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Thread: When a 6yo child has never met their grandparent . . .

  1. #19
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    she's the only grandma bilby actually has.

    she's alive

    bilby notices other kid's grandmas and grandpas and looks a bit envious

    bilby would make a lovely grand-daughter

    annual events are so lonely, just the two of us

    the one relative i still have (an aunt), i had hoped, would become a grandma figure to bilby, but that's not working out

    i don't feel like i'm enough for bilby

    i would like her to have relationships with people of different generations

    lots of things i am rubbish at, my mother is good at (e.g cooking) and i'm sure bilby would benefit from that, learn how to cook etc.

  2. #20

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    Gigi, Bilby's dad is the only dad Bilby has. He's alive. Does Bilby also envy other children their fathers? And Bilby makes a lovely daughter. Are you going to get back together with her father now? No. Well then.

    For crying out loud, "she's alive" isn't a reason to stay in an abusive relationship, much less invite one back into your life. You are more than enough for Bilby, your lack of self-esteem is just not letting you see that.

    As for the different generations and the cooking things - there is time for that. I know you dislike socialising, but far better to make a new relationship with a nice old lady than to resurrect an abusive one with a horrid old lady.

  3. #21
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    you will really want to slap me FB, i constantly wonder, am i doing the right thing (with the breakup). WOuld bilby be safer (away from this dodgy suburb), living with her dad, if i made the decision that we should all live together again. I doubt myself about EVERYTHING.

    my reasons (for the grandma part)
    were not there, as GOOD reasons
    they are just the things that i can come up with, when you asked the WHY question

    you're right, my logic is entirely flawed

  4. #22

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    Self-doubt isn't a bad thing, Gigi. And thinking "how can I make my child safer?" is not a bad thing either. Only you can decide if where you live is worse than letting Bilby see an abusive relationship is a normal one.

    Hugs to you.

  5. #23

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    Default When a 6yo child has never met their grandparent . . .

    Gigi,
    My mum has some major issues, is bipolar and some what self destructive.
    I stopped speaking to her about 3 weeks before my wedding, and told her I didn't want her there. Cruel? maybe.
    MY reasoning was I had spent all of my teen years, and early adult hood trying up help her and be there when she needed me. And so had my younger siblings.
    BUT it finally dawned on me she didn't want to help herself, and wasn't going to change, so at what cost was my or my siblings happiness?
    She didn't care so suddenly why the hell should I? There was more to it but you get the jist.

    Don't dis credit the age your daughter is, in not wanting to tell or explain what abusive people are. Bilby probably has a 'different version' of what grandparents are in that the examples she's seen, are like what you know will be. ITMS?
    Kids are smarter than we give them credit for and quickly work things out.

    It sounds like you have unresolved issues relating to your mum, and if like me, feel slightly ripped off because the version of the mum you got isn't what is usually portrayed.
    It's not fair to set an expectation on someone either, and sadly Bilby will be the one hurt if her 'version' isn't what it cracked up to be.
    On the flip side if that, is your mum manipulative, to play the sweet grandma and shower Bilby with love, in which will bring up issues within you, as to why she wasn't like that to you. Bilby is at a very impressionable age, which can have long term effects if she is coaxed the wrong way.
    Personally I think the risk is far bigger letting a grandma of that calibre into your lives, than just explaining that she wasn't a nice person to you and then tell Bilby that not all grandmas are like her friends ones etc.
    Good luck, if you need to chat PM me!

  6. #24

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    Gigi-

    I have no experience on this topic, but just wanted to drop in to let you know that you ARE doing a fabulous job.

    I really admire your strength and courage.
    Stop second guessing yourself.

    Build your village in other ways.

  7. #25

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    So, Gigi, from what you say:

    Your mother was abusive.
    Your mother was unable to care for you when you were in a coma and could not be trusted even with your stuff.
    Your mother would still abuse you if she could.
    Your siblings will not help you.
    Your mother makes you feel uncomfortable and you don't want to see her or have her bully you.
    You don't want her to meet Bilby, you don't even want her to know Bilby exists.

