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Worried about Granddaughter

(46 Posts)
Lyndiloo Wed 09-Jan-19 02:52:14

I'm so worried about my 20 year-old granddaughter. I don't see much of her as she lives, and goes to University in Scotland. However, she visited us for four days over the New Year (with her mum, step-dad and brother).
On one of the nights, she was drinking and broke down, crying, saying that her life was a mess, that she hated herself, and couldn't cope with all the work that University entailed. (Though she has been doing well with her exams.) She said that nobody listens to her (her mum denied this vehemently).
Apparently, she is on anti-depressants (news to me!) And she's not treating the medication properly, i.e. on days that she's going to drink, she just skips them. (But I've looked it up on the Internet, and you can't just stop taking the pills - you have to be 'weaned-off' them.)
All of this was 'forgotten' the next day. My daughter just seemed to 'brush it off'. "She was drunk." Her step-dad and brother showed no concern at all.
Now, with them all gone back to Scotland, I'm left with the worry of her. What do I do?
In my day, my grandmother would have given me a strict talking to. (But then, in my day, my grandmother would have clipped my ear, had I been cheeky - doesn't happen now.)
I don't know whether to interfere or not ...? (I know it would annoy my daughter.)
But then, if I don't ...?
And is it 'interfering' ? She's my granddaughter! I owe her some concern, surely?

BradfordLass72 Wed 09-Jan-19 05:05:19

It's obvious the lassie has other problems as she's been diagnosed and prescribed medication - and it could well be this which is affecting her, as well as her problems. Not all medications are suitable for all people.

Why not write to your daughter, who is, after all, the first person responsible for her, and say the incident worried you, you love your granddaughter very much - and is there anything you can do to help (even though you may know there isn't.)

The only thing you owe her is your unconditional love.

I had a nephew who found university far too pressurised and after his 2nd year, took 3 years off, working in a garden centre.
Later he went back to do a completely different course and gained his qualifications.

Maybe your grand-daughter needs permission to take a sabbatical and just enjoy life as it comes for a while.

polyester57 Wed 09-Jan-19 06:21:25

When people drink often their innermost fears and emotions come out. They are probably totally embarrassed about it the next day. I would think that most of us have been guilty of this at one time or another. I would take note, but not necessarily go overboard about trying to sort out something that may have been blown up out of context. Tread carefully. I would be worried about a young person taking antidepressants, but my son went through a difficult time at university, panic attacks and so on, he went to a professional and was prescribed antidepressants for a while. This is now long in the past, but naturally I still worry about him in stressful situations. I would say continue to be a support to your granddaughter, send little messages regularly, asking how she is and telling her about whatever you are doing. I used to send my son a jiffy envelope every month with just a few items, a bar of favourite chocolate or a little bag of cashew nuts (which he loves), a toothbrush perhaps (young people don´t always remember to buy a new one), anything that you can think to that she would like or appreciate. Oh, and a five pound note in a card. It helps so much to know that there are people out there who love you and will support you no matter what.

grannyactivist Wed 09-Jan-19 08:47:22

I would be extremely worried because I have two close relatives who suffer/ed severe depression whilst at University and they have both needed masses of family support alongside professional counselling, additional help from the university and medication.

polyester has given good advice regarding a regular contact letter to your granddaughter, but I would also do as BradfordLass72 advises and write to your daughter.

sodapop Wed 09-Jan-19 08:51:43

I would just keep an eye on things at the moment, keep in touch with your granddaughter by any way you can. Face time, Whatsapp etc. If her problems persist then have another word with your daughter. We never stop worrying about our families do we ?

Anja Wed 09-Jan-19 08:52:22

She’d been drinking so don’t over worry about that particular incident. However it might be a good idea to keep in touch with her and let her know you’re there is needed.

Send her the odd £10 in a letter. Text and email occasionally and perhaps befriend her on social media. Only suggestions but a way of keeping communication channels open.

