Daughter Worry

My only daughter has rejected me and refused all access to her 14-year-old daughter, my granddaughter.


My only daughter has rejected me and refused all access to her 14-year-old daughter, my granddaughter. I was her only carer while her mum worked. We were very close.

Her original letter to me suggested I had deliberately hurt her feelings with a comment I made and this was my punishment. If only I knew what I said.

Eating and sleeping well has become foreign to me as I have so many unanswered questions. All phone calls, messages and letters remain unanswered. A birthday gift was returned with a note: “Don’t even try”. She threatened to change phone numbers and even move house.

I am a 71-year-old widow with no other family to talk to. I can’t even tell my closest friend. I wouldn’t be able to talk to a counsellor as even thinking about this situation makes me cry. Seeing mothers and daughters together hurts so much. That used to be me.


We sympathise with your grief, hurt and uncertainty. It is not uncommon for families to break contact. Common reasons for estrangement include misunderstandings, painful histories, external influences, and mental health issues. Difficult as it is, you may need to show your love through birthday and Christmas cards and wait for your daughter or grand-daughter to make contact.

Your distress and sleep problems are understandable but concerning. For your health, you need to share your situation confidentially with your doctor who may also suggest counselling or support options when you are ready. Don’t worry, tears are normal and healthy. The longer you leave telling people the harder it may be. Seek out a trusted friend. They will likely respond with understanding because many families experience estrangement. Have you considered volunteering? It is important during this time to keep occupied and continue living by your own values of love and care.

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Relationships Australia SA appoints panels of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it.