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#355101 - 02/28/11 12:29 PM History repeating itself ?
Gongas Offline

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Europe
My husband's nephew, who will be 13 next month, wants to be cuddled by one of my husband's older brothers all the time, mostly sitting on his lap but also holding his hand, having his back stroked all the time, kissing him (on the neck ???) and generally displaying affection in a way that's more appropriate for a toddler (or a lover …) than a teenager.
The uncle in question, who is approx 55, married with grown up children, seems, all in all, a fine man to me;
HOWEVER, a younger brother in law of mine once told me that he (the uncle) sexually molested and abused him (his younger brother) all his childhood and teenage years (I posted this here about a year ago os something).
So the uncle molested and abused the younger brother many years ago and now this young boy only seems to have eyes for the uncle and crave physical contact with the uncle and vice versa.
Do you think something is going on here or does this mean that the boy is still very immature and just wants affection (his own parents are not very open and affectionate)?
This takes place during family gatherings, lunches etc and no-one really seems to take any notice.
If this boy was my own child I know I would tell him to be around and talk with his uncle all he wants but that men don’t touch other men nor do they allow other men to touch them. Well, not so affectionately at least…
Since this teenager is my husband's nephew, I have discreetly voiced my concerns to my husband once, but my husband just dismissed them as irrelevant. They're just being cuddly he said....
Cuddly ? A 13 year old boy and a 50 something year old man ... Cuddly ?
Is it possible that my husband is right and I am seeing too much into this?
Save for what I have read here (which i started reading when my younger brother in law told me his story) I am totally ignorant concerning these subjects, so I may be completely off base, but what i find really strange is that this young boy really acts like he is completely in love with my older brother in law. It really does seem like he is eager and willing to have all this kinda strange physical … contact with the uncle and not being forced in any way.
Do you think this boy’s behaviour is normal? Do you think the uncle’s behaviour is normal? Why doesn’t ANYONE raise an eyebrow EVER (and this includes the boy’s own parents!).
Am I being paranoid ???? Do I say anything? Or do I stay put?
The parents just don’t seem to take any notice.
I have never discussed this with the younger brother in law.

#355107 - 02/28/11 01:02 PM Re: History repeating itself ? [Re: Gongas]
SoniaDx Offline

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 23
I would say you're definitely in a tough position. It's more complicated by the fact that the adult in question has been accused of sexual abuse by another family member. Just because the other family members seem to turn a blind eye to the situation doesn't mean it's inappropriate, however you definitely have to proceed with caution. I would consult a professional who knows the warning signs of CSA or other abuses and see what they say. If the professional thinks there is cause for concern then IMO as the child's aunt I would then see about reporting the situation so it can be further investigated by the appropriate authorites. Before all of that though I would definitely speak with a child professional to determine if the behavior is a cause for concern. The behavior may not be related to current CSA and could be related to past issues/trauma the child suffered.

#355117 - 02/28/11 02:04 PM Re: History repeating itself ? [Re: SoniaDx]
catfish86 Offline

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 832
Loc: Ohio
Actually...from the facts as you describe them, this is a sexual relationship and should not be ignored. This uncle has done it before successfully. This family has ignored warning signs before. Break the cycle but be careful how you do it. How is the younger uncle now treated within the family. For the 13 yo he is getting attention his parents won't give him and does not understand the price he is paying to get it. It is not in ok...but it is common.

God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

#355129 - 02/28/11 05:27 PM Re: History repeating itself ? [Re: catfish86]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
It is possible that the boy has been sexually abused already, either by this uncle or someone else. His behaviors are possibly sexualized as looking for love and affection. Even if he has not been abused, putting himself in the uncle's lap is like serving alcohol to an alcoholic who may or may not be trying to quit.

You may want to look at the article on Disclosure and Confrontation:
for some ideas about how you could confront the uncle for the protection of the boy.

It is not easy to do something like this without some family support. Would the younger brother in law who was molested by this man help you on this?

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#355198 - 03/01/11 05:09 AM Re: History repeating itself ? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Gongas Offline

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Europe
Thank you for your reply Ken.
No, I do not think the younger brother in law would want to have anything to do with this matter this time. His disclosure to me only occurred for very specific reasons, in a very specific context and I am sure it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.
I am sure he only intended me to be aware of it and then, if possible, forget about it.
He told me back then that he would never tell anyone else because, deep down, despite all the anger, pain, everything, he still loves his brother and revealing something like this would not help him this late in life and would absolutely ruin older brother’s life.
I do not think he would be willing to get involved.
Just one more question: if this boy had been sexually abused or molested by this uncle, would he not try to get as far away from him as possible instead of acting like a love sick puppy around him ???

#355206 - 03/01/11 08:10 AM Re: History repeating itself ? [Re: Gongas]
SunnyGirl Offline

Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 79
If he is being abused, he isn't running away because the uncle is "grooming" him. I'd suggest reading Beyond Betrayal. Start at page 12. Here is a link on Google books to an electronic copy of the book:
Google Books: Beyond Betrayal

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us." - H. Keller

"Change & growth take place when a person has risked himself & dares to become involved w/ experimenting w/ his own life." - H. Otto


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