I am looking for a solution to a particular problem. Many issues converge. I grew up very close to my grandmother. My mother worked the night shift and it was allowed for me to visit her 2 nights a week. I enjoyed hikes and visiting my cousins with her. Now that I am older I realize how hard her life is and we have established a friendship. However my grandmother will always be my first mother. There came a time when I turned 15 that she accused me of getting secretly married. I was an honor roll student, editor of a poetry magazine, doing extracurricular activities like colourguard and music theatre. During this time my dad also started to call and talk to me over the phone which meant the world to me. He was never welcome in their home. When I was four years old a big half hour argument errupted in the living room my grandfather and dad wanted to kill each other and my grandmother told me to go to her room at the end of the hallway. She followed after me and I heard my dad's voice get louder behind her. He was trying to talk to her. Then she pulled her father's gun from under the mattress and pointed it at him and told him if he didn't leave she would shoot him dead. I cried and stepped inbetween them and asked her not to kill my dad. After that I saw him on my 6th birthday, also when I was 9, christmas when I was 11 ...so it goes. Eventually my grandparents sold their house and we moved out of state. My mother tried to keep me from going with them. And my grandfather threatened to turn her into the IRS for falsely claiming me. She no longer put up a fight. The move was to be a new beginning for my grandparents. They wanted to enjoy their retirement. Growing up my grandmother talked bad about her daughter in laws. It seemed there was always unnecessary dramas that did not need to exist. Most of my attention was focused on doing well in school so I could get into a good college. I made a lot of friends and started to become my own person. I think this really bothered my grandmother. I wish someone could explain to me what her problem is. I sought counseling in high school and did group therapy after the incident where she accused me of being secretly married. I was told to read CoDependent no more by Beattie. My own parents were not married more than a year and got into a horrible fight in Georgia. Getting married has never been #1 priority on my list. My grandmother would always make a point to tell me when she was 22 she had a husband she didn't want and two children she didn't want. My dad was her third son. She took care of me when she was planning to adopt a Korean girl. During the fight in Georgia, my dad punched a hole in the wall and the authorities made it so I was to stay with his parents since both mine were incapable. My mother would not eat and would not take care of me. He would come home to see if she was eating. Also my father was gay and she would fight with him about going to the bars. I learned that later. During a spring break I went to see my mom and dad when I was 16. I do not regret spending time with him although my mother was very upset about it. I had questions and concerns about how he lived his life but it filled a gap getting to know him. Some kids have parents they never want to see again or parents that leave when they are age 9 and never know them. I have been very fortunate on the wheel of experience. I was a good kid, loyal, obedient, a hard worker. My grandmother tuned out and refused to listen to me and for the rest of my life I have gone unacknowledged by her. I thought over time she would realize her mistake. If she has she has never said it to me. When you are 15 going through this it feels like cancer. I plead my case with her and cried my tears and went on to live my life. I moved out at 17 and finished high school. She did not go to my graduation. I moved out of state where my mother lived. I lived with her for a year and then went to college. I made friendships that did not endure at a christian college. People are always talking about being born again. Well I made myself anew. It seemed people didn't like me for who I was then and they still don't like me now but I'm going to keep advancing and progressing no matter what my detractors say. I like to read a lot, examine the arts, discuss politics, have fun. All this time my grandmother has not been a part of my experience of college the job hunt the soul search...I have never married and am now 29. I have a boyfriend I have been together with off and on for five years. At this point in time he is not prime marriage material but he provides intellectually and emotionally what I yearn for as of date. On some odd level I would relate us to percy and mary shelley, the guy who wrote ozymandias and the woman who wrote Frankenstein. He attempted suicide a couple years ago. That was devastating and I have since recovered from that and other deplorable derailments. So it seems every relationship is strained by stomething tragic. I find it helpful to stay positive to get good rest to eat right and not let what people say bother me. Just because a person says a thing does not make it so. During college I tried