My grandmother moved away from the bulk of our family almost two (2) years ago now. As the flights are expensive, she only tends to visit a few times a year. However, every time she visits it causes conflict in our family. This is due to her making herself out as the "victim" in any situation, and also because she tends to seed lies around the family (Although I believe this to be semi-unintentional, as in she does it without thinking.)
It's gotten to the point where slowly, but surely, each family member is pushing her out of their lives. I've always been the closest with Nanna, but I'm also getting to the point where I can't handle it anymore. As such, I would like to sit her down and explain that if things don't change she is going to lose her family.
All of these examples are from her most recent visit, from the 8/03/2018 until the 17/03/2018 when she left, to give you an idea of the frequency of events. It's fairly long, but feel free to skip past. I've mostly provided it to give context to my families anger / annoyance
Nanna was given a set of keys so that she could borrow my mothers car. This set of keys had everything (car, house, shed, clubhouse, safe key, ect) on it. Nanna lost these keys.
Nanna proceeded to blame everyone but herself for the loss of the keys (E.G Calling my sister to say it's her fault for not "immediently dropping everything to help search for them") and adopted a "woe is me" attitude (despite my mother being the one without keys anymore).
My mother and my Nanna (using the spare car key) left for a memorial rally that was being hosted that day. I was asked to look after my mums two staffys, however I wasn't informed that the keys had gone missing (which lead me to be locked outside my mums house, as she usually leaves a key behind for me). When I called my Nanna (mother didn't answer) to ask where the key was, I was yelled at and told "Your bloody mother probably has them in her purse, but everyone is blaming me! It's not my fault, [Asteria], she's lying to make me look bad" and told I would have to wait outside with the dogs until they arrived home that night (it was about 9am at this point).
Because I was locked outside, the dogs were outside with me (They're support animals, my mother is disabled so they follow whatever human is home around). Coincidentally, the neighbors dog had been busily tunneling under the fence during that day and managed to get through to attack the staffys. I ended up scratched, bitten, bleeding and crying from protecting my darling boys. I called Nanna (again, mum had no service) to request they came home early (because honestly I was pretty rattled). The first words out of my Nanna's mouth weren't to ask if I / the dogs were okay, but instead "Oh, and of course it's my bloody fault because I lost the keys."
For me, this was a fairly big sign saying "I don't care about your wellbeing", and the incident that hurt me the most.
At a family dinner, Nanna was saying terrible, hurtful things about my grandfather (much, much worse then what she normally says). However this time my uncle was also visiting (He was raised by Grandfather and lives near him, my mother was raised by Nanna). Uncle said "Mum, stop. That's my dad you're talking about. Can't we just have a nice dinner?". Nanna started wailing about how no one loves her, how we always side with Grandfather and how everyone hates her. To give you an idea about the intensity of the things she was saying, Uncle stood up and left dinner, and has refused to receive any of Nanna's attempts to contact him.
Despite being verbally abused last time, I foolishly agreed to drive my Nanna to the airport again (We're rural, so this is roughly 6 hours there and back with rush hour traffic). About 2 hours into the trip, there was a multi-car collision that collected us in it's grip. My Nanna began screaming at the top of her lungs once we'd crashed, however the crash wasn't that bad (Lots and lots of nasty bruises, but that's it) but since she's old, I was immediately concerned and ready to call 000. I have some basic first aid training, so I tried to get a grasp of the situation so that I could better deal with it and assist her. However, Nanna ended her mindless wailing and instead started yelling about how she was going to miss her flight. No concern about how my car was now completely written off, didn't ask if I was okay, didn't check to make sure no one involved was injured. She was "the victim" because she would miss her plane, and everyone else would damn well know that.
When disagreed with, or told "no", Nanna always jumps quickly to "You HAVE to be nice to me, I won't be around much longer" to inspire a horrible feeling of guilt so that we'll "be nicer".
Nanna reacts to all situations with this mindset of "I am the victim, none of you understand how hard it is to be me". She's always been like that, but it has been rapidily increasing in intensity over the last few years.
Uncle is already cutting of contact, and so is my sister. Mother and I discussed and we're both ready to give up on Nanna.
But I want to make one final, last ditch effort to keep my family from cutting her out of our lives.
To convey to Nanna (without starting an argument) that -
- She needs to stop victimizing herself
- The family is already starting to remove her from our lives
- It's not because we don't love her, but because her attitude is toxic
- If things don't change she WILL lose all of us