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Thread: Am I being unfair? A life time of siblings drama

  1. #1
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    Am I being unfair? A life time of siblings drama

    I have been doing some thinking for a while, and I don't know if my approach is unjust, or unfair. It involves my siblings. Since we were very young, they have never liked me. They made friends with my school bullies, I had to deal with a lifetime of betrayal from them, they spread many false rumors about me, and we fought a lot over it. I had hoped that one day, when we got older, we could get along, but unfortunately this has not been the case. As we got older, the rumors continued, but I tried to ignore the rumors because I didn't want to fight anymore. For many years I would try to reach out to them, but they would ignore my messages and phone calls. It hurt a lot, but I decided to stop "begging." A lifetime of pain was enough to get me to detach from them, recently.

    I began to accept the fact that they don't like me, or want anything to do with me. These were their actual words to me, except they decided to post about it on social media for me to see, many times. I took the hint, finally. I deleted them from my social media, and all hell broke lose after that. A year, or so of me no longer reaching out to them, infuriated them further. They then played the victim by telling family, and friends that I was a horrible sister, because I no longer reached out to them, and they said that I was cold, selfish, and heartless for no longer reaching out, and they said that they couldn't understand why I was behaving so cold towards them, because they know they have never done anything "that bad" to me. I tried to explain to family and friends that on the contrary, it is my siblings who have ignored me for many years, most of my life, actually, and some of our family knows this is true because they saw me try to talk to them. I have confronted my siblings about why they felt such hatred towards me but they would not reply to my messages, they would leave them on read. Another family member got involved, and asked them the same question, and they would change the subject, or not give direct answers. They would say that they didn't feel the need to explain why they hate me.

    Long story short, after I graduated from college, my siblings started reaching out to me because they wanted us to "patch things up" and get along. They never congratulated me for any of my school graduations, and this hurt me too. Since they were suddenly so eager to talk to me now, I told them that I stopped reaching out for a year because it was hard for me to let go of everything they've done, and they strongly feel that I should stop holding grudges and forgive them because they are family. They told me that no one is perfect and that I needed to grow up and just get over it. They also denied many of the things they did to me, and said that they didn't ignore me, that they were just very busy with their families. When they started reaching out to me, they all wanted advice in regards to college stuff, and career questions, and I helped guide them. Actually, in the past, they were only nice to me when they needed advice with something similar, which I willingly helped as well. However, once they got whatever advice they needed, they would go back to ignoring me, and talking badly behind my back again.

    Now I'm thinking, we are older, more mature, I need to forgive them, and help them because they are family, this is what family is supposed to do, help each other, and I am glad that they are pursuing an education for themselves, except that there's a problem. I have recently decided that I don't forgive them. I don't forgive them. It was still just a few months ago that they had continued with talking badly about me. They're being nice again, and I'm being stupid again for helping them when they don't deserve it. They never did. I do feel selfish sometimes because they are my family, and I can't forgive them. I know they are not truly sorry, anyway. Am I wrong for not wanting anything to do with them anymore? If I'm counting, this betrayal, and them ignoring me, has lasted a total of close to 20 years. (There's a lot I've left out of things they've done to me, and hurtful things they've said). I'm allowing them to use me, if I decide to help them again. They don't really care about me. They never did. They have never been there for me for anything, even during times when I hit rock bottom with depression, and needed my family the most. They ignored me, and continued to talk badly behind my back, as well as to make fun of me on social media.

    How do I tell them that I don't want to help them with school/career advice? Or any form of advice. I would like for us to be civil. We don't have to "like" each other, but we can be civil and not fight. I'm sick and tired of the drama, and my mental and emotional, as well as physical health has suffered greatly because of it. I was in so much pain. I do feel careless now. Numbed out. Detached from the family bond I felt before, despite how they treated me. I would like us to be civil, but keep our distance, the same as it has been for almost 20 years, except no more rumors about me. Of course, I can't stop them from bad mouthing me to everyone. I want it to stop. They have many friends, and made friends with my friends, so most family and friends who know us believe that I am this horrible, evil, heartless sister from all of the false rumors they have spread about me for almost 20 years. Well, I do feel careless now. Now I do. Now I don't care. Am I wrong for not wanting to help them with anything anymore? Some of them are having issues with depression now, because of choices they have made with their lifestyles, and they are now regretting, so they call me to vent and wanting me to solve their problems. They actually tried to guilt trip me by saying that I should be there for them because it is my job as the eldest. I have suffered from depression my whole life, and a big part of it was because of THEM. It hurt so much to feel unloved by your own family, ignored, publicly humiliated, betrayed. So why should I care about them now? I don't have it in me anymore. I just want them to stop spreading rumors about me, and to leave me alone. I don't care to reconnect anymore. I don't forgive them. It's been way too much. I'm done.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    There are books out there on how to establish relationship boundaries, so I suggest reading one or more of them. If you decide to retain a connection, use the skills you learn. If you decide to sever bonds, tell the relatives and mutual friends of your decision and that you don't want to hear news of them or what they are saying about you. Take care.

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    Originally Posted by Andrina
    There are books out there on how to establish relationship boundaries, so I suggest reading one or more of them. If you decide to retain a connection, use the skills you learn. If you decide to sever bonds, tell the relatives and mutual friends of your decision and that you don't want to hear news of them or what they are saying about you. Take care.
    Thank you for your reply. I am learning about boundaries now, but I still have a ways to go. I have told my family to please respect my decision, and to please not tell me anything more about my siblings, or anything about the hurtful things they say about me, but my family refuses to respect my boundaries. They feel that I am in the wrong, and frequently tell me to stop holding a grudge. They also continue to tell me news about them, as well as the rumors they spread. For this reason, I might start to distance myself from everyone else too, not just my siblings. Family can be very toxic, and my overall wellbeing has suffered the consequences. This means I will be very alone. I'm sad thinking about it, but it's what I have to do, when they have no respect for my boundaries or decisions.

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    Yeah, well, you can change your mind and you can change your friends, but you can't change your family.

    I would just offer that I have a younger brother, and he has said the most terrible things about his experience growing up in our family. Events that none of us ever remembering happening -- that people didn't care about him or give him enough love, even though my mother went out of her way to show him more attention than she did me, even to the point of feeling guilty about having to attend to his needs more than mine. My brother continues to complain about various things and I admit, he's pushed me away and I don't see him much. I'm sure he complains about that too.

    I just wonder if all of the rumors you say your family made up about you and the way you feel you've been treated may have been exaggerated in your mind, perhaps by the depression you suffer from. For example, what were these "false rumors?" That you were a weird kid? And how did they mistreat you? Were they trying to make you more self-reliant or did they just attack you for no reason?

    Maybe you're just asking too much from your siblings. Everyone should be able to stand on their own two feet. First-borns are usually independent and don't really need much support from their families. You could just live your life and ignore the rest of them. Get your depression treated and don't have anything to do with your family. Then they can't hurt you.

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  6. #5
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    My brothers have taught me so much, spoiled me, loved me to bits and pieces, and would do anything for me.

    My MIL is a horrendous person who spreads rumors, and alienates everyone with her narcissistic behavior.

    I haven't spoken to her in 7 years. I speak and spend time with my brothers reguarly.

    When someone or family is an a-hole to you, it doesn't matter blood related you are. Your siblings won't take accountability for the pain they've caused and didn't stand up for you. Forget them. Just don't write back or answer their calls. There's no book in the world that says you have to put up with crap behavior just because you shared a womb at one point.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I'd consider it in my own best interests to avoid the roller-coaster of extremes. That means finding my own balance. I can be kind whenever someone reaches out or our paths cross, but I don't need to invest in outcomes. So that also means skipping social media drama or concerns about whether their opinion of me on any given day is hot or cold. I'd maintain the distance with that stuff that I've created in the last year, and I would not discuss my sibs with anyone--good or bad--because anything said can be misinterpreted or carried into gossip territory by the pot-stirrers in the family or community.

    Over time, my kindness might be reciprocated or it may not. Mine speaks of me, and anyone else's speaks of them--NOT me.

    I would not extend 'help' that involves advice of any kind, because that positions you badly no matter how things play out: if you're 'wrong' it's held against you, and if you're right, you'll either get no credit and get hurt feelings from that, or you'll otherwise risk being misinterpreted in some way. So skip 'advice,' and just offer support 'in spirit', instead.

    I would not extend 'help' financially or in any way that involves carrying communication or offering opinions. Instead, I'd respond to any given sib's statements with, "What do YOU think about that?" or "What do YOU want to do about that?"

    I would limit my 'help' to activities like help with household projects, or meal prep or whatever. I tend to stay out of trouble when I keep my mouth shut and my hands busy.

    I would NOT make the price of doing business with me admission of guilt or seeking apologies from the past. Either someone grows to recognize that stuff on their own, or they don't. They'll either volunteer that or not. No argument in the world will ever change that, and neither will campaigning for other family members to be on 'my side'. I'd skip that stuff.

    Head high.

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    I'd consider it in my own best interests to avoid the roller-coaster of extremes. That means finding my own balance. I can be kind whenever someone reaches out or our paths cross, but I don't need to invest in outcomes. So that also means skipping social media drama or concerns about whether their opinion of me on any given day is hot or cold. I'd maintain the distance with that stuff that I've created in the last year, and I would not discuss my sibs with anyone--good or bad--because anything said can be misinterpreted or carried into gossip territory by the pot-stirrers in the family or community.

    Over time, my kindness might be reciprocated or it may not. Mine speaks of me, and anyone else's speaks of them--NOT me.

    I would not extend 'help' that involves advice of any kind, because that positions you badly no matter how things play out: if you're 'wrong' it's held against you, and if you're right, you'll either get no credit and get hurt feelings from that, or you'll otherwise risk being misinterpreted in some way. So skip 'advice,' and just offer support 'in spirit', instead.

    I would not extend 'help' financially or in any way that involves carrying communication or offering opinions. Instead, I'd respond to any given sib's statements with, "What do YOU think about that?" or "What do YOU want to do about that?"

    I would limit my 'help' to activities like help with household projects, or meal prep or whatever. I tend to stay out of trouble when I keep my mouth shut and my hands busy.

    I would NOT make the price of doing business with me admission of guilt or seeking apologies from the past. Either someone grows to recognize that stuff on their own, or they don't. They'll either volunteer that or not. No argument in the world will ever change that, and neither will campaigning for other family members to be on 'my side'. I'd skip that stuff.

    Head high.
    This is great... don't play "victim" and campaign against them to your friends and family any more, and don't rely on them changing their ways in order to move forward in your life. Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions.

  9. #8
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    My mom has a family like this. You know what made her have peace of mind over it? Cutting them all off. It infuriated them that she was no longer around to abuse.

    If they're toxic, they're toxic. Get rid of them completely. Family is who you choose to surround yourself with.


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