to call my grandmother but she would hang up on me or tell me I was in a conspiracy with my lying mother and really lived 10 minutes away from her because she saw me and knows I'm married. I have no label to put on this kind of behaviour except that she's nuts! It's hard because I always thought when I got older we would be close and I feel my life would have had a different outcome if this unnecessary drama didn't exist. One cannot change the past except to make the future better. I have sent cards and written to no avail. There is just no answer from her. I tell myself love keeps no record of wrongs and that I will not resent my karma. Maybe I was a horrible person in a past life. This one is turning me into an adept sociopath. It's too much for her to say she loves me or say she is sorry or admit her mistake. I have let go of needing that. I have made my own way. A lot of people would fall apart or let their heart turn to stone. Also my dad passed away of AIDS in 1999. My grandmother told people it was a motorcycle accident. In some ways I feel his life would have been more productive and happy had she steered him in another direction and created less dramas about him being gay. That was then hopefully today is different for people who are gay. I still feel there is a lot of stigma and judgement. It was what it was though. My grandfather died the same year as my dad. I was in college and homesick and just really wanted to go home but I never could. When my grandmother would hang up on me it would bring back memories of night when my dad would call and she would hang up on him. I know how he felt. I guess what I feel is utter alienation. There was no support from my family when my dad died. Only recently did one cousin write to me that he wished he'd been more loving towards me in my life. I guess I feel mentally people like to masturbate to other people's existences and have gone to the mall to buy the latest fad . I truly believe in the power of positive thinking but I wonder if there will ever be a day when my grandmother comes around or if she will stay in a deluded aberrated state of psyche. I have consigned myself that she just got older. I worry because she lives alone. My only uncle left on my dad's side of the family lives 2 hours away. I don't know if they even talk. They have a strained relationship. It just really makes the holidays suck. I try to establish happiness with the people around me in life that are with me. It's just a continuing struggle. Recently my mother's friend has had a very hard year: his favorite uncle died, his house burned down a couple months ago and his son was murdered on a road I pass when I go to work. His murderer has not been arrested and the news misrepresented his son. When I heard the news about his son it sent me through a horrible depression. The job I work is calling people about their past due bill and they are never happy to be asked to pay their bill. Of course they like to shoot the messenger and act the fool. I find each call a challenge of responding to life and problem solving rather than reacting to life or being dragged into a petty argument with a moot point. People are people and these are hard times. My aim is to help the person I'm calling and give them respect they do not always deserve. Also at my job I feel people like to pat one on the shoulder and stab them in the back. I am not there to be a rising star or STUPIDvisor. I just want to work this job til I make my own happiness. However I am thankful I have this job because otherwise I would start a life of crime or take up exotic dancing. I may take up exotic dancing anyway. God knows. I am trying to spend my time being productive and work towards my goals so I can leave this job as soon as possible. It is no easy task to diffuse a bomb on every call. I guess I am tired of people detracting from goals I have in life. I guess I just woke up this sunday and thought it was ridiculous my grandmother won't talk to me and was feeling anxiety about going to my job on monday and want what everyone wants ...HAPPINESS. Now I'm going for a hike to be in the light and destress around nature. A powerfully deep movie I watched this weekend was The Life Before Her Eyes starring Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood which brought tears to my eyes. I think everyone should see it. Also I thoroughly enjoyed Persepolis. She said she survived a revolution but that a banal love story almost killed her. I recommend both. I wish everyone today the happiness they are looking for and for PEACE in the world.
Oh des, what a sad post. There's nothing wacky about it, it's just painful.
I don't know why some lives are so riddled with sorrow and loss. For reasons that I can not grasp, pain appears to be the primary conductor for learning, just as water conducts electricity. I guess we just don't learn that much from having a good time. <shrugs>
Like you, I had a rough time. I was rejected for reasons that I couldn't understand or appeal. And like you, it happened repeatedly. This creates trust issues. Duh. It can also make us blame ourselves. We MUST have done something to be SO rejected.
