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Estrangement

Unbearable sadness- blocked with no reason from 4 GK

(83 Posts)
Anna4 Sun 03-Nov-19 19:35:33

Hello, This is my first post in this forum. I'm an active and professional person with a career, divorced - but I am also a grandmother of 4 children from two daughters. I have not seen my grand kids for 10 months - since xmas time last year, nor have I heard from my daughters. One daughter, with 3 children, I had thought I had been close to, has cut me off with no expressed reason whatsoever. My other daughter who has one child, has had a 10 year psychiatric history of borderline personality disorder and a police record for assault on other school mates, has also blocked me from seeing my grandchild from her. I have written letters to both, apologizing for 'whatever I have done', sent flowers, cards but they don't respond in any way. I have reached out to their father to ask for his help in intervening - but he is not helpful. He almost gloats. He himself has a police record of assault, and doesn't care about the damage of estrangement I have w my daughters' blocking of seeing my grandkids. I am not an enmeshed -style mother, I respect my children, but they have sucker punched me with this unbelievable agony of not seeing them, their husbands or their kids. This is killing me. I am at a loss.

Sussexborn Sun 03-Nov-19 19:45:08

It must be incredibly hard when you don’t know why this has happened. Hopefully they will relent at some point. Probably when they need you for something.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Nov-19 09:01:45

I'm so very sorry Anna; to be treated this way by one adult child is bad enough goodness knows, but to have this happen with both must be devastating.

Having sent cards and flowers, and given a blanket apology it might be worth staying quiet for a while and see if they make contact with you.

BlueBelle Mon 04-Nov-19 09:07:38

How awful to have no clue as to what you ve done can you think of nothing? how did the last meeting end? as normal hugs and kisses and normal goodbyes?
Are the two girls close, can one have been offended and pulled the other in?
I hate mysteries
I don’t know what else you can do except keep the door open and hope they want to see you soon
Are the grandkids old enough to have text contact, without mentioning the estrangement of course ?

Maggiemaybe Mon 04-Nov-19 09:55:04

How cruel of your daughters to cut you off without a word of explanation, and not to respond to your contact. Do you think your ex could have stirred this up, as he seems to be enjoying the situation? You’ve done what you can, sending them cards and flowers. I’d do as Smileless suggests, keep quiet for now and see what happens. Fingers crossed for you. thanks

crazyH Mon 04-Nov-19 10:06:16

So cruel and so sad for you. I have a daughter who can be verbally very cruel and sometimes I do feel like limiting contact with her, but.......
I feel your Ex has something to do with it. I know when I was divorced from her Father, he tried to poison their minds, although he was the philanderer.
Be patient.....they will see the error of their ways. flowers

Alexa Mon 04-Nov-19 11:38:16

Anna4, estrangement from loved family is cruel loss. {flowers]

At least you are an active and professional person with a career. So you have not lost your identity or self esteem. Now is good time to concentrate on your own needs and protect yourself against further damage from your relations.

Obviously you want to have good idea of what exactly alienated them. The best I can suggest is to try to remember they said to you the last times you met, including what they might have said while expressing anger. Are your relations the sort of people who act impulsively or act upon reasoned reflection?

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 12:32:49

I am so sorry you are in so much pain.

You may want to go down memory lane and try to see what changed before your dd1 with 3 gc stopped talking to you. Any bad jokes, comments, minor misunderstandings?

How was your relationship with your daughters growing up? With your gcs?
How often did you see your dd1 and dd2 and gc?

Having a divorce further complicates things. Was it a happy marriage? Was it a difficult divorce? How old were your kids when the divorced happened?
How was the coparenting relationship between you and ex?

These answers will help shed light into what happened.

From your OP, it is clear you cannot trust your ex.

Apologizing for "whatever happened/ everything I did wrong" is NOT an apology. I know it came out of desperation to fix this problem but please do not say something like that again. It is called faux apology and may have made the estrangement even worse.

Your dd2 and ex have a history of physical violence. Please watch out for yourself. I hope you were not in the receiving end of those attacks in the past.

Concentrate on the positive - your career, social life, hobbies, etc.
You deserve to be happy.

Curlywhirly Mon 04-Nov-19 12:46:59

Is there any person that both you and your daughters know (family member/friend) that may be able to shed any light on the reason for the estrangement?

Granniesunite Mon 04-Nov-19 13:25:54

It’s a living bereavement. You’re early days into this but hopefully you have good support from friends, colleagues and other family. Just try to be kind to yourself and take one day at a time.

paintingthetownred Mon 04-Nov-19 13:31:37

Family estrangement is more common that some people realise.

It took me a while myself to realise this. And I searched for sources of information that might help.

Reason why I'm passing on a website to you called 'Stand Alone'...

It is an independent research and help organisation that acknowledges people can be estranged for all kinds of different reasons in all kinds of relationships. They have support groups - even if you are not able to attend one, I wanted to post this here, as I know that many people are affected by this.

