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Can I live with this?

(28 Posts)
SurvivingJust Sun 11-Jul-21 15:33:40

I am at my wits end with my 45 year old daughter.
Currently I have Special Guardianship of my 2 granddaughters for the past 4 years because of my daughter’s drug and drink addictions. I also have their brother, my 23 year old grandson living with me.
Throughout the years I have tried to support her and her family before it came to this.
I am 68 years old, have been hospitalised twice this year with COVID (double pneumonia) and have now been referred to the Long Covid clinic. I have 3 children, all the same parentage. One son is Asperger’s who still lives with me, my other daughter a well adjusted mother of 2 leading an independent life. I have a good relationship with both of them.
During the court proceedings regarding my 2 granddaughters, it was advised by Children Services to give access to their mother only once a month, supervised.
Because I still love my daughter, and because she is 2 different people (one caring, thoughtful and pleasant) I have let her have almost unlimited access to my 7 year old granddaughter.
This child has little memory of ‘bad’ times with mum. The 16 year old does have memories and wants little to do with her mother. I have let my daughter come to my home and extended her every facility – food etc – and let her stay over quite often.
The problem is that every few days she ‘goes on one’ which is my term for her drugging and drinking sessions. When this happens she sends me the most abusive texts imaginable, accusing me as the reason for every bad thing in her life.
As a parent I feel a failure, though this child was my first born, eagerly awaited and much loved. She had the best childhood I could give her. She was absolutely beautiful. Had the world at her feet. Then met drugs.
After more than 20 years of trying, taking the abuse (and excusing it) I feel I’m done.
I’ve told her not to come to my house. I’ve told her to stay away from me.
I have continued to let her have limited access to my 7 year old granddaughter.
I guess I’m asking for affirmation as to whether I’m doing the right thing. Whether she’s here or not the pain persists.

Esspee Sun 11-Jul-21 15:56:06

You have put up with so much for so long your decision is completely understandable.
I do wonder if the younger child, having no memory of the abuse, might come to feel that you are to blame for the estrangement.
You have a tightrope to negotiate at the time you should be enjoying retirement and freedom from family responsibilities.

FarNorth Sun 11-Jul-21 16:03:12

Does she cause trouble when she is at your house?
How has your older DGD felt about her mum being there so much?

It seems reasonable to limit her visiting, to try to balance things for everyone, especially for you who are doing so much for all of them.

Try to disregard her awful texts. Delete them as soon as you see them.

Redhead56 Sun 11-Jul-21 16:33:01

You were advised to give your daughter limited access to your granddaughters. Your 16 yr GD is now old enough to choose not to see her mother. (I know this because of my own situation getting divorce from an abusive husband years ago.)

Your health isn’t good and you have a lot of responsibilities you need peace of mind. You have totally made the right decision you have to stay strong I am sure you can. Your daughter is hell bent on continuing to ruin her life protect your granddaughters and yourself ?

Barmeyoldbat Sun 11-Jul-21 16:36:14

I would stick with what was agreed at the Court. It can’t be good for you gd to be with mother, you don’t know what tales she is feeding her. You have Guardianship for a reason.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 11-Jul-21 16:41:59

Exactly right you have the court order on your side, supervised visits once a month and that’s it. I’m afraid that you will have to be thick skinned and ignore your DDs insults, as you say it’s the drink and drugs, but if she can’t give it up to care for her children then there really is no going back. Block her calls in future and stop doubting yourself, you are providing a safe place for your GCs and that’s all that matters. I think you deserve a medal with all you have going on in your life.

Framilode Sun 11-Jul-21 16:49:55

You are doing a hard but very wonderful job for your grandchildren. You need to protect your own health (mental and physical) now so that you can go on caring for your grandchildren. You will always love your daughter and the situation must be heartbreaking for you but I think you need to distance yourself now. It sounds as if you have done all you can for your daughter but you can't help her any more if she doesn't want to be helped. I really feel for you in this terribly difficult situation.

Shelflife Sun 11-Jul-21 16:57:37

You are doing the most taxing and amazing job. Your heart must be breaking when you think how your daughter has damaged her life. You do love your daughter so this situation must be unbearable for you.
However your two GC are in your loving care and sadly I feel you must put them first. I can only imagine the pain you are in , sending you courage and strength and thinking about you.

Infinity2 Sun 11-Jul-21 16:57:48

I think you are a wonderful mother, and I admire you very much for all you’ve done to help your family. Your grandchildren are very lucky to have you !
You have done your best and you can’t do more. Your daughter is sadly unwell and when she is unwell she behaves very badly.
Put it all down now. Stop second guessing yourself. You have made good decisions in the past, and you’re making the right one now.
Very best wishes ????

SurvivingJust Sun 11-Jul-21 18:25:05

Thank you all so much for your wonderful support. I'll answer in more detail tomorrow as in the middle of bath/hair washing little one x.

Hithere Sun 11-Jul-21 18:27:27

Do social services know you have not been following their recommendations on one supervised visit a month?

Please tell me you wont ever let your daughter live with you at all.
Supervised visits only if she is sober

Otherwise, the girls deserve another guardian.
They are minors who rely on you for protection, they are your first priority.
Not your daughter.

