Withholding Grandchildren

Question: Dear Luise: My oldest daughter asked to live with us while she finished nursing school, children’s father was lazy and an alcoholic. I have been the sole caretaker for these beautiful children since birth. We sold/bought a larger home with huge yard for our grandbabies to play in. They were very happy here they are 7 and almost 4. Schools were good etc. 2 weeks after moving in, daughter went looking at an apartment. Really had no way of paying for it and it upset my 7r old grandson. Over the past yr she became abusive, constantly belittling me because I did not make it past high school, insulting my family etc. On 3 seperate occasions she stood with arms stretched across doorway, saying mean/hurtful things. I could no longer take it and told her to leave, it was all I could say at the moment and in my heart did not want my grandchildren to be dragged through any more than they had been. She has moved and will not answer my emails, I’ve apologized and pleaded to let us see our grand babies. On Wed my siser in laws will be coming for a visit, I assume we will be read the riot act because she had been texting and emailing them for several months telling them how mean I am. My husband & I both feel she resents the fact that our grandbabies love us and enjoy us. THey behave and never give us a problem with bed time, when she would be home it was at least an hr of yelling, threats, crying. I personally feel she took out her anger towards me, bf wouldn’t fight back and I know she was hurtful and mean towards him. I’m not sure how to handle this, I don’t want to relive this past year and also do not need to defend myself we were the ONLY family that helped until now. It hurts to have children disrespect you and drag the entire family into this. I’m also fearful what the children may have been told. My grandson was my husband’s shadow my granddaugher is the sweetest loving little soul. Please any advice, I don’t like confrontations and not looking for an arguement but need to put out that we want to continue our relationship with our grand babies, my daughter does not have to like me but just acknowledge that we have been there for them all along and don’t want to lose this relationship. C.

Answer: Dear C.: This isn’t a simple question and answer situation. Please bring is over to my Web-forum at www.WiseWomenUnite.com where you will have the benefit of community, support, dialogue and multiple responses. I will be there. Blessings, Luise

One Response to Withholding Grandchildren

  1. D. August 10, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Dear withholding grandchildren:

    I understand about feeling you have to restore your reputation. Thing is, the only way you can do this is by living a good example. I had an extremely painful experience, and to this day I don’t know why the powers that be allowed such a convoluted row:

    I attended my mother’s funeral at which, my father, who had knee surgery, sat at the head of the receiving line in a wheel chair. After all the condolences by friends had been made, I went to my father and bent on my knees to offer my sincerest sorrow for his loss. My sister in law, and sister stood each with a hand on his wheel chair grips. As I knelt before him, my father began to talk to me. That is he asked “is your mother taking her meds”, “is she still in a mental hospital”, “did she get off the streets”, has she stopped drinking”, etc.. I had no idea what he was trying to communicate. My sister at that time, chimed in and pointed out to my father that it was I, his daughter, not my daughter (his grand daughter) who looks much like me, to whom he was speaking. In other words he thought he was talking to my daughter about me. My sister in law and sister, who have no love lost on me, thought this was a riot and did nothing to contain their uproarious laughter at the event.

    I was not only hurt that my father did not recognize me, and that my sisters laughed at me, but mostly in that my daughter had, apparently lied about me. I’ve never been on the streets, or, even had a drink, etc. In that one moment my familial life as I knew it was destroyed. It’s been several years and I forgive my sisters in that they are bitter spinsters without a single friend outside one another. I forgive my father in that he is an old man. My daughter, however, with my two grandchildren, since hearing of the event, no longer speaks to me, at her bidding, definitely not mine, I suspect she is ashamed of herself, irregardless I sorely miss she and my two grandchildren, to whom I was close.. Through counseling, I learned my daughter’s behavior was more about she than I. For whatever reason she felt a need to destroy me to make herself look better in the eyes of, apparently, a toxic family in which she found camaraderie….and so it is with your daughter. In her self loathing she lashes out at you and others, and in order to feel powerful whisks away that which you hold dear. For whatever reason, probably having nothing to do with you, this is more about her than you. All you can do, as a fore mentioned, is live a good example, one your grandchildren can look up to. Keep in mind the hardest rearing years for your grandchildren are just around the corner. I’ve no doubt your daughter will turn to you for help with teen years.

    I pointed out to my daughter once, “the way you treat me, is the way you are teaching your children to treat you” (I said this during good times as a compliment, but given the current circumstances my advice just might backfire). The way your daughter is treating you is a sure fire way for her to rush adult grandchildren into your loving arms, given the cradling arms of their mother are broken. D.

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