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Estrangement

How do I forget they exist?

(205 Posts)
JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 11:31:22

I have spent another weekend in a dark place missing my grandson & wishing I could be part of his life again.

My daughter, who I brought up pretty much on my own, has been quite ungrateful, rude & disrespectful since her teenage years.

She was my everything growing up & being a young mum I made mistakes but I know it my heart I loved, nurtured & treated her extremely well. I believe I spoilt her to a certain extent, not just with material things but with attention. My life revolved around her completely.

Over the years & the older she got she became more rude & disrespectful but would always call me if she ever needed anything or was in trouble.

She had my grandson at 18 so I became a young grandmother. Although I was extremely disappointed I embraced him & loved him wholeheartedly for the last 4 years.

She has completely stopped me from seeing him on a few occasions, mainly when she doesn’t get what she wants or following another unreasonable & unnecessarily argument.

I have tried attending counselling sessions with her as she was telling people she had suffered trauma as a child & felt neglected. It was all lies & she could only say that I worked full time, meaning she was at childminders & that she was lonely as an only child which I could’ve prevented if I found a partner & had more children.

I am in a loving relationship now but my partner no longer wants to see me hurt so I can not share my feelings with him. He believes I should distance myself from my daughter, which I have but I was having my grandson at least once a month for a few days.

The last time was Easter. I took a few days off work to have my grandson. We had a wonderful time, he is such a lovely boy. The first day I had to take him shopping as the clothes he is always sent with are dirty, too small or old. I believe my daughter does this on purpose to inconvenience me & because I usually end up buying him new clothes but this time & the last time he came I decided to keep the clothes for the next time he comes. He now has a nice collection for all weathers & swimming trunks too. I’ve always had over night things for him so she never had to pack these things.

I knew my grandson loved Lego so I dedicated one of the days to Lego! We purchased some new Lego City boxes. Admittedly I spoilt him slightly & we went home & spent the whole day playing Lego. I said “you love Lego don’t you?” & he replied “I love playing it more with you”. It was a wonderful day.

A couple days later I took him to my parents house. I planned to spend Easter Sunday with them. I had also purchased a spare box of Lego to take to my parents for when we go there as he always played with left over Lego from my nephew but couldn’t make anything properly.

Whilst on the way to my parents my daughter called to say she was there. As I walked through the door I was slightly taken back by her over enthusiasm. I also find it hard to know whether my daughter is being genuinely nice. However it didn’t take long for communication to become difficult.

All of a sudden my daughter said my grandson told her he couldn’t take the Lego home. I told her I’d bought it for this house. She went on telling me that he’s her son & she gets to choose where his toys are. This went on for sometime, she was saying I was wrong for buying Lego for my house & my parents house but not his own house. I explained that this was so he had toys when he goes to these places.

My mum stepped in & told her she should buy their own Lego. She became more disrespectful towards me. Saying it’s the principle I should’ve bought it when I was getting the others. She said this is why she has no respect for me & said I just won’t be able to see him.

She then proceeded to purchase boxes & boxes of Lego online with him, at the dinner table in front of me. This made my grandson start to talk to me like I was intensionally keeping his Lego & now he will have more than me. When I told him to eat his dinner he said “no”. A behaviour he hadn’t demonstrated over the five days or ever before.

I got ready to leave soon after. Whilst I hugged him, he held me tight, I know he had a wonderful time but unfortunately it had come to an abrupt end.

I thought I needed time away from my daughter so I decided to not contact him as I usually did every week. It used to be every few days but had become less. I have become upset every now & again. Especially when something good is happening in my life or I’m missing him. I think about him & the situation practically everyday. I feel different, like I’m wounded & a piece of my heart is missing. When it’s too much I breakdown like someone has died.

Everyone advises me to leave them & have distance. I also saw a medium who advised me to wait a few months before contacting or trying to see my grandson. It’s been hard but a couple of weekends ago I asked my partner to send a message asking to have him. My daughter said as she doesn’t know him enough I need to ask myself, even though we’ve been together for three years & she’s even borrowed money off him. I then asked my mum to send the message, my daughter said I need to ask myself. I couple of days later she mentioned I could ask her partner, my grandson’s dad, too.