    Why, exactly, are you even considering reconnecting with her? Bilby really isn't missing out.
    I kind of have to agree with this. I think you are using up a lot of energy debating this which you should redirect towards giving Bilby what she actually needs - some good role models to look up to, and a loving 'family' in whatever way that comes. If your mother is as you say, then I am not really sure why you are even considering it. Be honest with your daughter and just use words that she will understand. If your daughter is lonely, then the gap won't be filled by a violent grandmother. But it can be filled by adult friends that you love and trust.

  8. #26

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    Have you thought about "adopting" a grandmother for Bilby? A lonely woman down at the retirement village or nursing home? It might be all you need to fill the void to have that someone special for Bilby.

    Are there BB members around you that you can meet? That way your story is somewhat known and you don't have the awkwardness/horror of having to explain your past and Bilby can play?

    Many hugs to you. I don't think anything will be gained by getting Bilby to meet her grandmother. It will be sweet for a while but then as Bilby will naturally want to spend more time with her, I suspect from what you've posted that you will be the one painted in the unfair/negative light. Eventually Bilby will see for herself what her grandmother is about, should they meet. Is it worth subjecting her to that? Maybe time for a frank age-appropriate chat about why you don't see them.

  9. #27

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    My children have 2 grandparents - a paternal grandmother, who lives overseas; and a maternal grandfather, who is ravaged with disease, and if he wasn't, then probably wouldn't have any contact at all with him anyway due to past history. Even despite that, Charlotte has met him twice, Marley, well, he doesn't even know she is alive.

    I do feel sad that the girls will miss out on the 'grandparent experience', mostly because I had such an amazing relationship with mine. My paternal grandparents lived with us for many years and helped raise us, and had a profound impact on my life. I am sorry my girls won't experience that unique relationship. I am angry that the one grandparent they had who could and would have been profound in their lives was stolen away by cancer, and I feel they have lost out.

    But there is nothing I can do to change all that. I can't go back in time and make my grandfather *not* an ********. I can't undo the hurt and pain he caused and rebuild the family he broke with his lies and betrayl. I can't wish it away and I can't pretend it didn't happen. I CAN work through those issues and my response to that and how I deal with it in my life, and that has been invaluable to me.

    I think Relationships Australia is a good place for you to start. You can find someone to talk to, it will be free for you, they are able to offer mediation services if you decide to go down that path also. But really the biggest bonus to you will being able to share some of these feelings and emotions you are experiencing, that you can't talk to other people about.

    You are not inadequate.
    You are not a failure.
    You are enough.
    You are an amazingly strong woman.
    You are an inspiration.

    Bilby will not miss out on having a grandparent unless you go out of your way to reinforce the idea that she is missing out on having grandparents. Yes, it is sad and upsetting that she doesn't have the relationship at the moment, but ultimately, if the only opportunity for that relationship existing presently is to introduce a toxic relation into the equation, then perhaps it is an experience that will be ruined for her anyway, iykwim.

    Maybe this could be a great opportunity for you both to get out and build some new relationships and teach Bilby about giving back to her community. Is there a shelter or a soup kitchen anywhere near you? The Red Cross have a volunteers needed page on their website with all sorts of things you can get involved in. Your local community centre may also have things you can do. Often Hostels are happy to have you come visit with the residents.

    We can't recreate our favourite childhood memories for our children, no matter how much we want to. Perhaps the hardest lesson we can learn as parents is that they will have their own memories, their own experiences and ultimately, their own story, that won't be anything like our own.

    PS, DD1 isn't able to write fluent sentences yet, but she loves drawing pictures and things, and if Bilby would like a Pen Pal, I am certain Charlotte would love it too.

