Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Friday night my cousin went to visit my sister and her son.. He brought them dinner. Sounds like a nice story so far, right?
Well it doesn't end up so nice.. OK let me start from the beginning..

Other than seeing each other at my grandfather's wake a couple of weeks ago my cousin and sister had not seen each in over 10 years (probably closer to 12 years at our mutual grandfathers funeral). Now some of you know, and some do not.. that my sister is a single mom of a 2 year old son and also a recovering substance abuser and alcoholic. She is not trusted by most of the family and has done most of the things that I'm sure all addicts have done... She began her trip down this road when she was very young... maybe around 10-12 years old.
Now my aunt has always tried to keep her sons away from my sister for fear they would follow her bad choices. Partly because of this, my sister and I never truly got to know our cousins. Though when we were young our (mutual) grandfather used to pick us all up for trips to the beach or park just to try to get us together.. My sister and youngest cousin (the one mentioned above) were always social butterflies and they clicked well and went off to play together.. while us 2 older ones were quiet and mostly kept to ourselves.

Fast forward to more recent times..
At my grandfathers wake a couple of weeks ago my cousin showed up with my grandmother and aunt. Before even finishing his "hello" to me he was already asking where he could find my sister.. I took him to where she was and they hugged and behind his back my sister was asking me who he was LOL.. That part is to prove that I do in fact know there has not been contact between them in all this time.. There was no doubt that she had no clue who he was lol.

While standing there I heard him ask for her phone number and say they should get together sometime soon and hang out. And when he said goodbye to us, he again said to her that he would call her to hang out soon. I was a bit put off since I only got a "goodbye cuz.. nice to see you." However that is not the point to this story lol.

And now on to Saturday afternoon..
My sister called my grandmother to tell her that our cousin went to see her and brought her dinner.. She was calling her because she was so excited and my grandmother had recently said to her that she was always happy to hear when family gets together, so she thought my grandmother would be excited and happy to hear it as well. My grandmother was not. She started to grill my sister about what my cousin wanted. what he went for. what he said. did he want to buy anything from her. did he do anything while he was there.
She grilled her for awhile.. my sister fell into the conversation without getting too upset, but was a bit put off that my grandmother reacted to her news like that.

My sister called me right after she talked to her and told me the entire conversation and all about my cousins visit. I dreaded calling my grandmother because I knew she was going to be in a mood about it all.. and not a good one! But being the good granddaughter that I am lol, I called her like I do every single day. And then I got a bit of grilling of my own. She was in a real nasty mood about it all and saying that my cousin went there for one reason only and that was to get drugs. When I tried to change the subject she yelled at me.. When I tried to tell her that we don't know what went on since we were not there she yelled at me again.. This time she hurt my feelings pretty bad.. Told me I should use my brains for once in my life and open my eyes.. That I should know my cousin went there to get drugs. This was totally ridiculous to me. That she would even be this upset about something that she had no way of even knowing.. And then to take it out on me?

Well I hung up with her when another call came in, telling her I'd call her back.. My main reason for that was because I wanted to call my aunt to tell her my grandmother was upset and that she should call and check on her to calm her down. Because obviously talking to me was not helping the situation any.

After talking to my aunt I called my sister back to tell her that my grandmother was upset and that maybe she shouldnt mention any future visits she may get from our cousin.. Well my sister being the hot head that she is got mad and had a bit of hissy fit. She hung up on me to call my grandmother which I did NOT want her to do, since it would only upset her more. SO I continued to call my sister back till she answered.. Which of course prompted a fight between us too LOL
But I did get my point across and told her it was not a good idea to call right now when all of us were upset since it would be sure to blow up even worse. She was mad though.. saying she was her grandmother too, and that she had every right to call her. And that she just wanted to tell her that if she had something to say about her she should say it to her. I tried to explain to my sister that those were fighting words.. But nothing I ever say to her means a darn thing anyway. But at least I did get her to not call... That day anyway..

BUT on Monday my sister decided she would call her to "have a calm talk about what happened." But with my sister there are no calm talks.

Now I of course do not know exactly what was said between the 2 of them since I was not on the phone with them or in either of their houses.. But I did listen to both of their sides.

I heard my grandmothers side first when I got a phone call from her saying "Do you wish I was dead too?" I had no idea what she was talking about! But she told me that my sister said she wished she was dead. My grandmother said she told my sister that she has written her off and that she never wanted to talk to her ever again. Now my grandmother said she said those words after my sister said what she said. My sister told me more of a story.

My sister said that at the start of their conversation my grandmother still insisted that my cousin went there to do drugs.. My sister told her that she was hurting her feelings. My grandmother told her that she didn't care that she hurt her feelings and that my sister was hurting her feelings as well since she "lured my cousin to drugs".
And this was when the argument escalated enough that my grandmother said she has written my sister off and that is what pushed my sister to say she wished she was dead.. (not a nice choice of words, but also not that uncommon to my sister's temper).

I believe that my sister is telling the truth... Now let me tell you why.

Yesterday I called my grandmother like I always do.. I didn't mention anything about my sister or their fight at all because I didn't want her to be upset by it anymore than she already was. We had a nice typical conversation about what we made for dinner/lunch, what she saw on TV.. just the usual chit-chat. Until she asked me if I finished the laundry (she knew that my sister gave me a ton of laundry to do) I wasn't thinking..she caught me off guard. I said my sister's name.. Saying I hadn't even started the laundry because I wasn't feeling so great.

