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User Topic: DS9 shared he gets "creepy" vibe
caregiver9000
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Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 9:56 PM, January 27th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

DS9 shared with me yesterday, Sunday, that something "creeped him out." He said that a teacher assistant at school comes into the bathroom and stands quietly while DS is in the stall. That when DS comes out, this man "acts like he is using the bathroom." DS also shared that sometimes this man is friendly in a way that makes DS "embarrassed" or "uncomfortable."

I asked several questions, such as

Is it part of his job (as TA) to monitor the bathroom?

Do you feel like he is looking at you through the crack? (DS said no, just that he is quiet and acts overly friendly when DS comes out of the stall)

I don't feel like there is a high likelihood that this man is doing anything wrong. I am familiar with him, have interacted with him over the last several years both in the school setting as a visiting parent and in a faculty volleyball league.

This man has only one arm. One arm ends above the elbow. He is VERY comfortable with this, and in fact, makes so many jokes about it that it is impossible to be self conscious about him being different. DS was uncomfortable about the arm when he first encountered this man and the overly friendly and joking manner. It did not seem out of bounds to me, but DS was younger and we had just moved.

I ended the conversation with DS by saying that I was glad he told me. That he should continue to listen to the voice and the "gut" feeling that told him something was "off" because humans had developed that for a reason. I did tell him that I didn't see anything concerning at this point but that I would want to know if anything changed. I also told DS that many children did not listen to that voice or have the confidence to talk about it with an adult.

We talked about how using the bathroom at school was just uncomfortable in general because of the lack of privacy. I did not want to dismiss DS in such a way that he doesn't tell me if something weird(er) ever happens in the future.

I really don't think anything is amiss here. But it made me think. One can't really go around telling people "you give my child a creepy vibe."

Has anyone else ever dealt with this? Anything I should say to DS as a follow up?


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5776 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
GabyBaby
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Member # 26928
Default  Posted: 10:11 PM, January 27th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would err on the side of caution and talk to your son's teacher/principal.
There may be nothing to worry about, but then again, you never know.

Better safe than sorry.

ETA: He's 9yrs old and specifically said "creepy". It's not like he's a 3yr old and isn't as "experienced" with using public restrooms. If something is coming across as odd, it most likely IS odd. I'd go with his gut.

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 10:13 PM, January 27th (Monday)]


Me - 40s
SorryInSac - WH#2 - 40s. DDay 7/12/14
Married 4, together 7yrs total
Status - R looks possible..

DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids

WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs

I edit often for clarity.


Posts: 6369 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: California
jo2love
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Member # 31528
Default  Posted: 10:13 PM, January 27th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would error on the side of caution. I would let the principal know and ask that your son be able to use the bathroom in the nurse's office until they can review the situation.


Posts: 34748 | Registered: Mar 2011
betrayedfriend
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Member # 19785
Default  Posted: 10:22 PM, January 27th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How often is the TA in the bathroom with your son, if it's concerning your son, that's good enough for me, I'd look into it a little further.


I originally joined SI as a way to help my best friends find ways of coping with infidelity, but now infidelity has touched my family much closer to home.

Posts: 865 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Midwest USA
caregiver9000
♀ Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 10:29 PM, January 27th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How often is the TA in the bathroom with your son,

I don't know. DS said a couple of times. I can't tell whether it is the embarrassment of "being in a stall" (which means a bowel movement) at school, or this guy in particular. He is an extrovert of the kind that is LOUD and JOVIAL and knows everyone's name and wears costumey clothes, hats and foam fingers (before Miley Cirus made them creepy). DS is not an introvert, but he is sensitive, especially to loud. I can see this guys personality being offsetting to him when NOT in the bathroom.

Add to this that I have little confidence in the principal. He's nice enough, but is a "frat guy" kinda guy and does not inspire confidence. Especially given the nature of my concern.

Obviously I am second guessing myself, thus the post. I welcome the objectivity and encouragement on how to handle this.

I am a teacher in the school system, but not at this school.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5776 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
jo2love
♀ Moderator
Member # 31528
Default  Posted: 10:45 PM, January 27th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you do not have faith in the principal, how about email/call principal, teacher, & superintendent? This way no one should drop the ball.

Posts: 34748 | Registered: Mar 2011
Nature_Girl
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Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 11:50 PM, January 27th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I wish my mother would have listened to me when I told her that I didn't like being around my grandpa. Instead she minimized my feelings. I have spent the rest of my life minimizing my feelings, instincts, and suffering as a result.

I know you are a good mom, and you know I admire you greatly. However, it concerns me that you may have minimized your son's instincts because you don't have the same vibe. But how could you have the same vibe? You're not a boy, you aren't there in the bathroom when this happens, you don't know.