  10. #28

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    It sounds as though your reasons for stopping contact with your mother will still be there, and I worry that you will doubt yourself even more if your mother becomes a link in your life again. I second the suggestion to think about adopting a grandparent though. There are so many elderly people who are isolated and would love contact with a young family, just because they aren't blood doesn't mean this would be a less important relationship.

  11. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Flying Butter View Post
    So, Gigi, from what you say:

    Your mother was abusive.
    Your mother was unable to care for you when you were in a coma and could not be trusted even with your stuff.
    Your mother would still abuse you if she could.
    Your siblings will not help you.
    Your mother makes you feel uncomfortable and you don't want to see her or have her bully you.
    You don't want her to meet Bilby, you don't even want her to know Bilby exists.

    Why, exactly, are you even considering reconnecting with her? Bilby really isn't missing out.
    Exactly that. I think it's a no brainer really (sorry for sounding uncaring) but I don't think your daughter is missing out on anything.

  12. #30
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    i have been searching for a "adopt a grandparent" scheme since i was pregnant, i found one in Victoria, but not one in my state. So i totally agree and am happy with a substitute grandma idea.

    Limey, bilby cannot write yet, (only her name) but thanks for the penpal offer.

    MRL, you are right on the money, i do feel ripped off, i know she made the decision, when i was six, to transfer the violence from herself to me. So her black eyes stopped, my bruises began. I miss having a positive mothering role model, i learnt what NOT to do to a child, but i feel lacking in what you DO DO for a child. Especially the being silly, having fun part of mothering. As i did not experience that. And as horrible as what happened to me was, when i went into labour and everything went wrong, i wanted my mum SO BAD. After bilby arrived, i wanted to show her to my mum SO BAD. I wanted to be able to show her photos to her grandma, instead of Facebook. I wanted her grandma to ooh and ahh over bilby reaching her milestones, making funny faces etc. Someone else to love her like i do.

    i didn't have a kind loving grandma in my own childhood (1970's), but i did have two aunties who held family gatherings at their home eg birthday, xmas type events. The sense of belonging somewhere, wonderful food, getting to swim in a backyard pool with cousins, presents, hugs, knowing that every xmas you had somewhere to go, you would be missed if you weren't there and my own parents would act like Carol and Mike Brady, whilst at those events (somewhere i was safe). My own grandma was terrifying, physically and emotionally - so i totally get how my mum turned out to be how she is.

    Growing up, i can see now, my family didn't have a network, people were kept away from the house, because they might see what no-one was meant to be seeing, stuff happening behind closed doors. Despite that history, i am replicating my parents, i'm not creating a network, for different reasons, but same outcome. Shame. Finding it so hard to trust other people, build relationships, feeling so different, too different to fit in.

    i ran the "xmas day lunch for homeless people" idea a few years ago, was knocked back by charities who told me they had too many volunteers already, if i wanted that, i would have to put my name down very early in the year, to have a better chance of getting picked (which i keep forgetting to do - only seem to think of it round this time of year). Plus bilby's dad was dead against it, he said he didn't want bilby sitting next to homeless people, for her own safety.

  13. #31

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    Gigi, it is hard to trust others when you are taught not too. Be kind to yourself - sounds like you are giving Bilby a lot more than you are giving yourself credit for. xxxx

  14. #32

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    Remember bilby can still connect with your mum in her own way when she is older.



    My grandma was a total cow and my mum limited contact. Sure I didn't understand it fully at the time, but I never noticed really. Then when I was getting married I decided to invite grandma. Old age had really mellowed her and I was glad to meet her again in that way. Sure I wished she was always loving and kind like that but I know she was mean to my mum and so I'm glad I didn't have to see that side of her (although I remember some pretty awful things from when I was really young).

    Sorry for the ramble. I'm trying to point out that one day bilby will be an adult and can decide to have a relationship with your mum if she chooses, but in the meantime your job is to protect her especially when she is still so young and vulnerable

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