Why does my grandmother treat me like a child? What do I have to do to be seen as an adult?
December 25, 2012 9:56 AM Subscribe
I'm 30 years old. I recently moved to the complete opposite coast of the country and have been living on my own successfully.
posted by starpoint to Human Relations (50 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Never asked her or any other family members for money (all money I have, I earn from working), never breaking the law, taking care of my cat, holding down a job, paying rent, credit card, school loans, and bills on time, trying new things, being independent, traveling on my own without any help, starting therapy to deal with my social anxieties, working to develop a personal style, doing everything I can possibly do to take responsibility for myself and to be an independent, productive adult. I'm by *no* means perfect, but I'm not relying on family members to dig me out of things and I take care of myself.
Yet when I go home for Christmas, my grandmother treats me like a child. For example, I was baking macaroni and cheese for our Christmas dinner. When it came time to take it out of the oven, she said, "maybe *I* should take it out". I couldn't believe it. Did she *really* think that I'm unable to take a dish out of the oven? I'm baking stuff all the time back in my apartment on the other side of the country. I told her calmly that I could do it, I'm not disabled, and I took it out with no problem whatsoever. Later on, she said that the reason she said she should take it out was because the oven wasn't normal, or something and that it didn't heat properly (which made no sense to me). She also said it had a tendency to get really hot and that she didn't want her granddaughter to get burned, because she's burned herself before.
I appreciate that she's trying to look after me, but it bothers me that despite ALL I've done, I'm still being treated like I'm unable to do anything. No matter how hard I work to be a productive, responsible adult, she still treats me like I can't do anything. I was treated like that all my life and that's why I generally lacked confidence growing up. I'm working on building that confidence, and it all goes away when I come back home. Because it seems like my family wants to keep me a little sheltered protected child forever.
The kicker is that she doesn't treat my younger brother this way. She would never baby him. She lets him drive her places, and always ask him to lift things that I could have easily lifted, asks him to put things together (she never asked me to help, when she knew that I put ALL of my furniture together at my apartment). She would never assume that he couldn't take a dish out of the oven because it was "too hot". I think it's because he's a guy, but it bothers me.
I love my grandma and my brother and my family and appreciate the time I have with them, but this issue has been consistent in my life and is the main source of annoyance that I have towards them. My grandma will never treat me like an adult. What more do I have to do to prove it to her? Save the world? I want to enjoy Christmas but this is making me want to catch the next flight home!!