I'm new I can see I'm not as alone as I thought

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Isla, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Isla

    Isla New Member

    After reading posts on this forum, for the first time I don't feel alone.

    My adult daughter has abused me for years. She uses you, then shortly after abuses you. I' m not her only target, even her many therapists have suffered her lies and deception. She uses people (men mainly) for personal gain, including her child who I've mainly raised from brith. Up until recently my husband and I ensured the child had a stable environment. We had to clean her up emotionally, physically and spiritually every week after being neglected by her clueless "parents". They were never there for the child only for themselves. He worked long hours, she spent his money dumping the child anywhere at anytime.

    The upshot is that my daughter has lost custody of her child who is now living with the father. The father is co-dependent on my daughter. He imposed (he's a lawyer) unrealistic Orders, pretending he was a capable parent Who had plenty support from family, neighbours and friends (of which none actually exist) He has told us he used the court to "teach her a lesson". Even after he won custody he continues to enable my daughter providing the money to support her "lifestyle". He gives into her every whim. He gives into her every demand and puts them before the needs of his child.

    On the first day my daughter had access rights she slept in. Her little girl was looking forward to seeing her mother. They had their typical argument and my daughter put her fist through a glass panel. He came to her "rescue" and allowed the little one to witness the chaos, the blood, her mother's distress. It's as though they are both addicted to drama, he being the rescuer, her the damsel in distress. She keeps upping the anti!

    He took the child away from our care believing he could simply put her into a child minding faculty 11 hours a day. After not seeing her for over 2 weeks we were allowed to visit. She was filth from head to toe, she was emotionally depleted. Every time she would "misbehave" he gave her a mobile device or put her in front of TV. Her teeth were yellow, her eyes vacant.

    I feel so guilty. I have learned to detach from my toxic daughter, she is responsible for her own life. But I am struggling with feeling there is very little I can do to help my granddaughter. Both parents use her as a pawn, and I feel powerless to help her.

    Can anyone please support me? I am so struggling. I haven't even touched the surface of this ridiculously, crazy, dysfunctional mess.
  2. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    There will be wiser ones than me along soon, but I just want to let you know that I understand what a tough situation it is when little ones get caught up in the craziness. The only advice I can give is document all the abuse and neglect you're witnessing in case you do want to try to get guardianship. Keep a spiral notebook with dates and specifics. Take date stamped photos. You can't change this overnight but that doesn't mean you're powerless.
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  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    We don't need exact details, but it helps to know if you are in the USA or not. Laws differ from country to country.

    If you were in Canada, I'd say to get Child Welfare involved.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Her father is a lawyer. Likely he knows what he can and can not do to retain custody of his child. You don't have to be a great parent to keep your child. I don't know about systems in other countries, but I do know that the child would need to be left alone or beaten with bruises for the parents to lose rights in the U.S. Giving kids electronics is very mainstream, even for entertainment and that would get nowhere in court. Even that the child isn't clean doesn't matter. Your SonIL enabling your daughter is not going to be an issue. It's about how he interacts with his child and he doesn't have to meet a very high bar.

    When I worked at a child care facility, we had three or social workers from Child Protective Services come to talk to us as workers with deprived children who we knew darn well were not necessarily getting their needs met. We were told how hard it is to take children away from their parents unless there is proof (and they said proof, not just hearsay or what somebody thinks) or neglect or documented abuse that is seen by a doctor.

    I hope things go better for you than what these CPS workers said. They were trying to tell us not to expect a child's parent to lose custody of their kid unless the situation was extreme. We had one kid who routinely showed up with caked dog poop on her shoes and all the workers did was talk to the mother. Nothing changed and she never lost custody. Maybe she had to take parenting classes. Who knows?

    If you suspect drug use, the parent must be caught using the drugs. There needs to be proof. Do we protect our children well? I don't think so. Your biggest asset is that you did have A LOT to do with your grandson and the court will probably take that into consideration and at least possibly allow visitation. I hope so. If not, your daughter may lose even visitation rights or only be allowed supervised visits. Father is not unfit by how you described him, even if he isn't the most active or involved.

    At any rate, do what you must and try your hardest and tons of support and luck from me.
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Isla,

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I'm glad you found this forum, you will find support, comfort and years of wisdom from those of us who have been there.

    It would be helpful if you would fill in your signature as you can give a little more info about yourself.

    How old is your granddaughter? Does your granddaughter stay with you on a regular basis? Are you wanting to have custody of your granddaughter?

    Since the father is a lawyer you need to be very careful about you proceed. You may want to consult with an attorney that practices family law. One thing that is key is to make sure you document everything. Start a journal and write down everything, make sure to put the date and time. If they send text messages to you make sure you do not delete them, same with voice mail.

