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Gran makes me feel unwanted

I live with my grandmother but we have a rough relationship. Should I move out?

Rest assured that your grandmother loves you, says our elder. But it sounds like a good time to set up on your own.

Dear EWC

So about two months ago I left my abusive ex and moved back in with my grandmother. My grandmother and I have always had a rough relationship. Every time she gets some sort of problem now, she blames me. Like her UTI and her cradle cap. She says I am stressing her out. I do all the household chores for her, and I remind her of her appointments and buy food for the house. I’m barely ever home because of work. I work for my older brother — I go to his place and watch his four-month-old son.

My brother doesn’t like our grandmother so he wants me to move in with him. My grandmother tells me she doesn’t want me living with her and my bedroom is her storage room with my bed in it. I told my grandmother I could move in with my older brother and she was all against it and said she doesn’t want me in that situation and said I need to make my own life. I do feel like I have my own life but I am starting to feel unwanted by my grandmother. My older brother said he’d still drop me off at our grandmother’s place so I can still help her with things like laundry and dishes. But I don’t understand why she says I stress her out when I try so hard to make everything easy for her. I once made dinner for us and she was mad at me about it because I made too much, apparently. My depression is now getting worse and worse. My mother says for me to do what makes me happy but I don’t want a family war started by me. What should I do?

Mrs.G replies

I think I can understand your grandmother. She loves you but is having problems with you living in her house — as she would anyone. When people get older (I include myself in this), they get used to their routine and to living alone. Having someone else in their life, even though that someone else is helpful, can be very stressful. It changes their entire routine and makes them uncomfortable. They are used to totally being in control of their life and get bothered easily when it becomes disruptive. They are even used to planning their own dinners and know exactly how much they can eat. Even though you are seldom home, the mere fact you come and go is distracting. And the fact you have your things in her bedroom is annoying because she no longer has a place of her own to put and store her things.

So, based on this, I hope you can turn around your attitude toward her and not conclude she doesn’t love you because she does. The mere fact she is concerned about you living with your brother shows this. Her love for you is telling her this wouldn’t be a good move for you. If she simply didn’t care about you, she wouldn’t care if you moved there or not. I hope you can now appreciate her standpoint and continue to love her as I’m sure you once did.
Yes, her advice to you of getting out on your own sounds good because that would solve your problem and make everyone happy. It could be a great time, if you could afford it, to begin life anew after your breakup. Maybe you could turn around your depression and try to focus on jobs you could get instead of babysitting. Not knowing your situation, it’s difficult for me to have suggestions, but a life of just taking care of your nephew doesn’t sound all that rewarding. And on that note, your brother may not be the best one to guide you as I’m sure he wants and needs you to continue to take care of his child.

So, in conclusion, my dear — try to understand your grandmother and love her, know that she loves you, and start dreaming about the life you could have. Maybe you could live with your brother for a little while to free up your grandmother unless she finds it totally upsetting. Whatever you do, I don’t think you’ll start a family war so don’t worry about that. Do what your mother suggested perhaps by deciding what exactly would make you happy and make some decisions. I think a lot of your depression could be due to your indecisiveness in addition to the fact you just left a horrible relationship.
If you can stop feeling rejected by everyone, you will be clear headed to think what would be best for you to do. I wish you luck, and hope this all works out well.

Letter #: 445478
Category: Family

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