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Mistakes of last Christmas, not to be repeated!

(38 Posts)
OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 09:18:47

I no longer have any uncertainty in my life.
My son would never make plans to see me, leaving me waiting and hoping in vain. The last time I heard from him, he denied us the chance to speak to GC on their birthday or even that week, but only wanted me to do things for him that were illegal- and rant at me for all the things he resents from the past, which cannot be changed in any case. I said no. I never heard from him again.

Next he chose his brothers birthday to write in a card that he will be abroad at Christmas so not to get gifts. I don't know if that's true or not, but as his brother wisely said "the effect is the same". He doesn't want to see us and I do know why. It's because I didn't allow him to continue to be cruel when he tried to use GC to coerce me to do illegal things for him.

If I had allowed him to control me, perhaps he would still be in our lives, but it wasn't fair on my other son or husband (or myself) to put our lives and freedom at risk, not to mention the fact that it's not something I would ever do. He has chosen a life I can't be part of, because I won't be coerced into criminality- and there is no reason he wants to see me unless he can use me. There is no trust (from me) and no respect (from him) so not much can be done.

My other son and husband are relieved that the "trouble" is gone, but obviously sad about GC and not to be a family. Last year I was trying to figure out how to give GC a gift and I did manage it (by chasing son) but all that happened was that he treated us appallingly in 2022, which became crueller as the year went on. I won't chase again. There will be a gift here for GC in case they should turn up unannounced, (which I doubt). We made a huge mistake in chasing last year just because it was Christmas when nothing had actually changed in him- so he respected us even less for chasing.

BigBertha1 Mon 21-Nov-22 09:32:18

I'm sorry to hear about this onward. Some years ago when my parents were alive my younger brother coerced and bullied them to part with all their money and lots of their belongings for drugs. He burgled my and my sister's houses. So I know something of which you speak. Once my parents were gone we cut him out of our lives and he had a few spells in prison too. His son, my nephew eventually committed suicide by hanging himself in the bathroom. We understand he is reformed and now helping others to quit drugs but we have rejected him completely and we are all much happier and safer for it. I hope you can arrive at a situation you can be at peace with and somehow safely see your grandchild.

Redhead56 Mon 21-Nov-22 09:32:49

I felt very sad reading this and I know that it’s something that that has happened to many parents and grandparents. I have experienced a few difficult times as a parent but so far not estrangement. There is on this site a forum which is especially for this subject I think the OP was one of the grans on here.

I know for sure you will be well supported there with other grans who have experienced cruel behaviour by the AGC. I am confident the support that you will get will be a comfort to you.

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 09:53:00

So sorry for your troubles and the tragic loss of your Nephew BigBertha1.

Thankyou Redhead 56. I have been supported here before as problems have gone on for many years. I would have commented on the main post, but what I needed to say was just too long after bottling it up for months.

Redhead56 Mon 21-Nov-22 10:25:58

Don’t bottle things up they weigh you down like a burden. Share problems it makes you feel better and you won’t be judged just supported.

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 10:32:08

I don't want anyone who knows me to know what he tried to make me do. So I am not talking about it IRL and it took me ages to find the words to write it online. Thanks Redhead56

icanhandthemback Mon 21-Nov-22 10:39:27

It is terribly sad when estrangement happens, no matter what side of the equation you are on. It is lovely that you can balance your sadness with the positive sides of being free from abusive behaviour though, OnwardandUpward. I hope you have a calm Christmas season which refreshes and builds upon the good relationship you have with your other son.
BigBertha1, what a terrible thing to happen to your nephew. Drug addiction is such an awful thing and makes good people become the most terrible people. My brother died of a drugs overdose but the lovely person we knew before he became addicted disappeared before our eyes. It was a tragedy.

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 10:49:22

I am terribly sad to lose my GC. I have been quietly grieving about this for a few months now and have accepted that I will not see them because I will not chase this year. Thanks @Icanhandthemback . My other son is sad to miss his brother but also does not want to be mixed up in anything dodgy, so we have mixed feelings. Overall, we just want him to live right, make good decisions for himself and his family and realise that he had a family that loved him, but that we have reached our limits because of what he's involved in.

So sorry about your brother @Icanhandthemback that was a real tragedy.

Harris27 Mon 21-Nov-22 10:52:41

I wish you peace as I write this I have some knowledge of a past nephew who ruined a sisters life over drugs and eventually suicide. I hope you find some peace and happiness in your life.x

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 11:00:01

Thankyou @Harris27 I am happy in many ways, but there is the pain of loss which simultaneously I live with as long as this estrangement goes on. It is hard to bear a child, love and do your best for them, giving everything you can and then for them to turn on you and pour hatred on you, even try to control every aspect of your life and do things designed to hurt- like withhold their child.

But he is not my only child and I must carry on. I live a good life and enjoy many things, even though I bear this pain. There is a full life and happiness, even with loss. I am sad that he has cut his family off from everyone who loves them, but it will be him who ultimately suffers because there is a bond with the GC and they will always crave us.

So sorry for the loss of your nephew. So sad and I hope your sister is able to find peace and happiness even though she has this terrible loss. x

Wyllow3 Mon 21-Nov-22 11:28:14

You've made the right decision, but the loss is very hard to bear. x

Smileless2012 Mon 21-Nov-22 11:32:43

It takes time Onward to come to the realisation that as much as we love the child whose estranged us, we are safer and our lives are better without them.

Your love for your son and GC was the driving force that made you to do all that you could to maintain a relationship, so what you did last year because of Christmas was not a mistake. It's your son who has and continues to make mistakes, not you.

Estrangement is aptly referred too as a living bereavement because we grieve for the child, and in may cases also the GC we have lost. I think there will never be closure as certain times of the year inevitably have us wondering what they're doing, how they are and for those of us who never knew our GC, what they look like.

