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Grandparenting

Christmas Sadness.

(52 Posts)
Rosyglow8 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:05:52

My granddaughter is just turned four. I haven't seen her since she was six months old. How often I read the words "I don't know what I've done", but in my case I truly don't. Prior to her birth, I was as close to my DIL as she would allow me to be, but that was fine. I'm a widow, and geographically I'm a great distance from my son, who has actually never lived at home since he left for University many years ago. Despite that, we have an extremely close relationship, especially since my husband died. I was so happy when, after concentrating for years on his career, he married. His wife was always just a little withdrawn, and I adjusted my attitude so I didn't overwhelm her. I arranged some fabulous holidays and invited them, which went really well, and she seemed to enjoy coming to my home.

Things started to change when she became pregnant. I bought all the things for the baby that she asked for, and she seemed really happy. Early in her pregnancy, I became very ill, diagnosed with Sepsis and spent three and a half months in hospital. During that time she didn't visit with my son, nor did she send any get well message or card. She went back to her own country to have the baby, so my granddaughter was six months old when I saw her....for the first and last time.

The saddest part of all this is the impact it's had on their marriage. Naturally my son fought long and hard for his child to know me. When this resulted in the most dreadful rows, I told him to back off and accept the situation, and I would do the same. My thinking was that maybe time would improve things....it hasn't and their relationship seems to be over. Things have quietened down, but that's only because she has got her own way. To protect my beloved son, I have had to give up my granddaughter. I will not be responsible for the unhappiness of either of them, so he comes home alone.

I wrote this post mainly to illustrate how easily lives - and relationships - can be wrecked by unkindness, selfishness, and possessiveness. At this time of year, the sadness that's always with me becomes almost too much to bear.

MissAdventure Fri 01-Dec-17 13:08:30

Rosyglow, there is a thread on here for estranged grandparents. It might help you to 'speak' to others who are going through the same thing. I'm so sorry for your situation. I can imagine how bereft you must feel. flowers

Madgran77 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:18:07

There are other threads but there is a real poignancy for Rosy about Christmas sadness and an individual post not part of a general support thread can maybe help a bit with that ...xmas is a particular hard time I suspect flowers

Rosyglow8 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:29:21

Thanks MissAdventure. I have taken part previously in the thread you mention, but as I'm thankfully not estranged from my son, my situation feels different.

Rosyglow8 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:31:14

You get it don't you Madgran?. Thank you.

ninathenana Fri 01-Dec-17 14:35:19

Rosyglow have PM'd you

lemongrove Fri 01-Dec-17 14:57:48

So sorry to hear this Rosyglow and think you have been/are a wonderful Mother to have been so unselfish.
If the relationship is over, he may hopefully meet somebody else a lot kinder than your first DIL.

Luckygirl Fri 01-Dec-17 16:00:16

How brave of you to accept what you cannot change in spite of the pain to you.

nanaK54 Fri 01-Dec-17 19:08:57

I don't have any words of wisdom - I really wish I did.
I just wanted to acknowledge your post and all of the hurt that you are feeling flowers

cornergran Fri 01-Dec-17 19:41:08

Oh rosy sometimes when we do the right thing we cause ourselves pain. I’m so sorry this has happened to you. Christmas is a time that triggers memories, good and bad, and also reminds us of the future we planned in our heads only to discover it’s out of reach. I can only hope your sadness is manageable and there will be some joy this Christmas time. flowers.

Grannyflower Sat 02-Dec-17 03:13:19

Rosyglow so sorry to hear of your sadness. Well said Cornergran. Lots of us have an idealised view and expectation of the Christmas we would love to have, with family or friends and it's hard to get to a place of acceptance that the reality is very different and to celebrate whatever we do have in our lives. flowers

BlueBelle Sat 02-Dec-17 07:08:16

Rosy what a poinent and sad post you sound such a sensible lady letting your head overrule your heart to try to keep the situation manageable There is not a hint of bitterness just sadness I take my hat off to you it would be so easy to slate your daughter in law and you haven’t I so so hope things will change for you you seem to have gathered the strength to be patient I truely hope that patience pays off and you get to see your little granddaughter soon I m glad your son keeps close to you I can only give you my sincere thoughts and hope your situation changes for the better . 🌷

Camelotclub Sat 02-Dec-17 10:21:25

She sounds jealous and insecure about the close relationship you have with your son.

