I thought my Grandmother was the Wicked Witch


Mean Grandmother

I had two grandmothers ~ they were like the Good Witch and the Bad Witch. I would not have thought of them this way if it weren’t for truly thinking that the mean grandma was an honest to goodness fairy tale Witch. I didn’t like the bad Witch. The mean grandmother believed and would say things like “children should be seen and not heard.” She made it very clear that children were nothing she was interested in. And she made that my fault.

There was another odd thing about that statement; the “bad Witch” didn’t want to SEE us either. She made lots of comments about how loud we were and I remember her constantly saying that our laughter got on her nerves. But EVERYTHING got on her nerves.

As a child, when I was told that children should be seen and not heard, or when I felt that communication, I believed that meant I should be seen and not heard. I didn’t think that if only I could grow up so that I could be worth listening to. I was crushed. I was invalid. I was unwanted. AND she made sure that I knew it was MY fault she felt that way.

There was another mixed message with that same grandmother.  (Continued…) She also said that I was sullen and withdrawn. So now I am too loud and too quiet.  Not allowed to cry, not allowed to laugh. What is a child supposed to do with that information? Children do not have the maturity to realize that this is about THEM.  I thought it was about me.

And just when, at what age was I supposed to realize that this was about her?

My mean grandmother would take a look at me and then tell my mother (her daughter) what was wrong with everything about me. She especially didn’t like my hair, which was long, thick, beautiful and very well taken care of.  She would examine me, she narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips and then she turned to my mother and said things like “I don’t like her hair that way”. Sometimes she would say “I don’t like her hair, dear”. “It’s too long, dear”. It seemed to be worse when she added that endearment on the end. From the time I was four all I wanted was long hair; most of my positive identity was about my hair, and it was as if she knew that.  Her comments were very hurtful and very destructive. She was an emotionally and psychologically abusive grandmother.

She put me down this way from my earliest memory of her.  And while she was putting me down, she was also putting my mother down because of course my mother was responsible for whatever my grandmother didn’t like about me, so my guess is that she was getting two digs for the price of one. (again, this is emotional abuse) I remember when I was in my twenties my grandmother looked at me and turned to my mother and said “I don’t like her lipstick”. Another time she turned to my mother and said “I don’t like her hair”. And with that same sneer as before, she said things directly to me too; “why are you wearing that color?” “I think you should wear a dress”.

I drew my own conclusions. I didn’t really love my mean grandmother; I mean what was there to love? I was afraid of her even though I never disrespected her. But that doesn’t mean that her constant disapproval of me didn’t take a toll.  And I had questions too. Why did she feel this way about me? What was wrong with me? I still remember her nasty face when she made those hurtful assessments of me and my appearance, looking down on me as though I were a mere bug to be squashed. And my mother didn’t say a word in my defense. My mean grandmother had plenty of critical things to say about my mother too and my mother sat and took it also. I guess my mother didn’t know that as an adult, she had a choice.  

I actually shuddered as I wrote this, remembering the way that my grandmother was towards me. I disgusted her. I felt disgusting in her presence. I felt like something was wrong with me; I felt the sting of rejection. She made sure that I knew that I was unworthy. I was just a child; a sullen and disgusting, noisy and bothersome child with nasty hair and unflattering outfits. But I had been raised to try harder; to accept that it must be about me, my fault and my shortcoming and raised to try harder. And so I did.

Oh and I forgot to mention; my mean grandmother was married to a drunken child molester, which is a whole other story for a whole other blog post but in light of all the evidence, my parents knew that he was a child molester, and a drunk, and her mother was a mean Witch so why were they still taking ME there in the first place?

Realizing how things were for me as a child has gone such a long way towards the emotional healing that I have experienced. I had to uncover the lies that I had accepted about myself, before I could override them with the truth.  I would like to welcome you to share your own stories, thoughts, feelings, discoveries or the ways that you were invalidated and subscribe to the comments or check back; we always have great discussions here.

Exposing Truth, one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from the people that have bought my book. Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

related posts ~ Mom and Grandma had a dysfunctional mother daughter relationship

How Blame, Guilt, and Shame get misapplied to self

Mother Daughter Relationship ~ my poor mom

Categories : Mother Daughter



Oh…. this post opened a whole flood of memories about my two grandmothers.

I have a picture of me sitting on my maternal grandmother’s lap when I was about two. I am drinking coca-cola out of a tall cup through a straw. My grandmother is holding the cup. I have a happy look on my face, because I was thirsty and getting drink of something cool and sweet. But my grandmother has a very grim look on her face, as though she resents the fact that I am drinking some of her soft drink.

That’s how I remember my “Grammie” ~ grim, and resentful. My very earliest memories of my grandmother are of her telling me, when I was just a toddler, “Don’t do what your mother did, don’t get married too young and have a baby too young.” She would say this to me every time they visited, always with my parents in the room to hear the slam… like you said, Darlene, two insults for the price of one. Actually, THREE insults. I was the firstborn, and for nearly 7 years, the only grandchild, on both sides of the family. So when my Grammie was telling me not to do like my mother did and have a baby too young, I knew she was talking about ME. And the message I got from that was that I didn’t have the right to exist.

Nice way to treat your first grandchild.


My paternal grandmother…. whew. She was hospitalized many times throughout my childhood years, for multiple “breakdowns.” My dad, her son, was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder when I was 12, and he really did have many personalities. My dad told me when I was a teenager that his MPD was caused by his mother sexually abusing him when he was a boy. His father had left his mother when my grandmother was pregnant with him, and for many years he was alone with his mother. Then she married a second time, and had a daughter who was born two days after I was born… so, my half-aunt is a couple of years younger than I.

When I, and dad’s little half-sister, were both 3 years old, we met for the first time. It was the first time that my paternal grandmother had seen her firstborn grandchild. She held me on her lap and said how lovely and sweet I was…. then she noticed her 3 year old daughter, my dad’s little half-sister, staring in horror at her mom making on over another little girl. We were sent outside to play. I was so exicted to have a girl my own age to play with! I took her over to my sandbox, where I had a rolling pin to make sand pies with. My half-aunt grabbed up the rolling pin and chased me all over the yard with it, yelling “I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU!” Where does a 3 year old learn something like that??

Our parents heard the commotion through the open windows and came out and put a stop to her tirade. From that day on, throughout the rest of our lives, my paternal grandmother was very careful to NOT show ANY affection toward me. I was sent to spend part of every summer vacation with them, and the whole time I was there, my grandmother and my little half-aunt would tease me, making fun of everything about me, and my half-aunt would bully me unmercifully. I ALWAYS TRIED SOOOOOOOO HARD to get her to like me!!! I was lonely for a playmate, I wanted us to be friends! But never, ever, would my half-aunt allow us to be friends, no matter what I did to appease her. To this day… we are about to turn 58 soon…. she will have nothing to do with me.

My paternal grandmother did not sleep in the same room with her husband, my kind stepgrandfather…. she slept in the same room and same bed with her daughter, until the daughter (and I) turned 12, and she insisted on having her own private room. That was just one weird indication that maybe my dad’s accusations about his mother’s sexual abuse was true… (and WHY did he allow me to spend part of every summer there??)

My grandmother never did sexually or physically abuse me, UNTIL I was 23! I had been living out of state for several years at that point, and went to visit my family. My paternal grandmother said, “Oh, you have been gone so long, and I haven’t been able to buy you any birthday or Christmas presents for years, let’s go shopping and get you a new outfit.

My paternal grandmother had never done such a thing for me, and I was surprised and excited. A new outfit, wow! Of course, my half-aunt came along with us.

My grandmother picked out an outfit that she liked, and suggested that I go try it on, then come out and show it to her. I did, and when I walked out of the dressing room in the new outfit, my grandmother said, “Yes, that does fit you very nicely.” And then… with my angry-faced half-aunt standing there watching, my grandmother ran her hands deliberately down my body, starting at my breasts, running her hands down over them hard…. I WAS IN SUCH A STATE OF SHOCK THAT I COULDN’T MOVE OR DO OR SAY ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I felt horrible, and I felt like it couldn’t possibly be happening…. even as I noticed the sick, “turned on” look that came over my grandmother’s face, and the FURIOUS look of HATE shooting out of her daughter, my half-aunt’s, eye.

It over very quickly, and then my grandmother paid for my outfit, and took the 3 of us out to eat, and the rest of the day we all acted like nothing had happened out of the ordinary at all. I still had zero self-confidence in those days, due to the 2 years I had spent in the mental institution, mis-diagnosed with schizophrenia. DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? DID MY MIND MAKE IT ALL UP? It was CRAZY….. or, was I the crazy one?

It happened, Darlene, I know it did. I just didn’t want it to be true, you know?


PS – I meant, my half-aunt is a couple of days younger than I, not years.


One of the blessings of my childhood is that I had two grandmothers that I loved and I felt they loved me. One of them, my dad’s mother, always shared the birthday cakes of her youngest daughter with me. I was born 3 days before my youngest aunt’s first birthday. I don’t remember my mother ever baking birthday cakes for me or my brother and sister. My Grandma Caldwell always made a cake for my aunt and me to share every year.

My other grandmother, my mother’s mother, took me home with her when I was 2 years old and got whooping cough. The doctor said that I couldn’t stay with my parents because my baby brother would catch whooping cough from me and he would probably die. I don’t remember the abandonment that I probably felt toward my parents at the time. I do remember that most of my good memories of childhood over the years between 2 and 7 were all at my Grandma H.’s house. My first memory of a birthday cake, I was five and we made the cake together. My first snow which in Louisiana is a big deal. We don’t get much snow in Louisiana. I remember my first tricycle which wasn’t a normal tricycle. My uncle bought it from England when he was in WWII and gave it to me when I was 5 years old. He also made me a small, to my size, cowhide chair that was mine alone. This is a different uncle than the one who raped me when I was 11. The first dog that I loved was my grandmother’s dog Tricsey. My grandma also taught me a very valuable lesson about adults that I never forgot. She taught me that it is okay and right for adults to apologize, even if it is to a child who they wronged.

