Gransnet forums


Friendship, advice and support if estrangement has affected your life

(1000 Posts)
Smileless2012 Wed 26-Jul-23 10:56:25

I've been trying to think of something different to say in the OP for this new support thread but was reminded of the old adage 'if it aint broke, don't try to fix it'.

The longevity and success of the support thread speaks for itself, so we just need to keep doing what we do which is being there for one another and giving a warm welcome to anyone new who comes along.

Bridie22 Wed 26-Jul-23 13:01:46

Thank you Smileless for continuing this support thread.

Hilltop Wed 26-Jul-23 20:49:59

Thank you Smileless , I'm not here often, but this thread is necessary (unfortunately)

DiamondLily Thu 27-Jul-23 10:47:28

Yes, you keep it going Smileless - it's a place where we can just chat about personal stuff, of whatever type, when we have been estranged by one or more relatives.

I've certainly been grateful for the support I've had with various assorted traumas recently. And, some, not so recently.

Hope everyone has a good day x 💐

Allsorts Tue 01-Aug-23 08:07:51

This thread is invaluable for those who have become estranged, it's a place none of us expect to be and everything we can do to put things right in the beginning we should try as the longer it goes on the harder to fix. Thank you Smileless for continuing it. Many of us find that those estranging us do not want to fix anything, then you need places such as this, where others truly understand. No one can tell you how bad it is initially but you can live a good life with time. Focus on those we do have, make plans, meet new people, don't close the door but realise your loved ones are the the only people that can reach out after countless rebuffs to initiate contact again. I got it into my head that I want my daughter happy and she can't be with me in her life and so I have had to accept this is how it will be. I have times when it temporarily engulfs me but I am prepared now. I come on here and chat and put things into perspective.

Nanalouise Tue 01-Aug-23 09:55:09

Hi everyone I’ve not posted in a long time but had read your posts from time to time which has helped me feel I’m not alone yours strengths have have help my strength!
Well my situation has changed recently my daughter and granddaughter have been estranged from her whole family for the last 2 1/2 years saying we were narcissists abusers gaslighters and liars she wouldn’t give reasons why we were just that we were
Anyway I received an email from her a lovely email saying she loved me appreciated all that I’d done for her and would like contact she filled me in on what her and my granddaughter had been up to but she also said she was worried about how our relationship might affect my granddaughter as I’d called my daughter some horrible names and she would never call her daughter these things.
I replied saying lovely to hear from her can we meet for a coffee and chat I said we had probably both said things we regret and didn’t mean and we should take things slowly to build trust on both sides
If you remember from my earlier posts my daughter had run away from home to live with on the streets with a homeless boy they sofa surfed all over the place before stealing thousands of pounds from me and then getting pregnant by him moved away came back lived with us for 6 months then telling us she never wanted to see us again
We met for a coffee got on really well chatted and laughed like old times I asked her what names did we call her she got upset and said we called her pathetic I didn’t push it because she was upset but felt angry that we haven’t seen our granddaughter all this time because of that!
We picked my granddaughter up from play group obviously she doesn’t know me she was only 18 months old the last time we saw her but it’s a start
My daughter has befriended the mother one of my granddaughters friends she is a lot older than my daughter and has a brother who my daughter has become involved with the mother and her husband have bought a boat in Tahiti and will be staying on it for 3 months and then back home for 3 months with their 2 children
My daughter the boyfriend and granddaughter have gone with them for the first month and are due home this week it’s cost my daughter £3000.00 for the air fare which she’s borrowed of the boyfriend as my daughter is on benefits I appreciate that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and experience but how ridiculous to encourage my daughter to do this she will be paying for this holiday for the next 3 years I can hear you all saying that she will ask us for the money but there’s no way we can afford to help her nor do we want to pay for that
We have been in contact nearly every day she sends lovely pictures of my granddaughter eating ice cream and swimming in the sea I’ve seen pictures of the family whose boat it is but not one of the boyfriend even when I’ve asked for one she’s ignored that request. She’s home soon and I’m getting worried about what she wants from us are we being used as she didn’t want to know when her dad was going through cancer her grandmother has had 4 strokes so why now? I know our children uses us but we could easily welcome her with open arms then as easily be dropped again and be devastated all over again. what do you all think??

