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Unbearable sadness- blocked with no reason from 4 GK

(85 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.

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 16:20:59

@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

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 15:25:07

Oops, soz so long.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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