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Family Drama

(47 Posts)
Serenade1a Thu 09-Aug-18 22:36:46

Do I ever detest family drama and that is exactly what my 75 year old mother caused yesterday. Would you mind if I asked the opinion of others? This may be long winded.

My mother inherited a large sum of money several years back when my father died. My sister felt she was entitled to some of that money because of its original source and my sister was in a little bit of a financial bind so my Mom gave her $40K to clear her debt. Subsequent to that large sum of money my mother has provided us with some very generous offers of trips, etc. I hate taking these offers, but Mom insists so I have had one trip my Dad left in his will and another to Cuba with another offer in the works (but I am really NOT INTERESTED anymore. I have taken enough. The others (including grandchildren) have been privy to some really nice gifts, but these are the children of my brother and sister. My children have taken nothing from their grandmother – up to and including gifts for her only great-grandchild.

So to continue, the whole incident started with my great granddaughter's annual birthday party, my daughter always comments that perhaps we should not do the annual party because it looks like she is looking for handouts for her child. I am a party stylist and have a great time planning an annual party for my granddaughter and, it gives the family an opportunity to get together on an annual basis as my daughter and granddaughter live a 6.5 hour drive away. They are University students so their budget allows them a trip maybe 3 times a year - it,s very rare.

My daughter and granddaughter celebrated their birthdays together this year. It was wonderful and my daughter as usual sent out thank you cards with personal thoughtful notes inside. My daughter wrote to my mother and thanked her for the wonderful gifts, that she missed her and hoped that one day we could travel together - for a girls trip when my granddaughter can stay with Daddy for a bit.

My mother totally misinterpreted the message and responded to her thankyou – Her it is: ' I gather you and your Mom discussed my offer to have you Mom and I go on a trip. However before the trip that you suggested can take place I would like to take a solo trip with my daughter Lorraine 'not your Mom' her sister, and eventually my son Chris (not your Uncle - kind of cold). Perhaps in the future when your financial situation improves, we can think about a trip together'.

My daughter called me and was absolutely devastated because she felt her grandmother assumed she was asking for a handout and, she brought up her financial status which is we shall say is 'relatively poor' at the moment (they are University students living in student housing).

I called my mother and was quite upset. I told her that her response to the thank you note from my daughter was inappropriate and that my daughter was in no way looking for a handout. We both hung up quite angry at each other.

Well, I need to call my mother now and apologize for my outburst, she is 75 and we do not know what tomorrow brings at any age. But I am still quite upset. I have broken this stupid message down and have re-read the darn thing 10 times. My conclusion remains the same.

I think my Mom damaged the relationship between her and her grandmother (not that there was much of one to begin with) My mother is not very close to MY children, actually she does not really know them. And, it has damaged the relationship with me (although I will not mention this to my daughter). I am so hurt. Am I making too much of this?

Thank you for letting me vent. Sorry it is so long winded. Any thoughts?

UPDATE: I apologized for my outburst. My mother coldly told me she was right and will be having the letter checked by experts. Oh brother… (I am rolling my eyes). It's so important to prove that she is right but the fact that she hurt her granddaughter's feelings are irrelevant. She states it was a beautifully written note. She did nothing wrong and hung up.

My son mentioned before he moved to Germany that he is so happy to get away from the constant family drama. We look like such a close family, but I am not feeling it. Was I being delusional about this note? Is my daughter overreacting? My daughter and granddaughter come first in my life. I am lucky if my Mom makes a move to call me once a month.

I am sad....

notanan2 Thu 09-Aug-18 22:58:33

Bit hard to follow.

I would say that you may be happier if you lower your expectations of interactions with your mother. She is 75 so unlikely to change, but you can change your reaction to it.

To be honest I think you have fed into the drama. If it was my daughter I probably would have said "ignore it love, you know what your gran can be like, its not personal" instead of turning it into a big drama like you did. What did you expect to achieve? Do you really think your mum would change her ways?

lorrieartiste Fri 10-Aug-18 00:32:07

Hi there; You cannot believe how many time I have done that "ignore it you know what you nan is like". Years of ignoring it. I had just had enough and needed to set a boundary. If you know me, I detest turmoil and like to keep the peace. This time - I guess I blew a gasket. No my Mom had delivered demeaning comments and honestly is quite a cold woman at this point of her life. She has seriously changed. Not certain what has happened. I just was so frustrated. Well, what is done is done. She is off to speak to her 'experts" I honestly do not know what she wants to achieve. I apologized for my behaviour. Honestly, instead of trying to prove she is right should she not feel more concerned that she hurt her granddaughter's feelings?

