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Unable to celebrate Grandchild Birthday

Started by StainedGlassHeart, July 24, 2010, 07:57:41 am

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I want to emphasize that I don't think you are wrong; I think you should leave a momento of your love for your grandson, just do it in moderation and in a way that you can do it and put it away.  Making your missing grandson an ongoing lifelong project will do nothing but constantly reopen your wounds.  That worries me for you.  But I do enthusiastically support you doing something; It's human nature and the final task in our lives to leave a legacy; but talk with a counselor about how to go about it to bring healing for YOU (because you matter).  I love your handle, Stainglassheart, it's a lovely handle.  Do you work with stained glass?  Maybe make your grandson a lightcatcher; or something that is so unique and emblematic to who you are.  Then put it away.  Perhaps when he turns 18, you write another letter or if you think you may be running out of time.  I've done something similar.  When we fill out the Census forms I write something in the margins, like "Hello descendants!  Wish I could live long enough to know you!"  And I put little tidbits like "John Smith next door flirts with me. Check out his census and see what you think!" and "Just thought you should know we have a long family history of lethal appendicitis" and "I have green eyes and freckles and a terrible sense of direction!"  I am an avid genealogist and love when I find little tidbits about my ancestors, so I figure in 72 or 200  years surely someone among my descendants will be interested in genealogy too and want to know more than dry facts.  They photocopy the returns and put them on Ancestry, so I know my foolish comments will eventually be read by someone.    I urge you to do something similar, but put in some thought as to what represents YOU and then let it go.   Do it  lightheartedly.  You'll feel better.


There's another reason to see a counselor. Your reply number 9 indicates possible enmeshment and over involvement.  Why did these people have access to your bank account?  There's generosity and then there's foolishness.  It sounds like he might be your only child and there is no partner in your life?  It must be very scary to face a devastating illness alone without your son's support but in truth he is too young at this time to be expected to help you much, in fact it is more likely your son is panicked and frightened by your illness, and scared of losing you and tempted to push you away to 'save' himself.

Please also do not romanticize the 'old days'.  I am 67 and my husband is 82.  We remember the old days and family values were not better then and the older generation was not venerated and things were not better, especially during the depression.  All the problems we have today, we had then; I remember my elders talking about who cut off who and who was feuding with whom within the family.  Fathers disappeared and abandoned their kids, poverty was worse, people had fewer options whatever their problems were, there was alot of family violence, more so then than now and just as much incest and serial killers and all that.  We just talk about it now, and that's better, and their are options for abandoned and abused wives, and there are services for p the elderly who lost their families through death or or through death.  Some of the problems are different (and yes we had drug problems when I was a kid plus  alcoholism and it was justa as ugly as it is now.) and there were social issues that are horrifying now, such as it was not unheard of for doctors who delivered a deformed or sickly or just plain unwanted baby (think illlegitament) baby to delay cutting the cord and thus letting the baby bleed to death.  It was considered a mercy.  And how mental illness was treated and 'feeblemindedness' and physical disabilities.  It's so much better now.  Not as good as it should be but better.  Concentrate on what you have in life not what is lost, especially don't concentrate on having lost a world that didn't actually exist they way romantics would have you believe.  People are pretty much the seem now as then, and the same around the world and you burden yourself feeling that you were perhaps born in the wrong time and wouldn't have these problems ifyou could just turn the clock back.  Please get some one to help you work through this.  You can be happy and at peace again, even i fyou don't like the situation.  I promise.


Yes, I agree. Please get someone to help you work through this." You are worth it!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


MagicGram-I appreciate you taking the time to write comments-however, please let me clarify-I only had an idea or two regarding how to work throught this loss, and perhaps someday, if I was ever to meet my grandchild, the child would know I am not this horrible person that didn't care.  'Enmeshment and overinvolvement'-2 terms here not appropriate to my situation.  I am of sound mind, a professional working person, and I have never been the meddlesome type.  They pushed me away without my doing things to deserve such treatment.  I have only been loving and caring-with respect for their individuality.  I have tolerated poor treatment, yet had let them knowI was available if the had needed me.  I do not have depression.  I have fleeting moments of sadness, as part of the grieving process.  I live my life as usual, carrying on daily tasks, responsibilities, relationships, fun times.  I am coping well.  I encourage you to examine your circumstances, and I wish you well as you cope with your pain.

