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Old 12-28-2007, 11:24 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370

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Wow - I am humbled by the very incisive, thoughtful responses!

Lindsay: I hope you will find a way to deal w/ your situation so that it does not take too great a toll on you. I totally relate to the panic attacks. I can say, tho, that once I worked through what situations trigger an attack . . . I have had no more panic attacks in the last 15 years. There is hope! You can overcome it! A good therapist made all the difference for me. Also, setting up boundaries w/ your siblings will help. Also, having a supportive group of female friends and "creating" new sister-type relationships has helped. I hope you will develop a strong, caring support system for yourself so the other relationships simply do not have as much impact in your life.

KayKay: Your suggestion re: using the term "hurt" is very wise. I like that. One of my friends suggested that when my mother or sister make/s a disparaging remark to me (or even about someone else) that I should say "That sounds condescending and I am not comfortable w/ this conversation" So now I have 2 good suggestions for handling conversations. I really appreciate your advice. Also, will check out the book! Thank you!

JnR: That is a wonderful story! That should be in a movie!!
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:38 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Default I think you are onto something here . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillietta View Post
why my mother feels so vested in my sister's relationship w/ the rest of us, especially at this late date.

I think your mother cannot detach herself from your sister's problems. I have to admit there is still a part of me that, neurotically, I know, thinks the happiness of an adult child (i.e. your sister) is still the parent's responsibility. On some level she might even feel guilt (unfounded, of course) that her daughter's problems may be the fault of the mother - how her mother raised her. I take it your sister is single. Unfortunately, in the case of single adult children, sometimes a mother will think of a single child (especially a daughter) as still a child; I've seen it happen to the extent that a mother was telling a forty year old daughter who is single that some woman friend was not right for her daughter. It's all crazy. Just keep sane yourself
Sister is married, but it is second marriage and mother was beside herself until sis was in another relationship. I think you are right - my mother does feel a sense of responsibility, but I also think she feels some real guilt b/c instead of getting my sister the help she needed as a child (to address her mental illness), we were all taught to accommodate my sister's raging and assaultiveness and abusive behaviors.

But then, my sister was a miniature of my mother as far as her behaviors, as my mother is also a rager and can be quite emotionally and verbally abusive. Of course, I am fully aware that back when I was a child, a psychiatrist was pretty rare and none of us were really educated about or even understood/recognized mental illness.

I can grasp that my mother would want my sister to be happy . . . and I can also grasp that she may feel some guilt about not getting my sister the help she needed as a child . . . I just don't understand why that concern does not extend to the rest of us. Well, maybe that is not fair statement. My mother has always called my sister "frail" and "vulnerable" so perhaps she sees the rest of us as more capable and so she feels she has to look after the adult child who is not as "strong."

Interesting thoughts you have brought up!!!
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:28 PM
 
464 posts, read 696,114 times
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Anifani821 it's a difficult situation to remove yourself from, I have the same problem but
it is my Father who continues to let my sister destruct our family. I checked out approx. 9 years ago, I was tired of hearing "she is your sister", and that I should accept her horrible behavior to me and my family. I could handle it as long as she directed her rage at me but when my children and husband were her target I was done.

It's not easy to disengage but it's best for your own mental health and the happiness of your family.

It took me several years after the death of my Mother to realize that she was the glue that held our family together. I feel sad for my sister and her children that they have no one. It also makes me sad to think that my children do not have a relationship with their cousins. It is not worth it to be around her toxic personality.

Good Luck not an easy decision but you must do what is best for you and your family

T
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:37 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Default Golden:

Thank you so much for going into "the speech" further . . . I know what to expect now . . . so I will be listening carefully to decide if I am hearing the real thing as opposed to more recriminations, etc.

okay - news flash - I just got in the first real "email" from my sister. The other ones she has been sending were just forwarded emails, no messages or anything personal.

This one is very warm and chatty - and she has done something that she has never done before - she updated me about some old friends I have not seen in quite a few years. This is quite a departure as people have always assumed that if they told my sister to tell me something about their lives (new baby, divorced, new job, move) that she would tell me. Well, she never tells me a thing - and in fact - she and I had a big confrontation over this about 20 years ago - b/c a friend of mine had run into my sister, gave her new addy to my sis to give to me - and my sister didn't give it to me. I thought my friend had dropped out of sight and we did not reconnect for several years (I had also moved) - and she did not believe that my sister had not given me her new address (in another state). My sister told me at that time she was not going to play message sender and she couldn't help it if people gave her messages to give to me - not her problem. I agree - she should not have to play message sender (this is such a Southern thing - pass messages b/n family members LOL) but tell that to the person who sends the message! Either that, or tell me what was supposed to be relayed!!!

So imagine my surprise when she went out of her way to tell me how to contact some old friends who have moved back to our state. This is very unusual behavior, indeed! And I truly did appreciate her relaying the info.

I am not sure what to make of this.
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:39 PM
 
Location: huh?
3,099 posts, read 2,022,610 times
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maybe your sis has a terminal illness?
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:59 PM
 
1,727 posts, read 1,440,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Thank you so much for going into "the speech" further . . . I know what to expect now . . . so I will be listening carefully to decide if I am hearing the real thing as opposed to more recriminations, etc.

okay - news flash - I just got in the first real "email" from my sister. The other ones she has been sending were just forwarded emails, no messages or anything personal.

