Stressed out about Christmas

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Cobalt_Waves, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Cobalt_Waves

    Cobalt_Waves Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2013

    Usually Christmas is my favourite time of year but it can sometimes turn out to be just non stop family drama. My grandmother is staying with my family for Christmas this year. She can be very rude and I know she will likely comment on the fact that I have gained weight. I am not looking forward to Christmas at all. I wish my grandmother wasn't coming because I hate having to worry about what rude thing is going to come out of her mouth next. I suffer from chronic depression and anxiety. All I want to do is relax and enjoy the holidays but I feel I can't. None of my students are nearly as rude as she can be - and that is saying something. I know there are worse things in the world but when my mind gets stuck in a loop, it's stuck in a loop.
     
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  3. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    "well grandma I noticed you have gotten older, Too bad, I can diet what can you do?"
     
  4. Cobalt_Waves

    Cobalt_Waves Rookie

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    Oh my goodness, she would write me out of her will for sure, lol.

    She is a millionaire too, because she hardly ever spends money on anything.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2013

    Other people's attitudes, we can't change. Dealing with our own in a situation like this is challenging, no doubt about it. But what about responding, sincerely, "Thanks for caring!"?
     
  6. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Dec 18, 2013

    Or my favorite response...."Isn't that something." Smile sweetly and walk away. Nothing says you have to stay in the situation and endure the comments.
    Practice different ways you can handle the situation, and I think that will help stop the loop playing in your head. Repeat over and over, "I refuse to allow someone make me feel poorly about myself!"
     
  7. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Dec 18, 2013

    If she misbehaves call her out on it. You're an adult and you need to let her know that she can't disrespect you without consequences, regardless of how she is related to you or how much money she has.
     
  8. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    LOL I couldn't help it, TeacherGroupie I think said it right

    What to do instead of letting it bug you:
    volunteer to stuff the turkey, tenderize a steak, shovel the walk, dig a grave (oops not that), chop some wood, knock down some snowmen (for being sexist), fill up sandbags for the trunk of the car, go down to the soup kitchen and help serve, go out side and look up to the heavens take in all the grander of a winter's night AND Last but not least Play at full volume :
    Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer


    Marry Christmas
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 18, 2013

    I'm sorry about the spot you're in. Does she know you suffer from depression & anxiety or does she think that's all "pish-tosh"?

    Well, you can either not care about the $ she won't be leaving you when you tell her off like I'm sure you really want to OR stay in her good graces & "kiss butt" to hopefully get a nice chuck of cash. Are you pretty sure she'll leave you some money? Will it hurt to just put up with her for 1 or 2 hrs out of the whole year? Maybe even then, you can make an ex cuse to leave early.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2013

    You can't control the behavior of others; all you can do is control your reaciton to it.

    You KNOW that grandma is going to be rude.OK, so that's a given. What you can do now is determine your reaction to it.

    A smart comment will make you feel better for a moment. But the odds are good that it will hurt her, and perhaps more importantly, your mom or dad. (And, in addition, it gives grandma fodder for a nasty comment to you or about you to others.)

    She's an old lady-- a nasty one, but an old one. And she's the parent of one of your parents. So I would plan for a different reaction.

    Perhaps, as a Christmas gift to your parents or to the cosmos, you can react differently. Stunned silence, then walking away if that's the best you can do. Or a change of topic. Or "Yes, I have, and starting New Years I'll work on it. But how are you feeling?" would probably be the kindest of all.

    It's Christmas, the most special time of the year. Don't react negatively. She's a nasty, lonely old lady. Pity her, don't become her. And don't behave as a mercenary, doing the right thing simply because you're dreaming of getting that "chunk of cash." Do the right thing because it's the right thing, and because this is the season of giving, not the season of ensuring a spot in the will.

    Do the right thing, but do it for the right reasons. If for no other reason than because this is the season of "Peace on Earth, good will toward men."

    Don't give her the power to destroy something as special as Christmas.
     
  11. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I have a great aunt like this. I discovered the best way to handle her is to beat her to the punch. She always knocks my weight and job. So I start every conversation with her with, "How are you doing? I am not doing as well as I could, but when I lose this extra weight and find a new job, my life will be better!" My cousins think this is funny, but she doesn't say to much to me the way she does them. I usually then smile big and compliment her on her outfit or hair!
     
  12. Cobalt_Waves

    Cobalt_Waves Rookie

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    It wouldn't be so bad if I just had to see her for 1 or 2 hours. She is coming to stay with us for three or four days. I would never say anything mean to her because it would cause too much drama.

    I don't stand to inherit that much, lol. She has a lot of grandchildren.

    She is very nosy. I had to go through my bedroom last time I was home and hide anything remotely sensitive. One time, she read one of my cousin's diaries while she was staying in her room and she read some negative things my cousin had written about her. She had the gall to bring it up to her too, lol. I will need to lock my bedroom door at night or she may come in and just hover over my bed and stare at me. That happened to my brother once.

