Triangulating the grandchildren

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11JB68

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Triangulating the grandchildren
« on: August 24, 2018, 11:00:28 AM »
Another post triggered this train of thought for me, so rather than hijack that thread, I figured I'd start another.
It is a tricky thing I know (and like all things a personal decision) how to handle relationships between PDs and young children in your care, especially if you are LC, VLC, or NC with said PDs. My personal feeling is that if I don't feel safe around these people (I'm talking mentally safe, not necessarily physically), then I certainly don't think they are 'safe' for my child (esp when he was young). I know that uPDm and enF believed that I was wrong to go NC and 'wrong-er' to keep their gs from them. I don't see it that way. I am responsible for my child. (which they never understood anyway, so...) One of the saddest things that happened when I went NC was this: dear GM (now deceased) lived with uPDm and enF. She was quite dependent on them as she was elderly, blind in one eye, did not drive, etc. I grew up in her home, she helped raise me. I loved her dearly. She had some issues, and I think was co-dependent but I do not think she had a PD! (I think of anyone in my FOO I am most like her). She did have her own phone line in uPDm's house. I was NC with uPDm. But - wanted to talk to GM and wanted DS(5?) to talk to her also. Called GM's # one evening. Spoke with her. Put DS on phone to talk with her. A couple minutes later DS passed phone to me saying 'nana wants to talk to you'.  :aaauuugh: YIKES. This means that uPDm went into GMs room and hovered over her eavesdropping and just waiting for her chance to pounce. THAT was a defining moment for me. That she would do that.... Violated my privacy/GMs privacy, took advantage/manipulated her 5 yo GS???? WOW. Who, but a PD would DO THAT? Makes me angry to this day. I ended up NC with dear GM because I was not allowed to have a relationship with her without uPDm involved. SO sad. GM passed away, I heard from a friend. IDK even where she is buried, so I can't go visit.  :sadno:  This is part of the reason why I felt okay about remaining NC with uPDm and enF and keeping DS from them as well, they could not be trusted not to manipulate and violate the relationship. Sad for us, sad for them. Also sad that enF could not see what was happening - I would have liked to have been able to have a relationship with him too. He is a decent guy, we were close. I understand his level of co-dependency and really don't fault him...he didn't know any better.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Triangulating the grandchildren
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 02:34:36 PM »
I had such a hard time with this: our son was only 11 when our crisis hit.

We actually tried what the in-laws requested, letting them visit with him while repeatedly saying they no longer wanted any relationship with us. After they abusively announced that their rejection of us was permanent, we did have to implement two rules. I told them they could no longer go out of town with my son, or have him overnight. And I told them I would no longer accept any negative writing at all: they could abuse and condemn and criticize me, but had to call or do it in person: never again in print.

They couldn't even respect those minimal constraints, so went to full NC after the next round of written abuse.

When people say "but they are his grandparents!" I nod grimly and confirm. Yes they are. And just as it is a shame that my grandfather died before I was born, it is a shame that my son's grandparents will not treat me with anything like respect. Good grandparents are good. Of course they are. But bad grandparents are bad. And grandparents that avowedly hate and will not socialize with your parents, grandparents that repeatedly abuse them in print, are manifestly bad grandparents. Man, I am pissed now.

Ok, Starboard. Calm down.

And so I get back to the line I got from a social worker who specializes in family crisis: Separating a family into good and bad parts is something loving families simply do not do, and that responsible parents never allow.

We do not lie to my son, though our message has always been age-appropriate. My son knows they love him and want to see him. He knows that we intercept and destroy cards and gifts. And he understands why.

Me? Us? We still feel angst over this. But not because we doubt our motives. However right our response to it, this situation is not natural. It is very very broken and ugly.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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11JB68

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Re: Triangulating the grandchildren
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2018, 02:45:41 PM »
Starboard, sorry if I stirred up some angry feelings for you - I sort of expected you to weigh in on this one but hope I didn't 'trigger' you too badly... our son was VERY young, and really barely remembers his grandparents at this point. I also knew that my uPDm was one who would bad-mouth family members to each other and would try to drive wedges between family members regularly, I knew that she would do this with DS if we allowed her to have unsupervised contact with him...I can just imagine the types of things she would say about BOTH of us, but esp about my uPDh (who at the time I didn't really realize was part of the problematic equation, but even if he has a PD still does not deserve to be bad-mouthed to his own son by his MIL!!)

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Starboard Song

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Re: Triangulating the grandchildren
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2018, 02:55:06 PM »
Starboard, sorry if I stirred up some angry feelings for you

Not at all. In the firestorm of drama that swirls in the wretched wake of personality disorders, rule number one is to remember the root cause of the storm and its resulting pain.

And it ain't 11JB68, whom I know to be a good person also confronting this species of trouble.

It lives in Florida now. And it hates me.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Aerie

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Re: Triangulating the grandchildren
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 07:12:44 PM »
11JB68- I am so sorry, I can't imagine (and am fearful of) how you felt when you went NC with GM due to uPDm and then found out GM had passed away. I have a close relative that lives with my uDPm, and am LC so I don't see this relative as often as I'd like. I am fearful of their passing during an extended stretch of LC, and not having a chance to say goodbye. NM likes to withhold information and leak out bits and pieces to try to hoover me in, so I suspect she'll see a decline in said relative's health as a golden opportunity to suck me in and try to manipulate and guilt me.

I'm also sorry about what your PDs' have done with your son- Starboard as well! Awful.  :sadno: I was suspicious of triangulating starting between NM and my children a few years ago, which caused me to sort of naturally go LC over the last 18 months. My DS recently confirmed it to me quite clearly, sharing some of the nasty things she has said to him about me, his siblings, and DH. He recognizes her for the PD person she is, knows she is not mentally well, and says he takes nothing she says personally or seriously. I really hope it's true, and he isn't just saying that to try to assuage my guilt of not protecting him sooner.  :sadno:


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11JB68

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Re: Triangulating the grandchildren
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2018, 11:58:47 PM »
Aerie....I'm So sorry for your situation with your relative...is there a way for you to see or talk with that person while sticking to LC with your m? For me it was impossible...I was in therapy at the time when I went nc...t kept asking me what would I do if m or gm died out got sick and I kept saying I didn't know. M's manipulation around my phone call with gm was one of the things that led my t to suggest that perhaps m had bpd...also very sorry to hear how your ds is/was being treated. So horrifying that they feel ok about doing that to a child. I think for the most part most kids are pretty honest and I'm going to guess that you can trust what he's telling you...