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Communicating with grandmother

Currently living with my maternal grandmother (83 years old), my last living grandparent (her husband died twelve years ago).

I try my best to engage her questions about her life, listen to her stories, do chores and keep the place clean and quiet. I’m aware I’m a guest here and she is my elder, so I’m conscious to stay polite and patient. It doesn’t seem to matter, though; she remains rude, impatient, and so negative in everything she says, to the point it’s waring and I want to avoid her. She is backbiting toward my mother, and she clicks her fingers me and my sister around without so much as a “would you mind...?” She is a snobby, rude, indirect and querelent upper-middle class person who doesn’t appreciate her charmed life.

Is there some way I can talk to and treat her that will get her to ease up, be a bit happier, and learn to relax, in a way that respecta us both? I don’t want to have this relationship stagnate on a sour note

by Anonymousreply 54Last Thursday at 7:40 PM

Cue mrs. Patsy Ramsey.

by Anonymousreply 102/16/2021

Do you have a staircase or a rolling pin OP?

by Anonymousreply 202/16/2021

Put it in a script and send it to Hallmark. Write a happy ending and suggest Shirley Maclaine to star.

by Anonymousreply 302/16/2021

Two words: medical marijuana.

by Anonymousreply 402/16/2021

Ignore the finger clicks for starters, OP, to train her to at least address you directly.

r4 Absolutely!

by Anonymousreply 502/16/2021

Good luck OP. At 83, this entitled bitch is changing for no one!

by Anonymousreply 602/16/2021

Have her walk in on you communicating with “her” via Ouija board.

by Anonymousreply 702/16/2021

I assume you’re there for the inheritance.

Apparently she’s assuming that too.

by Anonymousreply 802/16/2021

Where do you live, OP? What is your first language? Are you in a country where living under the thumb of an imperious grandparent the norm?

We need a better understanding of the circumstances to give you good advice.

by Anonymousreply 902/16/2021

Unfortunately OP some people turn into crotchety, miserable people when they reach a certain age. I think a lot of them are mad at the world for them being old and unable to do a lot of things they used to do when younger. They take their misery out on everyone else (misery loves company you know). There's probably no use in trying to change her. If the situation there is unlivable the only thing you can do is move.

by Anonymousreply 1002/16/2021

Yes, what is your age and why are you living with your grandmother? I totally get that there could be economic reasons so no judgment. But it sounds like you give a lot of power to her that you don't need to. You are her guest and she is your elder, but you aren't her servant. If she wants your help or labor she should at least ask nicely.

Are there any boundaries you can suggest to her? Does your culture prohibit or frown on questioning elders?

by Anonymousreply 1102/16/2021

My mother was a very negative person too. I always felt I had to be polite and sit there and actually listen to her tirades only to come away exhausted and kinda depressed - which is, I suspect, what she wanted.

The best piece of advice I got was to NOT listen. Just sit there, let it pass through one ear and out the other, think about something else. Nod or agree occasionally. Don't challenge the backbiting, let it wash over you.

For a lot of elderly people, they aren't seeking advice or feedback, but just want to vent. They don't call some people old cunts for nothing.

by Anonymousreply 1202/16/2021

Have you ever thought you’re not welcome and she views you as a moocher? Are you laying her rent? Maybe she wants you to get the fuck out and leave her alone.

by Anonymousreply 1302/16/2021

^paying, not laying

by Anonymousreply 1402/16/2021

OP- When I saw the title of your thread I thought you were Communicating with Grandmother in the BEYOND.

by Anonymousreply 1502/16/2021

r13 He's laying her for rent! Sick bastard

by Anonymousreply 1602/16/2021

Oh hun, she don't like you cause you're gay

by Anonymousreply 1702/16/2021

Try this. "Hey granny, were you always such a bitch or did you pick it up along the way?" Ask in a curious and neutral tone and see what answer she gives.

by Anonymousreply 1802/16/2021

I like the medical marijuana idea.

Things like throw rugs and loose floorboards can be very dangerous to the elderly.

by Anonymousreply 1902/16/2021

[quote] Is there some way I can talk to and treat her that will get her to ease up, be a bit happier, and learn to relax, in a way that respects us both?


