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Estrangement

Unbearable sadness- blocked with no reason from 4 GK

(83 Posts)
Anna4 Sun 03-Nov-19 19:35:33

Hello, This is my first post in this forum. I'm an active and professional person with a career, divorced - but I am also a grandmother of 4 children from two daughters. I have not seen my grand kids for 10 months - since xmas time last year, nor have I heard from my daughters. One daughter, with 3 children, I had thought I had been close to, has cut me off with no expressed reason whatsoever. My other daughter who has one child, has had a 10 year psychiatric history of borderline personality disorder and a police record for assault on other school mates, has also blocked me from seeing my grandchild from her. I have written letters to both, apologizing for 'whatever I have done', sent flowers, cards but they don't respond in any way. I have reached out to their father to ask for his help in intervening - but he is not helpful. He almost gloats. He himself has a police record of assault, and doesn't care about the damage of estrangement I have w my daughters' blocking of seeing my grandkids. I am not an enmeshed -style mother, I respect my children, but they have sucker punched me with this unbelievable agony of not seeing them, their husbands or their kids. This is killing me. I am at a loss.

Sussexborn Sun 03-Nov-19 19:45:08

It must be incredibly hard when you don’t know why this has happened. Hopefully they will relent at some point. Probably when they need you for something.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Nov-19 09:01:45

I'm so very sorry Anna; to be treated this way by one adult child is bad enough goodness knows, but to have this happen with both must be devastating.

Having sent cards and flowers, and given a blanket apology it might be worth staying quiet for a while and see if they make contact with you.

BlueBelle Mon 04-Nov-19 09:07:38

How awful to have no clue as to what you ve done can you think of nothing? how did the last meeting end? as normal hugs and kisses and normal goodbyes?
Are the two girls close, can one have been offended and pulled the other in?
I hate mysteries
I don’t know what else you can do except keep the door open and hope they want to see you soon
Are the grandkids old enough to have text contact, without mentioning the estrangement of course ?

Maggiemaybe Mon 04-Nov-19 09:55:04

How cruel of your daughters to cut you off without a word of explanation, and not to respond to your contact. Do you think your ex could have stirred this up, as he seems to be enjoying the situation? You’ve done what you can, sending them cards and flowers. I’d do as Smileless suggests, keep quiet for now and see what happens. Fingers crossed for you. thanks

crazyH Mon 04-Nov-19 10:06:16

So cruel and so sad for you. I have a daughter who can be verbally very cruel and sometimes I do feel like limiting contact with her, but.......
I feel your Ex has something to do with it. I know when I was divorced from her Father, he tried to poison their minds, although he was the philanderer.
Be patient.....they will see the error of their ways. flowers

Alexa Mon 04-Nov-19 11:38:16

Anna4, estrangement from loved family is cruel loss. {flowers]

At least you are an active and professional person with a career. So you have not lost your identity or self esteem. Now is good time to concentrate on your own needs and protect yourself against further damage from your relations.

Obviously you want to have good idea of what exactly alienated them. The best I can suggest is to try to remember they said to you the last times you met, including what they might have said while expressing anger. Are your relations the sort of people who act impulsively or act upon reasoned reflection?

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 12:32:49

I am so sorry you are in so much pain.

You may want to go down memory lane and try to see what changed before your dd1 with 3 gc stopped talking to you. Any bad jokes, comments, minor misunderstandings?

How was your relationship with your daughters growing up? With your gcs?
How often did you see your dd1 and dd2 and gc?

Having a divorce further complicates things. Was it a happy marriage? Was it a difficult divorce? How old were your kids when the divorced happened?
How was the coparenting relationship between you and ex?

These answers will help shed light into what happened.

From your OP, it is clear you cannot trust your ex.

Apologizing for "whatever happened/ everything I did wrong" is NOT an apology. I know it came out of desperation to fix this problem but please do not say something like that again. It is called faux apology and may have made the estrangement even worse.

Your dd2 and ex have a history of physical violence. Please watch out for yourself. I hope you were not in the receiving end of those attacks in the past.

Concentrate on the positive - your career, social life, hobbies, etc.
You deserve to be happy.

Curlywhirly Mon 04-Nov-19 12:46:59

Is there any person that both you and your daughters know (family member/friend) that may be able to shed any light on the reason for the estrangement?

Granniesunite Mon 04-Nov-19 13:25:54

It’s a living bereavement. You’re early days into this but hopefully you have good support from friends, colleagues and other family. Just try to be kind to yourself and take one day at a time.

paintingthetownred Mon 04-Nov-19 13:31:37

Family estrangement is more common that some people realise.

It took me a while myself to realise this. And I searched for sources of information that might help.

Reason why I'm passing on a website to you called 'Stand Alone'...

It is an independent research and help organisation that acknowledges people can be estranged for all kinds of different reasons in all kinds of relationships. They have support groups - even if you are not able to attend one, I wanted to post this here, as I know that many people are affected by this.

In solidarity
Painting

Fiachna50 Mon 04-Nov-19 14:25:15

Im with Smileless on this. Sadly, there is not much more you can do. You have reached out to them, sadly, they have made a different choice. I would just leave it for now and get on with your life. Give this time.

westerlywind Mon 04-Nov-19 14:44:19

I wonder about your ex-husband's involvement here. Sometimes the ex can be manipulating behind the scenes.

