Dealing with my grandmother

by Jayne

I have a grandmother that I take care of, and she always would leave me angry and bitter at her. I have learned to leave the room, I have learned to pray endlessly and envision her as God sees her, when she leaves this world, how she will be. She will be perfected by Gods love, no faults, no need to control others. I refuse to let her control me, I make my own meals, I refuse to eat what she wants to eat, because her whole mentality is fear based. I refuse to go there. I want to just say I love you, You need help. You need God to tell you that you are bitter, unhappy, and are not listening to His voice. She is not well now, she is aching, and I think it is God working in her heart. I know HE is helping me.

Visitor's Comments
Date: March 3, 2008
Posted by: Catherine,

Hi Jayne,

That's so nice of you to be able to take care of your grandmother. I'm sure she does appreciate it even if she doesn't say so.

Have you tried looking at the situation from your grandmother's point of view? I'm not excusing her behavior but maybe it would give you some insight into why she acts the way she does.

It must be quite a transition to get old. Your body no longer works the same and it hurts a lot so you feel cranky for that reason. Also, you used to be needed by people and now you're a burden to your grand-daughter. She probably remembers making you meals and doing things for you and now she has to depend on you. That would be hard for someone who's always prided themselves on taking care of themselves for example. She also probably remembers nice times with you and now all she sees is that you're angry with her all the time.

She may be reacting out of frustration and anger at not having any control in her life anymore. Perhaps trying to get you to eat certain things is her attempt at trying to gain some control and power back in her life.

Have you ever been able to talk to her about what she's afraid of or what she's angry at? It might give you a completely different insight into what she's going through. It might also help her if she could talk to you about what she's feeling.

The other thing to look at is why her comments make you angry and bitter. It's your reaction you need to look at. People are just triggers for your emotions. So, you might learn something valuable about yourself if you take a step back and ask yourself why you react the way you do. You may find that she brings up deep emotions within you of not being loved or not being good enough or not wanting to be controlled by others or something like that. That's what you need to heal. Once you do that, then you'll hear your grandmother's words but they won't have any effect on you. You'll realize that her words are a reflection of her and where she's at mentally. Her words aren't about you at all.

It's a tough situation looking after someone who's angry and bitter all the time though. It takes a strong person to do that. It's good that you're aware of how she's affecting you and trying not to let her change who you really are. But, maybe explore all the emotions she's bringing up in you. Maybe you'll end up finding out that this situation is a great gift in that you learn some amazing things about yourself.

Also, why don't you tell her that you love her? I know in some families that's a really difficult thing to do but you say you want to, so I'm just curious why you don't. She might feel that no one loves her anymore and that might be contributing to her feelings of hurt, anger and loneliness as well.

You raise some really great questions though on the best way to deal with family members who are angry and bitter all the time. This is a really good topic for discussion.

Date: March 5, 2008
Posted by: Jayne
Title: Forgive me for my inability to love self and others

Wow, that is wonderful. I cannot believe that my comments were posted, because I was in a bitter state, and not wanting to be controlled by her, was my way of not wanting anything that seems to be getting built torn down.

I have a lot of fears, and I am working on healing. I am so blessed to be able to care for her. When I see what makes me angry, it is not her at all. It is really just my reaction to a life full of hurt, that I have had to experience as a result of a lot of bad choices.

Thank you for encouraging me to look past her, and see that she is going through a lot of changes, like you mentioned, not being able to serve others like she used to.

I am ashamed at my reactions sometimes. I am truly blessed and mercifully forgiven because God is so perfect, all of the time. I appreciate correction, I am in recovery and want to see things the way God wants me to. When He gives me people to help me, I am all for it, I want my heart to be made new, and I can accept my negative feelings, but I no longer am ignorant to not choose better ways of conducting myself. After all, I was born to serve God, and to serve others, in order that I would know my true self.

Thank you for the wonderful, insightful feedback.

Pray for Me!

Date: March 5, 2008
Posted by: Catherine,

Hi Jayne,

I'm so glad that you're now seeing that your anger at your grandmother is telling you something about yourself. Other people are usually just triggers for our deep down emotions.

I wrote this article about using your anger, Self Growth Through Anger instead of letting it destroy you. In this article, I talk about how I was absolutely furious with my co-workers at one point because of some things they'd said. When I took the time to really question why I was so angry, I realized it was much more about me than them. It actually turned out to be such a valuable gift to me because I realized that I didn't want to be at that job anymore and I needed to do something about that.

So, it is a wonderful thing that you can see your anger as a gift to let you heal certain aspects of yourself.

Bad choices in the past aren't bad things. They can actually be really good things. They show you that there are better ways of doing things. That the way you were trying wasn't the most effective to get what you really wanted. They also allow you to figure out what it is you do really want. Bad choices in the past can be definite stepping stones to moving towards what you do want. You also learn so much from going through that experience. So, it helps if you can take the lessons you learned from the experience and let all the negative emotions go.

Everyone makes mistakes and they can actually turn out to be really good things if you let them. You need to be able to forgive yourself for making mistakes though. By considering the benefits you gained by going through the situation is one way to change how you feel about the past. The benefits might be that you're stronger now, or that you learned better ways of dealing with someone or something, or even that you gained some skills or that you have a new perspective on life.
As Lisa Nichols (a motivational speaker) says, "they're not failures, they're feedback." They're there for you to use. They're not there to keep you down or break you. They're to make you stronger and to become more clear about who you are and what you want.

When you feel fear about things, ask yourself what are you focusing on? Most likely you're focusing on what could go wrong, how you might fail, or any other thing that you don't want to happen. Turn your thoughts around to what you do want to happen and focus on that instead. You might find that helps to deal with your fears.

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