John and I talked about my hoarding problem, and what it may stem from. We also talked at length about my relationship with my paternal grandmother, whomever I miss every day of my life. That discussion went into the conflict between my mother and grandmother, and we also talked about how I was like my grandmother with my granddaughters. I feel an empathy with them, and feel sometimes that their mother is too hard on them.
We talked about how fragile my relation with Sabrina is that I can’t talk about my concerns for the grandchildren (about the maturity level of the movie the other day, for example) without her thinking that I am criticizing her. We can’t just have a talk about my concerns like adults without her feeling threatened. My mother always thought my grandmother was criticizing her for the way she raised us, so my mother held onto that domain with an iron fist. She was going to raise her children the way she wanted and there was nothing my grandmother could do to stop her. My father would not even try to change my mother’s mind about things (for example, senior class the trip to Italy) when his mother asked him to talk some sense into her. She had made up her mind that she would not be beholding to my grandmother for paying my way on the trip. She had never been to Europe so why should I do something she never did?
When I look back, after my mother had not let me go to stay with my grandmother when I was young because my grandmother could not or would not take my sister, too, I wonder why I was allowed to spend Wednesdays with her when I was in high school. Maybe it was because I sort of did it in a backwards way; I wanted to spend time shopping with my friends downtown and then I took the bus to Grandma’s. Then it was dinner time, so why not stay? Then I could do some homework in peace and quiet before I went home. So it worked out well for me to have that special time with my grandparents and uncle–an escape from the chaos and instability at my house with my mother. I am so glad that I had that time with my grandmother and could talk to her and tell her anything without being criticized or judged. I was truly blessed.