Anna4 Mon 04-Nov-19 14:52:24

I have no doubt that my ex has done nothing to improve comms with my estranged daughters, and has very likely made things worse. My daughters, since my divorce- have been what I would call 'daddy pleasers'. I'm aware this dynamic doesn't help the problem. He is still well off (in contrast, I am an severely underpaid PhD/professor) and my daughters seem to tow his party line at all costs, unsurprisingly given that he gives them an 'unearned' income, cars, expensive equipment, etc. Despite this I had hoped that I could have appealed to his better angels to say something to them, to intervene. I was married to him for 22 years which ended after he physically assaulted me. My one D1 with BPD, also assaulted me twice and earned herself a police record. While she is now married, I don't believe her husband has any idea of her past. I do not and won't share this with my SIL as the news will probably affect their marriage. I like my SIL despite the fact that he says all comms go through my D1, so I don't even have his direct email to reach out to him. I did expel my D1 from my house after she assaulted me several times, last time being 18 years ago. I view our relationship as civil and distant. I theorize that she has reeled in my other D2 and emboldened her to reject me as well. My 4Gkids are all toddlers. I saw them all when they were born, and visited and helped D2 out when she came home from the hospital with her twins. I saw my D12 and 2SIL and all 4 Gkids last Dec 23 at my place where I cooked them all a large Christmas dinner. It was a wonderful occasion. On Dec 24, I went to D2 house where my D2 seemed very upset and stressed, and lashed out verbally at me calling me a 'pathetic mother', not a 'leader' - because I changed a diaper wrong and wasn't paying attention to one of her 3 babies. I don't think that was the reason. I was distraught, stayed for dinner and politely left. I received emails from her the next day saying that I was undeserving of being a grandmother, and that she was cutting me out of her life. I fell into a depression, filled with confusion and needed 4 weeks off work. I consulted an American psychiatrist who told me this was an "act of bullying, of abuse" and that I should cut off all comms with them, not write or reach out to them. I've not been able to do that, as I've been writing them asking them for a' healing conversation'. I've sent them old photos of me with them when they were little, and asked them for their maturity and perspective on this problem. I haven't shared this information with anyone, except for 1 friend who just sobs and breaks down when I tell her what's happened. I don't want to burden her anymore. I don't trust anyone any more to help me. It's almost come to that.

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 15:24:18

"I did expel my D1 from my house after she assaulted me several times, last time being 18 years ago. I view our relationship as civil and distant. "

I am sorry, but this is anything but civil.
Why would you want to have a relationship with a person who physically abuses you? In your own home? Don't you worry about your own safety?
What made her assault you 18 years ago? If it happened once, it can happen again.

"because I changed a diaper wrong and wasn't paying attention to one of her 3 babies."
I think the diaper incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. By itself, it means nothing but it makes sense looking at the bigger picture.

Being accused of not paying attention to 1 of the 3 babies is significant. Was it the first time it was mentioned to you? Have your word "favouritism" ever been said?

Your update seems to highlight there has been trouble in your nuclear family for a long time.
Was there also emotional abuse in your home while your kids were growing up?

"I've been writing them asking them for a' healing conversation'. I've sent them old photos of me with them when they were little, and asked them for their maturity and perspective on this problem. "

Please stop contacting your dd1, dd2 and ex.
The more you contact them, the more they will push you away.
They know where to find you if they want.
The "healing conversation" will only work if you are willing to hear what they have to say, not to make them understand where you are coming from.
Same for your dd1 and dd2, willing to listen and together being able to negotiate the new boundaries of the relationship
Emotions are too high now on both sides. This healing meeting will set you further apart from your goal.

Concentrate on healing yourself, without them.

As for sending them pictures when they were kids, it may seem a sweet gesture to you, a little snapshot of happy times.
For your dd1 and dd2, it may be interpreted as a guilt trip.
Remember:the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

Give it some time. Let it cool down. Less emotion will allow you to think more rationally and less impulsive.

Dee1012 Mon 04-Nov-19 15:33:32

I'm so sorry to read this and can only imagine your distress.

I actually agree with Hithere. You need time to process your own thoughts and emotions, to allow yourself time to find some strength!

EllanVannin Mon 04-Nov-19 15:54:11

They will need you before you'll need them !

westerlywind Mon 04-Nov-19 16:08:46

I think we are all so upset by these estrangements that we are shamed or guilt-tripped into silence. I had no idea there were so many other grandparents in the same situation as me.
My DD is always banging on about parental alienation because her DC live with another family member. She cant see that she is alienating her parent? She didn't use to be as daft as this. She is also alienating her DC.
I was also assaulted by DC and I have refused to make reports. I didnt realise that other grandparents were being assaulted too.
I was constantly being asked to pay for this or that, assurances of the money being paid back which it has not.
I have stepped back. I worry about my DGC. They don't get much of a life. They mix in areas of extreme deprivation. They don't stand a chance with their circumstances. They also don't stand a chance with the conduct going on around them. They have already started to talk to me in the same abusive terms as their parents.

HolyHannah Mon 04-Nov-19 16:32:21

Anna4 -- I agree with Hithere on the the faux apology thing. My mother always gave the, "I'm sorryyou feel that way." or "I'm sorry for whatever it is you think I did." both of these are insulting, don't recognize or acknowledge whatever happened and then, because she never actually saw what the issue(s) was, she would go on and repeat the same behavior.

It is easy to blame your ex for issues in your relations with your daughters. However, one of the ways EP's avoid looking at their own behavior is to blame a 'third party influencer'. Maybe your ex is trying to alienate your children but that doesn't mean they don't have any legitimate issues with your interactions with them going on at the same time.

"My one D1 with BPD, also assaulted me twice and earned herself a police record. While she is now married, I don't believe her husband has any idea of her past. I do not and won't share this with my SIL as the news will probably affect their marriage." This is troubling to me. You are assuming that her husband doesn't know and it sounds like you may be holding this over her head, like, "If you don't do '****' I'll tell your hubby what a bad girl you used to be."

"I like my SIL despite the fact that he says all comms go through my D1, so I don't even have his direct email to reach out to him." This is a normal and healthy boundary in marriages and you are admitting to trying to triangulate. It is, "I can't get what I want by talking directly to D1 so I'll try to back-door past her by talking to her husband."

"I received emails from her the next day saying that I was undeserving of being a grandmother, and that she was cutting me out of her life." You need to read those e-mails again. This is the classic, "I don't know why they've cut me off." You do know why. It's in those e-mails.

