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Estrangement

I am so distraught I feel like I'm grieving

(89 Posts)
Looby33 Sun 24-Nov-19 00:14:01

My son and his friend recently separated and she took the two children that I virtually co parented so much there school was on my road, I have had them almost more than thier parents, and they were my world, but she has now taken them to her wealthy parents who she hadnt spoke to for 6 years, and has now cut all contact after she told me no matter what happened I would always see my grand children as they wasnt getting on, they were my world and I loved them with every fibre in my body and never went a day without seeing them, now I am utterly distraught and cant stop crying, and feeling like I'm grieving, I cant shake it and its effecting other relationships, I know when I say it out load it sounds ott, but i feel like one of my children have been snatched from me what can i do..or how can this pain i feel get better.. :-(

Rocknroll5me Sun 24-Nov-19 10:50:48

Looby33 you are in understandable panic. But it is bootstrap time, time to take a deep breath and think. Those children will be missing you. Somehow you have to find s way of contacting them with s small gift to let them know you are still there. That might be all you can do at the moment. That and a straightforward appeal to their mother explaining your loss and a hope to see them soon. Be strong everyone is falling about around you. How’s the time to put your working class foot firmly and kindly down. Let us know how you get on.

TrendyNannie6 Sun 24-Nov-19 10:54:46

This is heartbreaking to hear, I really feel for you, but it’s early days and I understand you would be grieving for the loss of your two grandchildren who you love dearly, but I presume your son will get access to them and when this happens I’m sure you will be in contact with them again, I know you won’t see them as much as you did but there will be contact hopefully, it will be a different situation, she’s even told you she won’t break contact with you no matter what happens, that’s lovely to hear, and it doesn’t sound at all OTT to me good luck and all the best to you

Val14 Sun 24-Nov-19 10:56:08

I totally understand how you feel Looby33, my Dd came back to live with me 4 years ago when Dgs had just turned 1. Then this summer just after his 5th birthday, and with being in a better financial situation, they relocated miles away to the coast, mainly because it's cheaper to rent there. It's totally what I wanted for them both being able to have their own home. I cried for weeks after they left and it felt exactly like I was grieving. I had watched him learn to walk, talk, feed himself, read, write etc, everything a mother experiences with their child. Picked him up from nursery and then school when his mum worked and nursed him when poorly if needed. The house was so quite, and tidy, ha ha, and it was the most difficult thing I had to deal with. Like you, it was like someone had actually taken my child from me. It has got a little better and I will get to see him every school holiday and we video call every weekend, and know it will get more easier as time goes on. They are both very happy and that to me is so important. Try and take comfort Looby that is does get easier. Sending you much love 💐

Buttonjugs Sun 24-Nov-19 10:59:39

Looby33 honestly your reaction is definitely not over the top you ARE grieving. And right now it’s raw grief so it’s not surprising that you feel so low. When I felt raw grief I used the mantra ‘one foot in front of the other’ - in other words just focus on the most immediate thing you are doing and nothing else. Cry if you need to. It will pass, it won’t completely change but it will eventually stop feeling so intense.

March Sun 24-Nov-19 11:01:38

Deep breath OP.

First and most important, is your mental health. Please speak to your GP. They might be able to help and talking to someone does help.

Your son is their Dad. He has legal rights to see his children which means you will too. Is he seeing them at the moment?

It's still early days so maybe she is just finding her feet? Dealing with her own problems? Letting her parents meet their grandchildren? Healing?
Lots of possibilities. Dont pressure her. Maybe a light text asking how she is?

She is obviously dealing with a lot right now and may just need time.

Nannytwo5 Sun 24-Nov-19 11:02:33

My son and his wife split when my youngest (then) grandson was 3 weeks old and made it very difficult for my family to have any contact BUT my son persevered and now he has them every other week (the three week old is now 13) and his twin brothers nearly 15 but you will find that as the children get older and they can make their own minds up - things will change - just don’t give up xx

Worthingpatchworker Sun 24-Nov-19 11:11:49

You don’t say how old the children are, so no indication how many years of memories they shared with you. I’ve ne er been blessed with children and, therefore, don’t have grandchildren.
I do know, though, in times of relationship stress it has helped to sit peacefully and to write the anguish out. This isn’t for sending, it isn’t for anyone else. It’s a means of you getting everything out.
Your son’s former partner is also hurting, I’m sure, and needs some time to settle. You may have to build a new sense of trust. Postcards, birthday and Christmas cards. Newsy letters about places you’ve visited together to help them keep their memories of you alive.
You are building a new foundation, based on changed relationships but your love and concern for them isn’t diminished and they need to know that...so long as they are at an age they can understand it.
When some of the dust has settled....maybe a meet-up with their parent at a neutral place....a park for coffee perhaps....would be a step towards maintaining you relationship so long as you keep away from the broken relationship. You aren’t the only one hurting.
Maybe even meet up with the other grandmother.....
It is a sad circumstance when others feelings aren’t considered as valid.
These children aren’t pawns. They have memories of time spent with you and, hopefully, won’t forget that. I’m sure the adage.....time will heal.....will come into its own.
Love......after all...is said to conquer all. Through all this I’m sure your son will need your much loved support too.
I hope it all works out amiably.