Ask you son what he thinks is the solution. Talk to him as if everything he feels is accurate. Don't teach him to second-guess & doubt himself.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9536 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Whalers11
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Member # 27544
Default  Posted: 6:11 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I remember at around that age, sometimes we'd ask to go to the bathroom just to get out of class and then we'd be gone for an awfully long time goofing off in the bathroom.

Does this happen with other kids? Maybe it's just to make sure kids who are going to the bathroom are really going to the bathroom and not getting into trouble or goofing off.


Me: BGF - 33
Together 11+ years - not married, no children.
D-Day: 2/9/2010
OC Born: 10/9/2010
Status: He chose OW/OC and left immediately.

Posts: 2216 | Registered: Feb 2010
Amazonia
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Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 6:22 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I remember at around that age, sometimes we'd ask to go to the bathroom just to get out of class and then we'd be gone for an awfully long time goofing off in the bathroom.

Does this happen with other kids? Maybe it's just to make sure kids who are going to the bathroom are really going to the bathroom and not getting into trouble or goofing off.

I wondered about this too. I would start with asking the teacher if there's a reason that the aid is in the bathroom so often, especially given your reaction to the principal.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
cmego
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Default  Posted: 6:36 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hmmmm. Tough one.

Do you have a trusted teacher friend at that school?

Other parents?

Just someone that you trust you can bounce the "ds got a creepy vibe from TA, have you heard anything?" off of to start.

There is a creepy guy that lives in my neighborhood, a few houses down. He is a renter, and always acts just…off. All of the moms have the same vibe from him, but the kids like him because he is "nice" to them. We've all finally just told the kids to ignore him, or come in the house if he starts talking to them. He uses his dog to get kids to come talk to him.

The conversation with my kids went like this,"Do you know the man that lives at that house? Well, Mom gets a weird feeling around him, and not a good feeling. I trust my feelings, so I don't want you talking to him, or going close to him. If he talks to you, either walk away from him or say, "My Mom doesn't want me to talk to strangers", then walk into the house. If you see him coming down the street, just come into the house."

I don't know if the guy is mentally ill, or a real creeper, or just overly friendly. But, I trust my gut and I encourage the kids to do that too.

Can you work on some "role play" to do IF he gets uncomfortable again? A plan in place to get out of the bathroom??


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4113 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
StrongerOne
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Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 10:57 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This man IS creepy. Follow up with the principal ASAP, and make sure you hear back from the principal ASAP as to what is being done.

If the princ. doesn't take it seriously, kick it upstairs.

If the school has a 'resource officer' (police office on duty at the school all or part time), meet with him or her.

Why is a grown man in the children's bathroom if he is not assigned to monitor it? Adults at schools use bathrooms assigned to them. They do not use children's bathrooms. Especially not in elementary schools.


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 855 | Registered: Sep 2012
ajsmom
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Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 11:02 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would be on this like white on rice.

You get one chance to protect your children.

Screw all the other intangibles, relationships, etc.

The fact that his Spidey Senses are up are all that I would ever need.


AJ's MOM


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21041 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
ruby44
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Member # 41135
Default  Posted: 11:09 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Why is a grown man in the children's bathroom if he is not assigned to monitor it? Adults at schools use bathrooms assigned to them. They do not use children's bathrooms. Especially not in elementary schools.

THIS!
Our school has bathrooms for the adults and there is a reason for it so no child goes thru what your son is going thru. Since he is a TA, I would talk to the teacher. Is your son going to the bathroom more frequently they others, staying longer then he "should" etc. Find out if there is a reason the TA is there. If not, by alerting the teacher and not stepping on toes, you have alerted the school. If he is the escort, he should be told to wait outside. If you do not like the answer, principal is next. Sorry but I feel you must follow the protocol for reporting. Document everything.
Good job on validating your DS vibe. He should be told to never ignore that!


Me BW 52, Him WH 48
Married 13 years,
2 DDs (12 and 10)
D-Day Confirmed 10/24/13 suspected before that but did not want to believe it.
WH filed for D 11/12/13
2/8/14 WH asked if he could come home.
Lies!

Posts: 276 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: Midwest
BeyondBreaking
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Member # 38020
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

On the one hand, the reactive mom in me wants to say swoop in there, tell the principal and do not let this go. On the other hand, this is a man's career you could be potentially be putting in jeopardy based on a shy 9 year old who doesn't want his teacher in the bathroom.

Does your son often talk to you about things? I ask this because when I was in elementary school- I told my mom every word spoken on the playground. For me to come to my mom and tell her I was creeped out by someone- heck, I threw words around all day long. My brother, on the other hand, didn't talk to mom and dad unless something was WRONG. If it's out of the usual for your son to be talking about an adult like this, or to be coming to you- that might be saying something.

