I never much cared for my grandmother growing up. I thought she was blunt, sarcastic, commanding, serious and a bit scary. She wasn't overly affectionate or warm, but she was intelligent and would often have conversations with me about complicated topics and valued my opinions, even as a child. There were several grandchildren and I often felt "lost" in the shuffle of my cousins - sometimes preferring to "hide" as I was the quiet one. I didn't draw attention to her. Looking back I see her differently, and with a whole new respect. I realize that a Difficult Child is not a new phenomena. Out of her several children, she had two - one quite severe: several marriages, often abusive, addiction issues, jail time, children she wasn't always capable of caring for. She struggled well into her 40s. However, she never went to my grandmother for a place to live or money. And she most definitely NEVER disrespected my grandparents or tried to lie or manipulate them - my grandmother would have slapped her across the face and kicked her out if she even dared. I have come to realize how strong my grandmother was, and her strong conviction that once she had raised those children into adulthood that they were ADULTS and it was whatever bed they had made that they must lie in. They were welcome in her home to visit and bring the grandchildren, but it was her house and her rules, and no one dared disrespect that or try to involve her into their chaos or dramas. They could save that sh*t for their own homes as far as she was concerned. And I cannot remember one time when any aunt or uncle would have DARED come to her with their problems and demands they way our children do. No matter what was going on in their lives, they respected my grandparents and kept their crap to themselves. And it makes me wonder, what changed? In my opinion? Society. Society now encourages parents to continue to "parent" adult children, even keeping them on their insurance until they are 26. Society "blames" parents for children who don't adjust well into adulthood and flounder, expecting the parents to keep picking up the pieces into infinity until/if they adult child ever does. This society has created adult children who feel entitled to their parents' resources indefinitely, and the right to treat parents as doormats with respect thrown out the window. And parents have also folded into the societal concept "it must be my fault so I have to keep trying" no matter how old their children are, how many opportunities they have squandered, how much disrespect and pain they bring us. It has made my look at my grandmother (and her generation) with a whole new respect, and I look back at her with an entirely different perspective. I inherited her wit and intelligence, bluntness and directness. I am working on her backbone and insistence that her home was her kingdom and any disrespect shown was shown to the door. I am working on the boundaries she made sure her children knew before they even chose to leave and her ability to stick with them no matter what. I am working on not laying in the bed my Difficult Child made and insisting she does. I think my grandmother crawled into her own bed each night and laid her head down knowing she had done her job and now it was their lives up for the choosing. And she lived her life and not theirs. God bless her strength and rest her soul.