Wedding Woes

Cut her off from the kids

Dear Prudence,
About two years ago, I stopped speaking to my mother after decades of emotional abuse. She is needy, emotionally unstable, mean, and narcissistic; it had gotten to the point where I would have an anxiety attack just from seeing her name pop up on my phone because I knew I was in for an hour of being yelled at. I said that I would be willing to work on a relationship with her if she would agree to get some counseling and to stop sending me abusive voicemails and emails. She never responded but told everyone in her family what a horrible daughter I was.

Since then, I am a much happier person and have realized I don’t miss her at all. The problem is my children: I have two, ages 7 and 9, and because my mother lives halfway across the country, she hasn’t seen them in two years. I set up a separate iPad for them so they could text and call her anytime without me having to be involved, but all she does is send them needy, guilty texts about how she hasn’t seen them in “forever” and how sad she is that they are growing up without her. What do I owe her with regard to her grandchildren? It took years for me to come to terms with how she treated me as a child and as an adult, and I am happier without her in my life. But do I have an obligation to arrange for my kids to visit her or contact her more often?

—Bad Grandma?

Re: Cut her off from the kids

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,
    About two years ago, I stopped speaking to my mother after decades of emotional abuse. She is needy, emotionally unstable, mean, and narcissistic; it had gotten to the point where I would have an anxiety attack just from seeing her name pop up on my phone because I knew I was in for an hour of being yelled at. I said that I would be willing to work on a relationship with her if she would agree to get some counseling and to stop sending me abusive voicemails and emails. She never responded but told everyone in her family what a horrible daughter I was.

    Since then, I am a much happier person and have realized I don’t miss her at all. The problem is my children: I have two, ages 7 and 9, and because my mother lives halfway across the country, she hasn’t seen them in two years. I set up a separate iPad for them so they could text and call her anytime without me having to be involved, but all she does is send them needy, guilty texts about how she hasn’t seen them in “forever” and how sad she is that they are growing up without her. What do I owe her with regard to her grandchildren? It took years for me to come to terms with how she treated me as a child and as an adult, and I am happier without her in my life. But do I have an obligation to arrange for my kids to visit her or contact her more often?

    —Bad Grandma?

    No. No you do not.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    MesmrEweSP29
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Nope. If she wants to be a part of their lives, then she needs to do what she needs to do to have a relationship with you. 
  • No. However, if the kids want to see their grandparent is LW going to be okay with this?
    charlotte989875
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think LW should have cut off her children from grandma when she cut her own contact.  It can be hard to explain to kids, but it should be done for their sake.  Clearly grandma cannot let go (typical narcissist) and have a separate relationship with the kids if she is guilting them this way.  It is LW's job as mom to protect her children and sometimes that includes grandma.
    charlotte989875scrunchythiefSP29
  • You owe her nothing.

    You do have an obligation to keep your children safe and healthy (and away from emotional abuse). I have to wonder why she set up the iPad in the first place.

    It appears the grandmother hasn't changed and is starting the manipulative behavior with the grandchildren. Time to step in and either explain to mom that won't be accepted or cut off contact.
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Nope!

    Generally I would say LW (or any parent) should allow the children to see their grandparents even if their relationship isn't the best (baring abuse to the grandchildren), but clearly Grandma cannot keep her relationships separate and is using the grandchildren as pawns (emotional abuse), so she is forfeiting her right to be grandma.
    short+sassy
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