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I can't sleep from the worry of it all

(47 Posts)
dolly Tue 01-May-12 17:37:37

I am so sorry to make this post when i have only just joined recently, but i have no one to turn to as i am embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone i know.

I won't bore you with the intricate and long history behind my problem as i would be writing a novel, but it involves my daughter and her lack of care for my 2 grandaughters.
my daughter, like me, has suffered from depression for a long time. She has 2 daughters 10 and 4yrs old. We live nearby and have been heavily involved with the care of them even though i am disabled with a very painful spinal injury.
Once again we have fallen out because she is neglecting the girls and i just dont know what to do about it. Every time i try to talk to her about it or offer to look after them for her she tells me to stop poking my nose in.
Everything came to a head this morning. We had the 4yr old over for tea yesterday after school. I must add that her and i are extremely close and have that "special" bond. She told me that her teacher rang mummy and said she had to go home for a wash as she had an "accident" in bed the night before and after she had a wash she went back to school. As you can imagine i was mortified. I tried to broach the subject with my daughter who went bolistic and said it was just a one off as she put clean knickers out for her to wear to school and it was my little grandaughters fault for not putting them on!! i explained that se is only 4yrs old and could not be made responsible for it . I have now been threatened with not having access to the children and if i have a problem i should ring social services. i am tortured inside. I really really do not want to do that. The thought of losing the children scares me more than anything in the world. By the same token my conscience keeps telling me it is not right to accept this happening but i have no idea how to tackle it.
My daughter has told me she no longer wants any contact with me at all and any access arrangements are to be made by text to her partner.
Any advice or ideas would be greatfully received.

Annobel Wed 02-May-12 09:59:59

If the school is concerned, their child protection measures will kick in and they may take steps to inform Child Services that they suspect neglect which would trigger support measures. On the other hand, this episode may be the wake-up call your daughter needed. I don't think you need do more at present because it is important to maintain your relationship with your daughter and if anything smacked of interference, she might take it amiss.

dolly Wed 02-May-12 10:42:24

i truly dont want to interfere As i said in my original post, my concern is for my grandaughters welfare. The problem is that we are often asked to help out and regularly have the youngest to stay over with us. This means we already have a lot more input than many grandparents.
I also have a huge worry over my daughter asking ME to ring social services on her behalf. She said that if i rang they would take more notice as if she did it they would ignore her. One minute i am being asked to get heavily involved and the next being told to butt out. I am confused, torn and just so unsure of what to do for the best.

GoldenGran Wed 02-May-12 10:47:15

Dolly what a horrible situation for you to be in. This is just the place for you to talk about it, so no apologies needed for starting this thread, Gransnet is kind caring and there are a few very wise and informed people her, so carry on posting. (((hugs)))

dolly Wed 02-May-12 10:56:22

Thanks Goldengran

I really do appreciate all the helpful relies. It is heartwarming to know there are other nannas out there to talk to. Although i am 49 i am the only GP amongst all my friends, so it is helping me a lot.

Anagram Wed 02-May-12 11:01:38

dolly, why does your daughter want you to phone Social Services? Is it for help? I'm a bit confused here, I had thought she was threatening to withdraw access if you phoned them.

dolly Wed 02-May-12 11:16:52

this is just it Anagram. One minute she says one thing and the next she totally reverses it . I appologise as i am in such a muddle i am not explaining things clearly.
She emailed me the other day saying that she wanted me to phone social services as she could not look after them properly. I think she was having a bad day. Then the bed wetting issue arose. When i broached the subject with her in what i thought was a sensitive way (obviously not) she flew into a rage and threatened to stop us having access and keep our nose out. This is what i am getting at i guess. We keep getting mixed messages.

Elegran Wed 02-May-12 11:53:53

Dolly If she wants to you to phone Social Services again, can you grab the moment and suggest you do it together? You could do the actual phoning and say that she needs help to get herself going, or some such thing, and she could sit beside you and know that you are not "reporting" her or interfering? She might even feel she could speak to them herself - probably through her tears - if you had broken the ice.

It seems to me that she knows she is having difficulty coping, but cannot admit it for fear of facing condemnation and losing her children.

Anagram Wed 02-May-12 12:04:29

From what you have said, dolly, it doesn't sound as though your daughter really wants the authorities involved - she probably wrote the e-mail at a time of stress. Once the wheels are set in motion there's going back, and she would only blame you in the longrun.

Try to let her see you're on her side and do what you can for the little girls in the meantime (as of course you already do). Your daughter possibly needs some encouragement and praise for the way she's trying to cope, so she doesn't feel like a failure.

glammanana Wed 02-May-12 12:08:21

Elegran such a good idea and she should be made aware that Child Services are the last people who would want to split up her family,they are only too happy to help with parenting issues and guidence when things get a bit tough for her.

grrrranny Wed 02-May-12 12:20:44

Dolly Are the usual suspects, drink and/or drugs around with your daughter and/or partner?

Pigeon Wed 02-May-12 12:45:13

Dolly I may not know the full picture but from what you've said so far, it seems to me that your daughter has suggested twice that you should get in touch with social services; once when she couldn't cope and once as a 'threat' when she thought you were interfering. Either way, she isn't saying don't do it.

I know she isn't giving the same message consistently to you but that's probably due to the depression. Perhaps she can't think rationally at the moment or really does want help and is just scared of the consequences if anyone else gets involved.