It was the men in my family that could be mean. My dad and his dad were both mean drunks that I feared being around. My uncle that raped me was probably also an alcoholic. His mean was not as easy to see. I remember him getting my brother and sister drunk when they were less than 5 years old. I didn’t like the taste of the beer so I wouldn’t drink it. They both got so drunk that they threw up and he just laughed. He thought it was funny. I thought it was mean.


“I had two grandmothers ~ they were like the Good Witch and the Bad Witch.”


Our mean one made us stay in her darkened, dank basement when we were there. I can remember creeping up the narrow stairs that lead out of the basement, and pleading through the closed door in that weak, shy voice, “Could we please come out now?” She was also the grandmother who, along with her two daughters – my aunts, would say, “What is wrong with Susan, and why doesn’t she ever speak?”

My other grandmother was more nurturing, and we even created an insider (Grace) to mimic her nurturing after she died, even though the real grandmother’s name was not Grace… she was her, in essence. Grandmother was only in her late fifties when she died, and we would run away to the cemetery to sit and talk to her after she died and was buried there. That is why the song that we posted not too long ago on FB means so much to us… it does not have as much religious meaning to us… as the words about “Grace” – which are incredibly poignant:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.



Wow Darlene! It takes me back. I had one sweet grandma and one mean one. But I think I was trying so hard to put a creative twist on the whole thing at the time I just saw her as eccentric. The sweet one was silenced by my parents and abused in her own way. That was my moms mom. She died when I was 19 years old in a house fire I was told since I had left home and the state. The mean one was someone my dad came to know only as an adult as he was adopted so I had 3 grandmas. I did not realize until I was an adult at age 18 that not everyone has 3 grandmas but I had no grandpas. My adopted grandma we only saw once a year as she did not live in the area. So she didn’t play a huge role in my life. My mean grandma if you want a picture was kind of like the TV character Maude. She called me names like pussy and drank like a sailor. I thought she was funny and eccentric. She by far preferred one of my brothers the abusive one and my only cousin Bobby.Though I never forgot my abuse like so many to cope I just made her into this eccentric lady with a unique view of life. But as I grew up I learned so much about her that I will refrain from getting into here. But my dads father was the son of the president of Cuba at the time. My grandma was only one of his baby mama’s and was looked down upon because she wasn’t married. There were not many single mothers back then so she gave him up for adoption but he got to know her as an adult. He did not get along with her. She was kind of masculine and big and tough and used to arm wrestle men and win. She made fun of me because I was a girly girl. But I thought she was just eccentric at the time. I know it was unhealthy to think of her that way but it got me through it made me not take to heart her meanness. I cut contact with her when I was 19 years old. I felt it was kind of useless to stay in touch. She made fun of my hair too and because of that they were always cutting it. I am 48 today and my hair is past my waist. 🙂 She lived a long life and colon cancer finally got her. Someone very close to me who died last year said to me only the good die young. I think there is some truth to that. Thanks for sharing.


oh and the good witch and bad witch! lol! I so relate!


Not a nice granny at all! I agree, why WOULD someone leave their child with someone like that? I think its pretty good that my siblings have not had my neices spend much time around their G. They seem to like to bring them over when I’m there though and I feel the need to provide entertainment. I can’t stand to let kids sit around and watch tv. So, I’ll usually go and get some art kits, see if they want to go skating, etc. I’ll make sure they have something to eat and they like to help cook. It proves to me also the way they will question her behavior that they are healthy. Once my sister dropped my neice over to do some cleaning for her G & yardwork. I ended up paying my neice for that. I don’t think that’s my neice’s responsibility and if there is work to be done we do it together. Now that my neice is 13 she is babysitting and getting paid. I’m sure that they would probably bring her over to clean for her G. if she would pay her.

My G. didn’t want to be bothered with us so we stayed at another baby sitter’s house who was a good person. G didn’t come over our house much that I remember and she lived a block away. We went to her house for holidays & Sunday dinner. I just didn’t remember her talking much at all and when I got older I didn’t think about visiting her. For a short while I stayed in her garage apt. and I was going through a stressful time as a young adult. I went in her house for some reason and she started crying that she thought I would visit with her more that I was living there. All those tears and I just didn’t know what to say. It is interesting how people that don’t develop relationships then just really expect so much and are unable to see that another person is having a hard time and take that into consideration. It just shows me that both her and my mom had very low emotional intelligence.


As far as I remember, I had two nice grandmothers, but I don’t really know for sure because I would have sworn that I had great parents until a few years ago. lol.

The thing that resonated with me was, “Realizing how things were for me as a child has gone such a long way towards the emotional healing that I have experienced.” I’ve often said the same thing.

While I was trapped in the world of fantasy, believing that I had such a great childhood, I thought “What’s WRONG with me that I came from such a great family and I turned out so screwed up?” I carried the weight of all the family shame. It wasn’t until I realized what abuse truly is and started peeling back the fascade, that I realized that I wasn’t the one who was screwed up. I was quite normal considering what happened to me. Even without digging any deeper, just that one piece of truth told me that I was a very strong person to have survived as well as I did.

Thanks for another great post!
Hugs, Christina


oh gosh yes! My Dad’s mother had PCOS like me but she was a total Narcissist. Appearances only. She barely parented my father, by his own admission (he had to have dinner almost daily and friend’s houses because she wouldn’t cook for him). She was a snob with no reason to be. Her sister took everything when she died and then the only people who showed up at her funeral were my Dad and a minister. Karma.

My other grandmother was a lovely person. She endured marriage to a violent, misogynistic drunk and tried to prevent my NarcMother (her daughter) from killing me on many occassions. I think she was out of her depth with my Nmother. I have missed her every day of the 30 years since she’s been gone.

I used to excuse a lot of this as being the way it was back in the 30s, 40s and 50s – but some women did have the strength to get away from the abuse and not put up with it. My good grandmother? Her drunk nasty husband wouldn’t raise a hand to her or say a word – she kept him in check. Problem was he’d beat his kids if she wasn’t around. But she did the best she could, short of leaving him (which wasn’t really an option back then). However, to just keep in the cycle of abuse to maintain the status quo now? Sorry I can’t buy that… once you know better – you’re obligated to do better. Especially for your own children.


Hi Lynda,
I know that it’s true! I know these sick things happened to us and that we had no way to articulate them because we had no clue what was right and what was wrong… what was acceptable behaviour for THEM to have had? They sure had a lot of instructions for me though…
Thank you Lynda for sharing all of this. I had a few more memories pop up while reading your shares too.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Patricia,
I know what you mean about having your nice grandmothers was a blessing. My other grandmother was wonderful. I don’t remember feeling unacceptable to her at all. Imagine if we had been raised by all the adults in our lives being regarded as wonderful and acceptable children? Imagine the difference that could make if everyone regarded children as individuals with equal value to themselves. In my life I was reminded over and over again that I was not as important or as valued as others.
Thank you for sharing this “good memory” and for the nasty ones; it is so important that we realize the truth about how dysfunctional all of that was.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Susa!
My nasty grandmother had a dark basement too, and we were also sent there. There was really nothing to do down there, (and it was very cold) so we had to run around and play to keep warm.. which is I guess why she always said we were too noisy… and my mothers family also said (all the time) “what is wrong with Darlene”. I should write a blog post about that dynamic too. Thanks for being here Susa, it helps so much to read everyone’s stories.
(PS I love that old song too)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Pinky,
Amazing how many of us have these stories of being mistreated and devalued by grandparents. The story book classic grandmother is painted as this wonderful nurturing person. I know that my mean grandmother has a pretty nasty history, I just don’t understand why I had to pay for it… well I guess we all had to pay for it. My mother told me several times how mean her mother was, but she never stood up to her. She was deathly afraid of her stepfather too… she told me she hated him.. and one day I just started to question the sanity in all of this. Really, there was none.
In my life, I made a decision not to repeat these mistakes with my own children. I guess that is what good came out of it. =)
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Bonnie
You said a mouthful in your comment about people that don’t develop relationships ~

You said ” I went in her house for some reason and she started crying that she thought I would visit with her more that I was living there. All those tears and I just didn’t know what to say. It is interesting how people that don’t develop relationships then just really expect so much and are unable to see that another person is having a hard time and take that into consideration. ”

Isn’t that the truth. Because they grew up believing that relationship is one sided; that the child bows down to and respects the adult, and the adult doesn’t have to do anything to “get that respect and love”. It is just ridiculous.

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Christina,
Oh can I relate to your point about “i thought I had two nice grandmothers, but then again up until a few years ago I thought I had great parents too.” There is such a “fog” surrounding the truth about our family systems and like you I didn’t know what “abuse was” I didn’t know what ANY kind of abuse was, so when it came to emotional abuse I was even more lost. I just thought that I was doing something wrong. I kept trying harder.
Thank you for pointing out how strong we are to have survived… that is so true.
Thanks for being here and sharing your wisdom!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Barbara,
I am glad that your grandmother advocated for you. Sounds like your mothers father was her problem. Sounds like she got hurt as a child from him. And I guess what I am getting at in this whole blog is that IF we see what happened to us, what happened to our parents even, then WE can be the ones to break the cycle. And if we see the mistreatment that we suffered, without excusing it, and keeping it separate from the fact that they may have also been abused, (at least until we ourselves get some healing under our belts) then when we heal a bit, we can take that healing to others and together we can stop that cycle. The generational cycle of abuse, passed on from generation to generation, just like the resulting depressions, addictions and other struggles. Looking at it this way is how I realized how I got so broken, and was able to heal.
Thanks for being here!
Hugs, Darlene


My guess is your mom didn’t know that she had the right to set healthy boundaries. In this case, I’m thinking that would mean no relationship with your grandmother. But obviously your mother was raised in this environment and didn’t know that she didn’t have to take that from her mother and also didn’t know that she had the responisibility to protect you from that as well. This is often the case with people raised in those types of environments. I’m just now realizing that I can set boundaries with my family. I’m not required to talk to them regularly just because they’re my family. If they’re hurtful towards me or my family, I don’t have to spend time with them.


