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Estrangement

Adult daughter with mental health issues has cut me out of her life

(32 Posts)
Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 16:43:01

My adult daughter has suffered with an anxiety disorder since a teenager. She has had some episodes of normal life and is married with a 6 yr old dtr & lives 100 miles away. The last 2 years her mental health has been and she has not left the house. Her husband works from home and supports her - I think he enables her to continue but cannot see this. For 2 yrs my gdaughter hasn’t left the house either except for school ( she is taken by a childminder). I visit as much as possible to giver her trips out and some normality. They have plenty of money and my daughter has been employing various therapists to support her. The background to all this is that I was married to a deceptive and manipulative man. I put up with too much divorcing him when I discovered he had 3 children with other women. My daughter has undoubtedly been severely effected by this. A recent therapist said she has pent up anger, I get this, but the anger has been turned on me and she will no longer let me take my grandaughter out or visit. She does not answer calls /texts. Have taken a step back but am worried sick for the whole family. Don’t know what to do for the best.

vampirequeen Fri 30-Oct-20 17:16:25

Does she feel judged by you? You may not feel you judge her but in your post you talk about her husband being an enabler which is rather judgemental. If she can't leave the house then she can't leave the house. Whether he was there or not she still wouldn't be able to leave the house.

Illte Fri 30-Oct-20 17:23:34

Oh dear, maybe in visiting as much as you can, you actually visit too much from their point of view?

Is it possible you haven’t taken the hint or listened to what they are saying?

There has to be a reason it’s gone from to Ok to visit to please don’t come at all.

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 17:45:58

Thanks folks some good points. Don’t think visits are too often just days in school holidays so maybe 6 or 7 a year sometimes at her request. Re husband in fairness that may be judgemental but I do struggle with the idea that he doesn’t act on the advice of the mental health professionals that they have engaged with. She has stopped him from the leaving the house too as she is scared to be alone which is so terribly sad for them all. With regards to C could never judge her we were always close, if I judge anyone it is myself that I did not see that I was gaslighted and allowed my ex husband to treat us atrociously. I feel a terrible failure. The day it all came out with regards to my ex my father dropped dead without warning and I was a complete mess for months - I think c needed more than I realised or could give and am haunted by this. Now my 6 yr old granddaughters development is being impacted on by lack of socialisation and seeing her mum in such a terrible state. I just wish I could do something to help.

mumofmadboys Fri 30-Oct-20 17:55:27

Libby I do feel for you. Please don't feel guilty. I am sure you did the best you could at the time. Your DD mental health problems are likely to have many causes. Just contact her occasionally to show you care, maybe send a small present to GD or a post card. I am sure in time things will mend.. Try and be patient and please don't blame yourself. You have done well to take a step back.

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 18:09:56

Thanks for such wise words x

vampirequeen Fri 30-Oct-20 18:56:44

I have similar problems to your DD and I also have the guilt you feel regarding not protecting my DDs from their father. If I were you I would send a text once a week even if she doesn't respond. Just a "Hello. How are you all? xxx" That way she knows that you're there and the door is open if she needs you but you're giving her space.

V3ra Fri 30-Oct-20 19:11:27

I would be seriously concerned for the whole family. There are mental health professionals involved but their advice is not being followed.

Your granddaughter is suffering emotionally, even if it is unintentional.

You can phone the children's social services in their area and talk in confidence to them.

You could also phone your granddaughter's school and talk to them about your justified concerns.

This situation could very easily get out of hand. Please don't ignore it.

Hithere Fri 30-Oct-20 19:29:03

Looks like your dd is taking all the measures to take care of her mental health and her family's. They are definitely in a rough spot

"The background to all this is that I was married to a deceptive and manipulative man. I put up with too much divorcing him when I discovered he had 3 children with other women. My daughter has undoubtedly been severely effected by this."
Could this a factor why your dd has estranged?

Illte Fri 30-Oct-20 19:33:33

Just to say a school can’t discuss a child with anyone except parents or someone in a designated caring capacity.

Don’t be disappointed if you get a firm rejection to a phone call to the school.

Luckygirl Fri 30-Oct-20 19:35:17

Please do not blame yourself - life throws stuff at us and we just have to do our best at the time it happens. You do not know that your DD would have been free of MH problems in any other scenario.

Sometimes when people go through therapy it does throw up memories which impact on family and those around them. Just try and keep the door open and send messages.

Good luck with all this.

