The ping,pong of estrangement.

In a life of the internet and social media in all its forms, we can always find something on every subject under the sun. There are experts on hand, telling us how we should live, how we should cleanse our minds, how to be open ect, ect.

There is always a ‘friend’ to react instantly to any comment you might make, always those who use the anonymity of it all to be abusive or threatening.

I follow many forums on all different subjects, many on estrangement, I don’t know why I do because they always get to me.

It is easy to think these people actually know you, which of course they don’t, and yet there they are ready to be judgemental. It is the nature of the beast. I may follow these forums but very rarely do I post or comment, for all the reasons above.

I have been reading over the last couple of days a ‘ping pong’ chat across two such forums.

The subject of course is relationship breakdown.

Each coming from a different perspective, one being those who choose not to be involved with a family member and those on the receiving end.

I do think that it is important to read and hear the other side to things, we do need to know, if possible, why this estrangement occurs.

There were many frank discussions on why that decision was made to stop contact, just to say this was mostly with adult children refusing a parent or in law to see children, each one said why are they judged for doing what they feel is right for their children?

Fair point.

I know as a parent I did and will always protect my children!

Some had, had abusive relationships with a mother or father and quite rightly didn’t want their children to have anything to do with their parent. Others clearly had always had a very difficult relationship with their parents for all sorts of different reasons. There are those who never had a hug from a parent never felt loved.

Some of the posts talked about how concerned they were that on the other forum, adult children and grandchildren are actually named in posts, which is absolutely true and is something that I find particuarly disturbing. What is it saying about the person who posts such detailed information, how on earth will that ever help their situation. In the past I did give my thoughts and was shouted down by a small group of people and the thoughts were, that those who had stopped them seeing their family member should be basically named and shamed. Sorry but that is just unacceptable.

Also, once things are written on any public forum, they remain out there, what will the grandchildren think when they see the sorts of things their grandparents have publicly written about their mum or dad?

Not a great healing platform is it.

Then there was the other side, grandparents who are bereft not being able to be part of their grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents who don’t know where to turn to try and make things right.

On the forum of parents who have made that decision to stop contact, one thing that was said more than once was, why don’t people say sorry?

Ok, so I hear you say, ‘but I didn’t do anything, why should I say sorry?’

Well, I have done this before and here it is again.

I would like to publicly say sorry for anything I may have said or done in the past that caused distress to anyone. It was never my intention.

I also know that many of you have said sorry, to no avail.

So, there are so many issues here, both parties involved believe they are right, somehow we have to work through these differences, but to enable any of that to happen we need to be able to communicate.

Writing on forums, bad mouthing grandchildren’s parents  is inexcusable, whatever we feel about someone it is not about us or them, it is about what is the right thing for the children.

If we stoop to such a low level, what does it say about us?

Every individual case is personal to those closely involved, the honest truth in each one, is that, only they know what has or hasn’t happened.

As a group we have to remain non judgmental , and to support those who ask.

For me what I do know as I wrote in my last blog, I have heard from those very children themselves saying they want to have a relationship with their grandparents. They are speaking for themselves.

Whoever you are in this destructive issue,  if at all possible, please try and talk to each other, please be prepared to say sorry, and above all listen to the children.





About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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