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Estrangement

Heartbroken and don't know what to do

(38 Posts)
LnPGma Fri 23-Apr-21 18:36:56

Long story short, my daughter and her partner asked me to look after my grandaughters when she went back to work following maternity leave. The first lock down coincided with her return to work. They wanted me to move in with them but we're unable to provide a bed or space of my own. I said that I'd stay while my daughter was at work but I'd go home in between. I took this to be a reasonable solution that would come under the "unable to work from home" rules of lock down. However they had other ideas. They insisted I stay in definately. I shared a bed with my granddaughter and whilst it was beautiful waking up to her little nose pressed against mine and her saying "I love you grandma" sharing a bed with a 2 year old, bed wetting, dervish (her parents acknowledge she has night terrors) soon takes its toll. Daughter and partner became increasingly abusive (gaslighting) and it culminated in my daughter assaulting me. At this point I fled. She went to the police and tried to take out an injunction against me but couldn't without having me arrested. I consulted the police and as a result she was cautioned for assault. She sent a very nasty message telling me that they would have nothing further to do with me. I've sent her a birthday card which was returned to me for mothers day. It's been a year since I held my granddaughters. I used to spend a lot of time with them. I was even present at the eldests birth. The pain of missing them all is breaking my heart. What can I do?

keepingquiet Fri 23-Apr-21 20:05:03

This sounds like a dreadful mess,
First I was under the impression you could have childcare bubbles which didn't involve staying overnight. You don't say how far away from daughter you live.
Why did you agree to sharing a bed? Surely there would have been alternatives?
What led to your daughter assaulting you?
It sounds as if you could benefit from counselling to help sort this out.
I sense there is far more going on here and getting some support may help you see how you can begin again, or not as the case maybe.

Smileless2012 Fri 23-Apr-21 20:08:42

I'm so very sorry that you are going through this.

What your D and her partner have done to you and your GD's is simply awful and as far as your estrangement is concerned, I'm sorry to say that there's nothing you can do.

It looks from your post as if your D and her partner, not getting exactly what they wanted despite your very best efforts to accommodate them, have not just stopped you and your GD's from seeing one another, but your D went as far as trying to have an injunction taken out against you.

I'm glad that the police took her assault on you seriously and issued a caution.

TBH I don't know how you could even begin to have a rational conversation with either of them, so all you can do is hope that there'll be a change of heart and you'll be able to see your GD's at some point in the future.

We've been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for more than 8 years so I know how devastating this is and how hard it is to try and re build your life and find a way of moving forward, but it can be done.

I hope you have family and/or friends you can turn too for support and I'm sure that other parents in a similar position will respond to you here.

You're not alone and that alone makes the world of difference to knowflowers.

Hithere Fri 23-Apr-21 21:21:00

The accommodations that you were offered were not suitable for sure.

I feel this is an episode of a book and we are missing more background

LnPGma Fri 23-Apr-21 22:00:28

Not sure how to reply directly to you all, but thank you so much for your replies.
I agreed to share a bed (double) as there was apparently no alternative. I suggested the girls share a room or I bring a futon but both were refused. I believed I'd cope with the arrangement provided I could go home and have a couple of nights in my own bed with my partner.
There is much more to the story but as I said, this is the condensed version.....the rest does sound like an episode from a book....or Eastenders!
You're right, I really could do with some help coping with all of this. I have a couple of good friends who've known me and my daughter since she was small.....and they are horrified at the situation too. Apart from me and my partner there's only my Mother and son and they are as equally horrified. Her gran and brother have tried to point out to her that this is a mistake, but she seems to be ignoring them too 😢

Grandmafrench Fri 23-Apr-21 22:25:46

There's obviously a whole lot more to this - not maybe this particular and quite shocking episode but stuff in the past which probably could be helped and unravelled to some extent by your having some counselling.

It sounds astonishing that someone could be so hell bent on controlling what you offered to do, that she (and her partner) set about using you like some sort of slave, stuck in a small space, deprived of proper sleep and understanding, without any thought as to what you needed to make your kind assistance work properly for all concerned.

Any number of possibilities spring to mind from what you say : she is jealous of your own life with a partner, she's determined to push you into showing more than 100% of your attention to her and her children, the whole thing is some sort of test (which you are bound to fail), she's not very happy in her own life and therefore wants to lash out and blame someone for how she is, she's happy to be estranged from those who care for you, like her own brother and your Mother? And then, she has the ultimate weapon and like so many selfish women in that position, she's going to use it. No contact with your Grandchildren! All that shows of course is that she's not interested in her children's feelings or welfare, only - again - in punishing you!

You may have an idea as to why she would want to do this - punish you - or may be able to have a clearer view when you have talked this through with a trained professional and someone able to deal with all you say in a totally unbiased and independent way.

