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Topic: Feeling depressed because I can't see my Granchildren

  1. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    15 January 2020
    I have posted in the Family issues section before and received a lot of support which was very appreciated. My problem now is my DIL who my son in separated from has filed a protection order on me where I temporarily can't see my two Grandsons. I attended Court a couple of days ago and i am fighting the charges with a very good Solicitor. I have lodged my Afadavit and my Solicitor is confident that I will come out on top as it is in his words to the Judge 'a vixacous and malicous attempt to get even with my son through me " The hearing isn't until the 29th of April and I just feel miserable all the time. All I want to do is sleep and hope when I wake up everything will be different. How do I pull myself out of this blue funk I'm in. I can't get in to see a Psychologist until 17 March.
  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3414 posts
    15 January 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff
    Dear FeathersnFluff, 
    We are sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time. If you would like to talk to someone in the meant time, please get in contact with support services such as:
    Beyondblue 1300 22 4636
    Lifeline 13 11 14
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    9100 posts
    5 March 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    First the logical situation. The Family court wherever possible puts the needs of the children first, and to be deprived of their grandparents is to go against such a need. Unless it can be shown that the visits are harmful or against the children's strong wishes the default will probably be to let contact take place.

    As your DIL appears to have an ulterior motive, other that factual reasons, I'd be hopeful.

    Now of coure the hard part is waiting and imagining the worst, a horrible situation to be in. The longer the wait, the more the imaginings of disaster take over.

    Thee are things you can do, even before visiting your therapist. Try for a healthy lifestyle with structure, exercise, good nutrition and as far as possible good sleep (yes, I know, not easy). Plus going out to be with others.

    I find having something to look forward to each day helps - quite a lot. I use books, movies, pets, talking to my partner as some of these things. I can very much look forward to reading the next chapter for example.

    This is a very stressful time for you, as it would be for anyone. Do you have a family member or friend to offer you care and support? Not facing such things alone is a blessing at times.

    You know you are welcome here anytime

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8003 posts
    6 March 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hi FeathersnFluff,

    This situation must be very difficult for you. Waiting and not knowing the outcome of something can certainly do my head in if I allow my thoughts to continue down that track.

    Trying to stop those negative and worrying thoughts is like trying to stop a freight train, it takes effort and time.

    Croix has made some suggestions for ways you can get yourself through each day. Planning positive events and setting small goals can certainly help us through a difficult time.

    As you are waiting to see a psychologist, would you consider using the Beyond Blue phone support service on 1300 22 4636. It can help to talk to someone to get the thoughts out of your head for a while.

    ope you find ways to get through the waiting period.

    Regards from Doolhof

  5. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    14 May 2020 in reply to Croix
    Thank you for your advice Croix. Unfortunately because of the Corona Virus the Court date has been put back. To top it off two days ago I received two Applications from the Family Law Court. One from my DIL and the other believe it or not from my Son. I was flabergasted and asked my son how he could betray us like that. He said he was sorry his hand was forced and he would make it right. I saw my Solicitor today and he said he believes my DIL and son must have come to agreement on a Parenting Plan and division of property and DIL has instructed my son to write the statement and make one of the conditions be that our Grandchildren do not see either my husband or myself. He said we could go to mediation and then file for visitation rights. All this will cost around $6000 all up. We are so distressed. ...both having panic attacks. We just want our names cleared and would like to have a part in our Grandchildrens life as they have no other family. We are both pensioners. Is it worth the fight?
  6. bluenight
    bluenight avatar
    62 posts
    14 May 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Really sounds like a bad situation, I think it is worth the fight to see your grandchildren as you seem to really love them and want them in your life and as you said they have no other family.

    You've done nothing wrong by what you've said, it's your dil trying to get at you and your husband.

    $6000 is a lot of money, and it will be a very stressful thing so give it some thought.

    Is there any way she will change her mind after she has cooled down or some time has passed?

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    9100 posts
    14 May 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    I'm sorry to hear of this, it sounds like both you and your son/DIL have experienced solicitors, and that goes way beyond my ability to say anything much that is useful.

    I can ask you this, win or lose how will the pair of you feel in later life?

