November 30, 2023, 10:13:40 AM


"Welcome to -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

I Wish I knew "when enough is enough"

Started by jdtm, October 02, 2017, 06:33:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I love my grandchildren dearly.  Our grandson is in college - I try to message him every few weeks - he replies within 24 hours or less.  Our granddaughter is older and in the workforce - she rarely replies to any messages or emails.  She also has mental health issues and drug issues (according to her father is still "clean").  I try to support her by contacting her a couple of times a month by sending her newsy but mundane family stuff by computer.  But she has not replied in three months.  She does come home and that is a good sign.  I am beginning to wonder if something is very very wrong - I cannot stir the pot by asking anyone (I am always accused of interfering and the relationship with our son is tenuous at best, unless, of course, gifts and money are involved), but I am so sad.  I have changed my longer e-mails to short text messages (don't have her telephone number or address) - honestly, I think that I am being blocked and she does not receive my messages.  So, do I continue trying to be supportive (if she is on drugs or severely depressed this would be important) or do I just give up.  This behaviour started after she finished college and is trying to live on her own - she did ask if she could stop in for a visit three months ago and, unfortunately, we had plans for that week-end.  She has not contacted me since and is in our area once or twice a month.  Her birthday is coming - the usual money gift which I could leave with her father, or just a card or maybe an e-mail card - I still am on Facebook with her.  I am just so tired of this ....


I am so very sorry you are going through this jdtm. It's a horrible position to be in. You love your grandkids so much that I don't think you would really want to give up. You're tired and have obviously had so much to deal with. It's awful you can't ask anyone, the walking on eggshells feeling that everyone on here has probably experienced at some point. You seem to have a lovely relationship with your gs, could he not shed some light on what's happening? If you're still connected on Facebook that's good. Perhaps your gd is depressed and doesn't realize how much she is hurting you. I'm sorry I can't help more and I hope things improve. Xx


It sounds like you are missing your GD and starting to worry.  GD may just be very busy/preoccupied because she is trying to make her way into adulthood and its responsibilities, which is normal at her age.  But I also understand you have concerns about her mental health.  Instead of handing a gift or card to your DS to give to her, could your GD's upcoming birthday give you an opportunity to celebrate the occasion in person with her?  Is there some activity or gift that would entice her to make contact with you?

Getting no response from a good friend or my DS drives me crazy, too.  Something that seems to work is asking:  "Are you okay?" or "Just want to know you're okay."  I usually get a response to that, albeit a short one usually with an apology or explanation.  Then I can be more patient waiting to hear from them. 

Although it would be nice to get some reassurance your GD is doing well, you may need to make peace with the situation for the time being if she isn't willing to communicate.  Hopefully, GD has others in her life whom she can turn to for support if she needs it.  If you had a fairly good relationship with GD in the past, you can hopefully build on that in the future, when GD is ready.

Hang in there.   :-*   


Thank you for the responses.  Mummy bear - you are right - I am so tired (and another death in the family - just returned from the funeral), is not making things easier.   I do think that our granddaughter might be depressed but I hesitate to question our grandson - he has suffered so much in the past that I want him to relax when he is with us ((knowing that we won't be dealing with difficulties, just mundane and happy thoughts).  And Marina - I do hope our granddaughter is busy with her new job (unfortunately she never seems to last too long at employment situations).  Her mother acted this way - she would assume one committed some "negative" (usually non-existant) act - disappear from your life for a few months or even years,  and then....  But, her mother is a survivor and that does give some comfort.  However, this behaviour is so foreign to me - it is just so hard.


Whether your granddaughter has you blocked, or is getting your messages and ignoring appears that she has made a choice. Actions always tell us what we need to know. For me personally, even though giving up was hard, it was much harder to continue pursuing something that was obviously important to only me. I no longer try to involve myself with people that don't appreciate me and don't value me as a person. Backing away gave me the chance to heal, and with healing I gained different perspectives. Also, I think doing things differently and throwing people a curve ball once in awhile is a good thing to do. For me, I feel much more at peace this way.


You're right - it is time to let go.  My gut tells me something is very wrong, but my head knows there is nothing that I can do about it.   All I can do is pray for her safety.  I really believe the reason she is not contacting me is that she does not want us to know "what she has done or is doing".


Hi JDTM, my reading comprehension is not so good these days. But you said your GD asked to come and visit, but you told her you had made other plans. I am wondering if that visit was more important to her than she let you know, and maybe felt rejected when you were not available. Maybe she is just feeling rejected or unimportant to you (if I read your post correctly that is). You could write her a letter and apologize for not being there for her. She obviously wants to be in your life if she asked to visit you. Don't give up on her. :(


Thanks Kate - I intend to invite her to every family get-together that I control.   According to her maternal grandparents/relatives, she is treating them the same way, so at least I know it is not personal (just found this out),  I have decided to continue with the invitations (same as her brother) but expect nothing in return.  Gifts will be given in person - cards (no funds inside) will be sent through mail or computer.  I pray she is safe.


Good plan, J. I think inclusion, even if rebuffed time and again, is a good thing. Eventually she'll come around and if not, at least you know you did the right/kind/loving thing. (((hugs)))

I'm reading Brene Brown's book on shame (I Thought it Was Just Me, But it Isn't.) Wow, very enlightening! She believes we all want to be included and to feel we are worthy of love and compassion, even if we run away from those things in fear of not deserving them.

Continue loving!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Thanks Pen.  And thanks to this site which allows one to vent, as well as to "mull over" scenarios and solutions...


If I remember correctly, the mother of your GD is mentally ill and abandoned the family before the GC were grown.  I relate to your situation because it appears my DIL is also mentally ill (narcissistic personality disorder seems likely).  My DS lacks insight and is coping the best he can, but I worry about the emotional damage DIL is causing in my young GC as they grow.  Along the same lines as Pen said, I am keeping contact with my DS and throwing out a lifeline of love and caring to him, with the hope he will grab on when he needs it.  This cycle of abuse is multi-generational and it pains me to see it continue because I thought I had ended the cycle when raising my DS. 

Dealing with depression from childhood abuse, I spent my 20s learning about myself and healing emotionally, keeping my FOO at a distance.  It took a LOT of work and energy to come to terms with some painful stuff.  Because of the inner work I was doing, I did not have spare energy to excel in school or to pursue a demanding career.  Perhaps this is some of what your GD is going through right now? 

It's difficult to stand on the sidelines, but I think the best you and I can do under these circumstances is to continue to express our love and caring and be available when/if they turn to us for support.  In the meantime, we can pray for their well-being.  My heart goes out to you.         


Thanks Marina - a different perspective- and one that makes sense and one that never occurred to me.  It is amazing how much we can learn from each other - as only those who have "lived it", get it".


My thought exactly while reading threads on this forum - we can learn so much from each other here.


Welcome, Hachen!

Pen's mention of the book triggered some thoughts for me.  Growing up, I was shamed as part of the abuse I experienced.  I was made to feel shame for making honest mistakes or for really nothing at all, just being "me," made to feel "less than."  This has been one of the hardest things to overcome in my life because I internalized those messages.  It is easier for me to have compassion for others than for myself.  (I now see my DIL employing shame as a control/manipulative device.  DIL has tried this on me; luckily, I can discern what she is trying to do.)

If your GD endured this type of shaming growing up, it may be particularly hard for her to face any poor decisions she has made, her past drug use, or any lack of "success" in her jobs, living situation or relationships.  If GD continues to have contact with her mom, it may be reinforcing bad beliefs about herself and confusing her.  Hopefully, your GD has access to psychological support to work through her issues, maybe as part of her recovery from drug use.   

Just mentioned this in case it applies to your situation.     


Thanks Marina - actually a lot of your last post does apply to our granddaughter.  I still pray she will be O.K. - that is all I can really do now.  She is an adult and her life is in her hands.