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Under attack by DD for Scolding G/Sons

Started by Ruth, March 02, 2012, 09:26:52 am

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Hi Ladies, I wrote this post in another thread, but it is continuing to get more complicated so I am reprinting it here (help Pen or Pooh, is this OK?) because I need some more feedback.  here is my original post about the issue:

Hello, WW.   I've missed you all so much!  I have been unable to be here for a while due to being worked too death, but I am in need of some wise input and didn't know how to start a topic.  ... I'm very troubled about an incident that happened with my g/c and I don't know if I have been wrong about the way I responded.

I am not clear any more as to what is the role of a grandparent.  When I grew up, grandparents were important.  Grandmother was respected and even revered, she did not buy our affection with lavish gifts and money.  My grandmothers were strong and dependable and kind and wise.  We went to their house, they weren't  expected to drive to ours.  When we visited, we entertained ourselves and left feeling like it was so great to go to Grandma's.  We knew if we ever back talked Grandma (which we never did) that we'd sure get it when we got home.  I loved my grandmothers and they were such a special part of my life.  I deeply respected them, and learned so many of my values from my grandmothers.  I wanted to be a wonderful Grandma, I have always thought that I was, and it has been the one thing in my life I have felt I did well.  I've worked very hard at it and given a lot.  But now I'm not sure at all.

The incident seems silly to write about.  It isn't an isolated incident.  Its actually happened a couple of other times, that I make special arrangements with the g/sons in advance to drive over and take them for an outing, and when I get to their house I wait and wait outside, and they never come out of the house.  This is what happened again.  I later found out they were still sleeping.  It was 10:00 a.m.  My g/s are 14 and 18, they aren't little kids.  I have always just given hugs and said not to worry, we'll do it again another time.  This time I told them that I was ashamed of them, and that they needed to learn good manners.  I told them that if my Grandmother and planned her day (which I did) to take me someplace special, that I would have been watching at the door for her!

No one is speaking to me now, DD doesn't take my calls and I'm sure she's mad about my saying this to the boys.  Maybe I've overstepped a boundary. Maybe I was wrong to say anything to the g/sons, I don't know.  I just don't have any history to go on to figure this out, as it would never have happened with my grandmothers growing up.  I  believe my issue is really more with DD for not teaching responsibility and just plain good manners to the boys.   I'm not sure if I should apologize to her for interfering with her authority.  Now I also don't even know if I should address it in the future with her (when she finally decides to talk to me again).

Reading over this, it sounds really stupid, still I'm going to post it because I'm just so distressed over it that I need some feedback and I need to get back on track.  Things just seem fundamentally wrong to me, that's all. 

UPDATE:  G/sons apologized me to on their own, very sincerely and sweetly.  We are fine now, but DD is continuing to heat up.  Two nights ago, she telephoned me, livid, screaming accusations at me because I had not picked up the boys at school that day.  I attempted to explain to her that I had not picked up the boys because the previous day I had made two attempts to phone her, and she didn't take my calls, and I had waited for a call from her (watching my answering machine) the entire day on the pick up day, finally concluding that as angry as she was at me, the last thing in the world she would want from me was a 'favor' in the form of picking up the boys.  I can assure all of you, I was confident that she did not want me to go to the school and get the boys, and if I had I was sure she would have been there.

DD said she didn't return my calls because she was too mad about the way I had talked to y/gs and she didn't want to get into a heated discussion with me.  She said I was very wrong to talk to y/gs that way, and he was very upset.  She proceeded to say I thought I was perfect, and of course never did anything wrong.  This was all said in the form of shouting and hissing.  I said, it is best we stop this conversation because it is not being productive, and I said goodbye and hung up.

Today an email from her, still very angry and curt.  She said she relied on me to pick up the boys on my day and did not regard it as a 'favor', the same as she expected her ex/dh on his day to pick up the boys,  and that I had let her down in not picking them up.  I did tell her that the g/sons were not my responsibility, I did not say this in a mean or vindictive way, I said that whatever I do for and with them, is done out of love, not out of responsibility, the same as my a/c.  They aren't my responsibility.  Dd was almost speechless with rage when I said this, and continued to lash out at me about how I had let her down and about how out of line I was for the way I 'treated' the g/sons. 

Ladies, this is the same dd that only a few short months ago I was going to 100% finance a business for her to buy.  I feel I have had one too many temper tantrums at this point.  I have just finished shutting down my retail store, and I have worked myself almost to the grave in doing this almost entirely by myself.  I can't possibly relate to you what the work load has been, and what a toll mentally and physically it has taken on me.  DD mentions this not at all.  It is all about her.