    Doing anything at all depends on so many things, your heath and situation, and the luck of the draw in mediation -plus the granting of the visitation rights after a possible positive outcome. There is never any guarantee of anything at court, no mater how just a cause.

    Similarly how will your grandchildren feel in the future? If they are fed poisonous information by parents how would it work out?

    It may be easy to assume you son would not do that , however he has acted against you once already.

    I'm painting a rather blunt picture, I'm sorry to do that to you.

    If your son were to keep his word and 'make it right' that would undoubtedly be the best thing.

    So what can I cay - don't rush into anything, there will be time enough, and try to look after yourselves, panic attacks should be treated. Have you both managed to get medical support for this as yet? It is important.

    Croix

  8. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    14 May 2020 in reply to Croix
    Yes we are in contact with our family Doctor who has treated both my son, grandchildren, and myself for many years. My husband has spent 36 years in Australian Military Service and is in receipt of a pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs mainly as a result of PTSD resulting from his service. He has been prescribed medication to temporarily cope with the situation. As our DIL has now described him as an unfit Grandfather he has now been lumped in with me. He went to bed distressed and shaky tonight and confessed he had considered suicide to escape the pain but I talked to him calmly and said I love him and need him with me and our daughter. I confessed I had also had these thoughts, but that would only cause more pain to the people I love. I assured him we will get through this difficult time together. We have been married for 42 years and I am not going to throw in the towel.
    1 person found this helpful
  9. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3414 posts
    14 May 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff
    Hi FeathersnFluff,

    We're so sorry to hear that things are still so difficult for you at the moment, but we are so glad that you've reached out here tonight. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk through these feelings and our community is here to support you.  If you feel up to it, we'd also recommend reaching out to the Beyond Blue Support Service anytime on 1300 22 4636 or get in touch with us on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport One of the friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and offer support, advice and referrals. 

    We are also currently getting in touch with you via email with some extra support. We hope that you keep checking in to let us know how you're going, whenever you feel up to it.
     
  10. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    15 May 2020 in reply to Sophie_M
    Thank you Sophie. I will keep in touch.
  11. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    1 October 2020 in reply to Croix
    You were right Croix. I had to change Solicitor's because of a conflict of interest (I retained my Solicitor for my son first for him to get legal advice) Because my son wrote a statement for a Parenting Order with his wife that supported her statement of my husband and myself being unfit parents. My new Solicitor is very experienced and I had a Court date set for 7 October. We have already spent approximately $5000 in legal fees. My new Solicitor said it is obvious to her that my DIL has lied to her teeth out and I have very good supporting evidence but explained that the Courts always lean towards the Applicant in DVO's. She said I would require the services of a Barrister. The costs for his appearance and hers would be in the vicinity of $8000 and of course no guarantee of a positive outcome. She discussed the option of offering to Accept the DVO on a NO ADMITTANCE basis. That means that I will accept the DVO terms but do not agree that any of the accusations made by my DIL are true and no Domestic Violence has occured. As my husband and I are pensioners and using the equity in our home to fight this case she felt it may be a better option to save our money and hope our son comes around and changes his Parenting Order and visitation could be included for us in that. The Family Court overrides the Magistrates Court making the DVO ineffective. A long story I know. Anyway I have decided to go this route which means I will not be able to have contact with our Grandchildren for 5 years.....depressing. But wait....on top of that the penny has dropped and I believe our son has reconciled with his wife some months ago. We have not seen him since May and only hear from him when he wants money. So it appears that all along we have been bolstering his households income with our money (drug use involved) Coming to the realization that I have been played so long makes me feel so depressed that he has manipulated me because he knows how much I love him and find it hard to say no when he pleads.....always via text....not even a phone call. It's a lot to get my head around at the moment.
    1 person found this helpful
  12. Croix
    Community Champion
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    9100 posts
    2 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    What you propose to do, to Accept the DVO on a NO ADMITTANCE basis, sounds very sensible. Legal actions are holes into which you pour money, not necessarily with any outcome at all, let alone one in your favor. I strongly suspect the figures quoted in fees are way under.

