I sat there with his turtle slippers on my lap, gripping his red sensory ball that he chose on one of our many shopping trips, sobbing as if I had lost part of my heart. Who am I kidding, I have.
I have a large tote labeled with his and his sister’s names and the words “Our box of love and memories”. We were told it would be healthy to put their special items in this tote along with any letters, cards, gifts, notes etc. that we get for them. There are two purposes for this tote. The first of which is so that if we need some grandchild time, we can open this tote to “release the memories and hurt”, look and feel things for 10 minutes and then close it back up until the next time. The second purpose is to have a place to put things we want to give to them but can’t such as cards, letters or gifts, with the intention of giving it all to them one day so they know we didn’t abandon them. We are told that when children who are kept from their grandparents, more often than not, seek out the grandparents on their own as soon as they are able “to see for themselves”, especially if they know they exist and hear about them from other relatives. That’s great for us grandparents, however it can mean future trouble for the mom and dad that created the alienation, and as a result not only is there a chance the children will be resentful but it also teaches them that it’s completely normal and acceptable for a parent/child relationship to be severed once they are adults. Hummmmm….
I continue to play through my mind, what kind of person did I raise? He and his wife have decided it is best to keep their mothers away from their children. My son hasn’t liked his mother in law since the beginning, he had an argument with his step father in law on Facebook which resulted in him denying either of them any access to his son. He would allow his wife and step daughter to see them, but it stopped there. That was more than a year ago, closer to 2 years ago. It’s my understanding, what I’ve been told by that grandma, as of this point and time, neither his wife nor his step daughter have seen them in over a year as well. They do however remain in contact with the maternal grandfather and step grandmother who live a couple states away. I remember my son thinking it was funny that his son, my grandson, didn’t know who his maternal grandmother was, and telling him that no matter what he thought of her, she was still grandma and she had a place in his son’s life. Five months later, my son accused me of breaking a promise to the children by saying I was coming to visit and not following through. He accused me of doing this on a couple different occasions. Each time I had told him that I would never promise something I couldn’t guarantee. In my defense, I remember two of the instances very well, and I told HIM, not the children that I would TRY to come. He however remembers a different version. Honestly, I don’t think it matters, life happens and people’s schedules change and sometimes we are disappointed, it doesn’t need to be a life changer. Anyway, he called me to tell me how pissed off he was. This phone call was the most disrespectful interaction I have ever had in my life quite honestly. He yelled at me for more than 30 minutes telling me I needed to admit and apologize for lying while telling me he was in charge. He would ask me a question, and when I tried to answer he would say “shut the f— up I didn’t give you permission to talk”. He was yelling so loud over the phone that my youngest son heard it from another room in our house. Long story short, by the end of this “conversation”, he forbid me to ever contact him or the children ever again.
I had promised our step granddaughter some new Frozen curtains for her room, which I had already ordered before this “episode”. The day before I had also mailed them a packet of fun. (educational activity sheets, coloring sheets, stickers). I assumed they received them because nothing was ever said about it. A month or so after the “episode” I sent another packet of fun to our grands, and again, nothing was said. The following month was our step granddaughter’s birthday, we had a gift and a card for her. Rather than mailing the gift, we decided to send the gift with a family member to her birthday party at a later date. The card however, we put in the mail so she would receive it on her birthday. She never received the card. Instead I got a picture of the envelope text to me from my son with the message, “Not sure what part of your not welcome you missed but the packages and this letter are unacceptable so please stop sending things to the kids because they aren’t getting them anyway. From here on out anything you send will be donated don’t respond because I have nothing else to say”
We had thought that he would let the children receive mail for their benefit,while forbidding any physical contact that so only we would continue to be “punished”. I know my son thrives on any chance he gets to prove that he’s “in charge”. At the same time, I know he has greatly valued his relationships with all of his grandparents and never imagined he would cheat his own son of the same opportunity. My thought at the time was that as long as I was the one suffering and not the children, no matter how much it sucked, so be it. I had gotten used to him ignoring me for months or even a year at a time when he is “having a fit” or trying to prove his point about something. It’s happened to us (our family) several times. Just because someone gets married and has children doesn’t mean their “personality” changes, and in this instance, it only gave him more to control. I knew something would happen at some point with him, it only a matter of time. Everyone who is familiar with his tactics has let him know in one way or another that this is not right. In turn, he has cut off contact with his 2 younger brothers, both of his sets of grandparents and his dad. In addition, we were contacted by several outside people letting us know that he had forbid them to have any contact with me.
So here we are, 7 months later, two children living with much family unfairly stolen from them.
Get over yourself and the image you have of yourself, you are not better than the rest of us.
Give your children the opportunities they deserve.
Children can see past the crap, and should be allowed to determine the value of their relationships with their family. Children have innocent hearts without any clouded judgement and can sense BS because they have not yet been spoiled by any ugliness.
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