Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

How do I continue living knowing contact with my family is over?

(54 Posts)
Misty22 Wed 25-Mar-20 23:47:22

Hello everyone,
I hardly know where to start. To cut a very long story short, I have suffered for a number of years from very unkind cruel treatment from my DD and SIL. There are two grandchildren involved whom I never get to see. Maintaining contact with them is rendered difficult as I can only write to them. Email addresses or mobile numbers are not made available to me. Their mother does not want the grandmother/grandchildren bond to develop as she wants to punish me. When I write to the children they are not encouraged to reply so they don't. They are 10 and 12 yrs old. I feel that I must try all I can to keep the contact with them going as they are not in any way responsible for any of this mess and I wouldn't want them to think that I do not love them or later on in life wonder if grandma gave up on them. But I am now becoming more and more affected by the situation which is taking a toll on my health as the worry, pain and despair saps my energy, gives me sleepless nights and in short ruins my life. I must do something. The relationship mother-daughter is well and truly over. She said so and is behaving accordingly. I am already dead in her heart and what I will leave behind financially is being looked forward to. I have even been told that I can't leave my choice of sums to charity and that she will do what she wants with my money when I am dead, therefore expecting to inherit in full.
I am only in my mid-sixties but feel my life is over already even though it should really be a time for enjoyment after a lifetime of work. I spend Christmas, birthdays, mothers days alone. Two bereavements, illness and now the coronavirus situation do not suggest to DD and SIL that they should perhaps pick up the phone which hasn't rung for well over 10 years. Phoning them is no use as they do not answer. If I text them I get a very short 3 word polite, cold reply, otherwise nothing. I have suffered years of abuse and cruelty from two very selfish individuals I am ashamed to call family. If they read this they will recognise themselves.
I know some of you will say that I am better off without such a family but facing life without my DD and GDD doesn't bear thinking about. I now have not seen any of them for over 8 months, was barred from the children's birthdays and school functions without being given a reason. Simply sent a text asking me not to attend and to respect their decision. I live alone and have had no-one in my life for over 10 years. I am not British and only have 2 remaining relatives both living abroad, elderly and sick. I left my home country many years ago when I was in my late teens and would not consider life anywhere else but here now. Life has been hard. I studied for a Degree whilst bringing up my DD alone after what I believed was a friendly divorce then we settled in another part of the country for my first professional position. DD settled down, made new friends, saw her father regularly. I opened our home to him and he stayed with us for each one of his many regular visits. I encouraged and fostered her relationship with her father. Little did I know that he was intending to take her love away from me and was actively brainwashing her even during his visits while she was growing up with me. She totally believed everything she was told and still does and that was the beginning of the end for life as we knew it. She readily admits her father is extremely vindictive but is behaving in the same way herself.
I feel my health is deteriorating and depression is setting in. Can anyone help me please find a way forward? Thank you.

BlueBelle Wed 25-Mar-20 23:58:10

What a very sad story misty I really don’t know where to start to help in any way but I didn’t want you to not get acknowledgment so late at night before you try to go to sleep
I can only inagine how painful this is for you do you have any idea where it all comes from or what started this loss of your relationship have you ever tried counselling to help you unravel all the feelings and emotions that go with this rejection if you really have no idea where it comes from it’s so hard to put right
It’s very very sad that you have no contact with your grandchildren especially as it sounds as if you are in this world all alone I really don’t know what else to suggest and I hope somebody else has some better ideas then I have
A big cuddle coming your way

Misty22 Thu 26-Mar-20 00:03:50

Thank you very much Bluebelle. Yes I know where it is all coming from. Jealousy and hidden resentment are the root cause of it all. Now that is has happened I need to find some kind of escape from it all. Thank you for your message. It means a lot.

BlueBelle Thu 26-Mar-20 00:05:43

I wish I could offer more misty I hope you can at least get some comfort and support on here in your time of need

BlueBelle Thu 26-Mar-20 00:08:11

Just a thought can you make your will in favour of the two grandchildren and miss the generation who have walked away from you out of the equation

Misty22 Thu 26-Mar-20 00:09:37

Being able to share this with others who will understand is a great help already. Thank you so much again for responding so quickly.

Misty22 Thu 26-Mar-20 00:14:16

Regarding my will, I have already been advised to do what you suggest but I balk at the idea. It goes against the grain and I don't know if I can do it and live with it. It isn't as it should be to my mind and I guess two wrongs don't make a right. However it might come to that, in time. I haven't had any counselling but have considered it many times. Maybe I should try that option, when the coronavirus situation has resolved itself maybe but thank you so much for your help and support.

