One of the most difficult things when you are estranged from your grandchildren is when people say that we must have done something wrong, or move on, or you’ll get over it.
I know how I feel but I wanted people to understand what grandparents say.
During the last 10 years 3 grandparents I knew have sadly taken a terrible decision that they can’t face life without their grandchildren.
The utter desperation is plain to see on grandparents faces.
Here are quotes I have been given permission to post in this blog.
“I can’t separate the feeling of loss of my GC from that of my son, their father too. I am incomplete. I’m a wife, daughter, sister but no longer a mum & nanny. Part of me has gone. I feel lonely, lost and powerless. I long to feel their little hands creep into mine when they feel insecure and hear them laugh. To have them back in my life would mean more than all the gold in Fort Knox. ”
“My mother in law I never realized , was alienated for over 10 years from my husbands daughter. Her granddaughter.
That’s why she always said she understood what we were dealing with.”
“The best way I would describe how I feel is to say it is like part of me is missing, an emptiness, like the feeling when someone close dies but different because you know they haven’t died and that this isn’t a natural process but it is because someone has decided to make you suffer. It is torture with the tantalising possibility of a resolution unlike true bereavement where you know the person is never coming back. It is that possibility that makes us unable to let go and move on because it might, just might end happily again. It is psychological abuse of the worst kind.”
“Sad, empty, of no use, no longer a mum and Grannie, and I’m extremely envious of other grandparents I see when I’m out. I can’t bear the waste of ‘time’ as even if we end up seeing our grandchildren ‘down the line’ we will have missed out on sharing their childhood. I feel rejected, humiliated, lonely and sick most of the time. There are even times I feel suicidal. I have such a huge longing for family as it used to be, but doubt it will ever be the same again (although I do keep a little hope alive.) I feel a failure. ”
“Its been ten years and the pain goes on. Its a living bereavement,never ending. Then there is the humiliation when you tell someone whom has not been through it, they don’t understand and presume you must have done something wrong. The court process does nothing to alleviate those feelings as it is so soul destroying. In terms of missing all those childhood years you miss of your grandchildren growing up out of sight ,it is horrendous and cannot be got back. Thank goodness i now have another grandson to help fill the void in our lives’.”
“For myself working on forgiving my daughter but I can’t allow my forgiveness to become foolishness. She has robbed me of being a grandma and that’s sad and heartbreaking.”
“Even after 14 years I still feel tearful if I think about the whole saga. Feel sorry for my daughter being estranged from her mother, especially when I clear out a drawer as I did yesterday and read a message from her to say that she hoped that the flowers she had bought for me would still be alive when I got home from Gran’s ( just visited my mother). She had taken my car and would be staying overnight with her friend …… she was 22 at the time.”
“I no longer want to live without my grandchildren in my life.”
“An overwhelming loss which changes from almost coping to a complete meltdown and weeping for all that has gone. I feel so lost and empty, there is always a bit missing, I always have a hole in my heart. This is compounded by the fact that I love my son to bits, no matter what, its is unconditional love for him. I long for the chance to meet my GD who was taken from me when she was 22 months old, four years ago. So much I have missed, we have all missed. It is indeed a living bereavement with the knowledge that I might see him out and about as he only lives 10 minutes away. I would like to move on, perhaps move away, but I agree there is that `what if` and `perhaps` so I need to be nearby – just in case.”
” I can’t sleep, I don’t want to eat, I am on anti-depressants.”
” I have been to a counsellor, but she doesn’t understand. Nobody does.”
“I must have been a terrible Mother.”
” I don’t tell anyone, I am so ashamed.”
“When our beautiful 26 yr old son died I thought there was no worse feeling than following him up the aisle in a coffin. I was wrong. Being torn away from our grandchildren, not being able to see or hear them or know what they are doing with their lives is beyond pain. Frustrating when they are only 30 mins away and sickening when they have been taught to hate us. I got over the death of our son to the point where we could enjoy our life, but getting over the grandchildren is much harder because they’re still alive. A torture instigated by our cruel daughter and we were the most loving grandparents anyone could have wished for.”