It's very difficult to change yourself; it's impossible to change other people. You need to make up your mind whether or not you can continue to live this way and if you decide you can't, you'll need to get another place to live.

by Anonymousreply 2002/16/2021

Thanks everyone, the responses have me rolling😂

R8 nope, I stand to inherit nothing. My rich uncle (grandma’s eldest son) owns her house, because he bought her out years ago. My grandfather spent most of her money before he passed. She lives on pension and social security. Like I said, I’m from the poor hillbilly trash branch of the family (my mother is my grandmother’s youngest least favorite daughter), and I’m a gay woman, so I’m seen as basically expendable by the rest of the clan. If I had an alternative chosen community to go to, I would be with them right now.

R13 I pay her a monthly rent, and cook meals do homecare and upkeep and cleaning. I basically live in as a de facto carer, but she’s not disabled or geriatric enough (but she is too proud) to sign off on an allowance for me.

R9 I’m in the U.K (Wales), if that helps. Wenglish culture. There’s no crushing imperative for me to do this, but middle-class Brits are expected to soldier on when it comes to elder care. I don’t have steady full-time employment atm, and I struggle to get interviewed. My financial/work situation is a long, tragic, absurd story but I can expand if needs be (let me know)...

R17 I suspect that may have something to do with it. Nearly-30 year old woman without a man or a kid? Something must be wrong...🙄

by Anonymousreply 2102/16/2021

Time smoothes the rough edges of some people and gives them a new life and new connections.

For others it only sharpens those edges and gives them license to make you wish they were fucking dead.

by Anonymousreply 2202/16/2021

Why are you living with your grandmother? Nobody else will have you? You’re a poor?

by Anonymousreply 2302/16/2021

Imagine a sturdy, thick German nurse of a certain age, with thick smoked nurse shoes and hands the size of hams. Now accept abuse as easily as our fictional Brunhilde would.

Try, "Say that to me again and I will lay you flat like a sack of dirt."

And FFS, are you doing in Granny's house?

by Anonymousreply 2402/16/2021

*thick-soled shoes

by Anonymousreply 2502/16/2021

Does she have a lot of photos in a shoebox or closet? If so dig them out and ask her to help you identify some of the people in them and write their names on the back. I did that a bit with my grandmother, but not enough, so I have a lot of photos to pass on to cousins, who will probably not care but some of their grandkids might.

by Anonymousreply 2602/16/2021

Could it be the start of dementia? Is she worse in the evening? My mom who was always pleasant & cheerful has become querulous as her dementia has set in. Also, the quarantine is taking a toll on older folks since they can't go out and about like they used to. It makes them cranky and depressed.

My heart goes out to you, OP. Being a caretaker for your grandma is hard and I'm sure your family doesn't appreciate what you're going through. It definitely wears on you. Chin up and like someone else said "let it go in one ear and out the other".

by Anonymousreply 2702/16/2021

Butters has the speech.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2802/16/2021

Thanks for the suggestions so far, folks. I laughed, I cried.

R23 yes, to both. No-one of all the places I have applied to for work has hired me so far, and my last employer (of two years) turned out to be a scam artist I had to take to court. I have some savings, but not enough to rent a place sustainably.

My family are mostly estranged, and the few that are left are broke themselves and only able/willing to help me out as far as letting me stay here and care for grandmother dearest. I have no friends or no S.O., and haven’t for a long time (long sad story).

Been gritting my teeth and trying my hardest to be civil and normal and polite around grandmother, but she’s testing my patience and that of my sister (who helps out with her, too). She’s always making huge dramas about low-stakes quandaries, like moving a phone charger off a desk or not stacking a plate the right way. Every day there’s something she’s popping off about. It’s hard not to completely avoid her. She was trying to read my mail over my shoulder, earlier, and it was a battle not to snap at her to stop. Even her aura is creepy. Guess there’s a reason why her sons emigrated thousands of miles away.

by Anonymousreply 2902/22/2021

The passage of time does not mitigate rotten fruit.

by Anonymousreply 3002/22/2021

[quote]Is there some way I can talk to and treat her that will get her to ease up....


She's 83. She's had all those years to practice being a miserable cunt and to perfect her techniques for making the people around her miserable. These horrible people are a dime a dozen and they do not change.