    I'm sorry about your son he sounds a rather easily led person and really asking you for money by texts having taken out/supported the AVO is just not on.

    If he came face to face, and talked it might be more hopeful, however it sounds as if you are simply being used.

    Do you feel compelled to just hand over money, or can you use it as a lever to have him visit and work towards getting things changed?

    Look, many people in your situation, particularly with a history of PTSD (which I have too) can get overwhelmed, if either of you get so down you feel like taking your lives then you need a plan, something you do not have to do any thinking abut or decision making at the dark time.

    First I'd suggest you both have a safety plan each like I use, there is a good one here for a smartphone you fill in advance, preferably together.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning\

    You fill it in in beforehand with all the things that you might enjoy or make you feel calmer. It will be different for each of you, when I did it my partner had to help, as I could not think of those things by myself.

    I have books, music, visiting a friend, movies and comedy routines from an Irish comedian - humor helps me.

    If all else fails and you want the comfort of a sensible human voice I personally suggest the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467). Organizations like that one exist for people like yourselves and giving them a bell is expected. It is free.

    Please let me know how you go

    Croix

  13. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    11 October 2020 in reply to Croix

    Well it's done Criox. I made an offer to my DIL to accept the DVO on a "no admissions " basis. She accepted it very quickly and went to my Solicitor's to sign the necessary paperwork.Police arrived Saturday afternoon to deliver the Final Order. I couldn't help myself from bursting into tears. They stayed for about 20 minutes listening to me blurt out what had happened. They were very sympathetic whilst remaining professional. One Officer as he left turned back to say "Hang in there...things can change" My Solicitor said the very same thing when I left her Office. I felt I had "signed off" on my Grandchildren and she hugged me and said you have done nothing wrong and are obviously a kind and loving Mother and Grandparent. Your son and DIL have done this to you and it is not your fault. She said she was glad I went for a non admissions basis because I think you are going to need your money later down the track when things blow up between your son and DIL and you may have to step in to help your Grandchildren then.

    My son texted me the day after the telephone hearing begging for money. ..of course playing me by saying "they"needed food for the boys. I couldn't believe he would be so insensitive to do that!! I finally mustered the courage to say no to any more money but we would always love him and our door will always be open. Then I got a barrage of phone calls from him still begging. When my husband heard me crying he came into the bedroom took my phone off me and said "Sorry mate but your Mother is very upset and I'm going to hang up now"

    Now the difficult process of moving on. I need to focus on the loving relationships that I do have with my husband, our daughter and her husband.

  14. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    9100 posts
    11 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    There's two things about you, you are very brave, and you have a realistic view of matters, no matter how emotionally laden they are.

    I don't just mean saying no to your son, but the fact you listened to the solicitor and copper who are quite right that thngs do change, in fact they probably will.

    Also you can see the fact you have people still to love and be loved by.

    I'm not saying you will not be upset for a long time, it will have its surges at times

    We are always here for you whenever you want.

    Croix

  15. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    12 October 2020 in reply to Croix
    Thank you Croix. You are very kind. Maybe not today or tomorrow or the next day but everything is going to be OK eventually.
  16. Croix
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    9100 posts
    12 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    I think you are right, in the meantime if you want to rail at fate write here, also if things improve.

    I look forward to hearing from you in the future

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  17. blondguy
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    10717 posts
    12 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hello FeathersnFluff

    Im a latecomer to your thread topic and I see Croix has been providing some helpful support above

    I am in the same situation as yourself with grandchildren and yes this is painful to experience as a grandparent. I also have difficulty finding the strength to cope after being in the Family Court system for long in the 1990's and 2000's

    Like the poster above (Croix) mentioned above 'we' are here for you FeathersnFluff

    my kind thoughts and respect

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  18. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    13 October 2020 in reply to blondguy
    Thank you Paul. I am so sorry you have had to go through this too. I'm a bit raw at the moment but ever hopeful that one day I will see my much loved Grandsons again ...even if it is when they are older and are free to seek me out.
  19. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    13 October 2020 in reply to Croix

    I do have one further problem that someone might be able to help me with.