Gonegirl Sun 24-Nov-19 11:12:59

ElizabethAW Esther has been a good friend of Gransnet for several years now, coming in for webchats, which can still be found if you use 'Search'. So good that you mention her in this context.

MarieEliza Sun 24-Nov-19 11:13:20

The children are losing out without you. I really hope their mother will see this in the future. We all want what is best for our children and hopefully after a short time the mother will see this. Keep your spirits up, your grandchildren need you, so that is a reason to keep calm and hope that in the future they will see you again

sarahellenwhitney Sun 24-Nov-19 11:15:14

Looby33
Where is your son in this ?He will have a fathers right of access. He is the one you need to contact and ask why his friend ??as you call the mother of his children, is denying you the rights to see your GC.The fact your GC's maternal grandparents see themselves as 'better'? than yourself is not seen as a 'legal reason' for denying access.

driverann Sun 24-Nov-19 11:18:10

Write a letter to the children’s mother and to her parents telling them how you feel, also your son must be allowed to have the children with him at times so you can keep in contact. I guess the children are also missing you very much. Can you Skype them and chat on the phone until something more regular is sorted out. If any of the political parties hoping to win the general election promises to bring in a law where grandparents are allowed by law to see and visit their grandchildren that party would get my vote.

Bbbface Sun 24-Nov-19 11:22:46

Will your son not get access?

Nanadot Sun 24-Nov-19 11:25:06

We are currently estranged from our lovely grandchildren, it's been a year since we saw them and have only had a couple of brief FaceTimes in the early part of this year. You are certainly grieving for what you've lost and I think you've been given some good advice from others on this thread. We are all individuals and deal with things differently so I can only tell you how I cope with my situation. For a time I grieved, withdrew from socialising and didn't see much point in anything then, as time went on, I realised that it was up to me to live my own life. I never give up hope that our situation will improve but now I do all the things I used to do and enjoy life. What works best for me is socialising, exercising and being outdoors. I wish you well.

Parklife1 Sun 24-Nov-19 11:36:34

I last saw my youngest granddaughter two years ago. I continue to send cards and presents and hope that when she is of an age to do so, she will get in touch, knowing that her grandparents never stopped thinking and caring about her.

Keeper1 Sun 24-Nov-19 11:55:15

This is so sad, did the other grandparents not have any contact with the children in the last six years. It must be a huge adjustment for everyone, if they have missed out in the last six years then they should understand how it now feels for you. Are you able to contact them? As everyone has said it is very early days and a sudden change. I do hope that arrange,ent can be made for you to keep contact with your go. Sending you a big hug xx

Aquamarine Sun 24-Nov-19 11:59:18

Looby33
You are grieving , I too physically cared for my grandchild every week from the age of 7 weeks to 4 years of age. I'm now estranged, as from April this year. I'd love to be reconciled with my only child and grandchild , my adult child has made things very clear to me. You will cry , you will be incredibly sad, I'm not going to give you false hope or say things aren't intolerable , because to be honest it's just how it is. I cry every day still , it's a living bereavement, my counsellor agrees , it will come in waves, ebb and flo.....
It's come between my husband and I , it's true men ( some men ) can be emotionally illiterate , they just cope in different ways.
Be kind to yourself, cry , be sad when you want, but also do nice things, I went out Friday with a friend and bought 2 roses 🌹 and planted for my grandchild. Nothing takes my pain away , but we are here for each other, please know that 💗

Lock Sun 24-Nov-19 12:04:25

Hi. I am sorry you are going through this pain. Please call the Samaritans if you are feeling this low, and contact your GP.

I would suggest that you give your exDiL time to settle into her new routine. It is not helpful at all to think of her in negative terms " why is she doing this to me?" At this point in time she is prioritising herself and her children. She is going through the emotional and practical trauma of a break-up. She is also going through the humiliation of having to go back to her parents who have derided her life choices. She will not be in a calm, logical frame of mind. She will be feeling very raw. Quite possibly she hasn't actually thought about you in all of this at all, and if she has it will be as an adjunct to her ex.
At this point she's not being selfish, just human. Please don't send her a letter demanding access for yourself and your son. It will only antagonise her. Please don't send her a letter that guilt trips her about the grandchildren; if nothing else it will make her feel as though she's just a brood mare.
Pretty much anything you write about your own pain will be viewed as an attack.
Step back. Let the dust settle.
Then write a card to her saying that you appreciate your friendship with her and that your door is always open to her and her children. Absolutely no guilt trips.
Casting yourself as the supportive friend rather than the demanding exMiL will be far healthier for all concerned, now and in the future.