Smileless2012 Tue 01-Aug-23 14:04:40

Hello Nannalouise and welcome to our new thread. It's lovely to see you here and to know that you've been strengthened simply be reading all that we share.

I can only imagine the myriad of emotions you must have gone through already. The hope before knowing the content of that first email, that perhaps this could be a desire for reconciliation.

A mixture of joyful and nervous anticipation when you were about to meet her again for the first time in 2.5 years and the joy and relief that it went so well.

It was IMO both right and courageous of you to ask her what horrible names you'd called her that was a concern about you having a relationship with your GD. I totally understand your anger that it appears that her being called pathetic, resulted in the estrangement and accusations of narcissism, abusers, liars and gas lighters.

It looks as if this new chapter in all your lives has got off to a good start but it's understandable and I think important that you are concerned about what the future may hold.

You need to think carefully and decide what boundaries you must have in place to do what you can to protect yourselves.

To even think that such a thing should be considered regarding your own child is something we'd never have imagined we would ever do until we were faced with their estrangement of us.

So rather than worry about what she may want from you, which is perfectly understandable, decide before she comes home, apart from of course your love for her and your GD, you are able/prepared to give.

I do wonder if EAC who wish to reconcile with the parents they've estranged, ever consider that it's not necessarily as simple as just walking back into their lives.

Having no experience I don't know, but I do wonder if it ever occurs to them that as much as their parents desire to simply welcome them with open arms, there is a fear that may never leave them, that they could be as you've said, "dropped again".

We love our children because they're our children and that love endures through estrangement, even if we are never reconciled. We want them to love us because we are their parents. We want them to want us in their and their children's lives first and foremost for the love we have for them, regardless of what we may or may not have have to offer in addition to that love.

Allsorts Tue 01-Aug-23 16:47:19

Hi Nanalouise glad you’ve posted. I can only guess how you are feeling. Who was it that said be careful what you pray for. Reading through your post several times I fear you must not raise your hopes, what she has done is immature and that’s being kind, it seems she hasn’t learnt much. Why can’t you see the boyfriend? Plus, if she’s on benefits they will all stop and she will need to reapply. Although understanding you want to reconnect and build a relationship with your gd tread very carefully. Genuinely hope it works out for you all. I reconnected twice many years ago with my d for a very short while, it didn't work for me but everyone is different, if you don’t try you will never know.

DiamondLily Tue 01-Aug-23 17:51:47

Nanalouise -all I would say is not to lend/give more than you can afford to. I know little about means tested benefits, but they seem to be cut pretty close to the bone and borrowing money for a trip abroad probably isn't wise.

Hope you sort it out 💐

DiamondLily Tue 01-Aug-23 17:59:59

Well, Miss D had her court case heard. She decided to plead guilty with the mitigation of mental health.

The magistrate seemed unimpressed and referred her to the Crown Court for sentencing, at the end of August.

She got an order restricting her from contacting any of us - which she promptly broke by messaging DD 10 minutes after leaving Court.🙄

Friday afternoon, we get a call from SS saying we needed to employ a solicitor for Family Court today.

Sunday afternoon, DD got a phone call to assess her as an emergency carer.

Monday morning, the court case was off, and to stand down the solicitor and barrister.

Now, non one has a clue what's going on, and the SW isn't returning calls/messages.

God, this year is exhausting me.🙁

Meanwhile, `DD is so stressed that it's bought on facial neuralgia, so she's gone sick for a week.

So, tomorrow, I'm taking her out for lunch to try and get some respite from all this stress.


Smileless2012 Tue 01-Aug-23 18:39:15

It looks as if things are happening behind the scenes DL that you are at present unaware of. Maybe more time is needed to evaluate your D as an emergency carer for the baby.