Carenza123 Thu 26-Mar-20 00:26:32

I am so sorry to hear of your heartache Misty. I believe you have tried hard to maintain a relationship with your family. It is dragging you down mentally and physically. Would you consider counselling? This could help. Don’t let the situation ruin what life you have left. Because of your ex husband - damage has been done and it seems that your daughter is adamant about cutting ties. Try to concentrate on yourself, try to find interests and regain some joy in your life. You may find solace in your religious beliefs, supporting and befriending others to help ease your pain. I wish you well and that you find courage to go forward.

crazyH Thu 26-Mar-20 00:31:05

How sad Misty - my heart aches for you . There are many of us who have been through similar and one way or the other, have come out the other side and there are others who are going through it right now. It's past midnight and I envisage you being unable to sleep and therefore searched and found this site.
I have 3 children, and have rather a difficult relationship with one in particular. A couple of years I was cut off from one my older son and his family. His wife, for some reason did not like me, which resulted in my son saying the nastiest of things to me. The honest truth is Misty, I have chosen to block certain things from my mind and I have actually forgotten how it started.
Anyway, I persisted in attempts to see the little girl who was only. 18 months or so at the time. Finally they did allow me to see the baby and play with her for an hour.
Things have improved somewhat. I see them once every few weeks even though I live just 2 miles away. Her parents see them 2or 3 times a week.
So be patient - keep asking them to visit - and one day things will change. Good luck Misty - and good night.
P.S. I am also from a different country but have spent more of my life here.

fatgran57 Thu 26-Mar-20 00:39:54

This is very sad Misty22.

I don't know how to advise you but just wanted to tell you others are reading this and there will be kind people with good advice helping you soon I am sure.

Kindest regards to you.

Sussexborn Thu 26-Mar-20 00:46:28

So sorry you are having such a struggle Misty. This virus must seem like the last straw.

I had a friend who was treated in a similar way and her granddaughter turned up on her doorstep on her 16th birthday.

Hopefully you’ll be able to organise some counselling either through your GP or privately and it will help to clear your mind a little.

quizqueen Thu 26-Mar-20 01:00:01

No way would I let this despicable pair profit from an heritance and I would leave a letter in my will saying I didn't want it contested under any circumstances and that your daughter should receive nothing, or better still one pound- a better insult. Leave it all to the grandchildren to be inherited when they are at least 25, when they may have broken free from their parents' influence and see things for what they are, or to a charity of your choice....and don't feel bad about it.

Purplepixie Thu 26-Mar-20 01:05:36

Misty I feel so sorry for you and I am sending you love and hugs. You have been given some very good advice here and there is nothing that I can add. I certainly would make the will out to the grand children. Go along to see your GP and ask to be referred for counselling. You cannot let this ruin the rest of your life as we are only here once. This virus isn’t helping either but we will all get through this. Keep writing the letters to your grand children and if they get them, then they will remember that in the future when they are old enough to make up their own minds. It’s hard to do but just concentrate on yourself and stay safe and well. Love xx

Purplepixie Thu 26-Mar-20 01:07:57

Quizqueen that is such great advice. I think the idea of just giving them £1 is fantastic, what a smack in the mush. They have behaved despicably and don’t deserve the s* off your shoes!

Hithere Thu 26-Mar-20 01:09:13

Sadly, no relationship with the parent means also 0 relationship with the minor children.
Once they are 18, they can choose what to do by themselves.

Namsnanny Thu 26-Mar-20 01:47:03

Misty22 … Many people on here will understand your feelings, and will have good advice and support.

I'm so sorry you are carrying this problem, its a heavy weight.

Don't forget your money is yours.

Have you thought of using it to find some way of moving into a happier life?

flowers

Fiachna50 Thu 26-Mar-20 02:18:51

Im going to be blunt here. I know you are hurting and hurting bad. Do not waste another minute of your life over them. You have your own life to live and you are only treated the way you LET people treat you. No one can dictate to you who or what you wish to leave your money too. If you want to leave your money to your grandchildren, then take a solicitor's advice and do that. Start living your life for you, not them. They don't sound nice people and I would not waste another minute bothering my a**. Continue your contact with your grandchildren and let the others get on with it.

Mbuya Thu 26-Mar-20 02:46:59

A very sad state of affairs and I feel for you. Lots of good advice has been given above. You say you have two sick and elderly relatives abroad. Keep that channel open, so that you at least can focus on building other relationships, with people who can appreciate you. You definitely need something to take your mind off this painful experience.

annep1 Thu 26-Mar-20 03:27:32

Misty22 So sorry you have this distressung situation.
Like crazyH I too was in this situation for many years and didn't get to see my GC.
I gave up trying and got on with my own life. It is possible to get to the point where it doesn't matter so much. Many of us have done so. Counselling would be good. I found it extremely helpful. You need to concentrate on your own life now. You can be happy without them.
You can still keep contact and hope for the future although to be honest although we are talking now it will never repair the damage done by my DiL and she has only herself to blame.
Please don't stop living because of this.
Also I think I would change my will very quickly. The way your daughter talks about your money is disgusting. Please see a solicitor for advice.

