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Stunned by daughter’s actions. Advice needed please.

(32 Posts)
Grannytomany Fri 20-Dec-19 19:47:07

I’ve known for months that my younger daughter was deliberately avoiding her only daughter (and three young grandchildren) and had been running out of excuses to make light of this when granddaughter kept asking me whether I’d heard from her mum or knew why mum wouldn’t answer her calls and hadn’t responded to things like photos of the grandchildren posted on FB. But this afternoon we had a rare visit from our daughter (who always seems angry) - mainly to use our printer - and found out that daughter has turned her back entirely on both our grandaughter and her children. So no Xmas presents for any of them. When I mentioned that granddaughter had a cash present waiting to give to her youngest brother, 13, my daughter retorted that the present wasn’t wanted and was pointless because granddaughter would never see her brother again. I was completely stunned.

My granddaughter has always had a difficult) relationship with her mother, starting from the very young age of 2 or 3, and has spent a lot of her life with us as a result. But she has always wanted a proper mother/daughter relationship and has always hoped that one day that would happen. Neither daughter nor granddaughter are robust mentally and I’m very worried about having to pass this news on to my granddaughter so near to Xmas and Aldo so near to her becoming a single parent after the breakdown of her 10 year partnership with her children’s father.

A large part of me thinks that perhaps estrangement will be better in the long run than an up down, up down relationship with her mother who has certainly not be a consistent positive force in her life but I know my granddaughter will be heartbroken at the news, especially for her three beautiful children who are now rejected by their maternal grandmother. And at Xmas.

What would you do?

I’m due to go with granddaughter tomorrow to help get the rest of her Xmas presents, one of which was to be for her mother.

Grannytomany Fri 20-Dec-19 19:47:38

Also not aldo!

mumofmadboys Fri 20-Dec-19 20:04:17

I would keep quiet. It is up to your DD to tell her own D if she wants to break contact. Try to avoid being a messenger. I am sorry you have these problems right on Christmas but try not to get sucked in. Let them sort it themselves would be my advice.

Urmstongran Fri 20-Dec-19 20:10:27

If in doubt say nowt.
Sorry for your family upset. x

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Dec-19 20:11:42

Oh dear Grannytomany what an awful position to be in.

If I thought there was a way to keep this from your GD I'd advise you to do that, for the time being at least. As you're going Christmas present shopping with her tomorrow, and she'll be wanting to buy a gift for mother, I don't see how you can.

I agree that estrangement would be better for your GD and GGC in the long run but it may take time for her to see it that way.

I think you need to tell her, easy for me to say I know but I don't honestly know what else you can do.

I'm so sorry.

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Dec-19 20:14:30

Having just seen the posts from mumofmadboys and Urmstongran please ignore mine; they're right.

This isn't something you should have to do. If this is what your D wants, she should tell her D herself.


notanan2 Fri 20-Dec-19 20:47:58

One clean rejection may be easier and healthier than on-off-on-off-on-off

In this case it might be for the best. Since they have never had a consistantly good relationship, they probably never will at this point. Better the children are not in the middle of it.

notanan2 Fri 20-Dec-19 20:51:00

Dont lie but also dont try to explain another persons actions.
If they ask why, say you dont know. Which is true, as close as you are you are still an outsider in the mother/GM relationship between your Dd and GD. Be factual: yes I have seen them, no I dont know when/why, but you can ring me whenever you like

Just reassure them that you are going nowhere.

Grannytomany Fri 20-Dec-19 21:34:00

Thank you all.

My daughter has made it very clear today that she’s not going to tell my granddaughter herself. I’ve told her she should but she’s refused. She intends just to do nothing - as she’s been doing since late spring. I’d prefer to stay out of it but to keep saying I don’t know why mum’s not in touch is itself a lie of omission now.

The absence of any presents for the children or contact with them is going to be impossible to skate over and dismiss as of no consequence. The little one will have his first birthday a few days after Xmas so that’s another normally happy event over which the estrangement is bound to cast a pall,

I can’t understand my daughter at all. She’s always been resentful of anything we do to help her daughter even though she herself has had masses of help, both financial and physical from us over the years. If she’d known that I’d taken granddaughter to Aldi today to do a big shop, she’d have gone on a tirade about it. Granddaughter doesn’t drive and is on a low income now so the alternative of taxis seems silly when I’m close by and happy to provide the transport.

I’m struggling to think of anything which woukd make me turn my back on any of my children like this, let alone grandchildren.

Fiachna50 Fri 20-Dec-19 21:46:32

Leave them to it and don't get involved. If you say anything you will get the blame, whether you are at fault or not. Don't comment on anything. However, your daughter should be telling her adult children the truth. It's not your call though. Horrible situation, you do have my sympathy.

Hetty58 Fri 20-Dec-19 21:56:17

Yes, I agree, definitely stay out of it. It's not up to you to relay any 'news' (they could change their mind), take sides or interfere, just be supportive as best you can.

BlueBelle Fri 20-Dec-19 22:02:50

Difficult situation but just continue with ‘I really don’t know darling’ because at the end of the day you don’t know do you ?

52bright Fri 20-Dec-19 22:03:19

What a horrible position to find yourself in Grannytomany. I think I would be skating over the thin ice for now. A terrible rejection for your grand daughter and, as other's have said, you should not be expected to have to pass on such devastation news from your daughter. I think she is being very unfair to say these things to you whilst refusing to speak to her daughter herself.

You sound a lovely grandmother. All you can do is to continue to support your gran daughter and be there to pick up the pieces. I would certainly not tell your gran daughter that her mother says she will never see her brother again. He is 13 and in a very few years will be able to make up his own mind about such things. My very best wishes to you.

