This sounds so hard. But can I just say what I think even though I have not been through this?
I think you and hubby should get out of the middle of it all. For now. Focus on yourselves and your life and stop making your son's life your life.
I know that is very hard and our son is 22 so we feel he is still so young BUT I do think that my work on detachment has helped me greatly.
I don't know if you see a therapist but I would recommend that. I see one (only once a month now) that specializes in addiction and she helps me work through my feelings and letting our son adult. My son has seen me change too. He just told his dad "wow, mom really sticks to her guns!". It comes as second nature to me now and I am so thankful for that gift!
This isn't quite the same but it's similar from a mother's point of view.
My adopted daughter was allowed to have un limited contact with birthmother AND birthfathers family, but she was not in any way allowed to see or talk to her felon drug addict birthfather. This angered his family so she didn't see them at all and birthmother remarried and disappeared but I hope to see her again because I love her.
Meanwhile as my daughter got older she looked up her birthfather when he was in prison and saw his mug shot and crimes and is old enough to contact him now but has no interest. She is in law enforcement. Last we heard he was 37 and in prison (again) for armed robbery due to drugs.
I understand grandsons mother not being anxious to have her son in contact with your son. That is your son's doing and since grandparents have no rights you either have to see her point of view or cut it off. It is up to your son to prove he can change and be a good role model and that will take years after he is out. This is a consequence of your son's behavior. I am not trying to hate on him, but just telling the truth. If your son was not in prison he would have a relationship with his son. The courts would insist.
If it is too hard for you to do this, absolutely do what is best for YOU. I have never seen Goneboy boys so I don't miss them. I have no way to force them to let me know them. You are not alone because the laws put the fit parents in charge of who their kids can see.
I am sorry that your son has put you in this difficult situation. I think stepping out is best if it is too stressful to follow Mom's boundaries.
Tired Mama, I'm so sorry you're having to make this difficult choice. It's devastating to have to remove yourself from your grandchild's life because of his parent's shenanigans. The child's mother sounds as if she is using the system to punish your son and you (and ultimately your grandson)......and neither of them seem to be accountable for their behavior. Which leaves you to be the one to make this choice. Gosh, I am so sorry, it just sucks all around. And, I do believe, it is the best possible choice for you and your husband, you can't stay in that kind of toxic circular blame, it is not healthy.
I understand how difficult it is.
I can't offer advice on how to deal with being cut off from your grandchild .....but I can offer my heartfelt empathy......to be put in the position to make that choice is horrific.....
Do your level best to nourish and nurture yourself. What helps me is to amp up my practice on acceptance......on learning how to accept what I can't control or change.....to that end I read or listen to Pema Chodron & Eckhart Tolle who offer me solace when life is filled with chaos and uncertainty and fear. Fill yourself up with spiritual pursuits, meditation, guided meditation, yoga, tai chi, any practice which works for you and offers a different perspective and helps to comfort, center, balance and heal.
I'm really sorry Tired mama, my mother/grandmother heart is sending your mother/grandmother heart a huge hug....hang in there......we're all here for you, you're not alone.
Tired Mama, I don't have grandkids so I don't know what it's like, but it sure sounds like you are being put in just a flat-out impossible situation being pulled from both ends like that. I agree with and support your decision to step out of it until they or the courts settle things. Is there any way the two of them would agree to some sort of court-arranged mediation?
One would hope that your son and his ex at least have one thing in common: They both want what's best for their son. I hope they are able to at least see that much...
I'm so sorry for your grandmother's heart today. It's an absolutely heartbreaking situation, but there's no way for you to win that one.
Tired Mama, I am so sorry for all you are going through. It is hard enough to see our adult children go off the rails but when grands are in the mix it becomes more complicated and even tougher on our hearts. I have been stuck in that middle space many times. I have three grands from Tornado and Volcanoes tumultuous relationship, oftentimes both we and our grands were put right in the maelstrom of the chaos of their parents lifestyles. We actually had guardianship of our grands when they were babies. That seems so long ago, CPS was involved and we cared for them for about six months. The agencies goal was to reunite the family, there was counseling sessions we had to attend, both grandparents and parents, quasi rehab, the parents cleaned up their act a bit and the kids went back......back to the same old same old.
My other children would push for us to try for guardianship, but hubs was ill and their parents hung on to them for the benefit of ebt.
It is sad when grandchildren are but chess pieces in this “game”.
There seemed to be no end to it, the heartache of choices and consequences of their parents, the kids being innocent victims of it all.
There is only so much one can do. When hubs passed, things seemed to go downhill fast, the parents got deeper into drugs, the kids were dragged through that mess. My daughter wanted to “come home.” Her boyfriend is psychotic and abusive. I had to tell her to go to a DV shelter. It is because I knew it would be another version of the hamster wheel. We would rearrange everything with mostly the grands in mind, they would move back in, be okay for a few days, then the crazy would start up.
