The conversations Nina had with her sons always began with them extolling their Grandmother as a Great Mother. It was followed by complaining about everything they didn’t have or get to do, as if it was Nina’s fault.
Nina who they constantly refused to live with.
As they got older they added new categories to the blame, such as failing their exams.
How could it be Nina’s fault when they refused to live with her?
They had lived with their Great Mother who never took them to the zoo or had a party for them or… on and on. Extolling their Grandmother then whining about their lacks, trying to make it Nina’s fault that their Grandmother, whom they demanded to live with didn’t buy them new shoes, didn’t attend PTA meetings….
Every conversation Nina had with her sons contained the ‘you abandoned us’ whine.
Almost every encounter, Nina would repeat her financial difficulty, and how she and their father agreed to have his mother look after them until able to apportion custody. Eventually Nina realised they needed to see themselves as unwanted and abandoned. Needed to forget how many times she asked them to live with her.
Their failures made ‘sense’ if they could blame other people.