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Estrangement from granddaughter

(21 Posts)
cleghorn Thu 16-Mar-23 22:58:19

Our family last saw or spoke to my granddaughter 18 months ago, when she was nearly 19 & moved to a student campus 60 miles away, with her only friend. She blocked us all from her phone & when we travelled to see her on her birthday, she refused to see us. While she was there, we were able to phone reception who reassurred us as to how she was. In September, however she moved to a rented house with 3 others, but would not give the campus her new address. Therefore we have no way of knowing where she lives. I used to be able to send her presents & cards etc, but had no acknowledgement. It is just as if she has completely vanished. It will be her twin brother's 18th & her 21st birthdays this year. We have been in contavt with her friend's mother, but she is unable to tell us where they are living. We do know they have jobs in retail. Since she was 16 she has been dressing like a boy, cut off all her long hair & had 2 "meltdowns". She became insular, & disrespectful & now calls herself Zac! What can we do if we don't even know where they are living? Her friend does keep in touch with their family, but doesn't want to get involved oin the situation we are having. I do struggle sometimes & have shed many tears, as we were so close. I did not think this would ever happen to our family.

Hithere Thu 16-Mar-23 23:34:03

This cannot be a serious post

Just in case it is - leave her alone

Hithere Thu 16-Mar-23 23:34:14

Sorry, leave him alone

mumofmadboys Fri 17-Mar-23 07:45:31

Give Zac time. Respect that he wants some space. Very hard for you all. x

VioletSky Fri 17-Mar-23 07:58:10

Your grandchild is a grown adult. You have shown from your OP that you don't have healthy boundaries and this may be a reason why the relationship doesn't work.

Turning up at a person's home unannounced is not healthy boundaries

Turning up at a person's home who doesn't want to see you is not healthy boundaries.

Asking the college/university for information is not healthy boundaries

Trying to get information from other friends and family members is not healthy boundaries.

Not respecting their life choices like name changes or identity is not healthy boundaries

I think you are unlikely to ever have a relationship with your grandchild unless you examine why that relationship is unhappy for them and they don't want to continue it... then make the necessary changes

wildswan16 Fri 17-Mar-23 08:27:31

Your grandchild is clearly telling you that she does not want any contact with you (for whatever reason) at the moment.

It is not helpful for you to try and force yourselves on Zac as you have been doing.

Keep her in your hearts, think long and hard how you will react if she does reach out to you once more. Zac is now an adult and will make her own life choices - you may not understand or like them, but that is your problem, not Zac's.

Smileless2012 Fri 17-Mar-23 08:44:02

A distressing and upsetting situation for you and your family cleghornflowers but until your GC wants to make contact there's nothing you can do.

I hope you can find some reassurance that she's living with a friend who is in contact with their family and is working. You don't know where she is, but it does sound as if she's settled and you also know that she's not alone.

As difficult and painful as it is, you need to accept that she doesn't want any contact.

pascal30 Fri 17-Mar-23 09:22:49

Acceptance is the key here. You seem quite unaccepting that your grandchild has chosen to live in a different way since they were 16 and that in order to be truly themself they have had to cut contact with the rest of the family. I wonder if the twins feel the same way.. I think you need to give lots of thought to how you reallyfeel about your grandchild's life choices and whether you can truly love them as they are now..

Carenza123 Fri 17-Mar-23 09:31:49

All of your efforts to keep in contact have been rebuffed. You need to accept the situation and concentrate on your remaining grandchildren and making memories.

Esmay Fri 17-Mar-23 09:32:12

My friend's daughter has done a similar thing :

She was antisocial to people , sometimes insulting and she was friendless at school .
She rejected her mother and was only happy in her father's company .

Once she left school she cut off her very long hair and dressed like her father usually wearing his clothes .

Then , she moved in with a guy , who wears women's clothes, wigs and make up .

They are a great friends and very happy together .

She hasn't gone on to further education and doesn't have a job either .
She describes herself as a artist .She copies Japanese manga .
I don't think that her portfolio was good enough for art school .
My friend ,who is well off finances her .
Her partner is financed by his family .
My friend has stepped back - no matter how she feels about the situation .

I think that Zac has gone through years of misery about his sexuality and is probably afraid of the family's criticism and judgement .
You just have to accept it .
Just give him time and space .

NotSpaghetti Fri 17-Mar-23 09:38:24

I'm sorry to say but you need to back off here.
You are too needy.
Zac is nearly 21 now and is able to have relationships with people they choose. Sadly you chasing and snooping will probably be pushing them away.

I expect you mean well and I'm sure you are concerned but they are making a life for themselves now.

Maybe they will get in contact with the twins at some point (and maybe they already are) but I feel that you, unfortunately, will be out of the picture for a while at least.

Sorry this is harsh but just turning up unannounced and uninvited must have been quite a shock for Zac and I totally understand why they have pushed back.