    My daughter now refuses to even acknowledge my son as her brother because of the pain I have gone through. They were once very close. So I have a fractured family unit as well. She is very black and white whereas my husband and I are older and recognise there are grey areas. Our daughter simply cannot understand why we haven't totally disconnected ourselves from our son and seems somehow mad that we have still left our door open to contact with him. I have told her that is fine she is an adult and can make her own choices.

    I have a fractured family.

  20. Croix
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    13 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    I think it is understandable that at the moment your daughter wants nothing to do with him, after all she too is grieving over loss, having gone from being very close to the opposite will leave a hole in her life similar to yours.

    Love does not normally switch off if you are a parent, and despite all sorts of things the door to possible reconciliation is most often left open.

    Perhaps instead of concentrating on the shortcomings of her brother she might reflect upon the love her parents have for both their children, and be glad she has the sure knowledge that due to your natures you would be there for her in adversity.

    You could also remind her that this association with a very different culture may not remain the same in the future -if he was in dire need would she abandon him?

    Croix

  21. NoHope8
    NoHope8 avatar
    5 posts
    17 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear, dear FeathersnFluff.

    I have just read your sad story... I came to this forum today to vent how sad I am that my ex husband took my children away 7 years ago and how hard every day is to live through since then......

    .....my parents...my poor parents had to go through this with me...their only grandchildren also alienated from them as me....thats what it is...alienation.... I am so sorry. I watched my parents age 20 years overnight with all the stress...not to mention expense...They went through about 10000, I went through around 60,000....we all ran out of money after a few months of fighting...hindsight...don't put money in...if you must go legal...represent yourself...being heartbroken as well as poverty line is a hard cross to bear.

    There is nothing I can say or do to bring happiness back in to your world....the grandkids may come back..they may not...but they will be messed up...and thats another heartbreaking thing to think about. My father has blocked my children from his world or he couldn't keep going, my mother...well she tries but is so very very angry...which does her no good.....there are wonderful support groups for people like us on facebook...they will make you both feel less alone...and if there is any legal or other road to take...they will be full of wonderful advice. Hopw that will help a little. All the very very best x PS don't stress about your daughter being furious...i think thats great...one of the horrible things about mine is people who support my ex by being friendly with him and not confronting...if your daughter was friendly with her brother after this and got to see the grandkids without you it would create a huge barrier between the 2 of you and much sadness and grief would follow that splitting your family up even further. Take heart in her. Big hug x

  22. Tangney
    Tangney avatar
    143 posts
    18 October 2020
    Hello. I understand your daughter's reaction to wanting nothing to do with her brother. Sometimes parents forget that in focussing a lot on the problems of one child, leaves other children with a deficit of normal attention, which can cause resentment. This situation would have significantly impacted your daughter as well, even though she has a nice husband. Your daughter may feel that she needs to cut contact with her brother to protect herself. It seems clear that he is rather shameless in his asking for money and support, even in the circumstances. She may be so angry and disgusted with this behaviour that she can't be civil towards him or your DIL. Sadly, you can't choose your family. Regarding your grandchildren, I know many people who have been through similar things. Unfortunately, grandparents, aunts and uncles, are not given the status that they deserve in the legal system. Best wishes to you.
  23. Tangney
    Tangney avatar
    143 posts
    18 October 2020
    Hi Feathers, just to add to my last post. While you may feel that your family is fractured, I believe that the police were correct to say that your son has done this. It seems as though you have a loyal and wonderful daughter and successful marriage of over 40 years, but that your son's behaviour (and poor choice of partner) is dominating the whole family. Why does he have so much power? Have your told your daughter how proud you are about the way that she has turned out? Your son clearly knows the power he wields and doesn't care about the impact on you, your husband or his sister.  Your daughter is probably seeing things much more clearly coming from a sibling point of view. She is probably sick of being pushed aside for her brother. She's probably in great pain and feeling that her brother has stolen her parents from her. I have a close friend who has gone through this. No matter what she does, her parents are always focussed on the sibling who childishly demands all the attention, even though he's 50 years old and has no-one to blame but himself.
  24. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    20 October 2020 in reply to NoHope8

    Dear NoHope8

    I am so sorry you have had to go through such a loss. As a parent that must be heartbreaking for you and awful for your parents. I am still raw at the moment with the Final Order only delivered on 7 October. My Solicitor was probably right in telling me to accept the Order on a Non Admissions basis and save our money for down the track when things might change. I understand your Mother being angry. You have both ploughed so much money and time into trying to see the children. I hope they come looking for you one day.

