I want to update everyone on our toxic grandparent situation. The last time I shared on this topic was just after Christmas. Grandfather had done his best to give us the gift of a miserable day for Christmas. If you’re just joining us in this unfortunate saga, you can click here to get caught up.
Shortly after Christmas, in January, is Faith’s birthday. This was her sixth birthday and we held a party with her friends and family at a local bounce place; the kind with the big blow up bounce houses indoors. We really should not have invited the toxic grandparents after the Christmas experience, but we did anyway.
If you’ll recall, the toxic grandfather is enamored with my brother’s fiancé’s four year old daughter. Basically she is just really outgoing, a trait they apparently prefer, and complete opposite to our more introverted daughter. We invited my brother and his family to the party as well.
Grandfather didn’t say one word to Faith on her birthday and stood around with a sour look on his face the entire time. He also spent the entire time following around outgoing child and basically ignoring Faith at her own birthday party.
The birthday party behavior was the final straw for us. We have not spoken to or visited with Grandfather since that day.
Grandmother Visits at Easter
A little over three months later, and two days before Easter, she called and said she had some Easter items for Faith. She said she had time on Saturday afternoon and would like to see us. We had a weekend of stuff planned already, but decided to make some time anyway. Saturday morning would have actually worked better as she could have attended an Easter event in the park with us, but we later found out that the morning was booked by grandfather getting some free plants. These plants were duplicates of plants they already have, but they can’t pass up free plants.
By this time we had moved and my side of the family didn’t even know. Our life had changed radically over the past few months.
We met at Chuck E. Cheese where Faith could have some fun. Grandmother came alone, which was best as we would have declined had grandfather decided to come. Outside of the narcissistic pressures of meeting grandfather’s needs, and in a playful fun environment, Faith really opened up and talked and played. Grandmother managed to avoid conversation about grandfather and outgoing child for most of the night, and Faith had fun playing with her Easter gifts.
What does the future hold?
As long as grandmother treats Faith with respect we will visit with grandmother. We will not, however, allow any contact with grandfather. He would have to make a major turnaround in his actions and behaviors, and I just don’t see that happening.
One concern is what happens if they decide to eventually make amends after 5 or 10 or more years go by. They will have spent all this time creating memories with other children while Faith was out of that picture. Given the way grandfather can hold a grudge, it may not be a concern. Additionally, what happens when grandfather dies, and grandmother wants to come around more after years of lost memories? It’s too open ended to really plan for, but we need to at least think about it.
At this point we are focusing most of our attention on living our life as a family of three. We are doing our best to create meaningful memories and having as much fun as we can squeeze into our lives. We’re also working hard at our various pursuits, me with work, blogging, and writing; Dream with taking care of our household and working with Faith on her education; and Faith with school, friend making, and play. We’re plugging along, staying positive, and finding the joy in life.
Toxic Grandparents Series:
- Dealing with Toxic Grandparents – 11/28/2011
- Christmas with the Toxic Grandparents – 1/4/2012
- Toxic Grandparents Update – 7/31/2013
- Toxic Grandparents Update and a Diagnosis for Faith – 4/22/2013