Anja Wed 09-Jan-19 08:52:56

X-posts sodopop 👍🏽

Jaycee5 Wed 09-Jan-19 09:44:50

Can you not just give her a ring and ask if she is ok? Or maybe send her a card (maybe with £10 in as Anya suggests) and then follow it up with a phone call.
It can't do any harm and it may make her feel better. Be caring without pushing her for information.
I felt very much like that at that age and it would have meant a lot to just have that kind of caring communication. You don't necessarily have to do anything big.

Buffybee Wed 09-Jan-19 09:50:14

Two things stood out for me, She said that nobody listens to her and then, All of this was forgotten the next day and My daughter just seemed to brush it off.
It sounds as though, she could have a point, if after being very upset and sharing the way she felt, no-one mentioned it the next day.
I would phone your Daughter and ask how Dgd had settled back into University and mention that you would be keeping in touch with her more, as you realise that perhaps you haven't done this enough.
This puts the blame on yourself for not keeping in touch and not your daughter.
Then phone your Dgd, ask her how things are going, let her confide in you and calm her fears.
Support from you, could make a big difference to her, so keep in contact regularly, send treats and of course the odd tenner.

aggie Wed 09-Jan-19 09:50:42


send an old fashioned cheque , I transfer the odd tip to my ones bank account , but cash can and will be pilfered

Buffybee Wed 09-Jan-19 09:51:41

X post Jaycee 👍

Jaycee5 Wed 09-Jan-19 09:59:28

aggie. I think I'd risk £10. It is more of a boost than a cheque which might be swallowed in an overdraft and it can be a faff nowadays to cash cheques.

jaylucy Wed 09-Jan-19 10:01:18

Keep in touch with your granddaughter and let her know that you are there to support her.
Brushing off her comments with"oh she was just drunk" sounds a bit heartless to me - the fact that she is on anti depressants means there is a problem and she is struggling, no matter what the rest of her family may say.
Give her a call on a regular basis - grandparents can often be told things that parents can't be! If she feels she has someone that doesn't judge and is prepared to listen it will help her. Invite her to stay during her holidays if you can, if only for a weekend. It's tough being a student these days, whatever anyone says !

aggie Wed 09-Jan-19 10:07:56

The Post Office says not to post cash ! I do understand the "boost" a cash tip gives , I give cash when I see my gang but never post money , my Sister sends birthday cards with money enclosed , they often go "missing" , the recipient isn't aware , she gets shirty due to no thanks , misunderstandings , ruffled feathers and no cash sad

Urmstongran Wed 09-Jan-19 10:54:34

Oh lindyloo you must be so worried. I would be too. Plenty of really good advice for you here already.
It sounds as though your GD has anxiety issues (worrying about her workload even though her exam results are good) and is on medication. Alcohol exacerbates anxiety. The episode could have been a one off due to the drink but it could have been ‘in vino veritas’.
She sounds unhappy and in a bad place.
I agree with the poster who said contact your daughter, tell her you are concerned and feel for a while you’d like to offer support by contacting your GD a little more frequently to see how she goes. That way you aren’t overriding your daughter.
Ring your GD at a convenient time to you both. And listen more than talk. If a silence develops let it settle for a few moments. She won’t even notice an awkward lack of chat. Her mind will be racing. Give her time to feel safe in confiding in you.
She has very sensibly seen a doctor so try not to over worry.
I do hope this situation improves over the next few weeks.

4allweknow Wed 09-Jan-19 11:18:48

I think Polyester57 has a good idea of how to let GD know you are thinking of her. If GD feels really unable to cope the contact may help her get in touch to even just talk. I have a son who lives a good distance away and I know he has a lot of issues at work. When he visits couple times a year and has a tipple with DH out comes all the feelings and thoughts about not coping. At first I was alarmed and phoned DiL expressing my concern about his mental health. Didn't come as a shock to her as happened before. Did agree he needed some counselling at least to get things into perspective. (Work is very exacting nature and DS is a perfectionist and Director not a good combination). I haven't raised it again other than to offer support if either need help with situation which I feel has improved. Don't interfere other than good contact with GD.

