I would just like to thank everyone who reads my blogs, visits BGSG website and supports us, it is each and everyone of you who make BGSG what it has become.
Yes, we may well be based in Bristol but we support grandparents from all over the UK and beyond, the internet has made the world a small place and instantly accessible, wherever you are.
We have shared so many stories over 12 years from parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles indeed every family member.
The reality is that estrangement and alienation affects the entire family.
I never know who is going to call, pop up in an email or who might message me.
I have always expected to receive a certain amount of abusive comments, surprisingly we get very little, long may that continue.
What does happen occasionally is that we hear from the very people who are causing the estrangement or alienation.
I remember several years ago of several phone calls from irate adults asking me why on earth I was giving support to their family member?
Then there are long emails telling me all the reasons why their family member has been cut out of a grandchild’s life.
Also messages on FB, all saying the same sort of things.
Often I will be asked if a certain person is part of BGSG.
So, it is worth saying at this point, as I do quite regularly, we must all except that there are some grandparents who should have nothing to do with their grandchildren, equally there are some parents who should have nothing to do with their children. it would be very foolish to not except that.
I always do reply to these messages ect.
By sending a very polite response, will usually take the heat out, and more often than not I never hear from them again.
I will say something like:
Thank you for taking the time in contacting me. I am very sorry that you and your family have been going through such a terrible time. I hope that one day there will be a time for reconciliation for you all.
You must all be assured that when you contact BGSG, you do so in confidence, your name will not be divulged by us to anyone. So if a family member asks if you are part of BGSG, the answer is always the same. The same should be true of any support group you are involved with.
We do not give information out with regards to members as it is against the Data Protection Act.
Not that we would anyway.
Finally, of course there are two sides to every story, and then the truth, but the role of any support group is just that, to give support. It is not our job to decide who is right and who is wrong, we are there to listen in an open and caring way.
If you are someone reading this who is the person who has made the decision to remove yourself from a family member and to remove your children/grandchildren, please rather than taking time in writing to me, contact those you have estranged and talk. It may be that by starting dialogue you can start a healing process, and always put the children/grandchildren first.
What is this doing to my child, to prevent a loving relationship with both their parents or grandparents?