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Grandmother denied access to grandchildren - daughter ? hates me
i am struggling as I have not seen by grandson of 2 since Xmas, my daughter is single and has chosen this path, she is 32. She had another babe in May 2018 and I have never seen him and there is no contact. She is the first born and as a child was delightful till she reached age 7, then had "rages." I had a second child when first born was 2. I separated when the girls were 4 and 2 and have worked incredibly hard to provide for them and have done my very best, clearly not enough. Older daughter disclosed sex abuse when she was ? 8 or 9, This was perpetrated by a 13 yo boarder who once I found this out threw him out. Terrible time. Teenage years were hell, with chaos, oppositional defiance, rudeness beyond belief. School drop out (both girls) Year 9 which broke my heart as education really is everything. From ages 7 - 20, we have had sooooo much therapy, counselling, in-patient stays, a huge myriad of health professionals, meds, older daughter has self-harmed, went to live with her father who was more like a brother, took and overdose x 1, much physical illness and over-eating, as I write this my anxiety is high as I relive the nightmare of that time. I think I tried EVERYTHING, all those years ago.. and to date. Ensured both girls have own homes.
I just want to see my grandchildren say once a fortnight, be a granny. Older daughter does not want to have anything to do with me, and this is sooo painful. Yes I have had and still do, have counselling and I lead a busy fulfilled life otherwise. The grief is just terrible. Older daughter states "she wants to protect the children from me" so I just am at a loss to what more could I have done to make heal and repair and at the same time provide for these girls.
Older daughter appears to be a good and responsive mother, she is a good money manager, however in the early days with first grandson I would visit her (drive an hour), only to be watched like a hawk, never left alone with him, not allowed to help her with housework (she lives in abject chaos). Child goes to child care which probably is his saving grace.
I just want to be a part of the life of my grandchildren. I and my ex are the only grandparents, and they have no father (the sperm was a transaction). Any bright ideas of dealing with all this please? Say it how you want to .....many thanks Daphne
Welcome here to the Forum. This realy is a heart-breaking situation and I'm very sorry you have had to face so much. The breakup of your own relationship, troubled children and now that separation that must seem so much of a rejection. To be denied access to grandchildren really is horrible.
I've PTSD and other problems, they came about because of work-related matters, nothing like your daughter, but can say one of the symptoms has been di trust and a desire to control. Also at times I've tend end to blame all concerned, even if they were in fact faultless.
I'm sure after the contact with health professionals you will already be familiar with this. The reason I mention it is recuse of your saying "done my very best, clearly not enough"
There have been times in my life what I have had to realize that my best was not enough -the passing of my first wife being an example. Sad to say there are times when nothing is going to work. I don't know why but I've regarded such as failure and myself to blame and inadequate. Over time I've come to accept that is not the case and events simply have taken their course.
I do know, also from my own experience, that those with trauma do get better with time, and attitudes to change.
You sound a very loving and sensible person - and a very capable one. May I ask if you have someone in your life to support you and care? Do you get on with you younger daughter?
Sometimes one can only be a reservoir of hope, love and normality, and wait. This is what I'm doing with one family member, and simply keep hoping.
Sorry I've no real answer
What a sad and extremely moving post. I can see how hard it was to write your story so emotionally and honestly as it brought up terrible memories .
I can feel how frustrated you must be after all you and your daughter have been through and now to be denied seeing your grandchildren.
As Croix says people sometimes say hurtful things and blames others even if they were not at fault. Sometimes adult children will take out their anger on the person who has been their for them and tried the hardest. it may not make such sense but sometimes there is so much anger and frustration they lash out on the the person they know the best
You write “ so I just am at a loss to what more could I have done to make heal and repair and at the same time provide for these girls.”
What I have seen in my own family, is that your child’s reality/ truth of what happened in the past maybe different to yours. I would find this so hard and try to convince my child she was wrong but then I realised it was not about right or wrong but was about how my child perceived the past. we can’t change the past or one’s memories of the past, but we can work on the present .
you did a great job as a mother to try and help your girls but their experience is different and even if it is far from your truth it is what they believe. I am probably not making sense.
I too am wondering what relationship you have with your younger daughter?
I hope you have someone who cares about you and someone you can talk to .
