When asked,”Why has this happened?” there really is no obvious answer.
It is a question that grandparents who are denied contact grapple with every single day.
Often they blame themselves, we must have done something, said something. Over and over again they relive the days before the estrangement happened.
It may be that is was a gradual process, or contact may have been stopped abruptly.
But the question remains the same.
After 10 years, I have listened to thousands of different grandparents, I am no expert, but for me what underlines this behaviour is that those who make the decision to deny contact are not stable.
I have written before that we try to rationalise this sort of behaviour but we can’t because it is irrational behaviour.
As we know 1 in 4 of us will suffer from a mental illness in our lifetime, which might explain why there are so many families suffering from a family member displaying irrational behaviour.
Mental Health is now becoming something that we can more openly talk about, it is hopefully no longer a taboo subject, so we should now talk about how this is affecting family life and relationships.
Is there a mental health issue behind denying contact?
We certainly now know that estrangement is having an impact on the mental health of our young people, recent reports show that family relationships are a factor in low self-esteem and unhappiness.
So when we ask the original question, “How has this happened?” maybe we need to ask about the mental health of those who behave this way.