Over a decade of running Bristol Grandparents Support Group I have had the privilege of ‘meeting’ some wonderful people, and as I have said before, some who will be life long friends.
I have been beside grandparents in their lowest of moments and those who reach the dizzy heights of reconciliation. Grandparents who share the most personal feelings is something I never take lightly.
There are also the critics.
Those who are ready to turn their hopelessness against the very people who try their very best to support them.
To be honest sometimes you can never say or do the right thing.
There are always those who tell you that you should be doing this or doing that.
I have been accused of behaving in the same way that the perpetrators of estrangement and alienation do, on several occasions.
Grandparents will then stir up as much trouble as they can, going on different forums, social media ect, taking away credibility .
Maybe they are right.
All I can say is that like everyone else I too know and will never forget the absolute devastation of being apart from our granddaughter for 11 years was like.
Those are lost years never to return.
It is also important for me to say this.
Although we are now reunited, it most certainly does not mean that I will stop giving support to grandparents who need it. Bristol Grandparents Support Group was set up because of our granddaughter, in her name, and if anything, it makes me even more determined to raise awareness of the impact estrangement has on our grandchildren.
It is adults behaviour that enables estrangement and alienation, not children.
But it is the children who are suffering, their self esteem and self worth is non existent. They suffer terribly with their mental health, some are self-harming, or worse.
As adults we must not allow this crippling disease of alienation to spread like a virus amongst ourselves, it enables alienation.
All of us know that we are extraordinarily sensitive when hurting so deeply, and it is so easy to be upset or offended by something someone says or does, usually it is because others don’t actually get it, they don’t have the faintest idea how we are feeling because they haven’t experienced it.
It is much worse when those who do know, speak without thinking, write without wondering if those words might hurt someone.
There is no such thing as perfection, it is something to strive for, but rarely achieved.
As I look back over the last decade, it is full of every emotion possible, as for the future no-one knows what is around their own corner, the unexpected happens, one thing that is certain is that Bristol Grandparents Support Group, has reached over 6,ooo grandparents, and will continue to do so.
If just one grandparent makes a healthy choice after contacting us, that is job done.
For those who criticise, I am sorry that I don’t come up to your expectations, I make mistakes, I am human, I am not perfect and I never will be.
Remember that all of the groups out their Dads, Mums and Grandparent groups ALL want the same thing. They all give hours of their time and in some cases money on working hard to raise awareness to try to get changes made, to be the voice of the children and grandchildren. One Dad is climbing mountains, walking hundreds of miles to get alienation out there, sending DVD’s to schools to educate the educators, all because he has been there, he knows just like I do the damage being done on a generation of children.
If you turn on these people, you are stopping the advances that are being made.