Friday, July 11, 2008

The Old Story.............with a New Twist

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.


jalec48 said...


I was out last night and am going to be gone today. That said I also need some time to sort thru this situation you posted.

This could have happen to me. It could have happen to just about anyone given the right set of circumstances. I do think it has something to do with boundaries and snot nosed teenagers pushing those boundaries. Also your daughter. I also think it has to do with limitations we have placed on how we interact with the world. Again I am so sorry and will comment later today after I have mulled it over.

Kahless said...

I am still mulling this over too.

My first reaction was a teenager with hormones and a selfish and immature attitude.

You did play right into her hands when you slapped her. That gave her opportunity and something to use against you. And fuelled her rage.

For me the worse thing that has happened was the use of others in the argument and getting them on side. That is the most hurtful? Including your daughter's involvement. That for me would be more hurtful.

I hate it when others are dragged into a problem and they allow themselves to get involved.

And you know what; a leopard doesnt change its spots. Your granddaughter will fall out with your 'friends' over time as she will take for granted the use of their horse. And use and abuse their input.

Take a break from this mess and soothe yourself as best you can. I am sorry you are going through this.

Tamara said...


I just commented on your previous blog and again, I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. This one probably hurts 100 fold because it is your granddaughter (and to some extent your friends and your daughter) instead of an ebay "friend" that invited herself into your home. Teenagers can be so spiteful. I have a stepdaughter and her teenage years were hell on earth for me and I broke my back to make her happy. She will probably get through this and you will get back on track with her but I know the pain is unbearable right now.

You are in my thoughts,

Casey said...

Hi RR....I am so sorry your granddaughter behaved so poorly...and so very mean.

As far as the neighbour..what is thier problem. It would behoove someone to find out the whole story...if of course it was any of their business in the first place.

Personally, I think it wonderful that you are trying to share your love of your horses with your granddaughter. Sounds like its time for a bounday lesson for granddaughter, mom...and neighbours.

Thinking of you


jalec48 said...

I am back and had time to think this situation thru.

I totally agree with Kahless; taking a break from this mess is a good idea. And I agree your granddaughter will indeed quickly wear her welcome out with these people you know. How you respond to them the next time you see them will be far more impacting than anything she or your daughter might have to say. When it is all said and done, there is something about a dignified righteous person’s behavior that speaks volumes.

I mentioned having read your blog from time to time during the last year or so. I certainly don’t know all of your details. But what I have pieced together is you have managed to find your way of out a lousy childhood and challenging early adult hood. The Arabian horses gave your heart hope, love, and courage to over come some really dicey circumstances. I see these things, feel these things as I too came from a bad childhood. My father was a very damaged man who married a very sheltered woman. So I am responding to you today as one who has also fought my way to wholeness by reinventing myself time and time again. A bit like a snake that keeps on growing and shedding my old skin.

As I see it, the process of learning, changing, then becoming is never ending when you start from a handicapped perspective. A great visual is a person born with a debilitating body issue. Be it arms, legs, back or other catastrophic health issues. As a child one might know they are unable to keep up with peers. But it is only as person gets older the full impact of a limitation begins to dawn on one and then in only the most obvious of ways. You realize you can’t run after a ball or bike or skate. But you may not realize your interactions with people around you is hampered by those needs and centered around your limitations. Another thing you may not realize is all these peoples interaction with you is also colored by your limitation.

When you become an adult there may come a moment in time when you can address your limitation, ie. get your self repaired so to speak. So you take the necessary steps to accomplish this dream of becoming whole. It might take 4 or 5 different procedures over a period of time before you can do the things you always dream of doing. Then one day there you are whole able to keep up. It is a golden moment to be able to run, skate or skip down a lane. Your body is finally free, but your mind is not. You still revert back to thinking in the same old ways and patterns you did when you were limited. As do all of the people around you who have known you as limited. So you must began all over again a new process of unlearning old habits, rituals and thought patterns. And all of the people who knew you as handicapped must learn new ways of thinking about you and interacting with you. There are those who may balk at having to change their opinions or responses. Some may choose not to for it serves their needs to keep you limited and needy. Perhaps they might in-list outsiders to reinforce their positions of dominance.

This is what I see when you talk about your grand daughter, daughter and other more extended family members. They are comfortable, they are happy they are dominate, they are in control and do not want you to change. And you, you must continue to change, to move forward to continue becoming whole, and healthy; a destiny that beckons you despite each obstacle.

Lynn said...


Lily Strange said...

I remember incidents like this with my parents growing up. We would just lock horns. There was a lot of rage in my family. Sometimes when we're under stress about something the negative behavior gets the better of us. Don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes teenage girls can be horrid. I know...I was one of the worst!

JIP said...


Angel said...

I'm sorry you are dealing with this, and right after Lindsay's come home from the hospital.

It sounds like your granddaughter needs a swift kick in the pants. Selfish, immature people don't always grow out of it so I won't say that maybe she'll grow out of it. I hope you are able to come to a satisfactory resolution, whatever that may be.