Pushed into a corner or what!

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JulieSherris
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Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195621 JulieSherris
Sat May 08, 2010 7:24 pm

Gail has a new 'beau' who she sees mainly at weekends because he is at Uni in Dublin during the week - nice lad & all seems to be going well, Leah likes him as he's a bit ... well, I'd call him 'grungy', but he's into Kerrang type stuff, so has tattoos & piercings & such and they all get along very well.

So Leah comes to mine today for a sleepover while the lovebirds go off to the cinema & whatever, & Leah starts to ask me questions about her real dad.... hmm.... now, she doesn't know his name, Gail hasn't told her, she's never seen a photo, Gail hasn't kept any, but I have one on the PC.
Her dad did a runner when Gail was 7 months pregnant - he knew when she was due to be born, he knew our phone number, emails etc.... no word from him at all - we think he went back home maybe, he's australian.

So Leah wants answers & said that she won't be asking Gail... and I quote now....
'because I tried that before Nanny, & she just gets SO cross. So when I'm 8, I'm going to ask you again & then I will be old enough & you will have to tell me, because you're my nanny and I trust you. And I know you love me, so I know you will tell me the truth.
But we won't tell mummy, we'll keep it a secret, then she won't get cross, ok?'

Now the problem I have is this... if she's old enough at 6 to work out that it's a major problem with Gail & that although I tell her THE most outrageous fibs at times, the important stuff has always been met with honest & straightforward answers, is she old enough to know about her dad now? And really, shouldn't it be Gail who is telling her?
I feel a bit out on a limb, because she deserves to know about her dad, but if I tell her, Gail will throw a blue fit. If Gail tells her, it will be full of venom & might put Leah off turning to Gail for answers in the future.
All I did say today was the truth, that I couldn't talk to her about her dad because her mum has told me not to, & that really she should asking her mum. I did tell her that if she still doesn't know when she's a bit older then yes, I WILL talk to her about it, but we have to be honest with Gail first.

So.... was I sensible, or have I just fobbed her off? I'm feeling a bit confused now :?
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195623 snapdragon
Sat May 08, 2010 7:44 pm

2penn'orth
I think you did right Julie
Leah knows she has a father and has decided that eight will be the right age to be told, so you have more than a year to try and get round Gail.
but as Gail's still so hurt about it I think she could need some sort of counselling so that she can at least talk to Leah - and you, without 'going off on one'.
The child deserves to be told the truth, and the mother needs to be able to discuss it without being distressed.
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195640 thesunflowergal
Sat May 08, 2010 8:17 pm

:hugish: for you Jules, its a tricky one!! Your little Leah is a bright spark.

I believe that Leah has got the right to know about her Father, as I think all children do. I can understand why Gail is still angry, so why don't you talk to her and explain what Leah has asked. Could you suggest that you talk to Leah, then hopefully she will get a better picture of her Father. But once she is a little older I am sure that she will not think much of him, as its a terrible thing to do to someone.

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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195674 grubbysoles
Sun May 09, 2010 10:37 am

Julie I think you did completely the right thing. You were completely honest with her about not being able to tell her. And something like that will pretty much ALWAYS be the mother's job to explain. Children say some heartbreaking things sometimes, don't they?

For the record, my friend's daughter decided at 8 that she wanted nothing to do with her waste-of-time dad (long story - mainly to do with him missing loads of his weekends with Chloe when it was arranged that they would be going somewhere, not calling her on her birthday, etc, etc...). It was her choice and she was ready to make it.

And her choice was the right one. :wink:

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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195680 JulieSherris
Sun May 09, 2010 11:08 am

Thanks girls :grouphug:

It's really hard you know, after 6 years we are still forbidden to mention 'his' name in front of Gail, but I grew up not knowing my dad & Andy is adopted, so he knows what it feels like too!

Obviously, we don't want to fall out with Gail, but Andy said last night that when she really IS good & ready. HE will sit her down & show her the pics that he has (I didn't know he had any!!) and talk to her... that way, Gail can fall out with him & I shall remain blameless.

I don't know, maybe another couple of years will help with Gail - either way, she needs to start being honest with Leah, because I'm telling you, this kid is so astute it's scary. (She gets it from her dad, but we can't tell her that!!)
Every now & again, Gail has a tonsil flare-up - she doesn't realise but it gives her really bad breath & Leah asked me last night how she can tell her mum without hurting her feelings... how many 6 yr olds ask advice on how to be tactful??

At the same time, I feel sort of honoured that Leah can talk to me like this.... I didn't have constant contact with my nan when I was kid, so I missed out on the generation jump and bond... I'm glad I'm here for Leah though, it's MUCH better being a nan than a mum! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195681 Millymollymandy
Sun May 09, 2010 11:15 am

Can I adopt you as my gran then please? I haven't got any any more. :lol:

I don't know what to advise here as you're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. At some point though Gail is going to have to talk to her daughter about her father though as she really has the right to know and it's unfair on the child to keep it such a big secret. She sounds like she has her head screwed on right but you never know what she might be feeling or bottling up or letting fester inside and she might even be imagining things worse than just a jerk who left her mum when she was pregnant (I know that's bad but it could have been worse!). All right I don't suppose at age 6 she is thinking those things but as she gets older she might.
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195700 JulieSherris
Sun May 09, 2010 2:46 pm

Oh dear..... Gail's just been to pick her up & everyone was in a good mood - until Leah said that we had a talk about her dad & could she talk to Gail about him, not now, but when she's a bit older....... Gail's face dropped & she wanted to know if I started the conversation off - which I didn't, but she gave me 'the look' that says she didn't believe me anyway.
So, the temper went from 0 to 120 & all hell was let loose.

