A long while ago she suddenly stopped coming over and then sometime two years ago, a Dept. of Family and Children's Services representative came to my door. I was surprised to see her. She calmly explained to me that there had been reports of abuse in my family. Wow.
At this point I will say that I am not physically abusive of my children. I don't harm them. All you will do if you hit your child is freak them out and make them worry about you hitting them , instead of them worrying about whatever behavior needs to be changed from themselves - or whatever it was you're trying to help them with.
The report said I hit my daughter in the face. ..? ... I told them what I did when my kids misbehaved (timeouts). Called my daughter to the front porch and she calmly explained that I did hit her in the face..? I tried to keep my voice calm and get the story so I asked her, when did I do this? After a bit we worked it out that she was referring to a single time I slapped her, open hand - as if you would slap a childs hand away from a cookie jar - when she said a bad word - months before. They wrote it off as a false alarm - I went back to life as usual. I told my daughter, ok - if you ever really have someone hit you - please don't be afraid to call them. And I basically forgot about it.
The little girl I mentioned above, however, never returned to our home. I began to wonder why. Sometimes sleepovers getting missed don't get noticed until much later.. they happen maybe once every six weeks or so.. but two years had gone by and I started wondering why the little girl doesn't come over anymore, esp. when my daughter and she are friends..? Whenever I asked my daughter, she said that she had problems with my son - that she didn't like having her younger brother around and thats why she didn't come over.
But Two Years? So I finally asked my daughter in earnest, and I got a very evasive answer. This made me curious. I asked again - sort of gently pulling apart the issue with her (she deflected the question for almost a week) and she finally related the real story.
Apparently this friend had asked my daughter about our private life, arguments with mother and father, etc. My daughter likely half-volunteered the information - it was a trying time for my wife and I. She likely gave vivid details of mine, and my wife's worst fights. My understanding is that - as my daughter relates it - they both walked to the school counselor's office. This is when I get reported for beating my children, with the little girl standing beside my daughter helping her fill out the forms.
The little girl then marches straight home from school after that day - and tells her parents. Instant ice falls between the two families, as well it should if something like that were going on..
But nobody told us. And the person who visited my home, just wrote it off as a false alarm and left. And so did I. One doesn't think too much about these things. You want your kids to go to the counselor if there is trouble. My wifeo noticed that they would refuse to allow their child to come over and was offended. I wasn't. The little kid really was kind of spoiled, and I just wrote it off as them - seeking to accomodate the little girl in her desire not to be around my young son.
I am not a perfect person - so this all went down about a week ago - and the concept of seeing myself as an abusive person, shocked me. I suddenly realized there were people out there who thought I was beating my kids. Two years after the fact, to be sure - I demanded that my daughter bring this issue out in the open between the two families. She really didn't want to talk about it with her friend. This was the kind of friend that told her what to do - it was fairly obvious that she was not looking forward to bringing anything up about fixing the mistakes of the past.
Were they hiding what they did, all these years? Do people see me as a child abuser? Yes, again, I'm not perfect but I don't hit my kids. I don't even spank them. Seeing myself as a child abuser is a shock to my system. One that I don't feel I deserve.
I don't particularly like these people but at the same time, I feel like it needs to be settled. I mean. It just bugs me...