I removed myself from the middle, realizing that Tornado didn’t get help, comfortable in my home. We became a babysitting service while she went out and partied. It was tough. I had no choice.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
I look back now and see how those two parents really just used us. They used our love for them, and our grands to keep drugging and partying.
The drama of it all is unbearable.
I figured that how could my grands have an ounce of respect for me, if I allowed their parents to walk all over me?
Letting go of it all was not easy. When I gave my two daughters over to God, I did the same for my grands. I love them dearly, but I am not able to raise them, nor am I willing to put up with the shenanigans of their parents.
Turns out, the grands are being raised by their paternal grandparents, and doing well. I see them on holidays and summers.
Their parents have both gone MIA.
We can only do so much. Our grandchildren know we love them. I feel it is imperative not to allow our adult children to use our grandchildren as pawns. We become stuck between a rock and a hard place. It just drags on, for us and the grands. It is a sad truth in the mix of all that goes on in our adult kids lives. They use people. That includes parents, children, friends.
I don’t know all of the back story with your son, or the mother of his child. Who knows what their history is, their relationship, why she would prefer to have no contact with her child’s father.
There you are, stuck in the middle of it all. I am sorry, I know the heartache. We can only do, or bare so much.
That is the key. What works for you. Try not to write the end of the story. Your decision to pull out of the middle and have no contact is a reasonable one. It is difficult, because it is unfair to you both and your grandchild. That is a tough fact in all of this. This is a temporary solution to stop the madness and regain your sanity and strength. Down the road, things may change and you can rethink your involvement.
Making choices to take your life back and bring some peace and stability to your lives is healthy. From this stand point, out of the craziness, you can rebuild and breathe. There are ways that you can keep your relationship with your grandson from a distance, if his mother allows. That’s the tricky part. She has control over this.
Only time will tell how things pan out.
Switching focus to taking care of you and your husband, rebuilding what you have together, is so important. Hubs and I spent our last years together in the frenzy of all the craziness of my daughters and her boyfriends drug abuse, desperately trying to provide some stability for our grands. It was agonizing.
I am so sorry. We have no control over who our adult children hook up with. No control over their kids. No control over their choices.
The bond that you built with your three year old grandson will always be there. Things may change for the better where you may be able to see him, on your terms.
I decided before hubs passed that we needed to pull out of the middle. Like I wrote, it was not easy.
When we were deeply involved, nothing changed, in fact it got worse. Both of their parents used our grandchildren to keep us in the mix.
I had a huge eye opener, after housing my daughter and my grands for the last time, three years ago. She and her boyfriend were fighting, He was not even supposed to be near her, she had a restraining order. She was seeing him on the sly. That morning of the last episode in my home of many, I woke up to my grands huddling in the back room. Unbeknownst to me, their parents had been fighting in the wee hours, then left. I locked the doors. Their father called, saying he was going to take them to school. I said no, I will take them, they have been through enough. Up the road they came, both my daughter and her boyfriend. I told him to leave. My daughter circled round the house, enraged, screaming and swearing that I was nothing but a bleep, bleep, bleep and these were HER kids. They went out to her reluctantly one by one, the eldest whispered in my ear that he didn’t want to go, but he had to watch over his brother and sister. I called police, explained everything, the drugs, fighting, he said that there was nothing he could do, they were not my kids.
Talk about a huge reality slap in the face.
That’s when I had to reassess the situation, swallow that big lump in my throat, and switch gears.
I needed to toughen up and stop what wasn’t working for me or my grands. I did it by the grace of God, time, lots and lots of prayer and posting here. When I felt sad and missing my grands I prayed. When my thoughts went deep and dark with worries, I prayed, and then I learned to see the signs that I was teetering on the edge of the rabbit hole, then worked at catching myself before going into despair.
Some days, a good healthy cry is what I need.
I put on some sad music and let the feelings flow through me.
Grandparents don't have any say in how our grands are raised, unless we have guardianship.
Your decision to have no contact is temporary. Try not to write the end of the story. It is not fair to you, or your grandson to be dragged into the middle of this drama. Stepping back does not mean you are stepping away, just taking a breather and taking care of your needs, which is healthy. I realize in writing this to you, how much stress hubs and I endured, and the toll it took on our well being.
If we become ill and broken, there is not much we can do from that unhealthy place.
Stepping back may seem selfish at first, it is not. I call it self preservation. There is nothing to be done right at this minute, except to take care of yourselves.
Grandparents are to be treasured. Treated with kindness and respect.
Not dragged through drama and chaos, accused of taking sides.
Someone has to put a foot down when this occurs, it is not going to be our wayward adult kids. That is for sure.
Boundaries are healthy, for everyone involved.
Love says no. NO, I will not be manipulated and used. No, not in my house.
We are at a time in our lives where peace of mind is so important.
I am so sorry for your heartache. I understand how hard it is.
Take this time to focus on you and your husband, your relationship.
You are not alone.