Q: Hello Jackie. I would really value your take on our family situation please. [...]
Ask Jackie: my upsetting situationCreated by Jackie Highe in Ask Jackie, No contact
Q: Hello Jackie, I am seeking your advice because although I have 6 grandchildren there are two whom I have never seen (even though they live only 50 miles away ) and whom I don’t think know anything about me or if I even exist. The other 4 live even nearer, and are my daughters children. I used to see three of them, but sadly my son-in-law does not want me to see them again and when the fourth child to my daughter was born, the situation worsened. At my mother’s funeral in August 2011 my daughter actually pulled the baby away from me and wouldn’t talk about why.
Of course, this is heartbreaking. I had 4 children, but a messy divorce saw the children taking their fathers side of things. He recently inherited a lot of money, and I suspect this the reason for non contact, sort of blackmail, ” if you see your mother you can forget any money coming your way” sort of thing. Sadly my ex-husband now has parkinson’s disease, and so there will probably be emotional blackmail as well.
I have tried to contact the school where 2 of my grandchildren attend, but there is nothing they can do. There is no worry on my side that the children are uncared for because my daughter is a good mum. I have tried writing, telephoning but not in a hassling kind of way, and send birthday cards at appropriate times.
The 2 that I have never seen are the children of my eldest son. I suspect that it is my daughter-in-law who is against this (although she doesn’t know anything about me) .
Both my husband and I are saddened. We enjoy the company of young children, and have a lot to offer. We are “with it” for oldies, we love music and books, and don’t have a television.
Sorry to drone on, but I feel very sad. Thank you.
A: This is a very sad situation for you, Helen, and unfortunately it’s very common. When marriages break up, partners often use this kind of deprivation to ‘get their own back’ – and sadly this affects grandparents well as each other.