I can't find it in me to like my nan. Watch

Dippy Dip
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Please read the whole post before you comment.You need to hear the full story.

Two years ago, my immediate family and I had little direct contact with my nan. She wasn't involved in my life, and the times we have spent together had only shown me how annoying she is. The entire family have stories to tell of her, to put it nicely, unusual way around people. I was happy with how it was though, because at least she left me alone save once every two or three years.

Okay, so a year and a half ago, something horrible happened. I don't really want to get into details, but my nan was put into the hospital, her schizophrenic husband was sectioned, and she came to live with us what was at first a few weeks, but what evolved into three months. I didn't care about that, because she'd been through a horrible experience and she probably needed to be around family who weren't explicitly mean to her (ruling my aunt and uncle out). But the first thing she does when she gets here is make a, not going to lie, pretty dark joke about her experience and her husband. She showed literally no trauma from the experience and, as someone put it, if you ignored the scarring and bruising you could argue nothing happened. But you know, she was spending time with us, maybe I could learn more about her. But all she ever wanted, and still wants, to talk about is insurance, mortgages, the cost of booking a holiday, stuff like that. And when she's not talking about that, she'll be starting discussions / arguments on issues she literally doesn't understand, or will be spewing out some weird, out of context rhetoric. On every occasion someone has had to tell her she's not talking about anything related to what everyone else is talking about. She's also critical of me, calling me an alcoholic (which is especially funny, since she drinks a full bottle of wine every night and gets smashed from it), a druggie, or criticising my choice of universities (Sheffield apparently isn't a redbrick, and no amount of discussion will change her mind on that). It's not only me she criticises or upsets. On more occasions I can count, she's upset my mum or my sister - I'm pretty sure she's made them cry as well.

Before I go on, I want to clear something up. My nan is perfectly healthy, both physically and mentally, apart from her being mildly deaf. Nothing about her is caused by something out of her control, so don't assume I'm ignorant to her mental state, because I'm not.

After the three months of her staying with us - which varied between her being around with us and her going on (a great deal of) holidays abroad, she left us in peace. But ever since then, she's come back - a lot, like at least once a month - and has stayed for a week or more with us. Over time, her annoying habits have become downright unbearable. On top of being impossible to talk to, she watches TV ridiculously loudly and seems to laugh or gasp randomly (I swear, the freakiest thing I'll ever see is her laughing her ass off at someone being viciously murdered in a film, where nothing about the scene was funny at all). She also wakes up in the middle of the night and come downstairs to make cups of tea, which always wakes me up because, like her, I'm a light sleeper and I sleep downstairs when she's here. She, understandably, sleeps in my room while she's here (and because we have no other room, I sleep downstairs), and it's been said that she probably sleeps in my bed more than I do. She doesn't know how things work, and refuses to let me teach her how to open my admittedly complicated-to-open bedroom door or how the remote control for the TV works.

I could forgive her odd behaviours and everything, because I'm a bit weird too. But the icing on the cake is that she's intolerant and racist. She's told me that she doesn't think people of different races should have kids together, and she seems to think that all blacks and Eastern Europeans are inherently violent or corrupt. Family or not, it's impossible for me to like anybody who thinks like that. I could make jokes about her at first, but it's evolved into a genuine dislike for her.

I don't talk about this with my mum (who is a guilt tripper, and is easy to take offence on this sort of thing), and my brothers and sisters, on account of not living with us, don't really see this side of her, and they think I'm being too harsh on her. I'm not sure if they're right or not. I mean, I don't like her, and family means very little to me, but having said that, she's my last living grandparent. That should mean something - it would to a lot of people. And the thing that started these frequent visits and such was horrific, and it probably still has a role in her visiting us so much - no matter how evident that it doesn't mean anything any more. Having considered all of this, am I a bad person for not finding it in myself to even like my nan?
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Jam'
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Id hate her if I were you
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Iqbal007
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(Original post by Dippy Dip)
Please read the whole post before you comment.You need to hear the full story.

Two years ago, my immediate family and I had little direct contact with my nan. She wasn't involved in my life, and the times we have spent together had only shown me how annoying she is. The entire family have stories to tell of her, to put it nicely, unusual way around people. I was happy with how it was though, because at least she left me alone save once every two or three years.