Smileless2012 Sun 11-Jul-21 18:27:32

Yes, you are doing the right thing SurvivingJust and doing it wonderfullyflowers.

lavenderzen Sun 11-Jul-21 18:36:42

How hard for you SurvivingJust, my heart goes out to you.
You are doing a wonderful job, which I know must be very difficult for you. Do as you are doing, you are doing the right thing flowers.

Blossoming Sun 11-Jul-21 19:28:03

I am holding back tears reading this, you have done everything you possibly could. Sadly, once drugs take over there is little chance of a happy outcome.

M0nica Sun 11-Jul-21 20:24:45

survivingjust To begin at the beginning, as a parent you are NOT a failure. you have brought up you two other children and three grandchildren well. One child is different.

Remember bringing up children is nature as well as nurture and nature results from the random selection of genes from two people. Most of the time the results are fine, now but now and again, you have a child where nature is stronger than the best nurture. This is what has happened with your daughter.

As to the present situation. As others have said. Limit contact to the court stipulated conditions, if your grand daughter ever asks, you can tell her you had to limit contact because the court insisted on it, although for a while you did disobey them and allow her to see her mother more.

Then for your daughter it must be tough love. Delete your daughter's emails unread and, as others say, block her calls.

You are in the right on everything and doing a very hard job in very hard circumstances. Stop doubting yourself, and if you do, come back to us for another support session.

sodapop Sun 11-Jul-21 20:58:14

Definitely you are not a failure SurvivingJust you are giving all your time and love to your grandchildren I doubt anyone could do more.
Your daughter sadly has chosen her path so unless she wants to make changes you can't help and should not feel guilty at all.
You are definitely doing the right thing - good luck thanks

SurvivingJust Sun 11-Jul-21 21:08:40

Thank you all so much.
Just to clarify, the once a month contact was not court ordered but an advisory from Children’s Services. Since the Special Guardianship was granted Children’s Services are no longer involved. Discharged, so to speak. As I mentioned before, my daughter is 2 completely different people. Person one is caring, considerate, helpful and loving. Person two is hateful, vengeful, spiteful, manipulative, jealous and downright nasty. She has never been in my home as person two i.e. never under the influence of drink or drugs, has never tried to be, nor would I allow it. So it’s very difficult trying to limit contact to once a month for a tiny toddler (GD was only 3) who wants her mummy from a mummy who genuinely loves her but is too weak to give up the substances. However, the little one (now 7) has begun to realise she can’t rely on her mummy, having been let down on multiple occasions, and looks on mummy as an occasion playmate, not as an authoritarian figure.
My grandchildren have a solid, comfortable, healthy home-life. The 16 year old just completed her GCSE’s and is going on to A levels and then hopefully University. They are happy and I would do anything to protect them. They have a wide family network including brilliant ‘other’ grandparents.
To cut off your own daughter is an incredibly painful thing to do when all you want and have tried to do over the years is support, help and fix her to no no avail.
I suppose I already knew the answer to my original question. I know what it has come to and what I need to do. I just needed to hear that I wasn’t the monster I felt like. I can’t save her and sometimes I hate myself because I can’t save this girl I gave birth to.

Shinamae Sun 11-Jul-21 21:13:53

I do feel for you. I am an alcoholic ,I’ve been in recovery for over 30 years, nobody could make me stop drinking, I stopped when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, please don’t feel guilty there is nothing you can do and there is nothing you have done….??

M0nica Sun 11-Jul-21 21:41:07

Shinamae flowers

Whatdayisit Sun 11-Jul-21 21:49:22

Tough love and maybe you need to ask for more support from SS?

SurvivingJust protect yourself and your gcs in any way you can. Don't let your dd drain you of any more energy. ?

TrendyNannie6 Sun 11-Jul-21 21:58:51

Agree with framilode

eazybee Sun 11-Jul-21 22:43:33

It is dreadful that you should even think of yourself as failing when you have brought up two children and two grandchildren so successfully over a long period of time, contending with health problems and the destructive attacks from your daughter.
To protect yourself you need to block her calls and restrict the contact with her daughter before she damages her as well as you. Do you have any support from family and friends, to allow yourself some respite, if only briefly? You simply cannot do any more for your daughter.

Hithere Sun 11-Jul-21 22:50:13

Congrats shinamae

Ali08 Mon 12-Jul-21 08:33:21

You are DEFINITELY doing the right thing!!!
The 16 year old remembers the bad days, but the 7 year old is now seeing these days so stop it now!
Do as the courts said, one visit per month and supervised. You can ask for someone else to do the supervision if you don't feel up to it!
Also, you can actually ask your granddaughter whether she wants to continue with the visits because she will know her own mind now and if she says no, or asks for every other month, then you can go back to the courts and ask them to change the decision in the childs favour!!
Do not feel sorry for your daughter, you have been there and supported her and she still goes on her benders - probably more so because you've been supporting her by feeding her so she could afford the drink and drugs!
It's time for her to stand on her own 2 feet, and for you to enjoy time with the rest of your family!!
And it will not be easy to do this, but stand firm or you'll be doing it until you die, which hopefully isn't soon but not something you will want to keep doing!!!
Good luck!!

SurvivingJust Mon 12-Jul-21 08:57:20

Thank you all so much for your very considered and supportive responses. Well done Shinemae for your achievement. You should be very proud of yourself x.