I always welcome blogs from others and I have been asked to share this blog on our website:
“I am a mother and grandmother to my only child and three grandsons aged 18, 17 and 15.
How lucky I am except I am an estranged mother and grandparent because of my daughter-in-law who has effectively air brushed me out of their lives.
During my son’s childhood and early adulthood we both had a warm and close relationship even though he was away at boarding school followed by university. At one point he worked with me in my clothing business proving to be a wonderful salesman and we had great fun together which created memories that we still hold dear. He met his wife to be while at university and I warmly welcomed her into the family, she was energetic, happy and she loved my son. Immediately after the wedding they left for California for two years and then took a world trip for a further eight months. They decided to put down roots in the UK, bought a house and shortly afterwards started a family.
By 2006 and three young children it was obvious that she was firmly in control of her family and didn’t want any intervention by me. Having had her first hysterical outburst in 1993 (six months after they married) because I watered wilted plants on their verandah while they were out at work, more followed over the years. With her resentful behaviour invites and visits petered out and my grandsons were never permitted to stay or spend time with me. All thank you notes from them are still monitored by her addressing the envelopes and sharing in any family celebration has ceased. Family holiday photographs are never sent nor any news about the boy’s activities or achievements. I continue to be denied access to their mobile numbers and email addresses. My son appears to be brain washed and goes along with her behaviour, it’s as if he doesn’t dare go against her and our relationship is now dead in the water even though I continue to reach out to him in the hopes of reconciling. I can’t bear not having him in my life.
Over the years I have continued to write to my grandsons to tell them about my life and ask about theirs despite no response. I find some information about their activities on their school websites or associated hockey or cricket clubs and glean bits and pieces from other family members. In the last couple of years I have spoken to my grandsons twice.
For years I was made to feel I was somehow to blame for the breakdown especially by my niece who has helped to justify my daughter-in-law’s ostracisation of me by her support towards her. Alienation can cause a ripple effect which spreads through the extended family as I have found in my case. The alienator using it to their best advantage.
A couple of years ago my health began to deteriorate due to the stress and unhappiness alienation has caused me and I wanted to connect with others going through a similar experience. In Oxfordshire where I live I found there was no group I could join and so I started the Oxfordshire Grandparents Support Group. We hold monthly meetings in Faringdon where grandparents can gather to share their stories and receive empathy and ideas on how to live with such emotional devision in their lives.”
Contact Diana Dunk if you would like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org