    It's good that you have detached from your daughter so you understand that we have no control over how others live their lives. The same goes for her husband. What is your relationship with your son in-law like, are you able to talk to him?

    It's so hard when children get caught in the middle of the drama and chaos. I would suggest that you spend as much time as you can with your granddaughter and confirm to her how much you love her and that you are always there for her.

    Again, the more information you can share without giving away identities the better.

    Others will come along and share their thoughts.

    ((HUGS)) to you for your hurting heart. You are not alone, we are here and we care.
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  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Ps you aren't an island. Lol now you have a whole continent full of support to surround you.
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  7. Isla

    Isla New Member

    Hello everyone! Thanks for all your lovely replies, they really lifted me spirits knowing you understand. Not sure if this is where I reply to everyone, as I'm not familiar with forums. I'll reply to each of you individually. Thanks again so much!
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  8. Isla

    Isla New Member

    Thanks DoneDad! Yes I have documented everything from before the child was born via personal diary and photos. Trouble is there was never anything tangible enough to get the authorities involved. Besides in Australia at least they are generally toothless tigers. Even children in risk of their lives more often than not go unnoticed. Thanks for your kindness. Take care!
  9. Isla

    Isla New Member

    Hi InsaneCdn! Finally found where to write a signature (with the help from a lovely person). I live in Australia. From what I've been told the authorities can do little. On the surface the child has a lawyer father with status and money. The mother seems on the exterior serene (she's a master of deception). She's come unstuck and the courts have ruled she can only have supervised and very limited supervised access. It's awful for my granddaughter, she's only 3 and doesn't understand why her mother can't stay with her anymore. Thanks again for your reply.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Hi, Isla. I am so glad you found us, so happy you are here with us, now. I am a grandmother, too. I find it to be true that whatever the child is going through, knowing there is someone out there who would stop it if she could, someone who cherishes the child and believes in her, makes a tremendous difference in the child's strength and resilience. There are so many things we cannot change for our grands, but we can love them really strong and let them know that we celebrate their lives. We can let them know how grateful we are that they are who they are, and that we got to be their grandmothers.

    That is alot, when you think about it.

    Sometimes, we are meant to be that person on the outside who witnesses for the child, and who helps them to see themselves in a healthy, cherished and cherishable way, so they will grow into strong adults, whatever their challenges have been as children.

    In those ways, we can learn to be very strong and very centered for them as they grow up and then, they can pattern themselves on the strength they have learned from us, and on the ways we have taught them to see themselves.

    It is good to have a grandmother, and it is good to be a grandmother, and that seems to be our job, here.

    It is tempting to want to take over, to take the child yourself. I have taken grands until their parent was able to take them back, but I have never had to take the parent's place or role. It seemed to me that parenting their own children would save my addicted son or daughter and I think it is true that their responsibilities to their children were, in the end, the thing that saved both my children.

    I feel badly that these things are happening in your family, but there is so much we have no say about.

    It is a hard thing.

    Brene Brown writes that we humans are hard-wired, from birth, for challenge.

    That comforts me in those times when I am so worried about my own grands.

    They are very strong.

    They have us, loving them and protecting and teaching them who they are and can be.

    It is good to think of someone far away who loves us, when we are sad.

    That is who we are for our grands when our children are messing things up for everyone in the family and we sort of hate them for it.

    It's all so confusing, but if we try to know the best we can how to respond, given the situation, then we are doing all we can do.

    And somehow, that has to be enough.

    It's really hard.

    The other thing is this: The child does not know how different things are supposed to be. She does not understand anything but that she loves her parents, and she will make the best of her situation, as all children do. In my family, I have tried to be very careful not to let my opinions about the parent over whatever it is that is horrifying me lately leak over into my conversations with my grands. I think it is valuable to them to hear from me that their parents love them and are really great parents.

    Now, with all the terrible things that have happened in the past few years, I have learned to say, "When your parent is on her game, there is no better mother."

    This is true, actually.

    Sometimes, we have to know where we can be of most support.

    Often, that means strengthening the relationship, and the trust, between our grands and their parents.

    That can be such a hard thing, when we are so angry and shocked and disappointed in our children's parenting or partners.

  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I must have been given two extra sets of wires!!:nonono:
  12. Isla

    Isla New Member

    You're pretty well hit the mark SomewhereOutThere! He is indeed a wealthy lawyer who knows exactly how to retain custody. If he were anything like the outside world sees him it would not be a concern to me. I know there is little I can do except do my best to keep on his "good" side.