This is a complex issue and it is sad when children are denied a relationship with their grandparents.
I am pleased you feel your daughter is a responsive mother.
I wish I had some ideas.
Does your counsellor help you with suggestions? I am pleased you have a fulfilled life but I can see the pain of not seeing your grandchildren affects you.
Thanks for showing us how important this is to you.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post and so carefully. you hit the nail on the head - rejection. I prob dont do this very well, a remnant of my own childhood, which makes all this even more troubling as I have tried so hard to make the lives of myself and daughters positive / happy.
I am unsure what to say re your PTSD and loss of your wife, except that you seem yo be an exceptional human being. At times when I feel I can do no more, I too figure that its now over to the universe... you have given me some hope in that over time attitudes do change.
Yes I am capable and sensible mostly and thanks for your kind words.
My younger daughter is on the Spectrum and is lives fairly independently and works. We have a good enough relationship and she can be very kind and caring. I have a partner who is very kind to me and also good to the girls, only so much he can do
Counselling is a helpful "dump" form time to time however does not really change the gnawing pain / sadness
”Sometimes one can only be a reservoir of hope, love and normality, and wait. This is what I'm doing with one family member, and simply keep hoping” yes indeed which is hard for a doer like me - I still send gifts on birthdays / Xmas with NO RESPONSE - am not sure how long I can do this for
I am a giver and we are looking at fostering as a way to “give
back” and also be pseudo grandparents so let’s see how that goes.
“it may not make such sense but sometimes there is so much anger and frustration they lash out on the person they know the best” it is interesting you say this as deep down I think my first daughter has deep anger / rage, not necessarily toward me, just to the world. She sees a counsellor and I have suggested a joint session which she wont do, I wonder a) what she has told her counsellor about me and b) what has the counsellor said to her
“we can’t change the past or one’s memories of the past, but we can work on the present” yes absolutely and despite all this I am truly grateful for the full life I lead. I also intent to start fostering in order to “give back” and my partner and I to be psedo grandparents .- will see how that works.
I have a partner who is very kind, has no children of his own and has been and still is very good to my girls.
My younger daughter is on the Spectrum and she is happy enough and independent and works and we see each other from time to time.
“You did a great job as a mother to try and help your girls but their experience is different and even if it is far from your truth it is what they believe”. Your actually make a lot of sense here…..so very kind to say all this.
I am quite well read and their father is a classic Asperger, which I only realized when it became known around mid 1990’s. My younger girl has a clear diagnosis (it took from her age 5-14 to get a diagnosis) and I wonder if my older daughter does not have traits of this especially her cruelty and abject nastiness, which can switch to loving sweet kindness with her babies… bizarre really, she can be so cold and calculating…she ? has traits of BPD, all this helps me to understand yet at the end of the day I just want to spend time with my little grand babies…
Thanks for taking the time to reply
Like you I can get lost for words, what I can say is you have inside you the strength and insight to bear the unhappy portions of life, and you also have a partner to love. This may give you the wisdom and forbearance necessary for fostering, though I suspect your giving heart and sensitivity will try you sorely at times. I'm glad there are two of you.
Giving love is a funny thing, results are not always as anticipated. Although your eldest seems to be acting in an irrational and hurtful way it is quite possible the love you have given her has enabled her to reach this stage, and without it she might be in a much worse state.
Also as you would know with age one's perceptions and attitudes change, what is important hones down from things to people, from people to those close. I'm sure Quirky is right that your daughter remembers her upbringing differently than you. The events that happened to her will have cast a great corrosive shadow. Plus anger lashes out where it has the most hurtful effect, irrespective of if it is deserved.
If I look at myself I've never changed my memories of what used to happen (my childhood and relationship with my parents is best described as "mixed", nothing startling, just loveless) however after a long time I could put that to one side and offer care. This is nothing to do with my illness which was employment related, just the natural aging process.
As your eldest grows and has fresh experience in parenthood she might well change, plus as children grow their desire to see family can grow too.
thanks for your thoughtful replies which explain more.
I really like Croix's last reply especially this last sentence which says so much in a few words.
"As your eldest grows and has fresh experience in parenthood she might well change, plus as children grow their desire to see family can grow too."
I have seen this happen in friend's families.