My grandmas did not live close – 1 in another state, one in another country – so I didn’t see them much. I do know that one of them clearly favored my oldest sister; it was pretty much a family joke but in retrospect, it’s sad that the rest of us were ‘less’ to her. But I think she did the same to her own children. My other grandma was sweet as pie, from what I remember. And I did love them both very much, though never knew them well. I suppose they were a bit of a novelty to me because of that. I do have an aunt that, like Pinky said, I always thought was “eccentric”. I see now that she really is pretty unstable. She is extrememely charismatic and so people love her! I love her too, but now have the understanding that she isn’t terribly healthy.

The one who made remarks about my appearance or habits was my stepmother. Just after one of my children was born, she was visiting and was a bit appalled that I didn’t have any People magazines for her to read, I only had something like Women’s Day. Her remark: “Well, I can only have so many tuna casserole recipes.” Ouch. And somehow I felt very guilty about it, though I also knew I didn’t much care for the gossip rags. Why did I feel I had to be sorry for that??? For cryin’ out loud, I was birthing a baby – it wasn’t my job to buy her magazines!

Bonnie, I agree with Darlene – that comment really struck me as well, with your grandmother somehow putting the burden on you to suddenly ‘make’ a relationship with her. I remember once when I was probably around 18 to 20, my dad told me that he wanted to be my best friend. Though I was a couple decades away from becoming healthier and seeing the truth about the way things were, I do remember thinking, “Really?!? You are about 18 years too late!” Of course, I kept that thought to myself … As Darlene said, how ridiculous that they expect the child (at whatever age) to be the one responsible for having a relationship. So when there isn’t one, guess whose fault it is … not theirs! Sad. They missed out on so much when they didn’t pursue us. We are some strong and determined folks!

Darlene – the cougar picture with this blog is … just, wow!!! Great choice!


Yes, that is my point. My mother didn’t know that she had the right. Neither did I know that I had a right to set healthy boundaries. None of us know, because none of us were raised to know. What I started to realize is that we don’t just suddenly know! We have to realize that something was wrong, before we know. Because the grooming to teach us that we have NO CHOICE begins so young, it is very hard to realize that it was a lie. It is like being brainwashed. The thing that I realized about my own mother is that she never thought about what “no relationship” with her mother might have looked like. She didn’t consider that maybe that would have actually been a better option. =) The thought of that scares MANY of us, as though it is a fate worse then death… but I think that fear is also part of the brainwashing.
I am so glad that you realize YOU CAN set boundaries. YAY.
Thanks so much for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Monica,
I love what you said in your last paragraph. It expands ever more on what Bonnie said. They don’t try to build a relationship with us and then when we grow up, they think we should do it! They act stunned if we don’t do it. They act stunned if we say we are busy, or if we don’t want to cook christmas dinner…. WHAT?? There is no end to the one-sidedness about this story. There is no winning. And we wonder why we struggle with addiction, depression, food, anxiety…. REALLY???? I realized when I did this healing work, that my depressions which began when I was ten, were all about this stuff. And YES they missed out. They really did.
So glad that you shared!
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. glad you like the pic… It was one of the most frightening pictures that I have and I though it was fitting… LOL


Darlene said;
“IF we see what happened to us, what happened to our parents even, then WE can be the ones to break the cycle. And if we see the mistreatment that we suffered, without excusing it, and keeping it separate from the fact that they may have also been abused, (at least until we ourselves get some healing under our belts) then when we heal a bit, we can take that healing to others and together we can stop that cycle. The generational cycle of abuse, passed on from generation to generation, just like the resulting depressions, addictions and other struggles. Looking at it this way is how I realized how I got so broken, and was able to heal.”

ABSOLUTELY Darlene!! Same here. My children are not going through this, despite their Dad being a Narcissist. No. It stops with me.

The only thing I am still working on is my C-PTSD which will always be a struggle.


me too…until I realized that the good witch never did anything about my abuse either, and she could have, and I don’t understand how she couldn’t have…except that it must have been personal. Also, I have seen a new side since I’ve been openly on this journey and tried to ask questions about the past…and not just mine…ask questions that are unthinkable…the lack of response and the emotion that surrounds it tells a story without telling a story. So did I really have the openly bad witch and the pretend good witch, the making up for something witch? Who knows, but I know what I know…and I know that I felt a lot of love from one grandmother as a child…the love I needed…apparently in the only way it could be given…unconditionally, until last year when I started talking…with my own mouth. Now there is a thin line being tiptoed by each of us…and one of us is really toeing the line (not me)…which says a lot about what can happen to a good witch if the good Dorothy doesn’t behave.


I only knew my paternal grandmother and she hated me. I was terrified of her. Just one waggle of her finger and a look, a narrowing of the eyes like you describe were enough to make me comply to whatever.

She and my grandfather ran what would now be called a paedophile ring from their house. She was in real life a witch who was a medium and clairvoyant. The abuse that involved both grandparents, my mother and many of their male and female friends took place both within the context of rituals. My grandparents abused me and my brother together outside of the rituals, in normal day to day stuff and normalised a sexual relationship for me with my brother from when we were toddlers.

The word “play” was used by them as a pseudonym for sexual things. I knew when gramps said he wanted to play with me that it was not going to be fun. Similarly when granny said she wanted to kiss it better I knew it was going to feel far worse because her kisses were not a granny’s kisses.

They were very evil mean people who made their hatred of children and their hatred of me very real. My only value to them was how they could use me. I didn’t know what I’d done to deserve to be at the receiving end of so much hatred and nastiness. I tried very hard to be a good little girl and comply with their requirements of behaviour, but I could never be good enough.

I was brainwashed to believe it was all about me being bad and evil. I tried very hard to comply and be a good little girl but was constantly told how bad I was. Implying I deserved it because I was so bad. The children were there only “to be seen and not heard” was brainwashed into me too.

There is something very gross about a grandmother kissing her grand-daughter sexually and raping her while the mother holds the daughter down. My grandparents did not sleep together. They slept in separate rooms. My grandfather slept with my brother and I had to sleep with my grandmother when we stayed there. I often woke in the middle of the night with her on top of me suffocating me with a pillow. I never knew if she was really trying to kill me but I was terrified of her and played dead till she stopped. She disgusted me, I hated to be anywhere near her, she revolted me.

My grandmother was a very mean, nasty, critical cold woman who never had a good word to say about anyone. You would have thought she was my mother’s mother because my mother was just like her, but she was my father’s mother.

She and my grandfather ran a very mean house. The house ran on fear and I was just a bother to them. There was always some reason for them to abuse, some fault found in me. No matter how much I complied and respected them there was always something.

Your article triggered a massive tsunami of memories. I’ve never spoken about them and all this before. I never thought anyone would believe the truth about them.


Fi, what you went through with your grandparents and parents is so horrible. As I read what you wrote, I felt the same way that I have been feeling, when I watch and read the news about the horrible earthquake and tsumnami in Japan. Horrible beyond my ability to comprehend. My mind wants to say, No, this can’t be true… but there it is in the news, the relentless pictures and videos and stories of the horror that is going on in Japan, and I have to believe that yes, it is true.

That is what I think happens to most people when I tell about the horrible abuses and traumas of my childhood. I think that a lot of people don’t believe it’s true, because they don’t WANT to believe it could be true, just like we don’t want to believe that a massive earthquake that destroys entire cities and countries and kills thousands of people and injures thousands more, could possibly be true. Even when we see it on the news right in front of us, in living color, we don’t want to accept the reality of something so horrible.

When I tell about my mother trying to gas us all to death while the 5 of us kids were sleeping in our beds… no one wants to believe that. Even though we all too often see on the news where yet another parent, usually a mother, is being arrested for killing their children, still, no one wants to believe my true life story. When I told in my earlier comment here about my paternal grandmother running her hands very deliberately all over my breasts and down my body while she had a sick “turned on” look on her face, I thought, “People aren’t going to believe this,” ~~~~ after all, when it was actually happening to me, I didn’t want to believe it was happening! Oh, and I later thought about it, and I got my age wrong, I was 24, not 23. Not that it makes any difference I guess, but it is so important to me to tell the truth, exactly as I understand and remember it to be, because OH how I hate that feeling of not being believed.

I have Complex-PTSD from my childhood and abusive marriages and rape. The brilliant and compassionate Harvard Clinical Psychiatrist, Judith Herman, MD, coined the term “Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” in her landmark book, “Trauma and Recovery.” In that book she talks a lot about the “normal” reaction of most people, to NOT believe victims’ stories of abuse. She uses as one example, how many people today refuse to believe the Jewish Haulocaust really happened…. and also the tendency to “blame the victim” — there are people who blame the Jews, by saying they were too passive.

I was a 24-year-old adult, and I passively allowed my grandmother to violate me the way she did because I was so shocked… and because my abusive upbringing had taught me to discount my own feelings, and to believe that I had no worth, and to doubt my own perception of reality.

I’m so very sorry, Fi, that you endured the horrors that you describe. It is a miracle that you survived.

HUGS – Lynda


Beautiful picture. A stark contrast to such awful experiences, which to some degree I relate to.

Please consider popping by and linking up -Monday Madness linky –

I feel you’d have a lot to offer the mental health community. And that’s what I aim to do with this linky: Create a safe supportive community for all of us.



The title of this post caught my eye because my sister calls my mother the wicked witch. We never knew her mother because apparently her mother ran away when she was five (she never spoke about it, we found out from our father). I also never really knew my father’s mother because she died when we were quite young. So I don’t have many memories of grandmothers.

But the way you described your mother is unfortunately how my mother treats my children. She is a verbally abusive and selfish woman but she treated me with kindness and affection (or what I thought was kindness and affection). For that reason I bonded with her and made excuses for her behavior to others.

But when she started being invalidating to my children, not only with harsh and critical words, but also physically abusing them whenever I wasn’t around, I decided to limit my contact with her. I stopped staying with her every time I visited, opting to stay at motels.

The funny thing is that she seems to think they owe her respect and she is entitled to be harsh with them if they don’t tow the line. It’s the one-sided relationship you talk about. I feel so sorry for my kids that they had to put up with that from their grandmother.