Good luck.

BusterTank Sun 24-Nov-19 12:08:49

None of this is your fault . Have you spoken to your Doctor maybe they could refer you to councillor . Talking to a stranger may help . Do you have an address for your daughter in law ? You could write her a letter telling her how you feel . Anything worth a try . My heart goes out to you .

grandtanteJE65 Sun 24-Nov-19 12:21:07

Dear Looby, of course you are grieving and there is nothing at all wrong with that. This has been a shock and right now it must feel as if you will never see your grandchildren again.

Where is your son in all this? Surely, he will be seeing his children? I gather he and the children's mother aren't married, but have been together for five or six years, so he must have some rights, surely.

I hope when, not if, he gets an arrangement in place allowing him some visits from his children that you can see them when they are with him.

Right now, you are probably best not contacting your son's former partner, as emotions are running high both for you and for her.

However, if you have her address, I cannot think it will do any harm if you send a Christmas present to each child and a covering letter to their mother wishing them all a Happy Christmas and New Year.

It might be a good thing too, to say that you hope she knows that she and the children are always welcome at your place, whatever her differences with your son, as you certainly don't intend to take sides in matters that only concern them.

Anthea1948 Sun 24-Nov-19 12:24:58

At the moment your grandchildren's mum's head is probably all over the place. Give her time to adjust to her new situation and hopefully she will reach out to you. At the moment she may well feel you are angry with her if it was her fault she and your son broke up. Is there any way you can contact her and just say how sad you are to not be having any contact with her or your grandchildren?

boodymum67 Sun 24-Nov-19 12:25:55

Hi Looby, oh my love! I would also be distraught if I lost touch with my grandchildren. You are not being ott at all!

Ok, so maybe she has calmed down now after leaving your son.

Do you think you could write to her.?

Keep the letter calm and friendly.

Let her know how much you love the children and would love to see them on a regular basis.

Being well off does not take place of being loved.

Good luck and take care of yourself, yeh?xxx

Candelle Sun 24-Nov-19 12:45:47

I am sure that everyone on Gransnet feels for you and you have had some excellent advice.

Take a deep breath and write down your feelings; time will change the dynamics of your situation so what is 'now' will probably 'different' in the future and you don't know that matters won't improve; the children's mother must also be distraught at uprooting her children from your son and she needs time to sort herself out; the children could be bewildered and they would love to hear from you so perhaps think about writing to them without any recriminations or comments about their parents.

I don't think that class or money comes into the equation when a family is so upset - feelings affect everyone. Is it possible to wait a short while and contact the children's mother, saying how much you miss them (and her) and how you would really love to come and see them all. The fact that Christmas is approaching could be a good starting point.

Whatever you do, don't harangue the children's mother, just be as loving as you can and hopefully in time, things will settle a little and your relationship can continue. It may not be the same as before but you will still be able to have a relationship with your grandchildren.

Sending hugs, too.

LakelandLass Sun 24-Nov-19 12:50:57

You are grieving, I am so sorry. It is desperately unfair, so don’t beat yourself up. Just tell your closest circle, and try and go somewhere else at Christmas. In the New Year, start a scrapbook, as I am for my bereaved grandchildren whose mummy died 3 years ago.
Grandparents has very few rights, but in your situation, I’d get legal advice. {HUG}

Tigertooth Sun 24-Nov-19 13:06:55

Looby - Are the 2 children your son's biological children?
If so then he has the absolute right to see them and you must work through him and with him to gain access.
If they are her children by another partner then you must appeal to her better nature, don't demand, just tell her with all your heart how much you love and miss them and ask for access, on her terms.
Good luck and be sure however it goes, it will get easier.

ALANaV Sun 24-Nov-19 13:16:26

Hard to deal with an difficult to accept. My daughter has not spoken to me for 13 years ...I know where she is...I am not sure she now knows where I live ! In summer, at my old address (not in UK) I received an anonymous envelope containing a wedding photo and a photo of a child on which she had written ;this is your grandson;...no contact no, e mail address ...nothing ! I always send her a card at birthdays and Christmas but have received nothing from her ...however it is her choice and her life and I just wish the best for her ….and that poem online from the mother who will never see her daughter again ;I Wish You Enough;.....I did consult my solicitor about leaving something in my Will for this grandson (not his fault !) but without the mother's consent or me knowing his birthdate I am unable to do so...so sadly it will be his loss as well. I am off to Disneyland by myself next week ...could have taken him ! Be brave and do not let her know how distraught you are …..and I hope her parents are able to understand how you feel. You could try writing them a letter,,,,not vitriolic but simply stating how you feel and stressing that you hope the differences between your son and their daughter will not mean you will have no access to your Grandchildren. YOu may be poor in wealth terms, but have a generous heart. Take Care x flowers