"I've been writing them asking them for a' healing conversation'. I've sent them old photos of me with them when they were little, and asked them for their maturity and perspective on this problem." If I were in your daughters' place I would see the photo's as a guilt trip and there is no 'healing conversation' possible while you fail to acknowledge what was in those e-mails. Also, insinuating that because they don't see things your way they are not being mature, is a further wedge in your relationship.

kaimegan Mon 04-Nov-19 16:54:43

Due to sons wife I have not bee allowed contact with grandchildren since 2012, or with son. He allows it to keep the peace or she threatens to take the children and return to Ukraine. She has made phone calls to my daughters work place pretending to be me - so daughter has stopped access to her children - so I have lost son, daughter, and 4 grand children, through one jealous, manipulative person. Many grandparents are in same position- at meeting on Sept. 4th in Parliament it is believed 1 in 7 grand children are not allowed to see grandparents. It appears it is always daughter in laws or daughters take this action. No one seems to take action for the children who have rights. What effect this has on their mental health? It is called coercive control- deemed to be the same as domestic violence with up to 5 years in prison- but no one acting on it. My hope is that we can change the law so children have the same rights as in France where it is accepted that they have contact with wider family. We have some support from MP's but Brexit is holding this up. In mean time our grand children are bullied by their narcissistic mothers and because of age and ill health time for grandparents is running out. When I die my pain will die with me but for my grand children they will live with the pain of not knowing why a loving grandmother was suddenly out of their lives. I have sent presents, money and letters to their schools and this has brought police to my door with claims of harassment. No charges so I continue. Sons wife sometimes returns items - so children are deprived of even getting gifts. I do wonder how a mother can be so cruel to their own children.

agnurse Mon 04-Nov-19 17:02:26

Kaimegan

If you've been told not to send things and you continue to do so, that's defined as harassment. That's very unlikely to get you back into their good graces - you've demonstrated that you aren't willing to respect their boundaries. Please do not wait until you are charged. Stop violating their boundaries now.

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 17:10:18

I agree with Holyhannah, especially in the email part.
Those emails are key to know what dd2 thinks, possibly dd1.
I am not asking you to publish them, just for you to re-read them when you are ready.
Did your therapist see those emails?

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 17:18:05

Kaimegan,

You are lucky you have not been charged YET. You are certainly playing with fire and unless you stop, you will get burned.

Your gc are not deprived. Presenrs are not needed for survival.
This catastrophic vocabulary is not helping your case.

" When I die my pain will die with me but for my grand children they will live with the pain of not knowing why a loving grandmother was suddenly out of their lives. "
This screams projection on your end.
They may think about you (or not) but they certainly do not center their lives around it.

Urmstongran Mon 04-Nov-19 18:11:54

Sorry but I thought this was telling I am also a grandmother of 4 children from two daughters. I have not seen my grand kids for 10 months - since xmas time last year

Bluddy hell. Whatever way you look at it, that’s a long time.

I’m a firm believer that you get out of a relationship what you put into it.

Maggiemaybe Mon 04-Nov-19 19:24:59

But that wasn’t the OP’s choice, Urmstongran. She’s been cut off since Christmas and hasn’t been allowed to have a relationship with her grandchildren.

Anna4 Mon 04-Nov-19 21:12:40

Several of these postings are from non- grandmums, and are members of Mumsnet, who are presumably grappling with their own estrangement with their own mothers. It is unfortunate that they are choosing to criticize legitimate grandmothers on this forum. I think it's obvious who they are, and how they are enjoying the anonymity of online posts that are clearly insensitive, unfair and demeaning to the original poster.

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 21:20:37

Anna4
Do you want blind "poor you your family is so mean to you" messages with no insight on your circumstances instead?

LondonGranny Mon 04-Nov-19 21:41:01

As I've mentioned on GN before I am not allowed contact with my grandchildren either. It breaks my heart but what has helped is being a sort of surrogate gran to a child who has no living grandparents in the UK and a grandad in NZ with advanced dementia.

I'm called 'Auntie B' but it is to all intents and purposes a grandma / grandchild relationship. It started with babysitting when they were two (eight at the end of Nov and I'm making the cake). It's a joy to have that relationship. I can't pretend I don't think of my grandchildren daily but being Auntie B has really helped at least partially fill the hole in my heart. Love has to go somewhere.

Anna4 Mon 04-Nov-19 22:09:52

LondonGranny, What a smart idea you have, to fill the hole in your heart. I may explore this idea as well. I have a male colleague whose daughter has forbidden him to see his grandkids. After a year of depression, he joined a big brother group and is now a surrogate parent (not a grandparent) to a young child with whom he has a great relationship with. Similar idea, thank you for sharing.

LondonGranny Mon 04-Nov-19 22:17:05

The babysitting came before the estrangement, it wasn't that the relationship with this dear child happened because of the estrangement, it just really developed naturally as time went on. It just ended up that the time I would have spent with the grandchildren is now spent with a really delightful child who just happens not to have grandparents they can spend time with.

Anna4 Mon 04-Nov-19 22:18:59

Westerlywind,
So sorry to read you comments. Being assaulted is tremendously damaging and I was sorry to read you didn't report it. I would keep a record of it, when where and how it happened - just in case its happens again- and I sincerely hope it doesn't. No one should put up with physical violence in a family. Please take care of yourself.

Anna4 Mon 04-Nov-19 22:19:48

Good for you! Your deserve to be happy.

Anna4 Mon 04-Nov-19 22:21:29

Hithere,
I am interested in knowing why you think that my post is a "poor me your family is so mean to me"? You sound like an interesting person.

LondonGranny Mon 04-Nov-19 22:22:41

They wants a London Underground train cake! Thank God they're not into castles with turrets. I can manage an oblong cake with no crenellations. I think it's inspired by the day I took them on the tube to the London Transport Museum.

LondonGranny Mon 04-Nov-19 22:24:05

Oh sod all this 'they' to hide the fact it's a little boy, especially as I've revealed I'm Auntie B

HolyHannah Mon 04-Nov-19 23:42:20

Anna4 -- Pointing out how you or any other person is behaving may be barring them from getting their desired outcome (I assume reconciliation and renewed relationship with grandkid's) is not criticizing.

