We know that no-one ever understands estrangement/alienation unless they have had to face the heartbreak themselves.
Equally the different scenarios that encapsulate being denied contact with grandchildren, can only be truly understood by personal experience.
Grandparents find it very difficult that the focus with the media is more often than not around separation and divorce.
Those who know me will know that whenever I am asked I say that there are many different reasons why grandparents find themselves cut out of the lives of their grandchildren, there is no one size fits all.
What I don’t have is the personal experience of my adult children removing me from their lives, unlike thousands who do.
I can not possibly imagine the devastation that is felt when children you have brought into the world, children you have nurtured to the best of your abilities, as adults tell you they don’t want you in their lives.
I speak to many grandparents who say their heart is broken.
Most grandparents try to communicate, try to reconcile with their adult children, over and over again, only to face further rejection.
Grandparents face lies and false allegations, with no way of refuting them.
How do you explain that a grandparent who puts their hand on their grandchild’s knee, is being abusive?
Or that sending birthday cards and presents is harassment, needing the Police to visit them.
Adult children who seek out therapy seem to be told to cut a family member out of their lives.
Sometimes the olive branch appears to be being raised, only for a few weeks later for grandparents to be told once again they are not wanted.
When did we reach a place where, it is your parents fault for everything that is wrong in your life?
We can all do that, not all of us had amazing childhoods or happy family lives, but blaming the other generation is the easy way out.
After all we are all adults now, we are the ones who make decisions about our lives, what happened in the past should not define us, or influence us.
The perpetrators of alienation are very plausible, they are experts in rewriting their past to make excuses for why they behave this way, they are entrenched in their own weaknesses.
The hole they dig gets deeper and deeper and it becomes impossible to see what is truth, and an inability to lose face.
They continue to spin these horrific stories.
It may be that we are never forgiven for our mistakes, never forgiven for leaving a husband/wife and remarrying, never forgiven for not giving them enough financial help, who knows.
Only those who are alienators know.
You will know that at BGSG we say
Never give up hope.
For grandparents who are trying to come to terms with their own son or daughters estrangement, hope is something many will say they don’t have.
Once trust is broken so badly, it is very difficult to rebuild that trust.
Each and every one of these adult children, were that tiny babe that we held in our arms for the very first time, we can all remember those all encompassing feelings of love, a love so strong it physically hurts.
The same tiny babe, now says things like,
You will never see me or your grandchildren again.
As parents we always question whether we are good enough parents, it goes with the job, but it is important to acknowledge that actually, good enough is ok.
I defy anyone to say they are perfect as a parent or anything else for that matter.
What is perfection anyway.
There is no doubt that in many cases such as these, it is a partner who is the controlling factor, and all estrangements are about control.
So a daughter’s husband or a son’s wife, takes exception to their spouses parents for whatever reason.
None of us know what goes on behind closed doors sometimes agreeing is easier, as anything for a quite life.
Grandparents often ask about their adult children’s conscience, and I wonder if in fact they have one, because they absolutely believe what they are doing is the right thing, so they don’t think about the consequences.
There will come the day when their own children do ask about Grandma and Grandad, and will see through the lies they have been told.
Will they then turn against their own parents?
Grandparents who are estranged/alienated in this way by their own children face a double bereavement, the loss of that adult child and their grandchildren.
In every scenario, whichever way you look at it, there are innocent victims.
Children who are dealing with this emotional abuse.
( If there are proven reasons/child protection issues, then of course contact needs to be stopped.)