You did nothing, my friend, except 'get born' to a group of people singularly ill equipped to deal with a child/teenager/young adult. Let's face it, they collectively sucked at every freakin' stage. <shakes head>
Children love their caregivers, even in cases of abuse. No doubt, you adored your grandmother but eventually, under extreme duress, you began not only to question her, but stand up to her as well. You stood up because you knew what you were seeing was wrong. Your desire to aid your father probably sprang out of pure reflex, at least initially. However as a teenager, you continued to reject the party line, insisting on seeing your father to the dismay of your mother and the fury of his.
So let's look at your grandmother for a second. In her time, a woman got married and had kids. PERIOD. "Gay" was a breathless, Jane Austin party description. Divorce was for 'THOSE women". Your grandmother clearly resented her lot in life and her vengence was to slavishly impose the same miserable social restrictions on others. The prisoner became it's guard.
Your grandmother's refusal to deal with her anger and bitterness poisoned her pool and those who drank from it. In a strange way, you were spared. Her rejection of you forced you out before she could ruin you the way she ruined your father. To put it bluntly, you escaped and who knows, maybe she helped you to do that by pushing you away.
I know it doesn't feel that way. I know you remember and miss her love. And she DOES love you, but she is ruled by an angry rigidity and may also be suffering from some form of dementia. You can't change any of that because you're not responsible for any of it. My heart breaks for your unanswered calls and cards. You did your best and you know that.
Angel, you are OK, she's the one with the problems. Maybe pushing you away is the only gift she can give you. For now, take it and try to forgive her.
i highly suggest you seek some counseling and try to work through some of these issues. Your post and some odd comments in it indicate to me that you need some help sorting things out. You don't want to become part of a vicious circle of mental issues. Believe me, I have seen firsthand how some mental issues carry through generations and you don't want to someday be like your grandmother. Please, get some professional help, this is way too much for you to try and deal with on your own.
"I wish everyone today the happiness they are looking for and for PEACE in the world."
And may I add a desire to seek understanding and an unwillingness to judge others.
Thank you for sharing your story. It makes those of us who complain about the mundane difficulties of life count our blessings. You have been handed an adundant serving of the painful events that is unfortunately a part of life. I hope that you continue to persevere and know that you can rise above it all and come to be surrounded by the positive events and gifts that life has to offer. You are overdue!
Choose to seek help when you need it and choose to surround yourself with positive influences. Change what you can and accept what you cannot. Let go of the past and build your treasures for the future.
You have to love yourself first and foremost. It would be great to be able to choose the people we want to love us unconditionally but that is not possible as they have their own battles to fight. Some of us are incapable of loving in the purest sense. Some of us are quite limited in our ability to love others. We are restrained by our fears, imprisoned by past hurts and handicapped by the script we write about how life should be. The only person you can rely on in this life is you. Make wise choices that will result in positive consequences (exotic dancing is not a wise choice.)
I have no perfect words of advice. I only hope that you believe in yourself and see that you are worthy of love. I pray that love will find you.
p.s. On a side note, you have a wonderful writing style. Have you thought of becoming an author?
i have sought counseling. thank you for the reply. i've come to the conclusion a lot of things in life are about ego. some things are physiological and cannot be helped. you can love people but sometimes they don't love you back, you know. sometimes people try to defeat one's spirit or really know not what they do because of their own struggles. after i wrote the post i felt i'd cleared up some things and feel a renewed sense of power. take care.
thank you for the kind reply. actually i'm working on several stories. when i complete my projects i'll submit for publication. one is a donnie darko type story about sliding doors and alternate existences about a guy who is a partial telepath after a car accident with his girlfriend. also i have several children's book ideas. poetry has been the simplest to write. the other projects are taking longer because i hesitate too much. i just watched the lake house and wanted to write something lovely and happy like that. one of my favorite poems is "birthday" by christina rossetti. the last book i really enjoyed was siddartha by herman hesse. all my life i've wanted to be a writer. two other films i found to be really fascinating were the happening and the mist. i guess i've been fighting against my own inertia. also i'd like to write my own version of the awakening like kate chopin. one of my friends said that book was like holy cake to her however i think the ending could do with some reworking. i haven't read vanity fair but i liked the film adaptation of that. also i liked pan's labrynth, stardust, the constant gardner, and blood diamond. it's definitely what i'm aiming for ...lately i've been tired and working too much and not knuckling down and using my soul force. experiencewise i've had people who loved me and a pretty good foundation despite all the commotion. i get frustrated that my grandmother chooses to withhold love because of something i did not do. i guess too much time has passed to care about it anymore. every woman wants her mother to be a part of her life. i've been fortunate to have two. do you like to write niclolu?