By then it was too late as I had made plans. I had again been told by everyone that I should leave them as I was starting a new job which was a promotion & massive opportunity for me.

After a wonderful first week I went to my uncles 70th birthday party, I went home & cried as I had felt the loss of a daughter & grandson. The following morning, yesterday, I woke with tears in my eyes again. I rang my mother & mentioned that I will contact my grandsons dad. I spent the whole day upset so needed to calm myself down & perk myself up before calling. My partner is away so I don’t have him here to express his annoyance of the situation which usually makes me stop showing my hurt & distract myself.

Yesterday my mum sent a message to my daughter telling her to make arrangements with me to see my grandson which she didn’t receive well as she reiterated that I could contact the dad. I wasn’t sure why she had done that but know she was trying to help.

My sister, who is fed up with the continuous battle rang but took sometime to suggest that she could try to facilitate me seeing my grandson. I was grateful & thanked her but advised that I showed try the his dad first. I also mentioned that it upset me when she’d say “this situation with you two” or “you both...” I tried to explain that this is not a ‘you two’ situation. My daughter is the unreasonable one & I was only trying to be a loving Grandmother. She took this personally & became annoyed. I did not need this on top of how I was already feeling.

My daughter has changed her WhatsApp photo to a quote about toxic mothers being as bad as absent fathers. The has added salt to the wound.

I called the dad with no response I sent him a message asking to see my grandson at the end of the month.

I instantly regretted it as everyone told me to leave it. I feel I’m in a trap of control with my daughter. I’m tired of the back & forth & arguments. She knows I’m a wonderful grandmother, she used to tell me & occasionally thank me. That’s why I’d have to hide my annoyance when she’d make out like she’s so surprised that I had done the special thing I’d done for him.

I’m now waiting for a response but this is just this time. If they say yes I may have to see her, which I’d rather not & I’ll have the same problem the next time I try to see him. If they say no or do not respond then I’m here no better off as I doubt they’ll suggest an alternative day.

I have these breakdowns when I’m happiest because I’m missing them. The last time was my leaving do after 10 years, having everyone tell me how well I’d done all day, I wished my daughter was there to tell me she was proud of me.

Like now, I was naturally asked if I have children at this new job & pretended to my new colleagues that I had a wonderful relationship with my daughter & grandson.

Also being at my uncles leaving do, amongst family, feeling ashamed that I don’t have a wonderful relationship like all my cousins do with their children.

Once again I’m leaving it & will wait until this evening for a response but I think I just need to accept that I need to walk away for good. I don’t want the situation to make me ill. My daughter is pregnant now so I’m sure this situation will only get worse. I also feel I do not want to get too close to the new baby so the pain is not so bad when I am in this situation with them.

I just need the strength, I miss my grandson & miss being involved in his life. I feel so mistreated & upset that I don’t have a daughter I can have a normal relationship with. The whole thing is just unfair & I know I don’t deserve it.

I found this group & reading some of your experiences have made me feel less alone which is why I’m sharing this with you.

Thank you.

Luckygirl Sun 09-Jun-19 12:12:15

Phew! - that was a long one, and I am not entirely sure that I have grasped he situation properly.

However, I can see that people close to you are telling you to back off; and that sounds like good advice.

I have never contacted a DD and asked to have the GC for my own satisfaction. They contact me and ask if I can help with child care; or I get wind that they need a sitter and offer my services. But they know I am doing it basically for THEM and not for me. Of course I love having them, but the prime purpose is to help them out. They never come solely for my benefit; or because I have demanded this.

Just a thought.

Smileless2012 Sun 09-Jun-19 13:10:51

A very difficult and upsetting situation for you JEMz and sadly, yet another example of an adult child making a mountain out of a mole hill, almost as if they were looking for an excuse to reduce contact.

It's perfectly acceptable and reasonable when going to the expense of buying toys to keep your GC entertained at your's and your parents house, that they stay there in readiness for his next visit.

I do agree that it would be best if you were to back off, but before doing so perhaps you could contact your D yourself, and ask her to let you know when you'll be seeing your GS again, then leave it at that.