And to think that they are going to have to meet her soon because she wants to visit me. I don’t feel like I can tell her not to come because I need her financial help.In fact, if not for my mother’s help, I will already be in huge trouble because my x-husband ripped us off and sneakily got away with not giving proper support or alimony. I so want to limit contact for the kids’ sake but at the same time she has been my only source of financial help and they need it. I left one abuser and am trying hard to go No Contact (hence not wanting to chase him for support) but find myself running into the arms of another abuser!


Hi Barbara,
YAY for you! I am glad that you are making a difference in the lives of your children!

Hi Wendi
This very often happens. I had this Uncle that I thought was so wonderful, until I said something that he took offence to when I was about 19. Actually I saw the true colours of my whole family when I changed. Even before I drew real boundaries, and was just expressing my own opinions I was aware of the resistance. My husbands family was even worse when it came to me. SO… yes, it is true; there is some risk involved when we take our lives back. BUT, it is so worth it to have my life back.
Thanks for your share, it is really true!

Hi Fi,
As I was reading your post I realized that as long as I have known you, you have never shared these horrific details of your life. From things that you have shared, I knew it was really bad. I believed your story before you even told it because there is just something about YOU Fi, that shines in truth. How people can be so vile and sick shocks me and sickens me. How people live through it always inspires me. You have come a long long way on this journey Fi.
What happened to you is so evil. And as always, the brainwashing is so huge; that you were bad and therefore deserved it ~ even brought it on yourself. And words like “Play” being used for sexual things… all of that stuff sets very deeply. I am so sorry that all of that happened to you and so happy that you got out of that alive.
I am so grateful that you are able to talk about it ~ there are so many others Fi, who have those secrets who also don’t think anyone will believe them. And it is so healing for others to know, for all of us to know, that we are not alone.
Thanks for sharing, thanks for being here.
And please take care of YOU right now, because sometimes a flood of memories like what you have described can be very overpowering and send you for a real loop!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Fi,
I’m so sorry for the horrible things that happened to you. I feel the same way that Darlene does that I believed you even before you told your story. I knew that some really, really bad things happened to you. I cried when I read those things. I HATE that they treated you so awful. I’m so glad that our paths crossed and that you’re healing.
Hugs, Christina


Hi Lynda,
You bring up another aspect of this whole thing; the reactions of others. In addition to the great points that you make here, there are many many reasons that we are not believed. In families, I think others don’t believe you because if they do it implies that they should “do something” about it, or should have done something. Easier to say you are lying. It can also imply that maybe they too have some history of abuse that they are not willing to face. For so many people it is just easier not to believe you, same as for so many survivors it is easier to keep quiet and not rock the boat. (but really, it is NOT at all easier, it takes a lot of energy to stay in the lies and cope with all that stuff instead of facing and growing and accessing our freedom)

I think the reason that I got stuck on a tiny detail, such as you mentioned about your age, if I was to get caught saying the wrong age, it would have been like “AH HA!!! We knew you were lying!” as though getting one little detail wrong was the proof that the whole story was a lie. And we were raised that way, so we are used to it, and we are afraid of it, and it is part of the way that we were controlled. Part of coming out of the fog for me was realizing that was the “rabbit trail” that they took me down to get me away from my original story, so that I could engage in an argument about my age at the time, and avoid making them face or even address the truth. This is such a great thing to talk about because it is such a common tactic.

You got me going this morning Lynda!! LOL There is so much to talk about!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Krissy
When you mentioned that your mother seems to think that your children “OWE” her respect, that is like some sort of epidemic that we have going on in our society, as though children are not actually people yet. They just have to tow the line, (not even knowing what the hell that line is) and they have to comply, conform, and never actually have any choice about how they feel or think. HOW are they supposed to grow up being able to actually know they have any value at all when this is how they are treated??? This is really the whole root of the dilemma.
Thanks for sharing today Krissy, I am really sorry that you and your kids are in this situation ~ it is a very tough place to be and this is such a huge topic that so many struggle with. If your mother is helping you with money stuff, and if SHE believes that you are under obligation to her, then as you say, you are still in the abuse system. But there is always hope!! Keep sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


How are your brother and sister doing with alcohol today? Did/do they have drinking problems?


My paternal grandmother, died suddenly at her peak, age 42, beautiful and healhty looking, and her husband, my grandpa, developed adrenal failure (pituitary induced adrenal failure-secondary Addison’s Disease) within five years of this shock death. (Strange how it was discovered as he was not recovering properly from gallbladder surgery–makes you wonder about these procedures) My dad was 19 and not graduated from high school yet, since he missed a grade due to rheumatic fever; his mother had cared for him at home for months. His older brother (five years older) had been shipped to France, WWII, at age 18, so the mom lived through a lot, plus her own near death in the flu epidemic in 1918, 21 years earlier. She almost died giving birth to her firstborn. There is no way to calculate the hole that this created in my life. I could write a book on the family dynamics and the losses. I felt that I lived with the presence of the one who was gone, that it was a loss from which my dad never recovered and was not fully himself, for whatever reasons. She was not absent from our lives, however.

My grandfather remarried his wife’s best friend within one year, and my grandma’s family disowned my grandpa and all of us, I guess, since they didn’t like him getting married! (go figure) .

I sat in a photo with my grandpa, in his chair in his home, the week he died when I was still three. They lived by the Indy 500 and it was race weekend when he died. My mother told me not to say anything at the funeral or afterwards that would make my step-grandmother cry. I was three! Now I am responsible for the emotional condition of a woman in her sixites who just lost her second husband!! (She divorced the first one–a drunk) Well, she cried anyway, and I, of course, was confused as to what I caused or didn’t cause.

But my own pain, the pain of knowing my grandpa and losing him, and being just old enough to know what it all meant, was huge. And I have struggled with the same adrenal problem he had for my whole adult life, for 20 years in an unhealhty situation. Adrenal shock. (The medical establishment is NOT good at diagnosing this, so I treat myself with supplements and the help of knowledgeable people.)

And I learned after reading books on abusive men, abusive relationships, etc., that usually when I went into adrenal shock (several dysfunctional hours of nausea, dehydration, diarrhea, dry throat, can’t eat or talk, lying on the floor –potentially it is fatal–) that I went into this state when I thought that I caused an abusive person’s behavior. When I read that abusive people CHOOSE their behaviors, that was a huge light bulb moment. Let me restate that, all people CHOOSE their behaviors. I am not the cause and was not the cause. It has been a road of gaining strength in the last six years. Praise God!!

I actually have a story from a cousin that my grandmother’s grandfather (or great-grandfather) was in a war camp called Andersonville, and while most never got out, there was an act of God, and he escaped as a young adult. We would have never been born at all. The blacks helped him to freedom in the south!


From Darlene,
“…they grew up believing that relationship is one sided; that the child bows down to and respects the adult, and the adult doesn’t have to do anything to “get that respect and love”.
Isn’t that the truth?? And they put us in situations where this same dynamic exists…


thanks so much for the Amazing Grace song and your amazing take on that song! I sang it at a graveyard serivce last winter for a friend’s son who was accidentally killed by boys playing with guns in a house with guns that were not locked up. He had been gone one year and we had a service. What a great thought to rename the person Grace and think of grace impersonated that way.


You said “My husbands family was even worse when it came to me.”
They can tell this ahead of time and know that they can treat you poorly?? That was my experience, anyway. It was horrible. They were medical and I was ridiculed for eating in more healthy ways, breatfeeding, and having homebirths. They were teachers and I was ridiculed for home schooling and turning out a National Merit Scholar.
What a relief to get away from them.


@ Monica – Thanks. My dad did the same thing. He gave me a car at 18 yrs old and said that now that I had a car I could visit him more. I never did except holidays with other family members.

My grandmother’s behavior did mystify me. When I was in the military I would occasionally call her, chat for a while and then try to get off the phone only to hear “I wish you would call more. I hardly ever hear from you.” I guess I just didn’t want to listen to that. My mother would tell her not to do that. That is one thing I can credit my mom with is that she doesn’t whine like that. My mother also told me her mother never told her she loved her, so I always make a point of saying that to my mom.


From John Gatto Taylor’s Grandpa’s Letter to a 17-year-old

a few points I thought could apply to us here on this blog

5. Mirroring: Have you learned to be everyone as well as yourself? Can you be a chameleon at will? Or are you trapped in your own tight skin the way little people are? Can you fit into every group, even a group of your enemies, opting in and out as you please, yet remaining yourself?

6. Expression: Do you have a voice that’s your own? Can you deliver that voice with clarity, style, and force in writing and speaking? Without that, your ability to recruit allies will be feeble, and you will likely be swallowed up by someone whose expressiveness is superior to your own.

7. Judgement: Can you evaluate dispassionately? Can you see through falsehood? The society you are entering is a house of mirrors; little of what you see and few of those you meet will be what they appear. The most attractive personalities are invariably dishonest. How much chance did you have to develop judgement and test it?


Krissy, I can relate to your situation about needing your mother’s financial help, although she apparently uses it as a way to ensure her “right” to treat your children, her grandchildren, in a harsh way, while demanding love and respect from them.

I have very mixed emotions about my maternal grandmother. While I was hurt by her attitude toward me, as I stated in post #1, on the other hand she wasn’t ever HALF as mean and abusive as my really weird paternal grandmother. My maternal grandmother, with the help of my wonder aunt, my mother’s only sibling, used to make me a whole new wardrobe of beautiful dresses for the start of every school year: seven lovely handmade dresses, one for every day of the week. I was so grateful for that yearly gift, which I got from first grade through the sixth grade. My parents never wanted to spend money on me, so I don’t know what I would have been wearing, if it hadn’t been for my maternal grandmother. For my 7th grade year, the first year that grammie didn’t send me any dresses, she said it was because she had arthritis in her hands and couldn’t do it anymore. So I wore hand-me-downs that a friend of my mother’s gave me, the clothes that her older teenage daughter had outgrown from the previous school year. They were lovely dresses, but they were all too tight and too short, because that was the summer that I shot up in height and my chest developed. So the kids in the new school we moved to that year teased me, calling me a slut because my clothes were all so tight and so short… but it wasn’t of my choosing. Then the following year, for the 8th grade, I had to hock my precious flute to a pawn shop, to have money for clothes. I got just enough money to buy 2 cheap dresses at Kmart, and a pair of shoes that looked lovely, but they fell apart the first time I walked home from the bustop in the rain. Apparently they were put together with water soluble glue!

