Suzanne is a North Carolina native who successfully transplanted herself to the Midwest. She was once quoted in the Washington Blade as believing that the key to success in life is being able to “bloom where you are planted.” Fifteen years later, she is still a firm believer in this adage. She has spent the past decade moving between the deep South to the northern reaches of Illinois. Admitting that it is sometimes difficult to plant one’s roots deeply or grow in less hospitable climates, she still believes that each of us can make better the spaces and places we inhabit.
She is a writer, a counselor, a professor, and an administrator. Her greatest accomplishments, however, are her three beautiful children who have grown into wonderfully dynamic adults! She also takes a sense of satisfaction in and gratitude for the creation and development of her relationships with loved ones, family, friends, and the various people who may just appear in one’s life for a moment. Life is about finding your place and building connections — wherever you might be.
5 thoughts on “About Suzanne”
In your article in Psychology Today entitled Grandparent Alienation: A Loss Unlike Any Other, you make it very clear about how detrimental it is to the grandparent. You also talk about parents who need independence from grandparents that were too close during the parents upbringing. However, you do not talk about neglectful and criticizing behaviors and the trauma that presents to the now parents. I resent the implication that grandparents should get to see their grandkids after being abusive to the parents. I will no longer submit myself or my son to the harmful behaviors of his grandmother. I am now protecting myself from her. If it hurts her, I am glad, it is a dose of what she dished out during my own upbringing. Please be sure to advocate for relationships such as these when you write articles like this one. I tried for 30 years to talk about the pain she caused me during our upbringing. She never wanted to hear it or seek any professional help.
I am sorry to hear of the painful experiences you had with your own parents and fully appreciate the need to shield your children from their influence. Alienation happens for a variety of reasons and seldom are two families identical in their experience. Each family must make the decisions that they feel are best for their children. There was no intent to imply that all grandparents are without fault or should be granted access to their grandchildren — however, there are indeed cases where they are being unfairly alienated from their grandchildren and this was the perspective that was reflected. I hope that you and your own family are able to enjoy a much more satisfying and healthy relationship than what you experienced with your family-of-origin.
Every article I read on grandparent alienation from grandchildren, leaves out some major issues: parental mental illness, substance abuse and fear of CPS reports
Yes, grandparent alienation is such a far-reaching topic and it is one that invites very different discussions based on the experiences, and the role, of anyone involved in this experience. The issues you mention are indeed very significant factors related to the problem. Unfortunately, space limitations for the outlet where the original article appeared only allowed the basics to be presented. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Hi I have just read your piece on grandparent alienation. I have recently been a victim of this horrible process and many of the issues you raised in your article were absolutely true for me. I feel not enough is known about this issue and would like to discuss further with you. I had thought about setting up a forum for the many grandparents out there who are just as broken-hearted as I am.