Author Topic: Just how much can a grandmother take?  (Read 1447 times)

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Offline freespirit

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Just how much can a grandmother take?
« on: November 01, 2014, 10:34:44 AM »
My son and his family live only 10 minutes from us. But not once have I ever had either of my grandsons for even half an hour alone. The parents have forbidden us to drive the children anywhere, pick them up, or even go for walks with them. Why? Because my DIL is overly anxious, a mother smother, and a choleric basket case. And the worst part is: my son supports her sick mind.

We have our 8 year old granddaughter regularly. We’ve gone RVing with her, and have even traveled to other countries on vacations. These two extreme examples, as how our sons/ DILs trust us with their child/children… are so extremely opposite -- it’s ridiculous.

I’m not asking them if we can take our grandsons, ( 6 and 4), on vacation. I simply asked if the older son, could come over for an afternoon, and paint some pictures with me.

My son exploded, screaming at me: “What I say is law! No way will we ever let the boys visit you alone! You may just drive off to - who knows where- with them! ” 

(…. I know -- we were speechless too.)

So my question is…. How much should we grandmothers swallow, just for the sake of harmony? Frankly, I feel such an overwhelming disappointment in my son… I can’t even put it into words. He had a wonderful childhood, (which he has told us many times). There is absolutely no reason for him to treat us like this, other than -- he chooses to support his wife’s insecurities and panic attacks.

As much as I love my two grandsons, I feel even sorrier for them. They are smothered and crushed from her dominance.  The older one has so many different ticks, I’ve lost count. The younger one is terribly aggressive, and as I’ve mentioned in another post, my DIL has even been kicked out of a kindergarten because of her dictating angry  behavior.

My husband and I don’t want to be added to their club of manipulative suckers. My youngest grandson’s birthday is coming up. I can imagine they will ask us to come over, and they’ll act sickly sweet, as if nothing has happened. I’m not sure what to do. What’s worse? Staying in contact, and tolerating their behavior? Or breaking off all ties and hoping that someday, when my grandsons are old enough: they’ll come visit us on their own—if we’re lucky -- before they turn 40.  ???
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2014, 10:52:15 AM »
FS -  I'm so sorry to read about that. Those of us who find it all too familiar had to come to our own moment of truth. I decided not to take the abuse and further, I didn't want my grandsons to see an example of it in their family...so I opted out. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline freespirit

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2014, 11:08:46 AM »
Thank you Luise for your fast reply. I hope you are well, and happy.

I haven't been around much... just trying to figure out things on my own...  but  it truly helps to vent here. You have confirmed my own feelings. It's more painful to take this  psychological abuse then to forfeit seeing our grandsons. I'm not sure if I should write my son and DIL a letter, telling  them either they trust us with our grandsons, or we will have to go our separate ways. Or... just say nothing,... and  they'll figure it out.  I just want this over with.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2014, 11:26:47 AM »
FS - What has happened to me when I've put anthing involving a controversy in writing is that it was deliberately misunderstood and used against me. You and I write clearly and concisely but/and distortion is not that difficult to those committed to it. Early on, I did that and what I got back was my letter thrown in my face, (figuratively), highlighted with a yellow Sharpie pen 'proving' their point... assuming something I never said or intended. Again, just my experience and not necessarily the norm, if there is one. I love the saying you have chosen for your signature here on WWU. It says it all. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline freespirit

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2014, 12:01:51 PM »
If I write anything, it would be at the most a two liner... but my stomach is so tied in knots... I will  wait on this, and in the end probably do nothing, and just like you said, not give them a chance to twist my words around.

I really like my signature here too... if only I could follow my own advice. haha...but I'm getting there...with each and every disappointment... I find myself recovering quicker,..and feeling more liberated.

Thank you so much Luise. Sending you a gentle hug back.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2014, 12:09:04 PM »
FS - That's why we have quotes...they give us something to shoot for! :-)

You asked how I was and I'm doing fine. At 87, I walk between 3 - 5 miles a day at a good clip on our woodsy campus at www.warmbeach.org and still live in independent housing. I have a Significant Other in Assisted care here and we have supper together every day. My family and friends are loving and close and my son, Kirk, is still our Webmaster on WWU. All is well.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline freespirit

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2014, 01:47:15 PM »
I'm sure I've said this before, but  you are such a role model for so many of us. Thank God you are taking care of yourself, like  you do. We need you.  :)

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline Pooh

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 08:45:41 AM »
FS, I agree with Luise.  I'm afraid there is no magic answer.  It boils down to what you want and what you will deal with.  Are you willing to live by their rules and be happy about it?  Are you willing to only visit with them and not have them alone?  If you can do that, but also let go of the resentment for having to do it, and just enjoy your time with them....then there is your answer.  If you can not and are going to feel hurt and resentful about it each time, to the point it is affecting your ability to live happily, then there is your answer.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline freespirit

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2014, 01:39:10 AM »
Pooh, what a wise post. Thank you.

 I'm very grateful that the decision has been taken off my shoulders. Last night  my son came by, and we had a very long talk. He  doesn't have it easy with his wife,...but  I told him, if he always gives in,... if she always gets her way,... he loses a little of his own  identity, pride, and beliefs. He agreed. And he agreed that  their  over-protectiveness is ridiculous. I told him we too have our pride, and when I see other grandmothers that are about 30 years older than I am,  taking their grandchildren for a walk,... I  resent my son and DIL for taking that experience away from me.
 
He understood, and he said it will change.
So we have made headway,...and  it goes to show  we don't have to swallow everything.

For if love is in the air,...  there is  usually a way. If we all continue to suffer in silence,... that's when problems can grow into mountains. I know,  of course,  that it isn't possible to solve every problem this way,... but it's at least worth a try. I wasn't sure at all how this  would turn out,... but I'm so glad I risked it, because I was  not willing  to continue to be treated like  an incapable grandmother with no common sense.

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline Pooh

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2014, 07:25:50 AM »
Good news FS.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Just how much can a grandmother take?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 09:59:32 AM »
I sure hope he can stand his ground when it comes to carrying it out. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama