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Sad about having to raise grandchild.

I am grateful he is safe. I am the only mother he knows....but I still feel so cheated. I'm only 47. I raised my children and I only had a year to myself. The toll it has taken on my life is immense. My relationship I have which was fun and new has now become chores and meals, schedules and freedom restrictions. My son is useless to help. I can't help but resent my son very, very much for laying this on me. I am lonely, my love life is ruined. We now fight in front of the child, this is so very wrong but he is a mean nasty tempered man. Now I'm stuck because I don't have a car (broke down and junked)of my own,  fiance sells cars but will not give me nor sell me one we live 20 miles from anything. I am verbally assaulted daily. 

moral of the story is, be very very careful whom you trust. Now I'm stuck, homeless without this nightmare relationship and I do have some savings but not much. Any advice? Does anyone have a place I can move into with  my grandchild. I am desperately in need. I'm healthy,can work and need a town with transportation. 

AARP Expert

Hi Christine. Oh my goodness, such a load of sadness you are carrying. And a child that you did not know you'd be raising at 47. 

I am a social worker and a counselor (in Oregon). I have a bunch of ideas and suggestions. I don't want to overwhelm you. I hope that something i suggest will help you. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, take what you like and leave the rest. 

I hope i am understanding you correctly: your fiance is verbally abusive and also stingy. So you want to move and start anew.  The other reader suggested a Family Justice Center. There should also be some sort of domestic violence shelter.  The counselors there sometimes can put you up temporarily while you find some other situation. Call, ask. Maybe leave him, with all your stuff, when he's away at work. Has he ever been violent toward you? The danger of violence is greatest when women try to leave. I am so sorry about this.


Let me also ask, if you are taking care of your son's child, is the Department of Human Services or Child Welfare involved? Did they take the child away from your son and then place the child with you? If so, make the caseworker help you. (Maybe they already have but i want to make sure you have the support they can provide.) So that means, the worker needs to help you with income. Is there a grandparents program in your county? Are you eligible for TANF and food stamps (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)? Is there a head start or any other program that gives you respite (and provides transportation) for the child? I know that COVID19 has shut down a lot of services, but ask. 


Is there another grandmother who can help you, take turns with the boy, give you a break? You might know who the mother is? I presume she is not very functional which is why the child isn't with her. But the other grandmother might be an ally you don't know about yet.


If you are the only mother he has known, then you are a huge blessing in his life. And since your life has taken this hard right U-turn back into parenting, you are under a lot of stress, and feeling understandable resentment against your son, as you mentioned. I think you would be greatly helped by seeing a therapist. There should be a mental health clinic, known as community mental health, in your area somewhere. Those counselors are used to working with people who are at a crossroads, and often have no money and no clear pathway to a better life. You might have to jump through some hoops, like an intake process. But then you get to see a counselor, probably for free who can listen to you and help you develop a plan for moving forward. They might have a case management service as well, and sometimes help with finances, or temporary shelter. 


Perhaps counseling is the most important step you could take, because you will feel more strength and courage to do what needs to be done with support.


Tell us more? What do YOU think you need most? We are here.



in rural Oregon

Honored Social Butterfly

Oh jeez, this is awful. Do you have a Family Justice Center near you? Or other access to domestic violence services? Even if you don’t feel physically abused, you can get help from services like this, which can help with housing, jobs, etc.


here is a listing of some locations.

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