Gransnet forums

Estrangement

Unbearable sadness- blocked with no reason from 4 GK

(84 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.

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

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...

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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 20:08:51

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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 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.

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

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

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.

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.