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Livid and tearful at this horrible letter

(145 Posts)

So, I am overweight. I'm not happy about it and will deal with it when I'm ready. Still, I take care over my appearance, try to make the best of myself and work hard in my career.

My grandmother has form for sending me letters nagging my about my weight, my hairstyle, etc. traditionally these letters of hers have included weightwatchers cuttings, or pictures of women who look vaguely like me - but thinner. A couple of years ago I spoke to her calmly and told her I wasn't willing to discuss my appearance with her, and I found her comments rude and upsetting. I thought that was the end of it.
However, I've received a letter today. (Note, I live 200 miles away so only see her at Xmas and summer.)

This letter today was awful. She told me I need to sort my hair out as my favoured plait makes me look like an overgrown sixth former, get some "decent clothes" and lose 4 stone. Then I'll "have some chance at advancing in my career." (Livid at this as am well thought of in my job and am happily advancing.)

I just broke down. I've spoken to my best friend who was lovely... I can't stop crying though. The reasonable part of me is saying "she's old, she means well" but please tell me that's not on, is it?! This is so outing me if anyone knows me in RL.

DietofWorms Mon 10-Feb-14 17:35:20

Tear the letter into little pieces and set fire to them. This may make you feel better.

Alternatively, put them in an envelope and post them back to her.

Your choice, depending on how bolshy you're feeling...

rookiemater Mon 10-Feb-14 17:36:39

You're half right - she may be old, but she certainly doesn't mean well.

I'd be tempted to post the letter back to her and state in a letter that until she is willing to contact you without making references about your appearances, then you have no relationship with her. Or maybe you could send her a picture of a pleasant smiling granny and say that this is what a good grandmother looks like grin.

Or I guess the other option is that she may be unwell. I have heard of elderly people losing their normal personalities and becoming spiteful with the onset of dementia, but as you say she has form for this then that isn't perhaps likely.

Chin up though, I can see why you are upset, but it's nothing about you - it's all on her.

youhavetopayyourtaxyourottenso Mon 10-Feb-14 17:37:15

That's disgusting. I bet she's a wizened old bag.

Take no notice and have confidence in yourself.

JillJ72 Mon 10-Feb-14 17:37:53

Why not put back in the envelope, seal it up, and put "return to sender, unsolicited mail" on the front, and your gm's address so it is sent back to her. It won't help a lot, but it might just do so a bit.

And remember, this letter speaks VOLUMES about her and her worries (about herself), and not about you.

And then you do need to do the "fuck you" dance around the house, wipe away those tears and remember it's not worth the paper it's written on.

You may well dearly love your gm, but you don't always have to like her grin

tobiasfunke Mon 10-Feb-14 17:38:15

Unless she has dementia she is being an uber bitch. Being old doesn't automatically make you a nice person.
I'm fat and happy and fairly resilient but I would be devastated if someone sent me a letter like that. Get angry and send her a letter back detailing all her faults.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 10-Feb-14 17:38:23

Post letter back to her along with an old phone directory. Then forget to pay postage. Then she'll have to pay a large unpaid postage fee to get her nasty letter back??

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 10-Feb-14 17:38:45

Feel like giving her some very blunt 'advice'?
I'd be scribbling furiously right about now!
it'll make you feel better
(Writing it not sending it!)

nikkihollis Mon 10-Feb-14 17:38:58

Oh that's just awful. Totally not on. Really angry on your behalf.

I'm assuming that your grandmother hasn't got alzheimers/dementia etc that might make her less inhibited and unaware of the impact of the things she does and says? That is the only excuse I can think of to make it vaguely acceptable.

She probably has your best interests at heart but to send letters like today's one is just dreadful. Really glad you have a good friend who is supporting you. What an awful thing to get in the post sad

CuntyBunty Mon 10-Feb-14 17:39:05

No it not on, OP. My Nan was quite tactless, but not in a meaning to be hurtful way.
How is she in other ways? I get the impression that she is not the soft cuddly type who thinks you are gorgeous no matter what your appearance is like ITSWIM. I don't think there is much you can do about your Gran apart from telling her again to stop it, it's upset you. I know you are an adult, but is there anyway one of your parents can tell her to button it?
Hugs to you, it's not nice.

runningonwillpower Mon 10-Feb-14 17:39:22

Dear Granny

Always good to hear from you.

Hope you are well.

Love Jon x

Thank you both. I think it's just been a long day and receiving the letter happened to coincide with a sense of determination to improve myself. (I ordered the Paul McKenna book yesterday and done a sensible food shop.)
Love the idea of sending the granny picture though!

NinjaBunny Mon 10-Feb-14 17:39:36

Write back and tell her not to contact you again.

Say if she does it will be considered harassment.

Give the evil witch no more head space.

flowers brew

purplemurple1 Mon 10-Feb-14 17:41:58

I miss read that as

Old and mean, well - and thought at least you got the cut of her jib - could you send a reply?