They've gone now, it will take Gail a few days to calm down. I guess we try again in another year or so.

I didn't know my real dad & all I wanted to know was was he tall, short, blonde, brown, fat, thin, handsome, ugly? I didn't know & could never ask my mum either. Let's hope that it irons out over time - in the meantime, we'll just act like it's one huge secret & something to be ashmed of, huh?
And with that, I'm going to go out & dig... then dig some more before I start crying.
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195723 Susie
Sun May 09, 2010 6:22 pm

Millymollymandy wrote:she might even be imagining things worse than just a jerk who left her mum when she was pregnant (I know that's bad but it could have been worse!). All right I don't suppose at age 6 she is thinking those things but as she gets older she might.

yes to this. I think really Gail needs to talk to her, if she's asking she's old enough to know at least something (I know it's not as easy as this, I don't mean to sound glib.) And you did exactly the right thing, don't let anyone make you feel bad.
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195725 Thomzo
Sun May 09, 2010 7:07 pm

I hate to say it but to keep that sort of anger inside for over 6 years is not healthy. Is there any way you can possibly get Gail to talk about this to a professional? I really found that hypnotherapy helped when my ex walked out. It's not cheap (well here it's about 40-60 pounds a session) but I only needed about three sessions and it really helped me to get on with my life.

There were some secrets about my family that were withheld from me until I was a teenager and I've always resented the fact. I do think Leah has a right to know, but she's a little darling to give you and Gail time to prepare.

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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195801 Silver Ether
Mon May 10, 2010 5:50 am

good advice from all ... I just want to say ... amazing little girl.... I think as a family your gonna have interesting times... :icon_smile:
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195832 Mr and Mrs luvpie
Mon May 10, 2010 8:04 am

Sorry to hear your suck in this position, just really quick reply as i'm trying to explain the election cock up to the 8 yr old at same time, i wish my mum could have been close enough to answer the questions that my kids have had about their dad and what happened. You would be able to give a less emotional response so perhaps that would be better than gail being upset by having to re-hash it all x
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #195865 Millymollymandy
Mon May 10, 2010 11:22 am

What Mrs Luvpie says makes a lot of sense. When Gail has calmed down perhaps you could suggest that to her, that you do the explaining to Leah about her father and that she doesn't then talk to her mum about him - that would spare Gail having to relive memories and would put Leah's mind at rest, and she's have you to talk to about him without having to upset her mum.
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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #196473 circlecross
Fri May 14, 2010 8:31 pm

I appreciate what it is to have a very bright, astute young person around, who asks questions that you feel you should answer honestly but leaves you feeling worried and nervous that you are leading on to more questions.

The discussion really is for Gail to have with Leah, but obviously at a time where she is relaxed, and honest with herself. Bitterness and sarcasm don't benefit kiddies. I've learnt that. A bit.

So. Gail and you need to address what Leah has been asking. This is difficult as you have seen your daughter hurt, maybe with a dose of "I told you so", but nevertheless... but now you are forming a relationship with your granddaughter. And this is different to the one with your daughter.

You have unconditional love to both these girls. But different relationships. The remove from Leah means you see that she needs honesty, love and nurture. The relationship with Gail may be coloured by your need to protect, to absorb the hurt and to try and help her forget. So tricky.

It doesn't help to bury things. I can tell you that much for nothing. Otherwise you end up forking out fo rpeople to tell you that, and screw yours and others life up aong the way while you realise.

So it needs to be addressed. Gail has to realise that. But gently.

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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #196488 Rosendula
Fri May 14, 2010 9:29 pm

How are things now Julie? Has Gail been in touch since? I'm sorry I didn't see your post until just now or I would have sent you a great big hug. Now I have to send you a belated hug - :hugish:

For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing. Although I agree that it is really Gail's job to talk about her ex to Leah, I feel that MMM's suggestion is a pretty good option in this situation.
Rosey xx

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Re: Pushed into a corner or what!

Post: #196489 JulieSherris
Fri May 14, 2010 9:42 pm

An update.....

I've not heard from them since Sunday :( But that's to be expected - I once made a comment about a boyfriend years ago & she never spoke to me for 8 months!! :lol:

Anyway, I sent her an email today, explaining word for word the conversation as far as I could remember, so she could see it really wasn't quite as sinister as she's probably imagining..
I'm hoping that she will see that although the little one might not say anything in front of her, what is said in her absence can be bloody scary!!
So the olive branch has been held out... we shall wait & see.

Strange isn't it... I didn't know my dad & couldn't talk to my mum - she would go crazy & accuse me of being disloyal - not in so many words, but I'd get things like 'aren't I good enough for you then? Hasn't Fred (my stepdad) given you all you want??' So in the end, I found my Dad when I was 37!! I also got married that week & he gave me away..... I wasn't in touch with my Mum during those 6 months & eventually when we made peace, I had to tell her about both those things, I was NOT popular for the next few years, I can tell you! :lol:

I tried to explain to Gail that unless the curiosity is dealt with early, the whole thing gets blown up in their heads & they start romanticising... I was quite disappointed in the end to find that my Dad was just a regular guy! :mrgreen:

So for now, we wait....... :dontknow:

Thanks everyone for the support, honestly, I don't know what I'd do sometimes without you lot here, or on FB.... because I've almost become a recluse (by choice) it's nice to know that I can still rely on you folks to keep me human! (almost!!) :lol:
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