What the living fuck do you think you can do to change that. Short of giving the old woman a lengthy and disabling course of ECT sessions, she is who she is always going to be.

by Anonymousreply 3102/22/2021

Are you in the will? Make a game of it with the others, how fast will grandma say something negative? How many times an hour? Encourage her, ask gory details, laugh behind her back. Gummy bears is a good idea. Also, Manischewitz in a tea cup isn't even considered wine, it's what fill-in-the-blank- religious figure drank. Evenings with grandma were a lot easier once she learned to enjoy Jesus juice.

by Anonymousreply 3202/22/2021

[quote] Gummy bears is a good idea.


by Anonymousreply 3302/22/2021

R32 gamifying her negative remarks is a good idea, I like that. I might even record it, and treat myself every few dozen times it happens, turn it into a positive.

I am not in the Will as far as I know, and I’m never likely to be no matter how sweet and helpful I am, thanks to my lowly status as a poor gay in the family. Her bungalow is worth a cool amount, but her son owns half of it and he is a rich twat who lives in New Zealand and doesn’t care for the likes of me. As far as my family are concerned about my being here, I get a discount on rent and that is more charity than I deserve.

My grandmother does drink wine with most meals and gets tipsy, but then she just gets acid on her tongue and starts laughing like a posh hyena at everyone else’s faults. She also kicks off when I drink even a finger, so it’s not like I could enjoy it even if she does. Sometimes I’ll just knock back painkillers in the evening and drop off to sleep to some music, and that is the closest to high I get.

by Anonymousreply 3402/22/2021

Ok, sorry to harp on the same string, but this lady is somehow getting creepier and getting on my last nerve at the same time.

She decided to eyeball me and find fault as I made our breakfast this morning, then as I was hastily leaving the kitchen (after cleaning it thoroughly, with no courtesy offer of help) she instantly got up in my face to yell “you have mail! Pick it up!” (the front door is on the other side of the house, where I hadn’t been yet). I smiled obligingly (if tightly) and said I would get right on that.

Then just now, she burst into my bedroom where I’m quietly tidying and making my bed (and checking what she’s likely been snooping through), to point and jab her her knarled fingers at me and bark “you didn’t unplug the oven! AGAIN!”. Context: the oven in the kitchen is a fairly-new safety induction-heated glass hob that turns on and off with buttons (and doesn’t need to be unplugged) and has circuit breakers. She is afraid of a fire from a device that literally can’t cause one.

No matter how silent and clean and safety-conscious I am, this sanctimonious witch finds something negative to shriek and pick at me about. If I just respond with a simple “sorry, thanks” and a nonplussed smile, she glitches, and storms off to cry or phones her neighbours to bitch audibly about what trash me and my family are. We can’t have a nice civil upbeat conversation without her making it an attack or a criticism or a pessimistic rant, and she seems not to understand (or has forgotten) basic boundaries and politness. I understand being elderly is challenging and frustrating, and that she may be declining mentally in some way, but she’s certainly sane and lucid enough to know how epically cunty she’s behaving.

What she doesn’t seem to realise is that she’s lucky; most elders in this village don’t even have family visiting them, let alone living in to care for them. I just don’t know what to do anymore to make it tolerable for her, or for me. As of yet the family can’t find or afford alternative care for my grandmother; no other family member will do it, home help won’t be cheap, and a care home is outrageously expensive plus grandmother wouldn’t leave her house willingly regardless. Finances (I have less than 10k saved) and unemployment (it is very hard to get full-time well-compensated work with a resume like mine) as well as lack of social circle mean I currently have nowhere else to go, even temporarily, short of a shelter.

The whole situation just makes me really sad, as well as angry. Why waste the last years on Earth driving your family away and causing bitterness?

by Anonymousreply 35Last Thursday at 3:24 AM

At 83 I doubt she'll change and there is nothing you can do about it. Unless you are able to pack up and move you'll have to grin and bear it.

My mother is the same and thankfully she doesn't live in the same house as me but she is a complete humourless bitch and she ain't never going to change. I just hope that she'll pass away peacefully in her sleep and do us both a favour.

by Anonymousreply 36Last Thursday at 3:37 AM

I'm about to abandon my 96 yr old mother. I can't take her anymore. I used to think i was just protecting my inheritance by being her caregiver but now i dont even care, My dislike for her has overpowered my ability to give her care unbiasedly. And my siblings are just grateful they are not in my shoes.

