Letting DD contact her grandmother....

(6 Posts)
busymum17 Mon 23-Nov-15 06:50:15

DH's step mother is an alcoholic. After DFIL passed away she became very erratic, we have not had contact with her for around 3/4 years.
DD is 16, almost 17 and wants to reach out to her by sending a Christmas gift or an email/letter of some sort.
She is obviously old enough to make this decision but I am worried she will get hurt again. She grew up with this woman as her grandmother (married DFIL when she was a baby) and it has hurt her that she does not wish to have contact with us (DH, DSIL, DBIL and I, not so much the children).
Should I discourage my DD to make contact? And any if not, any thoughts on how to phrase a letter to her?
Thanks very much!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 23-Nov-15 07:01:06

This should really be in relationships rather than AIBU.

I would not encourage contact; after all you have all not had contact with her for 3/4 years either. You have really no idea how she is now.

She was not a good stepparent to your DH; she was not really going to turn out to be any sort of a decent grandparent figure to your children either.

There's good reason why that has happened; perhaps it is time for you to explain more about this to your DD in age appropriate terms. I think there is every chance that your DD (who after all is only 16 and therefore has no life experience behind her at all) is going to get and feel very hurt again by this alcoholic lady. Your DD needs to realise that it is not her fault this lady is an alcoholic; she did not make her this way and she cannot help someone who does not want her help. Also this person does not want your DDs support either. Its hard but all that needs to be explained to her. Encourage your DD to talk to Alateen as well; they are for young people who have and are being affected by another person's drinking.

Enjolrass Mon 23-Nov-15 07:09:20

This should really be in relationships rather than AIBU.

Why?

OP personally I would encourage contact. I would be upfront and tell her exactly what happened. Then let her do as she wishes.

I have a GP that I haven't spoken Y to for 7 years due to his drinking. It's very hard, but I had to come the conclusion that he was a lost cause myself. Otherwise I would still be feeling sorry for him now.

I thought if he knew how much he was loved or if I reached out he would change. He didn't. Buts it been better for me to know it myself.

Painful, yes. But I at least have some peace with my decision.

Mistigri Mon 23-Nov-15 07:34:02

She's 16, I think you need to leave it up to her. You can of course be honest about her re your own feelings and the alcoholism.

Was your DD very close to her at some point? My children have no contact with my father - it's not that we are NC but that we live abroad and he has no real interest in them (he wasn't an involved father either). I'd find it slightly odd if my teenage DD insisted on contacting him, although I wouldn't do anything to discourage it.

AuntieStella Mon 23-Nov-15 07:54:21

"This should really be in relationships rather than AIBU."

Perhaps not relationships, if OP does not want to put it there. But I can't see what she's asking is an AIBU question (this is not a 'catch all' topic for all subjects).

busymum17 As long as your DD knows enough about the background to the estrangement, and realises there's just as much chance she may get no answer or one she does not like as whatever she's hoping for, then yes of course she should go ahead. I suggest, at this time of year, that she does it by letter enclosed in a Christmas card.

busymum17 Mon 23-Nov-15 09:56:26

Thanks everyone.
DD does know what happened and understands that there is quite a high likelihood of getting no response but still wants to try. To be fair, it was never the children SMIL had a problem with, it was more DH and his sister (and me by extension), so she may reply to DD.

I think the fact that DD only has a year of school left has triggered wanting contact - she will be going to university soon, new stage in her life, wants to share this with her grandmother. Her younger brother hasn't expressed any interest in contact.

She was always closer with her grandfather, however she stayed with them both a lot in the holidays so grandmother was a reasonably big part of her life growing up.

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