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What comes first our health or Grandchildren's emotional welfare

(31 Posts)
Barneysmommy Sat 02-Nov-19 13:42:14

I am very sorry this is going to be long winded but there is no way i can ask this in just a couple of paragraphs. Please bear with me I really need advice.

I have 3 grandchildren who all live with my son's ex wife. They live 110 miles away. the Ex has done everything she can to prevent us having contact with the children. The two oldest lived with me for two years (2011-2013) until social services thought it would be OK for them to live with Mom. We would have the children stay with us for the weekend every 4 weeks. As soon as the children moved they told the social worker my husband had sexually abused them so contact was stopped.
We took it back to court. there was a finding of fact and the judge ruled that the abuse had never happened and said the mother was quite clearly lying and had influenced the children to make these allegations. the judge also said contact was to resume immediately. Since then she has done everything to prevent us seeing the children. So sadly we had to go back to court. The children's mother got a warning that unless contact resumed the courts would reconsider sending the children back to us full time. Contact resumed but the youngest did not want to come the first two times but on the third contact he was very keen to join us for the weekend. they had a great time. A couple of days after the third contact the social Worker contacted me and said contact had been cancelled because the youngest had made allegations of sexual abuse. So back to court another finding of fact hearing. Another judgement saying the abuse never happened and clearly the youngest and the mother were lying. the judge decided they wanted a psychologist assessment and report on both parents all three children and us. the report came back saying that children's mother was deceptive and although she said she wanted the children to have contact with us he did not believe this was the case. He felt that mother would do anything to try and prevent contact. He felt the children had no secure attachment to their mother. Unless her behaviour was modified the children would continue to suffer emotional harm, whether we continued to be in their lives or not. The two oldest children spoke affectionately about me and my husband and there is clearly a strong bond there. the youngest child was not keen to spend time with us. This did not surprise us because most of his young life his mom has done everything she can to prevent contact. He felt that my husband and I were highly committed to all of the children and he found us to be straightforward and honest we had a very favourable report. He felt our son was honest but angry with children's mother. He recommended specialised family therapy and further assessments in the hope that the mother would put the emotional welfare of the children first. The courts have invited the Local authority numerous times to instigate care proceedings so that they would hold parental responsibility for the children. They have declined this over and over again. to quote the judge she said she was Flabbergasted they had not instigated care proceedings. The local authority do not want to pay for the psychologists suggested work and have said they will put mother on a nurturing course instead. I spoke to the psychologist about this and he does not think this is sufficent to modify her behaviour. We are still going through court to establish which way things are going to go. the judge did ask us whether we would consider applying for residence of the children. However, the strain of going to and from court and the thousands it has cost us put my husband under a tremendous amount of stress and last june he suffered a major heart attack. His heart is failing. his condition is just about manageable and we have recently had to move in to supported accommodation - so there is no way we could have the children with us. The next hearing is in December

They are now 9, 10 and 11 years old. the youngest has never lived with us or his dad and he does not have to attend contact with us. The two older girls have stayed with us during the half term. We got them costumes and did their make up and took them to a halloween disco. We didnt get an outfit for the youngest because he wasnt with us. Normally we spend the same on all of them. Mother has informed us that because we did not get a costume for the youngest she is stopping contact AGAIN. So we have to wait until December when we go back to court. My doctor is pleading with me to withdraw from the case because my blood pressure is off the scale 230/120 when the mother creates problems or when we are going to court. The blood pressure medication is not able to control what the doctor calls hypertension crisis. He is concerned that if this continues I am a prime candidate for heart attack or stroke. Of course the continuing stress is not helping my husband either.

So i know it has been long winded but here is my question. do we give up on seeing our grandchildren and reconnect with the when they are older. the psychologist says walking away will have a severe detrimental affect on the two older girls emotionally. He believes that unless the proper work is done with the mother there is no good choice. Its our health or the children's emotional welfare. What do we do.

