My extreme apologies to Jennifer9. I am new at moderating and I made a mistake when I tried to move her topic. Here is what she wrote:
My mentally ill DIL alienated my son from me because she thinks it is "sick" for adult children of the opposite sex to spend time alone with their parents. As a result, my relationship with my son eventually became casual at best. Once she had my son's ear exclusively, she make up terrible lies about me which resulted in a plethora of abusive texts & screaming from my son. I nearly only respond with "I love you" & "I'm sorry you feel that way" but sometimes I defend myself which is pointless & only provides fodder for more abuse.
Anyway, my DIL is happy with this arrangement because she gets me all to herself. She loves spending time with me & wants me to babysit her children, my grandchildren, very often. I have poor health and a bad back so I can only take three of them about 2 to 3 days a week which includes sleeping over. The baby is too painful for my back. My son will text me saying that my refusal to take all of them renders my help useless: I ignore him for the sake of the children. I gave her tons of nice clothes for her daughter, all that I had, but instead of gratitude, I get yelled at for sending her home in a dress that is too large (I gave her everything so that's all my teenaged daughter could find for her). Anyway, I ignore the abuse and tell her that when I get money, I'll buy more clothes.... And I offer to do her laundry because she won't clean their clothes or her house so they live in squalor.
This is where I need advice please. Today she calls me demanding O take my grandson to urgent care. I just woke up and had taken a muscle relaxer so I told her I couldn't drive. While I was trying to figure out when I could take him, she hung up on me! She followed it with a "you don't care about your grandchildren so you may never see your grandchildren again." Then my son sends me a cruel text! I am tired of the abuse and don't want to turn the other cheek any longer. I want to walk away! In California, grandparents have no rights so I cannot sue for visitation. Someone from their church called CPS but they did nothing. I love my grandchildren. They want to never have to go home. They want to live with me but I have no power. Do I continue to tolerate their abuse in order to see my grandchildren? There is no reasoning with them. I could talk to my son but he refuses to EVER see me in person. Last week I ran out to his car and which was in front of my house and gave him a big hug. He hugged me back but his wife found out and put an end to that! Am I a wrong to walk away until they can stop attacking me verbally or do I continue to tolerate their had behavior & threats of alienation from my grandchildren? Thank you!
Welcome,J. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website. Also you might want to pick a user name that is less identifiable.
My DIL treated me badly and talked my DS into all kinds of things until I stood up for myself. I just got to the point where being around my DS was no longer pleasant and I wondered why I kept trying so hard to do something that I did not enjoy. I never had that big blow up or said anything in particular about it I just pulled back. I stopped being available for things. It was surprising to me how her attitude to me changed when I stopped trying to make the relationship work and started focusing on making my life happy even if I did not get to see my DS and grands. The other thing you need to consider is that you are letting your grands see the way that they are treating you and teaching them that it is OK to treat people that way. I know it is hard, especially for you because of the CPS issue, but continuing to help might be considered enabling.
As I have heard over and over on this site we raised our children and we did the best we could at the time. Our children still have lessons to learn from life and it is difficult for us to stand by and let them learn their lessons for themselves, but once you are an adult if you won't listen to advice the school of hard knocks is the unavoidable alternative.
I found that the best way for me to stop trying to make things right with my DS was to start focusing on the things I like to do. Every time my mind wandered to the issues I had with my DS/DIL (I call it the abyss because it swallows up all the enjoyment in my life) I would tell myself "What you focus on expands" and start planning my next camping trip. The more often I shifted my thoughts the easier it got and now I rarely visit the abyss. I still wish that I had a better relationship with my DS but it is what it is and my attempting to improve it only hurts matters.
I am sure that you will get other replies and perhaps several points of view. The beauty of this site is that you can take what you want and leave the rest. We are here for you, you are not alone. You deserve to enjoy your life. Hugs!!!
Welcome, Jennifer9. I have had the experience, too, of having my focus be about a situation I couldn't do anything about. In the end, that became my life and took all of my energy. I had very simple expectations and it took me way to long to get that they were of no interest to my son and daughter in law. In an attempt to stay connected to my grandchildren, I submitted to verbal abuse and cruel treatment. I had to have some counseling to learn that by staying in that pathology, I was teaching my grandchildren that mistreatment of elders was acceptable behavior. It took a while before I was able to let go of my expectations and totally remove myself from the 'game'. I wanted to stay in a relationship with my grandsons at all cost, so my dreams of resolution kept me hooked. In counseling I learned that I had the right to make the choice to continue, if I could gracefully accept what it was costing me and find a way to function in a healthy and joyful way. I couldn't. Eventually, I totally removed myself from all of it without anger, just honestly stating that I couldn't remain in contact.
Now my grandsons are grown. One is aloof. However the other one has established a wonderful relationship with me and has thanked me many times for my sacrifice. He is the eldest and could see that things were better at home after the battles ceased. Hugs...
Welcome, Jennifer9! I have nothing to add to the wise words above, but just wanted to say we have been there and know that life can and does get better with time and the intentional act of accepting the way things are, facing a different direction, and choosing to be with people who respect and cherish you. Virtual hugs!