Okay, so a year and a half ago, something horrible happened. I don't really want to get into details, but my nan was put into the hospital, her schizophrenic husband was sectioned, and she came to live with us what was at first a few weeks, but what evolved into three months. I didn't care about that, because she'd been through a horrible experience and she probably needed to be around family who weren't explicitly mean to her (ruling my aunt and uncle out). But the first thing she does when she gets here is make a, not going to lie, pretty dark joke about her experience and her husband. She showed literally no trauma from the experience and, as someone put it, if you ignored the scarring and bruising you could argue nothing happened. But you know, she was spending time with us, maybe I could learn more about her. But all she ever wanted, and still wants, to talk about is insurance, mortgages, the cost of booking a holiday, stuff like that. And when she's not talking about that, she'll be starting discussions / arguments on issues she literally doesn't understand, or will be spewing out some weird, out of context rhetoric. On every occasion someone has had to tell her she's not talking about anything related to what everyone else is talking about. She's also critical of me, calling me an alcoholic (which is especially funny, since she drinks a full bottle of wine every night and gets smashed from it), a druggie, or criticising my choice of universities (Sheffield apparently isn't a redbrick, and no amount of discussion will change her mind on that). It's not only me she criticises or upsets. On more occasions I can count, she's upset my mum or my sister - I'm pretty sure she's made them cry as well.

Before I go on, I want to clear something up. My nan is perfectly healthy, both physically and mentally, apart from her being mildly deaf. Nothing about her is caused by something out of her control, so don't assume I'm ignorant to her mental state, because I'm not.

After the three months of her staying with us - which varied between her being around with us and her going on (a great deal of) holidays abroad, she left us in peace. But ever since then, she's come back - a lot, like at least once a month - and has stayed for a week or more with us. Over time, her annoying habits have become downright unbearable. On top of being impossible to talk to, she watches TV ridiculously loudly and seems to laugh or gasp randomly (I swear, the freakiest thing I'll ever see is her laughing her ass off at someone being viciously murdered in a film, where nothing about the scene was funny at all). She also wakes up in the middle of the night and come downstairs to make cups of tea, which always wakes me up because, like her, I'm a light sleeper and I sleep downstairs when she's here. She, understandably, sleeps in my room while she's here (and because we have no other room, I sleep downstairs), and it's been said that she probably sleeps in my bed more than I do. She doesn't know how things work, and refuses to let me teach her how to open my admittedly complicated-to-open bedroom door or how the remote control for the TV works.

I could forgive her odd behaviours and everything, because I'm a bit weird too. But the icing on the cake is that she's intolerant and racist. She's told me that she doesn't think people of different races should have kids together, and she seems to think that all blacks and Eastern Europeans are inherently violent or corrupt. Family or not, it's impossible for me to like anybody who thinks like that. I could make jokes about her at first, but it's evolved into a genuine dislike for her.

I don't talk about this with my mum (who is a guilt tripper, and is easy to take offence on this sort of thing), and my brothers and sisters, on account of not living with us, don't really see this side of her, and they think I'm being too harsh on her. I'm not sure if they're right or not. I mean, I don't like her, and family means very little to me, but having said that, she's my last living grandparent. That should mean something - it would to a lot of people. And the thing that started these frequent visits and such was horrific, and it probably still has a role in her visiting us so much - no matter how evident that it doesn't mean anything any more. Having considered all of this, am I a bad person for not finding it in myself to even like my nan?
Your not a bad person at all to be fair, you dislike is justified...........your nan seems to be indulged in a world where her views are right and everyone else is wrong.

You can't do much apart from her countering her negative views on society.........if that doesn't work, all you can do is speak to someone who is willing to listen or try to see your views.
You mentioned your aunt and uncle who she didn't want to live with, you should speak to them about this.
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miniteen
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No. You're not a bad person. Listen, family is family. You can't choose family. However, you can choose the way you deal with it.
I don't think you are wrong in disliking your grandma. It's not like you haven't tried. She seems very difficult to live with, to say the least. But I do not think it's your place to say anything to her. If your mother has issues with your grandma she should be the one to say something. But don't let what your grandma say get to you. Sheffield is a good university and what matters is that YOU like it, who cares whether she does or not? She's not going to be the one getting a degree from there in a few years time, you are. When it comes to her unusual habits, when you go live in dorms I doubt she'll come with you, so you should be free there. Just bear with it a while longer. Try to stay away from her as much as possible if you don't like her much.
When it comes to her racism... You just have to put up with that I think. I love my own grandma to bits, but because she went through WWII, she still doesn't like Germans very much. My grandfather on the other hand was quite racist, making jokes and stuff. I just let him be when it came to this. These people are from an older generation, they were raised differently and it is hard for them to adjust to how our society is nowadays. Old people tend to find it difficult to adjust to new environments or simply new things.
Also, one last thing, make sure you won't regret not liking her when you are older. It might seem like she's a horrible person now, but when she's gone you might start guilt-tripping yourself and thinking you were wrong and what not. Do what you think is best for you long term.

EDIT: To help you remember, maybe you can write everything down on a piece of paper and keep it for the day you start wavering.
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A Cat
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(Original post by Dippy Dip)
Having considered all of this, am I a bad person for not finding it in myself to even like my nan?
Nope.

She's a psychopath. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy
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Dilzone
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#6
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(Original post by Dippy Dip)
Please read the whole post before you comment.You need to hear the full story.