Thank you for bearing with me and any advice is much appreciated

Gonegirl Sat 02-Nov-19 13:46:41

I would think only you can decide that.

lemongrove Sat 02-Nov-19 13:55:12

An awful situation.You really do have to out your health first though and explain this to your grandchildren( the girls) tell them that you love them and you will see them whenever you are allowed to.It will do nobody any good, if you are ill, hospitalised or die.Good luck.

LondonGranny Sat 02-Nov-19 13:58:54

This is a great organisation. I suggest you contact them.

LondonGranny Sat 02-Nov-19 14:00:42

I know they are primarily for grandparents looking after grandchildren full-time but a friend in a similar-ish situation to yours said they were a fantastic source of support.

Greenfinch Sat 02-Nov-19 14:02:16

I was going to say the same as lemongrove.The girls are old enough to understand your health problems and may well be very supportive.At least they will know why they cannot live with you.

Maggiemaybe Sat 02-Nov-19 14:03:18

Oh God, Barneysmommy, what a dreadful situation you're in. I've no experience or expertise in this area (thank goodness), but didn't want to read and run without sympathising and wishing you all the best, whatever you decide. I'm sure you'll get good advice and support on here. flowers

grapefruitpip Sat 02-Nov-19 14:04:57

Can I politely ask if you are in the UK?

My advice would be to see a proper, registered counsellor. It is an investment.
You and your husband can not continue in this fashion without something serious happening.

Namsnanny Sat 02-Nov-19 14:06:44

I don’t think it’s as straightforward a decision as you think.
It’s not an either or because your son as their father should be shouldering the burden of his children’s future.
Then you and your husband become his supporters and not the children’s main caretaker.
Also without your health you won’t be able to help anyone!
Good luckshamrock flowers

boodymum67 Sat 02-Nov-19 14:09:30

Hello love. Oh dear, what a very, very sad story.

I can understand your worries as our 2 daughters have divorced their husbands and our 4 grandchildren have been hurt in the crossfire.

We have never been stopped from seeing them, but it does cause difficulties when they are not able to come to see us at certain family get togethers, because they are with their dads.

Both you and your husband`s health has suffered greatly and will no doubt suffer further, with more court dates etc.

It is so sad, particularly as the girls obviously love being with you so much, and I fear you may not see them grow up.

Your ex dil has so much to answer for...but she holds the strings... IMO in an undeserved way!

The there is the cost of all these courts sessions to consider.

What`s the answer? I don't know, I really don't. But I do want to send you love and hugs. You must be beside yourselves.xxxxxxx

Barneysmommy Sat 02-Nov-19 14:09:31

Hi Everyone

I am in the UK.

I am in tears totally amazed and grateful so many of you took the time to read about my situation. It really has helped me to share

SparklyGrandma Sat 02-Nov-19 14:12:48

Maybe say to the oldest two girls that if they are ever stopped for a time from seeing you, to remember you both love them dearly and will be thinking of them all the time and wishing them well.

See if has gone in, then change the subject and get on with something practical maybe.

Good luck Barneysmummy, I can only imagine what you are all going through.

Couldn’t your son apply for residency for them to live with him as their parent, perhaps bearish to you? Just a thought.

SparklyGrandma Sat 02-Nov-19 14:14:53

Nearish, doh.

grapefruitpip Sat 02-Nov-19 14:15:09

Please please get help and support for yourselves.

welbeck Sat 02-Nov-19 14:45:28

is there a reason why your son does not seem to be involved in his children's care, residency etc.
also the children are of an age to express their wishes, could they do so to a judge and/or social worker, so that even if their mother is difficult, their wishes are officially on record. could they at least keep in touch with you by phone, email etc, until they are old enough to visit where they want.
guess the distance makes it difficult as well.
sorry don't know about the procedures.
but you must put your health first, otherwise they might suffer more by losing you at a tender age, or you become disabled, unable to do anything with/ for them.
sorry for your tears. wish you n yours all the best.