Actions and behaviors have consequences. Kaimegan is harassing her EC, has had police involvement and an assured continuation of remaining No Contact with her family because of it. To point this fact out and the 'why' this may be exacerbating the situation is not criticizing.

What is a "legitimate grandmother"? Is this another, "If you aren't an estranged grandparent you don't know what you are talking about." situation? I guess you want to hear you are doing nothing wrong and they should be ashamed of themselves for treating you so cruelly.

ClareAB Tue 05-Nov-19 00:51:48

Borderline Personality Disorders do not just happen. In the vast majority of cases there has been significant trauma whilst growing up.
It sounds like old wounds are beginning to show in your daughters. Not uncommon when they now have their own children and start seeing the world as a mother not a child.
Maybe something awful happened to them that you don't know about? Maybe they were more affected as children by your relationship with your ex than you ever knew? Maybe they feel hugely protective of their little ones, and don't feel you gave them that same protection/safety?
Would you be able to go to family counselling with them? have a family psychology expert who can help you all communicate freely and honestly and address what ever has been bubbling away all these years. Having worked within mental health and teenagers in care, I can tell you that nothing is ever black or white. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.
Good luck.

westerlywind Tue 05-Nov-19 01:21:48

@Anna4 One incident of assault has been reported by a hospital nurse to Social Services. They met me and tried to get me to go to the Police. I refused to do that because I know that Police would want a witness and the only witness was a child. If the report to police had failed I would be in a lot more danger for no good reason.
I was babysitting for 4 days a week and providing money constantly. I asked for help with something and it was just ignored the same as ever. I stopped babysitting and I have not seen them since. I don't want my grandchildren to be used as sticks to beat me. That is not the purpose of children.
Life is a lot quieter now. I regaining some of my confidence. I had constantly been told that I was stupid and ugly and no-one likes me. I completely lost confidence that I would not even go outside. I am surprised when anyone engages me in conversation. I miss my DGC but they were starting to talk to me in the same manner as their parent and the absent neglectful absent parent who is the flavour of the day.
If this is the way they want to live so be it. I would rather be quiet and polite than be nasty.

Smileless2012 Tue 05-Nov-19 10:30:18

westerlywind it's terrible to learn of the emotional and physical abuse you have been subjected too and the affect it's hadsad.

To be regaining your confidence having been fearful of going outside, being told you are "stupid and ugly" and having been surprised if anyone wants to have a conversation with you, shows how far you've already come.

Children learn by example, they learn life lessons in part by seeing how their parents behave. It's such a shame that your GC are being 'taught' that it's OK to treat anyone in the way you have been treated, even worse that the victim is their GM.

We miss not knowing our GC and although not as raw as it was, after 7 years the pain of being estranged from our son remains. Like you, we "would rather be quiet and polite than be nasty".

We moved here 3 years ago yesterday, to put some distance between us so we could begin to heal and rebuild our lives. We have found peace and happiness we thought never to experience again.

I hope that you'll continue to move forward and find the peace and happiness you deserveflowers.

flowers.

westerlywind Tue 05-Nov-19 11:22:32

@Smileless Thank you for your kind comments. It has been a long road so far and there is more needed but I am working on it.
I worry how DGC will get on but it is not in my power to deal with that.
I have realised what is going on and I am dealing with it.

Alexa Tue 05-Nov-19 18:20:17

Anna4 from what I gather from your last post your beast of a husband has groomed his daughters and seduced them away from their original feelings with expensive gifts and stuff he has said.

Have you evidence of these extensive gifts and/or slandering you? I don't know how the law stands on this, or your chance of bringing him to justice.

For a little help with your immediate distress please keep sending updates to the grans. You are always welcome and will receive replies.

Anna4 Thu 07-Nov-19 00:44:08

Alexa, Yes I have plenty of evidence of my ex's efforts to alienate my D1 and D2...he buys them cars (Lexus models), pays for their ;family' vacations with him to the Caribbean and in the case of my D2 with 3 GKs , he has bought her a house which she lives in with her husband. My sister in law - who is a reliable sort, being an animal vet- has twice told me of his disparaging comments.

Kathy1959 Thu 07-Nov-19 10:34:16

My granny used to say, “ if in doubt, do nowt “ It seems there could be a multiple selection of reasons why you’re estranged, and knowing for sure, why this has happened, may still not lead to a resolution. I’m in the same camp as my granny! and other posts. Take a step back, and just wait. Hopefully, it’ll resolve naturally, and you’ll look back one day, and it will have been a blip. I think to keep badgering them could just push them further away. Concentrate on other things, and keep healthy and well, so when they do come back, you’ll be in a good place. All the best.

Alexa Thu 07-Nov-19 11:56:02

Anna, I'm suggesting your husband's deplorable behaviour vis a vis the children is a sufficient condition for their being partisan to him. They are still young women and cannot be objective about their father.

If this man were not your ex you would see him simply as a criminal not yet brought to justice for slander and alienation of affection. . Maybe you still feel affection for him which I would understand, and you will know cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable to live with which would be sufficient reason for your agony without the greater grief of alienation from the daughters. Perhaps it helps to regard your husband as morally corrupt and that you are more free of corruption than they are i.e. the stringer one whether you feel this to be the case or not.

Deliberate alienation from your children must surely be punishable by law? Can you afford to get legal help? Your children will suffer when they realise what he has been doing to their consciences.

If you take my advice you need to change your opinion of who you are. You are the strong one who knows the true circumstances of the situation, therefore not only do you not abase yourself to them but you also regard yourself as their rock as and when they see their relationships with their father for what it is. I gather they are still young enough to be mothers of young children.There is still a lot of time for them to become morally mature and more sceptical of their father's motives.

As for his motives, if those matter to you, he seems to need to buy affection.

Bibbity Sat 09-Nov-19 12:01:53

The children are adults so no PA isn’t illegal. And Slander would be extremely difficult to prove slander.
Unfortunately he’s broken no laws.

I’m so sorry OP. I’d do as advised and protect yourself first and foremost.

