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Gramma

Discussion in 'Skeleton Crew' started by Christine62, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. CoriSCapnSkip

    CoriSCapnSkip Well-Known Member

    Of all of Stephen King's stories which I've read or watched, three hit closest to home for me:

    "The Body" / Stand By Me
    The Shining

    "Gramma"

    Obviously the scene in Stand By Me which cut a bit too close to life in my own case is where Gordie completely breaks down, sobbing, "My dad hates me; I'm no good." The first time Mom and I watched it together, Mom turned right around and stared at me, and even said something, as I had enacted the exact scene numerous times, starting from around age 11, in similar if not identical words.

    The Shining, when I first heard it described as a freshman in high school (by classmates on a bus ride), was just too terrifying to even think about reading. I finally read it the summer after freshman year in college. No one in my family drank or used drugs, thank God, but my father was an aspiring writer with a terrible temper, much of which he took out on me, so I could very definitely identify. As an aspiring writer myself, yes, if some kid poured beer on my work in progress (since we don't drink, make it root beer) I would definitely break their friggin' arm, which is one of the top three of at least 43 reasons why I don't have kids!

    "Gramma": My father's mother died when he was a child, so I never met her. My dad was a perfect little monster probably from birth, but fallout, much of it from his brother's death followed by his mother's death just months later, caused serious issues, including, I suspect, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Mother's mother scared the living crap out of my sisters and me from the moment we met her. When I was ten and my sisters were eight we spent most of the summer with her, which one might think would be enough torture, but then the following summer we spent the entire summer with her and were within a day of being stuck enrolling in school there. If I could write the truth about that place and my experiences, I would be approaching Stephen King's greatness!

    This second summer, I was eleven. The boy in the story was eleven. His name was George. My nickname until age ten was George. His mother's name was Ruth. My best friend's name was Ruth and our nicknames for each other in college were "Mama Bear" and "Baby Bear." George was relentlessly bullied by an older brother. I was relentlessly bullied by two younger sisters. Grandma wasn't exactly a witch or a practitioner of the dark arts (Grandpa was another story, if a creaking old gothic farmhouse wasn't creepy enough, some of his activities lent additional atmosphere). This story, disturbing in itself, pretty well sums up my fears concerning Grandma. Once Mom had to leave on a trip without us kids which sent me into prolonged hysterics. I cried and clung to Mom the whole time she was getting ready, begging her to either not go or take me with her. I was sure I would not be alive when she returned. Grandma would dispose of me and make it look like an accident, Mom would believe her, and my sisters would know to keep quiet...or else! Grandma actually felt bad about this and was unusually nice while Mom was gone. She was also nice on a few other occasions which stand out in my mind.

    My overall conclusions are, Grandma had a genuine mean streak if not an outright Jekyll and Hyde temper. When she died, I was a freshman in boarding school, and had terrible nightmares of her undead incarnation latching onto me to wreak horrific vengeance. I was so unnerved I had to sleep on other girls' floors for awhile. Mom was sure this was why the school didn't want me back the next year. My theory is that Grandma's passing merely shook me up. The school's final problem after a number of incidents was actually directly to do with something Dad did which really sent me over the edge. This was never acknowledged in the family--we didn't discuss it much, they just blamed me and moved on, and I didn't construct a definite cause and effect till decades later--and the school never gave any details whatsoever regarding their decision, so Dad went to his grave entirely blaming me for it not to mention everything else that ever went wrong. In the end my overall impression is even with all the horrible crap Dad pulled, he mostly meant well. (This was one instance when he should have known better, but overall he probably more or less meant well.) His tactics would be considered abusive today, but considering what passed as normal for kids in the 1920s - 1930s and was largely still in practice when they raised their kids in the 1950s - 1970s, it was well-meant to prepare children for the harsh realities of the real world...or whatever. Bottom line, Dad would do something awful, be angry when it upset you, and accuse you of being bad-tempered. Grandma would do something awful and mostly enjoy that it upset you. They both traumatized the crap out of me but if I had to pick one key difference this, I think, would be it. Also, sad to say, I was named for Grandma, which I think may factor into why she seemed to hate me more than all the rest of the grandchildren put together!
     
    Ebdim9th, Maddie, doowopgirl and 3 others like this.
  2. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

  3. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    Wow! My Grandma scared me, but at the time I was a kid and didn't understand about dementia. That's what was wrong with her, not a mean streak.
     
  4. Ebdim9th

    Ebdim9th A Man's Chord

    My gramma died three weeks short of her 103 birthday. She was an awesome lady and a tremendous influence over my life ...
     
    CoriSCapnSkip, FlakeNoir and GNTLGNT like this.
  5. CoriSCapnSkip

    CoriSCapnSkip Well-Known Member

    I got your creepy grandparents right here.

    [​IMG]
     
    Ebdim9th, GNTLGNT and Maddie like this.
  6. Maddie

    Maddie Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.


    :wow: WOW! That is a masterpiece!!!
     
    Ebdim9th, GNTLGNT and Neesy like this.

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