    He is a reclusive, lives in squaller and is a major hoarder. Again no grounds for losing custody. Also he has made it quite clear to me (knowing I have documented information) that if I even attempted to challenge him there would be all hell to pay. The Courts granted my granddaughter an independent children's lawyer who is employed by the state. The problem is (although I apparently have the right to attend a conference with the independent children's lawyer) I cannot attend unless the parents tell me when and where it will be! It is so frustrating as if I showed him/her my records, the photographic and written (a kept a diary) evidence the lawyer (I would like to think) would include my husband and I in the Orders so we could legally have access to her regularly without having to grovel to the parents.

    As the Orders stand now, my daughter has supervised visitation rights 2 days a week from 4pm to 7.30pm (the supervisor has to be approved of by the child's father 24 hours prior). Then she has supervised visitation rights even other Saturday and Sunday for 7 hours, and returned each night to the father's home. She has to have frequent drug tests, including hair follicle tests. The father told us it is "draconian" and used to teach her a lesson. I was of the opinion the courts were there to work out what is in the better interests of the child. Even though he is a lawyer I thinks he's pretty naïve.

    Thanks for replying, it was sound, sensible advice! Kind regards

    It would seem my daughter is not paying her lawyer either which is hardly in her favour. She apparently threatened the father's life when he took her to
  13. Isla

    Isla New Member

    Thank you for your kind and wise words Cedar! Yes you are so right! Yes I understand I can never replace the "role" of my daughter as my granddaughter's mummy. It is so apparent that she innately craves a connection with her mother. It is sad to watch how disconnected her mother is to her though. But you're right, she knows no differently and has adapted to the chaos in her own way. She is remarkably self reliant, I see as a strength, her parents misinterpret as a nuisance.

    It's just heartbreaking when even her birthday isn't acknowledged, or building her up to the excitement of celebrating traditions. Her birthdays have always been celebrated at our house. Her child care centre always put on parties for the children on their birthdays, but the parents need to advise them and provide the cake for the children. Poor little girl didn't even know it was her 3rd birthday as her mother didn't tell anyone. I went to the centre and asked but they had no clue it was her birthday. So I ran out and brought her class cupcakes. The smile on her face when she got to be like the other kids to have a turn at being sung happy birthday to and blew out her candles was priceless. I felt so sorry her parents couldn't see what they miss out on, for her and for their own sake. I took a short video and her father wanted to make a complaint that the teacher didn't tie her hair back when she blew out the one candle! Grrrrr.....

    My hope now is we can have enough access to her to continue with celebrations, such as the build up to Christmas. She otherwise would have known nothing about Christmas songs or the delight of a Christmas tree and other festive fun that her parents do not see as important to a child.

    Their little minds are so malleable, they are little sponges. We so love teaching her about all the wonderful abundance around her. The beauty each season brings, collecting colourful autumn leaves and learning about different kinds of flowers etc. My husband has begun to teach her German which she has picked up on so easily. I guess this is the kind of things that break our hearts. Her not given these opportunities of which she so adores and thrives.

    I have to accept the "isness" of the situation and have faith there is a higher purpose. Life changes constantly, this is one of those changes. It is just hard to adjust right now after having experienced so much joy.

    Thank you so much - and big hugs :)
  14. Isla

    Isla New Member

    Oh Tanya! Your own story is heartbreaking!! But it is wonderful to see that you have a great husband! You must know a lot about detachment, what a journey you've had! I'm so pleased you are also now well!

    I live in Australia. My granddaughter is 3 and a half. She has stayed with us (my husband and I) on average 3 - 5 days a week since she was 3 months old. From 10 months day and night, often weekends too and always when she was too unwell for my daughter to want her around. More than anything I wish my daughter would get well and be there for my granddaughter. That is what she craves innately. I'm afraid I don't think my daughter has the capacity to empathise, it's as though empathy and connection have always been lacking in her DNA??? The child's father is not very different, but he has some conscious awareness at least.

    It is a time of enormous readjustment.

    As far as do we get on with her father goes, it's complicated. He enables my daughter in many ways, yet he is so cruel. He likes to control her through her greed. He is paying her rent yet using her weakness to feel superior and appear a hero to whoever will listen. We used us to support him emotionally as we know the pain she can inflict all too well. He then became more and more demanding. I ignorantly told him in confidence that I kept a diary which he later told me I had to give him or he would subpoena it. I have many examples why he is such a difficult person to get on with but since we have no other option he is the only point of contact we now have to our granddaughter. So although we get on, it is on a civilized level only nowadays.

    My heart goes out to you for all your suffering. Thank you so much for reading my post - big hugs!