IngeJones Sat 02-Dec-17 10:43:03

Sounds to me like the woman just wanted to have a kid, and having got one, disposed of the sperm giver and his entire family. I bet she does the same to another man and his family when she wants her next kid.

tickertape Sat 02-Dec-17 11:04:58

Rosyglow what a sad story. You have been so caring and brave accepting your DILs coldness and lack of concern. How hurtful that must be.
My son became infatuated with a girl from eastern Europe. He paid for her to come over. From the start she made it clear my son was hers. She came with nothing didn't work and relayed on him. She got pregnant within 2 mths and has made it clear I am not wanted. I have seen my 2 yr old gd only twice. Son does as he is told and he is upset with the situation. He apologised but she has said she will take the child back home abroad if he tries to include mee in their lives. In less than three years I seem to have lost my son who now has a little girl I cannot see. I feel for others. This spitefulness isn't unusual

LadyPenelope Sat 02-Dec-17 11:16:09

Dear Rosyglow, I am so sorry to hear of your problem. I am in a similar situation, not having seen my grandson for several years. This time of year is particularly dreadful in that respect, and these days I see it as something to be got through. You can’t get away from it, and are bombarded from all sides with “Christmas cheer”, which makes you feel as though there’s something wrong with you if you’re not having M&S Christmas. I have to remind myself that for most people it’s not like that, many are struggling to afford it, having to put up with relatives they can’t stand, etc.

The standard advice given to grandparents in this situation is to contact Grandparents Plus, but in recent years the emphasis of this organisation has switched from supporting non-contact grandparents to supporting those who are bringing up their grandchildren. To be honest they have little to offer non-contact grandparents, of which there are thought to be at least a million in the UK. A better option is the Bristol Grandparents Support Group – a voluntary organisation offering advice and support to non-contact grandparents not just in the Bristol area but throughout the UK. Their website gives details of about 20 local support groups in the UK, including the one I run in Worcestershire. I’ve found that it makes all the difference just to be able to meet and chat with those in a similar situation.

It’s likely that you haven’t done anything wrong – in my experience a lot of these issues are fuelled by jealousy. While current UK law doesn’t give grandparents and grandchildren any automatic right of contact, during the past year there have been several debates in parliament around this issue and related areas, a lot of coverage in the national media, and the issue was recently raised (by Nigel Huddleston MP) in Prime Minister’s Questions. A Green Paper on this subject is in the pipeline. I hope this helps, and good luck!

Foxygran Sat 02-Dec-17 11:27:41

I'm so very sorry. Here's sending a huge bunch of flowers 🌺 to you flowers flowers flowers
Certainly, I know myself that the sadness that is always with you in a situation like this is so much more magnified at Christmas - a time when you imagine all other families to be having a wonderful time together. But the reality is that it just isn't like that for many people.
You sound a lovely person and my heart goes out to you x

Gabrielle8 Sat 02-Dec-17 12:21:56

Hello everyone.

Well, with my inimitable flair for technology, I seem to have lost my account, so am now using one from years ago.....which I also lost at the time. Anyway, I'm still Rosy!

Thank you all for your kind words, they really do help. I think perhaps coming face to face with my mortality - or maybe it was all the morphine! - helped me put things into perspective just a tiny bit. Also, I was a qualified counsellor with the BACP for many years before I retired, so maybe that's helped.

My son is coming home for four days next week, which is wonderful. However when he's gone, I'm left feeling so emotional. I try to hide it whilst he's here......but he's a bright lad. His wife has lost the most amazing husband, and knowing that gives me no pleasure....Rosy.x.

suebeck Sat 02-Dec-17 12:33:29

Hello . It's ten years now since I saw my granddaughters. One is just 18 and the other 15. I find every birthday and certainly Christmas extremely distressing.

suebeck Sat 02-Dec-17 12:35:31

I can't find the other thread on this terrible situation.

Coconut Sat 02-Dec-17 12:51:29

It’s heartbreaking that there are so many cruel women out there denying children the love of grandparents. I so hope Karm exists 💐💐

Coconut Sat 02-Dec-17 12:52:15

Karma !!

glammanana Sat 02-Dec-17 12:57:46

What a sad state of affairs and such pointless selfishness from your DIL it certainly sounds as though she just wanted to become pregnant by your son,has she gone back to her own Country or does your son still have contact with the child ? I hope he does.
I count my blessings every time I see my DGCs as nothing like this has ever happened in my family.Enjoy your sons company next week flowers

Friday Sat 02-Dec-17 13:43:06

Rosy you’re doing the best you can under sad circumstances. Enjoy the time you have with your son.

No solutions, but think you’re a very kind and thoughtful woman x

Maggiemaybe Sat 02-Dec-17 14:36:22

suebeck, and others who may wish to see it, this is the link to the support thread for estranged grandparents. I hope you find some help there.

www.gransnet.com/forums/relationships/1240156-Support-for-Grans-cut-out-of-AC-GC-lives?pg=10