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Why Can't I Adjust?

Community Member
My Grandson lived with me for the first three years of his life. At this stage my daughter said she felt it was time to take him to live with her - (which is 4 hours away from where I live). I had a nervous breakdown - I started to cry and couldnt stop, I couldnt think straight, I couldnt eat (I lost 10kls)......I had to seek help. I saw my GP, a mental health nurse and a counsellor....they all stated that I was grieving. That somewhere during those 3yrs he had lived with me ...I had allowed myself to take on the 'mother' role and I was now in grieving because someone had taken my child away. They said time would help, talking to them alot would help and I was also put on anti-depressants.
My Grandson adapted faster than I did - as children do. He missed me terribly to start with but over time quickly grew close to his Mother and settled into his new life. I would go visit as often as possible. He was always happy to see me and I of course was always so happy to see him.
I finally stopped crying, started to eat again, got off anti-depressants and adjusted to now being Nan....at least I thought i had.
My Grandson is with me at the moment visitng. His Mother called to talk on phone and after she hung up he was upset and said he missed her - natural. I offered him comfort and we lay down on his bed and had a chat. I said something to the effect of 'its ok to miss Mum and be sad, everyone loves their Mum and misses them when they are away from them, and that Mum will be here in just a few days so I would just look after him until she got here'.....he answered back "No, I want Mum. I miss her more than I like you." And for some reason that statement hit me like a knife in the heart. That terrible pain I had felt all those years ago when he left swelled up and I nearly burst out crying.
Why did that statement hurt so much? It's natural for a child to miss their Mother and want to be near them so why did it nearly rip me to shreds? I had noticed that I have been struggling for a few weeks now to 'hold it all together'. Waking up in the small hours, unable to go back to sleep and feeling so depressed. I really thought i had adjusted to being 'Nan' so didnt think that was what was bothering me but maybe I have been deceiving myself. Has anyone other Grandparents been in this position? How did you adjust? I dont want to experience that sort of pain ever again...but it seems to be grabbing me again.
3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Minty

Im not a pop yet but O fid have a marriage split when my kids were 7 and 4. The feeling if losing your full time parenthood has a similar feeling. Comments made by chdren in that situation can hurt just as much.

I tried to cushion the hurt. I built an environment wheteby my kids loved to visit. A fairy garden, fairy bedroom curtains etc. But discipline was still needed and sometimes the comment "I dont like you" or "mum lets us do that but you're mean" really hurt.

At 14yo my youngest rang me "I dont want to see you anymore". It cut like a knife. Worst still she wouldnt tell me why. Ten years later she walked up my driveway and we kick started our relationship but it wasnt to be. Her mother had demonised me so much that my daughter has no respect.

So, what are the dtrategies I put in place to overcome this hurt?

Reverse my thinking. Google

Topic: switching mindsets- beyondblue

Topic: depression and sensitivity - a connection?- beyondblue

Accepting yourself for who you are is vital for stability. This includes being sensitive and melancholy.

Topic: the frog and the scorpion- beyondblue

Rest assured you are very important to your grandchild.

Enjoy the reading.

Tony WK

Topic: water off a ducks back- beyondblue

Children say things without knowing the ramifications. Under different circumstances your grandvhild would express tremendous love for you.

Embrace the bond. You have a bond now that could never be broken. It will be amazing even in his 20's for him to have you in his thoughts regularly. A depth of support.

Grief. Its hard to overcome. Time helps. Google

Topic: coping with grief- beyondblue

Topic: making sense of grief- beyondblue

I can't thank-you enough for your response.

I will read all your suggested topics and hopefully will find some help in them.

I am sorry your relatonship with your daughter broke down - I pray that one day you might be able to patch things up.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi Minty welcome

Wow I'm really sorry for your pain

I'm not a Mum but can offer an ear and support.

When reading the comment the little fella made, what came to mind was he was angry and just lashing out, I doubt very much that he meant it with the clear deep love and bonding you've had with him, he'd love you as deeply.

How strong you are picking up from a breakdown, that's mighty, but the pain although you pulled through would still be there and I guess that comment sparked it again.

Good on you that you're going to follow white knights helpful info.

white, how cruel people can be, I too hope one day your daughter sees you for the good caring loving person you are, I've seen you around here and read posts. Sorry for your pain too

See yous later 🙂