In 16 years I have spoken to almost 8,000 grandparents, our helpline has received 400 calls in the last 6 months and countless emails via our website, all of these contacts have one thing in common, grandparents feeling isolated and alone, desperate for answers.
Sadly of course there are no answers, and so support groups work tirelessly in giving that support, all in their own time with no self interest, just an overwhelming desire to try and shoulder some of the hurt and pain others are feeling. They go about their unselfish role quietly and with purpose.
For everyone involved in a support group knows that trust is vital.
Estranged grandparents need to be able to trust the supporters 100% and the leaders have to trust members of their groups.
Personal stories are shared within those safe places and must never be spoken about outside those safe places, without permission.
I have learnt over the last 16 years that this place of unjustified estrangement is all too often a toxic place to be.
Those you once trusted fall short of that trust.
What is Trust.
Trust is when you allow someone into your soul
Trust is when you respect,
Trust is opening your heart
Trust is a safe place.
It is putting others first.
Trust is reliability and truth
Trust is loyalty,
Trust is honesty and a belief that you will not be harmed
It is to depend on others.
If we trust leaders we can flourish and grow
Trust is earned by our deeds,
Trust is the cement that holds us together.
It is a shared purpose.
Trust is feeing safe when we are vulnerable
When trust is lost everything is at risk,
A distance grows,
Once that trust has been broken, often it is not regained.
To trust we need to sense sincerity
An alignment in our thoughts and beliefs
Insincerity causes disbelief
People need to be listened to
And need to be given the chance to speak.
Loss of trust feels like a betrayal
You need time to heal,
Time to reflect,
When trust has gone, sorry is not enough.