Everyone hates my grandma

First of all sorry if this is all over the place, it’s kinda a lot and I cant structure it in my head let alone in this post.

Everyone in my family hates my maternal grandma. She’s over 80 years old and sick and the hatred towards her is intense. She used to abuse her 5 children severely. these aunts and uncles of mine are damaged people and they blame that on her.

My grandma grew up during WW2 in germany and witnessed bombings as a child. She was traumatized as a child and then she caused a lot of trauma in her children. they fail to see how they’re doing the same altho i know they are doing much better. They try reall hard but the family is still broken.

I want to visit my grandma (to see her one last time) but I’m so mad at her for screwing up this family so badly. I would probably say something bad to her, something I might regret later. Maybe the best solution is to leave her be and eventually go to the funeral (and afaik I will be the only person in my family who would even attend her funeral).

when I was a child my parents still had contact to her and they left me with her (how could they leave me with her if she was such a bad person? How could they leave me with her if those horrible stories from my mothers childhood were true?). apparently something my grandma did with me was the cause my mom finally broke the contact to her. my mom told me it has something to do with my grandma and a friend of her who is a known pedophile. I have vague memories of my grandmas friends from the gym. idk if i was abused or anything, but i probably gotz assaulted. I remember people asking me to take my shirt of and “show off my muscles”, i must have been 5 or 6 at the time.

One thing I want to know from my grandma is what really happened but i know i wouldnt get an honest answer. Also idk what would happen if she gave me an honest answer.

I want to scream at her and tell her she shouldnt have had any children. there’s far darker and more toxic stuff coming up, like wanting this whole family to end. I shouldnt even think this :sob:

idk what else to write, make of this what you want.


Hey friend,

The way you’ve shared things here is totally fine - don’t worry about it. All of it makes sense. Thank you really, for sharing your heart and your family situation. Figuring out family traumas is a heavy beast to tackle and leading this battle can be extremely isolating. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of this right now. My heart goes out to you, friend.

I can relate to how you feel through my own family story. Last year especially, on therapy, I’ve gained a better understanding of my family and the struggles that keeps being repeated through generations. I’m still figuring those things out, and there are many times when I’ve left like my life was just a lie until now, that it would be only at 27 that I’m finally seeing it as it is. It feels like an intense grief, but the worst feeling is not to have all the answers I need. In my mom’s side of the family, I know my grandpa was extremely abusive to his children and wife. Throughout my childhood I’ve heard my mom confessing (or venting) to me the things she’s been through, but the version she gave me of those stories is the only one I’ll ever have. I never knew this man because he passed away before I was born, and I never met any uncle and aunt on my mom’s side, because she stopped being in contact with them when I was really young. Two of her brothers were sending death threats to my parents because they were intoxicated by their own rage and violence, and her sister was married to a man who molested children and was judged for it. On my father’s side, they had their share of abusive people and traumas as well. It’s tough to acknowledge those roots and hear the word “family” in such context. Hard not to feel the weight of such “legacy”.

All of this remained mostly secret, unsaid, and gave this kind of unhealthy gut feeling, you know? This was even more disturbing as my mom was abusive too, physically and emotionnaly, towards my sister and I. No need to say that this family environment is very unhealthy, full of broken souls who kept sharing this violence through generations. So even if I understand my background’s mother, I don’t have any answer to a lot of questions, but especially: why? Why torturing her own children the way her own dad hurt her? Why not believing me when I was molested by a man while it’s something she’s also been through as a kid? And why was my “grandpa” like this? Who are my uncle and aunts and what’s their version of the story? Is all the things I’ve heard about this side of the family even true? (…) The list is long.

The reason why I’m sharing all of this is to emphasize the fact that it’s really hard to be in the generation of those who see what’s going on, who have a bigger perspective and want justice through answers. It’s hard to face those situations, to wrap our head around that, especially when the people we interact with are used to shut down and be silent.

