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Thread: Issues with my sister - advice welcome

  1. #1
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    Issues with my sister - advice welcome

    I know it's always interesting when a regular poster posts about their own issues, so here goes:

    I have a younger sister; we are both in our 50's. While we've always been close, we both know she's our mother's favorite, and she's always been treated as such. She's spoiled, selfish, and only puts herself first. She actually agrees with this assessment.

    Knowing this, she's still my sister, and I do love her, and she's always looked up to me. She calls me 10 times for every time I call her.

    Growing up, she'd sneak into my room, try on my clothes, read my diary, etc. I had zero desires to ever enter her room. There might be years where I'd walk by it. When I went away to college, I'd come back from breaks, finding stains on clothes that she had "borrowed" without asking. She was careless with many of my things, even losing a diamond/14K gold "promise" ring from my HS boyfriend. She "stole" my favorite set of little dolls, and when I finally found them in her house 20 years later, they were in terrible condition. Stuff like that.

    So, here we are......

    We haven't spoken in several months, all me.

    She constantly brings up my past, throwing it in my face, usually in front of other people. Examples: that's just like the time you did xxx with yyyy, which might have been an enormous, embarrassing mistake I'd have made, 20 years ago. I've never once done this to her.

    She outright lies. Our brother and I both went to the same university, which is one of the largest and best-known schools in the country. She says she went there too, even has it on her resume, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Truth is, she couldn't even get a high enough SAT to apply.

    Our niece is pregnant, and she won't help one iota with the shower. Her exact words, after all the time, money, and energy I'm putting into it: "So glad I just get to show up, eat, drink, and enjoy myself". Yes, I've asked her to help, and her answer is simply "No".

    I simply stopped speaking to her. I got to the point where it was all I could take.

    Here's my issue: our dad, who is the absolute most wonderful human being on the planet, is begging me, urging me, to talk to her again.

    She's lying to him, telling him she keeps calling me, but I won't respond. Not true. Not one call. My dad says she's texted me dozens of times....again, not true. Just more of her lies.

    To appease my dad, should I call her, and just call a truce? Or stand my ground?

  2. #2
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    I have been through something similar. It was horrible on my parents, but in the long run, you must protect yourself.

    Stick to your guns.

  3. #3
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    If it helps at all, reading between the lines of what you've put here - it's clear that despite being the 'favourite', she's spent her whole life eaten up with jealousy and feelings of inferiority.

    These feelings are so huge and pervasive that she even lies about having been to university; the unspoken, unacknowledged (possibly even to herself) message is that 'You're better' and 'Yours is better' - meaning you, OP. People who feel OK about themselves don't need to put others down in the way you describe, and she's so desperate to find something wrong with you that she has to has to resort to events from 20 years ago. Accepting that she's mother's favourite is a small, small way of feeling better about herself, made all the more tragic because - as I think we're all aware - feelings of self esteem have to come from within.

    Telling lies to the rest of the world all the time is just a reflection of the lies she continually tells herself, just to get by. Tell your dad that when you actually RECEIVE one of her texts or calls, you'll be happy to respond - but as it is, they exist only in her imagination and haven't actually happened yet.

    It's sad that the situation's upsetting your dad, but even if you were to call her - so you think it actually would result in a truce, or would she take it as an opportunity to play the helpless victim of your heartless ministrations yet again?

  4. #4
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    Do you want to make amends with your sister? Be honest with yourself. Sometimes some of us are so stubborn that it blinds us from what we really want.

    Is your sister someone who you could sit down with to hash things out? Is there a possibility that by talking to her you two can honestly work out your problems? I ask this because at times, you might think it's a lost cause because this person may seem stubborn or irrational, etc., but sometimes all it takes is for one person to step up to the plate and say, "hey, let's try and resolve this", in order for the other to let their guard down and actually try and makes things work.

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  6. #5
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    Thanks to you both, Hollyj & nutbrownhare.

    nutbrownhare, you may be onto something with the jealousy. A long-time family friend of ours, who is helping with the shower, happens to be a therapist, and she said it's clear-cut jealousy. There are a lot of details I'm leaving out here, but she said much the same as you.

    The shower thing bothers me so much because we have a very small family, and this particular niece is just awesome, and also heartbroken that her only other aunt refuses to participate. As it is, we have so many people who have offered to help, that we've had to turn people away. But the one person she wants most of all, other than me, is my sister, and she received some very nasty texts from my sister. My niece stopped responding.

    The college lie is starting to affect my sister's daughters, both teenagers, who are now working towards college acceptance. They both know the lie, and when they try to correct their mother, she simply "corrects" them with her revisionist history. One daughter wants to go to "our" college, and she wants to follow what I did, and get in the same sorority, live in the same dorm, etc. I know that probably eats her mother alive.

    Truth be told, I miss talking to her. She's very engaging, fun, funny, and entertaining. But the lies, the constant bringing up of my past mistakes (when I could bring up some waaaaay worse ones) has just gotten to be too much for me.

    Another truth is that if anyone should be jealous, it should be me, of her! She's extremely creative, she's the life of the party, and everyone loves her. She has the most amazing husband, tall, good-looking, great provider, and absolutely loves her & his kids. They live in a beautiful home with 2 dogs. It's the picture-perfect life we all want.

    But it's not jealousy that I feel towards her, but rather a happiness for her and her life. I adore her daughters, and even though I haven't spoken to her, I'm still sending her daughters gifts, etc.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by milly007
    Do you want to make amends with your sister? Be honest with yourself. Sometimes some of us are so stubborn that it blinds us from what we really want.

    Is your sister someone who you could sit down with to hash things out? Is there a possibility that by talking to her you two can honestly work out your problems? I ask this because at times, you might think it's a lost cause because this person may seem stubborn or irrational, etc., but sometimes all it takes is for one person to step up to the plate and say, "hey, let's try and resolve this", in order for the other to let their guard down and actually try and makes things work.
    Truth be told milly, yes, I'm being stubborn! And yes, it's blinding me from what I really want, which is a nice relationship with my sister. I miss her!

    But unfortunately, she's not the "let's sit down and talk about this" type. She's a historical revisionist, and she'll twist things around so that it was always my fault. I've told her she's the most selfish human being on the planet, and she smiles and says, "yes I am". She simply doesn't care. She found a husband who thinks she walks on water.

    Here's an extreme example: She's a shopaholic. As in, she literally cannot pass a store without shopping. Once, when her daughter was about 3, we were at the mall. My sister saw pretty things, and literally (literally!) ran in. Her daughter got lost in the clothing racks. I became frantic. My sister could have cared less. I ran over to her, telling her that I couldn't find her little girl, and she said, "She'll be fine. You need to relax". Of course, I couldn't relax, and I was by now, screaming my niece's name. I looked everywhere, and I finally spotted her, out in the mall. Yes, she wandered out to the mall, about 3 stores away, and this man & woman had her, sitting down in these chairs. I ran like a maniac, and they said, "No worries, we were going to hold onto her, as we knew someone would come looking". My sister? She tried on another blouse.

  8. #7
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    It's sad about your niece, but that really is between them to sort out - and that's something which can be safely dropped from your concerns.

    There's a lot of pressure to love our siblings, but it doesn't necessarily mean we like them. And if the positive aspects of interacting with someone, anyone, get outweighed by the negative ones, then keeping away from them is self-preservation.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by milly007
    Do you want to make amends with your sister? Be honest with yourself. Sometimes some of us are so stubborn that it blinds us from what we really want.

    Is your sister someone who you could sit down with to hash things out? Is there a possibility that by talking to her you two can honestly work out your problems? I ask this because at times, you might think it's a lost cause because this person may seem stubborn or irrational, etc., but sometimes all it takes is for one person to step up to the plate and say, "hey, let's try and resolve this", in order for the other to let their guard down and actually try and makes things work.
    I don't think that it is quite so simple. Nutbrownie nailed the assessment . This has been eating her sister up for years. There is nothing tha LH can do, other than protect herself .

  10. #9
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    This is tough. I too have a sister in her 50s and we are very close and there were times when we were younger we were totally at odds and I don't know how I would have handled it if my mother tried to guilt me into interacting with her during some of those times.

    Anyway - so, I would tell your awesome father (and I mean that genuinely -not sarcastically!) that you love him very much, you know he has good intentions, from the heart, but that you are your own person, and you haven't heard from sister and it would be very unhealthy for you to interact with her. And to please understand that while you wish you could make him happy you need to take care of yourself. And other than commenting that you have not heard from her I'd say nothing else about her -and certainly nothing negative.

    I truly am sorry you are in this situation. And the shopping story was really scary.

  11. #10
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    Thanks Batya, good advice. I'll just continue to tell my father the truth, that I haven't heard from her. I haven't, and don't plan to, say anything negative to him about her. He's one of these people with a heart as big as the moon, and it would break his heart to hear anything negative about her. He's the same way about me, and would defend me to the end, if anyone said anything negative about me. Plus, he's in his 80's, and he has his own health/life issues to worry about.

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