I wonder if other children are feeling this way, or just your son. Is there a way you could speak to a few parents of other kids at your son's school and see if they have had any experiences with this man.

I know that when I was in elementary school, my friends and I would goof around in the bathroom, make messes with the powdered soap, etc... Perhaps this man is in there to make sure that they aren't doing that? Is there a way you could find out from your son's teacher some more information?


I have been cheated on by 3 different men, and I have more DDays than anyone ever should. I am here, just trying to pickup the pieces.

At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."


Posts: 840 | Registered: Jan 2013
jrc1963
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Member # 26531
Default  Posted: 11:17 AM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with AJ's Mom...m

I know you work in the same district and maybe have a little "I don't wanna make waves over nothing" feeling... but like AJ's Mom said... you only get one chance to protect your kid.

If anyone in the district looks crosseyed at you just tell them that you would do the same for any student sitting in your class... why shouldn't you have the same due diligence for your own son.

Remember as a teacher you are a mandatory reporter... even if it's on behalf of your own child!


Me: BSO - 46
Him: FWSO - 69
DS - 13
D-Day - 12-11-09,
R - he finally came home
Your life is an Occasion. Rise to it. - Mr. Magorium, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"

Posts: 24452 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Florida
caregiver9000
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Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 1:27 PM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you for all the perspectives and suggestions!! I value this opportunity to make sure I do the right thing, and to talk it out here, before I go in and "talk it out" with so many potential consequences. One more reason to be grateful for this group of people.

I do not want to completely ignore this, because I do know that for every child that speaks up there could be 20 more who just don't/won't. I do think this warrants "looking into." I don't know if the principal would brush it off and ignore? (not my first fear actually) or if he would call this man in and accuse him with me present.

I do like the idea of going to his teacher first. She is a VETERAN teacher and she loves DS. She is rock solid, and I would trust her to answer some of my questions, and to know if there had been other "weird vibes" in the past. I think she would know. And she knows enough about me and DS to understand the two sides of my concern.

DS is sensitive, and all of his anxiety comes out through stomach issues. He vomits when he is upset. His tummy makes him a frequent bathroom user. His teacher is aware, and DS does not abuse the bathroom privilege but he is there more than most!! One thing that the teacher can answer for me is IF this TA is in the bathroom, why it would be because he is a K-1 assistant and DS is in 4th grade. Completely different wings. So, is this happening in a different bathroom? Like near the cafeteria? When the TA could be monitoring a class?

I am not brushing off DS. BUT... I have some concerns about the "tale." I have been in the school. Even during class time, it is not one child in the hall at the water fountain, or in the bathroom. The halls have a lot of traffic, with two and three children going to the library (center of the building) or one from multiple classrooms visiting the bathroom or water (same location). Also, DS used two different names. Both are males in the school. One is the TA, one is the janitor. The names sound the same (different first consonant) so I questioned him on which one and he said "the guy with one arm." Again, if that is the case, he has far fewer reasons to be in the 4th grade wing. The final thing that makes me hesitate to go too high up with this is I think it could be transference. It was my mom's first reaction too. This tale could be the first step in disclosing something that happened with someone much closer than a man at school. Many of you may know I have deep concerns with what happens at Dad's house. So....

NG, thank you for your very frank and gently delivered caution. I appreciate that you would say what you have said because I know that you "know" me. Also, you have a good understanding of the complexities that exist for my kids with regards to what they may have been exposed to.

I don't think I have minimized DS. At one point, DS got very anxious that I would go to the school and say something. I redirected him to discussing with me what had happened and how he felt and what that meant. DS said nothing happened and it just made him feel weird, and that is when I said to him to listen to that feeling and pay attention. I did say it was weird to hang out in a bathroom if it weren't your "duty/job" to monitor the space/children.

DS has several good friends at the school. I asked if anyone else had ever shared a similar experience or talked about being in the bathroom and he said no.

cmego, your story reinforces why I think it is good to tell kids to trust that voice/gut/instinct. I like the idea of making sure DS has a plan.

BeyondBreaking, your assessment of the situation most closely resembles mine!! DS does share with me all the time. He especially talks about feelings. But he has a "secret." He has hinted about it, he has danced around it for over a year. Again, I have a sense that it involves his dad, due to some protective responses from DS. DS has seen a counselor. This issue came up repeatedly. Counselor confirmed there was something there but DS was not ready to share it and that pushing him was going to bury it deeper. (Think feral cat response.) I am wondering if this is DS floating a version of a "secret" to see what happens?

jrc, I don't worry about being taken as over reacting. I am well respected and known in the district. I have lots of places to take this (besides the frat boy principal) if I get information that leads me to think reporting needs to be done. We have social workers, psychologists, crisis teams, and many are housed in the building I work in. I would be taken seriously! So.... I want to make sure I look carefully before I leap.

