BITTER grandmother verbally/physically abusive refuses to let us move out with kids.(25 Posts)
I have previously shared this in another site to get as much advice.Progress have been made but it's not enough. So I'm here sharing it too, for you Mumnetters for advice. This is a long read.
I hate talking about home situation.Why? because for me, it's nothing to really boast about. Paint a beautiful rose garden beautiful but thorny right. Or whats a cliche saying..they seem perfectly happy but nobody knows whats going on behind closed doors.
One of a past scenario from last year:
I've just had enough. I intervened and she goes to the living room (her room) threw something and then on purpose, loudly shut the door.Why, because I asked her 'what are you saying' why because she told her grandson 'even if you are sleeping i can still do something to you'..yes its threat.but its not the first time nor the last. And she got mad at me, and yes its somehow my fault that I asked what she was saying and how could she say that to him. What I did wrong..I don't know. Someone enlighten me. Because I'm the brink of losing my sanity with this woman.
Me and my partner live with his mother in a 2 bedroom flat, his mother being the tenant. 6 years ago her daughter died leaving behind 3 young kids now are all at primary school.Whilst I had 2 years left of uni. They had sleep over at the flat and the father never came back for them. My partner and his mother we're granted Special guardianship order and has been living permanently with us ever since their fathers abandonment . During that time I was at nursing school. At the same time juggling to adjust these children who all of a sudden lost their mother (they had no bereavement counselling).Prior to living with us, they did not have a very good role model and their behavior was not acceptable. Also making me question there upbringing. We've had the youngest since he was a baby, we became very attached and he became extremely clingy, we co-slept .Me and my partner was blessed with our own biological child 2 years ago and the 4 year old joined his siblings in the bunk bed in the next room.Now we have 4 kids. Somewhere along the years grandmother has become bitter.
Everyday breaks my heart.Why? As a child how would you feel being called stupid at a most daily basis..to be shown disgusting images (i.e mutilated body), to be threatened with a belt a hand a ruler. To be threatened to be thrown out the window, thrown something at you or to be sold, to be ironed.In a more severe example given 2 butter knifes to the two eldest kids so that they can fight amongst themselves. No kidding, I have much more examples. These might just be words but to kids..these makes them feel everything negative. As an adult hearing/seeing things wanted me to punch something..what would violence solve, they've witnessed violence with there parents. I held my tongue, always. My partner has tried reasoning with his mum, but she is stubborn and always adamant she is doing nothing wrong.She would get mad at us lashing out that she never does anything right. She cannot see the damage she has already done. And does not understand why they do not listen/behave with her. Yes she is a lovely dear old lady to others but when she's home everything bothers her. Her expectations for how these children should behave is not do able. They are active children, enjoy role playing and being typical boys, with so much energy. Can I also add that they tell me anything and everything, including what grandmother has been saying and yes mostly inappropriate . She is oblivious to it all when they confide in me. I believe them, that's what mothers are suppose to do.I know sometimes they over exaggerate and I call them out on it.
I hate apologizing for her behavior. Its always the same ''I'm sorry adults should never hurt or say horrible things'', She never says sorry. She will continue berating them or physically hurting even though they are cowering/down (literally huddled up, scared). All I could do is intervene, she would walk off muttering or saying we shouldn't tolerate their behavior.Giving the message to discipline them is to hurt them. I am a good mother, that I cannot deny. So please do not question my parenting ability. Children are children and they will no doubt misbehave, I expect that.I embrace it, because that's just the way they are. But grandmother does not tolerate a single mistake.
We have done what we could and are still living day by day with the situation. It's really bad that I have suggested they stay out of her way or even not to look at her.Yes it doesn't help that the kids have become to dislike her. She controls them with empty promises of a new home where they can have their own rooms, own mobile phones and allows them to eat junk non stop because ''it makes them happy''. They would occasionally stick their tongue out or make faces at her, mostly because they are mad. I correct them, telling them its not kind and be the better person. The family dynamic is just raw and tense.It is not healthy. At the beginning I wanted a close bond with her, she seemed fun but now I have no desire. Her parenting ability is questionable and hardly agrees with our way of parenting or reasoning. Ask an example and I shall give you one.Even mundane things such as grocery is a problem.
