Carolyn Hax: Inheritance from bad grandparents feels like a ‘reward’

Carolyn Hax: Inheritance from bad grandparents feels like a ‘reward’

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Dear Caroline: I don’t remember my grandparents fondly. While they doted on my brothers, I, the only girl, was ignored. They attended my brothers’ sporting events, but not mine. My high school, college, and master’s graduations were skipped. This hurt me a lot.

One of the grandparents died years ago and the second has just passed away. His estate was divided among his children and they let each child decide whether to share the money with the grandchildren.

My mom wrote me a big check that I haven’t cashed. It feels like a reward. Mom often mentions how good people they were to convince me of her goodness. If I take this money, she worries me that she will use it to say, “Look! They allowed you… [donate, travel, save, etc.].” If I don’t take it, then I’m worried that she’ll say I resent it.

The truth is that I don’t care about money. I wanted to feel loved and I never did. I wanted her to defend me and she didn’t. What do I do with this check?

Cash: I can’t say that I really understood the idea of ​​hitting someone else by punishing yourself.

Especially when there are so many ways you can use your grandparents’ money to give it to them for a greater good.

Just for example, you can deposit the money and distribute it meaningfully, or spitefully, it’s up to you, to organizations working to reverse the damage of sexism like your grandparents. Promoting women candidates for public office, safeguarding equal opportunities for women, promoting girls’ education globally, funding research on menopause or, oh, supporting reproductive autonomy? They have in it; There’s no shortage of outrages for you to help remedy with this big-dollar windfall. That they were the very definition of hard earned.

Or you can make sure the next generation of your family, if any, feels loved like you never have, by using the money to travel and see your plays or performances, or finance their education, or support your fundraisers, equitably. If there isn’t a next generation (yet), then you can save the money for that future.

Or you can use it now to show you the love they couldn’t show you. Whether it’s paying off some education debt or making an addition to your home, it’ll be the investment in value you’ve long deserved.

And if that inspires your mom to spew revisionist history, correct the inaccuracies, unapologetically:

Mom: “Look! They allowed you to travel.”

You: “You He allowed me to travel, Mom, which I appreciate.”

Mom: “They were such good people!”

You: “You say that knowing they weren’t nice to me. Please think about how that feels.”

If he then accuses you of being resentful:

“Yes, and it hurts. They, you and others were fine with worshiping my brothers and ignoring me. But I am working hard to find peace and make something good come out of it.”

It’s bad enough that you have a crapsicle when your brothers bought ice cream; There’s no reason for you to add to that wound the insult of pretending everything was fine just to keep your mother’s self-preservation lies intact.

And this brings us to the clue I’ve buried: the real problem you have now is no longer your grandparents, or the money in their estate, or what your mother will say if you use it. The problem is your mother herself: how she sold you out and she still doesn’t face what she did.

Accepting the check won’t fix that, and neither will turning it down. That’s something you have to work out for yourself, on the inside, with therapeutic help, I suggest, if you want to and have the means (another good use for money; let them pay for the therapy they did). Doing so will help him see the value, or lack thereof, or utter futility, in taking this up once and for all with his mother. That may be the last piece you process before releasing it (and all of them).

Dear Caroline: Should I stay with someone who doesn’t understand my sense of humor? We relate to many things (except politics and religion), but what bothers me the most is not understanding how I see things.

Lighten up: So you like everything about your cheeseburger except the bun, the meat, and the cheese.

If you want to build your life around condiments, then it’s not my place to criticize you and I certainly won’t stop you (I can’t).

But I’ll spend some time after I finish this trying to make a mental list of possible “many things.”

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