Chardy Sat 09-Nov-19 13:40:28

Family estrangement can happen for no reason other than the instigator can't bear to remember their family history. Sometimes for no discernible reason they come back. Keep the door open. Good luck

Starlady Sat 09-Nov-19 16:13:00

My heart is breaking for you, Anna4! How awful to be CO (cut off) from both DDs and all DGC, all at once, for so many months, and w/o a word of explanation! Though I've heard other stories like this, I still can barely imagine the pain.

I don't think you should brush off what happened last Christmas though. After all, that was the last time you socialized with your DDs and DGC before the CO. It sounds as if DD2 was very stressed, and that may have, unfortunately, colored her reactions. Changing a diaper the "wrong way" is an easy error to make if you (general) haven't done that in a while, and hardly CO-worthy, IMO. When put together w/ DD's accusation that you were ignoring one child, however, it may have seemed to her as if you were distracted and indifferent to her kids. OR she may have just been upset about your seeming to favor two over one. I'm NOT saying that's the case, just that it might have looked that way to her.

I get your giving her a generic apology in your desperation to reconnect. I might have done the same thing in your shoes. But as a GM, myself, I agree w/ Hithere that she may have been more offended by this, sad to say. Instead of realizing that you didn't know what was wrong, she may have seen it as a refusal to admit what was wrong... sigh... And since you already have issues w/ DD1, it was probably very easy for her to jump on board w/ this.

I also agree w/ Smileless and those who say to back off for now. Chances are one or both of your DDs will come around, eventually, even if it takes a much longer time than now. They will miss you or the kids will ask about you or whatever.

One caveat though- You might want to try one more apology, acknowledging that you were a little indifferent to the DGC that day last Christmas and saying sorry for that. You might add that you were tired, or distracted for some reason, but I wouldn't defend myself too much or she might see that as "making excuses." More important to reassure her you love all the grands and you won't let that happen again.
OR if you suspect it was just about not seeming to pay attention to that one GC, just apologize for that and assure her you love the child and that mistake won't happen again, etc. It might not help - just a suggestion. And, of course, only do this if you feel you really made a mistake and your heart is in the apology.

If you try this and it doesn't get a response, then I agree with others that you should just go on w/ your own life, enjoy your career and activities, etc. and say no more to your DDs for now.

Sending you lots of hugs!

Starlady Sat 09-Nov-19 16:14:15

About DD! - I understand why you still want to see her/have a relationship w/ her despite her violence towards you - she's your DD and you love her. But I would avoid being alone w/ her if she does resume contact or getting into any disagreements w/ her.

Namsnanny Sat 09-Nov-19 18:46:30

Chardy … what you have posted is the only truth there is for some of us. flowers

ReadyMeals Mon 11-Nov-19 09:29:27

Sounds like deliberate bullying to me. It's not your fault, children are born with a lot of their character defined by genetics. I read somewhere that according to some research (yes I know there are many differing opinions) 75% of the personality is genetically influenced with only a small part due to upbringing. You've done all the right things but sadly in this case it seems it's just given them more pleasure in your sorrow.

Starblaze Mon 11-Nov-19 10:44:14

From the perspective of an estranged daughter, you are getting it wrong. Blanket apologies aren't real apologies. Childhood photos are guilt trips because your daughters haven't forgotten good times, they have just been overwhelmed by other times. BPD is usually caused by trauma and isn't a fault. Its a disorder which is curable and needs help. Although being attacked physically is something no one should have to endure.

I would honestly suggest looking for clues in emails and being accountable. Relationships survive mistakes, mistakes are normal. It is only when we aren't accountable, make excuses, blame others and just generally refuse to acknowledge them that it becomes toxic.

I know I'm not saying what you want to hear and I notice you have ignored comments like mine. However if you genuinely want to resolve this, the answers are probably in those emails.

Remember that just because you have framed things a different way, the pain your daughters feel is genuine. They aren't you, they experience and feel things differently. What wouldn't bother you may bother them. You have to meet them where they are if you want a relationship.

ReadyMeals Mon 11-Nov-19 12:50:17

Starblaze, what sort of things are bad enough to make it ok to totally cut off a mother? Childhood abuse of any of the 3 types that would trigger social services intervention had it been reported. That's a reason I'd agree. Parent lying about adult child in order to lose them friends, stealing from adult child... I just don't think people should completely cut off a person just because they disagree on child rearing methods or clothing style etc etc - all the sorts of excuses I have seen lately. If someone is constantly criticising your child rearing methods then by all means adjust the type of contact so it has least impact on your child rearing, but complete ghosting is out of order imho for anything other than the most heinous abuses.

Hithere Mon 11-Nov-19 13:04:26

Readymeals
I am not Starblaze but I am sadly on the same boat as her.

The problem is that the offender rarely agrees with the reasons why she/he is cut off.
Parents say "I did my best!" "I wasn't a perfect parent but you were hard to raise!" "The punishment is way worse than the offenses!", "we did it becaise we love you and care about you", etc
I could give you my list of reasons after 20+ chances I gave my parents to listen to my feedback and redirect their behaviour and I still would get "but they are your parents!" "They didn't mean it that way!" Etc

Child abuse can be done in such a smart way it does not trigger any alarms.

Hetty58 Mon 11-Nov-19 13:14:22

Very true Hithere. We can only read between the lines and don't have the benefit of the daughters' opinions but it looks like a case of Anna having tried and now failing to accept the estrangement. She would be best off just getting on with her own life for now.

GrannySquare Mon 11-Nov-19 15:24:50

@Anna4 whatever the germ of this situation which is probably been brewing a while & has many players, you need a plan.

You particularly need a plan to get you through Christmas otherwise you’ll be in possibly a worse place than now. As we all know all the whoo-hah of any family festive season brings out the very best & worst in families.

Do not expect any reconciliation before or at Christmas. It may happen, but make other plans. Places are booking fast, but could you go to a lovely hotel for a 3 day escape, somewhere by the sea. It may mean a child-free Christmas but you will have lovely food, sumptuous decorations & convivial company. Everyone who goes wants to have a good time. We have done this a couple of times after major bereavements when we could not manage the family dramas nor summon the Christmas spirit for ourselves. We met many charming people who for a variety of reasons did not want a family Christmas at home. If not the big spend stayaway, could you go to a friend’s for Christmas ?