I agree with what others have written that whoever gets involved, it doesn't have to be a negative experience. It's in no-one's best interests to take the children away from her and some appropriate support at the right time can keep things on track and mean exactly the opposite.

Ask yourself if you're over-reacting to the incident at school or if there really is genuine cause for concern due to continuing or worstening problems. If it's giving you sleepless nights and causing you to be so upset, chances are it's the latter. But I sometimes think all the worry about what to do is worse than actually making the decision to do something and it turning out badly.

Unfortunately for us all, life doesn't come with a rule book of the right and wrong things to do when things trouble us (I wish it did, but knowing me I probabaly wouldn't read it!). So all you can do is go with your instincts. At least you will have the comfort of knowing that whatever you did was out of love and care for your daughter and her children.

Remember to look after yourself too - perhaps a visit to your doctor to see if he can help or support you in any way?

dolly Wed 02-May-12 12:50:36

Hi grrrranny

No drink or drugs involved with any of us i am pleased to say. All of us only drink birthdays christmas etc. and definitely no drugs. My husband works in forensic nursing dealing a lot with those problems and i am glad to say my DD apart from one silly mistake in her teens has never bothered with drugs. She does take prescribed pills for depression but thats it. Her partner is the same. He drives for a living.

I might just sit on my hands for a bit and see what happens. If she does ask again I may suggest what Elegran said, but i am very uncomfortable about doing it. I must stress that i was abandoned as a baby and adopted by my paternal GPs who have long since passed away. Because of my experiences i am a bit anti social services to be honest.

Elegran Wed 02-May-12 13:06:07

Dolly Social Services are there to put emotional splints on to those who need them and they are not basically about taking children away except as a last resort or causing more trouble. It is too expensive for one thing. Better by far to help parents cope themselves.

You were abandoned so had to be cared for by others so you are naturally wary, Your daughter is there but finding things difficult. With a bit of help - professional as well as yours - she will probably find her feet again after a while and be on top of things. You can't force her to seek help (unless you believe the children are in danger, in which case I don't think you would hesitate) but you can encourage her to get all the support she can.

grrrranny Wed 02-May-12 13:13:32

I think sitting on hands for a bit as you say is a wise move. As long as children basically ok and you are keeping eye on the situation it can tick along for a bit. Someone suggested your daughter could speak to her GP as perhaps more could be done to tackle her depression (good to know it is not drink or drugs related). Jeni who doesn't seem to be around today could possibly give some advice about that.

Anagram Wed 02-May-12 13:20:22

I agree with grrranny.

dolly Wed 02-May-12 13:26:15

Thanks to all of you for taking the time and effort to help. It really is appreciated

imjingl Wed 02-May-12 13:33:53

So long as you are sure the children are happy, and safe.

You say she flew into a rage with you. Does she need her medication reviewing?
Could you or your husband go with her on her next visit to the doctor? (I hope she's not on a repeat prescription)

AlisonMA Wed 02-May-12 14:21:30

Clinical depression is a terrible thing and leaves you unable to see things as they really and everything loses perspective. If you are both in this situation it must be very hard.

What about your husband, can he intervene?

Were/are you a very good mother and housekeeper? Maybe your daughter is feeling unable to live up to what she sees as your epectations?

I think you have to make it really clear that your love for her is unconditional and that you will always be there for her.

Don't take on too much for yourself, it won't help either of you. There is an excellent small book by Dr Christopher Cantopher called Depression the Curse of the Strong which you might find helpful.

I think you need to sit back and see just how much at risk the GDs are and then only you can decide whether to take it further. Do you ever meet them from school? If you do perhaps you could engineer an opportunity to talk to one of their teachers and get to know them to see how you think they would react if you raised your concerns? It is such a big leap if you are not sure how it will be received.

I really feel for you.

Nanban Thu 03-May-12 11:51:25

Others will know more about soc services, I'm probably with you on the worry side - the most important factor in their little lives is having you loving them and knowing you are there. They will soon be old enough to understand more about their own physical care and you will be able to guide them. Placate your daughter so that you can be there for them - nothing else matters. You are very brave and loving to share and if you can, be strong and stick with it, and it will come right for you and the children.

Humbertbear Sat 05-May-12 09:50:55

Dear Dolly - I feel so much for you. We had a situation years ago in my husbands family which ended with the little boy concerned going to live with his grand parents. The child's father would not believe his wife was not parenting properly. For the children's sake you need to maintain contact with your daughter and her partner. I know how difficult it is to have to watch and not be able to take action.
Would they let you have the children once a week after school or on Saturdays?
I think the school were trying to make a point - my grandson's school definitely keeps spare clothes and changes pupils when needed, whether due to an 'accident' or excessive water play.

pollytunnel Sat 05-May-12 11:02:06

I do not want to trivialise this situation in any way as child welfare is very important...I have a daughter with depression and poss other probs who all her life has refused help...We hardly speak and I have missed out on quite a lot of time with two of her children...I can only say that what we think of as the right way to feed or bring up children is not the norm for many...I worried sick about the nutrition of my daughters first 2 boys now 25 and 23 and over 6 feet each and gym regularly ...real babe magnets...they survived...not brought up my way but survived....please do not worry too much keep in touch with daughter as I do....let her know you are there and care...Schools are on the ball now as far as welfare is concerned and will be monitoring the children behind the scenes and will act if they think necessary....I have radio 4 on all night quietly as when things were bad years ago I could not sleep for worrying and I still go to sleep listening it has saved my sanity many a time...please things will be fine or at least not as bad as you think right now.....