The memories that you have made with your GC will not be forgotten, they cannot be erased from your memory or theirs. Neither can the love that they know you have for them.

You can never have too much to offload, or too long a post for the support thread Onward, you should see the length of some of oursblush, especially as Christmas approaches.

All we can do is listen too, care for and support one another.

flowers for you, BigBertha and Harris

Urmstongran Mon 21-Nov-22 11:39:58

Poor you Onward it must be an awful loss for you all to bear. Your son is in effect blackmailing you. Well done you, even in your heartache, for standing your ground. You’ve paid a very high price and I admire you.

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 11:40:00

Thanks so much Wyllow3 and Smileless flowers

There is a history of estrangement in the family, with my mother estranging us from her family and trying to stop us having anything to do with GP. So I am genuinely sorry for GC because I know what it's like to suddenly not have Aunts and Uncles anymore-and to be denied time with GP. I am annoyed with DS for doing this to his offspring , not just for his treatment of me. I always allowed my kids full access to my family, but now ask myself if something rubbed off or if it can be genetic to have estrangment in a family?

I have tried very hard not to estrange anyone...

mumofmadboys Mon 21-Nov-22 11:42:43

You are estranged at the moment but who knows what the future holds? Your DS may come to his senses or he may have a brush with the law. You have done the right thing . Travel hopefully and maybe in the fullness of time relationships may be repaired.

Smileless2012 Mon 21-Nov-22 11:58:56

Travel hopefully and maybe in the fullness of time relationships may be repaired that brought tears to my eyes mumofmadboyssmile.

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 12:05:19

Yes, I know nothing is set in stone. I am keeping busy and have many good things in my life.

He caused me so much anxiety and problems that my health is better for his absence, which is the only upside. I would never have chosen this, but his behaviour has. It helps that my husband and his brother are united with me in the way that we feel.

If we don't chase him at Christmas, I think he will be surprised. He's gone too far. Not too far to be forgiven, but too far to continue without some self reflection and change. If we chase him, it will all start up again and that helps no one.

Choices have consequences. He can see how he likes the first Christmas on this earth without parents and siblings. He can see what a jolly Christmas he will have for his offspring without GP and Aunts/Uncles. It's the GC I feel sorry for, but I'm not the parent and cannot do anything about it. I also know it's not my responsibility to make sure his offspring have a joyous Christmas, it's his. I do know that he is not in touch with anyone he is genetically related to and that's a real shame for his offspring, in particular.

crazyH Mon 21-Nov-22 12:25:51

As some of you may know, I was on the precipice of ‘estrangement’ - oh the cruel, cruel things that were said to me.
But, I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing the little girls, and they didn’t stop me. I used to go over, play with them for an hour, while parents were upstairs.
Things are not 100% now. For eg. I have advent calendars for them. I will drop them off at the other grandma’s house. D.I.l. and girls are usually there after school. So, I will time it for about 3.30 so I can see them.
Another sad thing is, this middle son, does not have any sort of relationship with my daughter either. It’s all so sad. The only time they will see one another, is in January, when I’m treating the family to Dinner and a night away. Very hard on my purse, but worth it if they see each other once a year.
So sorry for all who are estranged or are in pain for one reason or another. Take care all ….xx

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 12:29:53

CrazyH, I'm glad for you and the girls that you were not stopped. I was told my GC wanted to talk to me, but then prevented from doing so. DS also told me GC wanted to come to our house, but also prevented that too. I'm sure it was calculated to hurt. But he has hurt his child.

Sorry it's rough on the pocket, I know GC are expensive but well done you for keeping some kind of contact. I would have if I could, but all that was on offer was contact with my son- and all he offered was "work" that was extremely dodgy.

I'm so sorry for all who are estranged too flowers

Smileless2012 Mon 21-Nov-22 13:24:04

Using children as weapons is so cruel. They can get used for emotional blackmail and when that doesn't work as the ultimate punishment; do what I/we want or you wont see them.

Some parents will have some very difficult questions to answer in the future.

Norah Mon 21-Nov-22 13:45:10

OnwardandUpward I no longer have any uncertainty in my life. My son would never make plans to see me, leaving me waiting and hoping in vain.

Well done you, acknowledging "There is no trust (from me) and no respect (from him) so not much can be done."

Unmet expectations are so often at the root of problems.

OnwardandUpward Mon 21-Nov-22 14:45:05

It's so cruel isn't it Smileless. The last but one conversation I had with him he said GC wanted to see me and wanted to talk to me, but then he came round without them and proceeded to put a lot of pressure on me to do things I wasn't ok with. I'm not even sure if whether I had gone along with him that I'd have been able to see/talk to them.

Yes "some parents" will have a lot of explaining to do about why they denied their kids what they had, a functioning and happy family Christmas.

Thanks Norah. I didn't have any expectations, just hopes. And those were dashed, repeatedly. He means me bad and not good, and it took me a long time to admit that to myself.

Oreo Mon 21-Nov-22 15:54:14

OnwardandUpward I feel sorry for your loss, for loss it certainly is.My Father ran his parents ragged, embarrassed and shamed them.You’ve done the right thing.
Hope you’ll see your DGC in the
Smileless I think you’ve written some lovely thoughtful posts.
CrazyH Good on you for keeping on trying with your girls.

Hithere Mon 21-Nov-22 15:58:01


Deciding how to move forward is part of the healing process.

Hope you enjoy xmas this year!

Smileless2012 Mon 21-Nov-22 16:35:24

Thank you Oreosmile.

Not being sure if you'd been able to see/speak to your GC even if you had gone along with his demands shows that you've done the right thing Onward.

The only way to 'win the game is to stop playing'. It's a heartbreaking choice to have to make but sometimes it's the only onesmile.