Illte Fri 30-Oct-20 19:39:36

I take my first comment back Libby. Doesn’t sound too much at all 🙂

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 20:29:39

Thanks all i think you are right re supporting from a distance and being patient. Having said that I am concerned that my granddaughter is being feted by this. I have spoken to the school before in confidence ( I am an ex senco which I think helped facilitate a discussion). I subsequently suggested to my dd that she makes me an emergency contact think I will get back to the head also take the advice re a conversation with social services without making a report at this stage. Quite scared but cannot just stand by as the only other adult in her life.

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 20:30:16

For feted read affected

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 20:33:40

Undoubtedly a factor but the issue is even if dd needs space right now should I ignore the risks this pose to my granddaughter’s well-being. As the only adult aware of the situation I feel I m letting her down

V3ra Fri 30-Oct-20 20:35:18

Illte yes I should have said "tell the school about your justified concerns..."
I agree they might not wish to have a discussion with Libbylou99 but they ought to be prepared to listen to her. It might tie in with their own observations.

V3ra Fri 30-Oct-20 20:47:04

Libbylou99 the one thing that is drummed into us at all my training courses is that "Safeguarding is everyone's concern."
Even more so when it's your granddaughter x

petra Fri 30-Oct-20 20:51:14

libbylou my grandaughters welfare would come first in this situation. She's a child with 2 parents who don't appear to be acknowledging her needs.
Apologies if that sounds harsh but children always come first in these situations. They haven't got a voice and someone has to speak up for them.

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 21:19:49

Thanks all - my child protection training tells me this is the right thing to do but it’s good to have this bolstered by talking to others. It just feels like such a big step when it is your own family. I think I am letting my own guilt stop me from action but as you say all adults have a duty of care for a minor.

Hithere Fri 30-Oct-20 21:28:21

Granddaughter's welfare is important, yes.

However, the daughter has a very severe severe anxiety and it could be partly to the way she was raised.

If the family has proper mental care, I would back off.
They are healing their wounds and learning to cope with their mental health.

It is not OP's job to rescue the gd when OP is a crucial part of the background that may have been part of what is going on now

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 21:41:00

Fair point but they have not accepted the help she needs and are not engaging with the support offered. Dad is becoming depressed and is drinking an unhealthy amount. There are no other adults involved at all - I am the only support they have Of course I take responsibility for what happened I live with it daily. I cope with it by remembering I was the victim of appalling mind games and I did the best I could in the circumstances I was given. Is it then my punishment that I should stand by while a small child’s needs are not met. I think I will be sticking with the earlier advice and no longer participate in this thread.

Hithere Fri 30-Oct-20 21:46:59

What happened that you were welcome in their lives and then just not welcome anymore?

Something had to trigger it

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 22:07:31

Sorry that sounded pathetic am in pieces tonight did not mean to rude.

Libbylou99 Fri 30-Oct-20 22:26:42

I think one of the other children got in touch with her. She knew about them. I talked openly with my family when this all came to light. But have now discovered my ex told them it was not true. I do whether he had said anything else. My other children asked me not to discuss any concerns I have about them over the years as he always twists my words. I wonder if he has said anything. He has form with this - when we split up he told my sister that it was me that had the affairs so I didn’t even have her support at that time.

OceanMama Fri 30-Oct-20 22:34:02

Libbylou, you are not responsible for the actions of your ex-husband. If that had an effect on your daughter, then that is on him. It makes sense this would affect her but there is probably a lot more at play, some which you might not be aware of.

Stay way from blaming the spouse for enabling. He is supporting, no doubt is part of your daughter's care team, and has a big load to carry as the primary support of your daughter. He deserves credit for the hard yards he is doing here, not to be accused of enabling. It's not his responsibility to fix your daughter but to support her as she does the work to get better.

Your daughter has a mental health team and they know she has a daughter. Mental health teams usually work with the whole family unit. They may be in contact with the school regularly already and may be watching things. I don't know how it works in your area though, so can't assume.

You said you are in pieces tonight so this is not the best time to be making that decision. Wait until you have calmed down. Then make the best decision that is right for your granddaughter, keeping in mind that professionals can probably hear you out but can't offer any feedback or information to you.

When you are ready, give some honest thought as to why your daughter might have backed away. She might just need some space, it might be because of her condition, it might be because you have pushed too hard or got too involved or the husband has felt judged. I know how hard it must be not to get very involved, you're her mother and love her and want to do anything you can to help her. That might not be the role that she wants you to have though, as hard as it is for you. It's hard to be a mother and see our children struggling. Some professional support for yourself might be good and might help you work through the decision of whether to contact someone further for your grandchild, or not.