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It can be exhausting being in my family........

Nov 16, 2010 - 18 comments

Oh my goodness......This is correspondence between myself and my maternal grandmother.  So you would need to start at the bottom and work your way up.

If you actually have the patience to read all of this, then God Bless You!  If not, I feel I have at least vented because I feel like I will explode at this point!!!!!

I know you don't know all of the players in these e-mail responses but my goodness.  Maybe you don't have to.  This is why I have to keep my distance from my family.  It is emotionally exhausting being part of this family.  It's let's just feel sorry for myself BS.  It's all about wanting attention.  I just don't want any part of that.

From my grandmother to me (just got this a few minutes ago):

I just want you to know that I love you and I am having such a hard time trying to understand. I wish that I could just throw my arms around you like I did when you were a child, but you are grown up now and you have your own life to live. I just don’t belong there anymore, and I need to face that fact. I will probably cry over this for a long time, because my heart is broken. You were the center of my life when you were born, I got to hold you and love you and be with you to bear with you some of your problems when you grew up and all of the problems that you went through, those were my problems too, because I didn’t want anyone hurting you.

I called your mother last night and told her that I wouldn’t be coming out to her house for Thanksgiving because I want to distance myself from everyone. I don’t belong there. Your daddy’s family has so much love for one another that me coming into the picture is not appropriate.

I will learn to deal with this as I have all of the other things in my life that have caused me great pain. But right now this one hurts me more than you will ever know. I took down the children’s pictures and will put them in my bedroom at home where when the pain has subsided, that I will be able to see them again. You don’t need my now, you have a husband and family and you also have Sergio’s family. They are different than I am and I probably should just take a back seat to everyone. I have lost something that is very dear to me, a family. Something that I would give my life or anything else for. But, I will face it. I feel like I have gone into battle with the Devil for something that is so precious to me, my family, something that I never thought I would ever be without.
But we have some good memories, think of those memories. Think of the good times, think about what you mean to me and to all of your family.
I wish I could see you at Thanksgiving and look at your family together, but I can’t. So, I am telling the Devil now, that He started something within me, that I intend to finish with God on my side. God will tell me when it is time and He will heal all of my hurts. If not on this pathway, He will heal me when I get Home. I don’t want any more hurt or pain along my way, but if I live I can’t avoid it. I just wish that we could come together as a family and try to make things better for everyone combined.
I had asked Sergio to extend my dining room so that in the future could have all of you back over again and cook and eat together and enjoy each other’s  company, but I see now that those things won’t happen. Chuckie and Joyce now have their family speaking to them again so they don’t need me anymore either. They have their grandchildren and Chuckie back. I was just someone to take up the void when no one else was there.

I have told you how I feel and I think that this should be the end of it. This is Sergio’s business line and we shouldn’t be taking up space for our talks. Oh, about taking time to call you, my problem is I never know when the right time to call you is, whether you have laid the children down for a nap or what so that is why I wanted to let you call me.

I will forever remember you from the very first day that your mother brought you home until you were married and then when you married Sergio. I’ll remember those days when times were different.

May God give you and your family all that you need in life, I didn’t say all that you want, but may he supply all your needs, may he fill you with lots and lots of love and happiness, and may God find a way to do what is best for everyone. Now what I think is best what He thinks is best. He gives us a path to follow, it might be rugged and there might be a lot of briars along the way, but He will make a way to guide you. The scripture said Jesus is the Light of the World and if we believe that then we will look to his for his guidance in a pathway that seems so dim.

You see Michele, that is one of the things that the Bible says will happen in the last days , families will be divided, look for it in the Bible. It tells us that and we know that some of those things are coming to pass.

We are not supposed to be jealous of one another in this life, nor are we supposed to be envious, but right now that is one of the things that I am facing is  being envious of people who have something in their life I don’t have any more.
Goodbye sweetheart, God Bless you and your family.

From me to my grandmother:

Well Mema, I didn’t mean to say anything mean or negative or whatever about Papa or Uncle Ricky.  I am also trying to remember where in my e-mail I said anything negative about you or why you would say that if I think back I may think better of you.  Hmmmm…I have no idea.  I tried really hard to tread lightly but there seems to be no doing that in this family.  I tried so hard to be considerate of your feelings.  You can’t say anything without someone being offended.  God forbid someone have a different opinion than you (meaning “you” respectively).  You think I don’t remember how things were when I was little?  You think I don’t remember that Papa would go to the store and get us ice cream or candy or whatever??  You think I don’t remember how our (yours and mine) relationship was when I was younger?  Of course I do.  I remember plenty of times you being there for me; especially considering the relationship I had with my own mother.  Can’t say it has gotten much better over the years either.  I have the memory of an elephant.  Blessing or curse?  Not sure.  So, I do remember.  I also remember Papa always being agitated and sometimes talking to us like we were stupid and should just automatically know whatever it was he was getting onto us about.  I remember the good times and the bad.  I mentioned Papa’s agitation because I just didn’t want my girls to get their feelings hurt.  Simple as that.  Maybe you are right.  You can’t change people, etc.  But my girls are too young to understand someone being ugly to them for no reason.  I mean, they don’t have adult minds and can’t reason that; especially because they have NEVER been around that.  You spent my entire life explaining Papa to me.  The same way you feel defensive and protective of Papa and Ricky, I feel for my own children.  So just understand that.  From one mother to another, understand that.

I am not sure why you think I have my feelings hurt.  The only thing I can think of that hurt my feelings was that when this whole thing happened with Mark, no one in my family ever called to see how me or my girls were doing.  Everyone seemed to gravitate towards my parents and Mark.  Of course my mom basically recruited everyone too.  ****I HAD TO DELETE THIS SENTENCE.  CAN'T DISPLAY THAT IN PUBLIC*****  But that was a long time ago and luckily, I had Sergio and the support of some close friends.  If not for them, I don’t know what I would have done.  But I do keep to myself really and don’t have too much to do with family.  It seems as though everyone gets to easily offended and there is a viscious cycle of emotional blackmail that goes on.  I don’t want any part of that.  If something does bother you or you have a concern, and you actually voice it, then you will get chastised and get the silent treatment for years.  Well, I was witness to that my whole life with you and my mom.  So if I have problems with that, one can hardly blame me.  How one deals with conflict is most times a learned behavior.  But at least I recognize it.  I do recognize it and want to be different.  So I will be different with my kids.  I won’t hold grudges and I will communicate with them and I won’t make them feel guilty for their existence.  Sometimes it’s all about self preservation Mema.  Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do for your own sanity and just for the sake of your kids because you don’t want the same dysfunction for them.  It’s not about anyone thinking that they are better or whatever.  But no one is perfect, so if you see flaws, then you do your best to correct them for the sake of your children.

I am sorry you took this so out of proportion, but I guess I am not surprised.  That is the MO for our family.  Just remember that you were invited both for Rachel’s birthday and for Thanksgiving.    You declined.  I even invited you in December and I am guessing you are declining that invitation as well.  Remember that if you are not part of my girls’ lives, you made that decision and not me.  So own that.  And also remember that keeping in touch is a 2 way street.  It is not just my responsibility to come to your house.  You can come to mine too.  You can call me too.  You can e-mail too.  That is way too much burden for one person to have to shoulder alone.  What I mean by that is just keeping in touch.  You have made NO efforts in the area of keeping in touch.  None!  You can’t spend your life always waiting for someone else.  Sometimes when you want something, you have to be the one to make it happen.  I have 6 children and my job never ends.  It may be different if you lived right around the corner.  My husband works so much that he is hardly home.  I am w/the kids by myself 99% of the time.  So I normally do all of the shuttling of the kids, schooling, laundry, house cleaning, cooking, etc.  I also have them in Girls Scouts and have just joined a Homeschool group.  It just never ends really.  I am not complaining as I LOVE my large family.  But having a large family is a lot of work, plain and simple.  It takes a lot of my time.

I don’t know what else to say.  I wish we could just talked to each other in our family.  I wish we were actually allowed to express ourselves and our feelings but it just isn’t allowed, and that is just exhausting.  It is exhausting keeping everything in and to yourself all the time.

Take care of yourself Mema.  I love you too and will always have a special place in my heart for you as well.


From:  Mema (my maternal grandmother)

Oh well, whatever. I sent a check by Sergio for her birthday so I probably won’t be able to come. I remember when you used to come over to my house when you were little and I loved to see you come. But times change and people change so I will accept what you want. I just miss being part of their lives, but Tina doesn’t come over to my house anymore either.
I don’t think that I am offended I just feel hurt. I loved you so when you were little and couldn’t wait to go and get you and bring you home with me. I will always remember those days , many times when we go by Jack-in-the box, I can still hear you saying, “I want to go to Jack in de box. There are many other things that I remember about you. I will keep you in my heart and always say that I love you and will always love you.
When we love people, we love them for who they are. We can’t make them change, although there are many days when I would like to make James over, but that is impossible. I just have to accept him in my life. People come into your life for a reason and that reason may not always be a good one. Sometimes it causes heartache and many tears are shed. I will probably shed a lot over this, but I will get up and go on. I want to keep working until I have been here at least 25 years and then , the Lord willing I will retire and try to help others. That is my goal in life.  I sometimes feel that I failed so miserably with my children, I could have done them justice if I had given them up and put them in the Children’s Home in Tennessee, but I didn’t. I kept things together with little or nothing sometimes. At times we only had biscuits and syrup to eat.
As far as coming out to your mother’ s house. I don’t ever go out there unless it is some kind of celebration like father’s day or Thanksgiving. I have been going to Sylvia’s for Christmas but I have to quit that because I don’t belong there.
I feel like just running away somewhere and hiding but that is a coward’s way of doing things.
Here is what I will do, I will send you a great big hug and lots of kisses and let you know that from the bottom of my heart I love you and will always love you. While I am at it, hug all of your babies for me.
You know Michele, when you were sick a lot of times, I saw James sit and hold you and rock you in my wooden rocker until you went to sleep. Sometimes when you were a baby, papa was the only one who could make you happy.
He is different, I know and so is Ricky, but they are both mine and I love them both. Ricky has come so far since he got back from Jail. Some mothers wouldn’t even have their sons around them when they do the things that he did, but I keep thinking of the prodigal son and what his father did when he saw him coming back home. I cried and thanked God for keeping him safe until he could come back to our house. I don’t have much longer on this Earth, but the time I have will be to just keep praying and hoping that the best will come of everything.
We really never get everything in this life and there have been a lot of people that I have loved in my life that I don’t have any more, but when what I will do now is look to my future without being around the girls. But don’t think that I don’t love you or them. I am so glad that Sergio sent me those pictures because at least I get to see them.
In many ways Michele, you are like me. You get your feelings hurt easy. But I want you to think of the times that I was there for you when you needed me and maybe that will make you think much better of me.
God Bless You little lady

Hi Mema,

I get all of Sergio’s e-mails for business reasons.  When he gets really busy, it helps him not to miss anything 

Anyway, if you want to see the girls, please just ask me.  I’d prefer that so it just takes Sergio out of the equation.  I don’t want him to feel “in the middle” so to speak.  All you have to do is pick up the phone and call or even send me a quick e-mail.  I don’t mind if the girls go over there 2 at a time as long as they won’t be in the way, as long as it isn’t a school day (although you’d probably be working on those days), and as long as you think Papa can handle it.  I know Papa gets very nervous and agitated very easily.  I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that that concerns me.  I was around it all my life and kind of “got used to it”, but my girls aren’t used to it.  Even Uncle Ricky can say some crazy things at times, things I don’t really want him to say around the girls.  Really that is why I like for you to visit them over here.  Papa and Uncle Ricky won’t tend to do those things as much at someone else’s house is all I am saying.  I hope you are not offended, as that is not my intention.  I am just trying to be honest really.  So as long as all of the above things are fine, I don’t mind them going while Sergio is there working.  But please also remember that when you are in Katy, you can come to my house too.  I know you go to my mom’s sometimes, so why not stop by when you are in the area?  All I ask is for a phone call.  We may have plans or be gone, or have someone sick, etc.  There are any number of reasons why I ask for a phone call ahead of time.  But most times when you have been in Katy, I don’t find out until after the fact.  Maybe sometime you can let me know when you will be in the area and then come by??  Ahhhh, which brings me to my next question.  I am sure you will be at my mom’s for Thanksgiving.  I would love for you to stop by here for a bit on your way out.  You could also visit with the girls then.  You haven’t been here in forever and it would be nice for you to come by, even if only for a little while.  And you could see my Thanksgiving dinner   I hope you can also come over shortly before Christmas too.

Oh and I know you know Rachel’s birthday is Thursday.  I am having a little party for her Friday evening at around 6.  You are more than welcomed to come if you want to.  If not, I totally understand.  I know it is a weekday and a heavy traffic day.  I know you will be super tired, I would imagine.  So again, I understand if you can’t come.  But I wanted to extend the invitation anyway.  If you could let me know by Wed., I would appreciate it because I will be buying what I need on that day.  Would just like a head count.

Anyway, take care Mema.  Please let me know about Thanksgiving just so I know whether to expect you or not.


From Mema to Sergio (my husband)

After talking it over with some people about the siding, I decided not to put that siding on the house Sergio, because they have told me that it causes termites and also causes moisture to gather in between the walls which in turn causes mold. With both James and me having problems with breathing, I can’t do that, so let’s just get enough siding to fill in the new part and I think we might save the old siding that we take down from the front, that is on the porch right now to save it and maybe later put in on the screened in porch. Please let me know soon. I will be glad to get things started. I hope that we will be finished by Christmas. I want to get things rearranged in the house to make sure that things will look right. I might just build a platform to put underneath the piano to take the burden off of the floor, so that it won’t cause indenture marks on it.
Remember to ask Michelle if we might could bring two of the girls over at a time, you know for me to visit with. I want to get to know them and be with them as I already love them and want to be around them.

Post a Comment
349463 tn?1333571576
by NicMom, Nov 16, 2010
Um I'm going to text you my response because I think it will be too offending for the sensitive eyes on medhelp, but I can say old people are crazy! lol It's exhausting trying to keep the elderly folks in my family in line. They are paying me back for all those times they had to watch me as a toddler I swear!

287246 tn?1318570063
by Michele, Katy, TX, Nov 16, 2010
Thank you Nicole!!!

1395792 tn?1358115792
by Destani214, Nov 16, 2010
Girl this is nice compared to mine but i totally understand! My fam would prob rejoice at the fact I had a miscarriage which is why I didnt tell them about the pregnancy in the first place! I stay completely AWAY from them and just enjoy my fam. Me my hubby and our girls! And we are happy!! I hope you find a way to deal or cut them off!!

167 tn?1374173817
by jenstam, Nov 16, 2010 about guilt trips and passive manipulation. That would be tough. I think you handled it well though. How exhausting it must be! But, I do have to say that I am impressed with your Mema's ability to email! I would love to be able to email with my Grandma (:

287246 tn?1318570063
by Michele, Katy, TX, Nov 16, 2010
Thanks so much for the support ladies!!

jenstam, she can probably e-mail so well because she works in an office.  I am sure had she not of been in the working world, she wouldn't know how.  Ha ha!

13167 tn?1327194124
by RockRose, Nov 16, 2010
Michelle,  it's really hard to comment helpfully about this exchange because I really don't know what all has gone on in your family.  It seems there's a LOT of estrangement,  a lot of old and ongoing hurts.,  etc.

But I will say this.  Just taking this as a snapshot,  without considering the past,  she's pouring out her heart to you and you are kind of taking hits at her.  Which,  again,  I don't know the past.  But what you said about your grandfather and Uncle Ricky,  she reacted to and then you acted like you hadn't said anything offensive and were surprised at her reaction.

They may deserve your offense,  I don't know.  

A small aside,  my extended family on both sides has prickly people and I don't think it's a bad thing for kids to be exposed to it - you learn tolerance.  You learn that great grandpa can be a great big grouch and best to hang with the people who treat you nicely and take what he says with a grain of salt.

Best wishes with this.  This sounds SO painful, heading into what should be a joyous holiday season for you and your family.

203342 tn?1328737207
by April2, Nov 16, 2010
Wow, I'm so sorry Michele. I know I don't know the whole story of your family but it makes me sad when I see see hurt or offended feelings and seperation in families.
I've watched it in my own family. I've watched my brother and sister go years without talking to my mom or even to each other if they had a disagreement. I would always try to be the peacemaker and get them to talk again but that's exhausting and stressful too. It just makes me sad because even though they are talking again, there's not the closeness I would love to see in my family.
I feel like our lives are so short and precious that it's just not worth fighting and going years without talking. When my mom and sister went a whole year without talking once all I could think of is how terrible each would feel if something had happened to one of them during that year.
But what can you do? You can't change people or make them act or feel a certain way. All we can do is the best we can and pray for our loved ones, pray for peace. That's what I do, anyway.
I pray your family can find that peace too. God bless you.

287246 tn?1318570063
by Michele, Katy, TX, Nov 16, 2010
Thanks for the comments/support.  I appreciate it.  And anyone knows that once they put anything out here, you may hear things you don't necessarily agree with, but that's how it is.  So, that's okay.

Rock Rose, I def respect your opinion and specifically asked for it, so I appreciate your time in reading this and giving input.  But this has been my grandmother my entire life.  She is very attention seeking and really likes to feel sorry for herself.  I don't feel like I was offensive.  In fact, I tried really hard not to be, knowing full well who I was dealing with.  I tried to carefully express my concerns and get my husband out of it.  I don't think he should be used as a go between.  He shouldn't be made to feel uncomfortable.  I don't think there is anything wrong with setting boundaries between family.  My grandfather has been more than grumpy and my uncle has been addicted to drugs/pain killers most of his life.  I have seen him act terribly and talk about suicide, etc.  He has been violent.  In fact that is what  my grand mother was referring to with him being in jail.  You know why he was in jail?  Because he got violent with my grandmother.  Once in front of my then 6 year old son.  He was also doped up at that time, but I was there because his wife had just died.  She had a seizure in the bath tub.  She too had a drug problem.  I, of course, didn't know my uncle would be in this type of shape or I wouldn't have taken my son there.  There is way too much history to type here.  This is 35 years in the making and I just simply don't have the energy for it.  I guess I just wanted input because I know my family is not the only dysfunctional one out there.  Helps sometimes to know you are not alone.  I also don't think I was taking hits at my grandmother at all.  I was just basically pointing out the problems within our family and letting my grandmother know that I recognize them.  I recognize them and could easily fall into these same habits but want different for my kids.  Again, just trying to express my feelings.

Avatar universal
by teko, Nov 16, 2010
I too do not know all the incidents that happened in your family. But in reading these emails, it leaves me with a sad heart for you, your kids, your mom and your gramma and all concerned.

All families have drama and all families have a few manipulators, a few unsavory types and more than a few that like to be victims. Yours is no different. Gramma sounds like she is old and tired and not wanted anywhere by anyone. This is fairly normal to an extent I think as one grows older. It also sounds like you dont want certain people around your kids because you want to protect them and make sure they are not subjected to the things you were, which is also normal.

You put conditions on her visiting by saying give me a call first, let me know ahead of time, then you would invite her but tell her to not feel bad if she couldnt make it that you understand, which kinda to me sounded like you were saying "whatever" do what ya want I dont care.

Gramma is playing the victim role, you the mama protecting her and her family role, and Im not sure where your mom comes in to play in all this, but it sounds like plenty of issues with her from you and gramma as well.

Here is the bottom line imo. Family is family, we take the good with the bad and we suck it up because we are family. One day down the road gramma will pass on, probably mom too and all the other players in this. When its all said and done, what will you remember? Will it be Papa and how irritable he could be or the times he got candy and icecream and rocked you to sleep? Gram, will it be her victim role or the memories of good times together. More importantly, will your children know them and what will their memories be? I say bring down the barriers, live, laugh and be happy. And let them all know that you want no part of the drama so whatever one has going on with the other, leave your happy self out of it. Take what you want and ignore the rest of it.

This is just my take on what I read without any background for further knowledge, so I hope I did not upset you, and with my limited knowledge I could be way off! But I think unless someone in your family is a murderer, child molester, or just plain evil, everything else should be held sacred, forgiven and forgotten all in the name of family. Family is special.

287246 tn?1318570063
by Michele, Katy, TX, Nov 16, 2010
Thank you teko.  I appreciate it.  I was only telling my grandmother not to worry about it because she does work full time and I know it would be difficult for her to come.  I mean, she would be so tired after working all week and she lives clear across the city.  Houston is a very large city and on Fridays, the traffic starts by lunch and doesn't stop until pretty late.  So, meant what I said.  I didn't want her to get her feelings hurt by NOT inviting her.  I was trying to absolve her of any guilt she might have by being asked and then not coming.  If I didn't want my grandmother to come, I wouldn't have asked her.  I would just simply not have told her about it at all.  She would never have been the wiser is all I am saying.

Family is sacred and special, but sometimes, you just have to step back and have a surface relationship with your family.  Sometimes you have to for your own sanity.

Anyway, I appreciate all of your input.  I really do.  I know you can't possibly know 35 years worth of history by a couple of e-mails.  I guess I just feel like I am simply recognizing patterns and behaviors that are just not healthy.  So I don't want to enable that or continue the unhealthy cycle.  That is my planned approach.  But at least I got to vent!

13167 tn?1327194124
by RockRose, Nov 16, 2010
Hi Michelle.  I kind of dreaded coming back to this thread because I was afraid I'd been too harsh.  I think what was in my heart didn't really come across.  

We don't do drama in my immediate extended family,  either on my side or my husbands.  We just don't do it.    (My parents,  my siblings, and our kids and their spouses,  and the same extendedness on my husband's family,  about 15 members on each side).  

But I have seen generations of drama in extended peripheral family,  and the cycle is awful to watch.    There are some people who thrive on the drama and some who don't know how to extract themselves from it so they're helpless victims trying to defend themselves and their families.  That seems to be the category you fall into.  

Anyway,  best wishes with trying to move forward with this.  Your children will watch how you navigate through this and will learn - and it sounds like you're really doing everything you can to set a good example for them.

287246 tn?1318570063
by Michele, Katy, TX, Nov 16, 2010
Thanks Rock Rose.  I asked for your opinion and you gave it.  You took the time to read my super LONG journal, because I asked, and I appreciate that.  

And wow, you hit the nail on the head with everything you said in this last post...everything you said was dead on.  I can't even add anything to it, other than to say that when my kids are grown, I want your life...drama free!!!!

Thanks so much for your input and for coming back to my journal again.  

202436 tn?1326474333
by LosingMyMindInGA, Nov 17, 2010
I have not read everyone elses responses...but here's my take on this.  I'm basing my opinion on this situation by what I have read and what I have experienced in my own dysfunctional family.  

It sounds to me like your Mema may have some depression issues.  Just the way she is wording things and the guilt tripping.  It sounds a lot like family members of mine who have been clinically diagnosed with depression or other mental disorders.  Just what I get of your grandfather from what was said it sounds to me like he has similiar issues.  I'm willing to bet that these issues go far deeper back in their family blood lines than most people would recognize as these things can tend to run in families.  

With that said, it's really hard to deal with someone in that state of mind.  I have found in my family that it's far easier to just play the whole "in one ear and out the other" game.  I listen, keep my mouth shut (for the most part, but there are certain things I won't keep quiet about) and then just blow off my steam to my husband or a friend.  I had a great aunt who was a nurse in one of the wars.  She was completely off her rocker by the time I came along and she spun all kinds of crazy crap about my grandfather whom I loved more than anything and she was QUEEN of the guilt trip.  What your Mema wrote reminds me of her.  

If i were you, I would probably try to distance myself some, but not completely. Keep extending the olive branch as far as you are comfortable.  Send her email updates about the girls, invites to birthdays, etc.  But do so without expectations.  Try to keep personal feelings and history out of the equation.  Keep the door open for her to be part of yours and your girls lives,...but on YOUR terms.  Whether she understands or accepts your terms or not, you have to do what you feel is best for your kids.  By doing this you will know when all is said and done that you gave every opportunity and did not shut her out.  You put the ball in her court and it was hers to do with as she pleased.  

I do agree with RockRose in the aspect that some people just thrive on drama.  Either becuase they just like it or becuase it's all they have ever know.  You aren't going to be able to change that.  I do believe that your Mema is one of those who has such a low opinion of herself and her life that by making the statements she has she is desperately searching for someone to give her affirmation that she is NOT a major screw up and that people DO still love and care about her.  Her comments about "not belonging" etc are classic of someone with depression/low self worth.  Try to keep that in consideration when dealing with her.  That's not to say you should go over board with telling her she never did anything wrong etc.  But it would probably help her mentality a great deal if you could find things in your past (both distand and recent) that you felt were positive points between you and her or her and your children and make mention of those and how much they meant to you or something along those lines.

Anyhoo, that's my 2 cents...whether it's worth that or not I don't know but you got it anyway :)

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by ConnieG, Nov 17, 2010
geeze.  sounds like my mother in law.  I hate passive aggressiveness......
I think I would just let it go and let the peices lay where they fall.
I just had a .... fight? ... with the similar me saying my side and MIL being passive aggresive hateful too and I finally just said, look this is how I feel, I know how you feel, Let's drop it and move on.  She decided not to talk to me anymore unless she had to and that has worked out just fine for me.
I don't talk to my family much either, my grandparents and I never got along and I just talk to them when necessary.  I think that's just fine if that's what you decide.  You love her, she loves you, and that's all that is important :)
GOOD LUCK! I hope it all straightens out for you

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by KarenDiane, Nov 17, 2010
Well, I don't have much to add. I agree with what others have said. Your grandmother is trying to play the victim, trying to get a response from you and feeling very sorry for herself. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I've been estranged from most of my family for years. Sometimes it's just too painful to try and work it out.

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by Michele, Katy, TX, Nov 17, 2010

Yes, my Mema def has had depression/self esteem issues over the years.  I have too, but have just chosen to handle it differently.  Depression runs on both sides of my family actually.  It is exhausting constantly having to try to reassure someone.  I believe that has to come from within.  I do love my grandmother and she has lots of great qualities.  But she also loves attention and to feel sorry for herself.  She is the only person that will/can change her situation and even her mental state.  She really does thrive on others feeling sorry for her and doting on her.  I, myself, just want to be happy.  I don't want to be in an unhealthy situation.  Dysfunctional family scenarios can be just as detrimental as being with an abusive boyfriend or other abusive type situations.  I could have allowed myself to get sucked into the vortex with my grandmother and my mom.  And I was when I was a teenager and even younger.  By the time I became a young adult, I decided I didn't want any part of it.  I didn't have my own voice until then.  For that reason, a relationship with my mother and grand mother are basically non existent.  With my grandmother's age, I doubt she will change at this point.  My mom won't either because she believes she is close to perfect and problem free.  It is always someone else's fault.  Anyway, thanks so much for your input and for taking the amount of time it took to read through all of this.

ConnieG, thanks so much for your input as well.  It is really nice to know you are not alone.  Not that I wish this on anyone else, but you know what I mean.  Anyway, my MIL and I are not best friends either.  That side of the family has its issues as well.  It would be nice to have at least one side of the family be "normal" :)  At least my husband is in agreement there as well.  So I prefer they spend time with my kids at my house.  If my kids go to their house, my husband or myself have to be there.  I tried letting my kids spend the night over there and letting them just be grandparents to my kids (especially considering the relationship I have with my own family), but every time my kids would come home, there would be something happen or some incident that would make me uncomfortable.  And I finally just decided that I have more control over what happens and what is said at my own house.  I did give them a change though; 3 or 4 or maybe more chances really.  In the end, a person has to do what they feel is best for themselves and their family.  It doesn't mean you don't love the other parties, but sometimes being too involved is just plain ole unhealthy.  So I will continue my surface relationship with my family.  It works.

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by Michele, Katy, TX, Nov 17, 2010
Thank you KarenDiane.  I have been too.  Well, I have a very surface relationship with them.  We don't call each other to chat or share our lives or whatever.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone but it is nice to know you are not alone.  I may PM you sometime.....

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by mami1323, Nov 17, 2010
I'm going to PM you on this.  But I know a lot about families and people playing the victim role.  It happens all to much in my own family.  

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