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Estrangement

Need some advice and guidance

(84 Posts)
lily09 Sun 14-May-23 18:34:05

Dear all
I am hoping someone can advise me.I fear that I am about to lose my relationship with my Grandchild. We are a 2 adult family who are estranged. I know how badly this can affect a child.
I am estranged from my adult Dtr. Has always been a very difficult fit. She is 33 with an 11 yr old. It’s been almost 4 yrs.
She took offence when I didn’t see her in the street and that was that. I have been smeared for years. I never defended myself to others and stopped trying to mend the fracture between us. It’s beyond repair.

child’s Mother let her come to me every weekend and holidays as she’s single and it suited her. The child and I were always like peas and carrots.

Fast forward through the many reports of being treated badly by the child I held my tongue and tried to guide her and look after her whilst she is here. I looked up parental alienation as I knew my anger may seep out. I tried but of course I failed to hide my resentment. I did not purposefully try to turn her against her Mother. I was fighting the urge to call the authorities a lot of the time.
The child told me of drinking, not being able to sleep as there are parties. Her Mother mistreating her, isolation, controlling and punishing behaviour. Identical to the treatment I got. Her Mother was going to leave her to go out for the evening and I asked the child’s permission to intervene. She is 11 and can’t be left. Her Mother is regularly so drunk she passes out. She showed me reams and reams of berating messages. I explained as best I could that her Mother was being like a teen but she loved her but clearly I failed. I was obviously participating in alienation without realising. She said she overheard her Mother saying she preferred it when she wasn’t at home.

I kept contact to a minimum with her Mother to avoid abuse that follows any communication.

So she sent the child for a 3 day sleepover when she went abroad. She messaged lying that she had the fight wrong. The child told me it was a lie as her friends Mum who went with her was in the right flight. She was caught in the lie. I was so mad at my Daughter. I did not hide my anger. I was totally back footed and exhausted .So there were emails blaming me for her having to lie because I am the problem. My whole existence was trashed in reams of emails. I didn’t respond. One thing that stuck out was “I know you will never have her again if I go abroad”

Child came last weekend and was really off. I put it down to the situation and hormones. She said she took a sip of cola and the little cola bottle was full of vodka. She said her Mother was ruined when she returned from her girls holiday and slept all week. She ate well as she always does. I live to cook but nothing was enough. I let it slide and took her home.Then the email came the next evening.

She said the child came home hungry and broke down when she offered her toast.

Apparently the child said there was no food in the house and that all I talk about is food which in itself makes no sense. She told her Mother things I had said in response to her telling me about home saying she was being interrogated by me which is not true. Things were all enmeshed with the reports she made to me of her Mother giving her sandwiches for dinner and lunch.

My Daughter detailed their idyllic home life which I know is not true. I am warned that her child will not develop an eating disorder because I am too focused on food.

I am not allowed to mention food but was told the child wouldn’t be coming this weekend. Apparently the child said I disliked it when she spoke to friends which again is absolutely not true. She spent a day and a night in her room. I said she needs to have a cut off time as she’s barely spoken to me over 2 days.

It’s not about food. I have messed up somewhere. My heart feels guilt and fear. My head says that for 12 yrs I have been there for her in the most trying of times. I have searched my soul trying to do the right thing by her.

One wrong move and I will lose the child but I am not allowed to speak to the child about the things she is saying.

I have thought of stopping the sleepovers but then my Dtr will have no use for me and may yank the child away.

Can anyone please advise?

VioletSky Wed 17-May-23 18:29:13

Smileless

You did the absolute right thing

Smileless2012 Wed 17-May-23 18:35:45

Yes I know but I paid a heavy price, and thinking that she may have thought I no longer cared enough even to send her cards broke my heart.

VioletSky Wed 17-May-23 18:49:52

The right thing is the right thing. This scenario pops up for me often working at a large academy school I am local too

But doing nothing is never the right answer because we never really know what the real situation for a child is and children die or suffer for life in neglectful or abusive households

Delila Wed 17-May-23 18:56:35

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with that VioletSky.

Smileless2012 Wed 17-May-23 19:10:04

And sadly sometimes those things happen despite the involvement of SS.

Delila Wed 17-May-23 19:12:48

What a terribly difficult situation Smileless. Sometimes, whatever you do, you never feel it’s enough, because you’re a caring person.

Smileless2012 Wed 17-May-23 19:16:25

Thank you Delila. It really is a horrible position to be in when you love the people involved.

Hetty58 Wed 17-May-23 20:14:12

I didn't have much to do with my grandparents. One set were already dead long before I was born, the others we visited (as a family) occasionally. That grandmother died when I was five, the grandfather when I was a teenager.

My children - pretty much the same. One grandfather already dead, the grandmother in her eighties. Yes, sometimes we'd visit - or collect her to come for dinner. My father was around but not overly interested in his grandchildren. My mother was mentally ill - so I had to protect them from her and limit contact.

By contrast, though, I've had a lot of time with my own grandchildren - some more than others - and ours is, indeed, a special, loving relationship.