The weather is more and more resembling summer. The heat, is especially reminiscent. I think we finally got out of the Michigan spring (where it goes from warm to snow to warm to snow). However, I have a memory of there being snow in June. You never really know in this area what the weather is going to bring.
Still, it is making me miss my home. Holidays like mother’s day are especially hard. I miss my room that I spent 20 years of my life in. I miss my grandfather who raised me. I miss my Mother. I miss my grandmother. I still wake up feeling deep pain. The worst is the dreams. Thinking I might finally be moving forward, and then in my dreams.. I am a child again. I am thinking of THAT again. I felt this before my grandfather died, but it became insufferable after. I wish I didn’t have social anxiety the way I did. My family were not understanding. To be honest they never really did understand. Maybe that was why I wanted to tell people what happened to me so bad, because I knew I couldn’t tell my family.
I remember the fourth of july parties we would have. My aunt would get drunk and make fun of my mom or my sister. My uncle went along with her. Then there was I, the child of my parents. I always felt such shame for being their child. For it being inevitable I would be just like them. That is what they would say, at least. I didn’t really start noticing it until I was about seven. It confused me. I wanted the love of my uncle deeply at that time. I think as a child I could tell he was loved by all around him, and I craved a father figure. Eventually it became apparent that I was something threatening to him and his daughters. Any achievement I had was a joke, and I was a joke.
My aunt was worse, though. She truly hated my mother. She truly despised me. I hated her too for a while. How she would get drunk and talk about what she would do with my grandfather’s property after he died. She would go on and on about how things of my grandmother’s were stolen after she passed. Her earrings went missing and it was my sister’s fault. In truth she was the thief. I know this because my mother once bought me a statue of a horse. We displayed it in our home. After she died it became pretty important to me. My aunt always loved the horse statue. She pointed it out anytime she was around. As soon as my grandfather was hospitalized and the doctors felt he might not be able to become independent again… the horse went missing. I was no longer welcome in the house. My grandfather insisted that I was, especially considering most of my stuff was there. Yet, as soon as I walked in the door, it looked pillaged.
I was so angry. But, I had no ground to stand on to stop them from taking advantage of him. The 2 years prior my social anxiety hit it’s worse. I hardly left the house, and phone calls were more and more difficult. This hurt my grandfather deeply. Even though my husband at the time was driving 4 hours a day… I was wrong to move near his work. My cousins skip family functions, but I was in the wrong for that. And it was so overwhelming to have so many people angry with me. My husband had hypertension… I didn’t know what to do. But it was always like that. I was the ungrateful child for not doing more for my grandfather. And I was told this often. Yet, I remember after my grandmother died, my grandfather felt so betrayed. His children rarely called, and rarely spoke to him. I was a 13 year old girl, and I was there for him. Trying to cheer him up. I was there for him many years after that too. I would miss out on parties, and social functions to spend the holidays with him. I would come home frequently in college, and even moved back home to be with him.
I was spoiled by him, that I do recognize. He looked after me, much how a parent would their child. That’s what he was to me. It was confusing how much his mood would change. If I spent time with my mother I would come home and he would tell me I was “different”. He would be very sour and angry that I spent time with her. Given she was a burden on his back, a drug addict and severely mentally ill…. I still didn’t understand how one afternoon at the movies could change how I behaved in his eyes.
When it was just my grandfather and I things were better, but add my aunt or uncle into the picture and they would talk bad about me. He would come home and not want to hug me anymore. Not really like me much anymore. In the summer months this was more frequent, considering they would go golfing. He had a lot of anger issues. Most of which he took out on me. He drank, something I think that was common for his generation. I remember when 4 beers a day was a victory for him. Eventually he stopped the drinking, and I was very proud of him.