We'll just have to hand her fortune over to Home Instead in-house services

by Anonymousreply 37Last Thursday at 3:52 AM

This sounds like my mother who lives next door to me!

by Anonymousreply 38Last Thursday at 3:53 AM

Thanks R36. I feel the same, and I understand. I’m not expecting her to change, per se, just wondering how to handle her so she’ll back off. Maybe there’s no way. I just need an income so I can rent a room in a shared house or something (anything but pron, I’m female and can’t do that).

Good for you, R37. Life is too short, and there are other ways to make money. You never know what’s around the corner.

Sorry, but I am definitely not going to be caring for my folks in old age (especially my homophobic misogynistic father), having been through this with my grandmother. It isn’t worth it. If needs be I’ll take my chances with the breadline, and pray they go out quickly painlessly and quietly in their 70s. And hopefully I can have the same sort of end myself, before I need care. Living to be so old and frail and infirm just seems miserable.

by Anonymousreply 39Last Thursday at 4:12 AM

Turn on Fox News 24/7 for her. You stay in another room. She will not want to be disturbed while watching Tucker Carlson, and she will not want any distractions while Miss Lindsey is on Hannity.

by Anonymousreply 40Last Thursday at 4:15 AM


It's not about whether she likes you. It's about whether she respects you. She doesn't respect you because you let her take advantage of you and your kindness. To these people, kindness is seen as weakness.

You pay rent AND provide live-in care? Do you think she would be able to get this on the open market for the price she's paying - hardly. On the open market, free room and board would be part of the the package, not something you're charged extra to get.

When your family starts whining about "but, FaMiLyyyy" simply tell them, "fine, you come here and take care of her."

Whenever people use Faaaaaamily as an argument for you to do something, it ALWAYS translates into "let us take advantage of you because we share some genes." When they tell you you're selfish, it means "we're pissed because you wont' let us treat you like garbage anymore."

by Anonymousreply 41Last Thursday at 4:17 AM

Is your grandmother a member of DL? If not, sign her up, she'd fit right in.

by Anonymousreply 42Last Thursday at 4:23 AM

Move out, go find an apartment and a roommate. Paying rent and having to care for an old cunt, you sound like a sucker.

by Anonymousreply 43Last Thursday at 5:15 AM

Hit her.

Slap her firmly across the face, not so hard to make her fall or break skin or damage anything, but enough to know you'll fuck a bitch up.

And if she gives you more shit, hit her again and tell her more creative discipline will come if she peeps a fucking word.

by Anonymousreply 44Last Thursday at 5:17 AM

[quote] Do you have a staircase or a rolling pin OP?

Or an owl?

by Anonymousreply 45Last Thursday at 5:18 AM

R43 great suggestion. Alas, to rent one needs an income.

Or a way to scam the government to give you a council flat, but one has to get pregnant by a disabled illegal immigrant first.

by Anonymousreply 46Last Thursday at 5:51 AM

If you're going to hit her, do it on the soles of her feet. Start getting those PINs now and plotting your exit.

by Anonymousreply 47Last Thursday at 6:06 AM

Nothing is going to change her. My mother is 89 and was always a cunt her whole life and I'm only now as an old man beginning to fully realize it. I thought she was just idiosyncratic because who wants to grow up knowing that their mother is just a plain basically evil person and bitch doesn't come close to expressing how nasty she is?

Do what you need to do but don't talk to her except when necessary. Otherwise she'll make you feel like crap. It's her purpose in life.

by Anonymousreply 48Last Thursday at 6:43 AM

Use this time to build up your skill set, so you can get a good job and get out of there. Consider moving and starting over, to another part of the UK or even it Canada or Australia.

by Anonymousreply 49Last Thursday at 6:51 AM

You're living in HER home OP. She probably doesn't want you there any more than you want to be there. And what, is your sister living with her also? She has every right to be demanding and rude. Are you paying rent? If you don't like the arrangement, definitely do everyone a favor and move.

by Anonymousreply 50Last Thursday at 7:17 AM

R50 Never side with old cunts.

by Anonymousreply 51Last Thursday at 7:21 AM

I agree with giving her a couple of good slaps.

by Anonymousreply 52Last Thursday at 7:55 AM

Play music from her era. It can really lift moods.

by Anonymousreply 53Last Thursday at 8:19 AM

She was a mean little girl, a cunt when she grew up, and now a bitch crone. There's nothing you can do about it but scare her when no one is around. Make her fear you.

by Anonymousreply 54Last Thursday at 7:40 PM
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