In solidarity
Painting

Fiachna50 Mon 04-Nov-19 14:25:15

Im with Smileless on this. Sadly, there is not much more you can do. You have reached out to them, sadly, they have made a different choice. I would just leave it for now and get on with your life. Give this time.

westerlywind Mon 04-Nov-19 14:44:19

I wonder about your ex-husband's involvement here. Sometimes the ex can be manipulating behind the scenes.

Anna4 Mon 04-Nov-19 14:52:24

I have no doubt that my ex has done nothing to improve comms with my estranged daughters, and has very likely made things worse. My daughters, since my divorce- have been what I would call 'daddy pleasers'. I'm aware this dynamic doesn't help the problem. He is still well off (in contrast, I am an severely underpaid PhD/professor) and my daughters seem to tow his party line at all costs, unsurprisingly given that he gives them an 'unearned' income, cars, expensive equipment, etc. Despite this I had hoped that I could have appealed to his better angels to say something to them, to intervene. I was married to him for 22 years which ended after he physically assaulted me. My one D1 with BPD, also assaulted me twice and earned herself a police record. While she is now married, I don't believe her husband has any idea of her past. I do not and won't share this with my SIL as the news will probably affect their marriage. I like my SIL despite the fact that he says all comms go through my D1, so I don't even have his direct email to reach out to him. I did expel my D1 from my house after she assaulted me several times, last time being 18 years ago. I view our relationship as civil and distant. I theorize that she has reeled in my other D2 and emboldened her to reject me as well. My 4Gkids are all toddlers. I saw them all when they were born, and visited and helped D2 out when she came home from the hospital with her twins. I saw my D12 and 2SIL and all 4 Gkids last Dec 23 at my place where I cooked them all a large Christmas dinner. It was a wonderful occasion. On Dec 24, I went to D2 house where my D2 seemed very upset and stressed, and lashed out verbally at me calling me a 'pathetic mother', not a 'leader' - because I changed a diaper wrong and wasn't paying attention to one of her 3 babies. I don't think that was the reason. I was distraught, stayed for dinner and politely left. I received emails from her the next day saying that I was undeserving of being a grandmother, and that she was cutting me out of her life. I fell into a depression, filled with confusion and needed 4 weeks off work. I consulted an American psychiatrist who told me this was an "act of bullying, of abuse" and that I should cut off all comms with them, not write or reach out to them. I've not been able to do that, as I've been writing them asking them for a' healing conversation'. I've sent them old photos of me with them when they were little, and asked them for their maturity and perspective on this problem. I haven't shared this information with anyone, except for 1 friend who just sobs and breaks down when I tell her what's happened. I don't want to burden her anymore. I don't trust anyone any more to help me. It's almost come to that.

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 15:24:18

"I did expel my D1 from my house after she assaulted me several times, last time being 18 years ago. I view our relationship as civil and distant. "

I am sorry, but this is anything but civil.
Why would you want to have a relationship with a person who physically abuses you? In your own home? Don't you worry about your own safety?
What made her assault you 18 years ago? If it happened once, it can happen again.

"because I changed a diaper wrong and wasn't paying attention to one of her 3 babies."
I think the diaper incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. By itself, it means nothing but it makes sense looking at the bigger picture.

Being accused of not paying attention to 1 of the 3 babies is significant. Was it the first time it was mentioned to you? Have your word "favouritism" ever been said?

Your update seems to highlight there has been trouble in your nuclear family for a long time.
Was there also emotional abuse in your home while your kids were growing up?

"I've been writing them asking them for a' healing conversation'. I've sent them old photos of me with them when they were little, and asked them for their maturity and perspective on this problem. "

Please stop contacting your dd1, dd2 and ex.
The more you contact them, the more they will push you away.
They know where to find you if they want.
The "healing conversation" will only work if you are willing to hear what they have to say, not to make them understand where you are coming from.
Same for your dd1 and dd2, willing to listen and together being able to negotiate the new boundaries of the relationship
Emotions are too high now on both sides. This healing meeting will set you further apart from your goal.

Concentrate on healing yourself, without them.

As for sending them pictures when they were kids, it may seem a sweet gesture to you, a little snapshot of happy times.
For your dd1 and dd2, it may be interpreted as a guilt trip.
Remember:the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

Give it some time. Let it cool down. Less emotion will allow you to think more rationally and less impulsive.

Dee1012 Mon 04-Nov-19 15:33:32

I'm so sorry to read this and can only imagine your distress.

I actually agree with Hithere. You need time to process your own thoughts and emotions, to allow yourself time to find some strength!

EllanVannin Mon 04-Nov-19 15:54:11

They will need you before you'll need them !

westerlywind Mon 04-Nov-19 16:08:46

I think we are all so upset by these estrangements that we are shamed or guilt-tripped into silence. I had no idea there were so many other grandparents in the same situation as me.
My DD is always banging on about parental alienation because her DC live with another family member. She cant see that she is alienating her parent? She didn't use to be as daft as this. She is also alienating her DC.
I was also assaulted by DC and I have refused to make reports. I didnt realise that other grandparents were being assaulted too.
I was constantly being asked to pay for this or that, assurances of the money being paid back which it has not.
I have stepped back. I worry about my DGC. They don't get much of a life. They mix in areas of extreme deprivation. They don't stand a chance with their circumstances. They also don't stand a chance with the conduct going on around them. They have already started to talk to me in the same abusive terms as their parents.