SO… sorry, I digressed, I’m just saying that if it weren’t for my Grammie’s caring, I would have been dressed in rags all through grade school.

But the biggest thing that my maternal grandparents did, was when my parents’ marriage ended when I was 12, when dad came so close to killing my mother that I thought she was dead, and then he was arrested, and then put in a psychiatric ward, we lost our house, the house my parents had built when I was 6. We also lost our only car, and we got so broke that there was nothing left for the 5 of us kids and our mother to eat, but a little bit of peanut butter in the bottom of a jar, and a few slices of bread. And there was no more money. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as welfare, so I truly believed that we were all going to starve to death!

Then my mother swallowed her pride and called her parents, who were living a couple of thousand miles away, and let them know what was happening. She hadn’t wanted them to know about the violent failure of her marriage to my dad, because they had been so opposed to their marriage from the very beginning.

Well, my grammie and granddad saved the day. Grammie got on a plane, flew out to where we lived, bought us a decent running older car, bought a house in a nearby town, where she and granddad intended to retire to someday, and got us all packed up and moved out before we were forceably thrown out of our house. Grammie also did the work needed to get us all signed up for welfare, and food commodities, the precursor to food stamps. She got me enrolled in my new Junior High, she bought me a new bed, because I was still sleeping on an old army cot…. grammie literally saved our lives. And we lived in that house rent-free for 2 years, until my mother remarried and we moved out.

So, I felt/feel guilty for “complaining” about my grammie, after all she did for us! Yet…. it hurt to learn from my aunt that, behind our backs, my grammie always referred to my mother, and my siblings and me, as “Barbara and her brood” ~ my mother had 5 kids from her first marriage, then 2 during her second marriage, while my aunt, mom’s lovely brilliant kind younger sister, had 2 children. It also hurt to learn that, while I, as the eldest grandchild (and only grandchild for nearly 7 years), was taught to call my maternal grandparents “Grammie” and “Granddad,” when my aunt’s two children were born, the woman I always knew as “Grammie” insisted that they call her “Grandmother” and call Granddad “Grandfather.” My aunt’s two children weren’t born until I was a teenager, they were born around the time that I was 14 and committed by my mother to a mental institution, immediately after her marriage to my stepdad. From that time on I felt very much like I had become a “non-person” in my maternal grandparents eyes. I was the “bad seed” that my dad, whom they had never liked, had produced. And they took all their grandparents’ love and pride and hope in the next generation, away from me and my siblings, and poured it all on my two young cousins. That’s how it seemed to me, anyway.

SO…. I have mixed, and guilty feelings, for saying, or writing, anything bad about them. My maternal grandfather retired as the Associate Warden of Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. I am very proud of him, and remember him fondly.



PS~ My paternal grandmother, who had a daughter, my half-aunt, two days after I was born… she told me to call her “Nell,” because she didn’t want people to know that she was old enough to have granddaughter the same age as her daughter. But then, when I was a teenager, she cried one day and asked me why I had never loved and respected her enough to call her “grandmother,” why had I always been so disrespectful as to call her by her first name? She apparently had totally forgotten that she was the one who told me to call her “Nell!”

Then, when my first grandchild was born 19 years ago, my paternal grandmother sent me a letter telling me, “SO, now YOU are a grandmother. BE A GOOD ONE.” !?! She teased me in a mean way every time I was around her, because her spoiled-brat bully of a daughter was so extremely jealous of me. She allowed her daughter to bully me unmercifully, while I tried so hard to make her like me so we could be friends, she put me down for everything… my hair, how skinny I was (her daughter was too plump and had straight hair, mine was naturally curly), on and on and on the teasing/put-downs went… and then when I was 24 she touched me in a disgusting, sexual way… and she had the nerve to tell me to “BE A GOOD GRANDMOTHER”? Like, how am I supposed to even know what that is?

Sorry for the rant…. thinking about all this is making me mad. I want to end on a GOOD note: two of my great-grandmothers were living when I was born, one lived until I was 19, the other died when I was 8. They treated me pretty good, especially my Great-grandmother Dollie, she was exactly what a grandmother should be. She died when I was 8, but I still remember her love and sweetness.


I was just thinking the other day about my great-grandmother, Laura, who died when I was eight. I remember visiting her at some point, and she was about as tall as I was! She looked so happy to see me, she reached out her hands and put them on my face. I remember seeing those hard-working hands reach out for my face. She was later in the nursing home and asked us, in her feeble voice, if we had been to the county fair that day; it was summer time.
What do you remember about yours?


Sheryl, what sweet memories of your great-grandmother Laura.

I remember that my great-grandmother Dollie, my mother’s mother’s mother, was the best cook EVER. We were at her house, along with lots of other uncles and aunts and cousins, for at least 2 Thanksgiving dinners that I remember, and oh they were the BEST. Her real name was Susan Rachael, but she was called Dollie, after Dollie Madison, who was famous for her great cooking. “Dollie” is the name on her tombstone, in fact, instead of her real first and middle names.

I remember we went to church with her one time, and she sang the old hymns with gusto, in her sweet, cracking, old-lady’s voice. Afterward, her daughgter, my grammie, complained to my mother, that when a woman reached a certain age she ought not to sing, that it was too embarrassing to hear her wavering old voice. But I had LOVED hearing it, especially loved the sweet, joyful expression on her face as she sang the old hymns.

She bought me a doll once, when she was traveling somewhere with me, my mother, and grammie. We had stopped at a truck stop, and my great-grandmother saw this little doll and asked me if I would like to have her. I said yes, of course, I LOVED dolls when I was little, I was very maternal. So then my great-grandmother asked the sales clerk the price, told her it was too high, and said she would give her… I don’t remember, this was in the late 1950s, but anyway, she offered the clerk less. I don’t know if the clerk agreed to take less or not, I only know that she did buy the doll for me. Later, her daughter, my grammie, complained about how embarrassing that was to her, hearing her mother haggle over the price of my doll. Grammie…. didn’t seem to like her mother very much. She certainly didn’t like my own mother, her daughter, AT ALL, not according to her actions. Grim and resentful, that’s how I remember her, even when she was spending so much money on us and sewing my clothes for me, I NEVER got the feeling that she was doing it out of LOVE, but only OBLIGATION. I could be wrong, no one can really know the motives and feelings inside another person’s heart, I’m just saying that’s what her tone of voice, her facial expressions, and her body language conveyed to me… that, and telling me so many times not to do what my mother had done, not to marry too young and have a baby too soon… that baby being ME.

I have just one item left from my childhood. I was one of those kids who carefully saved everything, all my toys, beginning with my baby rattles and teething rings, all my school papers, I wanted to keep it all forever. My mother threw every single thing that I owned away, when I was 14. But she overlooked one thing… a little tin of cheek rouge that had belonged to my great-grandmother Dollie. It was given to me by her husband, my step-great-grandfather, shortly after my great-grandmother Dollie’s death when I was 8 years old. I still have that old tin of rouge it as a keepsake of my dear grandmother… who, I recently learned, was a direct descendant from Ralph and Joyce Wallen, who arrived at Plymouth Rock on the second ship, not the Mayflower, in 1623 I believe it was…. and that was the occasion of the very first American Thanksgiving, to celebrate that ship’s arrival, with new settlers and much needed supplies!

So, half of my mother’s side of the family came from the Pilgrims. Which explains a lot, I think.

As for my other great-grandmother, the one who died when I was 19, she was sort of funny. She was my mother’s dad’s mother, and, although she didn’t look it, she was half-Indian, her dad, she told me, was either Cherokee or Choctaw, I’m not sure which. Her maiden name was Beaver. She was married at age 13, and had 9 children. Her husband, my great-granddad, who died when I was 6, was both a farmer and a city bus driver, to feed that large family. I remember after he died, my great-grandmother Willie… that was her actual first name… told me that the HUGE trees that were standing all in a row in the front yard of their old farmhouse, had been planted 50 years before my my great-grandfather, when they were just little twigs. I couldn’t have felt more thunderstruck if she had told me that great-granddaddy had been with God at the beginning of time, helping to carve the huge Rocky MOuntains, that’s how impossibly big those trees looked to my 6-year-old mind… and, 50 years ago! That was FOREVER!!

One thing my great-grandmother Willie did that frightened the heck out of me, although I know she didn’t intend it that way… she told me that I was the favorite of all her grandchildren, because: I LOOKED JUST LIKE SHE DID WHEN SHE WAS A LITTLE GIRL. Hearing that literally gave me nightmares, because she was UG-LY!!! Hunchbacked and all wrinkled with a huge misshapen nose and big old flappy ears… eeek! For years I feared that as I got older, I would one day look like her! LOL


I’m sorry, Darlene, for posting so much here, but I just have to say one more thing… writing earlier about my paternal grandmother telling me to “Be a Good Grandmother,” got me to thinking. AM I a good grandmother?

Sadly, in all honesty, no, I am not. I am not a mean or abusive grandmother or anything like that, not at all, I absolutely love and adore my three living grandchildren, and the one in heaven…. I would never hurt any of them in any way, not emotionally or physically. I would in fact give up my own life in a heartbeat, if that were needed to save the life of any one of them. That is the God’s truth.

BUT… I am not really in their lives. I moved 2,000 miles away from them, 8 years ago, and have only had the funds to go back to see them once in all these years, and then had to borrow the money, it was to go to my baby grandson’s funeral, one of the saddest days of my life. I do communicate with my 2 teenaged granddaughter via facebook, on my family fb, but my precious 13-year-old grandson is far too cognitively handicapped to get on facebook. I adore him too, he is pure love.

