I am an avid listener and find the calls you receive from adult children who question whether they should have a relationship with their abusive or mentally ill parents heartbreaking. It is very sad when adults still crave a 'nice' parent and have such difficulty coming to grips with the fact that their parents' are awful human beings. My heart breaks for these folks. But it does raise my eyebrows when they seem to desire a relationship for their children with that parent, so their kids can have 'grandparents'. I am always glad when you raise red flags and caution them against that.
If there is any doubt in listeners' minds that they are putting their children in harm's way, I share with you the following story that happened recently where the grandmother killed her two grandsons, in a murder-suicide. The bodies were found within walking distance of our home and our friend conducted the funeral. This was a horrible and very avoidable situation.
Here is the newspaper article: Murder/Suicide Leaves Two Boys Dead
This grandmother had PERMISSION from her daughter to pick up the boys that day. It was the two-year-old's birthday and the mother did not want him at day care ALL day. The grandmother had PERMISSION despite years and years of documented mental illness to pick those boys up and bring them to the house to "open his birthday presents". The family waited at home, the boys never made it. The grandmother was no stranger to the local police department, and her family, despite the fact that none of them were licensed mental health workers, determined she 'was getting better'. Her grown children admit they were abused by her when they lived at home (she was married three times and still had a 13-year-old at home), yet they gave her permission to have the grandchildren unsupervised.
If folks think this can't happen to them, if this isn't a wakeup call, they are fooling themselves. This case has had devastating effects on the community. Why are folks in shock? Because they do not want to believe that anyone could be so evil. Wake up people....just because you have the title 'grandmother' doesn't make you sweet, kind, caring or a safe person to leave your kids with.