Question: My question for Alana has to do with knowing when and how to speak directly to a person who is physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive to her children. She is my daughter-in-law. No one in her family will say anything because of their fear of her anger and her ability to isolate her children from seeing the people in their lives that do bring light, love and understanding. For a long time I have provided strong, loving support for the children. However, their mother is on medication for pain and the doctors are not sure what is wrong with her physically–they think she needs psychological therapy–and she is becoming more abusive. When she yells and hits her children, it scares me. I can only imagine how her children feel. For the last few years my approach has been to offer a lot of support by helping with various things to help her take care of herself. I continue to do this, for the sake of the children, but am becoming resentful and angry. I feel that something needs to be said to my daughter-in-law about her behavior. Of course, I am afraid of the confrontation, as she can be quite vicious.
Should I continue to do what I have been doing, and “hold her as able” for the consequences of her decisions? What about children who are in this position? Do I just say, “On a higher level they chose this situation?” Somehow that doesn’t feel right to me.
Alana, how would you approach someone like my daughter-in-law and address these issues?
I think this question would be beneficial to many people who are confused and afraid to speak from their heart to a person who is angry and confrontational. Thank you.
Answer: Hello, dear one. Thank you for this question. Alana appreciates the care within your heart, your desire to protect and care for the children involved, and your intent to help awaken their mother.
Your question brings up other questions about members within the family. For one, Alana wonders if there are other family members that also share your awareness and discernment. If there are other members in the family structure that have the same observations that you do, you could come together and share how each of you is feeling about this situation. Alana would recommend that you and the other family members have a gathering with a qualified family therapist or family social worker. Each of you could share your heartfelt story about the interactions between your daughter-in-law and her children. The therapist would then have a better understanding of how the family as a whole is relating. Each of you could also express what you feel might be solutions to the problem. Doing so would help the various family members gain support. By creating a team of people who want to help the mother get care and provide support to the children, you would also create a way for you to gain support. Then this situation wouldn’t be all on your shoulders.
It may be that your daughter-in-law is carrying a lot of shame and confusion in her collective emotions that she does not have the ability to process in a healthy and conscious way. She may be lacking the tools. By creating a family system counseling opportunity, it could also support the children in communicating what they are sensing and feeling. Such an intervention could also provide a safe space for your daughter-in-law to voice what she is sensing and feeling.
Yes, I do feel that a professional evaluation of the situation needs to occur. You, dear one, have awareness, but I do not feel that it would be wise for you to try to take on this entire situation by yourself.
I also want to mention that as we individually wake up and become more conscious, we have the responsibility to bring forth situations that feel abusive into the light. This is what seems confusing at times. Sometimes it seems it is easier to not be conscious since taking responsibility is not even an issue then. Those who become conscious of situations such as this are asked to take responsible steps to help promote wellness and healing. This creates a collective awareness, which makes a difference by beginning to create differences in the way people treat each other around the planet. Alana is very appreciative of your conscious decision to ask this question, and the part of your nature that is seeking a solution. Please know it does make a difference in the whole.
So, dear one, I would search within your family structure for others who are also feeling a similar confusion. Then I would talk to a professional in the family counseling field as how to handle this situation.
I am also sensing that your daughter-in-law also has some chemical imbalances within her body. It would help her if she knew how to address them. This may be an area to take a look at.
Now if you look at your family structure and feel that this is primarily on your shoulders, that you are the only conscious aware individual seeing this as an abusive situation, and you feel that you would have to confront her on your own, then I would still go talk to a qualified individual. Ask them how they would proceed if they were in your shoes. I think that you will find there are some paths you can take to get support through a formal intervention.
Again, thank you, dear one, for this question and your desire to bring the children a more stable, loving, and aware environment. When little ones are mistreated the scars can remain for a very long time. It is very important to find ways to support the children with compassion and love.
Thank you, dear one.