Franbern Sun 19-Mar-23 08:07:13

The OP's continual use of the pronoun 'she' sums up a lot as to why this g.chld has decided to cut all ties with them.

Zac is an adult, living their life the way they wish, with people who respect their choices,

eleghorn just needs to send a message (and perhaps a 21st birthday pressie), via the siblings to say that she would love to them at some point inthe future. But, most definitely NOT be a virtual stalker in attempts to track down where the are living.

HeavenLeigh Sun 19-Mar-23 14:56:40

I actually think you need to back off, Zac obviously doesn’t want to see you, he’s an adult and yes it’s hurtful but I wouldn’t of taken kindly to you turning up unannounced myself, he has a friend and works so it sounds as just wanting to get on with his life, sometimes things don’t turn out as expected from our point of view, but as long as he’s happy you have to accept it

Shelflife Mon 20-Mar-23 19:09:36

Many harsh responses here ........however true ones. cleghorn, this is a very distressing and worrying time for you and your family. Zac is going through a very traumatic time and must feel they will not get the support they so obviously need. Having said that I do know and understand how hard this situation is for you. If your GC is transgender that is a shock in the literal sense of the word and will take some time for you to adjust, but adjust and accept you will and must! If you do reconnect with your GC and I sincerely hope you do , you must quite simply give them your unconditional love, tell them you love and accept. It is amazing how we can overcome such situations . Be kind to your GC and to yourself. You will feel so much better for that. Good luck in al your efforts to reconnect with your GC . Be brave , be generous with your love . Good luck 💐💐💐💐💐

BlueBelle Mon 20-Mar-23 19:25:29

Gosh you re a hard lot, of course this grandmother is worrying to know how her granddaughter is wouldn’t you? if you love a member of your family very much and they suddenly disappear with no information whatsoever of course you’re going to worry and try to find out if they are ok Forget the gender stuff cleghorn just wants to know her grandchild is safe well and happy
I m sure once she knows that her grandchild is ok she will calm down and admit that this now grown up child must make her or his own way in life whichever way they wish
To suddenly get cut off with no explanation is every parent or grandparents nightmare to not know if their child is safe healthy and happy is a horrible situation

I hope you get the opportunity to make contact and accept your grandchild choices in life cleghorn

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Mar-23 19:28:11

To suddenly get cut off with no explanation is every parent or grandparents nightmare to not know if their child is safe healthy and happy is a horrible situation. Well said BlueBelle.

VioletSky Mon 20-Mar-23 20:33:04


Unfortunately the relationship is already broken

There is a lot of advice about why that might be and what steps to take to fix it

That can't happen without full acceptance of why the grandchild is distant and that understanding won't come without explanation

I'm afraid you misgendering them yourself won't help this relationship reconcile

Respect goes 2 ways in any adult relationship, family or not. If you can't respect another's lifestyle they are unlikely to feel loved and accepted and will distance

JaneJudge Mon 20-Mar-23 20:40:36

Is your Son or Daughter not in contact either?

Ours at Uni is always asking for money...not much other contact but money grin

lyleLyle Tue 21-Mar-23 13:37:23

But the grandchild did not simply vanish. OP knows the people who are in contact with her grandchild. OP knows her grandchild is well enough to hold down a job and go to Uni. The OP wants specific information regarding the location of the grandchild to continue to violate her adult grandchild’s wishes for no contact, as the OP admitted herself. Her presents and birthday cards are not more important to her grandchild than the OP’s respect for the grandchild’s identity.

VS put it perfectly. There can be no relationship without respect. Being a grandparent or grandparent doesn’t give you the right to have a relationship with an adult who does not want said relationship. OP I’m sure is concerned for her grandchild, but lacks the necessary level of respect for the grandchild to continue a relationship. So start there, within yourself OP. Ask yourself whether not respecting your grandchild is worth the relationship. For now, respect your grandchild’s right to space.

Franbern Wed 22-Mar-23 08:34:50

Zac had NOT just disappeared. They are attending a university course, working and in a relationship. They have
blocked all contact with their grandmother (not sure about rest of family), obviously quite deliberately

Not surprised when that g.parent turns up uninvited and unwanted at their campus, asking reception staff to give them personal information. And, in many ways is acting rather like a 'stalker'.

Zac is an adult and does seem to be pretty much in good control of their life. If the OP would back off, accept Zac as they are, then perhaps at some time Zac would be able to re-assured that reconnecting will be safe.

biglouis Wed 22-Mar-23 08:49:45

From the time I turned 21 (the age of consent back then) I stepped further and further back from my family. In the final years my parents hardly saw me. There were long periods after I moved that they did not have my address or phone number.

Painful as it seems you cannont force Zac to communicate if they dont want to. You sound very needy and over invested.