My Grandmother Gave Me Some Answers

When I was battling with depression I decided to find my paternal grandmother. I hadn't seen her since the age of nine when my mother made her leave our house. I had to know why she told me to ''shut up and let him do what he wants with you'' when I had told her what her son was doing to me. I wanted to know what her justification was for allowing this to go on.

I told my psychiatrist of my plans and she strongly discouraged me. She didn't believe that I was strong enough at the time to deal with the truth. But being stubborn I put my plan into action anyway. I enlisted the help of my mother's family in St. Hyacinthe to help me find her because I had heard that she might be in a home in that town. One of my uncles found her and called to give me the information. I set off on a beautiful Autumn day to see her. She had been advised of my visit before hand and was waiting for me.

I walked into her room and recognized her immediately. She was in her nineties by then but her mind was still intact. She started by telling me how much my father had loved us(my sister and I) to which I answered that my father had never cared for us girls and had not done a thing for us after my parents seperated. I told her that he had never paid a dime in child support. I told her of the Sunday afternoons wasted waiting for him to visit us.

Then I asked her if she remembered what she said to me  when I had told her what my father's brother was doing to me. She repeated it word for word. I asked her why and her answer was ''it happened to me, why shouldn't it happen to you too!''.

In that instance I understood what the difference was between my grandmother and I. She chose to continue the pain, I chose to stop it. Her experience turned her into a bitter, manipulating woman who spread her poison to everything she touched. I had decided long ago that it stopped with me, that I would protect my children at all costs from the devastation of ******.

It has always fascinated me how childhood trauma affects people differently. Some, like my grandmother, continue the legacy by destroying the lives of everyone around them. For others, their experiences makes them more empathetic towards the suffering of others. What makes the outcomes so different, I don't know. I believe that when psychologists find that answer they will be very close to a complete understanding of human behaviour.

I asked my grandmother if she wanted me to brush her hair for her because it was terribly matted and she was always very proud of her appearance. When I finished I left and never saw her again. She passed away at 94 years of age, alone. Both her sons had pre-deceased her and none of her remaining family would have anything to do with her. She had finally reaped what she had sown.

jojewel jojewel
56-60, F
14 Responses Feb 20, 2010

That took a lot of courage and strength! I'm glad you were able to see her before she died and more importantly - she saw you!

AT, I am taking care of myself more than I used to. I go out with my friends, and I give myself a treat every once in a while. I don't think my sons are looking for gentlemen for me yet, but you never know!

Jewel, feel free to take care of yourself now. Your sons would surely want the same thing. I wouldn't be surprised if they were already looking for a gentleman to keep you company.

Thank you, Morph. In hindsight I do know that I did the right thing. My oldest son is now a teacher and living on his own, my youngest is still in university. Once he is established then maybe I can take care of mama-LOL!!!

You know, Jo? You truly are a jewel.You did the right thing, as you are fully aware. To leave the past behind and embrace the future for your family. I understand what it is to be a giving, loving person who has been taken advantage of; can only imagine the pain you must have gone through. I am deeply humbled by your response to it. To stand above the rest and look down from the high road- sometimes it is difficult, but you can look back with pride.<br />
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Look after yourself, Jo... seek your happiness.You deserve this.<br />
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(((hugs))) and all the best,<br />
<br />
M <br />
<br />
xxx

Thank you, JJ. The pain and devastation was never something that I dwelled upon, but I had come to a point in my life where I needed answers. What I understood from her answer was that her actions had nothing to do with me personally, she just wanted everyone to suffer for what happened to her. I did protect my children from that side of my family. I gave them something I never had as a child, I gave them the ability to feel safe in their own home.

Thank you for your comment, Demamma!

Your story is inspiring . Thank you for sharing this.

That quality was certainly important to you, AT, and you must have seen it in your wife. It is a good feeling when it dawns on you that you've stopped the cycle, isn't it?

wow, what a story !. I'm one of those who managed to stop the suffering, and I made sure my son did not go through what I've gone through. Looking for the reasons, I must give some credit to my wife. Or, perhaps this is why I married my wife in the first place (despite warning signs) . I grew up with a cold, distant mother, whereas my wife was always so warm on the mother-child relationship.

It's really a shame, but it was a prison of her own making.

So very much her loss! Her bitterness was her prison.

Yes, Frito, I did get closure on that day. I was surprised that age had not mellowed her. She was not at all apologetic and had absolutely no empathy for me.

You got some answers and I hope some closure. Thanks you Jojewel for protecting your children.:)