Luckygirl there is nothing in the OP to suggest that she wants to see her GC for her "own satisfaction", or she demands to see him, so I'm surprised at your post, but as you say, you're not entirely sure you "grasped the situation properly".

That said, why is it wrong for a loving GM to want to see her GC when the time spent together is mutually beneficial to her and her GC? I'm sure there are many GP's who apart from being able to have their GC when they are needed, like to spend time with their GC for the sheer joy of doing so.

MiniMoon Sun 09-Jun-19 13:14:03

As to the Lego situation. My grandchildren have Lego and a glow in the dark track with little cars at my house. They know that they cannot take them home. They are to play with when they come here. We had special toys at my own Granny's house when my sisters and I were children.
I really don't know what to say about the situation that has arisen in the relationship with your daughter. I'm afraid you'll just have to wait, be patient, and hope that she sees what she is doing in alienating you.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 13:21:29

Thank you but I’m confused by your response. The main point is I love my grandson & miss him dearly.

I’m am trying hard to ‘back off’ but am finding it very painful. I have literally spent this whole weekend depressed.

I am confused as to why my daughter treats me this way. I’m also ashamed & sad that I have to pretend that my life is better than it is after all those years of effort & dedication.

I do not feel I am trying to see my grandson for my ‘own satisfaction’. I love him & enjoy spending time with him.

I haven’t had any contact with them since Easter Sunday. They do not contact me anymore. My daughter has support from friends & her partners family so therefore she does not need me for babysitting.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 13:31:37

Thank you Smileless2012. My response above was for Luckygirl.

I’m new to this, I have never shared this openly, especially online but am so broken right now.

I’m sure everyone around me is sick of this situation & so am I I just feel fed up. So I was sad that I received such a response suggesting I was only seeing him for my own satisfaction.

Your words have brought comfort. I have received a response from the dad saying it’s ok with him but he needs to check that he doesn’t have any plans, which I assume meets he needs to check with my daughter. So the wait continues.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 13:36:16

Thank you MiniMoon my daughter even had toys at my parents house. Hopefully she will see sense one day.

Elvive Sun 09-Jun-19 13:45:06

I have sent you a PM.

glammanana Sun 09-Jun-19 13:53:09

I can uderstand you missing your DGS and feel for you,but have you re-read the last 10 lines of your post ? there are 18 references to I which I am sorry to say makes you come across as needy imo,the fact that you have now said your DD is pregnant puts another slant on her feeling she will be hormonal to say the least and probably can't cope with the constant pressure from the people you are getting to ring her up and make arrangements on your behalf.
Leave things alone for the time being and just let your DD know you are there when she needs you.

jenpax Sun 09-Jun-19 14:22:21

A couple of point struck me
1) your partner needs to allow you to express your upset at home, it’s not reasonable that he is putting you in a position of bottling things up, maybe it is stressful for him but he should be supporting you not trying to shut it down.
2) The toys at your and your parents house scenario I think was unfortunately badly handled by you. The better approach would have been to explain to your DD BEFORE you went to the shop what you had in mind, and asked her if she thought this would be a good idea. I say this because Lego kits are quite expensive and maybe your daughter (who you say is only in her early 20’s) can’t easily afford them. You might have unintentionally made her feel a bit inadequate; you also stated that she sent her son over in dirty small/old clothes, maybe she has been struggling and is too embarrassed to say so?
My youngest DD was a young parent too and displayed much of the same resentful teenage style tantrums that you have discussed with regard to your DD. she did grow out of it in the end and we get on much better these days.
You state that your DD is disrespectful and rude, I wonder if she is feeling insecure,especially if you also were a young parent but somehow managed to find the resources to spoil her.
it’s a pity that counselling for you both hasn’t worked,but maybe if she agrees try it again? I don’t feel somehow that the two issues you raised are really the reason for your poor relationship.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 14:34:30

Thank you for your comment glammanana I probably am coming across ‘needy’ but I have shared my honest feelings, which I am now regretting.

My daughter is a nightmare & has been before she was pregnant as mentioned throughout my post.

Not sure if you read I did not ask my mum to ask on my behalf yesterday, I actually mentioned that I was unsure why she did this as I had told her I was planning on calling the dad & only told her for reassurance or to give her the heads up really.

