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Granddaughter and Grandmother relationship struggle


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Gurfateh ji, 

I am in my early 20's and don't get along with my grandma. she really knows how to get under my skin. She's not even like an evil grandma or anything. Just a normal everyday bibi. 

She is always lingering, nagging to do housework. She's super negative towards my dad and muttering under her breathe. On top of that she is amritdhari without any understanding of gurmat which really annoys me. Wears kakkar but will never teach me punjabi or sit down have gurmat vichaar or want to change mentality.  Yet she will end every conversation with "Challo, Vaheguru de hatha vich ee aa" reluctantly after 1 hr of being unsatisfied about her life. 

I feel guilty for wanting to do things my own way; hermit zone, listen to kirtan and katha and do chores separate (I concentrate better + chores done quicker). I don't want to talk to bibi as I find most content unnecessary. Her whole life is about housework and revolves around that so I be formal and respectful but that's it. I have to force myself to talk for her mental wellbeing so she doesn't feel alone. Then I feel drained personally,  feeling spiritually empty/ disconnected cos havn't had enough katha/ kirtan/ vichaar/ sangat to remind of real purpose. Even if we don't talk, it's like she is always sending negativity towards me. (?Idk if going crazy).

If someone is an elder I don't automatically respect them. If they have gian, gurmat, positivity then I do truely love and respect them, regardless if blood relationship or not. But if all that has been collected in negativity, hypocrisy then I have no need/ desire to respect bcos i seek more than that. I also lowkey resent that she never passed on knowledge e.g. about punjabi, meanings of gurbani cos she doesn't know. It's just about mundane things like making sabji... which sorry bibi, I know it's your life purpose but for me I know and can make it and that's it. I don't need to talk about daal sabji, housework etc to fill out my day.

And then this contaminates my own sikhi cos look at me now... I am unsatisfied and complaining about another human being. It's taking away from my life, where this energy should be focused on Vaheguru. I don't want to end up like my family and put housework etc before sikhi. It's like a mix of hormones, generational differences in thinking, spiritual ego of mine, cultural guiltyness for not respecting elders, and no1 lack of experience in grist jeevan skills. 

Please help. Some insight to how to establish some sort of common ground? Anyone have similar experiences or am I the only rotten'' child? 


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8 hours ago, GurjantGnostic said:

When people suffer a lot on the inside, they can't always help but to let it out at others. 

I can tell you are strong in your Sikhi. That is a gift that will save you.

Balance in all things. You may have to charge yourself up to be able to spend time. When you're feeling her energy chant the naam and let vaheguru take all the negativity. Then rest afterwards. You may be very empathetic and this type of channeling isn't always easy. 

Sometimes people have a lot of suffering from their past they don't share. Her time in punjab could have trauma associated with it. That doesn't mean she won't open up about things just that maybe she  isn't the most comfortable doing it.

Maybe with a few key phrases from gurbani you can gently remind her to be more positive and more respectful of your father. 

You might be able to ask about one word or phrase at a time. Hey bibi how do you say whatever in punjabi? Maybe be ready to say awe but bibi it would mean a lot to me if you'd teach me that, if she says to ask another or look it up.

Maybe start certain things start with a compliment then question, I bet you were so pretty as a girl bibi, what was this or that like when you were little?

If you have to correct her, do it in private. Start with a compliment, then add positive criticism and end with a compliment. Bibi I love you so much, when you say negative things about my dad it really hurts my feelings, because I respect what you say so much. If you whisper it, it will make it like your little secret and also if you whisper people listen more. Can't whisper too low if her hearing is going but do it whisper like. 

Our elders lived through some horrible times, and it is easy for them to worry too much. Love gets confused that way. Her sabji is a way of saying she loves you. People can be turned off by religion if it is forced on them, or lead to genocide. Brutality of life may have turned her off of religion, but the truth of gurbani can be so simple you can slip it into her tea as it were with a phrase here a phrase there and with love. 

Make the most of your time with her. It goes faster and faster and soon many are dead.

