Recently I was gone for a week to the Regional Championships in Salem, Oregon. I was there with my teenage granddaughter who decided after the fact that she really didn't want to be there with grandma after all. She wanted to be home with her friends. But instead of being upfront about her unhappiness she took it out on me for the whole week.
It didn't end well. Tired of her avoiding me and rolling her eyes and complaining every time I asked her to do something to care for the horses, I confronted her trying to get her to tell me what was happening. After an hour of trying to get her to talk and asking yet again why she was so angry, she snarled at me in a way that quickly flashed back to her mother's teenage rage "Nobody cares what I think anyway!" and grandma lost it.
It wasn't pretty! My frustration got the best of me and I poured a bottle of water on her head. She promptly swore at me........including the F bomb as Dave would call it and I slapped her. I was mortified at my behavior and immediately apologized but she had what she needed to go into a full blown rage.
This all happened late at night. I promptly called her mother getting her out of bed telling her what I'd done and asking if she had any clue what was underneath all this animosity with her daughter. I didn't get any answers from her but later that night learned the truth from the granddaughter. She didn't want to be at the horse show with grandma. She wanted to be home with her friends.
This was the second time in our relationship that my granddaughter has changed her mind too late to change plans. Both times she has taken her behavior out on me and her horse. That in itself is enough to trigger those feelings of rejection. But it is only a small part of the "new twist" to my old story.
As if it isn't bad enough that my granddaughter clearly would just as soon not be with me, it soon became obvious to me that the people we were stabled with at the horse show thought that I was the problem. Suddenly my granddaughter was being allowed to ride my friend's horse around and I felt like it was somehow directed at me and my granddaughter was being rewarded for her bad behavior.
The last night we were at the show when I came back to the stalls to find the group sitting around talking. My granddaughter got up and looked me directly in the eye and told me she was going to visit with my friend. The look clearly was calculating and cold. She was punishing me.
The show is long since over but now I find out that my daughter and my granddaughter had a meeting with my friends and part of what they discussed was my behavior at the horse show. It seems my "friends" decided like that woman from the "old story" that I was indeed the problem. My daughter spent a great deal of time "explaining" my behavior and what my granddaughter had been up to in the first place.
I might add that my friend's horse is now available for my granddaughter to ride. And the relationship with horses that we were supposed to be building in my opinion has now been compromised. Supposedly I'm not included so that it will "be a surprise" how well my granddaughter is doing but that really doesn't make much sense to me. It feels like yet another game from a kid who's done a pretty good job of messing with my head.
I don't know if you can follow all of the nuances here but for me it boils down to the horses have always been my thing that heals me. They are what make the pain of this life livable for me and now suddenly they've been turned into just another source of pain. I feel exactly like I did those years ago..................another regional championship and I just want to pull the covers over my head and disappear.