Hetty58 Fri 20-Dec-19 22:16:07

The presents seem trivial compared to no contact, so let your granddaughter buy what she'd planned to.

Is your daughter in financial difficulty - and/or an abusive relationship? Could her 'no presents or contact' be some excuse (a simple way) for not buying or bothering? Is she depressed? It's just so unnatural to cut yourself off from family.

BradfordLass72 Fri 20-Dec-19 22:43:51

I’m struggling to think of anything which woukd make me turn my back on any of my children like this, let alone grandchildren

I would feel the same way but then I (and you) do not have a mental illness issue which clearly your daughter has.
It's unlikely she will seek treatment so if you are aksed, and depending on the ages of the grandchildren, be as honest as you can be.

We've had to tell my grandson, now aged 10, that his other grandma has 'a brain which doesn't work quite as well as she'd like'. Or words to that effect.

Grannytomany Fri 20-Dec-19 23:02:03

Hettybet, no financial difficulty and no abusive relationship although my daughter has made some very bad relationship choices over the years. Yes, I agree that presents are trivial in the grand scheme of things but Granddaughter is just going to see that (and rightly) as rejection of her children as well as herself. And she’ll really take that to heart.

I’m sure mental health issues, including diagnosed PTS play a big part but even so.

bettydl Sat 21-Dec-19 10:02:47

Grannytomany - I'm going to go against the grain here and say I think you should tell your GD. She needs someone who she can rely upon and it seems clear that isn't going to be her own Mother.

You know your GD better and whether it will cast a cloud over Christmas. I don't think you need to tell her immediately due to Christmas but I would tell her.

Grannytomany Sat 21-Dec-19 11:51:13

Bettydl, that’s about where I am at the moment. My husband thinks I should say nothing ever and even deny having see our daughter recently but I can’t see that working as granddaughter is bound to raise the subject and this afternoon again probably. At a more normal time of year perhaps but not now.

If the matter crops up, I think I’m going to say that mums told me that she’s just not doing Christmas this year and see if that will do for a while. I doubt it will somehow but I’m going to try my hardest to let granddaughter get through Xmas without realising the full extent of the intended estrangement.

I’m very close to hating and/or despising my daughter today and find myself hoping she’ll just move away and isolate herself geographically as well. I’m also thinking about our will but don’t intend to do anything hasty.

I dread to think how my daughters 4 siblings will react to the news. If I decide to tell them at some point.

Smileless2012 Sat 21-Dec-19 12:02:58

I think that's a very good idea Grannytomany, to tell her her mum isn't doing Christmas.

I can understand your feelings about your D, this must be extremely difficult for you.

I hope it goes OK this afternoonflowers

FlyingFree Sat 21-Dec-19 12:16:58

This is so sad! I'm trying to imagine what I would want my grandparent to tell me in this situation. Your grandchild is a grown woman and deserves to know the truth and can't be protected from it forever! It's obvious to me you love her so so much and she will find comfort in that x

Starlady Sat 21-Dec-19 15:59:13

My heart is aching for you, Grannytonanny! What a terrible position to be in! And I feel for GD and her family, too.

I agree that you shouldn't lie to GD, but you shouldn't let yourself be dragged into the middle either. I like your idea of saying her mum "isn't doing Christmas this year," though, no doubt, it's a half-truth - her mum ISN'T doing Christmas w/ GD and her kids. But for them, it's the same as if she weren't doing it at all.

If GD pushes for more, you MIGHT say her mum just "needs some space," right now, from anyone not in her household. That would let her know not to expect or try to make contact, w/o making her feel that she's totally CO (cut off) forever. But then, that doesn't explain why the mum is in touch w/ you. So maybe that's not such a good idea.

Perhaps best, if you must say something more, to advise her to just back off for a while, and let mum reach out to her when she's ready. That's what GD should do, at this point, IMO, after all. But I would only say it once and then leave it up to her.

Starlady Sat 21-Dec-19 16:01:04

Have either of them said if there have been any recent issues between them? If so, that may be what has caused mum to go NC (no contact). And GD probably has an idea of what's going on. But like you, and others here, I can't imagine anything that would make me CO my child, even as an adult. Sooo sad...

Grannytomany Sat 21-Dec-19 23:13:10

It is indeed.

No, there haven’t been any recent issues, or no more than usual at any rate whuch is why it’s so puzzling and hard to understand. It seems my daughter is cutting herself off from the rest of the family as well now. Her sister rang to discuss Xmas day arrangements and was apparently also given short shrift. I know for sure that there've been no issues between the two of them because they rarely see each except at Xmas when the whole immediate family usually makes a point of getting together.

Just as an update though, I was saved from having to broach the subject with my granddaughter this afternoon as our shopping was interrupted by a welcome phone call offering her a new job. I was so relieved and have no intention if bursting her happy bubble at the moment.

Sparkling Sun 22-Dec-19 06:08:14

I would say nothing to granddaughter, just always do as you do now, you are the constant loving grandma. Your daughter has a mental health issue which you cannot help her with unless she wants you to. I would not pass on any messages, if my daughter asked me too I would tell get no, that's your job, she's upset enough as she's done nothing wrong, . It sounds unfortunately that you have minimal contact with her. A very sad situation, but butcould as if your granddaughter,neigh your help, is getting on with her life.

Sparkling Sun 22-Dec-19 06:10:04

Prescriptive text. Should have been it sounds as if, your granddaughter is going on with her life with your help.