Y’all, let me just apologize in advance for the drama that you’re going to read in this post because it is draining, to say the least. I debated not even writing about this since it’s a very personal situation that has been and still is a bit touchy, but I think it’s super important to be vocal in times like this so, that’s what I’m going to do.
My grandfather had a very bad stroke several years ago, and unfortunately, he hasn’t been the same since. His wife, who is my step-grandmother, has been our go-to when we wanted to see him, speak to him, and get an update on how he is doing. In the beginning, things were smooth in our communication, as she was always updating us on his condition, and we always had the opportunity to speak with him. It pains me to say that this has certainly not been the case in recent years, especially in recent months.
For over a year, we’ve been getting the runaround when it comes to speaking with my grandfather, and we tolerated it for as long as we could until we couldn’t anymore. By November 2021, my step-grandmother made a habit of giving us a time to call and then canceling 20 minutes before it was time. Before we knew it, we had gone months without speaking to my grandfather due to all of the cancellations and rescheduling. Well, we decided that it was time to tell her how frustrating this was for us, but it was not received well. She didn’t apologize and shrugged it off like it was nothing. Fortunately, by Christmas time, we had spoken to him, and we just prayed that things would be different. Of course, this wasn’t the case.
We’re now in April 2022, and we’ve been getting the runaround for several months once again when trying to speak with my grandfather. My step-grandmother would constantly cancel last minute and change it to times that were inconvenient like 2 pm on a weekday when we obviously have to work during the day. The last straw for us came about a few weeks ago when we tried to set up a time to call and she didn’t respond. We followed up with another text a few days later and received a response saying that his health is declining…. over text. When I asked if she could give us more details about his health or what happened at his latest doctor’s appointment, she responded with, “Listen, I have a thousand things going on and do not have the luxury of texting back and forth.” I think ‘shocked’ doesn’t even describe how I was feeling at that moment.
I responded, “I understand you have a lot going on. Maybe you don’t understand how your tone is at the moment, but it’s very rude. Maybe you don’t realize it, but you’re attacking the wrong people. I hope that your day gets better and that you’re able to see the way you’re coming across.” I was hopeful that she would take a step back and apologize for how it came out, then give us an update on my grandfather. How did she respond? “I’m tired, ok? So excuse me if I’m not cordial.” The sarcasm and continued rudeness even after confronting her on it were appalling to me, and it left me with more questions than answers. Not only did we still not know how my grandfather’s health was declining, but we also dealt with unnecessary drama.
Needless to say, I was distraught and mentally exhausted. I was anxious about my grandfather’s condition and extremely upset that I confronted my step-grandmother respectfully and didn’t even receive an apology for her demeanor. I didn’t understand how someone could be so rude even after I asked for more information on my grandfather’s health and empathized with how much was on her plate.
I even blamed myself and second-guessed myself for the way she responded. I thought, “Dang, maybe if I waited until the next day to ask about my grandfather’s condition she wouldn’t have responded that way,” or, “Maybe I made her more upset by telling her I understood that she had a lot going on but her tone was rude.” Thinking back on it, I’m upset at myself for even thinking I had something to do with the way she responded.
I’m not wrong for asking for an update on my grandfather right then and there. It showed how much I care for my grandfather, and that is to be admired, not second-guessed. I’m not wrong for telling her that I understand she’s going through a lot. I showed empathy to someone who didn’t have the courtesy to empathize with me, which is something to be admired. I’m not wrong for expressing my opinion and the way her tone was coming across. It takes a lot to stand up for yourself, especially to someone who is older than you and shares the mentality that you should always respect your elders, which in their eyes means you shouldn’t talk back to your elders.
I’m proud of myself for being respectful in communicating with her and advocating for myself. I was trying so desperately to blame myself to explain her actions. However, some people are just not as kind or considerate as you, and that’s something I have to come to terms with for future interactions with her.
My hope in sharing my story is that you feel encouraged or inspired to speak up for yourself when someone isn’t treating you with the respect or consideration that you deserve. Be it a situation that you’re currently going through or one that may arise in the future, remember that as long as you’re respectful and considerate of the other person’s feelings, you must advocate and stand up for yourself because no one else will.
“Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You should speak up even if you don’t get the answer you were looking for. It’s the fact that you said something that matters.”