This one is very warm and chatty - and she has done something that she has never done before - she updated me about some old friends I have not seen in quite a few years. This is quite a departure as people have always assumed that if they told my sister to tell me something about their lives (new baby, divorced, new job, move) that she would tell me. Well, she never tells me a thing - and in fact - she and I had a big confrontation over this about 20 years ago - b/c a friend of mine had run into my sister, gave her new addy to my sis to give to me - and my sister didn't give it to me. I thought my friend had dropped out of sight and we did not reconnect for several years (I had also moved) - and she did not believe that my sister had not given me her new address (in another state). My sister told me at that time she was not going to play message sender and she couldn't help it if people gave her messages to give to me - not her problem. I agree - she should not have to play message sender (this is such a Southern thing - pass messages b/n family members LOL) but tell that to the person who sends the message! Either that, or tell me what was supposed to be relayed!!!

So imagine my surprise when she went out of her way to tell me how to contact some old friends who have moved back to our state. This is very unusual behavior, indeed! And I truly did appreciate her relaying the info.

I am not sure what to make of this.
It's all good, but you'll need a lot of these things from her before you'll have open arms (if you want to have open arms at some point, it's your choice, right?)
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Default no terminal illness

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolepsy View Post
maybe your sis has a terminal illness?
No - she has fibromyalgia and has been in drug rehab two times. Somehow, she manages to get docs to prescribe so many drugs (oxycontin or however you spell it and vicodin) that she has managed to get hooked on prescription drugs. They keep prescribing them, wh/ I find amazing since I can't get a doc to prescribe pain meds even when I am in serious pain, LOL. They are usually sooooo cautious.

If she were terminally ill, she would not hesitate to let everyone know about it.

She just got her cosmetic surgery a few months ago.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:04 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,821,091 times
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Yes, why the sudden need to be friends with you. I think you should do whatever makes peace for you. I recently had to make the decision to live where we had moved or go back to a plot of land we have always owned. It took a funeral to make me realize my life is here now. Has she apologized for her past behavior. This would be a good gage as to her motives. I am not talking about one of the apologies where she says, "I am sorry, but you made me do it." I mean a sincere apology for the abuses and neglect when you were trying to be a part of her life. Your responsibility is to your family now. If you get involved with her again, how will it change things for them. Will it bring unrest into their lives, or will they discover a wonderful changed Aunt. The warning signal I see is your mother trying to lay a guilt trip. Has she tried to get your mother to get you to do what she wants. Has anything changed. Personally, I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:06 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Default no terminal illness

woops - double post

Last edited by brokensky; 12-28-2007 at 02:28 PM.. Reason: double post - server acting up!!!!
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:25 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Default You are thinking what I have been thinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by North Carolina Native View Post
Yes, why the sudden need to be friends with you. I think you should do whatever makes peace for you. I recently had to make the decision to live where we had moved or go back to a plot of land we have always owned. It took a funeral to make me realize my life is here now. Has she apologized for her past behavior. This would be a good gage as to her motives. I am not talking about one of the apologies where she says, "I am sorry, but you made me do it." I mean a sincere apology for the abuses and neglect when you were trying to be a part of her life. Your responsibility is to your family now. If you get involved with her again, how will it change things for them. Will it bring unrest into their lives, or will they discover a wonderful changed Aunt. The warning signal I see is your mother trying to lay a guilt trip. Has she tried to get your mother to get you to do what she wants. Has anything changed. Personally, I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.
Good points, NCN. No, no apologies. Ever. About anything. Even as kids. LOL. I have always been the one to make the peace. Strangely, she did tell me several years ago at a family gathering that she had been thinking about our childhood and that she remembers how I was always so kind to her.

At the time, it caught me off guard b/c it was not in context of anything else that was being said. Just "out of the blue" - like - Oh, btw - I was thinking about our childhood and . . .

My response was - uh, okay. I didn't know what to say. Yes, I was kind to her (actually, I was overly solicitous and walked on tip toes around her - and pretty much always have done that) but it was only b/c I had to be that way to get along w/ her. She would fly off the handle and "pitch a fit" (my dad's term) when she didn't get her way. So when she said that - I was so taken back . . . didn't know what to say. Plus, who wants to take a walk down memory lane when the trip was no fun the first time, you know????

The sudden chumminess has truly baffled me, but what Golden said makes so much sense - especially knowing that she is in therapy. I guess she feels she is "recapturing" something she feels she has missed. Of course, that is just a guess!!!!

I am taking the advice here and gonna go slowly and see how this unfolds. I am not going to eagerly welcome her into my life. I have been very settled w/ avoiding her - it has worked very well. And I am not forgetting - the times I have not been able to avoid her - she inevitably lapses into some sort of negativity and assaultive behavior.

And yes, I think she has talked extensively w/ our parents. After years of never really doing anything special for our parents, she now goes to see them once a week. She and our mother have always been "a pair" - mother has never really made any attempt to hide that for whatever reason, she prefers this daughter's company to everyone else's. I think it is b/c they are so much alike (identical personality disorders, LOL). My other sister commented a while back that our mother was positively on Cloud Nine b/c dysfunctional sister was spending so much time with her. And that was not an understatement.
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