Of course, the easiest thing logistically is to stay put & have Christmas Day as usual - I noted that you mentioned the family days were up to Christmas Eve so I assume you did something without them on Christmas Day. My point is that you distract yourself from the expectation of contact over the Christmas period by being booked up or away. Do not offer a family Christmas feast this year.

Cards - send in good time. Do not expect anything back, maybe you will get something.

Presents- FOR THE CHILDREN, nothing too flash, nicely wrapped, sent in good time. Do not expect anything back right now. But your name will be mud if you forego giving the children anything.

A couple of other things caught my eye as I read the posts.

Stop the ‘choose me’ dance. Stop sending the ‘mummy loves you’ momento. Stop the guilt grinding contact. As a wise poster said your daughters are now young mothers & they are assessing the family dynamics through a different lens. If your first thought is ‘what about me?’ then there’s a clue to where you may all be foundering. Others have suggested that your read back over the emails with the purpose to hear what they are saying to you - their voices & words as they write, not your words & voice as you read.

I have a sense that all of you are replaying the dramas of your earlier family life - Mummy, Daddy & two little girls - only this time the script & players are different - Granny, Grandad, Mummy, Daddy, Mummy, Daddy & four little children. The change is prompted by the new generation coming through in the past few years, everybody gets to change seats. But it seems that there someone of the past that still lingers, as it does for all of us until we tackle it - to let go, sweep it away or cling on to it.
Your girls’ lives have changed - older anyway, adult relationships & then the massive wobblers of pregnancy, childbirth & early years parenting. They are truly different people now, recognisable but different by experience.
What I am driving at is your part or script in this drama. I see & understand how upset you are. But you seem to be dragging others into your drama, putting your monkeys on their backs. Clearly something has gone wrong, you need to reflect & use what is in front of you .e.g emails,,comments etc. Your loss is palpable & does seem to take you back quickly to the end of your marriage & the aftermath. All this family stuff all bundled up with unfinished business. Your ex may have been an unacceptable husband but right now he may well be an OK enough father & fab Grandfather, this may cause your girls some conflict & he may well be bigging up his part to assure his role in the new family structure. Change is happening around you, things are up in the air. But is you who has the power to change yourself & how you handle the situation, rather than chase them to give you what they may not have at the moment. Some counselling at Relate or GP recommended therapist may help you work some through this grief & gain insight.

One thing caught me eye & others have commented.
’I went to D2 house where my D2 seemed very upset and stressed, and lashed out verbally at me calling me a 'pathetic mother', not a 'leader' - because I changed a diaper wrong and wasn't paying attention to one of her 3 babies’

I am mystified by ‘leader’ & ‘pathetic mother’. You also mention that your daughters are ‘daddy pleasers’ & suggests that this leads to a better standard of living for them, all the while you are an underpaid academic.
Your tone comes over as passive-aggressive & ‘hard-done-by. As others have suggested, you may need to heal yourself as the first steps to a more connected relationship with your daughters & grandchildren.

GrannySquare Mon 11-Nov-19 15:25:07

Oops, soz so long.

Smileless2012 Mon 11-Nov-19 15:40:36

In the absence of specific reasons being given for estrangement, a blanket apology is all that can be given. If the estranged P isn't told why the estrangement has happened, then an apology for and acceptance of particular issues cannot be given.

It's important to accept IMO that where there are EP's who have been told by their EAC the reasons for the estrangement, and in some cases warned that being estranged will happen if things don't change, there are also EP's who are not told why, for whom the estrangement is a total shock, unforeseen and unexpected.

I have known EP's and EGP's who have been advised by professional counsellors and therapists to send photo's of themselves and their EAC of happier times.

This isn't suggested to send the EAC on a guilt trip but is suggested when a once close and loving relationship changes beyond all recognition due to the introduction of a 'third party'; a husband/wife/life partner. To 'remind' the EAC of how things used to be and perhaps shine a light on the one thing that has changed; on the arrival of someone new into the family.

What does failing "to accept the estrangement" really mean? You have no choice but to 'accept' it, it's happened, there's nothing you can do about it. Does it mean that you don't give up, that you continue to reach out and seek communication? There are some GN's who regard that approach as harassment, as a 'crime' that can and should be reported to the police.

Good advice is given, 'get on with your life', find other things, people and/or groups to fill the void, while simultaneously 'keeping the door open'.

After 7 years of estrangement I know that I will never again have a relationship with my ES or see my GC grow up, or in all probability even meet my GC.

We 'closed' our door sometime ago. It's there to be knocked on but I don't believe for one moment that our ES will ever do so. It's closed for our protection because having made the decision to estrange us from his and our GC's lives, if he were to get in touch, it would be our decision whether or not to risk him coming back into our lives.

7 years ago our ES told us we were no longer apart of his and our GC's lives, that we were to stay away. There was no warning, there were no 'reasons' but there were lies although even those were not given at the time, but came later when questions were asked by others.

Apart from sending our GC cards for birthdays and Christmas, we've done just that, we've stayed away and as much as we love him, miss what we had and dream of what might have been, we've accepted that it's safer for us this way.

GrannySquare Mon 11-Nov-19 16:20:59

@kaimegan ‘I have sent presents, money and letters to their schools and this has brought police to my door with claims of harassment. No charges so I continue.’

No charges so far , & with every item sent you directly contributes to the body of evidence required to place a charge against you & keep you from any prospect of future contact. Wise up & stop sending stuff

ReadyMeals Mon 11-Nov-19 16:22:40

It's very hard for people who have not been at the receiving end of an apparently unjustifiable estrangement to believe that someone could banish someone for no valid reason. My son's reason given to his ex was "not getting on with her at the moment" which has lasted 2 years. My daughter who grew up close in age to him and shared a social life with him asked and was told "you wouldn't understand" and a quick change of subject. Now if his close sibling who he usually confides in, and who knew everything he experienced at my hands growing up "wouldn't understand" then who would? Now every case is different. Anna's is unlikely to be the same as mine, but people have to accept it does sometimes happen for no good reason.

