and disgusting to me that the doctors keep diagnosing your niece with more things because they want a pretty little label for what's wrong with her, and one that doesn't include blaming any of the adults in her life.

    I wish there was a way for her to get out of the house, or even just have somewhere else to go for a few hours, to be around people who love her. How far away does she live from you? Could you have her visit for a long weekend?
    WDKY said...
    This has really upset me... I actually had tears in my eyes. I don't know what else you can do either, other than continuing to show her your own love for her, and trying to force some kind of understanding onto your brother and sister-in-law. Maybe, as Tab implied, there's another way to get your brother to see the damage that's being caused?
    NML said...
    Your niece is in my thoughts. What a horrid, difficult situation. At the very least, she has you rooting for her.
    AAwoken said...
    Ug. Is right. I need to ponder this. However, if itt is Asperger's, and there is any upside it's that Asperger's is a mild form of autism. And one of the "benefits" of the disease is that those whol have it have an unbelievable concentration span when they are into something. They are in the provebial "zone" Total focus. THey say many genii may have this syndrome. I think the guy that invented Bit Torrent has it. (Let me check)Yep it's him Google his name and Aspeger's. He used to have quite a bit about it on his web page but I can't find it right now. Perhaps through the Wayback Machine on Archive.org.

    Think positive and know that most mental diagnoses are wrong. I think ther was a study were 100 "normal" people (whatever that is) were evaluated by psychiatrist and 70 % were given bi-polar diagnonses based on DSM-IV. So take heart. I'll digg the actual number on htat up. THey were in a wonderful book called "The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation" by John Horgan. Christ. I'll shut up know.
    AAwoken said...
    Whoops!! his name is Bram Cohen
    Anonymous said...
    hey that sounds like an interesting read aawoken.
    I also read a fab' book called the
    Anthropologist from Mars..
    have any of you heard of it.
    I tell you , the human mind is a completely different world if you keep yours open to all others.
    I love the brain.
    Hope you got some inspiration and hope today Net ~
    Thomas said...
    I am new to having a niece. She is my favorite little person in the whole world.

    We here sympathize.
    keda said...
    wow that brought tears to my eyes too.
    i can sympatise having survived selfish abusive and neglectful parents myself. i don't know what else you can do either but i will say, being there giving her your Full support and letting her know in no uncertain terms that you love her and are there to help Her irrespective of your relationship with your brother.
    it breaks my heart how so many parents can cause so much damage. i cannot understand how it possible.

    tears in my eyes i'd better stop.
    good luck and take care*
    NMAMFQLMSH said...
    Having worked in the special education field for some time my heart aches for your niece. You are a good aunt and MOTHER.
    I see you,
    Rex said...
    Wow. I deal with this kind of stuff everyday at work. I am amazed at how many people want a pill or miracle cure for thier children, when all the child really needs is a parent. Where is her mother?
    Mike said...
    "Pretty soon she just might have her wish - there might not be enough left worth saving."

    I think that there is ALWAYS enough worth saving. But there may not be anything left TO save.

Post a Comment