To not be ashamed.

(118 Posts)
sugarplumfairy28 Mon 03-Oct-16 20:15:57

I'll try to cut a long story short. I am half English and half German. My parents were told that I didn't need dual nationality at birth as all of Europe would be come one and dual nationality within Europe wouldn't be a 'thing'. So I have always been British.

I have never fitted in with my English family, more in looks than anything, (I am short, red headed and very fair) it wasn't until I met my more extended German family I finally felt like I had a place within my family.

At school I was literally beaten for being German (my maiden name was a give away) Children in my neighbourhood were also fond of regularly beating me within an inch of my life. To make matters worse my parents put me in the middle of their differences, in making me choose between them and their methods on how to deal with the problem. I tried to commit suicide at 13.

Thanks to my Nan and my karate instructor, I somehow made it back on the road to normality. Among other things they taught me to be proud of who I am, and where I have come from, the struggles and my German heritage. 2 years ago I moved to Germany with my family. My children identify with being German more than English and both are almost fluent. During the EU referendum I was appalled by the hatred and xenophobia and decided that I do truly identify with being German and as such decided to formalise my German citizenship. In response to this, my Grandfather has publicly disowned me. That I have sided with the enemy and he hopes I find out the 'true nature of Germans'.

My parents have just been to the UK for a visit, my Grandad has said Germans are not welcome in his house and while my Mum can visit my Father no longer can - because of my decision. My brother had to be vetted before he was allowed to visit, in that he had to confirm he is not seeking a German passport. I have to be honest I am more than a little upset that my immediate family are not bothered that I am being treated for something I am legally entitled to, or the horrific way my Grandad has chosen to speak to me.

This is the question though, baring everything in mind. My Mum has asked that I keep quiet about the whole German thing, that I make no public statements about how I feel about my nationality. She is angry at me for putting her in the middle. AIBU in thinking that I shouldn't have to feel ashamed, that I should be allowed to be proud of who I am?

NotAMammy Mon 03-Oct-16 20:23:22

Your grandad is being pathetic. Your family should support your decision and you are certainly not alone in taking up your European citizenship following Brexit. It makes even more sense if you are living in Germany.

rumpelstiltskin43 Mon 03-Oct-16 20:25:39

Sounds like your Grandfather is going senile.

Limurz Mon 03-Oct-16 20:27:10

It is so terrifying that people hold attitudes like this. Stand by your decision, you are still you, and if your family cant see that, it really is there loss.

Limurz Mon 03-Oct-16 20:27:39

their

Threebedsemii Mon 03-Oct-16 20:28:20

Your grandad is actually bonkers. It's not xenophobia, it's bonkers.

TheGonnagle Mon 03-Oct-16 20:29:26

Wow. No wonder you moved to Germany, your family in the UK sound horrible. Hold your head high, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Queenbean Mon 03-Oct-16 20:31:57

This is awful. What will happen when you're grandfather dies?

Queenbean Mon 03-Oct-16 20:39:07

You're?! Your!

TheAntiBoop Mon 03-Oct-16 20:40:49

How old is he?

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 03-Oct-16 20:48:51

He is 84 AntiBoop he is of the baby boomer generation.

I don't know Queenbean I feel like he is already gone, he is most certainly not the person I thought he was.

Threebedsemii Mon 03-Oct-16 20:52:08

84 is too old for a baby boomer surely? <try's to do math>

<fails>

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 03-Oct-16 20:55:39

I apologise, my understanding was wrong. He was a child during WWII.

MoreCoffeeNow Mon 03-Oct-16 20:55:42

He isn't a baby boomer they are 1950s onwards. He lived through WW2 and may well have some bad memories.

Aderyn2016 Mon 03-Oct-16 20:56:25

I think your British family is massively dysfunctional and your childhood sounds horrific. It is not at all surprising that you identify with the German relatives who are nothing to do with them.
I would cut them all loose and concentrate on building the life you have chosen.

Ginkypig Mon 03-Oct-16 20:56:41

Did he live through the war and is he maybe suffering from the onset of senility or dementia?

He sound either a complete arsehole or he isn't well. Either of which is not going to help you and the way he's treating you is awful.

You have the right to be proud of who you are no matter what that is. It's pretty savvy under your circumstances to make sure you secure your life in the country you've chosen.

TheAntiBoop Mon 03-Oct-16 20:59:17

His age and bad memories from the war may well be magnifying things.

Anicechocolatecake Mon 03-Oct-16 20:59:28

My grandmother was also very mistrustful of Germans geme rally. It was a big thing in many families. I'd like to think most people don't feel like that now. I certainly don't but then I'm from a different generation. Your German citizenship is a big part of you and so it should be. I'm sure there are lots of wonderful things about being German to celebrate and embrace

PigletWasPoohsFriend Mon 03-Oct-16 20:59:43

He isn't a baby boomer they are 1950s onwards. He lived through WW2 and may well have some bad memories.

I think this us the crux of it.

He would have been 13 at the end of the war.

Do you know anything about what his experience of it was OP?

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 03-Oct-16 21:01:52

Possibly Coffee although he has never spoken about anything like that, and has only ever said that in the main he enjoyed his childhood.

What gets me though, my Dad is generally is very protective over his family, and my Grandad wanted to meet them, and even came to Germany on a trip to meet my other Grandparents, aunts and uncles. I had a Great Nan (German - very German) in the UK who he would see fairly regularly, he even bought her to my wedding. Somehow the problem is that I am his family and I have defected.

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 03-Oct-16 21:12:19

I am worried that it is the onset of dementia, however I think I am now the last person to start that journey off.

As a side note my Nan (his ex wife) passed away, a year ago Saturday, of end stage Alzheimers. While most/if not all, of my family are very aware of what has happened we have all just come to the end of a 16 year heartbreaking battle with my Nan, and no-one wants to go through that again (understandably).

Chikara Mon 03-Oct-16 21:25:43

Sounds to me like the onset of dementia. That generation rarely spoke about what happened but at the onset of dementia it becomes very real again.

That doesn't help you. Whatever the reasons for your family difficulties you need to do what is best for you. There is more going on than just a nationality question though.

Understanding what he went through during the war might also help you though.

Ladymayormaynot Mon 03-Oct-16 22:06:35

Well as the saying goes you can't choose your family. There's bigots and nasty people aplenty regardless of race or nationality. It's unfortunate if you get stuck with them as family but if you do then distance yourself from them and live the life you want with the people you like. Don't let them dump their shit on you.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Mon 03-Oct-16 22:13:13

There's bigots and nasty people aplenty regardless of race or nationality.

Whilst I agree, I don't think it's the case here.

I agree with others, it sounds like dementia could be starting.

His generation didn't and don't talk about WWII.

It was only close to my grandfather's death that I found out what he had been through. He had never told anyone. My DM and her siblings were too close.

TheAntiBoop Mon 03-Oct-16 22:17:57

Given what happened in your childhood, how do you feel about the English?
What kind of comments are you making about your nationality that your mum wants you to stop making publicly?

As someone who is dual national and has tri national children - I find the way you speak of the German/English divide in you very interesting

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