The ethos of BGSG, has always been to never give up hope.
Many parents organisations often will say,’Giving up is not an option,’ but is there a time when we have to consider the unthinkable?
I think I have said in the past that for me a better phrase is ‘Let it be,’ when we let it be it enables us, in lots of different ways.
Each and everyone who has experienced estrangement/alienation of a child/grandchild is entrapped in the awfulness of it all, it prevents people from living their lives to the full, and above all else it prevents people from ever being at peace.
If our minds and hearts are full of anguish and utter bereavement, we simply can not function properly.
As I tell all grandparents there comes a time when we have to self-protect, not only for ourselves, but to those around us, who watch us suffer every day, and it is crippling for them also.
There is absolutely no doubt that this living bereavement, plays havoc with our physical and mental health.
One grandparent who feels very strongly about the hope message has written this,
Alienated GPs often tell each other not to give up hope of reconciling with their children or GC and this is an important message especially in the early days and months when we are often reeling from the shock and misery of being torn away from beloved and often very small grandchildren. Hope is often about the only thing that keeps us afloat.
We live in a trance and torment ourselves with the possibility that the children are bewildered, confused and grieving for us as we are for them. Some estrangements are mercifully short but sadly many aren’t and as the years go by with no sign of changes of heart from our alienators we have, with help from each other, the group, counsellors and friends to find methods to cope. We become more and more aware that the little ones we knew and love are growing up and changing. We lose touch with their lives, interests and even appearances. This is when the ‘don’t lose hope’ message starts to sound a little hollow.
We are now in the most challenging period of our history as a society and I would guess that not one alienated parent, grandparent or affected family member hasn’t hoped that this pandemic would at last bring down the barrier of resentment and hostility that grips our alienators. Didn’t we all think that the kids would just pick up the phone because this is bigger than all of us? I did and due to my mother’s current sudden and serious illness I phoned my DIL. Two minutes later I realised that nothing had changed. She was utterly clear that I no longer figured in their lives and that is how they wanted it to remain. My last hope died and I no longer want to hear ‘don’t give up hope’ because I have none.
I still want to support others who are struggling with alienation but it would be dishonest of me to tell anyone never to give up hope when I have done so myself. I feel that to live in hope will damage me further but have no idea how to deal with it. I simply cannot understand how anyone can be as in humane as my own child has proven to be but I accept is as a fact and it hurts. I have to let go.
My thanks go to the grandparent who has written so openly and honestly about their feelings.
Some of you will not agree, and that holding on to even the smallest nugget of hope is what gets you through each day, others will totally agree.
Whichever way you deal with your estrangement/alienation, always remember that we are all here to support you in any way we can, we don’t have the answers and never will, but you are not alone or isolated in your grief.
I must also say that Marc and I gave up all hope many years ago, even though I preached the hope message, and look what happened to us.