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oldenbka19 karma

I've always been interested in the vast amounts of artifacts that museums hold which *never or rarely get seen by the public. How do you decide which items to display in exhibition and which items to leave in archive? Also, in relation to this question, what item(s) in the museum archives do you think are fascinating but are not on display?

oldenbka5 karma

I have a niece who is in a very similar situation. When she was younger, she mentioned some things to another family member that suggested she might be being abused or molested by her mother's brother. (He had a history of this). The family member who heard this went to her father and told him everything that was said, and that he needed to get her help. No help came, and things got bad to the point of her father dis-communicating himself and our niece from the family. On top of this, my niece's mother was battling cancer. Eventually relationships in the family were repaired, but my niece's mother ended up passing away.

After her passing, my Brother in law opened up that all of the issues with the abuse allegations and the subsequent dis-communication were mostly due to his his wife. They had a terrible relationship, and with the cancer, as a husband, he felt his duty was to side with his wife, and to keep her as calm as possible due to her cancer. He took his vows very seriously and could not leave her in her sickness, so he felt trapped. This caused a lot of animosity and to some degree hatred in him towards his late wife.

Fast forward a year, my niece's father re-married a woman with her own young daughter, and they had a child of their own. His treatment of my nice has steadily degraded as she gets older. She looks and sometimes acts a lot like her birth mother. I really feel he sees her as an extension of his "old" marriage, and as such she is treated as a 2nd class family member. She has already ran away from home, and as a result her father treats her like an ex-con. She is 13 and is not allowed to go to, or have any friends over. She has to get up at 4 in the morning to wash dishes before school, and recently a boy gave her a ring at school, which she cherished. Her step mother threw it out of a moving car when she saw it on her hand.

Her step sister is younger and is treated as a golden child. She is held to a totally different set of standards as our niece. An example, our niece was asked to babysit her step sister while her parents with to a local couples outing for the evening. An argument broke out, and our Niece called her father and said they needed to come home because there was a fight, and she was so angry she was worried that she was going to lash out at her sister physically. The result was her father coming home, yelling at her for being mean to her sister, and making her leave the house to stay with grandparents for the weekend and called off her family birthday part the following day. His explanation was that his wife and himself "could not deal with her" because she was threatening her younger step-sister. I see this as her realizing she was in a bad spot and looking to her father to help. Instead he punished her.

Our niece Is still is not allowed to hold her own brother, who is one year old.

This past summer my wife had some medical issues in which she was hospitalized for several weeks. I had my niece stay with us for a bout a month to help out around the house ( I have 3 young kids). She was AMAZING. The sad thing is, her dad never once called to see how she was doing. She didn't want to go home. She told me this was the best summer she ever had. My heart breaks for her.

My question to you is, what, if anything can we do as a family to help her? To let her know that she IS loved, and IS an amazing child? I know she has a lot of scars, she has had a very tough childhood. I am concerned that what she is going through now will lead her down some dark paths.

oldenbka2 karma

This is pretty much my dream. I can't quit my current job due to family commitments (Income / insurance etc.) however I am a very creative person and have so many stories in my head. (My kids love for me to make up stories for them at bed time).

How difficult was it to balance your "normal" life with writing a book? How much time on average did you spend writing / editing outside of your primary job?