Two years ago, my immediate family and I had little direct contact with my nan. She wasn't involved in my life, and the times we have spent together had only shown me how annoying she is. The entire family have stories to tell of her, to put it nicely, unusual way around people. I was happy with how it was though, because at least she left me alone save once every two or three years.

Okay, so a year and a half ago, something horrible happened. I don't really want to get into details, but my nan was put into the hospital, her schizophrenic husband was sectioned, and she came to live with us what was at first a few weeks, but what evolved into three months. I didn't care about that, because she'd been through a horrible experience and she probably needed to be around family who weren't explicitly mean to her (ruling my aunt and uncle out). But the first thing she does when she gets here is make a, not going to lie, pretty dark joke about her experience and her husband. She showed literally no trauma from the experience and, as someone put it, if you ignored the scarring and bruising you could argue nothing happened. But you know, she was spending time with us, maybe I could learn more about her. But all she ever wanted, and still wants, to talk about is insurance, mortgages, the cost of booking a holiday, stuff like that. And when she's not talking about that, she'll be starting discussions / arguments on issues she literally doesn't understand, or will be spewing out some weird, out of context rhetoric. On every occasion someone has had to tell her she's not talking about anything related to what everyone else is talking about. She's also critical of me, calling me an alcoholic (which is especially funny, since she drinks a full bottle of wine every night and gets smashed from it), a druggie, or criticising my choice of universities (Sheffield apparently isn't a redbrick, and no amount of discussion will change her mind on that). It's not only me she criticises or upsets. On more occasions I can count, she's upset my mum or my sister - I'm pretty sure she's made them cry as well.

Before I go on, I want to clear something up. My nan is perfectly healthy, both physically and mentally, apart from her being mildly deaf. Nothing about her is caused by something out of her control, so don't assume I'm ignorant to her mental state, because I'm not.

After the three months of her staying with us - which varied between her being around with us and her going on (a great deal of) holidays abroad, she left us in peace. But ever since then, she's come back - a lot, like at least once a month - and has stayed for a week or more with us. Over time, her annoying habits have become downright unbearable. On top of being impossible to talk to, she watches TV ridiculously loudly and seems to laugh or gasp randomly (I swear, the freakiest thing I'll ever see is her laughing her ass off at someone being viciously murdered in a film, where nothing about the scene was funny at all). She also wakes up in the middle of the night and come downstairs to make cups of tea, which always wakes me up because, like her, I'm a light sleeper and I sleep downstairs when she's here. She, understandably, sleeps in my room while she's here (and because we have no other room, I sleep downstairs), and it's been said that she probably sleeps in my bed more than I do. She doesn't know how things work, and refuses to let me teach her how to open my admittedly complicated-to-open bedroom door or how the remote control for the TV works.

I could forgive her odd behaviours and everything, because I'm a bit weird too. But the icing on the cake is that she's intolerant and racist. She's told me that she doesn't think people of different races should have kids together, and she seems to think that all blacks and Eastern Europeans are inherently violent or corrupt. Family or not, it's impossible for me to like anybody who thinks like that. I could make jokes about her at first, but it's evolved into a genuine dislike for her.

I don't talk about this with my mum (who is a guilt tripper, and is easy to take offence on this sort of thing), and my brothers and sisters, on account of not living with us, don't really see this side of her, and they think I'm being too harsh on her. I'm not sure if they're right or not. I mean, I don't like her, and family means very little to me, but having said that, she's my last living grandparent. That should mean something - it would to a lot of people. And the thing that started these frequent visits and such was horrific, and it probably still has a role in her visiting us so much - no matter how evident that it doesn't mean anything any more. Having considered all of this, am I a bad person for not finding it in myself to even like my nan?
In some ways i can understand where you're coming from but i think you are being a bit harsh.

Firstly, you seemed to be upset that when she first came to live with you, she didn't talk about the incident with her husband or seem to be affected by it. I think you're being somewhat naive to think her making dark jokes about it or her reluctance to talk about it with you/your family is a sign of her not caring. Just because she doesn't outwardly seem affected by it doesn't mean she wasn't at all. Many people make jokes when in these kinds of situation to make light of it. Maybe she felt ashamed or embarrassed by what had happened and thought a joke would help or lessen any awkwardness she felt? At any rate, she clearly wasn't very close to you before this, so it's not exactly surprising that she wouldn't be willing to discuss it with you. Or maybe, she just wanted to forget what had happened and try to live normally and not have to talk about it all the time. Having her husband sectioned (+ whatever else happened before being hospitalised) was probably traumatic enough. Don't judge her for not wanting to talk about it. It's a pretty common reaction to traumatic situations.