Namsnanny Fri 10-Aug-18 02:27:46

Hi Serenadala,

If you have kept your council and been relatively patient in the past I think its likely that you would blow one day or another, and from what you describe, I can understand why it was this time..... we always protect the ones we love more than ourselves don't we?

She sounds quite self centred (narcissistic?) and has already chosen who her favourite child/gchild is.
She seems to have a clear idea of who is going to benefit from her largess and who isn't!

Maybe my situation has coloured my view of yours, as I have experience of my mother as a drama troublemaker and she constantly uses money to manipulate the family.

Withdrawing and not accepting the gifts your m offers is red rage to a bull, so is accepting them, in my experience. Basically there is no winning against this manipulation, well not that I've found anyway.

Who would the 'experts' be that she thinks will prove her right, do you think?
Seems to me just some kind of bravado on her part because she cant possibly see herself in the wrong!!

As you say no thought for any upset to your daughter or you, its all about her...….typical narc!

Sorry I haven't any good advice, just completely understand your position. flowers

Greengal Fri 10-Aug-18 07:17:50

Your mum's letter seems very cold and rude to me. I don't care what any "experts" say, that's how most people would take it, I think.

If she has "seriously changed," maybe it is due to depression or some other health issue or medication she is taking. Has she had a checkup, lately, that you know of?

It seems she loves to give gifts and may be hurt and frustrated that you and yours don't accept them. She may be favoring those family members who do. Also, she may rather spend it on you people now than have it all go to her nursing care later on, and may feel you and yours are thwarting her in that.

She certainly seems very conscious of money. Why does she know anything about your DD's finances? Perhaps it is better to give her less information about your or your DD's financials. It will be hard for her to make assumptions about who can afford what if she doesn't know what their financial circumstances are.

BlueBelle Fri 10-Aug-18 07:22:57

Oh blimey it’s really so confaluted to read you ve got stories about four or five different generations in there you even talk about your mums relationship with her grandmother! Please! So much drama caused about what...
money, money, money, blooming glad I ve got none no one will fight over what I ve got to leave
Just forget all the ‘she said this he said that’ and get on with living your brother is the wise one

Ps haven’t we had a previous thread like this it seems very familiar a moneyed old lady in US and a maligned daughter
And rowing family Perhaps I m wrong but I feel I ve been here before, anyone else?

Eloethan Fri 10-Aug-18 11:46:48

I think your Mum's response was absolutely horrible and must have really shocked and upset your daughter.

You have apologised for getting angry (I can quite understand your anger), so you've done your bit. The least she could have done was accept your apology and acknowledge that her words were uncalled for and spiteful.

Jobey68 Fri 10-Aug-18 14:03:23

It completely baffles me how mothers especially can do things to cause unnecessary upset to their children and grandchildren, everything I have earned or inherited I will forever share with my children and grandchildren.

Personally I don't think your mother deserves to have a caring family and although I hate conflict had that been my mother she would have been told point blank she had over stepped the mark, sadly I lost my mum many years ago so she never had the joy of seeing her grandchildren flourish and turn in to parents themselves but I know how much she would have cherished them all and given her right arm to make them happy.

lorrieartiste Fri 10-Aug-18 15:52:09

I would just like to thank everyone for their input and I have taken all of your comments very seriously. I am trying to move on. I absolutely know for certain I will be receiving a call next week with the results from the 'expert panel' she is consulting. I think I am just going to tell her I apologized and the matter is now closed. I frankly do not want to discuss it anymore and my daughter suggested we move on as well. I know this topic may have popped up before, but I am a new member and it is my first post. I am hoping to discuss happier things in the future like how to best communicate with my beautiful grandson in Germany! I am Canadian BTW to the member who suggested this post may have come from a US member. LOL! Still sad...had my second cry at 4:00am after falling asleep on the sofa. I still cannot believe that this is my mother. The one who always preached love and forgiveness. I guess after she met her new beau and stopped going to church, she forgot her Sunday sermons! :-) Just mourning the loss of my 'genuine' Mom. Her doctor says she is sharp and I am shrugging my shoulders.

muffinthemoo Fri 10-Aug-18 16:27:23

If I had got a nastygram like that in response to a thank you note I don’t think I would be writing to the author again for a very, very long time.

I think if your daughter wants to back off from Nasty Granny, let her do so.

lorrieartiste Fri 10-Aug-18 17:21:58

Yes, I am letting it go. I actually received an apology about a half an hour ago. It still does not erase the fact that she hurt my daughter. She will apologize to me but not to her. Still hurt. She still maintains the note was beautifully written. Yuck!!!

Greengal Fri 10-Aug-18 21:59:52

Glad you're letting it go. But did you mention to mum that she needs to apologize to DD? She might think that apologizing through you is enough.

