Ask Amy: She’s not the grandmother I want for my kids

Dear Amy: I grew up with a mom who I could never trust to reliably “show up.”

Amy Dickinson 

She was an alcoholic until I was 7, and I was sent back and forth between my father and her while she went through relationships with several men.

She had a sober period from when I was 7 until I was 13, and then she remarried and had two more children.

Once I went to college, I was no longer invited home, and this continued even after I was married.

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She rarely called and was very busy with my half-siblings. There was always an excuse as to why she couldn’t see me.

She would cancel at the last minute to see a friend or make it very difficult to set solid plans. If I didn’t initiate getting together, I would never see her.

Now my kids are teens, and they don’t know her at all.

Throughout their childhoods, she never invited them over. She never invites us for Christmas celebrations with my stepdad and half-siblings.

I feel like it has been my job to try to maintain a relationship with her. I often feel it as an extra burden, with heavy guilt attached. Am I right to feel this way?

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I have always wished for supportive and involved grandparents, but I really don’t know what is normal.

When I’ve told my mom that I’d like for her to maybe come up with something to do with my kids, she’s just said that she can’t.

Am I right to feel burdened and frustrated?

She’s not that old; she is capable, drives, and takes care of others in her community.

I’ve yearned for close family connections but feel like my efforts have not panned out or been reciprocated.

How do I find that connection I’ve yearned for?

Distressed

Dear Distressed: You question your own feelings, which is what people do when they’ve experienced chaos and dislocation in childhood.

Childhood is when humans learn to inhabit and express their authentic feelings. Competent, sober, and reliable parents guide children through this process. You were denied this — and much more — …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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