Friday, May 10, 2019

Thanks For The Memories

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 9 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

Your uncle you never knew you had left you a fortune. What do you do with it?

It was submitted by:


It's interesting I received this prompt.

A few months ago my paternal grandma passed away. We hadn't spoken in 10 years. I'd say it was mostly my choice, and she would have said the same, but in all those years, she didn't bother to call or check on me or reach out in any way, and that says as much as anything doesn't it?

I grew up with her in my life. My brother and I spent a lot of afternoons afterschool at her house. We spent summer days helping her fix lunch for my grandfather's fence crew (he had his own chain length fence business). They had a weekend retreat on Lake Seminole that we often spent time at with them. It wasn't much--a smallish mobile home with a dock on the lake--but it was better than being home. The few fond memories I have of childhood are mostly times I spent at their homes, but it wasn't so much that my grandparents were really the loving, doting, spoiling kind. They just left us alone enough to be kids. They didn't care if we built blanket forts if it kept us out of their hair. It was an escape, being with them. At least until I got old enough for both of them to harp on my weight, my looks, the way I dressed... "Diet" was a constant refrain that only got worse the older I got, the softer and rounder I became.

After my parents divorced, I lived with my dad for awhile getting even more grief from Granny about how I chose to dress, what I ate... Eat, diet, eat more, diet, you're getting too fat, here's some more dumplings, I made a salad for you. But she also blamed my dad's increasingly erratic behavior on me not trying hard enough to control him especially when she argued with him, and he got violent. What grown ass adult tells a 13/14 year old kid she is responsible for stepping in and stopping her 6'4, 250 lb father from doing any damn thing? That's the way it was though, and by the time I left his house, my relationship with her was really beyond repair.

I tried. I called when she didn't, but it was never enough. I dieted, but it was never enough pounds to be valued. Nothing I did had any worth, I didn't have worth, unless I was a weight they found acceptable. I bounced between a 10 to a 16, and none of it was ever enough even when I made myself sick and battled eating disorders to get smaller. Not once in my entire life was I ever enough, and the worst of it is that their obsession with weight, even though both of them were larger themselves, led to my aunt's brain aneurism and death. Even losing a daughter by focusing so damn hard on making her thin didn't stop them from devaluing me the same way.

Still I hung in there. I hung in when I was chastised for not having a better relationship with my dad even though he blamed me for my own sexual assault, abused me, and made my life a living hell. I hung in through the criticism and the hurt. I made an effort through all of it to still call and stop by, but it was never enough. I was the worst grandaughter. Fat and weird and uncaring.

My dad remarried around the time I left his house for good, and my new stepmother gleefully latched on to this dynamic and found a way to work herself in their good graces. Say the right things, criticize us, eat the right food, take her to a few appointments, and she was set. So that's what she did.

When my dad died in 2006, my stepmom moved on pretty fast, but she still kept up appearances with my grandparents. She begged for start up capital, land for her kids, down payments, car money, lawyer money, and she got it. She'd found her niche after all. I kept trying, though. Calling to be compared to the woman who'd burned our childhood things and made any reconciliation I could have had with my dad out of the question, put down for not doing more all while still being shit on for every decision I made and what I looked like on any given day.

When my grandfather died 3 years later, my brother and I both left our jobs dropping everything to go be with her. I cleaned the bathroom he died in just hours after he was removed while she greeted guests, and still once we were gone, my stepmom convinced her we were only ever there for money. That was it for me, for both of us. There was nothing we could do to stop that train from rolling, and it had been a lifetime of abuses at that point, so we got off it.

10 years.

For 10 years, we lived our lives doing our own thing. I didn't miss any of it. What I did miss was something I never had--unconditional love from a grandparent. For 10 years, though, my stepmom bounced between new men but sticking around my grandma just enough to stay in favor through DUIs, lost businesses, and bad decisions. She spent every dime that was given to her and put up with shit I refused to endure for 10 years and spent that time telling anyone who would listen that WE were the ones who were all about the money. Poor her...she had to step in and take care of her former mother in law because no one else would while denying even to herself that she made it that way for a reason.

Projection is a hell of a drug.

A couple weeks ago, I got a notice in the mail that I had been disinherited by my grandmother and that my son would have gotten a small sum of inheritance (not my brother's kids though) IF my stepmother hadnt already spent every dime my grandmother had left while she was aging and dying.

So if I got some inheritance from an uncle I never knew, I'd be sure to send some to her. She obviously needs it more than any other person on the planet, certainly more than I ever did.

I just hope someone tells her money can't buy class.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Wandering Web Designer

Cognitive Script

The Bergham Chronicles

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Southern Belle Charm

Bookworm in the Kitchen

Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. That was an incredibly difficult read. I was humiliated over weight all my life, and I never went higher than an 8. But I did not go through any of the rest of what you did and I can't imagine how you get through it. I'm glad that at least now, in your adulthood, you're in a safe and loving environment.

  2. You hit that nail right on the head! My mother was horrible about telling me and then my daughter how much we needed to lose weight. Every fucking day and she got worse and worse with her dementia. I took it, but became the buffer between her and my daughter. I was not going to let her do to her what she had done to me my whole life. I'm making sure that my grandkids never feel that way. I love them unconditionally because I remember how much I wanted that when I was a child. Parents can really fuck their children up can't they.

  3. "Money can't buy class", so sadly true!
    Wow, that is some serious BS you had to endure, I am so sorry! You're right, grandparents should love their grandkids unconditionally. That Grandma of yours must have tons of issues that she projected heads-on to you.

  4. This is so painful and I am so sorry you did not grow up knowing unconditional love. I cannot imagine how difficult it was to never measure up. Shame on parents who do this!