All that being said we only control ourselves and have to take care of ourselves first. To share sustainably we must have abundance to share from. Love vaheguru, love the heck out of yourself as a verb...like how we chant the naam, not once but over and over, love is an action more than a noun. And love the heck out of your bibi when you can. The old school was rough. 

Edit: Remember too sikhi is not the man that mediates on the mountain and loses his cool when he walks back down and the kids throw rocks at him. Sikhi is simran in combat and sikhi is simran while undertaking family participation. So shut off your kirtan sometimes, and chant the naam while you help bibi clean. Not everything is wow metaphysical in life, bibi sustained several generations with her cooking and cleaning and that is it's own type of metaphysical champion. 

I agree with pretty much most of what paji has written. You have to understand that some grandparents did not have much education and have seen hard times in working or bringing up the family. They are set in that way of thinking for so many years that it’s hard to get them out of it. 

The main thing you need to know is that she does have love for you. Try to think of yourself in her shoes through her life, then that may help you to deal with it. The thing is they don’t know how to deal with it or how to adjust to the younger generation, so being patient is sometimes needed. 

My grandma used to be strict at times, as she was set in her ways, but that’s due to the harsh life she had to face. She was also very loving and sided with me on many occasions, I miss her and her hugs. 

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It happens sometimes when you have to spend a little too much time with a person. Instead of seeing the good you start seeing the annoying bits.

However over time, you learn to judge what is good in a person and how you can benefit from it. For example the lessons on food preparation she gives you might not seem very helpful at the moment. Years later however on that day when you will be in the kitchen and you will have a small kid which you have to feed - you will remember what your grandma taught you and wish - oh my - if only I had listened carefully to what she was saying about the curry.

I had to phone my mum a number of times coz I realised that although I was in the kitchen alot but I could not tell whether the potatoes in the sabji were cooked or how long the curry has to remain on the gas before I can tell it has cooked.

Cooking seems to be the bottom of the list of things that are considered necessary for survival these days. This is due to ready pizzas, burgers, frozen chips etc.... where however is that taking our health? Do we really care? Its time we did.

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Look dude I know how you feel. I used to constantly lock horns with my bibi but now she isn't around, I regret all that so much. You may hate her now but trust me, when she's gone, she'll leave a massive void. Make the most of the time you have with her. She's probably 70odd? Probably set in her ways. She won't be around forever. You'd rather have sweet happy memories right? She loves you whether she shows it or not. I'd do anything to spend a moment with either of my grandmother's. Do what she says, keep her happy. Talk to her about her childhood and stuff. How the good old days were. They're like cute little wrinkly history troves. Urgh <3 I want one.

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9 hours ago, S1ngh said:

I miss my grandmoms. Believe me you will too once they are not near you anymore. 

Same. That is the world they were brought up in when women were at home and they loved and cared for the family and passed on their insight so you can continue in a similar vein. 

Being a traditionalist with old school thinking, that's what I prefer. Some people refer to what our bajurgs said and did as 'backwards', I completely disagree, they had better social and family values and with them in place the domestic unit was stronger.

Maybe not in OPs case but there is too much stress on work and earning money (even where there is no need), and focus is shifting away from looking after the home and sharing responsibilities to taking care of number 1. It pains me to say that I've seen it in my own family, fortunately not in my household. 

@followthelightBlaming lack of knowledge on your gran is unwarranted, if she is uneducated in Sikhi what can you expect in return? Gian comes in different forms, not just Gurmat. There is no doubt in my mind you are learning valuable skills from your Bibi, despite your differences elders must always be respected.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everyone's responses are so full of love and stuff... so selfless...

I am not anywhere near that... I wish I had that much love that my heart was so full I could forever just keep sharing with others e.g. bibi. She is pretty amazing for what she does. 

I always do things for selfish reasons lol... even sikhi wise... bcos katha, naam simran etc helps me end of day. Whenever around family am never myself, always on edge abt how much to let them in. Seems like cycles of hibernation, come out and act and then hibernate again. I will appreciate her more tho... posts of regret and stuff got to me... thanks for everyone's advice. Really appreciate. Hopefully i can learn with a pinch rather than slap in the face 


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