My grandfather taught me a thing or two about respect. I’m not going to say we see eye to eye, but I did manage to learn a few things. The largest being that you earn respect. My father taught me that you have to deal with the consequences of your actions. My mother never learned either of those two lessons. Somehow because she had the biological ability of having children that it meant that her children would have to respect her. I however never had such a notion. I also have never claimed that my mother was the sharpest tack in the pile.
My mother complained a lot to me that my seventeen year old sister called her a bitch all the time. I stated that this was normal for seventeen year olds. I also felt that my sister was working 20-30 hours a week, going to school, and planning for her future was better grounded then my mother who worked maybe 4 hours a week. My mother would call my sister a bitch, and wonder why she got the word thrown back at her. I’ve brought this up to her and she denies it. I have witnessed it though. Xie has witnessed it. My sisters can attest to it. However my mother turned my grandparents against my sister over this. They thought was sister was the wild child that no one can control (do we need to go back to school and work compared to my mother?). They thought my mother didn’t deserve that language tossed at her. They also have a strong refusal to believe that my mother would ever call any of her children such language.
My mother was using that language directed at my sisters before they were even teenagers. My grandparents still think that I (in my thirties mind you) is still just telling stories and making things up about my mother. I don’t know how my grandfather who taught me you have to earn respect ever gained it for my mother. The only thing that comes to mind is that she is a woman. Xie sometimes gets annoyed when my grandfather states that if I die, that I need to make sure that I provide for her. My grandfather is a bit sexist and thinks that women have a hard time to provide for themselves. I don’t completely fault the man, he comes from a different generation and my grandparents fit into very traditional gender roles that younger generations don’t follow any more.
Their daughter has not earned the respect of any of her children. Instead of inspiring her children to do more and be an example, she tries to elicit pity from them. This isn’t anger, my mom generally gets pity to pity her so she can get things. This is her control mechanism. This is why my brother states he will take care of her and my grandparents still do. I want help from people because I need help, not because they pity me. To be pitied is all around just sad, to be truly undeserving of pity because you got yourself into the mess; doubly so.