My first post here. Please hear with me, it's a long one.
I am 59, husband is 63. I have 3 children aged 36, 34 and 28. They are not my husband's kids. The issue is my son, aged 34. I brought them up alone following divorce from narcissist alcoholic ex husband when youngest was 2. Son started exhibiting same personality traits around the age of 14, became involved in drugs and alcohol. Basically, life has been hell with him for 20 years. String of relationships that always start with a honeymoon period then to downhill fast. Lots of money issues (I have bailed him out to the tune of 20k over the years) he's a compulsive liar, loves drama but treats me appallingly. I have spent years trying to 'fix' him but after two years of intensive private therapy (still ongoing) have stopped.
Three years ago he had a daughter with his then partner. I adore her, she is my only grandchild. Last summer I discovered her mother had been convicted of stealing £112,000 from her employer to fund a gambling addiction. She was sentenced to 28 months in prison on December 1st 2022. My granddaughter remained living with my son some 2 hours drive from us. I immediately stepped in to provide support initially travelling over at 4.30 am every Monday and staying until Wednesday. I am self employed so needed some time at home to manage my business and be with my husband. When there it quickly became clear that GD wasn't being looked after properly and that he was drinking and using drugs. When I left on a Wednesday the house was clean, washing up to date, food in cupboards. When I returned 4 days later the house was squalid. The next thing was that the house had gone, tenancy in her name only and him with no legal right to be there. So I packed the house up, arranged for storage and paid for it. He didn't do anything apart from make promises to do it. Before anyone tells me where I have gone wrong, a, I know and b, the true horror of being around this personality type can only be appreciated when you have lived around it. It has ruined my life. It's like living in a vortex, a world where you eventually don't know who you are, or even understand what is happening. It was arranged that my son would come back to us but stay with my mother who has a big house. He then announced that he had got another job 3 hours away, no discussion or consideration for his child. She then came to stay with us Monday-Friday with him taking over Friday evening to Sunday evening.....or so I thought. In 7 months it has never worked out like that. Numerous excuses about why he can't do it, always trying to bring her back early and just not being a dad when he's with her. I feel devastation for my GD and so much sadness, abandoned by both parents effectively. We are traumatised, our life as we knew it ended and we are utterly exhausted. With the help of a nursery, who, due to the circumstances, gave us priority, we get a break in order to work. I have spoken to Social Servieat length, nothing there as she is safe currently, my HV cannot assist either. If anyone else mentions kinship or Special guardianship I will actually stand in a field and scream. So we simply get through every day. GD mother was released last Friday having served 8 months and the run between her and son started immediately. Him behaving appallingly over taking GD to see her mother, something only one day earlier he had promised to do. I was then embroiled in highly charged conversations that had me at the brink of madness. I have made it clear I will not be doing that again. Now begins the process of GD being returned to her mother in a way that does not cause further trauma to my darling GD whilst trying to remain cordial and civil with her mother who wants to rush things. I have had a lifetime of being in pressured situations both personally and professionally but this is on another level. Maybe it's because I'm older, or because I'm powerless as the grandmother but this is like nothing I have ever been through. I have poured my heart into looking after this child, spoken to healthcare professionals regarding trauma in children who are still too young to articulate their fee!Inge or even have the awareness of where mummy has gone. Most of all we have done everything within our gift to ensure she feels safe, secure and loved against a backdrop of misery, failing parents and quite frankly horrible uncaring behaviour.
I'm not asking for advice, I'm a Healthcare Professional too. I have explored everything. I suppose what I would like is grandparents in a similar situation to pipe up here. This is lonely and frightening. On one hand I want to keep her safe forever with me (I don't think she is at risk of physical harm but she has already been badly let down by both parents) but I also know we would struggle to maintain this on a permanent basis and there is huge guilt and sadness associated with that. Her mum wants her back but her dad, my son, has already said he doesn't even want her every weekend, as he 'has to have a life'. How selfish and self obsessed is that, not to mention disgusting.
Thank you for reading this, it's a summary of awfulness and I forgot to mention that on top of our two dogs we also have his two dogs and a cat. My mother is also in very poor health and we have to make daily trips to check on her, take her to her numerous appointments etc. I can honestly see why people walk out of their houses and don't come back. My feelings of desperation, loneliness, anger and fear are sending me to an early grave. We have no family support as both of my daughters live away and my sister also lives 3 hours away so doesn't really help with my mother. We feel as though we have been literally left holding the baby.. I have cried everyday since December
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