I feel guilty for living so far away… I left to flee a terribly abusvie and addictive relationship, and also the bullying that I was going thru in that area in the 12-step group I had gone to for HELP in getting through my last divorce, but I ended up being so badly ostracized and bullied instead, it was crazy and literally almost drove me to suicide. After I moved to New Mexico where I now live, I met the man who is now my best-friend-husband, the love and light of my life. We also have the best next-door neighbors in the world, they are our best friends, we have so much in common it is amazing.

But I feel so guilty for not being a much bigger part of my grandchildren’s lives. We don’t have money to buy them nice things… we are still fighting the VA for my husband’s full disability, he has not been able to work since March 2005 due to his injuries, both physical and mental, from Vietnam. If/when we get that, then we can go visit the grandkids and grown kids often, and pay to have them come here too, and send them lovely gifts. But right now… with my complex-ptsd, I don’t mean it as an excuse, it is just the reality, I feel like I can barely manage our day-to-day lives, just me and my best-friend-hubby and our sweet little fur-baby Cattle Dog, and sometimes a get-together with our neighbors, but that is it, I don’t seem to have the emotional or physical energy for reaching out to anyone else, almost never. And I feel very guilty about that. I hope that as I continue to heal, as I speak my truth on this blog and on my blog, that I will be like Darlene, and heal completely from my brokenness, so that I can start from NOW being the kind of mother, and grandmother, that I wish I could have been my whole life long.


Hi everyone!

Thanks for all the great sharing!
Please don’t apologize for writing a lot Lynda, I don’t mind at all. I just can’t answer every comment all the time or I have no time to write more blog posts!

Lynda, a good grandmother is not about how often you see them, or about gifts you give them. It is about your heart towards them. You sound wonderful.


Darlene, I love you so much. Will you please be my sister? 🙂

Hugs, Lynda


I had a step grandmother who used to insult me and treat me with great disdain and impatience. And in my mind, my memory, I thought she was the least abusive family/authority figure in my childhood; it wasn’t until reading this blog post that I realized how damaging her words were to me, especially in light of what I was already going through. She was also a church minister, so her words carried significant weight in my soul, as everyone thought she was so wise and holy, ‘spirit filled’. I absorbed her words and attitude toward me as if they were coming from God himself, it crushed me deeply to think that God felt these things about me and was speaking through her. Amazing the layers of wounds you discover in this process.


Dear Jeanette, in reading your comment, I could just FEEL how crushing your step-grandmother’s harsh attitude would be to a little girl who considered her step-grandmother’s words and attitude to come from God himself. My dad was a church minister too, so I have a real idea of what that must have done to your as a child.

Remember the chapter in the Bible where Christ’s disciples were telling the little children who were flocking around the Lord to leave him alone, and Jesus said, in the old King James version, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not. For of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Suffer, in the old English sense, meant “allow” the little children to come unto me… I remember there is also a verse about a curse that will come to anyone who ”causes one of these little ones to stumble~”

Even in well-meaning innocence, young children can be given the WRONG idea about Christianity. When my eldest child was 8 or 9, he came home from his Christian school in tears one day. He poured out his tale of woe, then ended his sad story by saying, “Well, I guess that’s what God wants. God wants me to suffer.”

I told him that NO, God absolutely does NOT want him to suffer ~ God loves him and wsnts him to be happy. My son shook his head in disagreement and said, “But the Bible says, Suffer the little children…”

A funny story, but sad, too. I’m glad I was able to explain to him what the Old English definition of the word “suffer” meant, in that context.

In my case though, as I was growing up, according to my very strict, fundamentalist father, I could never be perfect enough to please God. I tried so hard to be! But it was never enough. Oh, I could write volumes on the Bible-guilt-trips my minister dad put on me when I was a kid.

But now, we are learning the truth about our childhood abuses and misperceptions, and the truth really is setting us free.


Such interesting, but sad histories shared here. Many seem to have a religious connection, as my family of origin did including grandmothers. I have learned much from comparing the behaviors of grandparents, to the behaviors of their children – my parents, and how their behaviors manifested themselves in my parents.

Susa> Sheryl

Isn’t it “amazing” how a child’s mind can interpret meanings including those of songs? We did hear that song a lot (with dad being a Methodist choir director), but in my child’s mind, we didn’t associate it in a religious context at all… “Amazing Grace” was simply a song about our inside nurturer and guide, “Grace”. It makes total sense now. We even did a painting of what our “Grace” looked like during the 60s in art school. Here is a link to that painting of “Grace”:


I did not know your father’s occupation until now! Have you read Randall Arthur’s Brotherhood of Betrayal? We could not put these down! Especially that title. It is a “must read”. Relaistic fiction, based on the author’s experiences in fundie circles. I found it extremely moving and my son read it while I went through a divorce and it was moving for him and I saw him really grieve. I think the book helped.


Hi Lynda,
You are so sweet! We are a special kind of sisters!

Hi Jeanette,
I often think of the layers as we figure this stuff out; I picture unearthing the truth a layer at a time on the way down to the roots. This kind of stuff, (being treated like this, with such total disregard for the soul and spirit of the child) in so many ways set the stage for the rest of it. We have no defence as children. We have no way to cope with those kinds of words, and so often there is other abuse heaped on too, and these kinds of words act as affirmations, that we are indeed, no good.
Thank you for sharing ~ what you have shared is very profound and represents what happens to so many of us.
hugs, Darlene

I want to answer the other comments too! I am on my way to the city for the day so it will have to wait till I get back!!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks, Sheryl, I will look for that book.

My dad had multiple personality disorder. When I was 12, the higly moral, extremely strict, but loving “good daddy/minister” left forever… at least, I never saw him again. He had been the primary personality while I was growing up.

After that, my dad became a Buddhist, something the “old daddy” would have preached that you would go to hell for. He started living and dressing really wild, from his conservative minister’s dark business suits he was dressing almost like a hippie, riding a motorcycle, playing rock and roll music, running around with women closer to my age than his, drinking, smoking, even smoking pot… again, doing all the things that had been so strictly forbidden before. The minister daddy didn’t allow tv, or movies, or card games, not even the kids’ card games Authors or Go Fish or Mother Goose, because it could lead to gambling… women couldn’t wear makeup or jeans or pants at all, they weren’t supposed to cut their hair, altho my mother did. He was so strict that we couldn’t even say gosh or golly, as it was a disguised way of taking the Lord’s name in vain, we could’t say heck or darn or son of a gun, or shoot. In fact we could NEVER be angry…. OH, but DAD could!!! We couldn’t listen to secular music and dancing of course was EVIL.

Then suddenly this new personality took over my dad, and all of that changed. There were people who believed my dad was demon possessed.

I kept waiting for the scary-indifferent-stranger-dad to leave, and the good, loving, caring but strict daddy to come back… but he never did. Other personalities came along, in fact he left Buddhism and became a Catholic shortly before his unexpected death at the age of 53. When dad was a Pentecostal-type minister, he preached that the Pope was the anti-Christ!

It was… a weird way to grow up, Sheryl, to say the least!


How extreme! How did he die?
A lot of rules to keep track of.
I have seen family clans go through some of these outward changes, yet something about them seems the same as before, so I think it was all about, in this case, getting better control over their social groups.
What a time, and thank you for sharing it!


Susa> Lynda

Wow…. this sounds so very familiar. We were only allowed to listen to “approved” music which consisted of mostly classical, religious, and the old crooners. I was almost disowned for buying the Beatles Rubber Soul record. This was when dad was the Methodist Church choir director. Then, when dad was in his fifties, he started listening to heavy metal rock groups. He also did the alcohol, drugs and sex, but his was mostly with his male yard boys and their friends after mother would go to bed. I often suspected MPD with dad too… Drastic changes in personality.


I found in the records back about 7 generations where a great-grandpa disowned a female (daughter?) for marrying the wrong (color?) perhaps?
It was painful, to say the least, to read this…
family owned church/s


Hi Lynda and everyone,
I am not sure that your Dad actually fits the description of DID the way that I understand it but what was wrong with him is not exactly the point. (and I had to try to resist the temptation to figure out the others in my life so that I could stick to what happened to ME) In healing, it is always about how this effected YOU. The way that your father changed is a huge transition for a kid to live through. I am really glad that you are sharing the details of your past, this is so helpful for everyone here but I want to encourage everyone to remember as we go through this process, the bottom line is what this did to your belief system, so that we can find those lies that are still in there and change them to the truth. That is the freedom producing part of the process.
There is often a religious connection, but there are many other connections too and it is all about the misuse of power and control, and the way that we were not given any value or equality as children. I had to see that part of it in order to heal.
Hope this makes sense!
Love Darlene



Just an attepmt to restate what you said, which is SO good, in my own words. Help me out if I am missing something, because this should be a little “liturgy” that we all memorize to bring us back…

Chaos outwardly resulted from the power and control that were used against me, and how I was devalued and silenced (not given equality). Inwardly, what resulted in my belief system regarding myself, God, and the world, were lies, so that I continued operating under that bad power and control, not realizing my value or using my voice.


Yes, that is very very true! I think it is excellent to re phrase in your own words! Helps so much to cement it!
Thanks for posting this!!!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone,
I’m sorry if I’m sharing too many details about my life… sometimes I get on a roll and don’t know where to stop. My life ~ my childhood especially ~ was REALLY CRAZY & ABUSIVE, from both parents, both sides of the family. Then, I went straight from my childhood into crazy and abusive adult relationships, because dysfunction and abuse was my “normal,” it was what I had been taught that I “deserved.” It’s only been in these past 8 years since just before I turned 50, that my eyes have been opened to how terribly WRONG my childhood was, and I have come to understand how my crazy, abusive childhood caused me to believe LIES about myself…

You’re so right, Darlene: the LIES, the faulty-belief system, the totally screwed up sense of my own self-worth, or really I should say, the utter lack of my self-worth, that grew out of the foundation of my crazy abusive childhood… THAT is what made me “sick,” those lies and that faulty belief system is what caused me to be “broken.” This is the bottom line, the one thing we all seem to have in common, regardless of how different the personal details of our childhood may have been. I learned from my dad, from my mother, and from my grandmothers, that I didn’t have the right to be born. I learned that I was more trouble than I was worth. I learned that my feelings, my needs, my wants, did not matter. I learned that I wasn’t good enough for my feelings, my needs, and my wants, to matter. I learned that everyone else had value, everyone else had rights, everyone else deserved to be here ~ but not me. I learned that I was crazy. I learned that I would not be believed when I spoke my truth. I learned that my opinions and beliefs did not matter.