I can understand that you must be terribly sad, but you must think of yourself and how you have been treated - otherwise that treatment just continues. Once you get around to being assaulted, being reported to the Police etc., you need to say to yourself and mean it - enough is enough. Whatever else you do, don't ever let her think that her behaviour is in any way acceptable.

Get some help so that you can look at this more rationally - don't give way to distress and wishful thinking. As you have described it here, she's the one needing to make some very big changes.

Good luck and be determined to value the people that know and care for you.

Sara1954 Fri 23-Apr-21 22:29:55

Well unless there’s something I’m not getting, your daughter sounds absolutely dreadful, as does her partner.
Whatever made you give in to their demands? None of which are reasonable.
I understand your pain in not seeing your grandchildren, but you cannot be bullied by these people.

Alexa Sat 24-Apr-21 07:17:58

She sounds unbalanced, unless there is something you have not mentioned that insulted her sensibilities.

It is a great pity for you to not see your grandchildren, but she gets to make that decision.

Alexa Sat 24-Apr-21 07:22:57

PS I note you refer to your daughter and her partner as "they", as if those two individuals are a unit. I am wondering if perhaps the partner has a bad influence over her. People in sexual partnerships tend to agree with each other even when one of the two is in the wrong.

Smileless2012 Sat 24-Apr-21 14:26:32

A valid point Alexa.

LnPGma Sat 24-Apr-21 16:51:52

From what I've experienced it's her who is doing the leading and he backs her up. She's extremely attractive and charismatic and he is the opposite. There was an incident a couple of years ago when she behaved very violently towards him and he called me to come and calm the situation and make sure the children were safe. So maybe it's a case of, on the one hand he can't believe his luck, and on the other, he's scared of her.

Smileless2012 Sat 24-Apr-21 17:29:09

So it's your D who is control here not her partner LnPGma, I can understand why you did so much to facilitate her demands despite them being unreasonable.

You must be worried about your GC, especially as you are no unable to see them. I'm so sorry.

Madgran77 Sat 24-Apr-21 17:34:50

If her partner is scared of her I am wondering if the children are too? This must be so worrying for you. I am also not surprised that you tried to facilitate her demands under the circumstances

Has your daughter always been like this or is it a more recent development? I am wondering what she was like as a child?

I am sorry that you are in this position LnPGma

Newatthis Sat 24-Apr-21 17:35:17

It sounds as though your daughter needs to seek psychological help. Why did she say you assaulted her? I too think there is more to this story than some of us are getting. Either way, a very usetting situation.

LnPGma Sat 24-Apr-21 17:53:44

Smileless2012

So it's your D who is control here not her partner LnPGma, I can understand why you did so much to facilitate her demands despite them being unreasonable.

You must be worried about your GC, especially as you are no unable to see them. I'm so sorry.

Her life has always been troubled, as has her brothers. Their father was abusive to us all and neglectful of the children, to the point where, until fairly recently, he totally rejected them. She had many emergency admissions to hospital, including intensive care, and developed tourettes syndrome in her mid teens. I've always done everything I can to be there, including choosing the kind of job where I can leave at a moments notice if she needs me, yet her frequent cry is "you are never there for me". I do wonder if this is really what she wants to say to her father.
I really do worry about my granddaughters. I've recently witnessed the way they are being cared for while their parents are at work and was horrified. She seems to put glitz, glamour and having a perfect house and a perfect image before everything.
It seems to be a recurring theme that if she doesn't get her own way she behaves violently to whom ever is in her way. I can only hope that one day it's not one of the children.
As I said, she's extremely attractive and charismatic so she can quite easily make people believe that she's the victim in all this, and that is just what she seems to have done, although there are some who know us both who have questioned it.
She is a very troubled young lady. I just hope that one day someone can get through to her and give her the help she needs

Sara1954 Sat 24-Apr-21 17:53:53

I’ve just read your post again, and it seems you were in a truly horrible situation, I know others have said they understand why you did it, but I’m afraid I don’t, they have treated you like a modern day slave.
I’m sure you are worried about the children, who wouldn’t be? Maybe you could try to talk to their father privately, see what he thinks about it all. One thing is for certain, your daughters behaviour is not normal.

LnPGma Sat 24-Apr-21 18:09:06

Sara1954

I’ve just read your post again, and it seems you were in a truly horrible situation, I know others have said they understand why you did it, but I’m afraid I don’t, they have treated you like a modern day slave.
I’m sure you are worried about the children, who wouldn’t be? Maybe you could try to talk to their father privately, see what he thinks about it all. One thing is for certain, your daughters behaviour is not normal.

