emotional abuse by daughter
I am extremely distraught. My daughter, age 28, is living with a man who has slowly, but surely, been pulling both her and our 7-year-old grandson, away from the rest of the family. He seems to be jealous of the close grandparents relationship that I, my husband, and my ex-husband have enjoyed since the child's birth. The natural father(they were never married) is distant, and we grandparents have always been there. We were initally happy that she seemed to be in a healthy relationship, although with a man 13 years older than herself, who has never had children. However, problems soon surfaced. My daughter has never been emotionally stable, and has been through several unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationships. She loves her son very much, but has a tendency to put her lovers before her son, and gets verbally abusive toward her father, myself, and her sister when we confront her. When she is angry with one of us, she "blackmails" us by not allowing her son scheduled visits, will not discuss what the problem is, etc. We hesitate to confront her more and more, for fear of traumatizing the child, but her emotional abuse is becoming rampant. The latest incident involved me(grandma) confronting her and the live-in boyfriend over bite marks and bruises found on my grandson's arms. They claimed that these were from "playing" and roughhousing. The child seems terrified of "getting into trouble" with his mom and boyfriend. I did not make any accusations, simply informed the boyfriend that he was being too rough, that biting hurts, and that if a teacher or physician had observed the marks, he could be charged with child abuse. The following weekend, my daughter refused to let the child visit, stating that I was "filling his head" with garbage. Although the boyfriend seems to genuinely care for the child, he is domineering, and there have been other incidents of unexplained "accidents" and bruises that are always attributed to "playing around." I do not feel that my daughter is thinking of the child's best interests. I am considering hiring an attorney, but hesitate to take such a drastic step. I have always been her defender to other family members, even when she has been wrong, in order to keep the "family peace." I now find myself at a loss, and disbelieving that she would put a non-family member before her son and the rest of the family. Can anyone help or comment? Also, this man does not work; he collects disability for a knee injury, yet is able to climb the steep flight of stairs in their home, plus ride his bike for long distances. He also transports the child without a driver's license or insurance.