Molestation/Molestation - Did it happen prior visit or here ?
My almost 9 year old granddaughter came to visit with her younger brother by two years for two weeks. This is the first time visiting without their dad who is divorced and lives with someone else for almost 4 years now. Their mom recently started a new relationship herself a few months ago since my son divorced her. I am still fond of her like a daughter.
The first week went great then Saturday morning my granddaughter sat on her (step)grandpa's lap while watching cartoons, which was not the first time she had sat on his lap. After a bit she started acting silly, frolicking and giggling on grandpa's lap. I saw no issue and was pleased that they were getting along so well since she hadn't seen him since my mother passed away when she was then 4. I went to the kitchen to start making lunch until I heard her younger brother yelling at her to stop showing her butt. When I looked in from the kitchen I saw that her nightie had slipped up to her waist while she was laying on the couch trying to stick her bare feet into her grandpa's face displaying her undies which had started to wedge on her little bottom. Not wanting to make a big deal about her bottom showing, I went in to discourage her play, but grandpa said "oh she just thinks I like her feet in my face" and then blew raspberries into her feet while she giggled with delight. I then just pulled her nightie down and said lets sit up now for awhile, in fact lets get dressed, which she did. I go upstairs to wake my 15 year old who was still sleeping in and let him know he had missed breakfast and was about to miss out on lunch too and as I came down the stairs, my granddaughter was back on my husband's lap facing him in a straddling position, bouncing up and down on his crotch and then started rocking back and forth telling him to catch her before she fell. I suddenly got this disturbing feeling about it and then thought to myself, "No you’re just seeing it wrong." and quickly announced? "Okay time to wash up and eat." Later after lunch my granddaughter wanted to sit in grandpa's lap again and watch more TV while I was cleaning up the kitchen. The giggling started again and concerned about her way of playing, I started discreetly observing the two of them from the kitchen. Again she was straddling him and began kissing his cheek then ran her hands down his chest to his crotch and then pushed down on his crotch to lift herself up and drop down hard in his lap. My stomach turned and again thought "no I did not just see that" and immediately went and said “hey, what are you guys watching?” and sat down next to my husband. My granddaughter slid down from his lap and jumped up and threw her arms around my neck giggling and said "Grammy, I love you!" I gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her I loved her too still thinking this has to be just innocent curiosity. Then she turned to her grandpa and threw her arms up on his shoulder saying "grandpa, I love you too!" and then ran her hands down his chest to his crotch, then looking down at his crotch, she ran the back of one hand across his crotch, turned her hand over and started to put a cupped hand over his crotch and then she looked up at me to see if I was looking. I am in disbelief and I shook my head no and said “girls do not do that!” (I glared at my husband to let him know I was not pleased but he immediately started conversing with our grandson.) Caught, she immediately pulled her hand away and sheepishly bit her lip. After this event, she began seeking every opportunity she could to sit on him. Her play became more subtle, but I still saw inappropriate sexual undertones in it. She started jumping up on him saying she was a monkey and would rock her bottom in a humping motion then sit hard on his crotch giggling. My husband was completely ignoring my cues. So I told her I needed her help and she said she wanted to stay with grandpa so my husband finally turns her so she is sitting with both legs to one side to watch TV. I'm thinking Thank God he finally is showing some sense. But then he lifts her shirt and starts rubbing her lower back and then looks at her back as he ran his finger along the top rim of her shorts, then starts rubbing her back again. Now I am quite disturbed and want to just slap him.
