We're in Phoenix and Elle's Grandparents (Dick's parents) are spending the Winter here as they have been for a number of years. They have to get away from the cold winters of Georgia? Just kidding. They have many friends from when they lived in Iowa(30 years ago) and family who winter down here so they make the trek to to catch up with them.
Elle's relationship by default with her Grandparents has been estranged for the past two years. When Elle originally left Dick's house because of abuse, Dick created a pretty good picture to his mother that Elle was depressed and was making the whole thing up. What ended up happening was all the blame and the responsibility was squarely placed on Elle to fix. Forgive and Forget was the most common phrase in letters, phone calls and emails from her Grandparents. Along with "your Dad is really hurting, going through a rough time." It really upset Elle and it upset me quite frankly. Where's the concern for the 15 year old your son abused? He's 43 and the abuser, why is there any responsibility placed on Elle. All that did was re-victimize her all over again.
Finally, Elle shared many of the darkest details of not just the weekend she left, but of the years of emotional abuse prior to that from both Dick and Malus(step-mom). Her Grandma listened and said to Elle that she had grown up in a similar home and had no where to go. She was happy that Elle had a place to go and didn't have to stay in the situation.
What has happened since is that Elle has wanted, needed them to come out in a big way and take her side. Wanted them force Dick to get help. And secretly hoped they would ban him. As I have explained to her on many occasions if a parent could make an adult child do what they want; Halle, John and Chris would be making very different choices with their life. A parent is always going to love their child and try to guide them as best they can from the outside. Whether they want him to get help, really doesn't matter until Dick decides he wants help he'll never get it. At this point, I don't know if he ever will.
There is a huge hole missing in Elle's life. Her entire extended family on Dick's side. While she is angry at them, she still misses them terribly. My Mom, Grandma Jill suggested she call Grandma Georgia a couple of weeks ago. They had sent birthday gifts and Elle had never thanked them. So she called and a lot of laughter was exchanged. Grandma Georgia never mentioned Dick. I think she got the memo. Raylan and I suggested that when we were in Phoenix for Spring break they meet up for lunch.
Elle invited her Grandparents and they accepted! We are meeting in a couple of hours. Elle has asked that we eat somewhere in the same restaurant. Despite her protests, "why am I doing this?" I could see the twinkle in her eye when see raced to the phone to answer their call and they agreed to meet her at the place of her choosing. Cross your fingers, it goes well...