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I'm Back - I Wish I Weren't, But Now I'm A Grandma

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ChickPea, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. ChickPea

    ChickPea Member

    Just re-introducing myself, and will try to keep it succinct.

    I was here a few years ago when my daughter was raising thorns, disrupting our lives and making horrible decisions (drugs, alcohol, prostitution, no job, abusive relationship). Then I detached a bit, was working, and started to peel my life away from hers. She was still leeching money from my parents and shacked up with the boyfriend that gave her black eyes - but she told everyone how hard she was working on becoming an "independent woman" and a "survivor" that they ate it up like cats on cream, and my parents kept doling money out to her for rent so she could break away.

    All a lie. He was there the whole time. Then she ends up pregnant. She told me she didn't know if it was his, some other guys - or one of the guys she was sleeping with for money. She decided to keep baby. I told her I would support the baby in whatever way necessary.

    Too long of a story to keep going into, but my grandbaby has been our my house since birth (over 6 months now). She didn't want to take him home to her messed up relationship and life (PRAISE GOD), but she also has a hard time breaking away from her toxic relationship where verbal and physical abuse goes both ways. However, after getting into an altercation, daughter and baby dad are not allowed to have contact right now. It's been a good thing.

    Everyone thought she'd be able to hold it together since she was a mom, but she's been out drinking to blackout, putting herself in bad situations, can't hold a job down, and just basically running amok. As much as she wants to be a mom, she can't bring it together to do so. She blames depression.

    So here we are with a wonderful, precious grandchild, a daughter that is basically homeless now, and other adult children doing spectacularly. Dear grandbaby puts a new spin on things, giving her more leverage and reason for wanting to be here. I just want baby to have a good chance at things and not to be mixed up in all of their silliness.

    Anyway, I'm glad to have found you all again.
     
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I know there are others that have more experience with what you are dealing with. My first thoughts are what is best for your grandchild. Since the baby has lived with you for 6 months, that brings up a host of questions. Has your daughter given you any money for the care of her child? How much time does she spend with her child? From the little bit you shared, I'm wondering if in a legal sense that she has abandoned her child.
    How long are you willing to take care of her child? If she is using the baby for leverage and reason for being at your home, these are just wrong.
    I do not want to come across harsh but she is using you in the worst kind of way. You are taking care of her baby and what is she doing? Continuing to live her life irresponsibly.
    How long are you willing to care for your grandchild? How do you see this playing out in 3 to 5 years and beyond? I would hate to see you care for your grandchild for several years, where your grandchild has completely bonded with you and trusts you, only to have your daughter come in and take the child.
    I am wondering if you should be contacting a lawyer or family services. I really think you need legal advise on how to protect yourself and your grandchild.
    I'm so glad you are here and I'm sure others will chime in.
     
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  3. ChickPea

    ChickPea Member

    During her pregnancy we talked about possible adoption, etc. but - as anyone here knows - the lies are abundant in dealing with CD kids, so we were always in a state of gray smokescreens and BS. On one side of the mouth she was talking to us about adopting, and out the other side she was having the abusive boyfriend living with her pretending they could safely raise a child possibly, if it was his and not someone else's (lying to us about it the whole time while my parents paid her rent).

    I think she was hoping things would play out differently, since she isn't 100% connected to reality. In her brain, either she would stay with the abusive ex and they would try to raise a child together (with both of them miraculously getting off weed and liquor and being functional adults) OR she would leave him and gain instant and constant access to our home (where baby is staying so he isn't in the fray of their turmoil). Neither was a rational thought.

    No, daughter has not contributed much at all for him beyond threatening to take him with her every now and then. It is kind of complicated, and I will be seeking legal help in the next month or so because everything is in such limbo, and the threats to up and disturb his life are unsettling. The alleged father things she's unfit and says that he's "ready to have him live with him" now. This poor kid. :brokenheart:
     
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I am glad you will getting some legal council. I would imagine paternity will have to be confirmed. I suppose the hard question is, are you willing and able to raise this child for the next 18 years?
    I'm so sorry for what you are having to deal with. I'm sure your daughter is clueless as to how much you have done for your by taking care of her child. I sure hate to see a child be used as a weapon. Again, I'm glad you will be seeking some legal council. I am happy that your grandchild is with you and not with her. The thought of that is very scary.
    I'm just so sorry for what you are having to deal with. My heart goes out to you.
     