I will start with a conversation with DS's teacher. I can let her answer some of my questions and from there I can even have DS interviewed by someone (social worker or psychologist.)

There is no SRO at the elementary school, but we have one at my school. She is definitely a resource I have used in the past!

Thank you again to all who spoke so freely here. It is such a difficult topic. I trust the feedback here! And I deeply appreciate the opportunity to talk it out.

I am too close and too concerned to feel completely objective. And to err is too costly.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5776 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
mixedemotions
♀ Member
Member # 35810
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Seems like you've got a good plan in place, but just to echo and add a little...

I worked with kids who experienced sexual abuse. It's been my experience that they (and adults too) will share just a tiny bit of the story...maybe altered details or maybe just little parts that don't sound so bad before sharing the full situation, if ever at all.

I think it's mostly a comfort and embarrassment thing. It can feel too weird to describe sexual abuse out loud and is much easier to share something that alludes to it.

So, even though it seems he's great at sharing and even though you haven't gotten the creepy vibe yourself, I would take this very, very seriously. I certainly have skewed examples, but as far as I know, kids don't share information like this without there being something behind it.

It could be very helpful to chat with some of the other boys about how they feel about this man, as well as to check in with their moms and ask them to pay attention to changes in behavior, reports from their kids about him, etc.

I'm not saying I'm convinced that this man is a perpetrator, but sexual abusers of children thrive on convincing the adults that they are trustworthy and would never do something like that. It's part of the process.

Additionally, the fact that your DS already spends a lot of time in the bathroom is a major red flag to me. Perpetrators choose their victims based on the highest likelihood of getting away with it. That's why often you'll see the "troublemaker" kid being the one victimized, because the offender knows no one will believe the child's story.

Again, I'm not completely calling this man an offender, just feeling concerned that if he is, DS could easily be targeted because of easy access and built in explanation for why he's in the bathroom longer than other kids.

In case anyone's interested in more information - Oprah did a great show on sexual abuse of men and boys, the episode was called 200 men and featured Tyler Perry and 200 men who had experienced abuse as children.


Me: Former BW, 28
Divorced 10/11/12
He didn't show up for the D...very fitting, seeing as he didn't show up for the M, either : )
"What did not demolish me simply polished me, now the clearer I can see" - India Arie

Posts: 382 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Back in the Southeast!
caregiver9000
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Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 2:36 PM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It can feel too weird to describe sexual abuse out loud and is much easier to share something that alludes to it.

and

kids don't share information like this without there being something behind it.

and

sexual abusers of children thrive on convincing the adults that they are trustworthy and would never do something like that.

This matches my training as well. Add to that, the coach, teacher, assistant are kid saturated environments and magnets for a potential predator.

I don't have my "denial" glasses on ... (I don't think!) but it is very helpful to be reinforced.

Additionally, the fact that your DS already spends a lot of time in the bathroom is a major red flag to me. Perpetrators choose their victims based on the highest likelihood of getting away with it. That's why often you'll see the "troublemaker" kid being the one victimized, because the offender knows no one will believe the child's story.

Again, I'm not completely calling this man an offender, just feeling concerned that if he is, DS could easily be targeted because of easy access and built in explanation for why he's in the bathroom longer than other kids.

I had NOT considered this angle. Thank you. Very good point. Also, DS is very empathetic and kind. Thank you again for pointing out the target potential.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5776 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
MissesJai
♀ Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 6:48 PM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

what ajsmom said. I too would be on this like flies on shit.


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
truthsetmefree
♀ Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 7:07 PM, January 28th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

when DS comes out, this man "acts like he is using the bathroom

Aside from any speculation on his motives, this is just simply not acceptable for a staff member to be sharing a restroom facility with a young student. If only because it can lead to the very situation that you are describing. And any adult in such a role should already be aware of that and taking necessary precautions to protect his/her own reputation as well as the innocence of the child.

This is where I would start - with a simple question to the principal about the school's policy in this regard. You may not even have to give specifics if you so choose. A policy change or reinforcement may be enough to quash any ill intents without specifically targeting any individual (your son included). This is also a good time to ask the principal to clarify their background check procedures on ALL personal that would come into contact with your child. This includes TA, bus drivers, custodians, kitchen workers, etc. - including substitute teachers. EVERY school district should have these policies in place and be both able and willing to provide them to you.


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