“I feel utterly bereaved….. A continual cycle of loss…. Never ending crying once I start and that is often…. I have been discarded, thrown out like a pair of old slippers….I feel erased… Done away with…. No purpose in life… Just filling in time. I can’t sleep… Have chest pains. My home is full of my Grandsons things, they are everywhere…. They loved my home… Adored coming here. I have beautiful jewellery made for me by my daughter, pretty cushions, Lavender bags and numerous other items….clothes she bought me as gifts,… They surround me like Miss Haversham…. I am in limbo land… Can’t move on…. Can’t stay in and can’t go out, I can’t separate the loss of my Daughter with the loss of my Grandsons or indeed the loss of my SIL…. I was a good Mum to them both supported them through thick and thin….. Everything they wanted from us, we have. My Daughter and I were ‘together’ always…. Everyday…. it has ruined the past, present and future….. I see no future… memories are tarnished …. Can’t even look at photos of my Daughter in happy holiday snaps from years ago. My eldest Grandson is an absolute delight…. He adored Grandad…. They were best buddies and to see him heartbroken and bereaved and losing his job because he was so absolutely devastated in every sense of the word has added to my loss with immeasurable pain. I loved my eldest Grandson reading to me and me to him, our walks together round the quarry a small nature reserve near the house…his little voice saying I love you Granny….climbing on the wooden carved badgers and deers, taking to the owls….. Counting the red cars through the village…. the visits, the days out, the baths, the teas, the fun and laughter…the hugs and kisses…. . All gone…. It is just the tip of the iceberg for me…. I am heartbroken for the trauma this will have caused my eldest…. And this will still be ongoing…..sadly. He will have been waiting in the bay window for us to come and get him… He may still be thinking…. Why aren’t Granny and Grandad seeing me anymore? He asked to see us all the time apparently and was told no and eventually gave up…… such cruelty. This my Daughter told me last year…. She, was gradually reducing her contact with me over time, whilst stopping contact with the children…I couldn’t stop it…. I knew it was happening . I kept hanging on, treading on egg shells….. Hoping she would change her mind….. Utterly shocked…. Still am. Our entire family is very sad, confused, shocked and bereaved too…. Especially my elderly Grandparents…. Their first Granddaughter….. They can’t see her or the boys. They do not deserve this…. None of us do. I have only known my youngest for the first 13 months of his life…. So that’s half his little life….I am incredibly hurt by this…. They have both missed out so much on love and laughter…. To be isolated from us and is terrible thing to do….to be cut off from their wider family too. The whole dreadful thing! My Daughter is not the daughter I love ….. Where has she gone? …I want my Daughter back. I am in turmoil writing this.It makes me very emotional….. It has taken over my life….. But I don’t have a life…it has taken over my very being… We wake up not wanting to be here… And we go to sleep heartbroken because another day has, been lost… another day wasted . ”
“For years not seeing my Grandkids was like carrying an albatross around the emptiness feeling like a loser. As if I had wasted 48years of being a Mum. Nothing to show for it, no kids, no son. I felt so embarrassed that my son didn’t want me nor did my grandkids, what sort of person must I be? Pain,pain and more pain, I would dream of them and wake up crying. Then one day I said “enough”. I now pretend that I don’t have a son and two grandkids. Some of the time it works.
“My grandchild were taken away from me not once but twice. The first time my daughter did apologies and said she regretted her actions. But I felt like I was treading on egg shells.
Now after 5 years I agree it is like a living bereavement… words cannot describe… I often wonder what the boys do actually think and ask about their grandparents and what their mother/father are actually telling them.
I feel we are all missing out on their milestones and achievements, but most of all. Its the hands around your neck and nannie and grandad cuddles/kisses.”
“I feel so sorry for my grandson after the wonderful relationship we had, how does he feel??? Has he been brainwashed to believe I know longer love him? Has he been silenced never to mention me again? Is he forbidden to answer my social media messages? Does he ever receive the cards I send??? Does he talk to his younger sister whom I have never met about me??? Its history repeating itself after both my children been alienated for over 27 years. I know the vile things my children have been told and the bystanders in their lives who have done nothing. What type of adults will my grandchildren grow into???? I fear for them, it’s not about me anymore, its about them and their future happiness.”
“For me now after 3 ‘hellish’ years of estrangement and alienation that has robbed me of self worth, self esteem , my good health and at times my dignity , I will never truly heal . Whatever the future holds the pain of this will never leave me …I hope one day I learn to manage it better .. I know I have not been a perfect Mother and that I have no doubt stepped on Mum and Dads toes with my Grandchildren, but to be punished in such a cruel and heartless way is surely a step too far? ..I worry for my Grandchildren, I do believe that this may impact them if it continues through their formative years … Estrangement ,and Alienation are becoming the ‘modern disease’ .’the throw away’ Society in the utter extreme . It is insidious and over time far reaching ,We are a broken Family, My Mum is nearly 85 , she is frail ,she has cried because she fears that her beloved GS will not be at her funeral .That breaks my fragile heart even more .”
These are just a few of the feelings of grandparents, in their own words.
They are just words, what you don’t hear is the pain, the desperation and utter hopelessness. You don’t hear the sobbing.
No-one should be feeling this way.