I asked my partner & then my mum, only because of her response to him a few weeks ago. This was out of desperation & because I am no longer able to communicate with my daughter myself.

It’s easy for people to say leave it for now but my post is actually titled how do I forget they exist? I have tried to leave it but it’s been unbearable.

I’m hoping I won’t receive a response from the dad & I can just get back to trying to forget they exist.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 14:54:38

Thank you Jenpax, I know my partner doesn’t mean too but I think it’s a dysfunctional situation he doesn’t know how to handle & doesn’t like my daughter being rude & disrespectful to me. He offers support but really does believe I should step back rather keep putting myself in a position to get hurt.

I did actually speak to my daughter before I went to the shop, I told her when I collected him. I also called her whilst we were playing & asked if he had a spare shelf to place the airplane we’d made. So actually if he did have a spare shelf he would’ve been bringing the airplane home.

My daughters partner works. I did not have support from my daughters dad but we got by. I made my daughter a priority whereas she recently bought a 2014 plate Audi & her partner bought a Mercedes.

I offer support & see when this could be improved like his bed which I was surprised had an extremely uncomfortable mattress & second hand sheets when I put him to bed one night. So I asked if they'd like me to help purchase a new one & bed set which I did. I never received a call to tell me the items had arrived or even to say thank you.

I believe my daughter was taking advantage as rather than asking she was expecting me to replace his clothes. Unfortunately the times I had replaced them I never saw them again. It took a couple of visits to see that this could be what was happening.

Sara65 Sun 09-Jun-19 15:33:41

Sounds like you’re really going through it. It must be heartbreaking not to see grandson

Re the Lego, we have a playroom full of toys acquired over six grandchildren, and things are constantly being taken home, and other things brought back, surely best for him to take it home if he loves it, and bring it back on his next visit

March Sun 09-Jun-19 15:35:17

I agree with backing off for abit.

This has been building up for years, it doesn't sound like you've got a great relationship with her and your DD has obviously had problems in her past and childhood.

I don't think there's a quick fix and sorry to say, I can see blame on both sides.

If I was in your shoes, I'd have counselling with My daughter and listen to what she has to say, really listen. I'd try and fix the relationship I have with her before anything else.

I'd leave it for a while, she's pregnant and won't need to stress at the moment.
I was heavily pregnant when my Mother in law started picking fights with my husband, it didn't do her any favours.

I know this isn't what you want to hear but I'm just giving my honest opinion. Your feelings are very much valid but so are your daughters and I can't help but imagine she is hurting also.

Elvive Sun 09-Jun-19 15:44:13

I think you have done very well today to write this down. Please be aware that you could get pretty much any kind of response on here as everybody has their own take on a situation.

Please be prepared to find and pay for a decent, registered therapist.
Take a step back, try to enjoy small things with your partner.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 15:59:35

Thank you Sara65 I had already bought him Lego for his house sometime ago & had made a deal with him that he’d get a new box, for his house, if he’s a good boy at school that week. I even let him pick it out. I explained this to my daughter that day.

Not sure if you missed my me saying things don’t come back. I buy things & never see them again.

FlexibleFriend Sun 09-Jun-19 16:02:28

No it's not unreasonable for you to buy and keep toys and clothes at your house for when he visits. Although I would generally buy an additional toy and t shirt etc for them to take home with them but they main bit would stay at mine. Your Daughter is being unreasonable but take a step back, give them time and don't keep contacting them. You don't need to pretend they don't exist leave it a couple of weeks or so and see what happens.You don't have to lie and pretend you have a wonderful relationship, blimey that's somewhat OTT to do you have children, they're not asking for your life story so don't give it. A simple yes or no will do.