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi ChickPea, I am glad you started your own thread. There are some similarities in our stories, my two daughters are on the streets as I shared with you on another post. Both are attracted to abusive men. Rain does not have children, Tornado has three. She has not seen them for three years.
    Tornado and baby daddy Volcano (dubbed so after Eminem’s song) had an extremely volatile relationship. They had their kids young and use that to excuse their partying and drug use because they “didn’t have a teen life”, they are in their 30s and still drugging.
    Hubs and I tried to help out, with concern being for our grands. The parents spiraled downward and we tried to stop the train wreck to no avail. We had a revolving door of sorts, rearranging house and furniture to accommodate my daughter and the kids when she decided to try and leave her abusive boyfriend. He found ways to wiggle his way back, then it would start up again with the chaos and fighting. We would watch helplessly as he would take one of the babies yelling that if he couldn’t have our daughter, he would take the kids. Police were called, they did nothing, because “He was the father.”
    I don’t know how many times I have been told by authorities that “You have no rights, you are just the grandmother.”
    Even after we took care of the three kids for a time when CPS stepped in. No rights, the goal was to reunify the family. The parents towed the line long enough to get the kids back. What a mistake. They were put through the hell of their parents addiction and incendiary relationship, used as cash cows for EBT and welfare money. Shuffled from home to home, moved schools many times, never really had stability.
    Hubs passed three years ago from health issues but I do believe he died from all of the heartache we went through with this.
    Fast forward to the present- eldest grand will be 15, brother 13, sister 11. They are with me due to their parents abandoning them. The paternal grandparents have been “caring” for them for three years, but that is now a questionable arrangement.
    CPS, now CWS is involved again, I am a temporary resource foster parent trying to get licensed so that the kids can once again stay with me. The goal of CWS is still reunification of family. Even after all of this time, even though both parents are heavily into drugs and living on the streets.
    Since you stated that Dad and Mom are not allowed to have contact with baby I am assuming that authorities are involved? I think you are on the right track contacting a lawyer. Hopefully your case will be different than mine and my grands. Unfortunately, with volatile relationships and drugs in the mix, the natural affection parents would normally feel for their babies is not there. But.....it is a tempting thing to use their kids to receive government help, which is what my daughter and her boyfriend did.
    You are doing a wonderful thing caring for your grand baby. Please do seek help early on. I love my grands with all of my heart and we have all been on a hellish macabre rollercoaster ride. It is heart, gut and soul wrenching enough to witness our adult children go by the wayside, when grands are in the picture it adds an extra twist to the challenge.
    I wish you peace on this journey. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing. Take care of yourself, gird your loins and guard your heart. This is a tough battle.
    (((Hugs)))
    New Leaf
     
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with this a thousand percent:
    Your daughter can't be permitted to use her child as a lever. Right now the baby is too young to realize this. In time grandchild will understand. Let alone how this affects you. You are in the worst possible position now. Doing all of the work to take care of a baby with little or no legal control over the child's welfare. You are at the effect of an irresponsible, selfish, manipulative, uncaring person, who will use you and the baby to extract what she can by destabilizing you, threatening you, and coercing you--through the baby.

    The only thing I can think that would be worse for the baby is that the baby return to the parents as long as they remain as they are. But the thing is this: As long as the mother and father have legal rights to decide over what happens to this baby, and when, you and the baby are in her hands. To jerk around at will. You are not protecting this baby in the situation you are in. It is walking a plank. Any moment your daughter can force the issue. She is empowered by this. The child is intensely vulnerable. In a paradoxical way, it would almost be better to let her have the baby, and this way CPS would be involved, and there would be leverage on behalf of the baby.