But what happened to Serendala, the OP?

Namsnanny Sat 11-Aug-18 00:43:03

Yes I too am wondering about Serendala?

For a while I was confused as to whether lorrieartiste and Serendala were the same person!

BlueBelle Sat 11-Aug-18 02:36:12

Well pretty obvious we have a poster with different aliases who has forgotten which one she posted under which makes you wonder how much is true I m absolutely sure I ve read a very similar story before

lorrieartiste Sat 11-Aug-18 12:31:50

Hello all: It's me! And yes both names belong to me. I was having serious issues with the set-up of my account. All of this history is absolutely true. Who takes the time to write a big long story that is not true? I certainly so not have that kind of time to waste! LOL! And yes, my Mom still maintains her words were 'kind' and my daughter will not receive an apology. My apology and the request for us to move on was enough to her. My daughter lives in Toronto, we live in Montreal. Either way things will not be the same for any of us. Hi ladies, so nice to be here. My other name has been deleted. All is fixed!

BlueBelle Sat 11-Aug-18 13:16:30

Many people have written long and conferluting stories to get an Oh_ahh responseo or to get ideas for books or research and many other reasons or just to wind up
I can only suggest you talk to Gransnet HQ about your duel personality as it’s not only confusing but will add to people not taking you seriously

BlueBelle Sat 11-Aug-18 13:18:05

Just seen you ve done the name change bit I missed that ok that should be better for people to get to know you

Greengal Sat 11-Aug-18 23:38:16

Thanks for letting us know about the name change, lorrieartiste!

As for the situation with Mom, I can totally see why "things will not be the same" after this. I hope neither you or DD will cut her out of your lives - "life is too short" for that, etc. But I can definitely see cutting back on contact. Also, I wouldn't even consider taking any trips with her, even if she suggests it.

Greengal Sat 11-Aug-18 23:39:24

I don't necessarily mean cutting back on contact "forever" - maybe just for a while, so everyone can cool off and get past this.

Bluegal Tue 14-Aug-18 13:48:29

Hi there - I hope you have sorted it because I can't actually understand it. What are the so called 'experts' that your mum is calling in? To do what? Say her letter to your daughter was ok? What kind of people do this? Sounds really rude to me t.b.h.

Thing is we can't actually force people to be different or to love anyone/everyone. You hinted that your mum has been indifferent to your children most of their lives? I am sure it does hurt but whatever the reason is, you just have to accept that's the way it is with her.

The gist of the info does seem to revolve round money/gifts if I am honest. I know you say you don't care about it but it is bound to gall you knowing others have received so much of your father's money and your family has (according to you) received so little.

All I can say is....don't let it! Just live your life with your lovely family, keep in touch with your extended family but don't let all the squabbles become an obsession. It wasn't nice what your mother said to your daughter but let it go. Don't start demanding apologies on her behalf. If she sends her anything in future I would just send a generic thank you card, then nothing can be interpreted the wrong way can it?

Good luck

lorrieartiste Tue 14-Aug-18 16:27:05

Thank you everyone! You are all certainly a nice community of ladies. It still hurts but as suggested, I am laying low for a while. My sister's birthday is next week and we are getting together for the announcement of a surprise trip to Greece (just sis and Mom). Happy for them!

Good news this weekend! I am going to be a grandma for the fifth time! My son who lives in Germany is expecting an addition to his family. This is number two! Just in time because I wanted to celebrate my grandson's birthday on April 1st in person. So by the time I travel to Germany at the end of March, there will be two grandchildren to visit! Baby is due mid-February, so is just enough time to make sure they adjust to having another baby in the family.

I am determined to be focused on the good. Life is too short to be nasty or hold grudges. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

I see there is a board on here for long distance grandmas. I may pay a visit over there too. Anyone else here dealing with distance?

Have a great evening ladies!

lorrieartiste Tue 14-Aug-18 16:33:10

Hi Bluegal, I re-read your response. Honestly, yes it does bother me a little bit. But not for me-just my children. And not so much material possessions, but things like an occasional phone call or when I offer to travel as a family. I am usually turned down but my siblings will suggest it and they are never turned down. Guess I am not selecting the right trips! LOL!

mcem Tue 14-Aug-18 17:11:58

Congratulations on the expected new arrival!
Now in the words of the song
"Accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative!"

Bluegal Tue 14-Aug-18 18:59:51

Congratulations from me too lorrieartiste.

You see, you have a lot to look forward to. Ignore the rest! x

muffinthemoo Wed 15-Aug-18 00:03:29

lorrie, if you will forgive my language, I think you are (quite rightly) not kissing ass hard enough compared to your siblings, and that may explain the discrepancy....