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Dying grandfather + bitter mother = unhappy me

(9 Posts)
ButIForgetMyself Thu 17-Jul-08 22:00:58

I'm currently quite upset that my Grandad is in hospital, got pneumonia, very frail, possibly not going to make it through much longer than the weekend.

This is my Dad's Dad, my Mum and Dad split up when I was 6 after my Dad had an affair and then my Dad didn't have a lot to do with us, and as a result we didn't see much of my Grandparents.

I got back in touch with my Grandad in 2001 and managed to have a decent amount of time getting to know him again before he got Alzheimers a few years ago. He was really moved that I was back in touch.

I took my brother to see him too, my brother seemed quite pleased to see him but never went to visit him off his own back afterwards. His choice, I kept up the contact.

Bear in mind my Grandad never did anything wrong to my Mum or brother, it was my Dad who walked out, and as a result our contact with the rest of my Dad's family suffered.

My Dad eventually fell out with my Grandad, along with the rest of his family. He's just like that.

When I told my Mum on Monday night that my Grandad was seriously ill, she just went "Oh" and proceeded to tell me that she'd just ironed 3 duvet covers.

She took great delight in telling me on the phone just now that she'd told my brother my Grandad was very poorly in hospital and that he didn't seem interested.

I said well actually, I am upset, and my Grandad never did anything wrong to my brother and his reaction to the news is nothing to do with me, I don't want to know, I was simply passing on a message.

I accept that my Mum probably doesn't have any sentiments towards my Grandad, that's fair enough. However, a little tact, knowing full well I am upset, would go a long way.

(This is the same mother who never phones me but gets the arse if I don't phone her, has been to mine and DP's house twice since I moved in in January even though we live less than a mile away from her, yet I go to hers every weekend, shows no interest in my first pregnancy and no interest in even getting to know DP even though we've been together for ages. The same mother who visited two whole times when I lived in London for 12 years.)

It's almost as if they are saying they are glad he's dying because he's related to my Dad and that makes him a bad person.

Yes, she's still bitter about my Dad, but I think 29 years is an awfully long time to be holding such bitterness inside you. Must do something really nasty to your insides.

And I wonder, why do I bother?

Cicatrice Thu 17-Jul-08 22:05:44

I'm sorry for your situation. Your mum seems to lack the imagination to step outside her own situation. It's sad. Bitterness doesn't add anything to anyones life.

mynamechange Thu 17-Jul-08 22:06:32

you may be right- you may not be.

You aren't your Mum and as part of her survival tactics when your dad left she might have just needed to shut that side of the family out.

Your post is not just about your grandad is it- it is about you and your Mum too. I think you need to address each issue on its own.

Don't judge her- she may not be the best mum in the world, but she is human- and maybe she gave you her best. Try to build bridges while she is still around. Otherwise you might be bitter too when she is dead.

IHadABetterNameButYouStoleIt Thu 17-Jul-08 22:07:09

i am so sorry to hear about your grandad. im sure your mum and your brother arent pleased that he is ill!

it sounds like your has had a bad time with your dad and coujld be projecting this onto the rest of his family maybe?

have you tried to tell her you feel? she maybe more suppportive if she realises that you are very upset! she could perhaps think that you feel the same way as your brother?

superflybaby Thu 17-Jul-08 22:07:49

You bother because you sound like a caring person who likes to see the good in people.

Grandparents are very special people, you have every right to feel cheated through missing out & upset at the current situation.

Just value the relationship you built with your Grandfather, if your Mum & Brother don't feel the same that sadly is their loss.

JessJess3908 Thu 17-Jul-08 22:09:38

She does sound a bit rubbish - but to answer your Q you bother cos you love her, are the bigger person and don't tend to give up on people even when relationships are difficult (just like with your poor granddad).

You'll be the more fulfilled person in the long run. But don't waste every w/e going to your mum's house, she doesn't sound like she deserves the effort and you'd have more fun doing other things and only visiting once a month.

Jux Thu 17-Jul-08 22:34:07

Gosh your family sounds just like my dh's. If you hadn't mentioned you had children I would think you were my SIL.

I don't understand the attitudes dh's family members have towards each other at all; I don't understand why, 29 years after dh's dad walked out there is still huge animosity between them all - despite fairly regular contact between them all. TBH I'm not sure whether dh would be told if any members of his dad's family were ill. He got a postcard once detailing 4 deaths that he hadn't known about. It was very weird - enclosed in his birthday card...

Perhaps your mum thinks your grandad had some part in her split from your father? Perhaps he was horribly tactless when it happened and blamed her for it? Have you asked her?

ButIForgetMyself Thu 17-Jul-08 22:44:39

I have asked her before, but all my life all I've ever had is the story of how bad a man my Dad is - granted, he did bugger off with a much younger woman, but the thing that gets me is that my Mum has seen and spoken to my Grandad lots of times since this happened in 1979. In fact, it was her that was keeping me updated on his health for quite a long time before I got back in touch with him.

She does seem to have gone a lot more moody lately. She gave away her cat that she loved to bits because he started waking her up early in the morning, I went round and she was crying her eyes out because she was giving him away, but still gave him away. She didn't go to her best friend's husband's funeral because she "didn't feel like it" on the day, and as a result hasn't seen her best friend since. Strange things like that. I definitely feel there is something more going on inside her head, yet she'll never open up.

mynamechange Fri 18-Jul-08 09:34:49

your mum sounds depressed- or, dare I say it- menopausal?

Maybe she needs support more than criticism. Has she got a friend you could talk to, who could ask her if she is ok?

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