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Advice for coping with a rotten grandmother
May 23, 2006
10:12 am
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Anonymous
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I am currently dealing with a problem I haven't faced in some time.I feel as though this may be a partial explanation of why I am such an emotional doormat for so many people in my life.
From the time I have been old enough to remember,my paternal grandmother has behaved like she hates me.Only me.I have 2 sisters and 1 older cousin,and she never did to them what she did to me.
My grandmother is my paternal grandmother,and she and my mother have had the typical adversarial mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.They have despised each other from day 1.My dad has always played advocate to make efforts for every one to get along and always has made excuses for her comments and behaviors.My parents met more than 30 years ago,and it was a lovely love story.They dated for about a year,and my father proposed.They planned to marry June of the following year.Well,they discovered someone extra(me)was gonna be arriving before that date,so they moved up the wedding.My paternal grandmother seemed to take on this "she's gotten herself in trouble and she's stealing my son"attitude.When I was born,things did not improve.I am different than everyone else on my father's side.I don't look like I belong,as I inherited my appearance from my mother's side.This made problems worse for my mom,as my grandmother now went to anyone who would listen to her about how I was not my father's child.My mother told me the story about the first time she ever heard the accusation of my paternity.I was only about 1 1/2 years old,when we were at a restaurant.I was banging a spoon on my high chair tray.This was and irritation to my grandmother over time,and she ripped the spoon from my hand.My mother was not irritated,nor did anyone else seem to be,so she gave me another spoon to play with.At this point,my grandmother decided to haul off and slap my arm so hard that my mother insists you could see her fingerprints in my arm.She proceeded to start a scene ranting and raving at my mother about what a brat I was,and how my mother insisted on allowing me to be disruptive in public.My mother rose from the table and told her where to go and how to get there,and expected my father to defend his wife and child.He did not.He asked my mother to be seated,and they would discuss this at a later time.
This is only story 1 of many tales of abuse I endured at this woman's hands,but it was the beginning of my silence and not telling anyone of these episodes until I was much older,because she never did this to me in front of my parents again.She did it when they were not around,and paid me off with toys,candy,and lavish gifts to buy my silence.
Even though I am long married and grown now,the abusive behavior continues somewhat.My grandmother now lives with my parents,and can no longer care for herself,as she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.She may not know what today is,but is fully aware that she does not like me or my mother,and takes every opportunity to remind us of such.She tells wild tales that didn't happen when she says they did,she thinks she's in a different state than what she is,she couldn't tell you what she ate an hour ago,but she knows and has a crystal clear memory of things she has said or done in the past.I realize she is ill,and it can only get worse from here,but I have difficulty forgiving her.I feel as though I have been tormented by this woman every day of my life,and I know forgiveness is a wonderful thing to be able to do,but I can't seem to muster any for my own grandmother.Any advice out there?

May 23, 2006
10:33 am
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Randomwomen2
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My mother in law went throw a very similar situation she did not want to belive that my brother in law was her sons. There wasnt so much the physical abuse but at christmas everyone of the kids had a gift except for him my mother in law ended up going out and buying one and saying that it was from gramma. Unfortunatly at this point there is nothing much you can do except for take her remarks as a grain of salt. Consider the source and leave it alone. I know easier said than done, but I dont see much else to do.

May 23, 2006
10:37 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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I always have a good opinion for good ole Lil. I will call you in a little while, cause I want to know what that rotten woman has managed to do that time. We could have a good ole fashioned blanket party with her. You know that I love you, and knowing her sweet loving self, I always have had an opinion of her. Tell her to go looking for a treasure buried in the mountains. She can't find her way to the bathroom, she wouldn't find her way home.

May 23, 2006
10:59 am
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Soulsister
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(((P.o'd)))

My heart goes out to you..that story brought me to tears..I really never thought about it but I have never had grandmother..my mother's mom died when she was 10 and my other grandmother was too far away. So, I didn't know either of them.

I'm so very sorry, you have had to feel this way..your whole life. I wish there was something that I could say..to comfort you..all I can say..is she probably lived an entirely miserable life...which..in itself..is sort of a punishment for how she treated you..and other people, I'm sure.

Would it give you any peace..if you confronted her on anything??? Or would that be pointless..given her state of health?? Maybe, you should anyway..it may give you a release of all of these feelings of hurt you have felt for so long...

Love....Soulsister

May 23, 2006
1:42 pm
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Anonymous
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Soulsister,
Thank you for your response and kind words.Due to her condition mentally,it would be a considerable waste of time and energy to bring this to her doorstep.My father would only be provoked to start WW3,because he has always been that way.He has always said as far as the paternity accusations,"you know what is true,and I know what is true,she doesn't and never has known what she's talking about,so blow it off."
My mother's relationship with my paternal grandmother has always been reflected on me.My maternal grandmother,who adored me as much as I adored her,died a while back,and I feel terrible that the considerable pain and suffering I have felt losing her is something I will not expierience with the death of my paternal grandmother.My maternal grandmother once upon a time had even gotten in on the action trying to protect me from my paternal grandmother.When we would travel to visit,my maternal grandmother would cry and carry on about how she did not want me going over to the other's to visit,fearing she would hurt me.It never failed,even at the most simple of situations,doing things that ALL kids do,I was subjected to the secret pain of having my hair pulled out,being restrained by my ears and forced to look her in the eyes,while she called me a bastard,and how I was taking the punishment for lying that my mother deserved.And then when there were(or are)people present,her acting like she adores me,talking to everyone like she gives a crap she even knows me.It makes me wretch to think about it.

May 23, 2006
2:52 pm
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gingerleigh
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I'm so sorry for your pain. These things she did to you, these were because of HER issues, not yours. You were just a kid.

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease, such a horrible thing to truly lose one's mind... the brain literally rots away while the body lives on. Bitter, angry, hateful as she is, she is suffering.

Forgiveness to me is simply understanding that another person is a human being, capable of making mistakes, even if they never realize it or admit it. To me it also means allowing for the possibility that had I been in the other person's shoes, I might have done the exact same thing. Your grandmother is the way she is because of something inside her... her cruelty is a coping mechanism for some other cruelty inflicted on her, details you will never know. If you can't muster up forgiveness yet, at least try to muster up pity. What could have happened in her head to make her treat an innocent child the way she did? It must have been pretty atrocious.

That understanding, or at least that allowance on your part to admit that she is the way she is because she is a product of her experiences and upbringing, can set you free to let go and separate her anger and cruelty from you as a person.

Besides, I bet your underwear is clean right now.

(((Springs)))

May 23, 2006
2:58 pm
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Anonymous
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LOL Ginger....
Yes I do believe that time heals all wounds,and that someday I will forgive.I just wish sometimes that I didn't have the memory I have,because although I can remember tons of things,her cruelty is one time in my life I wish I could forget.

May 23, 2006
3:12 pm
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readyforachange
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p.o'd...as hard as it is, I think you have to let this go. The pain you suffered was not your fault, and this woman was evil, selfish and vindictive. Many mothers-in-law are (my "outlaw" included). Let it go. You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't change it. It won't help you to hang onto it, and it won't change her to confront her about it. Write her a long letter that she will never read, build yourself a fire, and let it go. (((p.o'd))) Peace.

May 23, 2006
4:02 pm
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Soulsister
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I really like the advice that Gingerleigh gave you...I'm sure it is something we could all read and apply in our lives..somewhere.

Also, the advice from Ready..to write a letter to her...maybe you could post it here...to get it all out..It would probably give tremendous relief from the pain and maybe some healing in your heart...

Love to you...Soulsister

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