  25. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    20 October 2020 in reply to Tangney
    Thank you Tangney for your insight. My Daughter and I are very close. I try not to talk about my son and the situation to her anymore as I do not want to weigh her down. She has been a rock through this mess and I couldn't have made it this far without her. I was very much aware of the toll everything has taken on her. ..when I hurt she hurts. I actually came here this morning to declare I was a failure. I hadn't smoked for 28 years and whilst under pressure took up smoking again. A couple of days ago I decided to stop and this morning I cracked and smoked again. I know it is not a healthy coping mechanism but I think I didn't plan well enough to stop smoking. My heart still wishes I had have fought like hell in Court but my thinking side stopped me.
  26. blondguy
    Life Member
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    10717 posts
    21 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Hi Feathers

    I actually regret fighting in the family court as it didnt really change anything...even though I won the court case and the mother was threatened with imprisonment she kept flouting the courts decision anyway

    I feel your pain and anguish Feathers.....the pain is awful

    Please dont be so hard on yourself where smoking is concerned....You are a star for having 30 years without them. My mum is 90 and smokes a pack a day....and her lung function test is perfect

    questions/comments are always welcome!

    Paul

  27. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to blondguy
    Thank you Paul. Well I have another event to get my head around. My daughter was contacted by a friend about an Instagram post my DIL put up. It appears we are about to be Grandparents again around February to a little girl. One more Grandchild we probably won't see. As I said in previous posts I suspected my son had reconciled while all the Court mess was going on. I asked him outright if that was the case and he replied no we have not. I then asked him if his wife was pregnant and he said no she is not. More lies. I have supported him emotionally and financially more than a year and he can't even talk straight to me. I understand that he has made a decision to stay with his family and that's fine but why not just own it. I still worry for how our Grandchildren will grow up in a violent volatile atmosphere with constant fights and Police arriving at the door every couple of months. How will they ever learn that marriage for the most part should be kind, loving and supportive?
  28. Croix
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    9100 posts
    22 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    Dear FeathersnFluff~

    Of course you worry about this and are powerless.

    The one thing you can do is be an oasis of truth, calm, love, strength and the living examples of how life should be. It may have no effect this instant but people change, kids grow, needs become more apparent.

    Small comfort at the moment I know, however you may be an inspiration to more people than you imagine.

    Croix

  29. FeathersnFluff
    FeathersnFluff avatar
    33 posts
    23 October 2020 in reply to Croix
    Thank you Croix. I was once all those things you desribed "an Oasis of truth, calm, love and strength" I have to steadily get back to that place. My Daughter told me a couple of weeks back that I had spent my whole life helping everyone else and now it was time to start loving and take care of myself. ....very wise girl for 29. I can't change my personality. I have always been a "helper" My daughter said that is your nature but you need to help those that deserve it. I think I lost myself in the last five years. I used to have a wicked sense of humour and lifted people up.... I am going to slowly fan that fire again. I know things will get better with time and situations can change and if they don't so be it. I'm experiencing free floating anxiety so off to my dependable GP. My next appointment with my Psychologist is in December (a lot of people are experiencing Mental Health issues surrounding the Covid Virus and she is swamped) I'll get there. I have made it through my Husband's PTSD when he was at his lowest and I'll make it through this. I'd like to thank everybody who has helped me on the forums particularly you Croix....we seem to be a "good fit". I'm going to check in from time to time. Maybe when I have my ducks in a row I might be able to help someone else who comes to the Forums seeking support.
    1 person found this helpful
  30. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    9100 posts
    23 October 2020 in reply to FeathersnFluff

    >when I have my ducks in a row

    Ah, I wondered where all the feathers and fluff came from

    -C (who thinks your advice to others would be a positive asset)

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