You are not a bad person for wishing sometimes that you’d like your whole family to end. It’s not really your family you want to see ending, it’s those heavy burdens and pain you share collectively yet silently. It is, indeed, incredibly unfair to be in this position, between knowledge and guessings. In some situations, not knowing feels more distressing than facing the truth, and on the other end taboos are really hard to break when it’s filled with pain.

You have all the right to have a hard time right now. It can be really hard to name and understand what you feel. It brings a lot of mixed emotions, a lot of questions - a little bit like opening a box that contains so many more things than you imagined at first. You are processing, learning at your own pace. Please know that whatever you are feeling, it is okay to feel those things. You are not wrong for feeling.

How you feel about your grandma is also very understandable. I often wondered how I would react if I had the opportunity to interact with my “grandpa”, with the knowledge of the things he did. I’m a very calm person and I don’t promote violence in any way, but I know it would be really hard to look at him and have any compassion for him. I also thought often that having children should be a right to acquire, and not given just because we exist. It’s an awful thought, it’s totally arbitrary, unethical and unfair, but thinking that doesn’t mean I believe in it or want it. It’s just the reflection of the depth that this kind of awareness brings.

I am so, so sorry that you don’t have any answer yet about what could have happened to you. There are huge fragments (years) of my childhood that I don’t remember at all, and when traumatic memories came back more clearly, it was progressive. At first it was small and specific details. I wondered if I was going crazy, if something was wrong with me. I know this is a very painful place to be, friend, and I’m really sorry you’re having a hard time to figure this out. There will be a time when your mind and your heart will be ready to disclose what needs to be remembered, if anything traumatic happened in the past.

I hear that you tried to talk to your mom about what happened, which is really strong of you. Do you think it would be possible to discuss again with her and get more informations, especially if you let her know how much answers are needed for you? It sounds that she could give you a breather by accepting to be vulnerable and honest about this.

I hear you. I feel the cry for answers that your heart is screaming right now. I hear your need for understanding and healing. You are not weird. You are not crazy. How you feel is valid. You deserve to get the answers you need to learn to be at peace. In the meantime, you are not alone friend. We’re in this with you here. :heart:

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Thank you for the thoughtful answers. I’m still not sure whether to visit my grandma or not. When I mentioned it to my mom she said “go if you want to go” and then mumbled something about how I could give her a heart attack or infect her with covid or something like this.
im astonished at the level of hatred everyone has for my grandma. On christmas she wrote me a scrawly “Happy Christmas” with 50 bucks and a PS: “Sorry for the scrawly handwriting, I had a stroke”. The reaction from my family to that letter was a couple of bitter remarks and “Yeah, she just wants everyone to pity her”.
My younger sister even talks like that even tho she never met her grandma, I was kinda hoping she would come with but she doesnt want to.

should I go visit my grandma? She’s in bad health so that’s a decision I should make relatively quickly.

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Thank you for your reply and explaining the situation a little more. :heart:

What I hear is that you’d like to visit your grandma and, it’s just my humble opinion, but I think listening to your heart on this matter could be important. As you said, she’s in bad health and this is likely to be a unique opportunity to talk to her. At the same time, how do you feel about it and what are your expectations from this visit? I think reflecting on what you want from this moment, what you’d like to say and what result you expect is important too. Those are relationships where communication can be difficult, hurtful and disappointing, and you have to be confident with your needs and expectations if you go there. So I want to encourage you to take some time to think about it, even to write it down if needed.

Regarding your mom and how she reacted to this letter, it’s understandable. There is indeed something broken about their relationship and it doesn’t seem that this could be changed now. However, your relationship with your grandma is also your own, and even if your mom semi-approved/disapproved your willingness to go there, her relationship with her is different. Something happened between them and she had the possibility to decide, consciously, what she wanted to do regarding this relationship. You also have the right to figure things out by yourself and make your own decisions as well.

Also, if you go there, besides the fact that your sister wouldn’t come with you, what could you do to make sure that you stay safe? And by safe I mean that this could be a difficult moment, and you’ll certainly need to feel supported, to keep a connection with people you trust. (I don’t know the practical details, so I’m assuming it could be for several days?)

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