GrannySquare Mon 11-Nov-19 16:24:02

Stop sending stuff directly to the school. Stuff sent to the parents is one thing, but sent to a school with a duty of care & safeguarding procedures is another matter.

Hithere Mon 11-Nov-19 16:34:41

May i ask who is to decide what a "good" reason is?

Namsnanny Mon 11-Nov-19 16:42:51

Hetty ... I should think the last thing we should do ‘is read between the lines’ on here.
For obvious reasons: it may not be true etc.
The only thing we can do is take the words as they are and respond accordingly.

ReadyMeals Mon 11-Nov-19 16:43:11

Well let's put it this way, if it's a case of personal opinion what a good reason is, then the kids are right to ghost their parents and the parents are equally right to think it's unreasonable and sound off about it. What you can't do is decide it must be the parent's fault since good reasons can't be decided by anyone but the person whose reason it is. According to the apparent gist of your question that is. So it's up to the estranged parent to decide whether they have a good reason to be upset about it and call it unjust.

Namsnanny Mon 11-Nov-19 17:07:08

I’m in agreement with Smileless ... with regards to the attitudes towards a blanket apology.
First of all it is possible to be genuinely sorry for the pain a person is suffering without knowing the cause.
Also even knowing the cause a person can be of the opinion that the suffering out weighs act, and still have sympathy with the victim.
We do it every day when consoling a child who has hurt themselves.

It’s like all things to do with estrangement, one side judges and passes out sentence on the other whilst never venturing outside of their own insular bubble.

smileless ..flowers

Smileless2012 Mon 11-Nov-19 17:22:21

Prior to the estrangement, our ES told us they needed 'space' Readymeals, so that's what they gave them just didn't realise they'd need it for 7 years and still counting, and that 'space' meant absolutely no contact whatsoever.

Good post @ 16.43smile. Looks silly when it's written down but you've hit the nail on the head so to speak.

I'm in agreement with you too Namsnanny. You can empathise with the pain that someone else is experiencing without knowing the cause and without having personal experience.

"the suffering out weighs the act" so often the casesad. Thanks for theflowerssmile.

Starblaze Mon 11-Nov-19 19:39:09

Ready meals, I have an anxiety disorder, depression, I've been homeless and attempted suicide all because of words. Words can do damage too. Constant criticism, neglect of anything other than basic needs, smearing me to the rest of the family... I didn't cut off my NM because I don't love her, I did it because being around her meant I couldn't love me. I am sure that must be difficult to understand but, my mental health impacts my education, career, relationships and especially my children. I tried and tried to have a good relationship with her but I couldn't fix her, she enjoys hurting me and like most disordered people, she thinks she has every right to do so, that I am here to be her emotional punchbag. I decided to fix myself instead.

Starblaze Mon 11-Nov-19 19:53:56

It's not a case of "the other side judging". That's pretty unfair. It's a case of knowing how it FEELS to receive those things. And yes ultimately we can only speak for ourselves but when you have more than one of us saying it, when you are talking to people who talk to each other in support groups and we have seen others say over and over again "I don't want this kind of contact and it's driving me further away" then you are just shooting yourselves in the foot.

Instead of "judgement" what you are getting is a genuine attempt to help. Because we aren't a gang, we aren't trying to recruit members to a cause. What we wanted was loving relationships with our mothers and most of us (not all) but most of us desperately tried to achieve that.

If we wanted loving relationships with our mothers it stands to reason that we want that for all daughters.

So maybe think about where the judgement is here and we can communicate better? Because it's really hurtful to hear criticism from other mothers that isn't deserved.

Smileless2012 Mon 11-Nov-19 20:00:54

I've always thought that that old saying 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me' was rubbish.

Words hurt, they leave scars that cannot be seen but exist nonetheless, and the pain they can cause is just as bad as a physical attack.

Silence can be just as destructive.

It's a heartbreaking realisation isn't it Starblaze, that despite the love we have for someone, a parent or an adult child, that we are safer without them in our lives.

I honestly believe our ES enjoys hurting us, that he has "every right to do so", that we are here to be his emotional punchbag. Well he doesn't have the right and we refuse to be his emotional punchbag; no one has that right.

Starblazeflowers.

Starblaze Mon 11-Nov-19 20:08:51

It's tough Smileless2012, we can be better though and find happiness x

Hithere Mon 11-Nov-19 20:09:14

Starblaze

You are not alone. I am so sorry you went through so much and you came through! You survived! That is no small achievement.

What you described is how abuse can go under the radar and still do tremendous damage.

Starblaze Mon 11-Nov-19 20:16:43

Im sorry you have experienced it too Hithere. It's such a hard thing to really discribe and have others understand so it can feel so lonely. I am sure that is a problem faced by everyone here

GrannyOrNanny Mon 11-Nov-19 20:24:02

Hi Anna, I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this, so unfair. I think you need to step back...why should you apologise for something that your don’t know what you’re apologising for?
I’d let things settle, whatever it is....and leave them to it for a bit. You do not deserve anymore heartache x

Smileless2012 Mon 11-Nov-19 20:46:57

Your last post which I didn't see until I'd posted mine Starblaze speaks eloquently for estranging AC and EP's.

That said, IMO it wrong to say to EP's in general that they are shooting themselves in the foot by not taking on board what others have suffered at the hands of an abusive parent. Not all EP's are abusive.

There are EP's who are being abused by their own AC emotionally and/or financially. GC used as pawns in a game of control. Not all EAC do this, but some do just as not all EP's are undeserving of their estrangement.

Any support group, be it for EAC or EP's will have shared experiences and will have members saying the same or very similar things over and over again. That doesn't negate the validity of what is shared by one group, because you 'belong' to the other.

EP's "aren't a gang, we aren't trying to recruit members to a cause". We wanted the loving relationships we once had with our AC to continue. We wanted to see our GC grow and flourish.

