An Open Letter to My Grandmother-In-Law

What have I done to you to make you hate me so? Is it the dumb decisions I made when your grandson and I first got together? Because if it’s that you should know I’ve grown away and learned so much from that time. Regardless, that was for me and your grandson to work through, not for you to stick your nose into. 

Why is nothing I do good enough for you? Why do you behave so childish and petty towards me? I can’t help but feel you liked it better when he and I were going to get a divorce. Now that we’re working things out it seems that you hate me even more. Why? What in God’s name have I done to you? I sleep at your house, but I’m not allowed to actually live there. I can’t shower, wash clothes, or even do dishes. I’m not allowed. Why? 

You do realize the more you push me out and piss me off the more privileges I will take away, don’t you? Do you think after all the horrible things you have said to and about me and all the ways you have made my life and the lives of my children miserable that I would trust you to spend time alone with them? As it stands right now you will have no unsupervised visits with them and the only person I authorize to supervise the visits is my husband. You will not be calling me and asking me to come help you with your computer/TV/Internet or to get you groceries or wine. I will not answer your phone calls.

I am not doing this to be mean, I’m doing it to protect my family and myself from your destructive behavior. Once we actually get to leave your miserable house you will have zero say in our lives. You will have zero rights to anything of ours. 

I know you had a miserable marriage and you had to give up the things you enjoyed because you became a mother. Well, I’ve learned I don’t have to do that. I can still be a good mother and do the things I enjoy doing. I am not you. I don’t want to be like you. I want to be a happy old woman, not a miserable one. Like you. 

You want me out of your life. Fine. Getting rid of me means getting rid of my kids. If I had it 100% my way you’d never see them again, but I love my husband and he loves you which is why he can supervise visits. I’ve done nothing to you unprovoked or unwarranted so I’m very confused as to how our once pleasant relationship went to hell. 

Your unwillingness to bend is causing you more problems than anyone else causes for you. You make your life more miserable than it has to be. You’ve kept yourself so busy with your preconceived assumptions about me that you’ve never even bothered to get to know me. The real me. You think I’m rude and lazy. I’m far from it, I’m just not going to bust my ass around your house when 1) I’m not allowed to touch anything and 2) nothing I do will be good enough for you anyways. Why bother? You think I’m selfish. Again, far from it. There’s a big difference between being selfish and taking care of oneself. You think I’m a bad mother. Guess what? No one is perfect. Not even you. Your own daughter doesn’t want to talk to you. One son has very little contact with you and the last son is just about your only ally at this point. I’d rather not have my kids grow up to hate me. I want them to want to call/visit me. I want my grandkids to say, “Yay! Grandma’s house!” Not “I don’t want to go to Grandma’s house” then cry. That’s what my kids do nearly every night when we come back from avoiding you. 

Be miserable if you want, but I will not let you turn me or my children into your minions of misery. You are on your own. 

Sincerely, 

The Woman You Never Bothered to Know. 

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