Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Thursday 16 January 2014

A grandparents story in their own words.

"Our experience is that we feel our off springs were given the very best in terms of our love, attention & our time as they were growing up. We suppose they had a kind of old fashioned type of family setting as babies & young children - father worked extremely long hours to put the roof over their heads, food on the table & clothes on their backs. Mother stayed at home & provided a loving, stimulating environment for them to grow up in & around. Mother would be there to drop them at school, pick up from school, arrange their after school activities along with weekends & school holiday family adventures to the park, woods, beach, for picnics & not forgetting entertaining just about the whole of the neighbouring children at ours, adventure play was encouraged, a garden that would look something like "Steptoe and Sons" back yard at the end of play, with mucky but certainly happy kids !

On reflection we wish there had been a manual on "how to raise the late teenager" as our experience was that the teenage years were difficult & we failed.

So, long before our first grandchild was even a twinkle in his parents eyes we were asked a favour & we could just not oblige.

From this day on molehills were turned into mountains, the whole thing got out of hand, was truly blown out of all proportion & we were ostracised from our grown up off springs lives. We tried and tried for them to just "meet" for them to just "talk" but met with a brick wall.

We both became extremely depressed & could not function, to us being ostracised by our off springs was a living bereavement. Father was also experiencing the actual bereavement of a real kind (actual loss of a parent) & Mother felt so desperate at the deep loss & sadness of her living off springs that mother attempted to take her own life - at this time, mother just did not want to live anymore, she could not take anymore.

Extended family stepped in with support, both parents moved away for a year until they felt a little stronger before moving back to their home hoping, truly hoping, that their grown up off springs would now make amends, it had been over a year now, surely they'd have calmed down, nobody can stay angry & bear resentment forever - surely ? Sadly, this wasn't to be, grown up off springs just would not communicate to talk it through & would run to the police to complain of harassment if their parents made any attempts to communicate with them by any means - just to talk, just to sort it out & not with the intention of causing them alarm, distress & fear of their lives. Parents just wanted to "communicate".

So, a child was born into the feuding family, an innocent child who is now a toddler, a toddler who does not even know there are parental grandparents out there (us) who love toddler so much & there is a whole extended paternal family out there too being excluded.

We were invited to meet with our grandchild twice, in a cafe each time, once when grandchild was one week old & a second time when grandchild was three  weeks old. In total, one hour & fifty five minutes we were grandparents before the carrot was cruelly pulled away from us.

We never did see our grandchild with open eyes, hear our grandchild's baby cries, see our grandchild's first smiles & all we have to treasure are two photographs - one of us with grandchild when grandchild was a week old (good job we took our camera or else we'd not even have that) & we have just one more of our grandchild when grandchild was 7 months old.

Grandad says "that ship has sailed now, we missed out on it all and can't ever press the replay button"

We aren't consumed in 24/7 grief anymore, are of the benefit of therapy for what was diagnosed as PTSD given the traumas experienced.

We are comfortable that we tried long before our grandchild was even a twinkle to put it right with grandchild's parents & all we can do is make the best of life we can, yes, there is a sad void, but not the 24/7 grief anymore.

We live in hope that grandchild's parents will eat humble pie one day & be our friends again before it's too late.

We'd welcome them with open arms regardless of the emotional abuse we feel that we have experienced.

Our love as parents is unconditional."

A huge thank you again to another grandparent who felt they wanted to share their experience.
To describe the effect this situation causes as PTSD, is so apt.

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