Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Beefin' With My Pops and Granny

First, a little backstory. My parents were never married. My mother had me, my father was not in my life. He married my stepmother (long divorced now) and I have 3 half-brothers and a half-sister. I have nothing but contempt and pity for my father for various reasons, but to sum it up I just think he is a waste of space.

His mother, my paternal grandmother has always been a Grade-A bitch to me. She never accepted me as "her" granddaughter because my parents were not married when I was born. Yes, of course that's my fault you bitter old hag. But I digress. I started visiting Detroit (where that part of the family lived) when I was 12 every summer to mainly spend time with my brothers and sister. During that time, my stepmother was in college. I remember having to go to class with her, and I thought nothing of it at the time because I was 12. Years later, I find out that the reason I had to go to college with her is because my grandmother refused to babysit me.

Over the years, she has gotten more cordial with me, sending me money every now and then out of the blue, telling me I have grown into a wonderful young woman, giving me fake-ass hugs when I see her, etc. But I resent her heavily for treating me differently than my brothers and sister, and I resent my father heavily for allowing this bullshit to go on (and a bunch of other things). My brothers and sister have a love/hate relationship with her for other reasons and a hate/hate relationship with our father, just like their big sis.

Anyhoo, so I have no idea when the last time is that I actually spoke to my father because he sends text messages to communicate with his offspring. He sent me a text this morning saying "On this date in 1927, your Grandmother was born! Don't forget to send well wishes..."

Normally I brush off his text messages. I am past the point of being angry that I grew up fatherless. I am past the point of trying to make things right between us. I have no desire to. I just tolerate him when I have to. But this text is getting under my skin today. My first knee-jerk reaction was to respond that when she can remember to contact me on my birthday then I will remember to contact her on her birthday (that was the nice version). My next knee-jerk reaction was the ever-poignant "Fuck both of ya'll" while throwin' up gang signs.

Now I'm pondering if I should e-mail Grandma Dearest and let her know how I feel (respectfully, of course). She e-mails stuff all day (chain letters, Jesus loves you shit, Barack Obama shit, etc.) so I'd be speaking in her language. After all she is 82, and pretty damn healthy and fit for an 82-year old but nevertheless you never know how long someone has. And I have a lot of anger pent up inside at her. So maybe today's the day that I let it out.

12 jewels of thought:

Jamaican Bella Donna said...

I completely get where you are coming from Gem. My parents were never married and for years I had a massive amount of resentment and angst built up inside me towards both of them (I was actually raised by my maternal grandparents). But the way I see it is, live and let live, don't allow them to continue to have this control over you, and I know you're thinking "control, what control? I just don't like the ass clowns!!" But really it is giving them a huge amount of control to allow them to affect your day by receiving a simple text message or whatever. Like Nelson Mandela said "harboring resentment is like drinking poison and then waiting for your enemy to die".... just my humble opinion....

Best,
Tams

Desiree said...

My 2 cents: As long as you make it all about you, i.e. 'It really hurt when I was treated differently than my brothers and sister without knowing why and I can't get past that and I can't forgive that, therefore I can no longer be in your life, etc.' Without name-calling and finger-pointing, she has no leg to stand on.
Just think about what you really what and always remember you can't ever make them hurt like they hurt you so don't try - you'll only hurt yourself worse. No matter how much they deserve it...
You inspire me! I may ask your advice on a similar situation...

karrie b. said...

its tricky with family, but thats just the thing, because they're family doesnt make it ok to treat you like an animal. thats why i fuggs wit family scarcely. bitches might not even see me on christmas.

but yea, if an email helps..send it. least there's no voice on voice contact. i hate picking up the phone for bitches i dont like.

-kb

ChocolateOrchid said...

Hi Gem,
I agree w/Jamaican B.D. and Desiree. Don't let their bad choices affect you like that. I think it will be therapeutic and cleansing for you to email her (and yes, respectfully) to let her know how all this has made you feel. One thing I do know is that holding onto anger does nothing positive for you. Girl, free yourself!
Much Love..

Alicia/InstantVintage said...

You know what, you should let it out. Do it however you want it - gully, respectfully, whatever.

You can spend a lot of time regretting not telling someone how you really feel about them. Lawd knows I have. She might not even know about the effect she and your father had on you growing up.

Gem said...

Jamaican Bella Donna: First, I need you to get out for 'ass clowns'. But seriously, thank you. You are right, I am giving them control. That is a wonderful Mandela quote; I haven't heard that one. I love it! Girl, your name is Tam-something? So is mine!

Desiree: You are sooo right; I can never hurt them the way they hurt me. Great words. I will make it about me. I will still have to see her every few years or so but it will be ok. Oh, and ask away on your situation.

KB: I love that quote: Friends are life's way of apologizing for family. I haven't talked to her on the phone since I was like, 13. I did see her in August though.

CO: I know, I need to let this out.

Alicia: LOL @ gully. You're right, her ignant ass may not even know the affect she has had.

Little Miss Knobody said...

I agree with the majority. I think you should let her know exactly how you feel and let pops have it too while you're at it. The only thing I would suggest is to think in depth about what exactly it is that you want to say first. Be your eloquent self, but at the same time don't hold back. Good luck! :)

marlo said...

So many of us suffer from child abandonment issues, and I am certainly a member. My advice:

1. Purchase: 'Discover Inner Peace' by Mike George (like yesterday! you'll love it!!)

2. Definitely express yourself to those you feel you're suffering from, like right away (life's too short!), but in a tactful not so malicious fashion. You need to release, and they need to grow! and you'll grow too.

3. Sign up for boxing (LOL), because you'll need to woop some a** after it's all over with to get it all out! but this is safer :-)

Chanel said...

Wow, hello, are we twins or something?!

My grandmother was such a horrible old hag to me. My father was pretty absent. Same story. I don't have the guts to tell either of them off (yet). Please let me live through you and feel the pleasure of a "fuck both of ya'll" accompanied with gang signs. my grandmother still has several years to live, so im waiting. 82 is pushing it....
<3

Vesper de Vil said...

I say definitely write to her, but if she freaks, remember that your real family is made of those you choose to bring close to your heart. Sometimes blood relations are intolerable and unacceptable and unwilling to love you for who you are.

My father was not a good father. My family is broken. I tried for many years to be the bridge, the fixer, the maintainer, but it didn't help. As much as I'd like to be able to, I can't fix everything. So...fix what you can, leave what you can't, and walk away dancing.

Gem said...

Guys, I still haven't written her. I get tense just thinking about it. I don't know what to do or when to do it. I'm tempted to just walk away dancing as Vesper said, and just leave it alone. But I don't want her to think what she did was justified because I never challenged it...I don't know.

Get Togetha said...

That was great!

It's important to release truth and not hold on to anger. As for the texting. I would either get a new number or cut out texting as a part of your plan.

As for your father...whew...that's a toughie. Forgiveness is a must. And while some people believe that forgiveness is letting others off the hook; its actually all about creating a state of being where you have no room to swallow the disappointing actions of others.

I suggest writing a letter of truth to both perps: father and grandmother. And have that sit with them. So many times we swallow anger like poison expecting the other person to die and half the time they're walking around oblivious...

I'm no licensed therapist, psychologist, or best selling author but I hope this helps more than harms. Better yet...you didn't ask for my Op-Ed (lol) but I've been there with my own family...

Best.

GT

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