The odd thing is the g/sons couldn't have been more loving and sweet.  Yesterday I took them ice cream and they both came out and gave me big hugs.  I don't feel they even remember the incident, and they treat me the same as always.  I think its more of DD drama, and lashing out at me.  Honestly, I can't imagine a 35 year old talking to her dm this way, it is so inconceivable to think of my EVER addressing my mother in this tone of voice, for any infraction or any insult I believed she had committed against me.  I am disgusted by this behavior, and I frankly don't know where to go from here. 


My take: DD just isn't going to fit the pattern of how you were with your mother. Best to let go of that and have her be how she is. You set some boundaries regarding your GSs and they responded in a respectful way. She did not. She in turn, seemed to set you regarding picking them up. Again, boundaries are needed regarding communication. You have to work withwhat you've got and often logic and fairness have nothing to do with it.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I agree with Luise, you can't try and fit this square peg into the round hole of your expectations.  I'm not saying she's right, but that you should try and re-frame it in your mind.  It's not about "I would NEVER have spoken to my Mother that way!", it's about "I do not allow myself to be spoken to that way."

I also don't think you should expect the GP/GC relationship to reflect how yours was with your GP's.  It's just not like that anymore.  My IL's suffer from this, they believe that WE should always go visit THEM, and as a result, they don't see us very often at all.

I really liked the way you responded to your DD on the phone, firm, but not mean.  Keep up the good work, that was really good boundary drawing (you're on your way to becoming an artist!).

If you had a standing commitment to pick up the boys on a certain day, you maybe should have done that.  But if it was a temporary, as needed basis, and she was too stubborn to call you or e-mail you or anything, well that's her own fault.

It's true that you teach people how to treat you and it sounds like your DD needs a refresher course.

Now, are you not welcome in their house?  Why is it that you sit in your car and wait for the boys to come out?


Quote from: luise.volta on March 02, 2012, 10:19:08 am
She in turn, seemed to set you regarding picking them up.

Hi Luise!  Thanks, but I don't understand what you mean by the above sentence?? 

Thanks and Ouch for reminding me to look forward instead of backward, I know I would be furious if my mother used this card on me!  I want to be fair with DD and not be provoking if I can help it.  I am just still very confused about boundaries with a/c, and is it ...well right, wish there were a better word...that we convince ourselves that things have changed and relationships are casual nowadays, the old element of respect for elders gone out the window?  I also don't know how to 'work' with anything but logic and fairness.  I don't know how to work with hysterics, and mood swings, and all this panorama of drama that plays itself out in my family.  Maybe working with it is distancing yourself.   I'm just not sure, I may try too hard to reason with, etc. 


Typo - I meant "set you up." In being too stubborn to return your call is seemed to me she caused the problem about picking them at school...if it wasn't prearranged.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Hi Scoop!  I do lots and lots of pick ups for the boys, always have over the years.  When I do this they are always home alone, as it helps DD out when she is working.  So I just pull up in front of the house and toot the horn, the expectation is that they are at least nearby and hear the horn, giving me a signal that they're on their way.  And oh yes I am perfectly welcome in the home, and any time Dd is there I go in.  The 'commitment to pick up at school' is a gray area, as dd always calls me either on the day of the pick up, or maybe a day before to just remind me that all is ok in that area, I work a lot also and we just touch base to be sure nothing has come up.  This is why I was confused as to what to do. 

...maybe I was wrong about all this, maybe I should have gone to the door and rung the doorbell, getting them out of bed.  I don't want to face it but maybe I was (and am) thinking my own interests are worth too much.  Maybe I need to rethink about whether or not I'm a self centered egotistical hypocrite regarding this!


Thanks Luise, yes you are right.  There is no doubt in my mind that the not phoning me was a passive aggressive act, not the act of courtesy to keep from getting into an argument with me that she attested it was.  She was very happy to get into an argument when she was ready later in the day. 

Nevertheless, I'm not conflicted and I'm not sure any more I did the right thing.  I want to make it right if I was wrong.

lancaster lady

If you think about it Ruth , this isn't just about you raging at the boys is it ?
She is obviously going through some personal drama and you are the whipping post .
She knows you will always come back , no matter what she throws at you .
I would ask her what her problem is , and you are willing to listen if she can answer in
a respectful way .
No matter how old our AC are , they should be respectful .
If you refuse to accept abuse , she will have to stop hurling it .


Thank you LL.  DD is very highly strung, she has excellent qualities but is very hot tempered when crossed.  I know this and it doesn't erupt very often.  But I can see now that I was wrong and immature not to go to the door and ring the bell and get the boys up.  I'm ashamed of myself and I have written an apology, this doesn't excuse their behavior, but I'm responsible for my own behavior.  She has been on a really radical diet the past few weeks and has lost a massive amount of weight, it is using hcg.  I have just found this out a couple days ago and I wonder if this has a part  in it.

lancaster lady

Well I would have done the same as you ....if I thought they were up and ready and waiting for you ,
all you had to do was toot your horn , and they should have come running out to meet you .
I really cant see what you had to apologise for , you are giving up your time for them ,
the least they could do was be ready .