Barneysmommy Sat 02-Nov-19 14:51:08

Thank you Everyone

update.on the son

My son won't be able to get them. He lost his temper in court because he was annoyed with the whole situation. He was gobsmacked that we had this psychological report saying mother was emotionally harming the children and the local authority simply ignored it and do not want to do the recommended work with him. So he only gets supervised contact.

Smileless2012 Sat 02-Nov-19 15:05:02

This is a terrible situation for you, your DH and GC; I'm so sorry.

Might it not be worth getting a solicitor to look at your son's case again? It makes no sense that he gets only supervised contact when the mother, who clearly has issues, has custody.

You both need to look after your health and well being, as without both, you wont be able to be there for your GC. Easier said than done thoughflowers.

AllotmentLil Sat 02-Nov-19 21:35:59

I’m so sorry Barneysmommy, I can’t give you any advice except to try to keep up contact with the girls by email etc while looking after your own and your husband’s health. flowers

GagaJo Sun 03-Nov-19 02:20:47

Barneysmommy, as long as you let your grandchildren know how much you love them, it will stay with them, whether you are able to continue fighting for them or not.

I had a wonderful relationship with my paternal grandmother until I was 11, when she died. I'm 54 now.

As you say, if you maintain your health, you can reestablish your relationship with them when they're older and able to independently contact you (THAT won't be long. Children mature quickly these days). They will understand why you've had to step back.

Nannan2 Wed 06-Nov-19 14:09:05

Yes of course your health must come first,but you can explain to the girls as theyre older now,and tell them you'l keep up contact other ways,phone,skype,letters etc.also try keep up this with the youngest,its not his fault he's been 'hoodwinked' by his mum.keep trying and keep in touch.send presents/cards for them with your son when he goes to his contact visits.and keep up all your health care sure you'l be better for a short break from it all and when you feel better you can try again for at least contact visits,its all better than nothing.

FlexibleFriend Wed 06-Nov-19 14:52:05

Your health has to come first. That said your son needs a family law solicitor and probably needs to undertake a few courses such as anger management and the damage it causes in relationships. Then get the courts to look again at their ruling, they've stated the kids have no secure attachment to their mother and she's shown herself to be manipulative and deceitful, so she should be the one the courts place restrictions on. If your son shows willing in controlling his understandable anger by paying for his own courses and gets himself some counselling they should be willing to look at him more favourably especially if he has your support too. I think courts ask too much of grandparents quite frankly and it's really not fair.

Dee1012 Wed 06-Nov-19 15:09:51

I think that given you have the support of the Judge and psychologist, is it possible to try and put pressure on the Local Authority perhaps you could get further advice on this? Although I appreciate this is further stress on you.

I've personally heard of two cases recently, social services have basically pushed support and/or action towards grandparent rather than act doubt the funding and resource argument.

Kathy1959 Wed 06-Nov-19 16:43:23

How awful and distressing. I can only say that if you don’t put your health first, you’ll most likely end up not seeing them anyway. It’s the old put your own mask on first, before helping others on the plane! I do think , due to your health, you need to stand back and let the parents sort it out. You’re no good to your grandchildren if you’re both so unwell or worse. When they’re older, they’ll understand and appreciate all you tried to do. All the best.

Barneysmommy Wed 04-Dec-19 15:54:44

So for all those helpful gransnet buddies. I am in court tomorrow to withdraw my Application for contact. then Tomorrow afternoon I have to tell the girls they won't be seeing us until they are able to contact us. I have taken on board the things i need to tell them but today my heart is breaking

Madgran77 Wed 04-Dec-19 16:03:23

Barneysmommy o for all those helpful gransnet buddies. I am in court tomorrow to withdraw my Application for contact. then Tomorrow afternoon I have to tell the girls they won't be seeing us until they are able to contact us. I have taken on board the things i need to tell them but today my heart is breaking

I am so so sorry this has happened to you. I believe your girls are old enough to remember you and your care and that they will contact you when they can. flowers