Grandparents, Or are they?

To say I have a complicated relationship with my grandparents is putting it lightly. The ins and outs and who did what aren’t really that relevant but it’s fair to say we aren’t found of each other. Well that is slightly unfair, my grandfather is no longer with us and as much as he wasn’t an easy person to get on with he at least was always glad to see you. This is more to do with my grandmother, if you can call her that. A bit of background might make this simpler to understand, they divorced when I was a teenager and like most divorces the family split like they did as a lot of secrets and information came out. Although this might come as surprise my household, including myself, sided with the woman I struggle to refer to as a grandmother. There wasn’t much question in which side to take, still isn’t, she was right to leave him and should have years before. For years, I tried to convince myself that she was a good person, a better one than him, despite the hints that is was simply not true. My family did their best for her, the details don’t matter but in the end, it was never enough. Given half the chance she would be telling anyone who’d listen just what horrible, putting it nicely, people we were. Of course, we always went back and took it again. But the fact I cannot stand a woman I am supposed to adore is not why I’m writing this; my story isn’t uncommon. No, what spurred me to sit and do this was a simple Instagram post. My cousin, a few years younger than myself, posted a simple picture of herself with the woman in question and a lovely post about how much she loved her. She’s not lying, it’s not some mask so friends don’t see the truth, she really does love her. I would do if I had the relationship she had with her. I was five or six when I first discovered my grandmother didn’t like me and I’ve never questioned that realisation since. To say she isn’t a warm person is an understatement. She’s never once, as far as my memory serves me, told me she loves me, given me a hug or even shook my hand. But my cousins, I have many of them, don’t see this side to her just as I have never seen the side of her they see. It’s not that I simply misunderstand her, she’s very honest with the fact she doesn’t like me or my household including her child and my relationship with my other grandmother couldn’t be more different. I didn’t write this to gain some sympathy nor hate towards her or the other way around. The simple reason was that it never fails to surprise me one person can appear and act so differently to others. I’m not the only one who has never been shown love by her my parent, her child, has only ever been told she was proud of them once. Just proud, that’s the most love she’s shown. The reasons she’s so cold towards her own child are long and complicated but despite my own bias in this situation they largely on her. Of course, now neither grandparents would have got off with the way they treated their children, mainly my parent over the others, but the 60s/70s were a different time. Nor would my grandfather have got off with the way he treated her. Too many people turned a blind eye. Maybe one day I’ll have a “normal” relationship with her but one things for sure, I won’t be holding my breath.


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