Ghost of Family Past

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My paternal grandparents divorced when my father was six. My grandfather re-married when dad graduated from high school and was headed into the army. My step-grandmother was a widow with two sons right about my father's age (one older, one younger). Unfortunately, her oldest son died very young, leaving a wife and two young daughters. Her younger son married and had three girls after his 4 year enlistment. My parents married around the same time so my brother and I were within the same age group as these three youngest granddaughters.

    My brother and I were always treated differently and not in a good way by the adults of the step family. Eventually the attitude rubbed off the other kids in the step family and we were outcasts. I was a pretty happy kid but I was always keenly aware of being treated like we weren't good enough for them. So, when I grew up I pretty much stopped contact (I was "busy" during family get togethers because, frankly, I didn't want to cause a stir... I just wanted out). I was there when my grandfather dies and there when my grandmother died. I did my duty. I even made sure grandmother knew Duckie and received cards and photos regularly, but we didn't immerse ourselves in the family life.

    Grandmother passed away after my father died. Not one of them sent a card or showed for his memorial service. Not even a phone call.


    So I go grocery shopping today and recognize one of the grand daughters also shopping. She approached me and asked we if we knew each other. It stung that she didn't remember me so I said "I don't think so, but I've worked in several local stores so perhaps it was while I was working." and left it at that. :(
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That has really got to hurt and I am so sorry for the disfunction of the family. Did the granddaughters "inherit" the attitude the rest of the family had or did they end up being "victims" of ignorance? I think you handled it very well. If it were me, just out of spite I would have said something about being outcasted from the family. But, that's just me.

    Hugs to you.
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    :thumbsdown: That stinks. BUT, I have to ask....Is she one of the ones that turned their back or was it her parents fault? I also had a similar situation. I was very close to one of my cousins when I was young. Then, suddenly, we never saw that side of our family again. I looked her up about a year ago on Facebook and found out some things about why our family split the way it did. She and I have gotten very friendly again.
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. That had to hurt. I think your response was perfect.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Oh, TM, I'm so sorry about the past hurts and understand why you responded as you did.

    However, I have to wonder if maybe this one granddaughter is the apple that did fall far from the tree? Perhaps it was an opportunity to mend old wounds, make a friend if not renew a familial relationship. Just saying, feel free to ignore me! Hugs.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ya know, this is one of the reasons I went above and beyond for katie from the moment her Dad and I decided to marry. And for all the dysfunction / gfgness in my family, I can honestly say she was treated no differently than any of the rest of the grandchildren ect.

    Now this most likely stems from the man we call Dad being Mom's 2nd husband.........and if one of his grown kids dared to so much as look at us sideways (we were the ages of his grandkids) there was trouble..........But they never did. Oddly enough even after they divorced, we were one huge family. Oh we didn't see as much of his kids and grandkids after the divorce. We did see them from time to time though. And when he passed away, his bio kids made certain my bros were pallbearers along with his bio sons........and we were included in all the services and the huge family meal they had following. They even invited my mom. (now that was above and beyond lol )

    I haven't seen any of them since Dad's funeral when Travis was a newborn. I'm not sure I'd recognize them, I might, but I can't be least with some of them. Others I'd know anywhere.

    But I do remember the sting, for both me and my Dad, when someone who didn't know me would ask him who I was and he had to explain I was his step daughter. I have never, not once, introduced Katie to someone that way. She's my daughter. If hard pressed, I'll explain. Otherwise that's it.

  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am sorry that you and your brother were treated badly. I hope the woman you ran into has grown up into a lovely woman who did indeed fall far from the tree. You handled the situation brilliantly.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks everyone. I'm really not willing to get involved again whether she's like the rest or not. They are a close knit family and to take one means to take all with them. I won't put myself in a position to be treated shabbily by them again.
  9. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Hugs TM. You handled the situation very well. I can understand you not wanting to get involved again. Life is tough enough as is and history tends to repeat itself. SFR
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I think you did the absolute right thing. I say that because I could literally write a book on family snobbery and selective dysfunctional behavior as it pertains to taking a dump on individuals that really don't deserve it - et al. Cross reference - see my Mothers Family. What a load of manure.

    So imagine you were to "make nice" with the girl in the grocery? You know what that really would do? Nothing. It would be nice to THINK it would be the beginning of a healing spot, but it's doubtful that after she was raised by a pack of hyenahs - She could go home to her den and say " OH I saw TM today and we had lunch and we chatted and we got along very well!! It was GREAT!!" At that point the nimble minded pack would have to open their mouths wide enough to remove all doubt they are from the idiot clan, and so much condesention would spew out - it just wouldn't be worth tyring to mend a chance relationship with a distant step relative. I'd sooner have a relationship with an utter and completely NICE stranger with other dysfunctions in THEIR family so when I chose to I could walk away. Know what I mean?? been there done that - no thanks - door mat says GO AWAY.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I imagine you were quite shocked. Your response was appropriate. The main thing is that you are comfortable about the chance meeting. I don't know what the chances are that you will bump into her again in the future but at least you have time to decide what, if anything, you may say should that happen. Hugs DDD
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I think you handled it very well. Of course, there's always the chance that one day it will dawn on her why you looked so familiar. But then she will probably be thinking that maybe you didn't recognize her!
  13. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm okay with that. ;)
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think that you did the right thing. My knee jerk reaction was a bit different, but I know that as someone else said, (or maybe it was you?) "to take one is to take them all".

    There are very few people in the world like us, who have successfully severed the family ties to people who are abusive. Even if this woman was someone that also had been on the outs with them the likelihood is that she still has some contact, and that eventually someone would have to be justifying their story.

    I don't know, maybe my own wounds are still too fresh to have hopes that family in this situation will ever come through. But I would give anything to never have to worry about accidentally running into my family again. Including moving 3,000 miles away and leaving no forwarding address. {{{{{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}}}}}}
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I've thought of moving away too! :p
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tm-You handled it wonderfully (much better than I would have). (((hugs)))
  17. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Wow how did you think so fast? I would have turned tail and run before she saw me or just made nice while stumbling on my words. I think you did great.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You did well.