Stop being so interfering and you might be liked better by the family.

Don't let her upset you.

arfur Mon 10-Feb-14 17:43:16

I am outraged on your behalf! Big hug for you firstly. Secondly, reply to this letter and all the others she has sent you in the past telling her exactly how they've made you feel and why she should be bloody ashamed of herself! Spit out all the anger and upset into this letter and hopefully when you have finished you will feel a little better, then you can decide whether you want to send it or not, sending it doesn't matter but getting down on paper how you feel really helps ime. Age is no excuse for her rudeness, I presume that she is also as rude when you see her in person? If so I would seriously consider cutting all ties with her and binning any subsequent letter she sends. Feel better soon thanks

I don't care how old she is, she's being a cow.

Sorry you're upset OP - try and ignore.

ravenAK Mon 10-Feb-14 17:44:30

Send it back to her with a flattened tin can or two in it & insufficient postage?

Inside the envelope flap, write 'If you just want something overweight to moan at, try this envelope...'

Oh hell, loads more messages. Thank you all so much for replying - it really does mean a lot.
I don't know enough about Dementia to say whether that could be an issue, but I'd say not. She's very independent and still lives alone. She is also a "devout Christian" which my friend reminded me of on the phone. Christian of the "we don't like the blacks or the gays," variety, which I hasten to add no-one in my family thinks like. angry
I'm not going to reply. I'm not going to let her know how much her letter upset me. Ive had some financial shit too recently soI think it just all got to me.
I have a personal weight target for September (my 30th) and she's going to know NOTHING about it.

nouvellevag Mon 10-Feb-14 17:46:45

I don't think she does mean well. Assuming no dementia, I think she's a nasty woman who enjoys using you as a punching bag. I think you should burn her horrible bloody letter, and get someone else to open any more that come so they can tell you if there's anything you need to know or if it's just more emotional abuse that you don't want to read. And if she starts on you in person when you see her, leave the room. No one on the planet has any right whatsoever to speak to you like that.

RoseRedder Mon 10-Feb-14 17:47:02

What a horrible thing sad

I'm also familiar with the dementia angle do you think this could be part of it?

Are you close to your parents? Do they know she is treating you in this way?

I'd be tempted to send a postcard back saying something like 'Well regardless of all my faults I don't smell of piss like you'

I did actually say this to my nasty granny one day. I was for some reason the grandchild she didn't like. She didn't smell of pee, I only said it out of frustration and weirdly she was really nice to me after that?

I always wondered if she was a sort of 'bully' in her younger days and when she realised I'd had enough of her getting away with things and stand up to her the dynamics changed

MadAsFish Mon 10-Feb-14 17:48:03

I don't even necessarily buy that she has your best interests at heart - she may just be being a superficial bitch. My mother has form for this, coming from an era when daughters were a reflection of their parents. Only.
Nasty old cow. I'd wrap the letter around a brick and post it back to her, unpaid.

LadyFlumpalot Mon 10-Feb-14 17:48:10

Personally I'd send back:

"I may be overweight but you are the one who's going to die bitter and lonely and be eaten by cats. Have a nice day."

RoseRedder My parents know she sends these letters, and the less offensive ones have been "family jokes." E.g. my non-fat brothers who are happily single and earning loads of money in their respective jobs get ones telling them they're going to Hell if they carry on drinking/gambling/not going to church.... It sounds utterly bizarre, I realise now!

When I opened this one I rung my parents but my DM was out. I briefly told my DF and he could tell I was crying and angry. We don't EVER talk about emotions and stuff, but he was very nice to me as he knew how upset I was.

I really couldn't send back anything offensive, much as I want to. She's horribly twisted and I cant forgive this letter, but she pushed me so much education-wise when I was younger and paid for some of my schooling.

FiveExclamations Mon 10-Feb-14 17:55:42

I have a family member who has a habit of giving unsolicited "helpful" criticism advice, she sulks if you don't do as she suggests.

Buddha help you if you try to give her advice though, I think she see's everyone else's life as black and white while her's is every shade of grey.

I pick my battles, nod and smile at most things but have stood my ground on a couple of subjects which I have made clear are off limits.

Of course she's telephoning me, so I can challenge her directly and immediately, your grandmother is sending misery bombs through the post.

Have you any idea what's motivating her? Is she trying to be honestly helpful out of cack handed affection or is it spite? Either way you have the right to find it hurtful.

Do you want to challenge her again? Are you worried about backlash from her and other family members? My relation simply wont change so I've slowly learned to change my reaction, I remind myself every time that she's sad, lonely and desperate to feel like a wise elder, it works... most of the time grin

RoseRedder Mon 10-Feb-14 17:58:39

It sounds a bit like she is hiding behind her faith in order to justify being a bitch?

Is she your mums mum or your dads mum?

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