Some history here, my husband and I have not been intimate for almost a year because of scar tissue from a gallbladder surgery and several bladder repair surgeries. 2 months ago I finally had started physical therapy to soften the scar tissue so that we can resume normal intimacy with each other. I myself was a victim of molestation by an adult, so I have always been sensitive to this issue. When we started dating, his explanation for not rubbing my son's back who was 5 then was that he felt it was sexual behavior as a prelude to sex. And until this moment has not rubbed anyone else’s back but mine. But I have always trusted my husband intimately as he has been extremely patient and understanding with our situation, so not wanting to make a scene about this and still doubting my observations but at the same time feeling angry at my husband that he is not discouraging her behavior himself. So now I am questioning if he found some kind of pleasure in my granddaughter’s behavior earlier that day and perhaps had some penal stirrings that brought her attention to his crotch. I am struggling with all kinds of emotions but feel uncomfortable about how to approach my husband about this because if it is innocent curiosity on her part, I certainly don't want him to suddenly feel he has to shun her and ruin their bond to each other and worse have him feel I don't trust him. That night my husband lets me know that he wants to be sexual with me, which to me confirms in my mind he had to have been turned on by my granddaughter and so now I feel disgust. But now I am thinking that no matter how much it may hurt, I must give in to his desires and perhaps get his mind off of this. In all the years we have been married he has never had premature ejaculation. I think, well it has been almost a year. The next morning I decide to just take the kids to our camper for the rest of the week to separate them because my husband doesn't like to go there during the week when he is working. Too my surprise, he decides to stay at the camper too and since he was gone all day at work, my granddaughter just flung herself at him and would not part from him until bedtime. I decided to check with my 15 year old son to see if he was seeing unusual behavior or if it was just me. Since he was shadowed constantly by our grandson since their arrival, I was doubtful he observed anything but taking him aside I asked if he observed any odd behavior from his niece. He asked me what I meant by that and so I said, "I mean behavior that you think is inappropriate." He says "yes! A few days ago she tried to grab my penis a couple of times, but I grabbed her hands and told her to stop!" (Which I learned after further clarification from him that it was that same Saturday she was watching cartoons with Grandpa.) He then asked why she was doing this. I said I didn't know, but let him know that it would be helpful if he would help me keep an eye out for further strange behavior. Then said, "I don't want you to yell at her or anything but just let me know if you see further odd behavior." He asked if dad was seeing this too, and I said I didn't think he was but would talk to him about it that night after the kids went to bed. I am thinking at this point surely this is a problem she brought with her since she is also going after my son and perhaps it wasn't brought on by my husband.
That night after getting her nightie on, we came out of the bedroom to find grandpa was lying on the couch. She ran and jumped on him and immediately started the humping thing saying "I'm a monkey!" and then started rubbing her crotch back and forth on him (new motion). I am thanking God he is laying on his side and not his back. My son and her brother are standing there with their mouths hanging open and my grandson yells her name in a disapproving way, but she continues and starts pumping her bottom up and down again. Meanwhile my husband is laughing and hugging her. Her brother then jumps on her back to stop her bottom from moving on Grandpa by clutching my husbands leg to prevent her bottom to come back up, meanwhile my husband is acting like nothing is wrong and he is now just getting mauled by both the kids. I am fuming, but cheerfully coral the kids to bed. My husband immediately goes to bed himself and when I join him, I get the impression he is thinking we are going to be intimate again as he is laying on his side with his back to me and asks me to look at his back.
I decide not to be accusing and tell him that my granddaughter has a problem and he turns to lie on his back. He immediately asks if she got hurt or sick and I said, no, she has been exhibiting inappropriate behavior for several days now. He is silent and I ask if he hadn't noticed and he says, "No, I think your wrong" So I proceed to recount the above instances. He now flips to his stomach and puts his hands to his forehead with his face towards the pillow. He still hasn't said anything so I said what is wrong because he is acting pained. He says, "My neck was killing me," so now I am wondering if he got turned on by me telling him all these things. So I then let him know that she even went after our son, but thankfully he had the sense to grab her hands and tell her no! I then said "I am disturbed, then corrected myself and said “no, the truth is I am pissed that you didn't put a stop to her behavior yourself.” He then says that he didn't think she was doing anything wrong except to be a goofy kid. I then say, "so you can honestly say that you never once felt her touching and pressing against your personal parts. He then says, well she wasn't touching anything that was sensitive!" I then tell him that this is so wrong on so many levels, but this has to be stopped because by him not saying anything, he is encouraging her behavior. If she continues this behavior, she may very well find herself with someone who would actually bring harm to her. Then I suddenly hear snoring and he is still holding his head up off the pillow. I push him and say, "Are you really going to sleep now?" He says yup! I was so disturbed I couldn't sleep. He is a snorer so he snored all night until about an hour before getting out of bed. Since I am a snorer too he probably figured I was awake and announces, "I didn't sleep very good." I tell him that's too bad, but he sure had no problem snoring all night, but I knew he was fishing for me to ask him why and he says it was because he was awake all night thinking about our granddaughter, which was probably that hour before he got out of bed. Then he says, I think you were just not seeing things right. I said “nope, I think I am pretty clear about this and I want you to know that I am talking to her dad about her behavior because since she did it to our son, who’s to say it didn’t start back home, but it needs to be stopped and I also think her mom needs to be aware of this as well. My husband left for work and later that night he tries to tell me again that I just imagined all this. Is he really that clueless?