    I urge you to get legal help as soon as possible. I am so sorry this is happening. I am angry at your daughter for doing this to you and to her child. I am glad you are back here.

    I guess the 64000 question is whether or not you are willing to raise the baby.
     
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  7. ChickPea

    ChickPea Member

    Thank you so much. Yes, I read and re-read one of your posts the other night. It helps to know that you're situation isn't some anomaly, but it's sad that it isn't, too. I'm so sorry about your husband. I sense that with my husband and I. Our marriage is almost a roommate situation, this has gone on so long and it wears on us.

    Yes. Husband and I committed to that when she was pregnant. It's not ideal, obviously, but to us it feels natural.

    For clarification, also, we do have co-guardianship (legal). So he has every right to be here. Dad does not have any legal rights at this time. Our adult children are fed up with her, and raise the question - what if she gets pregnant again? Then what? She claims she's already had an abortion, but I don't know if that's a lie or not.

    Thank you all so much for your words and empowerment.
     
  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

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  9. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I haven't read all the posts, but I hope you have some legal documents that would protect the child from being removed fed by either Oarenting. The sooner the better! Ksm
     
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    KSM and I posted at the same time. I say the same thing.
    That's good that you have co-guardianship. Can you refuse to permit your daughter to take the child? Or is she free to do so? If she can't take the child at will, then her threats are just so much noise. If she can, that's another story. You and the child will be vulnerable until you can legally protect your rights and the child's.

    But even with co-guardianship it seems to me that she can (and is) causing serious damage.

    Here on this site there have been a number of grandmothers raising grandchildren, and some who refuse to. There is now somebody who posts every now and again, a parent who is raising his first grandchild and the daughter is soon to give birth again. The grandparents have refused to raise any more children.

    I guess what I am trying to say is whatever way you find support, do so. Legal, 12 step, online, whatever.
     
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  11. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Hi ChickPea- My alcoholic, depressed, anxious daughter had a baby with her abuser when she was 19. There was no way she would give up that baby, but she still wanted to run around and drink. Fortunately she got away from her baby daddy not too long after giving birth. Still, she was not a good mother and I was worried sick about my precious granddaughter. I called CPS on her many, many times. It would settle her down for a bit, but then she would be back at it. At any rate she's nearly 30 now, pregnant again, and in a better space. Hopefully she will stay well and sane, but I never know. I investigated all kinds of info about my rights, the child's rights, etc. while the insanity was going on. I don't know what state you're in but in my state if a parent is absent in the care of the child for 6 months that's considered abandonment and is grounds for adoption, even without the parents' consent. The reason I mention this to you is that if you adopt your grandchild you won't have to worry about threats from your daughter. It can also save you if she ever tries to just take the child and it will allow you to go no contact with your daughter if you ever feel the need to. It will also let you make decisions regarding schooling, medical treatment, etc. and won't allow your daughter to get her hands on any money in the child's name.

    I know how difficult all of this is, and I surely know none of us expected to be parenting all over again as we age. I'm so glad your grandchild has such caring, loving grandparents. It will surely make a difference in the child's life. Sending peace to you.
     
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Wow!!
     
  13. ChickPea

    ChickPea Member

    There are abandonment laws here (6 months), but it's not 100% specific. She comes by and sees him but doesn't provide any real cares for him. Yesterday she said she was suicidal and her mind is so messed up, she said. She wanted to "check in to the hospital..." but instead, she went to the bar, and today she wants to come see him and hang out all day. I gave her a window of time that she could come and now she's threatening to take him away. It doesn't make sense.

    She's also learning (now that she's been evicted and has no job) what a "perk" it is if you have a child, as far as housing and benefits go. If he is with her, she can be bumped up for housing and assistance. So today she told me that she applied for low-income housing for "them" - veiled threat meaning she wants to use him for her housing and take him from where he has been for 7 months now.
     
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is abusive. Nobody could stand it.