My partner suggested a holiday and would pay for her but she refused.Constantly refusing some getaway seeing as she says she is stressed. She does nothing all day, watch tv , occasionally over cooks and is on her phone constantly.When my partner is not working, I do everything, even if he is working I still do everything. She spends money like its water and her bank statement is always on overdraft. She hides them now since we've been asking where the money is going. All the kids benefits and allowances go to her. And the money is just drained on useless things. She is a hoarder. She is ashamed of bringing visitors over and it is very guarded about it. However she doesn't feel comfortable with people/friends she has known for many years to come over but she brings strangers in our home whom we don't know or never met. Over the years I have made the flat live able and more space at the cost of storing all her hoards in a paid storage that she never goes to or want to give up. This was also a challenge but I needed to make this flat safe for the kids. If the kids need anything its us who finance them.If they have school trips again its from us etc... Occasionally we do get money, but most of the time their is always an excuse to where it went.Again she becomes defensive. It hurts me in all ways that I am not working.I studied hard but in the end after graduation these kids are my priority. Yes, it was the most painful sacrifice and I'm still coming to terms with it. Now that I have a toddler, I am waiting for her to go to full time education and will have to look for jobs that require me to drop and pick them up, ideally a TA but my passion is to be back in the hospital. My partner is the lone worker in the household. My partner does not have any income supplement. Only I am receiving CB. Why haven't I been in employment, I don't trust her, time and time again she has gone against my wishes. She shows she cannot cope.
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Post continuation as it was too long
Again let me remind you, yes she is lovely to everyone. Airy fairy, unicorns and rainbows. But to her grand kids to who she should love unconditionally not the sweet old lady that she should be. She says she loves them so much, but they are just words to a child and she has a strange way of showing love.Looking/talking to her you guys might think I'm nuts I assure you I am not, talk to the kids they'll tell you. I am the peacekeeper in the household ensuring these kids are as stable as they can be regardless of the situation. My partner is doing his best to keep himself under control when the kids are around. But that control has detonated a few days ago.
I do not know what to do. We can't take anymore of this volatile environment. All we can do is to take ourselves away from the situation. Reasoning with her to make changes is asking a zebra to change its stripes. It will never happen. Right now since the heated confrontation she wants to do everything, yes everything, shes being a superwoman. Right now she is tolerating the kids 'behavior' like a saint, unlike if pre-confrontation she would have lashed out. All of a sudden she wants to do everything, yes everything. The kids will ask me to do something for them and she would say don't worry I will do it.But how long will this last. It's too late we've had enough.
A few days ago my partner has had enough. Enough was enough and it should have been addressed when their was constant verbal bitterness from her. We are at a stage where me and the kids avoid her. When the kids eat they eat in the kitchen or in the hallway. They stay out of her way.We stay out of her way whilst she is too busy forever on her phone.God forbid the kids look at her, all hell will break lose.So I often remind them not to look at her. I know its awful, avoiding her. But it's working for us, for now or since the other day that is.
My partner and his mother had a heated argument. Now it's just awkward. I avoid kitchen or where ever she is.I am tolerating her or have been tolerating her for sometime. She is acting like nothing happened, good for her I guess. Maybe she did go see the solicitor but I think our reasoning is in our favor. But this is not the way to live. As already mentioned we have a biological child of our own and someday in the future we would like some more and including the 3 children under a joint SGO.
The other day was the 2nd time we mentioned about moving out. We are in our late 20's, sharing a room with a 2 year old 3 next month and the other 3 children whom are 6 (M), 9(M) and 11(F).I was not around when my partner confronted his mother. They both have short fuses. But I was their for the following confrontation. About what, his had enough his too stressed out, he confronted her about everything. And she said the kids are lying I am lying we are all liars she has never said such thing. But how can I lie with what I have heard with my own ears and saw with my own eyes time and time again. See one of them cowering .Or one of them running away from her because its an instinct shes going to do something i.e pinch them or smack them. I'm not opposed to smacking them but when it is for such trivial thing, I don't agree. I do not smack I discipline them where it hurts them the must, taking privileges away, going to bed early etc..that's how I discipline and it works for us. Have I mentioned I've been called stupid not to my face but she would tell the children.If she has issues with my parenting she never tells me but she will tell the kids and yes I've heard her say 'stupid' and I know its aimed at me when I have done something or said something she doesn't like. I'm trying to make healthier choices but it seems shes mocking me with that too.
Recently, she told the boys whilst they were out in front of their granddad not to call me mum but to call me auntie, all because the little one wanted to come home and 'see mum', me. She got mad at him telling him I'm not their mum. Yes, they know I am not their biological mum, I've told them we talked about their mum and it was the kids who said many years ago * ' so you're like a mamma, can we call you mamma?'*. I am their mother in every sense I've loved them unconditionally I've created stability all that a mother should be, but weak for allowing such bitterness. Maybe it's jealousy they are attached to me and they have bonded with me, maybe. To you mothers here, a mother is everything. And I have been that everything.
