Testimony to all group leaders.

This is for all group leaders and members of grandparent support groups, thank you to the grandparent who wrote this.


My son loved his now ‘ex-partner’ and was loyal to her but she was not only disrespectful to him but also cruel and hurt him both physically and mentally. Gradually he became isolated from us and from his closest friends. Not seeing our only son and our grandson with whom we had made a real bond, having spent a great deal of time with him when he was a baby, took both of us into a place of real darkness and sadness. All I can say is that the desperate aching, especially in the small hours of the night, is sometimes too much to bear. Those of you who are reading this and experiencing what we went through will fully understand exactly what we endured. It is truly “a living bereavement!” We had, basically, lost our family!


These feelings of despair and grief led me to contact ‘Grandparents Apart’, a Self Help Group based in Scotland. I did not know, at the time, that there were other groups and I was not aware of the number of people who were in the same situation. I then discovered a Group in Worcester and actually went to a meeting with other Grandparents. This was the start of the “support” which has kept me going and stopped me from feeling that I was a failure or that I was going mad! My husband has not wanted to attend the support group but has listened to me telling him what was discussed and has been fully supportive and thankful for the help.


I realised early on that my son’s partner could, and was going to, exercise her control and prevent us from physically seeing our son and grandson but she could not stop us loving them. She could not control our thoughts or what was in our hearts. Talking to the Grandparents’ Group was so positive and affirming for us and enabled us to follow through with our decision not to engage in any conflict but only to send messages of love to our son. We did not want our grandson to suffer because we were estranged or, indeed, to cause our son any more stress.


The pandemic meant that, on Zoom, I was able to join in with the Hendon Support Group and the Bristol Support Group and this has been of great emotional benefit to me. Being able to openly talk and share with others has been a revelation. The same stories are told and the same feelings are shared and you begin to feel that you are not alone. I have found this help invaluable as it has ensured that we were able to carry on with our lives even though we were carrying this terrible burden.


After five and a half years we are recently reconciled with our son and grandson. The Grandparents’ Support Group gave us the encouragement and the strength of will to keep hoping and waiting for change. It is so easy to feel guilt and shame and to be pulled into an abyss of terrible emotions when you are in this situation. I experienced kindness, compassion and real understanding at the support group meetings and I am still here to tell the tale. To say that I am grateful is an understatement!!

It is the empathy and compassion of others that is so important.

About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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