Tbh if I'd realised how it would turn out, I wouldn't have done it! However, I had, until this point, always been very much part of the children's lives and couldn't possibly have forgone the opportunity to continue.
Sadly there is no way I could speak to the father, they've closed ranks (along with his parents) and despite him having been on the receiving end of her behavior on previous occasions, he seems to believe every word she's said and has, within my sight, behaved in the same way she has

Madgran77 Sat 24-Apr-21 18:23:19

I know others have said they understand why you did it, but I’m afraid I don’t, they have treated you like a modern day slave

When in a situation with a person who is frightening and controlling it can be very easy to agree to things because of the fear and the worry about others etc. Alongside a desire to keep contact with the grandchildren, that is a powerful driver for what was agreed to despite, as you say, it being like a "modern day slave"!

I have to agree that your daughters behaviour is worryingly not normal LnPgma. I do think you should consider whether you find yourself behaving differently, responding differently, feeling frightened etc around your daughter. I do think that counselling to unpick this difficult situation, would help you

Hithere Sat 24-Apr-21 18:24:34

It is truly unfair for you to judge her mothering skills given her childhood and abuse she went through.

Did she go to therapy to address that damage?

Have you?

LnPGma Sat 24-Apr-21 18:49:36

Hithere

It is truly unfair for you to judge her mothering skills given her childhood and abuse she went through.

Did she go to therapy to address that damage?

Have you?

Until this point I always considered her parenting skills to be wonderful. She has two beautiful, creative, clever, brave little girls. It is only over the last couple of years or so that I have not judged, but questioned her behaviour and choices, never her parenting. She had therapy on a number of occasions but refused to engage with it. I have recently spoke to a very close family friend who is a retired therapist, had he suggests that there is a possibility of a personality disorder. She needs help and until this episode I've always been able to be there when ever she asked.
I have also, many times, questioned my own parenting skills
Yes I have also had therapy to try and deal with the damage, and am in the process of arranging more.

Hithere Sat 24-Apr-21 19:02:52

OP,

I would seriously concentrate on your own healing and leave your daughter handle her own.

She is sadly the product of her environment where she had no chance to escape as she was a child (the victim in that situation)

I dont know if she would be happy knowing you discuss her issues (with personal information) with other people.
A person cannot be diagnosed by proxy and by 2nd hand information, that is terribly unethical and unprofessional.

LnPGma Sat 24-Apr-21 19:23:54

Hithere

OP,

I would seriously concentrate on your own healing and leave your daughter handle her own.

She is sadly the product of her environment where she had no chance to escape as she was a child (the victim in that situation)

I dont know if she would be happy knowing you discuss her issues (with personal information) with other people.
A person cannot be diagnosed by proxy and by 2nd hand information, that is terribly unethical and unprofessional.

You are right, she is the product of her environment, through no fault of her own and also the victim of all that was inflicted on her. It is hardly surprising that she is troubled. And whilst I may be discussing her issues here it is anonymous and this is, after all, a support group for such things.
Whilst a person cannot be diagnosed by proxy or second hand information, it was not a diagnosis it was a suggestion made by a professional (albeit recently retired) who has known us both all of our lives and who has always had our best interests at heart.
I am acutely aware that I can in no way influence whether or not she seeks help, or indeed any other choice she makes, I can, as a mother who loves her, hope that she chooses well with the best interests of her children at heart.
As I stated, I am looking to my own healing and making efforts to ensure that I am as well as I can be. Sometimes being able to speak anonymously, somewhere like this, to see ones (sometimes, even to me, hard to believe) story written down is the beginning of therapy

Smileless2012 Sat 24-Apr-21 19:37:53

Yes, this is a place to ask for and hopefully receive support LnPGma, we're all anonymous and I agree that sharing our experiences can in itself be therapeutic.

3dognight Sat 24-Apr-21 21:32:27

This is a heartbreaking situation for you.

In my opinion you must look after your own physical and mental health...

Give it some time, then perhaps see how the land lies?

It is a horrible situation and my heart goes out to you.

LnPGma Sat 24-Apr-21 22:09:56

Madgran77

*I know others have said they understand why you did it, but I’m afraid I don’t, they have treated you like a modern day slave*

When in a situation with a person who is frightening and controlling it can be very easy to agree to things because of the fear and the worry about others etc. Alongside a desire to keep contact with the grandchildren, that is a powerful driver for what was agreed to despite, as you say, it being like a "modern day slave"!

I have to agree that your daughters behaviour is worryingly not normal LnPgma. I do think you should consider whether you find yourself behaving differently, responding differently, feeling frightened etc around your daughter. I do think that counselling to unpick this difficult situation, would help you

Thank you. You've put into words what I could not as to why I did everything I could to accommodate her. Despite everything I love her very much, but I no longer fear her. She's shown her hand so there is nothing left to be afraid of. However, what ever the outcome I will have much firmer boundaries.