So the heated argument.We were branded liars and the children being over dramatic also I was being snared at by her and she said she doesn't like my character that I'm being dramatic. Never once did I raise my voice or expressed any hate towards her. She doesn't like that I am 'reporting' to my partner. Yes she said I'm reporting, no, we discuss things. He asks how my day was, I tell him, asks things about at home, I tell him. But the last straw for my partner was when she started talking unsavory things about me. It's disrespectful and specially to say unsavory things about me in front and to the kids, its a low blow. I can take what ever stupidity she has to say about me but why won't she say it to me.
So this is where I need advice and inputs. We recently approached the council after my partner confronted her mother who would help us look for housing in the private sector.Because we are in Band D and living in our accommodation is just too stressful nothing we do seems to appease her. And I'm fed up with her telling unsavory things to the kids. I am done. If we didn't confront her this would still be happening thinking we are oblivious to her bitterness and telling anyone/strangers who cares to listen that their mother died and how she is doing a grand job of raising the kids. Clearly, she has not grieved and is very easily emotional. I had to get my self together from day one. I became the pillar.I stood and read in front of that church whilst everyone said their goodbyes. I may not know what its like to lose a daughter or a mother but I was their to pick up the broken pieces. I was still in uni at this time I had 2 more years to go. It was a challenging few years for the kids to adjust to everything new, stability, routines etc.Everything I did was in the best interest of us and the children . Like I said on the posting thread the kids did not have stability or routines and we're aggressive and said inappropriate words. They are now wonderful children.
In continuing about the housing, the council said they can assist us with deposit and rent in the private sector. However because my partner is not the one who is receiving finance for the kids into his account they couldn't help us any further but advised us to talk to the social services regarding this matter and to show a tenancy agreement to which then we can come back to discuss housing further. After a heated argument, grandma refuses to give permission to transfer payment into his account. She is okay with us to move out, my partner, biological child and myself. But we are not to take the kids. However, no riches in this world will make us move out without them.
- The eldest is 11 and is desperate for her own space.She wants more independence, a space she calls her own. She will be in high school September. She will have a different routine from the younger ones. Shes already been asking about period etc. The kids wants to invite friends, sleepovers, parties etc..but where would they play?
- Their room is not safe. I've tried but grandmother gets mad at me when I arrange stuff. The flat when I started dating my partner was a hoarders paradise. But since moving in with my partner I've managed to motivate her to send some boxes back to her country. But since the kids came to live with us I had to take drastic actions. Thank you to social services assessment the flat had to be live able. So, again myself I had to and made use of the storage she has been renting for years although its just sitting their, draining £100+ a month on mundane things like clothes but whatever, it didn't go without its challenges though. Now, things are building up again, bags clothing etc are all stacked up in the living room. Their room is like a storage too. Theirs mold, it smells and I cant get to it. Dare I not, move or throw anything away because grandma will say to the kids not me ' Why is she throwing things I'm still alive'.I have not thrown a thing they're either neatly packed in a corner or under or over somewhere in the flat or in storage.
- As I have said their is no way we will move out without the kids.In no certain terms will we ever. But its not healthy for my partner or I or the children. What happens when the two eldest become teenagers. We cant stay here forever. We can't even budget or never have any money left. We pay for everything the kids need clothes, shoes, school trips etc..we use what money she gives for the kids, she usually gives half to my partner .Even buying grocery is a challenge. Buy naan bread a few times and she will buy 5. She always over buys things whatever you buy she will double or tipple that. I put a grocery list on the fridge but I've given up and took it down whats the point.
- She refuses to give up her tenancy. In her defense, so that when she 'dies' (her words, she always talks about dying, death etc..) the council wont kick us out'. We don't plan to live in this flat in the future. Yes, its nice she's thinking of the future.But lets be realistic here.We are more than overcrowded.
- At the idea of us moving out she bought the big guns out she 'will kill herself' she wants 'to die now'.The kids heard that loud and clear. We explained why its beneficial for us to move but she is not having non of it.Better still she says we 'are using the children like toys' , that is the lowest most painfullest blow ever.How could she ever say that. She says she loves the kids, its her daughters kids. She doesn't want to be lonely. Isn't this being selfish. Me and my partner are doing this for the best interest of us all. We said what if we rented a place down the road. No, she is not having it. We tell her she is welcome to come see them anytime she wants can even stay when we find place.But no, that is an absurd idea.Even if it's next door, she refuses. She thinks we are taking the kids away and we are not going to let her see them. We have not said such a thing or where she got this idea from. I understand her grand kids are a piece of her daughter but these kids are growing. And her defense why we can't take the kids are very self centered on her, not for the well being or interest of the children.