This started a conversation about the whole situation. Again my grandmother gets on her assumptions that my cousin went there for drugs. I tried to get her to see another side. I told her the story about the wake and how my sister didnt know who my cousin was.. I told her the story about how when we were kids my sister and cousin got along great. She kept trying to shoot my words down.. Saying that they were kids then and it doesn't matter. Of course it mattered.. none of us forget that they got along then.. So it only stands to reason that they would want to connect now as adults?
I pointed out that we really don't have the right to say anything about them visiting each other.. They are adults, they will do what they want and it's no one else's business. He's 27 and she's 29 years old.. None of us are kids. She told me that she has every right and that it IS her business and that my cousin needs to know the situation. I told her he does know the situation and always has.. No one in my family has hidden the fact that my sister was a drug user or that she is an unwed mother.. none of it is a secret.

The more I said things that disproved her theory the more she got upset and mad at me... She didnt like that I was showing her things that she didn't know. But that was my point. I wanted her to see that there is a whole picture here that she isn't even looking at. SO every time I told her something she didn't know she would tell me to stop talking and she didn't want to hear it anymore.
I told her telling me to shut up wasn't going to change that fact that she is basing her entire arugument on assumptions. Do you know what she got out of that sentence? "I didn't tell you to shut up!" So I responded with "Telling me to stop talking or saying you dont want to hear what I have to say is the same as telling me to shut up." She picked at this conversation like a 2 year old.. Said again that she didn't tell me to shut up. So I responded with one word.. "Semantics" And her response to that was "You're the one giving me semantics."
Now I'm in the 2 year old frame of mine with her and bounced right back saying that obvsioulsy she had no idea what the word even meant since saying that back to me made no sense.

Her response back to me was words of pure hate! And the reason for this is because for the last 6 months dealing with my grandfather, my grandmother knew all the hard time and horrible things my grandfather said to me and she KNOWS which of those things hurt me the most. So the words she chose to say to me was: "You think you're so smart, don't you?? You're such a know it all!"

I told her that she can not get this upset and start fights with everyone in the family when she doesn't know the truth.. That she can't base her argument on assumptions, because assumptions are not facts, and that none of us really know what they talked about or what they did when he visited her.
Her answer to that was "These are my facts, I know what he went there for."
This made me see a shade of red! I could not get her to see my point no matter how I worded it.. So I again said that her "facts" are only assumptions... Facts are based on truths, things that we KNOW really happened and assumptions are only her guess. She didn't like this much and now I'm back to being a "smart ass, know it all".

She continued to yell at me saying that I can not change her mind.. I told her I wasn't trying to change her mind..I was trying to get her to see that she wasn't looking at the whole picture and that I was trying to give her a few more pieces of the puzzle by telling her what I DID know... About when we were kids and what happened at my grandfather's wake 2 weeks ago.

I told her that she needs to start thinking a little more about this because she was causing too much tention and that it is going to interfer with the relationships of the family and that if there is this much tension we won't be able to go out shopping or to lunch with my mom anymore, which I know she looks forward to.
She told me she didn't care! She then went on to say that she didn't care if I hated her, she didnt care if my mom hated her, or if my father hates her.. She didn't care!
This horrified me and I started to cry.. I repeated her words.. "You don't care if I hate you? You don't care if your granddaughter hates you?" She said "No, I'm perfectly happy being alone"
I told her she was hurting my feelings.. Again she told me SHE DIDN'T CARE!! Im in full fledge tears by this point. How can she be so cruel to me after she knew what I just went through with my grandfather for 6 months before he died?

By this point I really didn't have much argument left in me.. I kept pointing out that my sister and cousin were adults and that she is making a big deal of something that she shouldn't be and that things are never going to be the same now because of this.

She continued to say she didn't care if I hated her and didn't care if I never call her again.. But left that choice up to me. I was mad enough by the end of this conversation that I reverted back to teenage words:

"Maybe I should just be dead.. no one wants to listen to me.. I seem to be a know it all, that doesn't really know anything at all. You don't seem to care if i'm dead or alive anyway since you don't "care" if I hate you or call you.. So maybe that's a better option. Have a nice life, goodbye" and I hung up.

Yeah that was a 33 year old having a teenage meltdown. I said that because I wanted her to feel guilty for how she treated me. Will she feel guilty? Probably not, because as she pointed out many times during that conversation she doesn't care.

And that is probably only half of all of the conversation since my brain is on overload and my hands are aching from all this typing (and probably your eyes hurt for any of you who actually made it to the end of this!) But I am done for now.

Just know that this upsets me greatly.. that of 4 grandparents I now only have 1 living and it doesn't look to me like there is going to be much conversation between us any time soon. So apparently I have made 2 of my 4 grandparents hate me just by trying to help. Nice huh?


1 comment:

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Hi Amy! Thank you for letting Robyn read this to me, I followed the link from your Facebook to find the blog.

This whole series of events sounds so surreal. It is so foreign to me to see family, especially a grandmother, treating her granddaughter this way. I think you held your ground well, and it's understandable that you responded emotionally to her angry, hurtful, irrational behavior.

I really hope that all of you can reconcile with her.

P.s. You write very well. :-)