I don't know what it's been like for you, anymore than you can know what it's been like for me or any of the EP's here but that's not a criticism, it's the way things are.

What we all have in common, what we all share is living with the pain of rejection from someone who we never thought could ever reject us.

Which ever side of the fence we are on, which ever 'group' we belong too, criticism hurts. It can hurt if it comes from other mothers and it can hurt if it comes from other AC.

ReadyMeals Mon 11-Nov-19 21:16:41

Starblaze, what you describe is what I counted as emotional abuse, which is something I included in my list of understandable reasons for a child to estrange from a parent. But many of the estranged parents here won't have abused their children as such, they will done something like criticize their choice of partner, indulged a grandchild too much, insisted on too frequent visits etc. Some of them will have given birth to a child who has inherited personality traits (maybe from an ex-partner that was too unreasonable to live with) that make them unbending and unforgiving, or just plain cold and non-loving. So I think we have to try to be gentle with each other, and careful, as very often a person posts when they are at their most vulnerable, and one rebuke may be one rebuke too many.

Starblaze Mon 11-Nov-19 21:41:56

No Smileless2012, we are all people, individuals and we all deserve to be heard. I don't mean shooting themselves in the foot for not accepting some estranged children have suffered. I don't think people would truly not accept it unless they are abusive themselves and not accepting it in themselves if you see what I mean.

What estranged children are is valuable on communication and worth listening to in regards to what the younger generation see differently and how we process things.

Honestly it's a tad frustrating at times to be ignored or accused of trying to start trouble for trying to help. I'm not one for tough love and try to put things as kindly as possible but there also has to be honesty in that.

I expect realistically given the huge spectrum of differing situations, the answers are all here somewhere so sometimes it's good to be open to hearing all of it to hear the bits that are appropriate for individual situations

Starblaze Mon 11-Nov-19 21:52:56

I think Readymeals that answer to Smileless2012 would also go to you... Estrangement knows no class, culture or age. It just is. If someone needs advice and I feel I can help, I will try. I am more than just my estranged relationship. I'm a different person, a different age and a different perspective.

Also human minds are strange things and we are capable of hiding a lot from ourselves under stress. Where there has been messages, texts, emails.... There is knowledge that might lead to understanding.

You know, I am not estranged from my children. That's not to mean if I hadn't got help for my mental health and learnt to cope with my own shortfalls and terrible learnt behaviour, my relationship with my children wouldn't have gone the same way as my NMs with me and her NM with her. That's why they call it a cycle... until its broken. It took a lot for me to wake up it really did. I would never ever claim to be perfect

Anna4 Sun 01-Dec-19 17:58:13

This is my 3rd post in this forum. After one entire year of not hearing from my EACs and with that, not seeing my 4 grandchildren (all under the age of 3) , I am wondering what I should do about Christmas coming up. They haven't responded to any of my letters, cards, flowers and messages I have left - about one a month for the past year. I have been reaching out a lot, to no response. So now, I am wondering how am I to get through Christmas.. do I reach out again Because it is Christmas, or just be still?

Smileless2012 Sun 01-Dec-19 19:55:25

TBH Anna if I were you I wouldn't reach out to my EAC anymore.

We send birthday and Christmas cards to our EGC but nothing more. We buy 2 each time so one is posted and the other goes into their memory box; we're pretty certain that the ones we send are never given to the children.

Maybe that's something you could think about doing.

Christmas is one of the worse times of the year when living with estrangement. Is this your first Christmas with no contact?

I know how hard this is but try and take one day at a time and resist the temptation to contact your AC. You're only opening yourself up to be hurt each time you're ignored.

flowers

Madgran77 Sun 01-Dec-19 21:16:06

Anna another estranged GP recently made the decision to not send cards and presents but to open accounts for her grandchildren and to pay money in at xmas/birthdays etc. That might be something you could consider? flowers

agnurse Mon 02-Dec-19 15:44:08

I'd suggest not sending anything. If you send things to the GC but ignore her, it may come across as "I don't really care about you anymore, but gimme dat baby". (Not saying that's how it is intended, just how it comes across.)

I agree that putting money aside in a savings account is a good idea. You might also start a memory box for them - purchase Christmas and birthday cards, address and sign them, and then, rather than sending them, save them in a box. This way, if the children do eventually get in touch, you have something for them.

Starlady Tue 03-Dec-19 01:56:06

Another "vote" for not sending anything. I'm so very sorry, but as I said to another poster, I believe that no response for such a long time means that your DDs want no contact, at least, for the near future, even if they haven't said so in words. In fact, your DDs may see any gifts sent as "disrespect" of their obvious wish for distance and just hold it against you. It is very doubtful that any gift you send will be given to the GC. Why waste the time, energy and money?

IMO, the suggestions you've been given - a memory box, savings accounts for the GC, etc. - are good ones. That way, you can respect your DDs; boundaries (even if you feel they are unfair) and yet satisfy your own need/wish to do something for your GC at Christmas (same w/ birthdays). Also, later on, if there is a reconciliation w/ your DDs or w/ your GC when they are adults, as agnurse says, you'll "have something to give them." And I'm adding, your GC will know you were thinking of them all along.

Starlady Tue 03-Dec-19 01:58:39

As for "how to get through Christmas, " overall, I know that may be much harder to resolve. I have no personal experience w/ this situation but suggest making plans w/ friends or relatives you are on good terms with. Or take a vacation. Or plan a DVD day for Christmas, and binge on all your favorite films. Or do some volunteer work for the needy, etc. The point is, don't expect to suddenly see/hear from your DDs and GC, but also try not to spend the time dwelling on your pain if possible (I know there may be some bad days, sometimes you'll just need to sit and cry, etc.). Granted, some of this may be easier said than done (sigh).

Wishing you peace at Christmastime and through the New Year...

Namsnanny Tue 03-Dec-19 02:19:50

Readymeals .. Every post you have written has eloquently said what I would have liked to.
I agree wholeheartedly.
Thanks flowers