They may wait until she's sentenced at the end of the month before making a final decision.

Your poor DD, she must be so stressed, as you'll be too.

I hope you can both enjoy your lunch out tomorrow flowers for you and flowers for your DD.

Whiff Tue 01-Aug-23 19:09:52

Nanalouise glad you felt able to post and know this is wonderful support group. You have had good advice from others . I will write more tomorrow as had my grandson today and I get very tired not that his any trouble . It's just my health issues I tire easily anyway.

DiamondLily I really don't know how you are keeping it all together but glad Miss D wasn't believed in her plea.

Will write more tomorrow. Early night for me tonight.

Whiff Wed 02-Aug-23 07:45:01

Nanalouise when my son estranged me 3 years ago after a while I ask myself would I trust or welcome back a husband who decided he didn't want me in his life via email . The answer was a clear no.

I still love my son and 3 grandson's. But the son I love was the son I knew for 32 years not who he is now. If he decided he wanted me back in their lives my first thought would be what does he want and why now? Would I welcome him and my grandson's back into my life. Yes to my grandson's but they are 7,5 and 3 this year. The 3 year old I have never met or know his name or date of birth. But I wish him happy birthday out loud on the date he was due. And wish my son and other 2 grandson's happy birthday out loud to.

My son would have to answer for all his vile and harsh words but any relationship would be on my terms and I wouldn't trust him not to do it again. He called me vindictive and manipulative 2 things I have never been . He would have to explain himself and his other accusations. Also he would be put right about his assumptions of actions I took. He doesn't know what I did to try and help them. Plus I would want to know if he read his wife's Reddit posts about me . Especially the sentence which killed any love I had for her. I don't hate either of them as I had enough of that with my in laws from 1975 until my mother in law died in 2015. Never want to hate anyone ever again. My son said in his email I love you mom but don't like you . His dad loved his parents but never liked them but he and with me we never gave up on them. Because of my love for my husband I looked after a woman who out lived her son by 11 years and broke her promise to her dieing son. And after he died denied she had a son or 2 grandchildren who also never gave up on her. Even when she refused to go too their weddings.

My husband was told in 2001 that he had a malignant melanoma grade 4 and given 5 years to live. Our children where 17 and 13 at the time. Can't remember exactly but think our son was 15 and almost sure it was before my husband was terminal. My son went out with friends and drunk a whole bottle of vodka. One of the fathers came and told us my husband ran to the field to wait for the ambulance which had been called. Then we went to the hospital of course he had his stomach pumped. I remember apologising to the nurses . After some hours he was able to come home. Next morning I told him he was grounded until he was 30 and never make me ashamed to be his mother again and how dare he out the blame on his dad having cancer for his drinking. He promised he wouldn't and told his dad he was sorry and cried in my husband's arms. I think my son has forgotten what he did. Because of my husband and daughter I only grounded him for a month. Until the estrangement he never drank vodka again.

But how can you trust someone who broke his word . I am ashamed of my son the son who promised he never would make me feel that way again. I never forgave him for hurting his dad.

Looking back he was punishing his dad because he was going to die. That is unforgivable. Yes he was still a child but he knew exactly what he was doing. Our daughter never did anything like that. She did get drunk before my husband's cancer. But never after when she was at home.

Please be careful Nanalouise and if you do want a relationship with your daughter make it on your terms. I am very suspicious of this boyfriend you may have already thought this but could he be a decade or two older than your daughter that's why no pictures of him ?

One of our old posters had what she called red rope can't remember how it worked when dealing with her daughter in law. Others may remember what it entailed.

I don't use words like narcissistic behaviour or gaslighting as no idea what they are. I am a plain speaking. When our children where young then there where consequences for their actions why just because they are adults and parents do they think there will be no consequences for their actions now.

I am not a forgive or forget person if someone has hurt me . I still haven't forgiven my brother for something that happened when our son was young caused by his second wife. But I do now understand how much it hurt our parents and that is unforgivable.