HolyHannah Mon 04-Nov-19 16:32:21

Anna4 -- I agree with Hithere on the the faux apology thing. My mother always gave the, "I'm sorryyou feel that way." or "I'm sorry for whatever it is you think I did." both of these are insulting, don't recognize or acknowledge whatever happened and then, because she never actually saw what the issue(s) was, she would go on and repeat the same behavior.

It is easy to blame your ex for issues in your relations with your daughters. However, one of the ways EP's avoid looking at their own behavior is to blame a 'third party influencer'. Maybe your ex is trying to alienate your children but that doesn't mean they don't have any legitimate issues with your interactions with them going on at the same time.

"My one D1 with BPD, also assaulted me twice and earned herself a police record. While she is now married, I don't believe her husband has any idea of her past. I do not and won't share this with my SIL as the news will probably affect their marriage." This is troubling to me. You are assuming that her husband doesn't know and it sounds like you may be holding this over her head, like, "If you don't do '****' I'll tell your hubby what a bad girl you used to be."

"I like my SIL despite the fact that he says all comms go through my D1, so I don't even have his direct email to reach out to him." This is a normal and healthy boundary in marriages and you are admitting to trying to triangulate. It is, "I can't get what I want by talking directly to D1 so I'll try to back-door past her by talking to her husband."

"I received emails from her the next day saying that I was undeserving of being a grandmother, and that she was cutting me out of her life." You need to read those e-mails again. This is the classic, "I don't know why they've cut me off." You do know why. It's in those e-mails.

"I've been writing them asking them for a' healing conversation'. I've sent them old photos of me with them when they were little, and asked them for their maturity and perspective on this problem." If I were in your daughters' place I would see the photo's as a guilt trip and there is no 'healing conversation' possible while you fail to acknowledge what was in those e-mails. Also, insinuating that because they don't see things your way they are not being mature, is a further wedge in your relationship.

kaimegan Mon 04-Nov-19 16:54:43

Due to sons wife I have not bee allowed contact with grandchildren since 2012, or with son. He allows it to keep the peace or she threatens to take the children and return to Ukraine. She has made phone calls to my daughters work place pretending to be me - so daughter has stopped access to her children - so I have lost son, daughter, and 4 grand children, through one jealous, manipulative person. Many grandparents are in same position- at meeting on Sept. 4th in Parliament it is believed 1 in 7 grand children are not allowed to see grandparents. It appears it is always daughter in laws or daughters take this action. No one seems to take action for the children who have rights. What effect this has on their mental health? It is called coercive control- deemed to be the same as domestic violence with up to 5 years in prison- but no one acting on it. My hope is that we can change the law so children have the same rights as in France where it is accepted that they have contact with wider family. We have some support from MP's but Brexit is holding this up. In mean time our grand children are bullied by their narcissistic mothers and because of age and ill health time for grandparents is running out. When I die my pain will die with me but for my grand children they will live with the pain of not knowing why a loving grandmother was suddenly out of their lives. I have sent presents, money and letters to their schools and this has brought police to my door with claims of harassment. No charges so I continue. Sons wife sometimes returns items - so children are deprived of even getting gifts. I do wonder how a mother can be so cruel to their own children.

agnurse Mon 04-Nov-19 17:02:26

Kaimegan

If you've been told not to send things and you continue to do so, that's defined as harassment. That's very unlikely to get you back into their good graces - you've demonstrated that you aren't willing to respect their boundaries. Please do not wait until you are charged. Stop violating their boundaries now.

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 17:10:18

I agree with Holyhannah, especially in the email part.
Those emails are key to know what dd2 thinks, possibly dd1.
I am not asking you to publish them, just for you to re-read them when you are ready.
Did your therapist see those emails?

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 17:18:05

Kaimegan,

You are lucky you have not been charged YET. You are certainly playing with fire and unless you stop, you will get burned.

Your gc are not deprived. Presenrs are not needed for survival.
This catastrophic vocabulary is not helping your case.

" When I die my pain will die with me but for my grand children they will live with the pain of not knowing why a loving grandmother was suddenly out of their lives. "
This screams projection on your end.
They may think about you (or not) but they certainly do not center their lives around it.

Urmstongran Mon 04-Nov-19 18:11:54

Sorry but I thought this was telling I am also a grandmother of 4 children from two daughters. I have not seen my grand kids for 10 months - since xmas time last year

Bluddy hell. Whatever way you look at it, that’s a long time.

I’m a firm believer that you get out of a relationship what you put into it.

Maggiemaybe Mon 04-Nov-19 19:24:59

But that wasn’t the OP’s choice, Urmstongran. She’s been cut off since Christmas and hasn’t been allowed to have a relationship with her grandchildren.