    She is very obsessed with money, a close second to weight. She will likely ask to see a pay stub while I am home because she will want to know how much I make. And then she will likely tell me that teaching is not good enough as a profession.

    She is also very obsessed with death. She will likely bring some of her many photo albums of corpses at funerals.

    I got her a gift but she will likely regift it because that is what she always does with anything anyone gives her.

    I will not be able to watch TV around her because in her mind it is still the 1930s. Anything we watched would have to be G rated or even less. Or on the religious channel.

    And I will definitely have to hide the fact that I am gay - at all costs.

    My grandmother is probably who I inherited my depression and anxiety from, incidentally. She is the only one I know of in my entire extended family who is on meds, besides me. She would have no idea. I will likely have to hide that pill bottle too.

    Agh.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    She can ask all she wants. You don't have to answer any personal questions you choose not to.

    If she asks why you're on pills, tell her they're prescription, and that the doctor put you on them. Then tell her you would prefer to talk about something else.

    My point is that she can only put you on the spot if you choose to take the bait. Change the subject and refuse to act like the child she's trying to make you into.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    She sounds difficult, all right. About all I can say is that she may not be much more fond of who she is than you are. If you can consistently reflect good to her, I won't guarantee that it will have an effect on her - old habits die very, very hard - but I can pretty well guarantee a positive effect on you.

    Can you get her talking about her good memories? Or about where she was on VE Day or VJ Day (ends of World War II fighting in Europe and the Pacific)?
     
  15. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2013

    I love your story about grandma. You could write biographies.
    My grandmother was what I call a mean drunk. She knew how to rile me when she was lit up. A great great woman otherwise but look out when the wine or scotch was flowing. I hope you get through it ok. Prayer might help. Or maybe even some wine.........:whistle:
     
  16. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Dec 19, 2013

    Yeah, your grandma sounds unbearable. I would sip champagne and avoid her at all costs. Dave had some good suggestions about staying busy. If she gets nosy, I'd just refuse to discuss the sensitive topic with her and change the subject. Some ideas:

    "No, I'm not going to discuss my salary/weight/etc tonight. It's a holiday. Let's talk about something else. Did you hear about [insert current event here]."

    "Wow Grandma! I would never comment about your weight! You sure are brave. I'm not going to talk about mine tonight. I'd rather enjoy this delicious ham. Mom, what'd you put in this ham? I need the recipe.. etc."

    "My pills? That's private. Say Grandma, did you get a new wig? Looking sharp." :lol:
     
  17. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2013

    All of this!

    OP, you're a grown ass woman. You do not have to justify your weight or life to anyone. :cool:

    If Granny Cobalt can't handle it, I am sure there are several nice hotels in the area.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Cobalt Waves, oh my, your GM sure does have a lot of wierd issues & that staring over someone while they're sleeping in bed is very creepy, but since you say that she's interested in death, I can see the connection.

    If I had a relative like that staying for a few days, I'd make sure to be out & about as much as possible. I may even be at a "work event" or "visiting a friend" out of town during the time she's there. IF you can't do that, be gone at the crack of dawn & don't come back home until night.
     
  19. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I agree with Teachergroupie. Your GM may be depressed/angry/lonely/etc. Something is causing her to be mean. My GM was mean. When we asked her why, she said it was fun to be mean.
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I got it, I got it, Rude Grandma drinking game
    when Grandma is rude take a stiff drink
    or the Grandma version give her a stiff drink


    Marry Christmas
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Hahaha. Good one, Dave. You could always answer, "How kind of you to be interested," and walk away. Lock your bedroom door, definitely. What a way to celebrate the holidays. Does she take any meds for mental issues? Maybe you could suggest some - out of concern.
     
  22. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Get her drunk.
     
  23. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My sister's MIL was awful. She was in beginning stages of dementia. When they found the right doctor he diagnosed her with a bad kidney infection. He said she probably had it at least a year. Once they got it under control, her whole attitude changed.
     
  24. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Dec 22, 2013

    How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. ~ Wayne Dyer
     
  25. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    Hmmm... I don't understand why people insist on being around nasty people just because "they are family." So what! A couple people in my family (my dad, sister, grandma) are pretty unbearable for more than a couple hours, so I just walk away from them or stare blankly off into the distance when they talk about stupid, hurtful, disrespectful things. Or I leave! Money or not, I don't see why you should put up with that. You don't have to be mean, just distant (physically and/or mentally). Dave had it right, keep yourself busy. If she asks about personal things, walk away without acknowledging that, or tell her straight up you won't discuss personal matters like that with her. You are a grown adult, you can do what you want, so be proactive here.

    Just because someone is old doesn't mean we have to respect them. Don't give grandma this power over you, don't let the inheritance have power over you either (my mom's whole extended family has a lot of money and i cannot tell you how much drama there has been over wills before and after death. Not worth it to me personally).
     

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