Keys Girl

Dear StainedGlassHeart,

Just a short note, I would not put anything in the newspaper.  I think it's fair to think that just about anything you do would be mis-interpreted so you are in the dammed if you do and dammed if you don't group as many of us are.

I would start writing a journal for your grandson, to tell him about his family.  Write about all the things that he might ask you once he grows up so he can get to know all about his "roots".  Maybe at some point in time you'll be able to give it to him when he is older, say his 18th birthday when he can be contacted without his parent's approval. 

You are in a brutal situation.  Unfortunately the best coping mechanism I know comes from a song about Hurricane Katrina.

"Breathe in, Breathe out, move on".
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown


I'm just curious...in all these posts there is no mention of WHY you have been kept from your GC.  What is your DS and DIL's reason for this? 

Emotions and feelings aside, what are the facts???


Miss_Priss-I am not sure what you mean here.
I think what Louise says makes the most sense-'They are the way they are, and we can't change them.'  I have many more details and information that I do not wish to write here.  I understand some of the DIL behavior and its probable roots.  FACTS: she came from a broken family, abusive environment/in her early teens, she beat up her own mother  (who was diagnosed as mentally ill)/she has been arrested a few times (she has assualted officers)/she is extremely controlling as evidenced by her reactions and behavior in many situations, also witnessed by others/she has stated verbally she 'likes to see people cry and likes to hurt people'/she has demanded preferential treatment a number of times, with anyone to whom she has association/she has all narcissitic traits/she demonstrates no remorse/she keeps her home in squalor/she has stated disdainfully to me, the dislike for my values-the list goes on.  FACTS about me: I am a very caring person/I am professional/I keep a clean house/I have old fashioned values/I am a supportive person/I set some clear boundaries about non-acceptance of some of the behaviors/I am not a perfect person, however; I have done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment from her or my son.

Since I have been reading posts from others, I understand more, the dynamics behind things that involve conflicts in family relationships.  I am grieving, as are we all-grieving is a 5 part process.  I have moments of deep sadness at the loss of the relationship with my son and grandchild-sadness that this girl came out of a bad environment and has made poor choices.  But. . . daily I find small treasures in life that can help patch my broken heart.  I have truly started to learn what it really means to let go.  I ask God to watch over them and redeem them.  I pray that the shackles that imprison them will be broken.  They may or may not ever be free.  I do know that I must free myself of the prison of pain that they have placed me in. 

Ask this-Why are so many people behaving in these ways that hurt us?  This is not an easy question to answer.  What we must ask ourselves is this? How may we respond to the pain find with our own lives after  the loss?


Beautiful. I love the quote that goes something like this: "It's not what happens to us but how we respond to it that defines us." Anyone know the correct wording and author? Sending love...I will look on Google.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Here it is: "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." This is a quote from Epictetus (c.AD 55-c. 135).
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Quote from: miss_priss on August 10, 2010, 01:17:11 pm
I'm just curious...in all these posts there is no mention of WHY you have been kept from your GC.  What is your DS and DIL's reason for this? 

Emotions and feelings aside, what are the facts???

Miss_Priss, in a lot of our MIL situations there are no reasons given by DIL for being kept from GC or even DS. That's why it's so bizarre. If it hadn't happened to me I'd be wondering just as you are, assuming there must be something that was said or done to cause the problem.