Also, how old is your nan? You seem to be portraying her as some crazy person with lots of weird and odd behaviours but it really doesn't seem like it. Watching tv loudly/laughing -according to you- randomly at it/making tea in the night/not wanting you to teach her how to open the door or use the tv remote, while slightly inconsiderate to you and your family, isn't exactly what i'd call odd or unbearable. Maybe she's watching tv loudly because she can't hear as well anymore. Laughing at murder scenes does seem weird, but it's not exactly something to get up in arms over. My brother laughs like a donkey and it drives me crazy but it's just the way he is and i don't love him any less for it.

Ok it must be annoying to be woken up in the night everytime she comes down to make a cup of tea but it's not exactly weird. More likely, she just can't sleep properly. As i said, she's being inconsiderate to you by waking you up, but have you told her you're a light sleeper and wake up everytime she comes down? Have you considered that getting this angry over it is maybe a bit of an overreaction. My parents and grandparents just don't want to learn how to use all the buttons on the remote properly, or learn how to use their mobiles correctly or learn how to do stuff on the computer that they don't already know. Annoying as it is, it takes forever for them to learn stuff like that and they'll forget it as soon as they learnt it. When you're old/older it's just easier to not bother. Just let her be, if she wants to do things her way it's not that big a deal.

The racism stuff is awful but remember - and this isn't a justification for it - but she may have grown up with these views and had it ingrained into her. These attitudes were far more acceptable when she was younger and you don't tend to change your life views when you get old. That isn't to say it's ok for her to say that kind of stuff, just tell she's wrong and that you don't share those views. Though judging by what you've said she probably won't listen. But it's ok to not agree with the views that some people hold and still care for them, just don't talk to her about that kind of stuff/ignore her or leave the room if she brings it up.

i think you're overreacting by getting so annoyed or angry about this stuff. They just seem to be some of her idiosyncrasies. It's just the way she is. Really, the only thing really bad about her is her tendency to make you upset or make your mum/sister upset. It is rude and mean of her to judge you for your choices or to generally talk to you in that way. For that i can understand why you don't like her. You're not a bad person for it but maybe try to be more understanding of what she's been through. If it was as horrible as you say it was, then she probably is still dealing with it, though she may not look like. Maybe you should find out if she wants to speak to someone about what happened, like a counsellor? She is still your nan in the end, she can't be all bad. Try not to get worked up about the little stuff and focus on what you like about her.
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Anonymous #1
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Your not a bad person but just think what it would do to someone living their life with a Schizophrenic
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Aoide
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Nothing in what the OP has said suggests she is a psychopath.

Op- You shouldn't feel the need to like her because she is family. Judge people on thier behaviour not who they are.
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A Cat
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(Original post by Aoide)
Nothing in what the OP has said suggests she is a psychopath.

Op- You shouldn't feel the need to like her because she is family. Judge people on thier behaviour not who they are.
When you quote someone, click the quote button on the bottom right of the post in order to get their attention
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LinzyLoo
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No, you shouldn't feel bad about not liking her. Contrary to what some people say, you don't have to blindly stick with your family, love them unconditionally, stand by them no matter what. Some people are just not very nice people, and you shouldn't feel like you need to like them just because you share some DNA. You are clearly different people.

Having said that, your nan has obviously been through a lot and it sounds like you didn't know her very well before all of this started. Is she your mum's mum? Why don't you try talking to your mum about it, tell her how you feel and that your nan says things that upset you and you find it hard to understand her way of thinking. Most people have no idea what their grandparents were like when they were young. Ask your mum what she was like. Her passions, her life experiences. Ask her if she has always been this way - maybe she used to be completely different and a lot more fun and loving until something happened that you don't know about, maybe a friend died or something? It could be that she's not actually a bad person, you are just finding it hard to understand her and you are not compatible. When I was young, I didn't feel very attached to my grandpa. I thought he was a bit strict and would shout at me for picking up things in the park, or jumping on the couches, or saying no to my granny, even for small things. After he died, I told my mum this, and she said that he was like this because he worked so much when she was a kid, he wasn't around all the time when she fell over and cut her knees, so he panicked over small things that are normal for kids, worrying that I was going to get hurt. And he loved my granny so much that he would get upset when we argued with her because he didn't like to see her getting stressed out. I still feel guilty now for not making enough of an effort with him and getting to know him, because now I know we would have had loads in common, like photography, which I didn't even know he liked until I was older and he was dead. My point is, you don't want to have these regrets. So ask your mum, or even better, ask your nan yourself, like if you are watching tv together, start up a conversation with her.

If you try this and she is unresponsive to your efforts, or continues to be nasty to you after you tell her that sometimes the things she says hurts you, then you have done all you can. It might be that she is just not a very nice person. My dad will openly say this about his own dad - that he was a nasty, cold man. Family are not everything. Hold onto your friends because they will stand by you through thick and thin, not because they feel they have to, but because they want to. And that's more important.
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