Worried for my grandaughter
(Austin, TX USA)
This consumes me and I feel like I have no recourse, hopefully someone can help me sort through this. I was 43 when my youngest daughter who was 18 at the time had her first baby, she called me when she thought she was having a miscarriage and I took her to the hospital. Ever since seeing my beautiful granddaughter Jayden on the sonogram, I loved her so much! I went to see her everyday after work and any chance I got.
My daughter was falling into drugs with Jayden’s father I should also mention this guy was almost 10 years older than my daughter and heavily into drugs. As he and my daughter got more irresponsible and more into drugs I got to keep my granddaughter more and more. when they finally split up my daughter came back home to live with me.
As she was so young and still drugging I would always be taking care of my granddaughter till eventually my daughter quit coming home and leaving me to care for my granddaughter as I couldn’t count on her. I arranged daycare, got Jayden on a schedule, bought all her clothes and toys and my daughter would stop in occasionally for 30 minutes or so to spend time with her then would leave again for days, it went on this way till Jayden was almost 4 years old. then my daughter met another guy and became pregnant again and wanted to live with me, but I was so mad and upset she was pregnant again and I was already taking care of Jayden, I sent her to a home for unwed mothers, and she took jayden with her as she had stopped doing drugs.
I let her take jayden but I would go pick jayden up every weekend, I missed her so much. This guy had told my daughter that he could never be with a woman that didn’t take care of her own child so of course my daughter took jayden back and tried to become responsible.
To make a long story short they now have two kids together and the father of course treats his kids like royalty and jayden as Cinderella. it eats me alive that my daughter allows this to happen. Jayden gets in trouble for any little thing she does. she is not allowed to have anything of her own. she had to share all of her things and they in turn tear it up. I gave her my old phone when she was 9 so we could message each other but she got in trouble for being on a website she was not allowed to be on. in my opinion she was googling something and got taken to a website that was not appropriate for a girl her age so they gave the phone back to me and told me she
was not allowed to be on it even when she was at my house.
Jayden is very quiet and loving little girl. she loves her baby sister but does not get along with her antagonizing little brother. he does everything he can to antagonize her especially when his dad is around. he knows she will get in trouble if she doesn’t give him his way. he calls her names, he breaks her toys, because his dad lets him get away with it because he's younger then her, they are about 6 years apart.
anyway they recently asked for her phone back. they said it was so she could do her homework checking with it, but the only kids I ever see with it is her little brother and sister. she is not allowed to play games on it or watch movies but they both are, it really irritates me.
I’ve been working with her the past three nights at my house helping her with a science project for school. when I took her home she was showing her parents what we had done and her brother comes down and wants to mess with it, irritating jayden because she worked so hard on it, and she was sent to her room for a bad attitude. she asked if I could tuck her in and when I went up there her tv doesn’t work because her mom can’t find her remote that her mom borrowed to make another tv work, but both her brother and sister both have a working tv to watch. her whole life had been this way.
I can not even spend time with her alone unless I let her brother come along too. I love my grandson but he is spoiled and entitled, he is sneaky and gets into thing he should not be into, he hits jayden when he doesn’t get what he wants and he’s just too much work for me.
Could someone please help me sort through this it is tearing me up, I raised jayden for four years and I miss her very much and her life seems to be hell right now. I know her stepfather does not love her and my daughter tries to keep the peace by not arguing with him and just letting things go.
how can I help jayden have ever a better life, do I have any options? When I try to talk to my daughter about it she tells me she doesn’t want to talk about it with me, she says they are her parents and they will raise her how they see fit. I know jayden is miserable. she can not speak up for herself or she’s talking back. they do not let her make her own decisions because they say she is incapable of making the rights ones.
I hurt so much for her. please help!
Eugene Kayser, lic. Marriage & Family Therapist