In my case it happened almost instantly after the wedding, with no input from DIL other than she just didn't like us & didn't want to see us. She admitted we'd done nothing wrong; she just didn't like anything about us (well, she liked DS enough, apparently) and didn't want DS to spend time with us either. Whaa?? We've had to accept things as they are, 'cos how can we change if there's nothing to change? Nothing to apologize for? It's heartbreaking, and completely illogical, but that's the way it is.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Quote from: luise.volta on August 15, 2010, 08:32:00 am
"It's not what happens to us but how we respond to it that defines us."

a quote from luise Volta WWU c2010


I find myself wanting to give you some hope that things may work out when your GC is an adult.  Although Magic makes some good points on you don't know if you GC will become an adult you like, I am a perfect example of an adult child being able to forgive and have a relationship as an adult.

My parents divorced when my mother was pregnant with me.  My father was an alcoholic and a womanizer during my parents 9 year marriage.  I have a brother that was 8 when the divorce occurred.  My Mother told me what had happened when I was around 14, as far as the truth about my father.  He was selfish and didn't want to take the blame for the divorce, so told everyone that my Mother had cheated and I was someone else's child.  Very bad marriage for my Mother.  Because of the lie he told, he had to pretend I didn't exist my entire life.  My Mother was going to give him visitation (although he didn't deserve it because he was not helping financially) but he had to stick to his story and say he didn't want to see a child that wasn't his.  He saw my brother sparadically for a few years but had not changed and eventually my Mother put a stop to it.  So I never met him and my brother did not see him after the age of 12.

Fast forward.  I was 25 and an accidental meeting with his new wife occurred.  I had known his new wife for about 6 years, but just didn't know she was married to my Father.  My children and her grandchildren attended the same skating party and my Father was there.  When he saw me, he knew immediately that I was his daughter because I looked exactly like my Mother.  He left in tears without confronting me and later, his wife came to me and asked me if I knew who my real father was.  I told her yes and she said, "Do you know his name?"  When I told her, she about fainted and looked at me and said, "Oh my, I am married to your Father."  It was a long road for me to meet him.  It took me over 6 months to decide to have that meeting.  He had changed from the person that was married to my Mother.  He had been sober for 10 years, was attending Church and was a different person.  I spoke to my Mother at length, and she was very open to me meeting him.

I am very glad that I did.  His first words were, "I was terrible to your Mother, you and your brother.  I make no excuses.  I was a bad person.  I hope you give me the opportunity to be in your life now that I am in a better place."   Did I love him?  No.  Did I like him?  No.  I had to work through MY anger and I chose to forgive him.  This will sound selfish, but I forgave him because I needed to do it for myself.  It wasn't for him.  I had carried an anger around for a Ghost and in forgiving him, I was able to let go of that Ghost.  I have now had him in my life for 17 years, and he has been a great Grandfather to my Sons as well.  It wasn't always easy, because out of respect for my Mother, I had double birthday parties and such for years to keep them apart.  But it was worth it. 

Now, I told you this to say this.  About our 3rd get together, he pulled out a scrapbook.  I had played tons of sports in school and received academic achievements as well.  He had watched the newspapers and had cut out every article I was in throughout my life and put them in that scrapbook.  He had kept up with me through the articles and had lovingly preserved every one of them.  At first it kind of took me back and I wanted to say, "If you took the time to do this, why couldn't you take the time to see me?"  But then I realized, he gave me a wonderful gift by staying away after he had sobered up.  As a teenager, I would not have appreciated him coming into my life all of a sudden and needed to be old enough to be able to see the situation as an adult.  When I realized that, the scrapbook made me break down and cry because I realized he had cared enough about me to keep up with me from a distance.

I think the journal idea is great.  That, or a scrapbook of sorts like my Father did.  He told me that even if I had never wanted to see him, it gave him peace and therapy to do it for himself.  If your GC turns out to be a good person and a forgiving one, it could go a long way.  But you also need to be ready to accept that things may not turn out that way.  And you can't dwell on it. You have to live your life with the attitude of maybe someday but not today.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell