Okay, I had posted this on one of my groups, and wanted to make sure I saved it, as there are some interesting observations here that I will probably want to reflect on further at a future date:
My grandmother played the helpless little girl too. She didn't want
to ever learn how to drive, and didn't until her fifies and it was a
very short stint at that. But trust me, my grandmother could do
anything she wanted to LOL. She was a surprising woman in a lot of
ways, and she always seemed to shock me with something when I was
least expecting it. I have a great respect for her because of that
though, and I do believe I took the strongest parts of her with me.
Although she wasn't a feminist, somehow I credit her with instilling
that in me somehow LOL. Um, now to figure out, is that good?
From my father, yes, I got that message too "you are going to do
this because I am your FAAAATTTTTHHHHEEEERRRRR". Also when he got
divorced and I was trying to go to college, suddenly I needed to be
taking the place of my mother. Not that I did, but I got from both
of my parents that suddenly my focus was supposed to be all about
them. I really felt like I had escaped the constant being dragged
into the marriage and divorce at that point, only to be told "uh,
no, we are very needy of you right now". "We need you to play our
post divorce games now".
My dad was the worst and the weakest by far. Then came the step,
and she was the next in line to rule. It was a horrible time in my
I realized when my grandmother passed away, that I had probably been
keeping it together for her. It was always in my forethought how
disappointed she would be if I just stopped talking to my father.
She was so distressed during the brief period that I stopped talking
to my step before this last permanent estrangement.
I think subconsciously when she died, I thought well grandma can't
be disappointed by me on earth right now, I don't need to worry
about that anymore. Plus, even if she didn't agree with me, she
would still love me, it was just easier when she wasn't physically
here, and I didn't need to explain the sad facts to her. I really
didn't want to burden her with it, although I suspected that she
felt the same way I did about the step. Perhaps even more so. My
step always held it against my dad that he took so good care of his
mother in her old age. I mean, that was attention away from her (my
step). God help us all.
I remember catching a look cross my steps face when she needed to be
the one to escort my grandmother to the bathroom. I always wondered
why my dad didn't ask me, I would have been glad to. I was always
secretly afraid that my step if left alone with my grandmother,
might intentionally hurt her. When I saw that look pass her face, I
wanted to jump up and say no!!! I couldn't figure out how to
without creating an obvious scene. In her old age, my grandmother
couldn't always hold a spoon steady and so she would get some crumbs
on the precious floor. My step would roll her eyes in full view of
everyone as she was sure to bend down with the dustpan immediately
and make a specticul of it.
The last Christmas before she died, and my grandmother was in the
nursing home, my step wouldn't let my grandmother come for the
annual dinner, because she didn't want her to be upset when she had
to return. So rather than let an old lady enjoy her last Christmas
with her family, and perhaps deal with a couple of tears at the end
of the night (or heaven forbid maybe let her sleep over), she denied
the rest of the family the pleasure of my grandmother's company.
I guess there was a new matriach in the family by then, and she was