I learned that I had NO VALUE, except for my looks, and for sex. But when the makeup came off, and all my freckles and my naturally thin, short blonde eyelashes and too-small eyes came into view, when my naturally frizzy hair frizzed out like a wild afro in the humidity, and when the clothes came off and my many stretch marks from 3 childbirths showed, THEN my looks and my body wasn’t even good enough for sex.

I learned from the way I was treated from babyhood on, to not like myself. I learned, as I got into adulterous affairs in my desperate search to be loved, to HATE myself. NOTHING HURTS WORSE THAN HATING YOURSELF. I was broken by my family as a child, and then, I was rejected and put down even more by the world/society, for being broken.

It was only when I learned, at the ripe old age of 50, that I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t “less than,” but that I was in fact amazingly strong to have survived all that I did, and that my brokenness was in fact NORMAL in someone who has gone through a lot of terrible traumas, just as it is NORMAL for a person to BLEED if they are STABBED ~ it was only then, as I began to learn the simple truth that: I HAVE EQUAL VALUE TO EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING WHO HAS EVER BEEN BORN, AND I HAVE AS MUCH OF A RIGHT TO BE HERE, TAKING UP SPACE ON THIS PLANET, AS DOES ANYONE ELSE… then, and only then, did I begin to heal from being so horribly broken.

I had tried countless self-help books, therapies, and religions in that past, but nothing had helped me in any significant way, until, like Darlene, I began to take my life back, to take my pride back, to stand up for myself and say NO, you may not judge me, you may not abuse me, you may not disrespect me, and still be a part of my life in any way… It was only when I learned that I am FAR BETTER OFF being totally ALONE WITH ME, even if I’m living in a hovel or under a bridge, I am still far better off than living in the grandest palace, in the company of someone who doesn’t respect and value me as an equal…. only THEN did I begin to heal from my lifetime of broken-neediness.

I am still healing, and this great blog community of Darlene’s is a big part of my continued healing today.

Thank you, Everyone, who is a part of my healing on this blog. Thank you, Darlene, most of all.

With Love,


Don’t apologize, unless you want to. That is why we are here. It is good to unfold it all and hang it out to dry!


Thanks, Sheryl! And, to answer your earlier question re how my dad died, he had type 1, or Juvenile, Diabetes, starting from when he was in his teens. His blood sugar was very hard to control, and that ultimately caused damage to his cardiac system, resulting in a fatal heart attack at age 53.

With regards to what Darlene said in an earlier comment, about my dad’s diagnosed Multiple Personality Disorder (diagnosed in the 1960s), as not sounding like her understanding of DID… I don’t know much about Dissociative Identity Disorder, but I’ve been thinking about what Darlene said, and I believe she has a valid point there.

I also agree wholeheartedly with Darlene’s reasons for not focusing on “diagnosis labels,” and I particularly like her emphaisis on keeping the focus on on own healing, rather than focusing on what may have been wrong with our abusers. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to speculate a little, on what I have learned in recent years about the little-known genetic disorder I inherited, from BOTH parents~

I was diagnosed in 2003 with Hereditary Hemochromatosis. Until recent years, little was known about HH, and in fact it was rarely diagnosed until the autopsy! My dad did not have an autopsy, because it was assumed that his type 1 diabetes caused his fatal heart attack, so, what was there to look for in an autopsy?

After reading everything I could on my diagnosed HH, I strongly suspect that my dad had HH, too. I know for certain that both my father and my mother had to be carriers of HH, because in 2004 I had genetic testing done, and was told that I inherited the defective gene which causes hereditary hemochromatosis, from both parents.

HH is a metabolic disorder that causes the body to store up highly toxic levels of iron, from an ordinary diet. Over time… usually over many years… the increasingly toxic levels of iron slowly attacks EVERY SINGLE ORGAN IN THE BODY. It starts off so slowly and insiduously that, until recent years, the damage resulting from the toxic iron was all that was normally diagnosed, while the underlying cause, the high iron, went unnoticed: for example, diabetes is a typical result of having HH, due to the high iron destroying the pancreas; various heart problems are typical also, due to the high iron attacking the cardiac system; arthritis is also typical with HH, due to the high iron attacking the joints; fibromyalgia is also common, due to the high iron attacking the muscles and soft connective tissue; cirrhosis of the liver, and even liver cancer, happens very frequently, due to the high iron attacking and concentrating in the liver, and….. the highly toxic levels of iron in the blood also crosses the blood-brain barrier and can therefore cause depression, confusion, memory loss, and, in the most severe cases, something called Brain Failure… which can manifest in various ways, for example it can appear as paranoid schizophrenia, due to the toxicity in the brain caused by the high levels of iron.

SO… I strongly suspect that my dad actually had full-blown HH, and wasn’t simply a carrier of one defective gene. If so, perhaps that caused a lot of his mental problems, in addition to being the cause of his type 1 diabetes, and cardiac problems. My dad’s skin darkened considerably over the years, although he had very fair skin as a young adult. Toxic levels of iron in the body can cause ‘brownzing” of the skin; I have some areas of that now, myself. I remember, too, that my dad was frequently rubbing his upper right side, right under the rib cage, where the liver is located…. back when my HH was diagnosed, my liver was inflamed and enlarged and painful, due to the deposits of iron that had accumulated over the years in my liver, and I often rubbed that area, to try to soothe the pain.

HH is typically much harder on men than on women, because most women lose blood ever month, due to menstruation, which helps keep their iron levels lower. My iron got so high when I stopped having a monthly period, for about 2 years, in my late 40s. Oddly, now I am almost 58, but having very heavy ones again… which is good for keeping my iron level low, but it can be a sign of uterine cancer… I have an appointment with my dr. tomorrow, Thursday, to learn the results of my recent uterine biopsy. I’m a little nervous about that!

HH is found in every nationality, but is most prevalent in the Irish. Some call it the Celtic Curse. My dad’s maternal grandmother came from Ireland, and she died very young. I look pure Irish. So did my dad’s mother. She was also a mess, mentally. Who knows how much, if any, of my crazy family history, may have ultimately been caused by a little-known genetic metabolic disorder? My mother is a carrier, and there are some reports of carriers also being affected by HH symptoms. And who knows how far back, on both sides of my family tree, hereditary hemochromatosis has been causing physical, and possibly mental, problems?

When my iron levels were very high, I had a lot of trouble thinking. My moods were all over the place, and I got easily confused and forgot things a lot, despite having a high iq. When my iron levels got back down to normal, I felt mentally like I had come out of a thick fog. Suddenly I could THINK again! The chemistry symbol for iron is “Fe.” There is an online group of HH sufferers who call themselves the “Fe-Brains” because of the brain fog that toxic levels of iron in the blood can cause.

I have a younger brother who looks just like our dad, who was diagnosed in his teens with schizophrenia, and has never been able to function normally in life. He’s in his late 40s and had never been able to hold down a job, never been married, and he has to live in a group home. My brother was also very fair-skinned like our dad was, but over the years his skin has gotten very dark. BUT… no one in our family will listen to me when I say that he needs to be tested for HH, because, after all, he has doctors, and what do I know, I’m just the “weird one” in the family.

OK, that’s more than enough about me…. sorry! Like I said earlier, I get on a roll…..!



Wow, Great work! Thank you so much for sharing it here. This is how I found myself, by looking at what I had come to believe about myself, what I had been TOLD and taught about my value, just like this. Just like you just did here.
Thank you,
It is an honour to have your work on my blog.
Hugs, Darlene


Julia Ross wrote The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure. She worked in addictions for 15 years and discovered four categories of addictions (substances) and the amino acids that wil counter those cravings withing 24 hours to get a person on the road to recovery quickly.
In the Mood Cure, she writes about people who are from coastal plain areas, such as Ireland, Scotland (I have some of this in my genetics) and if you have only 25% of this in your make-up, you need a certain kind of protein (sardine, salmon, tuna) in your diet on a regular basis to off-set the carbohydrate craving, the worst of which, is alcohol. When you actually li ve on the coastal plain, you eat more of these foods than we do in this country. From what you said about your ancestry and the health issues, the bronzing of the skin (my grandfather did this with his adrenal failure) I wonder if this protein source would help. Tuna, sardines, and salmon is what she reccommends. MY voice teacher’s husband is Irish and has digestion issues. He had to have his tonsils removed, maybe twice, but is wrecked his singing voice, and he is a full-time musician. I may be calling her soon and will try to remember to ask about his health.


Thanks, Sheryl. I love fish! I will eat a lot more fish and see if that will help my carbohydrate craving, which is BAD. I crave sweets and carbs daily. I haven’t had an alcoholic drink in 21 years, because back when I drank alcohol, I craved that, too, and it got me in trouble. Loss of judgment, loss of inhibitions, and, while under the influence of alcohol, my ability to fake being normal depsite my severe PTSD was totally gone.

Interesting theory, about the Diet Cure and Mood Cure. I’ll look into that.


Ouch reading that one hurt. “Children should be seen and not heard” along with “why don’t you go play on the road” were both strong mantras of both my parents as I grew up.