And YES starvation , would make be grouchy !
Send her some takeaway food to cheer her up , and stand well back ....lol


Ruth - if she didn't confirm the pick-up, like she usually does, then she was wrong to NOT call you and then be mad at you for not reading her mind.

I didn't understand, because it sounds like a lot of your interactions with your GS's are happening outside of the house.

As for the diet, if it wasn't sabotage, I would recommend buying her a BIG chocolate bar and pushing it towards her with a LONG stick!  Seriously though, HCG is a pregnancy hormone, so you can imagine the mood swings.

You don't have to accept her abuse.  It's not a case of "respecting your elders" anymore, it's a case of respecting everyone.  Repeat to yourself "I will not be spoken to in this way."


Ruth, IMO if your DD is treating you this way, chances are her emotions are all over the place with her DSs as well, so they probably are thrilled to see you as the calm in the storm. If she's on an extreme diet her hormones are probably out of whack as Scoop suggested; not that that's an excuse to be mean to you, but just sayin.'

I'm constantly baffled by Ps that treat GPs badly and continue to take advantage. I would have loved to have had GPs around when my kids were growing up! We treated them like gold on the rare occasions they came around or invited my kids somewhere. GPs were to be cherished, IMO. It's not going to be like that for me, I'm afraid.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I agree with the others, Ruth.  There is no need to be spoken to that way.

Pen, not only am I baffled by the same thing, I'm just astounded at how so many people can treat others so poorly then demand favors.  Mind boggling to say the least.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


For some reason, I am still very disturbed about this incident.  It is certainly not the WORST confrontation I've had with dc, but it seems to have struck something at my core which I'm having trouble getting past.  I sent a letter of apology to dd a couple days ago, saying I regretted not getting out of the car like an adult, and ringing the doorbell and speaking to g/s at that time rather than just driving off like a mad adolescent.  I took the responsibility, no excuses,  for starting the whole incident with my hothead behavior (but if g/s had been up out of bed and on the lookout for me, of course none of it would have happened). 

In reply, dd said that 'she and the boys'  (the boys never were mad at me, this was about dd and her opinion that I had been abusive in my language to g/s)...'were not mad at me, and that we all made mistakes and need to just forget it now and move on'. .....OK, I guess I should not have it stuck in my craw any more, but I do.  I think when I talk about respect, I'm talking about respect for 'the office' or the rank, etc., as a g/m or a dm or a df or any one else in authority.  It isn't an egotistical thing.  I resent being reamed out the way I was by dd, rather than a loving knock up side of head for g/sons to go apologize to grandma and get on with life. 

I remember the recent incident which I posted about, when her df (my ex dh)  really did 'go off' on the boys during a pre-arranged visit in which he was taking them out alone for an outing, and resulted in his having a temper tantrum and abruptly packing his bags and leaving them unsupervised, a very serious offence in my opinion, and not unlike him  However, DD did not make any counter attack on him.  Later dd made jokes about him putting up his 'guilt money' when he sent a card to the boys with a gift inside (his way of apologizing).  I was uneasy about this also, I felt she should have contacted df immediately and asked what her sons had done which had upset him so much.  This just seems like good, decent parenting to me, but everything is mixed up and I'm exhausted by sorting through issues and crap.   


I would be mad at myself for apologizing, then at my DD for accepting it.

Unless you did a smoke show in their driveway or donuts on the front lawn, I still don't see what you did wrong.

When my kids were young, my biggest peeve was having them call me from an after school practice and ask for a ride home. I'd go and wait in the parking lot................they were never ready! After eighty or ninety times giving them the lecture (x6 kids=about 500 times...) I thought I had got it through their block heads that I would be there in 5 minutes and if you're asking me for a ride, the least you can do is be ready. "You call, I come in 5 minutes, you be waiting, I stop the car, you get in, we go home."

This one time my daughter called me for a ride, I went, waited in the parking lot 5 or 10 minutes and still no daughter. I was positively boiling mad. I got out of the car, went into the gym, where she was shooting baskets.I opened the door, she turned around, saw my face and screamed, throwing the ball straight up in the air. I turned on my heel and marched out. She came out to the car with her tail between her legs, got in the car and we rode home in silence. She never made me wait after that. We laugh about it now.

Ruth, this sounds like it could blow over, and maybe it's because you apologized, I don't know, but that sticks in my craw too.