Luckygirl Wed 09-Jan-19 11:23:15

I can empathise with your worry. I have a GD who is very depressed - she is younger and still lives at home; and I have the problem that I know what I would do but the parents are doing something different. That is hard for me; but I do know they are taking it seriously and doing something, even if it is not what I might choose. It does make you feel powerless to help someone whom you love, as it feels pout of your hands.

I agree with the advice to keep channels of communication open with her without being too "heavy" about the incident. She just needs to know you love her and are thinking of her.

As I am sure you know, it is bad to dot in and out of antidepressant treatment; so if she ventures a comment about this herself, then that is an important piece of onfo to slot in.

I do worry about these young people. They seem to be squeezed into a funnel that takes them through a punishing system - SATs and more SATs, then GCSEs then A-levels and then university - sometimes a degree that gets them nowhere career-wise and costs them a fortune, leaving them with huge debts (something else for them to be anxious about). For many it is a miserable way to spend your childhood and young adulthood.

LuckyFour Wed 09-Jan-19 11:41:18

I would write or email her to say how good it was to see her at Christmas, but you are worried about her as she seemed a bit unhappy. Tell her she can email or phone you any time if she is feeling down or having a difficult time, and you won't discuss it with anyone else. You will never judge her and will be supportive whatever she decides to do. Tell her to most importantly look after her health, then she can do anything.

Kernowflock Wed 09-Jan-19 11:43:14

I would contact your grand daughter directly. She is an adult and needs to be treated as such. Maybe write to her telling her how proud youare,how loved she is etc.... and then add how concerned you are. If you fell able, and i do mean IF ,offer her your shoulder and integrity,reassuring her that it is between you two and will not be shared with the family. It does mean you cant discuss it with your daughter but your GD might open up and lean on you, allowing you to support her through this dark and difficult time. Hope you fell able to do this xxxx

BGrannie1 Wed 09-Jan-19 11:43:27

Difficult position, having had a daughter who was severely depressed and ill at Uni - long story, now thankfully long ago - I humbly suggest you keep up the contact with her, even if she doesn't respond. We all know how nice it is to have somebody getting in touch, she may ignore you but if she needs you, which she obviously did, will respond.
I used to run a PO & wholeheartedly agree about NOT putting money into a letter or card.... easily removed. Postal orders cost too much and can be taken & used by others. How about getting a gift card from a supermarket and putting £10 or whatever onto it and sending it to her every now and then. Polyester57 I used to do that with daughter, she loved it! Who doesn't like a surprise package!

I don't think it's interfering, its loving support! Isn't that part of our job description? We see things others don't and sometimes are just far enough removed to be great confidants. Good luck.

Aepgirl Wed 09-Jan-19 11:58:39

You must keep regular contact with her. Tell her to come to stay with you if things get on top of her, but you must be there for her.

Shazmo24 Wed 09-Jan-19 12:07:17

Keep in touch with your Grandaughter and tell her how worried you are about her. You don't need to go via your daughter to do this. It will show that you care and love her

Luckygirl Wed 09-Jan-19 12:09:20

I think the fate of a £10 note is the least of your worries just now!

Chino Wed 09-Jan-19 12:21:08

I feel that today's world is very difficult for a lot of young girls. I have one 18 year old granddaughter who seems very grounded but have a 16 year old who often seems unhappy with life. I always try to show her how much I love her and she knows I am always happy to help.

How glad I am that I was born in a different age 😀

Juicylucy Wed 09-Jan-19 13:02:06

If it was me in your situation i would most definitely keep in direct touch with your granddaughter, as you will have a different relationship with her than her mother does. Also she did comment no one listens to her so I’d pick up on that and be the one that does listen to her, i wouldn’t make a big deal of it by running it by her mother first either I’d just make contact.