Judging from your list of favorite literature and movies, I gather you have a wealth of materials residing in that head of yours. I think you will do very well as an author because although sympathizing with you, I was intrigued by the way you tell your story.
I am glad to hear that you are working on not taking ownership of your grandmother's behavior. I deal with similar issues with my mother who has appointed herself a martyr. She should be an author in her own right, as she tends to create a lot of stories in her head, which she believes to be reality. It frustrates me and hurts me at the same time. Now all I can do is ride out the weeks and months of silent treatment when she is in her self imposed periods of solitude. Ever watch the Joy Luck Club? My mother should have been one of the main characters. I love my mom and it is extremely difficult when she pushes me away. But that is her battle to fight. Anyway, enough about me.
I like to write but it is more in terms of correspondence (email) rather than fiction or non-fiction. But since you asked me that, I am reminded that as a kid in elementary school, I loved to write. I enjoyed writing poems and song lyrics. I liked drafting horror stories designed to startle the reader. Stephen King and his twisted plots were captivating. He has an amazing mind. Odd how I have forgotten all that.
So one day when you become a rich and famous author, do remember us here. I want to say I knew her when...
Regardless of how life hands you lemons, you keep standing up on the inside! As always, it is a pleasure talking to you.
Niclolu, I HAVE seen JOY LUCK CLUB and loved it. A friend of mine was telling me to read The Bonesetter's Daughter but I fell away from Amy Tan a long time ago. Lots of mother-daughter stuff there. ..If you like horror and something startling ...read Bentley Little's The Collection ...he is SICK but you'll luv him. I am sorry to hear about your mother giving you the silent treatment ...what is wrong with them? My birth mother gave me the key to her new place and it's a good thing she locked herself out. She's had a lot of stuff to do and on her mind so it happens. I don't understand why people have children and go to all the effort of feeding a baby, clothing a baby, nurturing the baby, taking it to the doctor only to maltreat it as soon as it has a BRAIN. Would someone please explain to me that ineffable wackness? I can't stand unnecessary dramas. LOVE is the only thing that's real. When we understand that everyone's suffering is our suffering too the human species will then advance and progress much farther. There are so many contests with deadlines coming up soon I'm overwhelmed and may be up all night. Take care where you are. Light and Love. I'll say a prayer for your mother to soften her heart and open her eyes. By the by, ever read Erma Bombeck? I don't care what anyone says I like her!
des, it sounds like your grandmother has some serious problems. I would defintely seek counseling both to understand your feelings but also to possibly discover what kind of disorder she may have. I say the latter because you must not blame yourself ever for other people's irrational behaviors.
Also, consider that sometimes we are dealt family members that are not necessarily going to be your friend despite you wanting and trying to nurture that type of relationship. We cannot pick our family members. We can, however, pick our friends and many friends become "family" in a sense. Take care of yourself and look towards building a new family of friends.
dear mouse on mars: thank you for the kind reply. the problem is that she lives states away and i feel helpless to help her. i have long since given up trying to help her. it's really too impossible and resigned that she is stubborn or just got older or may have dementia. when i can i'm going to try to move closer to her but it's been hard to save money for a move out of state. i always try to let her know that i'm there if she needs me but there's never an answer. oh well. life goes on. i have sought counseling in the past and it helped. i guess with my exboyfriend being in the hospital and friends busy with their own ordeals I just wonder when loneliness will be over..if ever. i just keep on keepin' on.
hiii, i am fine thank you for asking. it has been a fun filled weekend. also went for a hike and spent time with my mum yesterday. she made pork chops with butter, onions, and pepper. it was the good eats. i hope you had a good weekend!