I decide to have the good touch bad touch conversation with her. She indicates she already knows this, and I say, "you know, that means that you also only do good touches to other people.” I could see she was kind of pulling back, so then I told her without going into detail about my own molestation story and how it made me feel and that I thought I shouldn’t say anything because I was so embarrassed and afraid they would hurt me or my mom and later found out that is not true. You always tell a safe grownup like your mom or dad or a grandparent so you can be protected. I then asked her if anything like this had ever happened to her and she said yes, a boy in her class. I asked how long ago, and she said a few months ago. Since school had been out since May, I asked if she meant at daycare and she said, “No, it was school.” I decided further questioning would make her feel she was being interrogated, so I told her that she should never feel guilty if someone does a bad touch to her because she did nothing wrong and be sure to always tell on that person, even if you have to call grandma. She seemed quite relieved and gave me a long hard hug.
I have talked to her father about it but without the details about my husband but let him know that he needs to be sure to address where this is coming from and that I think it’s time she is taught to be discreet with her body because she is not that innocent little girl any longer and needs to be groomed to be a proper young lady so she can discourage bad advances towards her.
Her behavior is back to being a little girl again and she still wants to sit on Grandpa but so far, without all the lap dancing. But I truly don’t know how feel about my husband’s role in all this at this point.
Dawn, obviously your granddaughter has fully discovered her pleasure spots and enjoys having them activated. It is always somewhat shocking to parents/grandparents when we realize that those children are, indeed, sexually aware and active in their own ways, even before puberty.
It sounds like she is going through a pre-puberty stage, which may be enhanced by the actions of others around her and whatever happened to her at school. Your continued assurance and direction about boundaries and behaviors will be important for her development, especially as she moves into her teenage years.
Your issues with your husband is a side-story that you two will have to work out. If he hasn't been able to be intimate with you for a year and you haven't been open to working out other options with him, then he's going to get a little sideways in his behaviors when something stimulating comes his way. Telling you that you were imagining it all isn't helpful, however, obviously. The facts are what they are, so he needs to rein in his behaviors with a 9 year old, which sounds like it is a challenge for both of them, when she starts getting wound up. Children are all about play and having fun, for as long as they can, so in her mind, that's all it is, but it is certainly physically stimulating for her, sexually.
I'm glad that you were able to have some heart-to-heart conversations with her and that you were able to help her understand that there is a place for certain behaviors and that there are some limits that she must observe as a growing young woman. Her change in behaviors after your conversation indicates that she took the lesson to heart.
There should be some follow-up on her experience at school, however. If the source isn't revealed and dealt with, then the actions could escalate there.
If you have never healed your own sexual trauma, it would be a good time to start that process. I have used the EFT process for over 25 years and found it helpful for clearing old memories of the past which create fear and hesitation in the present. EFT is a simple, non-drug therapy practice that can be self-applied and taught to children, easily. Releasing your own trauma will help enhance your intimacy with your husband, once you two resolve your differences in how he was interacting with your granddaughter.