Thursday, October 30, 2008

Double Standards

I has some. Meet Aughra. This is how I see her, hence the name. She is the Matriarch on my mother's side. She started a charity in her hometown. She can be the most charming person in the world unless you are a female related to her, then she picks you part constantly. Today I yelled at Aughra. She started in on Mini-me... 'How I should beat her more often'; 'How she has no manners'; 'How she doesn't even know the difference between a tomato and a potato'. ( note Mini-me does know the difference. She was really sick as a baby and has a speech prob. The names sound the same to her, so she uses then interchangeably) As I sat there listening to her tear apart my Mama-san, myself and my daughter, I realized that I have a complete double standard when it comes to her. She says things that I would jump down someone else's throat about. I wonder why? Is it because my Mama-san asked me not to start something with Aughra? Maybe. Little. Is it cause I still get a little scared of what will happen if I yell at her? I think that is a lot of it. She likes to withhold affection if you don't toe the line. Aughra likes to dangle something in front of you. 'Here. See this? This is how much I love you. When I die you will get it. I have hung on to it your whole life just for you.' Then when your opinion is different than hers, she snatches it away. When I was 8-9, she gave me this dress to wear. I hated it. wouldn't wear it. We had a big fight. Didn't talk to each other for probably 10 years.

Aughra is tough woman. She's had a hard life. Very hard. It has made her a hard woman. She assumes anyone she loves is out to screw her. This is what her life experiences have taught her. She is in the process of dying now. It is a painful ugly death. Slowly drowning. So my conundrum is this... I know she loves us all of us. I know she cannot express it the way most people do. Do I ignore her behavior and do clean up with my daughter afterward? Is this the way I want my daughter to remember the woman that most of Aughra's hometown thinks is a saint? 'Cuz bucking the system means fighting with my Mama-san too. Do I want to go there? I know that my Mama-san will side with Aughra she has to. Aughra will hurt her in ways that can't be forgiven, if she sides with me. So then what? I have heard that I am just as hard as Aughra. Am I really that ugly and hard to people? See, Opening this can of worms means hearing that over and over again. This is depressing. I think I'll pull a Scarlet and think about it tomorrow.


  1. I wonder if it doesn't hurt her to say those things either, but she's never been guided towards a more appropriate behavior. I mean, her own mother may have been EXTREMELY critical as well.

    For sure, though, that no one is happy and something is going to have to change.

    I don't like talking to my oma. She was the one who would always harshly criticize my weight from the time I was 8 years old till I moved back to the States. I was very sensitive and the last thing I needed was some unhappy old fat woman sneering at my medication-related weight gain. I keep polite touch with occasional letters and postcards but I'm happier having little to do with her.

  2. Celia, hope things get better. I totally understand your wanting to defend and protect your daughter from a grandmother who says very hurtful things. It's a tough situation. Sometimes people who have had harsh lives don't know how to express their love in a productive way. Hugs.

  3. She sounds like my mother-in-law. I could go into a novel page rant. My children, (the grandchildren she lived with from birth for 14 yrs) received nothing at her death as punishment to me for not taking her son back. Nothing you do can make those people change.

    The hard life makes a person hard was her "excuse". It's just that an excuse. My grandmother had a hard life and was hard as a young when woman when she had to be to survive. She softened over years.

    Being a hard person is a choice.

    I would suggest seeing her as little as you can possibly get away with.