Londonwifi Thu 26-Mar-20 03:57:12

I feel for you Misty22. However you have been treated badly by your daughter and I would say, spend all of your money on good things for yourself once society has recovered from COVID-19. Car, holiday whatever. Go and enjoy life. If your money is tied up in your house take out a later life mortgage on which you don’t make payments. The mortgage is repaid from your house after you pass on. Your daughter has said such a wicked thing to you and assuming all the time that she has a right to inheritance! Make sure you spend every last penny and enjoy doing so before it’s too late. Conversely, it’s not too late to meet someone new and get married. That would alter things re inheritance. Good luck.

Txquiltz Thu 26-Mar-20 04:30:16

Not only is this cruel for you, but also the GC. I don't know how the U.K. deals with situations, but in the States you can sue for grandparent rights. You might look into that.

PetitFromage Thu 26-Mar-20 06:04:22

Sending big hugs and lots of sympathy Misty. Our adult children can be so cruel can't they? Sadly, it seems as though your daughter is modelling her father's behaviour.

In my case, I believe SIL was instrumental in turning my daughter against her family. We are sort of reconciled now - or at least she thinks we are - but she ghosted us for six months, moved without telling us her new address, got married without telling us for 18 months and, worst of all, didn't tell us about the birth of DGD1 until she was 14 months old.

Now, her father, my beloved DH of 33 years, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The 'reconciliation' had happened previously, and DD does seem very concerned about DH, but I wonder if she feels any remorse at all. DD is wholly selfish, I am afraid, although SIL has made her more so. She is still not speaking to her sisters - I think she would like to, but they don't want to know - and has dropped all of her friends. Part of me thinks that she is in a controlling relationship, but she has been complicit in what I can only describe as the abuse of her family.

Anyway, I am not writing this to make it about me, just to say that I think you need to try to come to terms with the fact that this is not a very nice couple. Don't expect a fairytale ending - even though my DD is in touch virtually daily, the hurt and anger still go very deep, especially as I feel most anger on my DH's behalf, although he has already forgiven and moved on. His diagnosis puts things in perspective, as does this virus nightmare.

My advice is to try to be realistic and recognise that, sadly, by chasing DD and SIL, you are playing into their hands and giving them power. I don't know how old they are, but they may improve with maturity and your grandchildren are likely to want to develop a relationship with you when they are older, I have no doubt of that. This has recently happened to a friend of mine - no contact with his DD for years, but DGD is insistent on forming a relationship. My friend has also suffered from an aggressive cancer, which his DD knew about, but didn't visit him. How do you move beyond that?

You deserve better, you just need to lower your expectations of DD - at least that is my experience, if you don't expect much, you won't be disappointed. As others have said, concentrate on yourself, when things are back to normal, go on some lovely holidays etc, make new friends. Don't be dependent for your happiness on people who don't care. Build a happy fulfilling life and you will be a lively, buoyant, fun, resilient person when your DGC come to find you.

With regard to inheritance, I have three DC, so am leaving each one a one third share, to be divided with any of their children, so at least SIL and DD will only have just over 10%. But, in your shoes, I would try to spend as much as possible on myself anyway. They don't deserve it and, if there are any more remarks about inheritance, I would just tell them that you will leave them a token legacy but the rest is going to the local dogs/cats home, favourite charity, gnome in the garden etc.

BlueBelle Thu 26-Mar-20 06:17:24

I m so glad you ve had some good advise misty and support on here I totally understand what you are saying about it feeling all wrong not to leave your will to your child (I m taking it she’s your only child) it just feels like two wrongs don’t make a right doesn’t it and really goes against the grain and I ve never given this advice before but I don’t really think they have earned any rights by their dreadful behaviour towards you so in this case I think it is fairer to give it to their children and I also think you should write a letter to each grandchild explaining how much you love and miss them AND how much you’re ve always loved your daughter z(that’s important) telling them it has been totally against your control to see them You do not need to write a blame emotional letter but a factual one for them to be given at 21 and lodge those letters with your solicitor immediately
Now there will be huge waiting lists for counselling so if you can afford it please do consider spending some money on that it will help so much to talk to someone without the emotional baggage to get things clarified in your mind without the huge brain whirl of feelings going round and round
It also helps to write things down as you need to separate the actual from the emotional

Sending out a big virtual hug to you in this very sad situation

Susan56 Thu 26-Mar-20 06:58:48

I am so sorry for the situation you are in.
I agree with others.I do not think your DD should inherit.I think BlueBelle is right,let the grandchildren inherit and write letters to each person involved saying why you have made this decision.Make sure the letters are with your will and with a solicitor.
Sending you love and strength💐

Sunlover Thu 26-Mar-20 07:50:38

Spend the money on yourself and write a will leaving the rest to the grandkids.