It was all very confusing. I hate myself due to my experiences with my family. They taught me I am beneath them and worthless. I still struggle with these feelings every day. Yet, I am still homesick. When my apartment was flooded I immediately called my grandfather in a panic. My stuff ruined, I was afraid. Yet, my aunt and uncle were in a rage that I called him. That I came over to my aunt’s house where he was staying at 10:30 PM at night. I hadn’t thought, and I was freaking out. My apartment was flooded. My grandfather was sick. Things were falling apart. I didn’t want to go, but my grandfather insisted. I had just visited him where he complained how useless he felt. I wanted him not to have to feel like that. I wasn’t sure what the right thing to do was. For someone losing their independence and wanting to still be relevant… My grandfather gave my husband some gas money, an action that only really solidified that I was a pure cunt. I didn’t think about it when it happened. I just thought about how scared I was. When my grandfather told me to use his truck to take back the old bed in my room, my uncle and aunt assured me I would never be able to use the truck. There was screaming that night, and an intervention the next day to tell me how shitty of a person I am. I was so angry. His house emptied out, they tucking him in a room without the blinds drawn. When my sister came to visit my aunt pulled out a package that hadn’t even been open that had his pain medication. He was in PAIN and they were acting like it was all too stressful to even give him what he needed.
I try to think about things from their perspective. I know that it must have been overwhelming for my uncle, and he started trying to be more fair. Letting me stay at home instead of commuting 2 hours each way to see my grandfather. Blizzard, storm, whatever. I came. I tried to come every day when he was in the hospital. My aunt only let me see him in a window of an hour every day. This made things more difficult, of course. Driving from two hours away, only able to see him mid day meant I could only see him on weekends. Still, I went. Every weekend. Social anxiety and all. I endured the dirty looks and the cruel statements to see him. The most difficult experience for me was his funeral. It was so painful. My aunt screaming at me to give my house keys. Insisting that her family sit separate from me. My grandfather dead in the room. I was so angry knowing my grandfather would never want them to act this way. He wanted everyone to get along. It made me furious to think all they thought about was themselves and what they wanted, and not the wishes of the man who loved them so god damned much.
I survived, though. Something I never thought I would have the strength to do. My apartment flooding forced me to leave, and after that leaving started becoming easier. My uncle started to become kinder. My sister and I were set to inherit the house my mother lived in. Not that I wanted it. It was tainted with bad memories. My aunt had pressed my grandfather to sell it. His brain was swollen, so he didn’t think like he normally did. He couldn’t remember many things. He was very impressionable. So, despite before wanting to keep my grandmother’s wishes with the will – he bent to my aunt’s pressure. She did this, of course, to gain more money. It was sickening. Even so, it’s what human beings do. In truth before I moved my grandfather wanted to give me his whole estate. I walked away from that knowingly. Perhaps a poor choice. I didn’t want it. I wanted him.
My uncle was burdened with this. He couldn’t understand why my grandfather sold the house. In truth when my grandfather asked me if he should I told him yes. I didn’t intend to inherit anything, and I thought he could use the money to live comfortably. The money, of course, was not used for this. They wouldn’t pay for a caregiver to ensure he could stay in his home. They tucked him in a room. Then used the money to pay off his mortgage so my aunt’s son could have the house as soon as my grandfather died. That was my aunt’s plan, I believe. Still, with what little left over from that house, my uncle took his half and gave to my sister. He still has my grandfather’s money, and the estate. But it was kind of him to do. He didn’t have to. He wasn’t legally obligated to, though in truth I have been told I could sue my aunt for her seedy dealings. I wouldn’t do that to my grandfather’s memory. She wants money, she can have it. She wants to hate on children, than she can. She can do whatever it is she wants, surrounded by her privilege. It won’t matter if I am successful or not to her. She doesn’t want to see me as a human being. None of them do. It’s not really about me. I realize that.
I got into one of the most difficult graduate programs to get into. I intend to work hard and earn my way in this life. Instead of circling family like vultures wondering what I could take from them. Instead of hurting other people, and tormenting orphaned children because I am afraid they MIGHT inherit something instead of me. I’m going to be an adult. This was what motivated me to go to college. To prove that my mother’s daughter wasn’t worthless. That my grandfather’s love and attention had worth and impact. That my family was worthwhile. I still feel that today, thinking of mother’s day. I want to prove wrong the people who only want to drag others down for their own gain. I want to make them look foolish for their cruelty.
I just hope I don’t crack under the pressure. I’ve survived this far. I hope that is proof I am strong enough.