I had a very strange experience today. I went to visit my grandmother, nothing special about that, it’s usually a not very interesting hour or two of talk about everything and nothing. Especially since my mother stopped talking to her parents and I got the feeling they actually don’t know how to approach me. Well, this afternoon was different and very different and it changed my life a lot, to be honest. I think, that I’m finally putting pieces of my life back together.
For some background here, several years ago, my grandparents decided to give their cottage to their son. They just told that to my mum and expected her to accept it without any problems. My mum didn’t accept it, she was hurt, because she felt it as another thing in a long line of neglect. She felt that she was robbed of her second home and that her brother was the preffered one, something she had felt her whole life. And my uncle had some problems of his own at the time…he still has. So they argued, very badly, and she cut her family out, pretty much completely. It was a time my heart, my soul and my life shattered into pieces so small I thought I would never be able to put them back together. I thought my family was loving and close, but suddenly it wasn’t so and my life changed, a lot. I no longer believed in happy families and I didn’t know what to do. I crashed the floor harder than I ever thought possible. My mum told me some things about her childhood and teenage years that explained a lot about her having difficulty expressing feelings for me and my sister and whole lot of stuff. I wanted to ask my grandparents for years, how they felt and feel. Don’t they mind that we aren’t a family anymore? But I was terrified and didn’t know how to start such a conversation. Today, I got the answer. It wasn’t easy and it was painful, but it opened new door for me.
I came to my grandmother and we talked as usual. My life, my future plans, my new tattoo and everything was as usual until my college fee came across and I mentioned I have a bit of reduction for health reasons and she asked what health reasons. So I decided not to pretend anymore and just told her about my problems, about my depression and anxiety. She told me some stuff my mother told me, that all people have problems and so on, but she was also more understanding. She said that probably nobody really understands if they don’t have the experience, which is more than my mum ever said. And then she started talking, a lot, about my mum and their problems. She gave me the point of view I needed so much. I won’t go in many details, because it was personal, but I understood, I felt, how hurt she was. She and my grandfather were trying to do the right thing as they saw it and my mum just cut them off. I feel bitter… I understand both of them, both their sides, I know they are both hurt and yet I cannot do anything. I cannot tell one or the other to talk to the other side. They are grown-ups…but it hurts to think that my grandmother might die and never feel that her daughter loves her. And I think she does, that’s why she’s always so mean… And I wonder, why life has to be so complicated… I wish to fix this, but I can’t, I can’t tell them to just talk to each other, when both feel they did nothing wrong.
I also told my grandmother, how I felt about it, that it hurt me how things fell apart. That we were happy family and suddenly we weren’t. That I was confused and that it still hurts. That I’m afraid of my own wedding, because I’m worried that they’ll argue there. That it hurts that I can’t invite all my family, because my mum would literally kill me, if I invited my uncle and aunt. Or she would refuse to go. She said so when she thought I’m thinking about it. Well, not the killing part, but she was pretty shocked… I’m the last one to defend my mum, because I know how difficult she can be. I know she has hard time admitting her mistakes and she remebers every single bad thing someone told her or done to her. However, I do get her, I get her point of view as much as I get my grandma. Her daughter just cut her off, she doesn’t call and doesn’t care, she’s acting like she’s not interested, and all for some piece of property. My mum sees it differently, but again, I don’t want to put myself in the middle of this.
Weird thing is, I talked about the real reasons I quitted my job last week and about the real things I want to do with my life. I was open about how her I about what I felt and I wasn’t judged… My grandmother listened to me and even acted like she understood! Did she really? I don’t know, but she was at least trying to be supportive, she listened to my fears about my future, my problems, I told her honestly why I have problems connecting with my sister and for the first in looooong time, someone from my family actually listened. Really listened. Perhaps not agreed and I didn’t agree with everything she said, but she did listen! And I realised one thing, not only is my mum very much like her mother, even though she don’t want to admit it, but I’m very much like my grandmother. And this day, maybe, was a beginning. The day we both might be able to put our lives back together. I feel so, not as the child I used to be, but as an adult woman. It hurts to let go of past illusions, but it feel lifting to get this new relationship. I decided today to try and give this a chance. Call my grandmother more often, talk to her when she’s back in town and just try. It’s worth the effort, if I can put my life back together. It won’t ever be the same. I will always feel hurt at my boyfriend’s family parties, where they are all happy and together, but I have chance. A chance to have someone in my family, who gets me or at least tries to. And who supports me openly, with all her heart. Because that’s what my grandmother told me, that she loves and that she will support me if I ever need anything.
I hope I shed some light into her life today and that we gave each other hope that at least the two of us together can have a realtionship. I still feel confused about my feelings and not sure what to think, but at least there’s hope. A hope I might be able to put myself and my life back together.