Please be very careful and think about how much hurt you can take . But don't lend or give your daughter any money. If she wants money she can earn it . I hate the phrase bank of mom and dad. No such thing. Our parents didn't help us what we had we worked for and went without things to afford our own home. And definitely no holidays abroad until our daughter was about 13 and son 9. It was to France for a week. But not ever year.

I also hate these adverts saying release equity in your home to help your children but their own home. Both of my children worked and saved to buy their own homes I wasn't in the position to help and anyway I wouldn't have any way. My husband died aged 47 I was 45 and our children 20 and 16.

As per usual I have gone off at a tangent. But others have given you safe advice . Please Nanalouise be very careful and protect yourself. It's horrible having to protect yourself against your own child.

I am lucky I have a kind and loving daughter ,son in law and 2 grandson's who I see weekly.

Do you have other children?

Allsorts Wed 02-Aug-23 07:49:32

DL, as Smileless said a lot going on behind the scenes but very stressful for your DD and all of you. At least Miss D pleaded guilty.

Smileless2012 Thu 03-Aug-23 09:09:51

Morning everyone. It's good to see that yet another support thread is up and running smile.

I feel so sorry for anyone with children who are off school for the summer, because where is the summer? We couldn't believe how much rain we had here yesterday, it was relentless and we checked several times that we were dry. Thank goodness we are and that we had the work done on our roof terrace as I dread to think how much water would have come through otherwise.

I hope your house is OK hugs; you'll be glad to get your roof replaced before winter.

It's another grey and chilly morning here and isn't looking good for the rest of the week and weekend, but we're still going to our lodge on Sunday as we've hardly been this year and this will only be our third visit!!!

It's been a strange year so far but not for any discernible reason, but we keep plodding on. Had a great weekend with my visiting cousins and are meeting up with Mr. S.'s brother and wife this evening for a meal, as they are holidaying in the area with their caravan.

I do feel for them as the weather's so miserable but at least it's just the two of them and no GC this time to be entertained.

Yoginimeisje Thu 03-Aug-23 09:34:01

Morning all, thanks for opening this new thread Smiles I'll grab a coffee and be back to read soon....

Yoginimeisje Thu 03-Aug-23 09:55:50

DL and so it goes on and on, oh dear! Unfortunately, you are stuck with this woman in your and your whole families lives for ever, so you need to have a family meeting and decide how to all deal with her. Think you have to accept it's going to be difficult; your poor GS has a lot to deal with, his mother is being very good in giving so much help. Good luck with it all. xx

Yoginimeisje Thu 03-Aug-23 10:04:31

Nanalouise How lovely to be reunited with your estD, but now it has turned bittersweet as you are wondering what her motives are. When she returns, before she asks for money, you could say how tight things are for you financially now you are retired, so put her off asking in the first place and then if she doesn't disappear, you will know it is a genuine reconciliation and not just about squeezing money out of you. Good luck xx

Smileless2012 Thu 03-Aug-23 10:57:39

Hi Yogin it's great to see the new thread up and running isn't it smile.

Good advice for Nannalouise, it's best to get this out of the way at the beginning so everyone knows where they stand and casually mentioning that money is tight, is a good way of doing so because let's face it, we're all finding things strained at the moment aren't we.

It's a shame we have to think this way but necessary if there's to be any hope of a genuine reconciliation.

DiamondLily Thu 03-Aug-23 13:43:23

Took DD for lunch, very nice.

Social Services seem to work in chaos - loads of people involved, but no one seems to ever have all the paperwork when they phone, so it gets more complicated.

One SW had the weird idea that, to keep the peace, if DD looked after the baby, she should send my GS to live idea where this came from. DD told them to forget it, she wasn't making her son homeless when he hadn't done anything.🙄

Another SW was saying they thought a Mother and Child Unit for Miss D and the baby would provide close monitoring, but the places were hard to find,

Oh well, meanwhile we press on. Hopefully, sooner or later, the whole thing will go back to court, and something can be sorted out.