Sara65 Sun 09-Jun-19 16:08:31

Sorry Jem, I must have missed that
Well I suppose Lego is the very least is your worries, I just thought he may have been less upset with you if he could have taken it home

I had my eldest Child at nineteen, and I’m sure, looking back, that I made a lot of mistakes, it was very hard

You sound like you made a really good job of it, so don’t blame yourself for the situation, like others have said, take a step back for a while, and see what happens, awful not to see the little boy, but it’s not good for him to see you all rowing anyway

FlexibleFriend Sun 09-Jun-19 16:08:34

If you think it's unbearable now just think how you'll feel if you daughter goes permanently No contact which is what you're risking by refusing to back off.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 16:13:54

Thank you March my daughter & I attended counselling before which I funded. I had to listen carefully because I was desperate to know what I’d done wrong that’s when she explained she felt neglected because I worked full time essentially saying I put my career before her which I didn’t I just worked hard & didn’t want to be a stereotypical young mum so she went to after school clubs & holiday clubs. She only went to a family childminder for s short time but this was her fabricated past that she was describing. Also that she was lonely as a single child & saw I had decent male friends I could have just just had children with rather than leaving her alone. I tried to explain that life does not work like that & some of these friends were more like family so I did not see them as people to be having children with, for her.

I appreciate your opinion but can not see how my daughters feeling are valid. If she felt anything or was upset she could’ve have approached the situation respectfully & discussed her issues rather than upsetting my parents & I on Easter Sunday.

I’m not trying to upset her whilst she pregnant I’ve just asked to see my grandson. Something most pregnant women would welcome. She doesn’t have to do anything. I come him & bring him home. She doesn’t even have to pack a bag anymore.

All she needs to do is be respectful like I taught her to be.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 16:25:46

Thank you again Elvive, I recently contacted a private counsellor I saw for a short time before. She’s fully booked at the moment but said hopefully she’ll have a free slot next month.

My grandson’s dad has advised that he can spend the weekend, not next but the following. I will spend that time with him & then leave it again.

I have a lot of good things going on I must embrace & enjoy them more.

JEMz Sun 09-Jun-19 16:45:07

Flexiblefriend I didn’t once say I was refusing to back off. In fact, as I mentioned before, my subject title is how do I forget they exist because I was contemplating backing off for good.

I also mentioned a few times today that I was hoping I don’t get a yes & can just try & leave the situation cos it’s an ongoing battle, which I am tired of.

I think contacting a couple of weeks ago since Easter & again yesterday myself, as she requested, is amble time backed off. It is permanently no contact unless I ask, not sure you got that.

Also missed, I used to buy clothes & send them with him, he only had over night things here but I never got them back so broke the problem & pattern by buying things for him to keep here, essentially preventing another discussion received with huffs & tuts!

Also I was asked the question being a new member of a team full of woman, which was shortly followed by assumptions & further questions. It’s not as if I told a whole lie I just answered happily & positively about them the complete opposite to how I truly feel. I also look young so people find it quite fascinating that I’m a grandmother & always say you & your daughter must look like sisters. I laugh but really know it’s not quite the mother daughter relationship that they picture.

pinkquartz Sun 09-Jun-19 17:31:49

I am so sorry that you are hurting.
It sounds to me as though you can't win.
For whatever reasons she has I think your daughter is enjoying hurting you.
She didn't have the perfect childhood, well boo hoo so many of us didn't have a perfect childhood.
You did what you needed to do and you did your best I am sure.

I think your DD is still stuck in her teenage rebellion phase and needs to doing more growing up to understand how hurtful she is being. Also she is not acting in the best interest of her son.
Does she even consider the harm she is doing to him by keeping him from you?

I hope things improve soon. Perhaps the new baby will help her to grow up some more.
I wish you only good things.

BlueBelle Sun 09-Jun-19 18:02:10

I m just wondering ( and I might be far off the mark if your daughter is a weeny bit jealous of the amount of time you spend with your grandson and the fun you have together if she rightly or wrongly feels she was lonely for you in childhood Jealousy can often have no real basis
That’s not a criticism of you at all we all do what we can at the time I brought three up alone and often look back and think why did I do it that way, that wasn’t the best thing to do, why didn’t I .....?
How about asking your daughter and grandson out for a meal or coffee and cake and treat her as well as him ....just a thought
Good luck xx

glammanana Sun 09-Jun-19 18:09:18

JEMz when my DGcs where small and I did the childminding I always popped into Banardo's and added some bits to their toy box so they had different toys to look forward to when they came I have continued to do this with my 2 x GGcs they like the change of toys from those they have at home and at their nanna's house.