- So we said. Say we moved out and left the kids then what? She says the eldest will have our room. She is over 70 years of age and sometimes have pain in her legs. How will you cope? 'The social services said before that someone can come do some cooking and help me out' even if we don't move out she will get some one to help with the kids. Where is the logic in all of this. What are we all of a sudden, nothing as we did not raise them. I felt like trash when she said these things. Will she be patient with them, help them with homework/project etc...She will not cope.I will not allow these children to go without. Can you all see how this will affect the kids and how hurtful this is to us. But I tell you now, we are not moving out without the kids they are our children. We may not be their biological parents but they are our children. How are we using them like toys, please someone enlighten me. How can she ever say that.Me and my partner have nothing to gain but to do what's right without constant bitterness. Being a parent is never easy so someone tell me why we are using them like toys. I really want to understand why.She says all this but cannot elaborate.
We have no other option, but to involve social services and we have made an appointment for next week to come to a mutual agreement. She has not given us any other options. She wont transfer payment account, she wont move out with us. What other options are there. I don't want the kids to have to make a statement. But what else can we do, I know she will deny any of the ' i'll kick you, pinch you, throw this at you' all because they looked at her or don't listen to her etc.., I know she will deny it and its so hurtful. In the eyes of others she is lovely, but behind these walls is completely different. She is always snubbing my parenting, its beyond awkward being at home when she is. It's like walking in an already broken egg shells. She does have her good days, but they are clouded with the bad ones.
The plan is to talk about moving out and why its beneficial but if it becomes messy we will have to include the verbal and physical abuse (yes its abuse). We couldn't sort this out between ourselves so we have to present it to social services and I know she won't want it. She already called her country to tell them she is 'going to die'. What on earth. I know this is her acting in anger. She is trying to guilt us but only if people knows. And I don't want to use the children regarding her behavior towards them but we will if we have to. She even called my mother and my mum is aware of the overcrowding but not the rest. I will be seeing my mother in the weekend so I can discuss it with her in person.
What other options are there? We need to show to a landlord and council that we can afford to rent privately and its rare to find a DSS accepted accommodation in my area. We have exercised the thought of moving somewhere cheaper. But we have to think about the children and what they will leave behind. However if we relocate outside of the area my partner will have to find another job. Then we won't be able to afford to rent.
Right now she is being a lovely grandmother but my relationship with her is tarnished.
What would you guys advice?
Go and talk to social services? Your situation sounds unbearable.
He could be looking for work now so you have a plan in place.
You could leave with the dc and he could follow. Would you get assistance in the short term for this?
Show her what people say.. She is a vile discusting human being no one should trest children the way she does she is verybully abusing them. Them kids just like any other kids deserve the world and more. They will end up messed up if she continues to show them sick stuff. You need to protect them get out of their! Makes my blood boil knowing these poor kiddies are being treated this way. Well done to you and dp for taking them in but get them away from this vile woman. I beg you!
Talk to social services now. Either you all move or get her removed. Do it now.
Phone social services. Get the kids out of that house.
Leave, take the kids. The payments etc can be transferred later if your OH has shared responsibility. Just get out first. You are all being at the very least verbally and financially abused by an old lady who should be a loving grandmother and isn't. Don't let the kids think this is normal, they've had enough tragedy in their lives. You and your OH can be their saviours, but right now you are just letting them be abused.
Just go. You and more importantly, those children have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
You are complicit in the abuse of you stand by and do nothing.
AS the children are on an SGO, social services already know them. You need to go to them to get the SGO transferred to include you so you have PR and to make you and dp primary carers. The social worker will talk to the children. As it stands, you risk losing all four children as you are failing to protect them from the abuse of their grandmother. It's time to find your inner lion and fight for the children who have already been through too much.
Your children are living in an abusive household and you are failing to protect them. Move out immediately, or you may lose all of your children.
You are permitting this abuse of kids who are essentially orphaned.
Get them out.
Phone social services.
Remove your child too.
Agree with others. Leave. Take the children and go. I don't know why you are still there.
OP I am really worried about your situation. Please, please call social services.
Have you contacted social services yet OP?
I think you need to do what you can do to leave
You need to contact social services. You are failing to protect all of the children.
Hey OP, any news? Are the kids OK?
No one can hold you anywhere you don't want to be. Stop using her behaviour as an excuse for things that are wrong and make things right.
OP, what is happening? Have got these children to safety yet?
Be careful how you approach this, in the eyes of the law you are as guilty as her for letting this happen for so long. Good luck
So there's you, DO, MIL, your child plus 4 nieces and nephews living in a 2 bed? And MIL has her room and the rest of you share? Tbh how are SS not involved?
You need to report her.
Presumably your DUH would be entitled to emergency accommodation with the kids as he has shared guardianship?
Why haven't you got a place of your own?
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