Hope everyone has a nice day.💐

Smileless2012 Thu 03-Aug-23 14:24:09

Oh dear DL it does look as if the right hand doesn't know what the left hand's doing doesn't it.

Why on earth should your GS have to move away so your D can look after the baby? For goodness sake, don't some of these people have any common sense at all? Punish a young man who wants to be there for his child because the child's mother isn't capable of raising her unsupervised!!!

You're right though it will get sorted and a lot will depend on the sentence that's given in a few weeks time.


Spring20 Thu 03-Aug-23 14:32:29

Hi everyone and thanks from me too for the new thread Smileless. DL - you are amazing the way you are staying so rational and strong for your family. I really hope the courts are able to settle things soon, not least for the future of the child in the middle of this. May there be a wise and good outcome. Not been great recently- caught Covid again and this time had my energy zapped. On the mend now I hope, but wonder if we’ll all be offered additional boosters in the autumn? Nanalouise, I don’t know how I feel about your reconciliation. I hope with all my heart this is a reset in the relationship and you can both work through past hurts. For me I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like. We hold out so much hope - yet the fear and dread of more pain are always now present. I really hope you are spared this.

Whiff Fri 04-Aug-23 07:42:02

Yesterday at craft group one of our number opened up about her estrangement from her only child her son . She shed a few tears so I hugged her while she talked about what happened . After abusive texts from him she blocked him on all social media. Turned about it was all down to an ex girlfriend he had. She had a message from his dad who lives abroad that he had been trying to contact his mom. When she unblocked him all the messages where saying he was sorry and didn't want to lose her. I don't know if she had talked before about her son to anyone . But I told her about mine. At least she has a relationship with her son but takes it one day at a time . He told her he loves her and doesn't want to lose her. I said estrangement is a living grief and she said she didn't realise that's why she felt like she did when they lost contact she was grieving. She didn't do anything wrong it was down to this ex girlfriend and her demands. Hopefully knowing someone who understands helped but I told her she can always talk to me.

It was sad because here we can talk freely about how we feel makes me wonder how many people we met are going through the same thing but feel they have to hide it for fear of being branded a bad parent or not believed.

Because of being on this thread I am able to talk openly about my son. Seems I am doing the right thing . If anyone asks have I got children and grandchildren I always say 2 and 5 grandson's. If they ask if I see them then I am honest and tell them. I can't lie because I forget and anyway I didn't dump my son he did that to me. But it's amazing how common it is just people don't talk about for fear of being judged and blamed.

I am guilty of that where I used to live . I would hear people say they never saw their child or children and I would wonder why and what did they do. Never heard of estrangement until it happened to me.

But me moving here opened up.a new life for me a life I should have been living since my husband died and couldn't. Before my move if I wobble and veered off course people gave me strange looks or told me I was drunk. Yesterday on my way to the bus I headed into a wall. A man walking his dog the opposite side of the road crossed to see if I was ok. Northerners are a different breed to black country people.

Funny how the lives of those of us who have moved, how much our lives have changed for the better. Yes I lost my son and grandson's but gained so much more . I live my life to the full no longer exist and I am happy. Something I wasn't after my husband died. Funny how moving has altered my life so much.

Whiff Fri 04-Aug-23 07:44:21

Spring hope you feel better soon. I have already booked my flu jab for September hopefully will know when Covid boosters are available and get that booked.

Yoginimeisje Fri 04-Aug-23 09:18:52

Wish you better Spring

Whiff when someone asks about grandchildren, for a split second you wonder what to say. I had my eyebrows tinted on Tuesday and the beautician asked the question, I always answer 4 and then immediately gear the conversation to my DD&GDs.

I too had never heard of estrangement before mine & have meet others in the park, had a casual chat and found they were estranged too!

This discussion thread has reached a 1000 message limit, and so cannot accept new messages.
Start a new discussion