This reminds me of a situation with my first cousin, whose daughter does much the same thing. She uses her two grandsons as leverage. I agree with your characterization. While I am no Christian, there are Biblical readings I dearly love, among them the Sermon on the Mount. In that, Christ admonishes his followers about making big productions of their service, fasting, etc. in public, who make a huge show of their pain or so-called sacrifices. There’s little sincerity in it but it’s most assuredly impressive (unless the viewer knows better). People who become professional martyrs are highly manipulative and get fed off the pity and concern of others without a single care for the cost to themselves or those around them. It’s toxic as hell.

My cousin has had to deal with the badminton game of those kids, who love her dearly, and the cost of being isolated from them when the daughter feels like being selfish. The kids are made to pay the price the most.

What an interesting ego suck that some folks get their greatest kicks out of making others pay for their drama. It’s everyone else’s job to make them happy, and by staying unhappy (and by the way that’s YOUR fault) they gain their greatest sense of power through watching others suffer. That’s a sad state of affairs- and worse, your granddaughter is learning behavior at her feet.

I admire you for distancing yourself but I ache for your granddaughter. By the same token, and I am going to pull away to the larger picture here, we draw our experiences to us (even the sucky ones) which provide us with the opportunity to grow, respond, evolve. Whoever your granddaughter eventually becomes- as this goes for us all- all these experiences are part of that sculpting process. Hard as it is to watch or witness, as much as we might want to protect those whom we love from this kind of crap, it’s those very events and exposures that provide the fodder for our development. The hardest piece of this is having faith. And that is the real stretch. I think you’re very brave.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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