Oh wow – do you think our grandmothers were related???
My fathers mother was a nasty piece of work – and only recently I learned that she was extrememly violent towards her whole family – my grandfather included. My father loathed her. I certainly didn’t like her, and I had very little contact with her as I grew up. When I did, though, it was prety horrible. There was nothing about me that was right. My hair, wahtever the ength was always wrong. She hated the fact that I was a red-head – the only one in the whole family. I was never dressed properly – she would buy lots of frilly numbers – I was a tom boy. Once, just to shut her up, my mother sent me out to play in one of her purchases – I came home with it grey and in tatters. You can imagine what the reaction was.
We were at their house once, over Christmas and I got the measles – she thought it was a deliberate act of rebellion in order to spoil her plans.
I was sassy, and she hated that. But when I went to stay with her one summer (I was just 13) she complained that I never spoke. I had nothing to say; why would I say anyting when she was only going to criticise or mock me? I was a fish out of water – being made to do the social rounds of her elderly and horribly ailing “friends”, no-one of my own age to mix with.
She really was an evil witch – she created the inadequate narcissist who my father became; she taught him the emotionally abusive way of being. She crippled his emotional development – and her teaching spilled over into my chidlhood, she paved the way for my abuse.
By contrast my other grandmother was lovely – sweet, gentle and warm. I know 100% that she loved ME, not some fantasy child, and the same with my Grandad. They kept my little inner child alive, as well as the outer child, during the years when I was secretly dying in spirit from the other stuff that was going on.


My fathers mother “Nana” was a mean nasty person too. She never smiled and NEVER had anything nice to say to or about me or my brother. We were the only grandchildren. We never got a present at Christmas or birthdays or graduation or marriage. We were to be seen and not heard. Actually we were given a magazine to read on our monthly visits as my grandparents didn’t interact when my Dad brought us there. My mother was not allowed to visit even Christmas she was left alone while we were dragged to their house to see people who didn’t want to see us anyway. I now know Nana was a narcissist and my Dad, the only child
became one too from being told all his life that he was special above everyone else.


Thank you, Darlene. Even as I write this comment I feel some worry as my Grandma is dead now and there is some kind of family taboo about speaking ill of her. I remember a time about fifteen years ago when I lost lots of weight. I was very skinny. I visited my family. My Grandma said to me, “you look too thin. You look horrible.” She looked me up and down as one might at an animal and turned away, disgusted. I got upset and said “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all!” and my mum told me off! There was a minor row about it but I remember the whole thing leaving a horrible taste in my mouth. I wasn’t supported. My Grandma’s view was the acceptable one and because she was older she needed to be placated in my mum’s eyes. Cold, rigid. That’s how she was. And on Facebook my cousin recently wrote how much she misses her and loves her. Sometimes I feel like a freak for seemingly being the only one in the family that sees how dysfunctional it is.


There are days when I am still shocked to realize how many hundreds of thousands (likely millions) of people can relate to this awful stuff.
That is the thing that I realized in the process of waking up; that no matter what I was not “right” in the eyes of most adults. And my mother stuck up for HER abusive mother. To a child, it is so confusing when an adult gives such mixed messages about what would be acceptable!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Karen
That is what I am talking about ~ and it was in realizing the message those actions communicated to me, that I began to realize the damage it did to me. That is exactly what I am talking about when I write about how the belief system forms. These kinds of messages that were GIVEN to us by our elders. Your mother was not allowed to visit?? And your parents went along with that! See how the cycle goes? This stuff just makes me cringe!
Thank you for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Julia
Oh I know that “taboo feeling!” OH yes… and thank you for posting anyway! I had to reassure myself a million times that I was an adult and no one could punish me in any way that I could not stand up to and take care of myself today in order to get this stuff out. When I was in my twenties, I formed a new relationship with this grandma… and oh I thought I loved her ~ what a mess! She picked on me and I kept going back! I realize that I was just so stuck in the whole dysfunctional system. Today I realize just how awful she was to me and to all the children (even her own grown children) that she had ever been around. She ruled with critical judgement.
I felt like a freak for a couple of years when I first started to come out of the fog, but today I don’t care if they all band together and say I am the crazy one! They are still being picked on and I am free! I think I got the better deal!
Hugs, Darlene


my childrens paternal grandparents are so mean that they play favorites.they have six grandchildren,they babysit thier 2 favorite grandsons and give them whatever they of thier grandsons is my son. this year the paternal grandparents did not get him anything for his birthday,no card,nothing. they live only 10 minutes away. they haven’t seen him in a husband,thier son calls them and asks them if they remembered it,and they said oh yes he turned 10. still waiting for a happy birthday,phone call,visit.


Hi Disapointed
Why are you waiting? This is the kind of thing that I had to ask myself about my own kids grandparents. I finally realized that the way that they acted was wrong and I was tried of always waiting for them to do something right and why it was always up to ME and US to take care of the relationship. I thought long and hard about their actions and about what my kids deserved. This kind of thing is really damaging to the self esteem of everyone. I am really sorry that you are going through this.
Hugs, Darlene


My grandmother is the wicked witch. But there’s nothing we can do about it. Now we have to leave with her because my parents lost their house four years ago and there’s no other place where we could go. Once I used to love her so much and I was terrified at the idea that one day she would be gone. Now I wake up every day hoping that she is dead. I know you’re not supposed to say things like that, but what she says and does to us is unbearable and it hurts so much I feel like I’m living in hell. I often think if even my own grandmother threats me like this and thinks this about me, what might other people think about me? I know she is crazy but it’s really not easy living with her and knowning and hearing her talking shit about us. It’s not fair at all. Everybody makes mistakes but we are good people. She is not. She is mean. Especially she is mean to my mom. My mom is so good, she would never hurt anybody, not even a fly. but she can’t answer back ’cause, as I said, we have no other place to go. I dream about leaving her here all by herself every day, but I’m scared of leaving my mother here with her. The thing is she can’t do anything without our help. From the moment she wakes up ’till the moment she goes to sleep she sits on the damn sofa. All day long. She doesn’t even watch tv, or read, she does nothing. So she has plenty of time to think and make up her minds with shit. Of course no one comes to visit her because people can’t stand her, not even my cousin. Just my aunt because she thinks she will get something from her. But she will get nothing because my grandmother hates her too and always talks shit about her too. Sometimes, when she realises that has really pissed me off, she gives me like 50 euros and thinks we’re good. Like if you could buy people’s love and affection. That’s horrible. Why people are so mean? Why? She’s destoyng our lives and her own too. But she doesn’t get it. She doesn’t get why she’s alone all day long.
But today, after reading all of this, I feel a little better. Little less lonely. I’m not alone. She is. Ans she will die alone. Even if sourrended by people. So thank you.
I’m sorry for my bad spelling but I’m italian.


Hi Maria
It must be very stressful to live this way. I hope that you can find a different place to go soon.
Hugs, Darlene


I have been so dumb. I never thought of what my mom did to me as sexual abuse. I thought it was my father who was abusing me. Please read the following and tell me whether it is: She made me suckle her breasts until I was 19. She was still washing me after potty in the 8th grade. There was the one time I remember quite clearly when she was lying on the bed in the middle between me and papa and we were both playing with her breasts and this was when I was in 9th grade. Papa later took me aside and told me that it was wrong for me at this age to play with mom’s breasts but I as usual told mom what he said (because I thought he was the freaking alcoholic incest abuser) and she told me that he was just jealous and I could still touch them when he was not around.

Now I am 40. I have not touched mom after 19. I also told her not to touch my son. (I breastfed my son til he was 2 and then I made sure he never saw me undressed or never touched inappropriately.) All this because I felt it to be wrong even though I never classified it as sexual abuse. Do you think it is that? If so, I am afraid for my son as she still lives with us and we have just one guest bedroom that they are both sharing but in separate cots. All these years, my son was put up in the sofa bed in the living room (its doors can be closed from the inside so he was safe) but after papa died 9 months back, all my relatives said that mom is very lonely and my son should sleep in her room in a nearby cot. I am afraid now for him. All these days I thought what mom did was part of her general behaviour of babying me too much and keeping me dependent but this seems to be much more than that. Please answer my question. Was my mother’s behaviour, sexual abuse and if so, what are the chances that she will do the same to my son. I should get him out of that room, shouldnt I? And here I am all these years trying not to be like her and I did not see the danger he was in.


I have not touched mom after 19 because that is when I got married off. My husband told me that I should not let anyone other than him touch me because he saw my mom kissing me on my mouth (he does not know anything else and does not want to) and so I refused mom. I think I understand now why mom started hating me and saying things like “You are so different now. You are no longer my little girl. He has spoiled you. You have become evil.” From this day onwards, mom has always criticized me nonstop and made my life hell. It all makes sense now.


I used to love my paternal grandmother when I was a child- We went to her house often, picked rocks out of the garden in exchange for allowances, and were taught new things every time. When I was 6, my uncle was in a wreck on his motorcycle- He walked away without a scratch, and I understood that. The wreck was his own fault, and I understood that fully, too. So like any 6 year old, I voiced my opinion. The next day, my grandmother barged into my home and started screaming at me- insults and swearing and telling me how terrible a child I had always been, to the point where my mother threatened to call the cops. I felt like things have never been the same since- But now that I’m an adult, I realize that, no, things have always been that way- I was just too young to notice. My grandmother is extremely passive aggressive. She’ll do things that you never asked for, then get seethingly angry and insult you. I think it’s because she didn’t have the life she wanted- She got pregnant with my father at 19 to a man who was already married- My grandfather left his wife and child for them. She once made an appointment for an interview at a college for my brother, who has severe anxiety and barely leaves the house- She didn’t ask which college he was interested in, or whether he thought he was ready, or whether he had to work that day- Just told him, said “You’re welcome” like she was doing him a huge favor, and hung up. She bought me a shirt for Christmas that I absolutely adored, and that fit perfectly- It was a size large. But Grandma frowned and kept asking me in her ‘concerned’ voice, are you sure you don’t want me to get you a bigger size? Two weeks later, she calls me FOUR times while I’m at work to ask me to return the shirt, and sends me a triple extra large- The original size was a LARGE. Then she complains to my brother behind my back that she thought she wasn’t gonna be able to send the other back- She had this planned the whole time, and was gonna give me the triple extra large whether I wanted it or not. Who does that just as an elaborate way of calling someone fat?

And I think that’s what bothers me the most. She does all these things with hurtful intentions in such a sneaky way, that if I call them out, I look like a complete jerk. My mom, brother and I giggle in private about how much of a burden it is to go to grandma’s house, what ridiculous shit she’ll pull this year. I really wish I had been able to live my ignorant bliss a bit longer.

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