    You are watching a train wreck. She will keep doing this. Why? Because she does and says anything that enters her head, without caring about consequence. There is nothing logical, caring, responsible or loving about what she is doing.

    If I were you I would do everything I could NOW, while you have power. Once she takes him away using him solely as a chit to get advantages and benefits you lose the strategic position you may have now. She will be a custodial parent. That is much, much harder to overcome.

    Are you keeping a journal writing down everything she says and does? You may need to corroborate her unfitness, to make a case. You would do this for your grandchild, and for his mother, the person she could be.
     
  15. ChickPea

    ChickPea Member

    My mother advised me to keep a journal and I've been documenting as much as possible. It is our goal to have solid documentation by the end of the week; no more putting it off living day-to-day. Thank you for the reminder of that.

    As far as the housing train wreck, I think your'e right. She applied for immediate assistance for her housing situation and asked me to sign a paper stating that the baby was living with her (a contingency of the assistance). I refused - that's fraud. She either lied and had someone else sign it or... who knows? but she got the assistance. So I'm gleaning that she's been calling all over giving a homeless sob story of herself and her baby being homeless, but it's not true. I'm frightened to death about her uprooting him and taking him to an unsafe living arrangement with an unstable mother.

    I've emailed the lawyer we were in contact with a few months back. Again, I'm so glad I found this place again.
     
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  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    One suggestion I have, make sure you document everything!! Start keeping a journal and be specific.
    Make sure to include her threats of suicide. If she sends you texts, make sure to keep them.
    Log when she comes to see the baby, how long does she stay, and while she's there, does she change diapers, feed him, or is she just "there".

    It's very concerning that she says she has applied for housing for "them" and that if the baby is with her she can get bumped up.
    To counter some of what she's saying, you could say something like "I wonder if you have to pass a drug test for assistance, I hear some states are starting to do that" or "when people live in low-income housing they are really subject to scrutiny, any sign of neglect to your child and child services will be called"

    If it were me, I would be on the phone with a lawyer today!
     
  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Good, I'm glad to hear this!

    You have co-guardianship. Do you have to have her permission to take grandson on a vacation?
    Just a thought of a way for you to physically separate yourself from her. Is there someone you could go visit or even just go the next town and stay in hotel.
    If it were me, I would contact the housing authority and tell them she lied, that the baby has not been with her. You may need to contact child protective services and let them know what is going on and that you fear for your grandchild.
     
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Gosh. I'm scared too.
    This is chilling. But it may help you. I think you need to email or call the attorney and ask specifically what you can legally do now to REFUSE to permit the baby to go with her, in case she comes and tries to take him. Just in case. I would explain the part about her seeking apartments and benefits, lying that she has custody of the baby! There may be a way for you right now to legally establish full custody based upon her fraud. In a way what she has done in this regard may help your position. First, all she wants is the benefits. If she has gotten them, she's got what she wanted, who needs the actual baby? (But I would not count on this false security.) Because the next thing she wants, she may need the physical baby.

    So what I am saying is this: I would ask the attorney if you can make a move right now, based upon both the 6 months abandonment and her instability, threats and especially this fraud, because this alone reveals how predatory and transparent are her motives; and I would ask the attorney what kind of document he or she can file NOW to establish that the child is with you and should remain with you.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I would first call the attorney and give her/him the chance to file whatever legal paperwork you can put into place to protect you and the child. This is your window of opportunity where she has revealed herself. Two things are possible: Either she lied, and this could hurt her position. The other is terrifying, that she is on the way to get the baby, either to help her with this scheme or to advance a new one. Either way you need the attorney to tell you what to do. Like Tanya suggested, I would also ask if legally you can go to a hotel or another living space with the baby to protect him.

    I agree with Tanya.

    You really don't know what could happen next and that is the scary part.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Something you do have on your side, you can prove that you have been the one to care for the baby. I'm sure you can produce receipts for clothing, diapers, formula, etc.....
    What can she prove??? Nothing
    Great point Copa!!